Category Archives: Dead

MOTHER’S DAY

Mom laugh Pic Monkey Flowers

Years have past and still you are gone,

Yet in my heart,  you linger on.

My mind plays tricks: your phone is dead,

Mail got lost, your car repossessed.

You took a trip, forgot to call.

You got amnesia from a fall.

That’s not your name engraved on stone.

There must be more to you than bone.

On Mother’s Day I buy your card,

But don’t know where you really are.

I’m in heaven, I think I hear.

I’m all around you, very near.

Look closely in your mirrored eye,

For there you’ll see my soul sublime.

“I miss your hands, your laugh,” I say.

“I’d rather have you here to play.”

And just when all is doom and gloom,

A louder voice speaks in the room.

“Mom, I’m home, Happy Mother’s Day!”

And there you are…in my child’s face.

Mom and Me

I SPEAK FOR THE DEAD

I speak for dead people—some with real historical lives that can be read about in books and some who only live in my head, but I hear them speak. Just because people are dead doesn’t mean they never existed. Just because people are dead doesn’t mean they don’t have a story.

The challenge for this writer is to portray these people as authentically as possible, a daunting challenge at best. Sometimes the facts of their story have been written down, at least some of the facts. As any writer or reader knows, sometimes there are big holes in the facts of someone’s story. How they thought and felt is another matter. Even writing what I think and feel about my own life can be a mission sometimes, at least in a way that others will feel compelled to read it. Throughout history, I bet people who journaled felt the same pressure, at least the ones hoping to publish–very tricky this stuff of portraying a story, anybody’s story. And what about the one’s who didn’t journal? Who speaks for them, especially when someone else tells their story and gets even the facts wrong?

How can I explain my need to write the words of the dead? The Trickster enters into my stomach (through a process I don’t entirely understand) and creates this “havoc” or a “gut feeling,” and away I go. I start hearing dead people talk. Dead does not mean silent, as long as there is someone to hear them and type down what they say (I hardly write anymore, my hand hurts). So, I hear it, and I type it. Whether or not the dead are happy about this, I have no idea. They haven’t said one way or the other, but they keep talking, and as long as they’re talking, I’ll keep listening, and typing, speaking for the dead, as best I can.

Then there’s music, I hear that, too. But that’s another story…

Green (my addition) Dragon from the 13th century Southern Song Dynasty.
Trickster, is that you?

And Happy Birthday to my daughter Ashlee! What a story she will tell…