The Art of Drowning – Episode 2.3

A Brittle Sigh on the Night Air – By Jac Forsyth

Shadow, form and reform. Fold words with the unfold of 10,000 fireflies, ‘Rescue came against my will, yet you presume to judge me on the choices I make? Hauntings always did run common in the halls of your reason, Caswell.’

Time and crime. Sleeper stir, lead with the sanctified. And alchemy of insects come flick-click dripping. Four walls in a crippling.

‘Would you have me hide silent in sandstorms when I am fallen with the crown of Anjou?’ A sigh, bone brittle on the night air, ‘Come, my love, you know me better than that. Every beg, every borrow, every stolen, lays another gilding on my memory. Silent is the one thing I cannot be.’

Sleep crumble in moan and mumble. The seabirds cry. But dreamchaser know the meddling of birds. Sanctuary of dawn is just another trick of the dark.

‘Still you refuse me audience?’ Shadow falls soft along the seams, tears in the too late of this meeting, ‘Ah, my love, my love. In sword and arrow, I know more than most how shame hides refugee in the strangest of places. But the last of our choices were abandoned along with the tide. And it seems to me that the walls you have built between us would benefit from a touch of graffiti. Or perhaps something a little more, permanent?’

Insects take. Sleeper wake. Red on white cotton. Words never forgotten.

From the devil we came and to the devil we must return

The Art of Drowning – An Ethereal Mystery

3 writers, no destination – What could go wrong?

Ash N. Finn  The Perilous Reading Society  & Not Very Deep Thoughts


The Art of Drowning – Episode 1

The Art of Drowning – by Jac Forsyth

There are times when the wind takes hold of the desert and carries it far out to sea in sandstorms too brutal for even memory to hold. And I was lost and found in the firelight of whispered stories, heroes of ruin sung into lullaby with the sweetness of rum and reminiscence. And maybe there were warnings there, but I was still too young and caught up in the riptide between tales to hear them.

It was vultures that finally drove me down to the abandonment of shore. In my arrogance I called it destiny, but pride is always the last one standing and heaven knows the raptors were patient.

We were a thousand miles from land when the sandstorm took us, and even before the first warnings were called it had ripped away the sea and inked the summer sky dark with scours of long away sand. I should have remembered the stories then. But while the wisdom of sailors cursed in the cabins below, I who had traded my life for the shackles of freedom, stood on the deck and screamed at god.

But sand doesn’t care about the difference between entitlement and entombment and it will tear flesh from reason soon as you can think it. And I tell you, when you taste the first crippling of those loving arms around you, it’s too damn late to forget which way the horizon is supposed to run.

So it was that we were lost to the drownings of contradiction. The others wept out their endurance for a while, but I have a will for adaptation and to be honest, it’s hard to tell the difference between heaven and hell after a while. Somewhere up there daybreak comes flawed from poison night, stolen black and beaten white and the wrecked and wreckage ebb and flow with the circling of planets. Sure it’s not perfect and the fish have no concept of personal space, but this place is more home than I have ever known.

Carve a stone with things you want remembered, say a prayer if it helps ease your mind, but don’t you come looking for me. I have crawled too long in the desert to find anything but sanctuary down here with the bones of sailors.

The Art of Drowning – An Ethereal Mystery

3 writers, no destination – What could go wrong?

Ash N. Finn  The Perilous Reading Society  & Not Very Deep Thoughts


Vinyl Wallet

I am constantly being reminded here in the blogosphere that it is Mental Health Month. I found the first part of this, originally written in 1976. Yes, it’s sophomoric. I added the last bit today. Help people if you can. Early. Or someone buries them. Early.

A boy married young
Rebelled against the norm
In his desire to be different
He kicked up quite a shit storm
Her parents were wealthy
Considered him beneath their station
They honeymooned in Hawaii
He was supposed to find work but
They got high and it was simply an extended vacation

They sold clothes and pianos, waited tables, built houses
Those were a bomb
They pulled an acre of thorny grapevine down
Burned it for her Mom
Her Mother paid to keep them eating,
Sheltered and alive
They laughed and partied
Spent mom’s money
Ignored her father’s sermons and jive

That first Christmas
Her parents gave him
A vinyl wallet
Gramma and the sisters, old Aunt Helen
They all laughed, agreed
Said out loud that was all he’d ever need
That was the last Holiday
He’d drop spaghetti on their oriental rug
Mom made sure they were done
With no more than a shrug

He was forty minutes North
Forty years away
When he learned their daughter blew her brains out
Livin’ in a postcard just south of L.A.
Didn’t matter who it was
Or what theirs was made of
Did it
Come end of that day

R.I.P. Deborah Eloise Kendall-Juette
10.12.1953 – 5.4.2004
Too many senseless decisions are made with alcohol and a hand gun. Do your best to keep them away from people looking for the wrong answer.

Them’s Some Fine Lookin’ Shoes

That Woman there
Got her
Fine lookin’ shoes
Strutted through
Momma Rue’s
Stepped out of one
Right into another dude’s
Curious how
Every woman in the
Crazy for
Her shoes

Wished they’d found
On sale
On line
Even if they hurt
‘Cause all that
Yesterday’s men all
Ashes and
In the wind
They all knew
Girl had it goin’

Not too gimmicky
Not a real
Knew what she wanted
Would do nicely
Loved you for
A movie
A weekend
Maybe two but
Won’t never
Every woman in
For Her shoes

Get over it
Can’t you see
Or move on
Girl’s got it
Goin’ on

When she’d shuffled
Enough Fools
One offered
Fingers full of
More to come
The new rules
Man said

This many
Pretty children
Where I go is
You stay and
What I think is
What you
Keep it that
Country Club Hostess
Maybe even a
little whore
Time to time
Be fine
On call
Night or day
Whatta ya say

Every damn woman
In the
Crazy for
Her shoes

Miss somethin’
Little people
Little minds
Gotta get over it
Ain’t no
Easy way

Get over it
Or move on
Girl don’t you
You got it
Goin’ on

Wasn’t never too gimmicky
Managed to find
And rich
Oh Yes
She never stepped
Out of
Her own heart
Locked up
Never broken
Maybe a little
If so she
Sung them
Quietly to
No one

Get over it
Or move on
Girl you got
All of
Too much
of everything
Goin’ on

Can you
That still
Most every
Damn woman
Most every
Damn where
Crazy for
Her shoes

A Short Prayer

For a short Old Friend

She’s old enough to
Have heard her babies cry
Heard her Mother cry, now
She’s forced to watch
The man who’s been beside
For whoever answers prayers today

Show her someplace quiet
Sunny and cool
Where the grass is
Green and
Sit with her on the bank of the
Magic stream
So wide, so
Where the water
Is clear and
Let her be ankle deep for awhile
In all of what is

Let the very best of their
Fold her gently in their arms
Take a moment
Show her a tomorrow
Real and bright
Hold her through the night
Give her something to
Show her a glimpse of what is
Help her while she grieves

Dry her tears
Calm her fears
Show her how a love
That lasted a lifetime
Means more than pictures
On a wall
Show her what she needs to see
Listen if she calls
Show her what she’s made of
How who and where she’s been
Is still that girl
She thought she
So strong, so
Long ago

Show her someplace quiet
Hold her heart inside your hand
Keep it still and
Wrap her in
Give her dreams that are
When she needs
As she’s forced to watch
The man who’s been beside

I won’t ask for easy
I know it doesn’t work that way
From whoever answers prayers today
I ask only for some simple Grace and
A touch of Mercy
For an old friend

Painting: “Norham Castle, Sunrise” by JMW Turner, The Tate, London

Small Words, Small Thoughts

Petits Mots, Petites Idées…
[petit poème de ~la femme qui brûle~ par Sha’Tara]

L’étoile du matin
Je regarde mes biens:
De ce qui tient
Je n’ai besoin de rien.
Tout va bien.


Small words, Small Thoughts
[from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

The morning star
Is extinguished
I scan my possessions:
Of what clings,
I need none.
All is well.

Re-blogged from ~burning woman~

Soul Cry

All he’d ever wanted
In a diner
A moment of her time
Diners became cartoons
of themselves
bowed long ago
to franchises
So here is where he was

Macbook student, a booth for two
his backpack guest
Overflows with grad school

Forty-ish flight attendants
flashing nails
severe ponytails
carry-on handles extended
stand wheel-locked guard
at their table

The possibly blonde
furrows her brow
turns the phone
on its stomach as if to
Quiet a small child
Struggling with under bed monsters
Question mark eyes from the other
a simple shrug of no
One of them needs
to smile

Thick paperback woman
of age
glasses down her nose
her table covered
dozens of napkins
spotted with lipstick say fastidious
Her hair says modestly vain

Two deep blue scrubs eat salads
Speak of rectums and spleens and all the
Would you like more

A waitress so young cynical
Her eyes see no one
worth seeing
Deposits steam
in all the cups
Stained-glass colored
up dark t-shirt sleeves
black nail polish remains chipped
Thoughts, smiles
offered to her arrive

Her colorful arms should wrap
the sparsely bearded sandwich
handoff boy
somewhere fun, free
gray and drizzly
on an empty pier
His place later
Do each other’s nails while
he listens to her heart

Back across the granite table
by far
than the gulf of years between them
She sat quietly
A picture of herself
A frame of flesh and bone
If asked he’d call her expensive, well maintained like
the German car
he watched her park
Only it was newer than her
by far.

Yeah, yeah her husband
he heard her say
so healthy so wealthy so wise
So much
Smarter than a crystal ball
Rich as Croesus
believes in Jesus, had compassion stood by her
in her dark hours of grief
That was important for him
to understand
All the standing by

She had grieved
Too many hours
he would agree
Death close by comes hard
harder still
Cloaked in violence
in surprise
In quantity

Did he hear kind, giving, helpful, fun, funny
he must have missed them between great
wonderful hard working successful provider father
Couldn’t miss the children
Beautiful, smart, loving, doing
well and yes she played golf
Why did he ask?
Why did he smile?

She made that face when he
waitress and sandwich boy
She heard laughter
in his voice
Bodies wrapped together
undulating, melting into
a human painter’s palette
Had she forgotten
being young?

Her frown on such simple things
Such simple beings
easily affordable
And yet do you think
would they
Could they do each other’s
He would really
listen to her heart?
He could
possibly would
Do you think?

How would that pay
the bills
fill the time
the house
Impress the neighbors
and the board of

He smiled again
She remembered why
You’re still so…
she tried to find it
finish it

He’d gotten even
his coffee colder
while he listened to everything
Except her heart
She averted and avoided until he
locked her
in his vision
Caught her eye

Knew at once if a bit of her
made it through
The parted lips she moistened
with a tongue given
to keeping what was her
He would surely hear her soul

All he’d ever wanted
in a diner
a moment of her time

The dream offered only
And a moment of

To offer him more
He could see her soul
She knew that even
And she would never
allow him to see