Toasted Pecans

 

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The toasted pecans were his idea. She conceded, as she always did. But, not before wondering why she stayed married to a man who behaved more like one of their children than an equal partner in this fleeting, matchstick-constructed game of Life. Why wasn’t she in Greece fighting the migrants for beach towel space on a sun-drenched shore? Isn’t that where all the housewives of Lifetime melodramas turned up? Tumbling into the beds of drop-dead gorgeous locals who really, really love them?

 

She popped a pecan in her mouth. All right! They did add a certain joie-de-vivre to a salad.

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For Tara’s 100 word challenge… the word is “idea.”

Thanks for reading!

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Old Soul

 

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She steps outside looking as if she has just risen from a tangle of warm sheets, her eyes half-closed, black hair an unbrushed jumble of coarse curls, an old-fashioned broom in her hand that looks as if it, too, has just awakened from a dream, spikes of dirty blonde hair at odd angles. She sets to work sweeping a day’s accumulated dust from her tiny porch onto the unwatered patch of lawn. How peculiar that one so young, she can’t be but twenty, performs a daily ablution like a spinster in a historical novel who lives utterly alone.

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I got wind from my writing friends that the 100 Word Challenge – the prompt is “peculiar” –  has been resurrected by Tara. Seeing so many familiar names of much-admired friends I felt I had to join in. Please click the icon and read some fine short stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Thanks for reading… !

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Fat Pashas in the Clouds

 

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She tells me: your head’s in the clouds

I wish it were true

But I’m affixed to the earth.

I imagine I’m a fat pasha gliding

On my own cumulus

Rising incrementally higher into the cirrus.

I never want to land.

Not until the loose soil

That covers your face is swept away

And once more your lips move

To say my name.

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OctPoWriMo Begins! 31 Poems in 31 Days… Will I be able to keep it up? Tune in. Join the challenge. Poetry is good for the soul…

Cheers!


 

Love Poem #22

 

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I drove by your house again,
saw your car in the driveway.
I thought about ringing the bell.
I didn’t do it.
Are you proud of me?
I exhibited that self-control
you’re always touting.
I can do it. I can give you space.
It was tough not to knock, or ring, or shout.
I wanted to see that glassy-eyed look on your face.
That look that says, I’m afraid.
I know what you’re afraid of.
I’d banish that fear if you’d let me.
If only you’d let me
love you.
 
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It’s been so long since I’ve posted anything I forgot how to do it… the time has come to finding the discipline.
 
The inspiration for the poem is a friend who told me a story. I worry about her definition of love. 
 

Getting Ahead

 

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Out of breath, he dropped both arms to his side, still gripping the knife in his left hand.

All motion ceased. Ten pairs of eyes focused on his white clad form. A few noted the tilt of his toque, set aslant by the force of his tirade. Most flicked their gaze between the knife, and his face. The sharp-eyed observers tracked the red rash of his prominent cheekbones, watched it subside to pink. These same observers silently cheered as the blood flow returned to his knuckles, the white replaced by a healthy glow. The deep slashes of his forehead smoothed. Once again they recognized the handsome, boyish, wanna-be food TV star they had all admired.

For his part, Dan wondered what they’d do with that footage. Certainly he’d be booted off the show. Though, on second thought, tirades and potty mouth have become the hallmark of Gordon Ramsey’s fame. Television viewers tuned in to watch the drama, didn’t they? And Dan’s was totally unscripted. He was a natural. He would be the next Anthony Bourdain. Finally, he could escape the kitchen, and see the world.

Dan sucked in a deep breath. He looked around. He might be getting ahead of himself. Was that fear on the face of his sous chef? Did the camera crew believe he might wield that knife? He had only brandished it for effect. To get his point across. What was his point? Truth in reality? Did he actually say, or shout, truth be told, that he would not fake a story about his mother, or his brother, or anyone else having cancer, simply to arouse emotion in the viewer? Inject a little pathos one of them had suggested. Dan thought that’s what had sent him over the edge. And then wondered if he fully understood the definition of pathos.

Yet, here he was on the verge of tears. Roll the camera, my friends, and you’ll have your emotion. He had no control over the footage. He could not dictate what they aired. He imagined all the audible gasps from the househusbands at home bouncing babies on their knees as he raised the knife in his left hand, and proclaimed his commitment to truth in reality shows. Like one of Shakespeare’s fools!

No one had yet uttered a word. The three judges stared, openmouthed. Though he would have preferred a different approach he finally had the beautiful, celebrated chef’s complete attention. He allowed himself to imagine her long, dark tresses like a waterfall flowing through his fingers as they lay naked in a bed amid pristine white sheets.

He was not only getting ahead of himself, he was fully immersed in the realm of fantasy, or science fiction, and then he wondered what was their defining difference? Unicorns versus aliens? No matter. No celebrated chef of either gender was about to lie naked with him on crisp sheets. Not after his deft display of how to come storming into crazy town.

Dan braced himself as the top dog, the showrunner, approached him. Carefully, in full view of his audience, he placed the 10-inch chef’s knife on the stainless steel table. Then, he reached to his waist, began to untie the skinny strings of his long white apron. He flinched when the show’s creator reached his side.

“That was some display, Dan.” The man glad-handed him, clapped him on the back. Dan pitched forward, losing his balance, grabbed for the edge of the table, and couldn’t help but notice all the fingerprints on the steel surface.

“Thank you?” Dan asked.

Astonishingly, the boss began to applaud. He looked around, nodded to the crew, encouraging the others to put their hands together. As the applause blossomed, the big man leaned in to Dan, and whispered, “You’re a shoe-in for the next big thing, Dan. Stick with me, I’ll make you a star. You’re going to be the next Guy Fieri.”

Out of the corner of his eye Dan sneaked a glance at the beautiful, celebrated chef. Was she smiling at him, or at someone just behind him? To make certain Dan turned around. There was no one there.

The beautiful, celebrated chef flashed her perfect teeth. And was that a wink, or did a speck of dust enter her eye at that precise moment? Or maybe Dan was getting ahead of himself.

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For SAM’s MasterClass…. I was awarded the honor of supplying this week’s prompt which appears as my first sentence. It appears in the middle of Daniel Alarcon’s fine novel, At Night We Walk in Circles.

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Thanks for reading!