Friday, March 12, 2021

Parchment and Ink

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor, nature and water
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In this hot and humid town, the trees remain draped in the darkest green for long
On a day when the skies are a bright blue, the clouds wisps of white, the breeze a warm-cool
We drive to 441 Freedom Parkway on a field trip to see something very special
We've heard the Declaration of Independence is a visiting artifact, a touring exhibit, for a short while

My oldest is especially looking forward to seeing the  famous John Hancock signature in person
And he loves the drama of Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death!" declaration
So representative of this child who at three had refused to "study English"
Because he "speaks American"

Homeschooling has its perks but trying to reason with a three-year old
Over the nomenclature of languages is not one of them
He's older now and digging into history with the gusto of a seasoned explorer on an epic adventure
He can hardly wait to get there

It's gorgeous! The drive up to the entrance, the grounds, the hall, the oval office replica, all of it
And then we see it, behind bullet-proof glass, at a height comfortable for children
In a font barely readable for a generation that barely recognizes cursive as written English
Is a yellow parchment with more power, more romance, more meaning attached to it
Than a casual look would tell you

"Ha! King George must've seen that without his glasses on!!" remarked my oldest
Pointing at the most recognizable signature on the page with a big guffaw
His laugh, always incredibly infectious, has a lot of people around us chuckling softly
"It's a pity Patrick Henry didn't sign it, especially since he wanted liberty so bad"

Our turn to view the magnificent parchment has come to an end
We follow the ropes to the person giving out printouts of the declaration and claim our copy
"Mom, can we frame that? I want to hang it up in my room" he says
"Of course," I reply, and he barely contain his excitement

No book, no internet search could've stoked the imagination in quite the same way

Image result for declaration of independence picture







WHY YOU SHOULD BE WRITING HORROR STORIES

 WHY YOU SHOULD BE WRITING HORROR STORIES


Horror stories and Whodunits have always been a staple in every generation
You should be reading them and writing them
Why shouldn't you?
You afraid of a little blood and gore? Huh? 'fraidy cat??
Suck it up buttercup and take a seat or a pouf
Let's enumerate the many reasons you shouldn't leave all the writing to Stephen King

Take a gander at the morning news
That's what's happening all around you
People got shot for nothing on a generic street in a generic town
A man drowned his kids for insurance and a mistress
The databases of these many companies were sold on the dark web
The cops recovered 180 kids from a sex trafficker
180, not 1, not 10, 180
A music mogul and his wife were accused of drugging and raping 12 people

Tell me you want to ignore reality
Tell me you'd rather watch The Bachelorette
Stop being a glittery snowflake  
Watch Dateline or House of Cards instead

There's fuckery afoot
And you should be talking about it
 
Clearly, the sex traffickers selling kids have a business model that keeps people ignorant or quiet about 180 missing children in their evil grip
Clearly, there are thousands of people who watch these children live every day and do nothing about it
Clearly, there is technology to track down the location of these trafficked children down to the exact 10x12 room they are in
Write about each child
That's 180 horror stories right there, enough to keep you busy for a year

The man who drowned his children for an insurance payout
What's his name?
Where did he go to school?
Who were his neighbors, friends, colleagues, wife, in-laws?
Did the insurance agent smell a rat when the dad came in to buy insurance on his 5-year-old and 13-year-old?
Did he realize there was something going on three years ago when he got a request for a 250 k accidental death insurance on his wife
Something she hadn't asked for

Here's some parchment and quill
Get to work
Share your findings with us
Let's get to know what is happening in our communities

                                                                                                   - Sonali






Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Creators of Culture



Creators of Culture


Whilst we bow before the painter, sculptor, playwright, and newsman
Let us not forget that these are people who merely reflect what is happening around us


Whilst we study the happiness index and the crime rate and the rising seas
Let us not forget there were events within the last hour that merit your greater attention


When the little child in third grade came to school and bit his friend
You might have wanted to check on his family
When you checked on his family you might have wanted to check on his parents' employer


Did you forget the children had been learning about slavery at school?
And the little white boy in Mrs. Smith's class was acting out because he felt an unnamable rage rise within him


He had overheard his parents talking about something that had happened to his father's boss
A lady whose daughter was his best friend from kindergarten whom he still met at the park on Sundays

They were sitting on the bleachers sharing a bag of mini pretzels looking like twins, each with a mop of shiny hair, gray eyes, and about thirty freckles apiece
She had told him that the police had come to her home the previous night and her mother had cried through breakfast and lunch but she was smiling now
Her father had driven them all to soccer practice because her mother's hands were shaking too much
And that she had been home all week crying and had quit her job and they would have no money for soccer starting next month
Her father didn't speak at all all week but he kicked the dog every day


He couldn't bite the bad man so he bit the arm nearest to himself and swore he would never have children of his own
                                                                                                       -  Sonali

Friday, February 19, 2021

THE BIRTH OF CREATIVITY



THE BIRTH OF CREATIVITY


Blue sky

Ocean blue

Ocean spray

Wet warm cooling in the breeze

A wave is born

Then it dies

Another is born

Another dies

The ceaseless cycle

Of creation and destruction


Castaway

Happy to be alive

Bound to the sea for so long

He comes back to

Hear it smell it taste it feel it

Or he feels ungrounded

Funny he thought he’d never 

Want to see it again

It brings up too much of the angst

Can’t live with it

Can’t live without it


Crack!!!!

A bottle hits the crags

Having ridden the waves across the vast ocean

No one hears it break

A genie escapes

Lissome silent

She walks up the boardwalk

Long muslin dress

Whiter against the blue

Blowing in the inconsistent wind

It clings to her legs on the east

Billowing to the west

Reminding him of ghosts of ships 

He’d seen when lost at sea

Her hair completely tousled

An asymmetrical silhouette

Splash!

She’s gone

Gone too soon

She did not even turn around once

For him to see if that really was her

Outlines of her face and figure

Leading angels and demons

Is what he sees 

Treading the road to perdition

Is she real?

Who is she?

Sorceress?

Waif?

Castaway like him?

Gypsy?

Mermaid?

I hear demons getting closer

Clearer 

More dangerous

By their proximity


She returns

She turns the numbers

On a combination lock

Click! The last one’s in place

A trap door opens 

Dark powerful wild

A beast from within his own psyche

Primal forceful strong

Leaps out to meet him

Other beasts come out to greet him

Unleashing a vault of horror

There’s no time to think

Only to react

She shouldn’t have done this

Spiteful bitch

She turns

A half smile

A baby nod

“Catch me if you can”

And disappears again


“I hate her”




In a flash

The anguish of Paradise lost

And the joy of Paradise regained

Melt into one another

Into nothing

Then become more than nothing

Something new is being born

Men are afraid of holding babies sometimes

And babies must sleep while beasts are being dealt with anyways


The archetypal parents make their presence felt

The tap on the shoulder

The “Attaboy!”

The “I told you so”

All come back to comfort and cajole

And seemingly to protect

But somehow it is not the right thing at the right time


The baby wails

“I’m a father now”


There’s no time to think

He can only react

So what will he do?


“When I look back on this

Will I be proud of myself?

Where’s the baby?

Where did she go?

Are they safe?

I’m not safe

I’ve known to fight the enemy

Since the day I was born

But the enemy within

Is a completely different issue”


Gnash

Growl

Blood and flesh

The horrible smell of war

“I’ve become numb

 Toward the simpering baby

Afraid to acknowledge 

He needs me like I needed my father”



A pair of eyes

Like floaters at an opthamologist’s

Distract him

Another pair opens slowly

Sleepily 

Full of promise

Little but wise


A choice is born

To protect that which needs to be protected

The world slowly

Falls back in orbit

From where it had strayed