In Praise of Puppets

stings attached

dolls with big eyes

in disguise

one expression forever frozen

in a grimace or a wide smile

meant to beguile

watch the puppets dance

take a chance

enjoy the performance

and suspend reality

to watch their story

Dial for Love

Flash Fiction 400 -words

Deuce McCutcheon went to her funeral a year ago, but was still having trouble believing she was gone forever. Freyja was the love of his life. She was the first, and only, woman who could see behind the hideous mask of his contorted face, which was a result of a terrible childhood injury.

She never hesitated to kiss his twisted lips in public or private. They were soulmates, spending endless hours talking through sleepless nights. Sharing their dreams and inner desires until exhaustion overtook them both. Their years together flew by like days as the lovers languished in the security of one anothers embrace.

As lovers often do, they talked about life after death and what they would do when the horrible time came when one was left without the other. They weighed in on his Christian Heaven, and her Norwegian Valhalla. They explored the concept of life energy moving from one host to the next. They planned elaborate ways of communicating from one realm or dimension to the survivor’s world.

But nothing worked. Deuce grew more depressed every day. On the anniversary of her death he visited her grave. Pulling out a sprig of sage he lit it and passed the smoke back and forth over her resting place. Next, he pulled out his pipe and packed it with a strain of their favorite cannabis, and puffed on it thoughtfully as he looked at her photo which he brought with him.

A thought entered his grief. Hazy and unformed. He realized that he had saved more than just photos of her. He had saved her old cell phone number. He was fumbling for his old-fashioned flip cell phone when the sun parted the dark clouds that hung over the cemetery.

Opening it, he went straight to his address book. There it was. Freyja’s phone number. The chill seemed to go away and he took his jacket off while staring at the number. He was experiencing a strange sense of peace. He pushed her number…and waited. It rang three times. Then he heard Freyja’s high voice…”I wondered when you would call,” she teased him.

The next day a ground’s keeper discovered Deuce’s body, curled up on a grave. He was still clutching his cell phone. Later when asked about his discovery by a reporter, he said, “You should have seen the smile on that guy’s face!”

The Ripple Effect

the consequences of our actions cause ripples in a cosmic sea

reverberating further than our eye can see

they echo in the myriad corridors of eternity

and find fertile hunting grounds in diversity

they spawn revolutions and bring prosperity

sometimes they point out things inadvertently

as you watch helplessly

with uncertainty

as the ripples spread out mysteriously

entwined with your fate in history

Childhood Photo

I looked like a defiant little boy

staring into the camera with his toy

with my serious eyes and curly hair

it could have been taken anywhere

a black and white memory of days past

a glimpse of youth that didn’t last

no trace of a smile on my chubby face

it appears I’d rather be in some other place

what caused me to look so grim?

something serious, or just a whim?

I can’t remember what I thought that day

it appears someone interrupted my play

childhood photos are ghosts from our past

while memories fade, they’ll always last