Wandering: Graffiti

Posted: August 5, 2016 in Wandering

 

Graffiti has always fascinated me. At train crossings, waiting for endless boxcars to pass, I used to see the most beautiful creations of art. There’s a lot of time to think while sitting in the car. I wondered about the artists who were skilled enough to paint such amazing collages on rusty metal, old metal, new metal, and what sort of lives they led. I could imagine them painting in the dark by flashlight, since obviously this would not knowingly be allowed in daylight. It took me to another world. And then the train ended with the reds, blues, and neon colors gone in a blur.

Recently, on my wandering and hiking in the mountains, I came upon a one lane tunnel in South Carolina. Mesmerized, I saw graffiti in a backwoods town where time moves slow and slower. Maybe the artists were young, old, or just wandering like I was. They could have thought they had all the time in the world to create, be young, be old, live forever. As the quote goes: “In the midst of life we are living; in the midst of life we are dying.” It’s the in-between that we live. Nevertheless, graffiti is a salvation to some and its electric colors splash light into a confusing world.

 

With folded hands she sat at the table, the one facing lush woods pressed against the landscape like it had been painted in place. Sleep had not touched her eyes for two days, since that man in the deputy’s uniform had knocked on her door, removed his hat, and said the terrible words that had never crossed her mind. It was his job and she wondered if he slept at night.

Butterflies flew against the window and some were smashed on impact to flee the sunlight, some did not and she wondered at the cessation of life and why such beautiful creatures of nature would do such an unremarkable thing to cease life. Life was so precious. She’s sat in the cane-back chair for a long while now and didn’t know what to do next. A lady at the church called and told her to pray and everything would be all right–in time.

She pushed her graying hair back into a bun and tied it close to the back of her neck with a rubber band, twisted like. She felt old; she was old. Her hands were wrinkled with brown spots, from working in the garden, and veins scattered the tops and sides of the skin. She turned over her hands and stared at them as if seeing them for the first time.

“Liddy,” a male voice called from the porch affronting the lake. “Are you in there? It’s nigh to sunset and you need to go lie down before too long, you’ll need rest.”

She turned and rushed to the door and unlatched the key, then stopped. Her feet were weighted to the floor. The door finally swung open. “Is that you? Don’t stay in the shadows, let me see you.” she said.

Weathered boards of the screened-in porch creaked under weight and her eyes searched for an image, any image that would tell her she wasn’t mad. No one was there and she was alone with the whippoorwills that usually came to sing to her before dark. Never, in her recollections had she known them to sing in daylight, always twilight. She shook her head this way and that searching for anything that would tell her the voice was not imagined. Her voice was low pitched. “I hear cemetery birds not whippoorwills; they heed not the time of day.”

After silence, her head nodded and she went to the screen door and looked scanned the lake and back to the porch. Slow steps dragged her feet toward the bedroom, she kicked off her house slippers and lay on the simple, double bed in her small, plain room void of pictures. An old black telephone startled her and she reached to the night stand and unplugged it.
Staring at the ceiling, she caught the scent of Old Spice Cologne and relaxed as she saw the other bed pillow opposite hers. It had the indented space like it held the weight of a person’s head. Her face was flushed, as she hugged the edges of the pillowcase. Her fingernails pinched the edges of the worn cotton. Hair askew, she breathed in life and closed her eyes. “You’re right, I’ll need rest,” she whispered. “The officer was wrong. You never went anywhere. He must have you mistaken for someone else. I am so relieved.” She heaved a sigh. “If it’s all the same to you, I’ll not dress for bed, I’ll lie right here with you and later when you get hungry I can fix our evening meal.

 

Image  —  Posted: May 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

Poetry: Wilderness Abyss

Posted: May 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

Into an abyss you crawled
Unfamiliar with the lay of the land.
Fingertips nil and
Skin void of flesh; warm blood
Trickled along
Clam shards on a wall of stench.
As you search for light
That doesn’t exist-you hesitate.
Not a good idea at the time
Too late, for the ledge you stand on
begins to crumble and all you
see is water and rocks below
you chose the wrong morning
to check out the new trail
where the flowers you had
to have were located.
wynsharp©2016

Poem: Youth Lost

Posted: May 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

Forbidden the fruit
From garnered memories
and overgrown paths

Steps lead beyond pastures
and rotted wood and barnyards
through dried flowers and grass

Denoted the seconds
A clock ticks somewhere
Listen-it chimes ever so fast

Hands in holy pockets-
Feet traverse homeward
Seeking dreams you did cast

Lost to the ages
Of Paradise past

Nothing remains
forever intact

Ne’er again
The die has been cast

@sharpwyn

Non fiction: Free Write

Posted: March 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

I love free-writes that get the blood pumping, the mind clicking that opens creative circuits, and I’m not getting graded for mis-spelled words or formatting. This free-write is about family.

When I was ten months old, my Daddy bought the farm next to my maternal grandparents and we settled there. His parents lived twenty miles across the state line, yet he chose to bring my fifteen-year-old mother back to what she needed–still a child, she needed her parents and it all worked out. She had her first child at seventeen and the last one at thirty-five.

But I never forget much, so my memories go back to learning to walk, and observe life, or rather older family members such as great aunts and uncles and I could fill books with growing up surrounded by a huge family and relatives that lived clustered off side roads and into the hills and higher levels from one main two-lane blacktop road.
To live within walking distance of your grandparents was like having two sets of parents. My son has one grandma, so he will never understand the bonds that exist between grandparents and grandchildren much like the bond of a parent. That makes me sad that we are all scattered, in present tense, from Alaska, to Texas, California, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, NC, and SC. Home is still home where I began, not where I reside in present tense.

That’s the best decision Daddy ever made since it gave my brothers and me a solid foundation which resulted in the best of abilities to live a normal, just about perfect childhood. Foundation you have in youth also makes you live longer as an adult, able to cope and so on. I loved home so much that every time I moved, such as finishing high school and moving 100 miles to Memphis, I stayed away about six months and moved back home–until I was in my twenties. Super little towns all clustered together like the heritage I came from.

I never understood why we were so poor when Daddy had a state job, but I figured it must have been because there were so many mouths to feed, bodies to clothe. Daddy paid cash for our house and land, but it was a small house with good ace rage for farming when he got home from work every day and weekends. Being poor is under-rated since we were happy and didn’t know another way of life and never had to do without sustenance or things we needed. Didn’t have a telephone till I was in middle school–didn’t matter.

Old people can be a real learning experience; I grew up and now consider myself old, as a baby boomer, so I think I’m safe to use a word that describes me, although my mother is in her eighties.

As I grew older, I learned, or rather figured out that Daddy was trying to make it up to my grandparents for marrying their daughter so young. Forgiveness was the reason and it backfired on Daddy because Grandpa comes from a lineage known for not forgetting or forgiving. He never forgave Daddy. To top it off, those two were Democrat (Daddy) and Republican (Grandpa).

I was a quiet kid who said little as a kid; I absorbed my world around me which was mostly nature and family.I suppose that’s the reason I’m still among the living, well that and my nine-lives. It amazes me of all the mischief and the chances I took at a young age and upward that I lived to tell about it. Then I grew old and totaled my son’s car on the way home from college about twenty miles away. I gripped the steering wheel, calm as can be and said out loud what I thought would be my last words, “Well, I guess this is it.” I’ve heard others say the same thing about being near death from an accident. Calm as a cucumber, for real. The mind knows when you’re in a bad situation and prepares you in a second’s notice.

When I write things like this, no one cares or believes me, but that’s okay since I am a fanatic about truth and silly little things in most categories imaginable. Most young people in this generation, related to me, anyway,including my son, don’t want to hear about heritage or where he or she came from, and have little time for “old” people, baby boomers.

I have five nieces and nephews and two great nephews and haven’t seen the youngest great nephew born in December. I’m not that close to any of my nieces and nephews except the sixteen-year-old one. She’s a tough one born with brains, good looks and a hard life after Mother got sick and she landed in the court system. Her mother, my sister will get custody back in a few months so we’re looking forward to that. Niece is going to be in the eleventh grade in the fall, on the Tennis team, and works after school. I call her the diamond of our family and that pretty much sums her up. Life isn’t easy for any teen as it was when I was one and actually picked cotton for one of my uncles.

This free-write means nothing to anyone but me, but that’s okay. Unlike the free-writes in college, it doesn’t have trolls, or haints in it and it’s not graded. Peace and be well.

Poem: Ere Sunrise

Posted: February 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

Ere Sunrise

Cores
of darkness
beseech me
and I slither
as a snake
through an
endless abyss
to encounter
a black hole
that seeks a prick,
a ray of light
that is not there.
Darkness seeps
with eyes
of erratic rays
to be expunged,
to escape, and
envision that tiny speck
of light
ere sunrise

Copyright © wyn sharp 2016

Science Fiction: Free Write

Posted: December 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

A free write unedited as it flows. Errors in punctuation or spelling do not matter with free writes.

Delivered

Wretched was the nightmare under a veil that touched upon madness. I was unwell those days of rain that never ceased racking my body with chills of near to convulsion. Catapulted into a world I knew not nor from whence I had been sprung.

Memories were shrouded in a pathetic murk of muddy water that drowned inner senses and obliterated my ability to think in a normal sense of the word. Light and dark melded together to cover images long-since forgotten or maybe I’d never existed. I knew not the circumstance that brought me there nor was it the uppermost in my mind. Survival was at the helm and I was the captain that steered my needs.

Clothes hung upon my bones as if I had been starved and wrapped in remnants of another time and place–an age of neglect.
Weak to the pitch of my soul, I found myself on a desolate and isolated shore where the ocean was endless and with each ebb and flow of the tide, it mesmerized me into a state of submissive brain warp–a hypnotic trance that robbed me of caring for my outcome of deliverance.

The sand was as hot as the Sahara and like a fool I stared at my blistered feet. Near to numbness, one step at a time I moved in a slow motion type of dance yet it was not a dance. It was a shifting of positions from side to side and I was a prisoner of my self as the sun watched and tortured my very existence. I had never felt such heat and new not how to survive such of the elements.

I knew that I was under the sun on a beach with my hands cupped over my ears to shield megrim the relentless pounding of waves oppressive and angry against jagged rocks beyond the shoreline. With each slap of the waves, I jerked like a madman for it was torment and rattled the little serenity remaining.

It was a maddening torture and I found myself crouched on the sand in a cross-legged fashion such as an Indian might sit. I stared at the wrinkled soles of my feet and watched the blood ooze from open sores that the sea might heal with its salt, for it ebbed inward to me and I welcomed it with crazed lucidity of what was real and what was unknown–in other words the world of reality and normalcy I knew not the difference.

My hands had grown numb from my slumped stance in the sand and I shook them freely about me to awaken them. Each sound, aside from the waves, brought me to an awareness of my surroundings and the sounds were of a tomb with lashing waves slapped past me and covering my wretched form.

It was at that moment I heard a roaring sound from the skies as if of a thousand birds in flight, only the sounds seemed to descend with every second and crazed I began to count from one hundred backwards. Expectations of what was to come had an eerie, frightening foreboding and I forced myself to open my eyes to see what was occurring.

It was then I saw them!
Creatures with wide wing spans and I ceased my pointless counting and began to surmise their numbers and whether they were bird or man or perhaps something descended from the pits of hell. Maybe I had been plummeted to hell for all the sins that I knew not whereof had been committed.

Heavy beings they were and landed upon what appeared to be two feet. Their skins were liken to a reptiles with toes that webbed out like frogs. My body was wracked with the shakes the likes of which I had never experienced for I knew not their purpose. Then my mind went rabid and I thought they might be in search of food and I was to be the meal. A parsley meal I would make for I was half starved, myself.

I heard a hoarse voice from within me cry out to the seven avaricious faced creatures I had thus far counted approaching me. Their slithering webbed feet was covered with an oily substance that stuck sand to the surface and I saw one shake it loose as some foreign object might react, as if it had never beheld grains of sand before.

And then it dawned on me to observe the faces and horror filled my being, for the eyes were liken to a man with beaked features for noses, and the ears were long and hung loose. Such an appearance I had never seen and I cowered like some fool while they came closer and eyed me. All seven stretched out their wings as if a habit of existence and perhaps they had flown some great distance to land upon this desolate island–perhaps in search of food as I had forethoughts upon their arrival.

The creatures were bold and one that looked to be the leader came forth dragging its wings with seemingly great effort from the weight. Shocked more came what I feared to be some sort of communication among them as they seemed to speak with black slimy eyes and motion with webbed hands that matched their feet.

“Scrawny,” one spoke with a raspy sound and the others nodded in unison.
I was surprised that the language was discernible for it was my native tongue.

The word hallucination reverberated in my mind as a record caught in a groove, spinning and making no sense. I shook my head and held up my hands to shield me from their stares. Piteously, I lay before them in a cowering position as if beseeching mercy. Their wings rustled and flapped about making winglike sounds of a thousand birds, yet they were seven and huge in size, almost to the point of giants above me. My body continued to shake and my hands went up in a beseeching manner of defense or maybe it was a begging sight to such creatures as they looked from one to the other as if confused to the next mode of action.

The one who had said the word “scrawny” reached a wing in motion to the skies and the others nodded in unison. To my astonishment, these unknown birdlike creatures turned with the loudest of noises and I opened my eyes to see one ascent a bit and light again on the sand as if to balance itself or prepare for flight. I wished with all my being for the latter, but knew not what was to come. My wretched existence mattered not and I no longer cared what happened to me. Pain removed fear and made me retch.

Surprising myself, I crawled backward in a slow movement against the sand. Blood flowed freely yet I felt nothing. Instinct guided me and I succumbed willingly distancing myself an inch at a time away from these foul avian beings. No attempts to stop me were made and I wondered at this yet continued to move without reproach or violence inflicted to stop my retreat.

“Man-like creatures” I heard my voice whisper and it was my first vocal integration that made any sense. My feet dug into the sand with each inch of plot I managed to cover away from them. It mattered not to me anymore for I was doomed to be eaten by these wretched beings or doomed to die a slow death in the sand. I saw no way out yet I slithered in a most pitiful manner as a snake might cover the land in retreat.

It was at that point that I heard the same mighty rush of wind as when they landed upon the beach. In short order I braved my head in a backward direction and I saw them in flight as they had been before landing in this unknown domain. The skies were black with their wing spans flapping and the noise was deafening but I could not turn away. Baffled, I watched them until they were as dots in the sky and no longer visible. I was grateful yet I knew not if this had been reality or dreams of madness that my arrival on the beach provoked upon me.

The air was silent once more, save for the waves slapping zagged rocks and the easy flow of the tide rushing in and retreating.

I inhaled in what might be considered relief but had no knowledge of what had happened to bring me to this hellish situation. Therefore; once again, I lay in the sand looking up to the sun and clouds. Saved from creatures yet I was not saved from myself or how I came to be there.

Thoughts ran rabid again and I grasped at them as straws of thin chat. For some time my mind did focus and in my crazed condition a memory came to me of the scriptures of a character, a man named Job who had lived through sorrows and was spared to live a renewed life of plenty. I felt tears and words formed in the air about me. My voice sand at first, then yelled in pain, then it whispered. “Memory,” I shouted to my surroundings, until my voice grew louder and then it echoed from a bluff-like area, not far from me.

In the distance, I glimpsed something different–it appeared to be a vessel of sorts-a ship with a large white mast heralding skyward and propelled by the wind. I saw humans like specks but they grew larger and called to me. The words were not discernible but it mattered not. I would be delivered as the silent voice had spoken to me before.

I heard another voice inside my head, “I will persevere and be delivered to another shore of my own kind,” it said. I knew not if it were my voice or imagination of  dream, only that it made sense.
I listened closely.
“Deliverance is at hand,” the voice said. And then there were no voices. Once again, I lay on the sand, beneath the sun. I allowed myself to be covered with green algae-like coverings that felt soothing to my blistered skin. I waited for deliverance.

wyn sharp 25 December 2015