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Paulina Angela

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I am here – Here I am

Centervia Daily Prompt: Center

center

I am the center of my universe. Most of us are. Today on this sunny Monday morning I am shamefully over obsessing about myself. Specifically my writing.

I wonder do all writers both love and hate their work as I do? When I am in the midst of expelling a story from my mind it can be bliss. In those moments when everything comes together on the page, I can actually love myself. It is the times before when I am not writing (the whole time thinking I should be) and the times after as I review (and judge) my work where I don’t much like myself.

Do other writers judge their work as I do? I wonder if my stories are too camp? Are the comedies too cheesy, is the non-fiction too preachy? The thing is… I like campy and corny and cheesy, I like funny and silly. If I liked dark and mysterious that’s probably what I’d write – right? …(you see how I defend myself to myself)

When it comes to my blog… I sometimes think about posting my opinion. Adding my two cents regarding current issues and popular trends.  I haven’t and I don’t because I fear this might sully my blog page. I wonder if I released a rant or two into the world would it spread negative energy?

Wow!  that is a lot of insecurity for a sunny Monday morning.

center-2     all-about-me

Lush

lush.png

Lush   Red Ribbon woods

The summer was green. Richly green. A green which came from mixing moody cobalt storm skies with contrasting sunlight. A Colouring so vivid it appears dewy even in the late of day.  Stimulating hues stealing the show, a backdrop which can only be described as Lush.

It rained all summer, not consistently but intermittently. It began during the overlap.  That time of year where spring passes the baton to summer. It is also the summer Grandpops left us.  So instead of the usual hand-off, Spring fell into summers arms and wept. Summer, sharing in her grief, held her.  Together the seasons mourned and as they lamented the world bloomed. This devastation and desolation created the lush. As Spring cried on his shoulder Summer beamed, his strength holding it together for the both of them. By the time spring returned to her bed the earth was both, thoroughly quenched from her tears, and healthily nourished from his gleaming elegy.

Homestead felt the most forlorn, for it was she who helped bear Grandpops into the world.  Aside from Springs tears and  Homesteads sorrow, it was difficult to be too sad. Everyone wanted to be somber. The earth, the Weald family, the sun and the sky, but Pops had been such a life force, one could not remember him without smiling. It prompted conflict. For who could recall such a life without rejoicing? And so summers mourning was with woe and celebration, an emotional contradiction bringing weather of clear skies and weeping eyes. Smiles with tears, heartache and exult.

The family gathered at milkweed lane. Grandpops’ four sisters with their husbands and their kids and their kids kids. The homestead, as at Christmas, expanded to accommodate . But unlike Christmas it was done wearily and in quiet grief. Grandmother, as it often is for those whose partner passes, is too busy hosting to truly indulge her sorrow. Later she will morn properly and privately. For now she stands behind the front window contemplating the bursts of sun showers between blazing sunshine and cool breeze. The strange weather as wet and hot as the strong coffee being handed to her by her daughter in law. Mrs Weald quietly reminds her that it almost time to go.

The house is surrounded by vehicles ready to solemnly transport mourners. Grandpops spirit watches them leave. He knows they will travel to the Juniper Valley cemetery to formally say  goodbye. He won’t be there. He said his farewells in a dream the night his soul was called back.

In this realm between realms Grandpops can see the workings of earth. The shimmer and glimmer and what keeps it here.  He ambles across the property one last time with tenderness and appreciation for the acreage which fortified himself and his family. He calls out to Spring as she passes on her way home. She smiles, lifts him to her cool breezes and ferries him over the property.  On route the old noumenon embraces each tree and plant, touches the pond and kisses his mother homestead.  Finally Lady Prima leaves him in the farthest forest at the border of Milkweed lane and in the company of Elephant tree.

“Hello my brother.” The two old friends greet one another. Pops places the palm of his ethereal hand on the old beech and the wrinkled grey bark accepts his touch as familiar. The tree has been ready to move on for some time, beech trees are not known to survive so long in this part of the world. Elephant, a name given to him by a child grandpops, has been waiting for him. In his youth the tree had been Pops’ sanctuary.  A hide-out from his little sisters and his fortress of solitude. As he grew to a man Pops would often visit the tree for comfort, for peace or just to be with his thoughts.  The tree was also the only thing Pops ever kept to himself. Not because Grandpops was a selfish man. Oh contraire, but because sometimes somethings are just too private, too personal to share.

Together, life long friends will pass on and through… or up and beyond.  However the route, only they will be shown. With one last look back Pops spies the abandoned book beneath the balsam. Reassured he returns face forward  and on to the next. The decaying pulp of poem sinks deeper down and with an inaudible shimmer the curtain closes on this grace and makes way for the next.

elephant-tree

 

 

Lukewarm feelings about lukewarm

Lukewarmvia Daily Prompt: Lukewarm

cozy

The cozy covers the pot.

The one my great-aunt knit for me oh so many years ago. Worn and frayed at the edges. It may be slightly stained and not a pretty sight. Ah, well… it was ugly when I got it.  Aunt Birdie wove it into creation with left-over yarn.  Lets face it, it doesn’t have to be attractive. The old thing is nothing more than a toque used to prevent the tea from getting cold.

On this dreary day, one tailor-made for hot tea and indifference. I contemplate the knitted warmer. It’s alternating brown and mustard yellow stripes with pink pompom atop. I lift the atrocity from the pot and pour steeped liquid into my favourite mug.

At first sip I anticipate thermal comfort. What I get is tepid disappointment. (sigh) Lukewarm tea on a lukewarm day.

 

Aware

Awarevia Daily Prompt: Aware

A VALENTINE

 

bee

I am aware

of your proximity

standing next to me or in another space

I sense the electricity

it is palpable, magnetic blue

a gravity

pulling me always to you

I am aware

BEE MINE

Spring

willow

Today begins the prima season. It is spring and the first season among equals. Her fresh beauty sleepily stretches and yawns while youthful sunshine struggles to warm winter run off. A shallow tributary cuts through the property, usually no more than a trickle, runs quickly with melting snow. Field and lawn are soggy and on shaded forest floors small mounds of cold snow stubbornly resist the thaw.

This sunlit spring Saturday has lured the Weald children outdoors. Josh and Joey are playing by the creek, fashioning boats of bark and leaves, racing them along shallow rapids. Lauren is brushing the dogs fur and singing a little song about pussy willows. Herself planning to spend the morning gathering fuzzy budding branches.

  • I know a little pussy
  • her coat is silver-grey
  • she lives down in the meadow
  • not very far away….

Bill is away for school. He began his first year at college this autumn past and will stay in residence until end of term. He is not the only one who has grown up. All the children are older.  Beth, who is now in grade 11, feels ages older than her younger siblings and is sometimes lonely without Billy. With a sigh and with book in hand Beth also heads outside. Her destination is the forgotten orchard. As she strolls, head disappearing into a book, Laurens song softly fades away behind her.

  • although she is a pussy
  • she’ll never be a cat
  • for she’s a pussy willow
  • now what do you think of that?

Reaching the orchard Beth is amazed to see how many trees have blossomed. Pink and white, a sweet fresh bouquet filling the branches with promised bounty. She chooses the apple tree closest to the sun and pulls herself upward onto the lower limb. Leaning her back against the curve of its trunk, legs straddling the branch and sunshine facing, she comfortably settles and opens a library copy of “Aurora Leigh”.  She has lost herself to the  old poem when a breeze swirls around the tree  causing blossoms to flutter. As the petals twirl around like ballerina tutus Beth laughs, her book falling to the ground. She suddenly desires to climb higher. Balancing on this branch Beth reaches upward gripping the next. One foot in front of the other balances upon the lower limb, arms above her head grasp the upper. Positioning herself  into the eye of a blush whirlwind.

The gusty air is cool but the sun is warm. These alternating sensations are arousing. closing her eyes and lifting her face to the sun her cheeks absorb the heat while the breeze kisses her neck.  For a moment, heavenly  …until the meditation is disturbed by distant shouting.

Beth’s eyes fly open and the left foot slips from the damp branch. She instinctively tightens her grip steadying herself. Heart racing she looks down. These apple trees are not tall and it may not be far, but she  would hate to fall. As Beth readies herself to swing down she catches a flicker of  intense colour at her peripheral. One glimpse then another. Is it a trick?

With both feet on pliant earth she begins to comprehend what she has seen. It is her tree. Her Christmas tree. The one she flagged with half a red sash years ago. As Beth approaches she can see something else. At the base of the evergreen is the book she lost that day. The same one she is reading now. Beth now recalls how she had put it down to tie the ribbon and forgotten it. Now soggy and bloated, the rotting novel is decomposing and returning to the earth.

This reminds her of  her current copy, the one from the library. Oh, she’s done it again. With a whack to her own forehead Beth doubles back. Retrieving it from below the apple tree, she shoves the paperback into her pocket and heads for home. All the way wondering, should she mention red sash still tree attached to the others?

As she approaches the house Beth now sees it is her siblings creating the ruckus heard earlier. Lauren, still singing, carries a fist full of willow branches. The boys nearby climb on the big rock in the side field. The three appear overly animated. Lauren dancing wildly and pointing with her free hand to the forest edge. Joey and Josh, jumping up and down and all around, hooting and hollering, causing the bulk of the commotion. They as well point toward the woods. Following their direction Beth now sees what they see.  There in the trees proudly flapping in the breeze, red ribbons.  Like victory flags, like prodigal sons come home, like a practical joke played on us. Obvious aurora on pine. A contrast  so intense it says “how did you ever not find us?” Lauren waves to her older sister still chanting;

  • meow meow meow meow
  • now what do you think of that?

 

No More Static Cling!

Clingvia Daily Prompt: Cling

The following is meant to be humourous.  My son tells me it comes across as angry. not my intent. maybe try reading it in the voice of a favourite comedian. I like Amy Schumer.

static

As a youth I worried about static cling.

I also worried about itchy scalp and tell-tale dandruff flakes on my shoulder. I didn’t want dish pan hands, I wondered what ring around the collar was and knew that “morning breath was the worst breath of the day”

Between cartoons and secretly watching Dukes of Hazzard (a program forbidden in our house which only made it more appealing) I absorbed wisdom’s handed down through the screen by product spokespersons. In grade four I worried so much about dandruff that I would not scratch my head no matter how itchy. If I forgot and absent-mindedly touched my scalp I would panic. Checking my shoulders, rapidly brushing off invisible flakes.

I watched commercials for deodorant but didn’t know what it was because the actors never really put it in their arm pits. I did not know what feminine needs were because again they were never actually shown on camera. When I inquired, my parents would assure me that these were things for grownups. When the time came that I should need them I will know. Okay I shrug, fair enough.

Ah, those days of innocence. When body odor was implied, menstruation was a mystery and toilet paper was made from kittens. I long for those days.

Today I find myself wondering “Why am I being shown a close up of toenail fungus!” I quickly  change the channel only to be assaulted with a British women talking about “the go” in public bathrooms “man on the street style.” I wonder “if we have come this far in my life time what vulgarities will my kids look at?”  We are practically in the bathroom stalls now, how long until we go all the way?

I  can recall an old ad for hand moisturizer where the product is applied to a dead maple leaf, reviving it, making it soft again. As a child, who had not yet experience dry skin, I understood the point. However as an adult I am literally watching close-ups of dead skin being sluffed off someone’s foot with a sander. Why? did I get dumber?

I know my body is gross, I get to deal with it everyday. The thing is I keep it to myself the way god and my mother intended. And while I am grateful for products which make me less stinky and less fungus-ie I don’t believe I need to witness strange feet in various states of nastiness to know that I need them.  Sometimes less really is more.

BTW – Kittens are not so cottony soft. I learned that the hard way.

Kitten Soft

 

 

Daily Prompt: Hopeful

Hopefulvia Daily Prompt: Hopeful

hopeful

beneath the hand it is smooth

new and bright but blank

clutched to the heart

a profound inhale

swallows the scent of fresh

upon its open, an audible yet satisfying, crack

like a sculpture

it awaits for images to be chiseled out

each fresh page – a new hope

each finished page – a masterpiece

…or at least an opportunity to cultivate craft

this potential work of art at its finish

will be altered

with your soul attached

each thought – each dream – each philosophy

allowed to breathe,  granted life

free to grow beyond a thought

becoming tattered and worn

weight added, becoming matter

beloved composition, an objet d’art

what wonders lie within the notebook

awaiting release

 this is the start

and just as a new year begins

 all is hopeful.

notebook-worn

 

Ordinary

Ordinary

In the days leading up to Christmas the homestead had become an open house. Friends and neighbors were welcomed. Family and relatives embraced. Everyone and anyone  invited to come in and warm by the hearth. Mrs. Weald offers coffee or cocktails or to stay for dinner. The hill house shifts and expands, quietly and accommodating, making space for extra guests. The pinnacle of the season comes on Christmas day, but the party is not over yet. The Weald family continues to host visitors at Milkweed Lane until  the grand finale. An ending celebrated with music, feasting and  a midnight toast to bring in the new year.

The first days of the new year see the festive season dwindle away. By the end of the first week Mrs. Weald has all the decorations put away, the children are back at school and the house exhales. Letting out a creaky sigh, the homestead contracts and resumes its usual size. All signs of celebration have been stored away and forgotten. By January ending life at Milkweed lane returns to normal, typical and ordinary.

Today is one of those ordinary Saturdays. Beth with a book, the boys outside with the dogs, Bill and Mr. Weald have gone into town and Mrs. Weald watches television, taking advantage of her chance to see the shows she likes. Little Lauren is content and crafting at the dining table. Valentine’s day is two weeks away and she is excited to exchange cards with her classmates. Nothing unusual, an average, ordinary day.

It is Right about now, as Lauren asks Mrs. Weald for ribbon, that the twins burst in like a whirlwind. Shoving each other through the doorway, stomping wet boots and  leaving the door wide open. Wet dogs scamper in behind, bringing with them a cold gust which blows glitter and paper off the table.

“Close the door!” the expression on Mrs. Weald face as she hollers at Joey and Josh reveals her annoyance. “You two get those wet things off and clean up this mess.”

“awe. why do we have to do it? its Laurens junk.”

“It was you who left the door open so you who are responsible for the mess. Also because I said so.”

The boys shrug off the rest of their outer-wear and start on the mess. Lauren is already on the floor trying to salvage her materials. As they organize the supplies the twins decide they also want to make valentines. So the three siblings set to work, colouring and stapling, cutting and pasting, designing greetings of love or at least like. Lauren again asks about red string. Mrs. Weald is not sure she has any. “Will yellow do?”   Josh and Joey jump up. “We know where the red string is.” They tear down the hall toward the bedroom Lauren and Beth share. Beth looks up from her book, popping up from her seat she shouts “Stay out of our room you brats!”  and  chases after them. It takes a moment for Lauren to realize what is happening, as it dawns on her she exclaims “Oh no!” and she too bolts down the hallway.

Joey is under Laurens bed. He retrieves and passes  Josh tangles of red string and ribbon. Last month the twins had observed Lauren collecting  Christmas scraps and storing them beneath her bed like a squirrel and its peanuts. Lauren begins to cry. “You can’t use it! I’ve saved it. It is mine.”

When Mrs. Weald joins her children in the bedroom the look on her face says it all. With a voice that matches she demands “What is going on here?”

Josh and Joey now sense that they might be in trouble. Lauren is sobbing and sniffling as she collects the ribbon from her brothers arms and Beth stands with her hands on her hips, indignant at all the intruders in her room. Mrs. Weald looks around the room at her offspring, summoning her composure she calmly says  “Everyone to the table.”

The group assembles with only Lauren understanding what is actually happening. Mrs. Weald hands her a tissue then puts the kettle on. Once they all have tea or hot chocolate Mrs. Weald asks Lauren if she is ready to explain.

Lauren places the tangled heap in the center of the table, sips her hot chocolate, sniffles, and begins, ” I don’t want to use those ribbons for my valentines. They are meant for something else. I saved them from Christmas wrapping, they are mine.”  Mrs. Weald compassionately places her arm across her daughters shoulders, taking a deep breath, softly asks. “What are you saving them for sweetie?”

“Well, for next Thanksgiving, of course.” Lauren states this as if it’s explanation enough.

By now the twins had stopped listening and  loudly slurp hot chocolate. Beth has also lost interest, she takes her book and tea to her room.  Mrs. Weald stares at Lauren, racking her brain, trying to figure out what her youngest child is taking about.

“I am afraid I don’t understand.” she confesses.  Lauren pulls a length of ribbon from the tangle and continues. “This was tied around a package from Mr. Meadows. When you left it on the counter I took the ribbon. I thought we could use in next time we go out to look for a christmas tree. I saved all the red ties.”

Smiling Mrs. Weald kisses the top of her daughters head. “Ahh…. Well, I think we can find a better place to keep your ribbons.”  She goes to the closet and produces a shoe box. Lauren paints and decorates it, she labels it “Christmas tree ribbon.”  Mrs.Weald pulls apart the cluttered mess of red, untangles the ribbon and spools each piece up nicely and neatly.

Mother and daughter work together. On this ordinary day, transforming an ordinary shoebox with ordinary ribbon scraps into something extraordinary.

shoe-box

Daily Prompt: Sacred – Church Bells

 

Sacredvia Daily Prompt: Sacred

winter-church

 

CHURCH BELLS

I once came upon a hamlet

hidden within the trees

A  secret spot is what I thought

A grand river ran between

 

The streets were named for saints

the homes were all old friends

having lived there their whole lives

and I, a visitor for the weekend

 

The charming view from my rented room

displayed the town as quaint

As the sun was setting I breathe it in

a scene someone might paint

church-bells

Then I heard the music

ringing church bells flood the region

A song so pure, it lifts my heart

preformed for a holiday season

 

In the morning I stroll through shops

meeting folk who live around

I ask about the church bells

which can be heard  throughout the town

 

The town folk chuckle “You are all alike.”

tourists looking for the past

the church bells are recordings now

This news leaves me aghast

 

My perception is a fraud

rose glasses tumble from my face

I thought is nothing sacred?

Is this town is just another place?

 

Now my steps have lost their lift

Trudging back to the hotel

but as evening falls I hear the bells

and they tug at  my morale

 

Again, I look toward the landscape

just as wondrous as before

Christmas eve with church bells

could I really ask for more?

 

bells

 

 

 

 

 

 

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