Local Guardians

Composed 4/11/17
Description: For NaPoWriMo.

Gnarled stumps like forest spirits keep sentry
Over golden waves and clusters of scattered brethren
Casting a distant eye toward their homebound caretakers
They ward off demons as solemn duty
In the distance lights cast their ominous glow upon the clouds
Scaring the stars and marring the sunset
A red smog warning to stay away and rooted at their post
Warding off urban dwellers
With their brutal, haunted howls
Unrelenting even in the brightest summer
Ever they remain

Only natives are welcomed here
Those who have endured the winds and winters
And proven themselves friends
To the birds, to the creatures who make their home
Those who roam as once-forest people
Now humble movers of the earth

City Block

Composed 9/29/16
Description: It’s been awhile, but the words still jump out at me, especially now that autumn calls!

When cigarette and coffee smoke
Are dancing in the air
When schools of people swarm around
Like you’re not even there
When police patrols and flashing lights
Set hearts a-pounding, scared
When hot asphalt, manicured grass
The cool breeze makes aware
It’s then you pull your jacket tight
Walk like a queen and dare

It’s like something could happen
And even if it never does
You still have now begun the dream
And you still feel it
There
On your skin

Cornfield Flowers

Composed 4/8/16
Description: For Day 8 of NaPoWriMo (yeah I’m keeping up)! Today’s theme was, you guessed it, flowers.

What are cornfield flowers called?
Many call you pretty weeds
Small, violet blooms that spread
In river roads up once-tilled treads

What are cornfield flowers called?
All I know is that you bring me joy
How often do we pass by purple
Oceans as we’re driving by?

What are cornfield flowers called?
Unknown, unloved, ignored by most
And yet here still you grow,
Dressed in Jesus’ robe

So which death will claim you first
The plow or April snow?

NU 203

Composed 3/25/16
Description: A rare prose piece from me. A description of a place in which I am forced to reside once a week for several hours…

It’s a hulking, ancient building amidst a concrete jungle. Today, gray – sky, air, rain. Inside, mud-spattered, dust accented patterned tile, arranged in ill-advised juxtaposition. The place is obviously old, without renovation since its original ribbon cutting, crafted by the wrinkled hands and bills of ancient cults of bald, spectacled men smoking cigars by the sparking fireplace. The endless faces of its patrons, a thousand eyes, stare, watch, smile blandly in their frames. Souls captured and sold – a warning, a premonition, a foreshadowing. Have they ever really left this place?

You turn and enter between gaps of cursed guardians. Perfectly square, dull tan and beige, the place boxes you in. A prison of monochrome uniformity. The metal chairs screech against the dull tile floor like demons clawing their way out of hell.

It is more a prison than any prison I know, giant concrete blocks and all. Only now the prison is a whitewashed reflection of high school nightmares, combining confinement with insecurity, awkwardness, and incurable boredom.

Not even windows give a peek into the outside world. Buzzing florescents coat the room in an aura of delusion. Reality vanishes in favor of a buttercream LSD trip. A power surge would send us scrambling into complete darkness. Not a shred of natural light filters through the cracks in slab. And the steaming heat, like the flames of hell, siphon away your desire to live, to go on…

The place sucks battery life even faster than it sucks out your soul. Technology dies rapidly as it reaches out for contact, any signal of hope, of life beyond these walls.

But no one answers. Only the drone of the establishment and the groans of your peers interrupt the silence…

The Cemetery

Composed 3/10/15
Description: Inspired by a place I drove by that day.

Step with me through the cemetery
Where the snow still falls in spring
Hear the hissing, howling wind
As ancient voices sing
Step up the slippery hillside
Weave though the homes of deceased
Sweep your fingers over the stones
You might just bring them peace

Snapshot

Composed 1-3/2010
Description: This is a piece I wrote for a creative writing class my senior year of high school. I loved that class, and this was by far the favorite thing I wrote for it. This piece was a practice in describing scenery. We were to pick a time period and location, do research on it (including clothing, games of the time, etc.), and describe an accurate “scene” from that time period using the elements we researched. So, while it lacks much of a plot, remember: the point of it was to depict an accurate, vivid atmosphere of the time period/location. It’s something you might see at the beginning of a chapter. It must have made an impression on me, as I would go to join swing club my sophomore year in college and become an avid swing dancer.. and next year I’ll be the president of the swing club!

It seemed appropriate to post it today: the day of my university’s spring swing dance!

This piece had the privilege of being published in the 2010 Spring Edition of Anderson University’s Literary Arts Magazine.

Shadowed by the high walls of the alley they waited, huddled around the door as if to fight off the night’s wintry chill. For many tense minutes they spoke only in muted whispers, but soon an excited murmur rippled through the dense crowd as the guard finally permitted entrance. Both music and light leaked out through the crack of the open door, and, jittery with excitement, each guest shouldered and squeezed his way to the front.

The wooden dance floor teemed with young men and women. Had it not been for the vibrant pinks and blues of the ladies’ dresses, however, all would have faded into the darkness behind veils of gray smoke. Light burst forth, yet, from the stage, where a dribble of sweat sparkled briefly before slipping down the deep brown skin of a trumpet player’s brow. The saxophonist, drummer, and pianist too suffered from the heat of bright lights and a snug stage; though, they continued to pierce the air with the clear, high riffs and syncopated beats thousands had come to love due to the popularity of the radio.

Below the stage, mini rainbows formed as the ladies spun in their colorful skirts. Their parents would have shunned their exposed knees and collarbones, but the young women only laughed as their partners joined them in the Charleston or swung them up into the air in the more daring Lindy hop. The way their bodies smoothly flowed from one position to the other gave one the impression of flying and inspired daydreams of Charles Lindbergh’s recent solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean. Continue reading