How To Be The Curious Traveler

There are buildings you’ve never seen before

with

cats lounging in windows,  curled in improbable shapes around potted plants, snoozing with one eye open under wind chimes, their fuzzy cheeks pressed against half drunk cans of soda pop.

There are streets you’ve never walked down before

lined with pastel colored cars and brightly colored garbage cans parked on the curbs where they silently fight for space on sidewalks much smaller then the ones at home

and

squeezed between brick and wooden houses and markets with decals of dancing fruit and children eating ice cream on their glass doors

are

little diners named after Mothers and Grandfathers and sometimes dogs that have  chickens and alligators or maybe fish painted on the windows.

 

Don’t pretend like you know where you’re going

as you stroll by the cats, the diners, the markets, the parked cars

don’t walk with the swagger and squint of a seasoned traveler, the wily  explorer who has scaled the  pyramids or cruised all of the  Seven Seas years ago on a dare.

Put the phone away, delete the app, it’s okay

to

take a wrong turn

to not know where this road leads and that road ends

So

don’t

close your eyes,

don’t take a breath

Jump right on in

the

water

is

fine.

 

Na/GloPoWriMo :It Begins Day 2- For our first (optional) prompt, let’s take our cue from O’Neil’s poem, and write poems that provide the reader with instructions on how to do something.

Ruined

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Once upon a time

a storm moved through here

and made this place it’s own.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Did it use lava or ice or snow

did it race through or walk through

these now ruined hills

did it take away it’s victim’s bones

to feast upon later?

Photo A.M. Moscoso

 

Could it have been held back,

could it have been fought off?

The scars it left behind

spell

I wish.

 

RDP Friday: AVALANCHE

A Haunting Story

I am reading a collection of ghost stories by Henry James.

So far everyone has dropped dead after being confronted by ghosts.

Good thing that doesn’t happen in real life

or

I would have died

a long time ago.

Seriously though.

My favorite story in this collection is called ” The Last Of Valerii

This story  is about a woman named Martha  who marries a Count and moves to Italy where she takes up  excavating the grounds of her new home- a somewhat neglected Villa  for antiquities.

After a short spell, Martha excavators disinter   a statue of Juno that enchants her husband.

In one my favorite and the most horrifying part of the story, Martha’s husband takes the statues severed hand ( though I imagined the statue visited him and gave it to him herself- which is creepy visual because what did that involve?  ) from the excavation sight.

At the end of the story you are lead to believe that the spell is finally broken but the Count keeps the hand- and treasures it and proudly shows it to the curious.

There are no ghosts in this story exactly, but the Count is haunted so completely that you would think an entire cemetery full of ghost  are on his heels.

I’m sure everyone who reads this story will have their own takeaway of the ending- but that is what makes a story about ghosts truly haunting.

 

 

Boo Hoo Sun Slaves

 

The Snow Demons

are running amok

where I live

near Seattle.

 

I like the cold and the ice

and

I love

to hear

my Sun Worshipping friends

gnashing their teeth

and crying over their flip flops

banished under their beds

until

nightfall

when they are pulled out from the darkness

and wept over, held by shaking hands

tenderly

in the coldness, in the Winter

that has no end.

Inspiration Has Teeth

When I was little

my Dad’s mother

insisted that my cousin, a tiny fair-skinned naturally blond child with blue eyes

looked like Shirley Temple.

She insisted my cousin was talented  and special in all  things requiring God given gifts like singing and dancing and being charming.

I was not tiny or fair-skinned or blond.

I did not have blue eyes.

I was told my hair looked like a rat’s nest because it was dark and long and usually messy and that my skin was ‘muddy’ and that I had a ‘grating voice’.

But my Dad’s mother did offer me a bit of constructive advice.

She advised me to develop some kind of talent and to work on my personality because I concluded by the unkind smirk on her face,  that was my only hope at not being a total piece of human wreckage.

I can’t tell you how successful I was, but I’m an okay writer and I’m great with dogs and I’m not afraid to take a punch and my best talent is that I can roll my eyes up into my head and I have no feeling in part of my face so I can stick pins in there and not feel a thing.

Combined with the eye rolling thing, it’s pretty spectacular.

As to my talented Shirley Temple look a like cousin, I have no idea how far her natural God-given talents took her.

She made it clear she wanted nothing to do with my Grandmother or the rest of her immediate family after her Mother died.  Trust me she had her reasons and I don’t begrudge her that. She moved away in her twenties and never looked back.

I, on the other hand was there  just before Grandmother died.

Me and my rat’s nest hair and ‘muddy yellow skin’.

I  wonder if she was disappointed that my face being one of the last she saw and not one that belonged on a Christmas card.

It’s not one of the questions that I wonder about and it certainly doesn’t torture me because

without a doubt

I know the answer.

Daily Addictions Prompt: Develop

Good Anita Marie…Good Job!

When I know I’m being hard on myself or the people around me I have found a great way to approach and change this less then attractive and mean spirited aspect of my personality.

I pretend like I’m dealing with my dog.

I have infinite patience with my dog, I never say mean things to my dog, I approach my daily relationship with my dog  and all it entails ( ha, ha, entails, get it? ) with positive energy instead of dark and fierce negative  Jupiter force windstorm  speed ( they clock them at 384 miles per hour) type energy.

When I’m with my dog, my phone is never with arms reach and when we are out I never answer it or use it unless he does something super cute and I need a picture of it to share with my Facebook friends who like Hamish more then me.

I’m actually okay with that because he IS  pretty darn awesome.

When I envision what the best Anita Marie is like, I go full circle and at each point in that circle see a different Anita Marie with all her various talents and entertaining sideshow type quirks,  I always want to land on and be the person who has learned to be a better human from her dog.

That person is actually a good person. I’m proud to know her.

So if it can be said about me that I treat my friends and family like a dog- I will know with absolute certainty, I’ve done good.

amm

Daily Addictions Prompt: Circle

Is Anybody Home?

 

What makes a house a home?

Is it really just walls, rugs, a well used couch and a somewhat ok bed, is that drawer in the kitchen that we used to call a ” utility drawer ” until we come to the realization that a drawer full of sort of used  birthday candles and expired coupons for hot dog buns and fondue skewers for a fondue pot that disappeared back in 1984 wasn’t full of helpful items to anyone except  maybe one of those geniuses that can make nuclear reactors in their garage with salt, wire and lots and lots of tinfoil.

I suppose you could say those things contribute to making our houses a home.

But all of us know what makes a house a home are the things that live and die inside of it.

A mixture of humans, pets and in some cases reptiles, birds and fish can make a family.

They all have wishes and dreams and hopes and all of them can close their eyes or have them shut by someone else and Death can stand there in his dark robe, scythe in hand   and wonder why the candy dishes are full of empty candy wrappers from three Halloweens ago  and phone chargers that might still work  and NO candy.

I have always believed that if your house doesn’t have a ghost or two, if there aren’t stories about a body buried in the basement or next to the house where the garbage cans are then I am sorry for you.

You have a house, a home you have a place to stash your unread books and clothes that don’t fit anymore. It’s a place to keep the rain off of your head and has a door to shut firmly against the infamous wolf who finds it’s way to a door or two or three, so songs and stories say.

I have a home where the doors open and shut for no reason at all, I have a black cat with round yellow eyes named Darwin and a dog named Hamish Macbeth, I listen to Opera when it rains and Swing music when I’m happy.  I have a collection of books near my dining room stacked neatly  wrought iron  shelf that I was inherited from a dead woman I thought I knew well.

The spines on my books have been carefully broken over the years my books and they are all  about Voodoo, Santeria and  Embalming, Astronomy and people with adventure in their veins and darkness where their hearts used to be.

I also have  a collection coloring books that are almost completed- some have pictures of cupcakes.

I have a thing for cupcakes.

My dreams may be dark and my humor is suspect in some social circles but for all of my strangeness and quirks I have a home just like everyone who lives on my street and on streets just like it

And I haunt it every single night.

Daily Addictions Prompt: Resident