Green Apples and Greener Grass

It’s been a topsy-turvy, roller coaster of a week.

On the good side, though, things seem to be looking up.

The notable San Francisco bookstore, Green Apple Books, is now carrying my poetry book, Quantum Singularity: A Poetic Voyage Through Time and Space. I am tickled pink! It’s at the Books on the Park  location on 9th Avenue: http://www.greenapplebooks.com/book/9781546682141.

Even more wonderful–green apples are my favourite (accompanied with a nice aged cheddar). How awesome of a synchronicity is that? And it certainly fits in with the theme in the poetry book.

Thanks to Green Apple Books! Don’t forget to support your local bookstore!

Also, Seattle Book Review wrote a lovely review about my poetry book: https://seattlebookreview.com/product/quantum-singularity-a-poetic-voyage-through-time-and-space/.

I took the week off from the current day job for certification training in a different line of work (hence the “greener grass” part). The training for this potential new day job was held at the Hilton Santa Fe. In the letter that was sent around, it stated that lunch would be provided. I was thinking a sandwich tray and chips, so the first day I brought my own lunch (being vegetarian). I was not expecting what was actually provided. In the morning session, there was coffee, tea and pastries and/or muffins laid out. Lunch was a hot buffet with a salad bar, and even dessert. Afternoon? More hot coffee and tea, and a snack. This went on for all five days. Talk about feeling spoiled. (And, yes, there was a period of harsh adjustment when I resumed the current day job this week.) I can’t tell you how much I missed the hour lunch and the delicious meals. So, if I pass the test, I will be certified by the State of New Mexico and able to seek work in a new, up-and-coming field. If I do obtain my certification, I’ll have much pondering and planning to do re: the next stage of my life. And the transition will be an intense one.

For now, though, I’m behind in a lot of things on my to-do list on the business front. Including blog-writing and all kinds of other writing.

Anyone else playing catch-up? A blogger I follow (we’re related somehow, somewhere, sometime along the family tree, I believe) seems to be having a like week month: http://elaineorr.blogspot.com/2018/02/have-you-ever-had-one-of-thosemonths.html.

How’s your week/month/New Year coming along? Productive and enjoyable, I hope!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black CATastrophy Writing Prompt: Puppy Love

 Gone

 

                                                              Puppy Love

They found the bike propped up against the wall, but Allison was gone.
“Dammit, I knew I should have never got her that bike.”
“Dad, it’s not the city anymore. She’ll be okay.”
“I know, it’s just…”
“Yeah, I miss Mom, too.”
Samuel gave his son a side hug. “I love you, Marius.”
“C’mon, Dad. Let’s find her before she stumbles across a backwoods meth lab.”
“Ha, ha.” He watched his son load the bike into the back of the SUV. Hard to believe he’s already a senior.
“We’ll hit all the stores on Main Street before they close. Then head over to the dog park, then—”
“Then we’ll swing by the trailer, then the community pool, then out to the farmhouses on the outskirts. Can I drive?” Marius asked.
“When you get your own car.”
None of the store owners had seen Allison.
“Next stop, the diner,” Samuel said. His son was too busy texting to answer.
“Hey, Rhonda, seen Allison today?” Samuel asked his boss.
“No, hun, not since you all were here for Sunday brunch. She missing again?” Rhonda inched closer. “You just need a good woman to look after you all.”
He could smell peppermint Schnapps on her breath. “We’re doing okay.”
“C’mon, Dad, it’s going to be dark soon.”
“You all just let me know if you need something.” Rhonda patted Marius on the head.
Samuel hustled Marius out the door.
“Seriously, Dad, a head pat? Please tell me you don’t like her.”
“Why not? She’s a good woman.”
“Now I know you’re full of shit.”
“Watch your mouth, son.”
Their laughter stopped when they got to the trailer and saw Allison on the steps.
“Oh, no, she’s got Mrs. Wilson’s dog.” Samuel said.
“Daddy, look. I have puppy friend.” Allison stood, the dog struggling to get free.
“Dad, what’s all over her dress?” Marius said.
“Hopefully just mud.”
“It’s all in her hair, too.”
“Sweetie, that puppy is Mrs. Wilson’s.”
“No, daddy. Is mine.” Allison held the dog even tighter.
“Allison, we’re going to get hamburgers at Charley’s. Mrs. Wilson is going to watch the puppy while we eat. Okay?”
Allison smiled crookedly. “Okay, Daddy. Then we go get puppy, if I’m good?”
“I promise.” Samuel gently took the dog from her. “Now, go with Marius. He’s going to get you all cleaned up.”
Samuel carried the dog over to Mrs. Wilson’s trailer and knocked. The tin door squeaked open.
“That girl of yours stole my dog again?” Mrs. Wilson flicked her cigarette into a bush.
“Yes, ma’am. I’m very sorry. Allison doesn’t understand when she does something wrong. And she just loves dogs.” Samuel said, as the dog ran inside.
“So you keep sayin’. Next time, I’m gonna call the police.” Mrs. Wilson slammed the door.

********

Later that evening, Samuel made sure the childproof locks were set on the front door. At least she couldn’t wander outside at night.
“But what if there’s a fire,” his wife said to him, in his head.
“I tried my best, Janine,” he whispered, as he poured himself some Scotch. After a couple of sips, he took the glass to the desk in his room. He pulled out a glossy pamphlet from the drawer. “I’m so sorry, Allison.” Salty tears mixed in with the whiskey taste in his mouth.
The next morning, Samuel dropped his son off at school.
“Allison not coming to school today?” Marius asked.
“Nope, we’re taking the day off. After yesterday, I’d better keep an eye on her. Figured we’d go get pancakes. Can you get a ride home after band practice?”
“Sure, Jessica’s mom can drop me off.”
“Pancakes?” Allison said from the back seat. “Chocolate chip?”
“You betcha. All the chocolate chips you want.”
After Allison had her fill of pancakes, Samuel drove her to the state psychiatric hospital that Allison’s doctor had recommended.
“Daddy, where are we?”
Samuel unloaded her suitcase. “Sweetie, you’re going to go on a vacation.”
“Are there puppies inside?” Allison asked.
“Let’s go see, shall we?” He held her hand tightly while he led her up to the white building.

********

He got home well ahead of Marius. There was a dog sitting on the front steps of the trailer porch. At least it’s not Mrs. Wilson’s dog.
“Shoo,” he said, and the dog took off. The trailer was so quiet. He turned on the TV and then took a new bottle of Scotch and a glass from the cabinet. The house was still too quiet. He turned up the TV volume. Some old action movie.
He poured one drink, then another. Then a third. His hands hadn’t stopped shaking, but at least he wasn’t crying anymore. Have to be strong for Marius.
Five o’clock, and the winter darkness started to close in. Someone started yelling in the movie. Then a cacophony of barking dogs erupted from the television. I don’t remember dogs in the movie. How much Scotch did I drink? He shook the bottle. Almost empty.
He squinted at the TV, but the picture was blurry. He turned it off. The yelling stopped but the barking persisted. No, it was more like howling, now. He fumbled with the childproof locks and opened the door. Animals streaked from the small porch into the shadows.
“What the—” He took the flashlight from the shelf by the door and shone it into the darkness. Dogs. Hundreds of dogs. Some even looked like wolves. And they had stopped howling. Instead, they were growling. Growling and snapping as they sprinted forward. Samuel stumbled backwards and fell, dropping the flashlight.
“I’m so sorry, Allison,” he cried as the dogs closed in.

*********

“Hi, Marius.” Allison hugged her brother. “Are we going to go get pancakes?”
“Yes, Allison, pancakes with chocolate chips.”
“Then home?”
“Yes, home. But only after we get you a puppy from the shelter.”
“Puppy.” Allison clapped her hands. “I love puppies.” Her smile was no longer crooked.

 

–Willow Croft

Writing Prompt Link: https://blackcatastrophy.com/2017/12/03/black-catastrophy-writing-prompt-16-gone/.

 

Amnesia in Retrograde

 

Amnesia in Retrograde

Daylight makes me
a shadow on the wall
unseen and unheard, except
by rote.
I’ve learned my lines,
but every now and again I 
slip up, to the audience of puzzled looks
and cold shoulders.
I knew how to be alone,
protected by the warmth of youthful
energy, but now
I slow down
blood pressure static
and I creep around, creepily
tilting at windmills.
Or just tilting.
Here, in the bright,
I forget more than just names and dates,
but I console myself that I never 
had the chance to learn who I was,
because people always told me what they wanted.
I don’t realize that none of those 
things are true, until after the midnight hour.
In dreams, I remember the girl I was,
and the woman I was supposed to be.
All rainbows and unicorns and hope
for a kick-ass maybe someday.
It’s taking even longer to find her;
a 4 a.m. quest through never-ending thrift stores,
lost all over again with the punishing sun.
Each night, I set sail again,
traipse through forests,
get a letter to Hogwarts,
read my just-so story, where my past
Has never happened.
Last night, though,
gratification was instant.
I remembered you,
deep brown with that wilding blaze,
and I held on for dear life, 
breathing in your horse-warm smell
as you take me to my lost ones.
“I’ll be home soon,” I whisper,
as the jealous dawn steals love from me.

©2018 Willow Croft

 

Definition of Wilding from Merriam-Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wilding

 

This poem was based on a dream and got the final gloss of inspiration (in response to) When Women Inspire’s post on January 5 (And, yes, Christy B., it’s typically melancholy! *laugh*). 

https://whenwomeninspire.com/2018/01/05/want-change-about-you-job-health/

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Year Begins, Again.

I hope everyone is happy, warm, and safe in their little time pocket of the multiverse!

If you signed up for the newsletter, I look forward to reading and sharing your New Year’s creative thoughts (if any). I’ve scheduled this post in advance, just in case I was able to make it to another realm for New Year’s. Thanks to those who participated.

Congrats to the winner, The Green Stars Project, who wrote a great post about liminal space that’s very fitting for this time of year. Become part of the Green Stars initiative!

The Green Stars Project New Year’s resolution: “My not-so-secret wish is to practice ethical consumerism and to also encourage others to do so. I have a specific plan, and I’ll know that it’s starting to work whenever I see another person writing a Green Stars review! My latest post, which starts with a brief discussion on liminal space, pretty much sums it up. https://greenstarsproject.org/2017/12/29/resolution/Sometimes, perhaps when I’m faltering on my path a little bit, the universe sends me a sign – it usually comes from an animal. That’s kind of where it all started – with my cat and other animals. Baggins the cat is no longer on this plane (or maybe he is back on it in another form) but I think he still guides me.”

 

New Year’s Poem by Willow Croft:

Mechanic

“I think time is broken,”

you tell me, in my sleep.

It’s my 365th attempt to fix things

but our clocks are lives and years apart.

With each tinkering,

more pieces of me 

pile up in the corners,

and I’m running out of places to hide

from monsters under the bed and

in real life.

So I seek my way out of these worlds.

At the harbour, I’ve missed the boat.

At the airport, I’ve missed the last plane out.

At the station, I’ve missed the train.

And my carriage never arrives 

at its destination.

Always a day late and a dollar short

and a hundred years away from you

in the dark and cold

of another new beginning.

© Willow Croft 2017-2018

 

“One Hundred Years” by The Cure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBtBD2WwvGY

 

 

 

 

Quantum Singularity Contest!

My lovely holiday newsletter is ready to send out!

Even better, I decided to create a wishes-come-true contest to go with it (A signed copy of my poetry book to eleven lucky winners!). Details will be in my email newsletter, so sign up by using the link to the right on the widgets sidebar  (MailChimp), or go here.

Good luck in the contest!

Happy holidays, and have a lovely winter season to all my follower friends!

The Stone Field

 

The Stone Field

Broken stones

are still stones.

I have become something else

with the wind and storms and rain

broken and not reborn, here.

Still, you seek me out through our

thousand lifetimes of separation and

the resultant scarring.

But only here are we together

on the starlit stones

and just as icy on our skin.

This realm is one of feathers and flight and all things impossible

through magic

through wishes and coins and the sacrifice of flames

that would have warmed us

called us into being through all realms

and time

and thought

if only we knew

how to heal a stone.

–Willow Croft