The Bone Cairn

The trail rises, higher and higher.

A left foot lifts and slaps down,
bringing along a skyscraper of bones, stacked
helter skelter above its webbed base.

A right foot lifts, the skeleton rises and falls,
rotates, twists, strains upward, off balance
As a rickety shack, almost toppling,
But not quite.

At the summit, the bones settle to the ground,
elbows propped above raised knees, hands folded,
spine rests in a gentle curve, head tilts back. Still.

photo (3)

Heart—Posterior View

Made up of two halves,

the heart is divided by the septum.

 

Where did the rift between us occur?

Left subclavian artery or aortic arch?

Perhaps the right atrium, always pulsing,

pumping out those feelings.

 

Or was it the oh so superior vena cava?

Most likely the inferior.

My inferior vena cava has always felt, well, inferior.

 

After all our history, your footprints

were all over my pericardium.

How could they not be

after confessing every heartbreak

every fear, every shameful secret?

 

And each triumph

when shared with you

more meaningful.

 

When you abandoned me

my left common carotid artery

bled out.

I was half a person

with half a heart.

 

I blame the septum.

Always divisive, controlling

what comes in and what goes out.

Published in Soul of the Narrator Anthology Vol. III, Fall 2012

Mixed MediaLinda Townsdin

Mixed Media
Linda Townsdin

Found Poem

Image

photo (1)

Spirit First

I meet once a week with an Amherst Writers & Artists writing group. Our group leader plans a theme for the evening’s writing using poetry and prompts (pictures, phrases, props, etc.) to jump start our creativity. Of course, we always have the option to write about whatever we choose. The piece below was inspired by the poem, “The Poet Visits the Museum of Fine Arts” by Mary Oliver. I was drawn to the lines, “the answer was simply to rise in joyfulness, all their days.”

I believe in spirit first every day, and the ideas below are like daily prompts that help to restore spiritual balance to my life. 

Never get out of bed until you manage your motivation

Yes, count those blessings. Don’t stop until you have a hundred if that’s how many it takes.Bad dream, anxiety, illness, mean people? It doesn’t matter. Figure out how to transform it before starting your day. Your life depends on it. And remember, emotional pain is also a blessing. If something hurts that much, it means it’s time to change—yourself.

Make yourself a toolbox

Keep a poem in there. Read the poem. Write down everything and everyone you love. Put that in it. Add something new to your toolbox every day.

Use your eyes

Look at what’s right in your world. Look at what’s beautiful. Are daredevil hummingbirds zooming outside your window like miniature pilots? Watch as they fly straight up into the sky, then drop into loop de loops, their mighty motors going a million heartbeats a second. Clap for them. They love to entertain you.

Dream with your feet

Is your arthritic dog racing through golden fields, legs galloping from his horizontal position on the floor? Pretend you’re with him. It feels wonderful to be so free.

Photo by Artistry by Adele

This checklist makes my day and I hope you find it useful as well.

By the way, if you want to participate in a fun flash fiction contest or read the stories, check out Writer Unboxed. My last week’s entry is a finalist!

Postcard Fiction #6

Unzipped

You close the front door, lock it and step down to the walkway.

You lift your face into the morning breeze.

You cross the street at an angle, your feet taking you toward the river.

You turn down the lane with the house that’s hidden behind a tree tunnel.

You keep walking, sniffing the jasmine, sidestepping the dog poop, rounding the curve,

And before you know it you have unzipped yourself from your body.

It lies on the ground behind you like a heavy leather coat.

Your strides propel you forward not quite touching the ground.

You are new.