Today’s fiction comes to us from Cathy MacKenzie, who this week delivers two poems. If you enjoy these poems, check out her TO LOVE A GRANDMOTHER poetry book (100 poems), available on Smashwords for only $1.99: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/camack. You can also find three compilations of her short stories there, as well. Visit her website at the end of this posting for more information on this author. Let her know what you thought of her poems (good or bad, she's open to critique).
Next week's flash fiction will come from Jessica Degarmo, who grew up in Upstate New York and now lives with her husband, children and dog in rural Pennsylvania. When she is not writing, she is an insurance agent, the lead singer in a classic rock band, and an avid collector of gemstones. Her publishing credits include: HOW TO MEET A GUY AT THE SUPERMARKET (Night Publishing, November 2010); HOOKING UP (Night Publishing, May 2011); DECISIONS (Silver Publishing, July 2011); and THE STORM WITHIN (Night Publishing, September, 2011). Jessica's contribution this week is an excerpt from HISTORICALLY YOURS, the second book in her Johns Creek Second Chances series. THE STORM WITHIN, the first in the series, is available now, and the second will be published later this year by Taylor Street Publishing.
A Blank Canvas
I gather my tools in front of me:
paints and canvases and brushes
to paint a portrait
from a photograph of a face
I know so well
and love even more,
I discover wrinkles
that I did not acknowledge before
for I did not see them,
like tears and unravelling stitches
upon a worn and dulled tapestry
they seem to mock me -
rich brown age spots loom
and cryptic creases and mysterious furrows
race off to nowhere,
and I don't know where death ends
and where life began,
And I don't know how to proceed
for I don't know how to draw time
and paint passing years
that disappeared with barely a breath
before I knew they were gone.
(above poem published in "Still Point Arts Quarterly," October 2011)
Following the Path
He grasps my cold limp hand and I follow
into the forest so green and deep.
The cerulean ceiling lunges down
and the trees form our walls,
our barrier from the world.
I'm swept within a hollow garden
where the moss swells around us,
sticky and sweet and sickly.
Is it a miracle or a mirage?
Perhaps it's both; perhaps it's neither.
His warmth delves into the depths of me,
tingling my nerves and caressing my bones.
The rush is like a speeding freight train
silent in the night, yet determined,
knowing its end, aware of its surroundings.
Lost in acres of wilderness
I scan the blazing landscape from afar
amid the hush of nature's songs.
The world is mute and nothing but
the chorus of your breath chimes with mine.
Again in the distance is that train
lumbering down the tracks to somewhere,
its roaring refrain now haunting the night.
I see the dragon breath swaying
before disappearing into the stars.
Then life is silent once more. I'm at peace
in the dark where only angels dare to tread,
dreams and nightmares quashed forever.
There's nothing, yet there's everything –
everything but your breath mingling with mine.
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Catherine A. MacKenzie