Less Desirable Rites of Passage

The six of us are having breakfast on the beach and, perhaps fitting for a family with three boys, the conversation has turned to rites of passage.

IMG_8960_Fotor (1)
The beachfront view

“You know, in some cultures, it’s a specific event,” I explain. “Like in that tribe we watched on Nat Geo, where boys have to put their arms into wooden tubes covered with fire ants.”

“Oh yeah,” my brothers say.

Mom shakes her head. “That’s terrible.”

“Well, supposedly it turns you from boy to man.”

“More like, from living to dead,” corrects Joshua, my youngest brother.

The Search for Rhubarb: a short story

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Dog Named Bob.”

“Could you please go fetch–,” Mrs. Bautista coughed and paused her stirring. “–barb for me, please.”

“Uh, sure po,” I replied, returning her smile with a shaky one of my own. As I made a show of swiveling around, I stole a glance over her shoulder and spied a plate of chopped potatoes and carrots next to the stove. Ah, rhubarb! That was a vegetable, I reasoned as I made my way to the vegetable garden at the back of their house. But what did it look like?

It was late Saturday morning and the fifth time in the last hour that Mrs. Bautista had asked me to fetch something for her dish. The responsibility had been handed to me because Joseph, my best friend and her son, had left to pick up some shallots (whatever those were) from the convenience store. Heaven knew that only made me wish harder for his speedy return.

Continue reading “The Search for Rhubarb: a short story”

Archaic Name-Calling (Literary Affliction #1)

“You know, recently, I’ve been tempted to call people dolts or dunces when they do stupid things,” I admit.

Sam, my best friend and fellow bibliophile, laughs. “Those books are getting to you,” she concludes, referring to the historical fiction novels I’ve been reading lately.

“It’s not even the books!” I protest. “The books make me want to call people cads and curs!”

Oxford: a poem

The gentle words
Have done their job
The flutter of
My heart has stopped

Eon that was
Three months of wait
Tired tension yields
To strange, new pain

While pulp punctured
By jarring stab
I’d understand
Instead, I am

A crumpled wad
Dropped quietly,
A puddle on
A rainy street

The miry wet
Seeps slowly in
I’m drowning in
What could have been

The Journal: a poem

Black lines
On white space
Feel the rhythm
Of ink on a page

Write the time
Today’s date
‘It’s been a while’
I’ve so much to say

Black lines
Like window bars
Hear the pain
Better than ears

Know the gush
Of drops undone
Salty, warm
Better than anyone

I began writing this back in September, during a time of painful, self-inflicted stress. I can only thank God’s goodness for parents.

When Marker Meets Newspaper

Behold: blackout poetry!

I came across some pieces on Pinterest today and, after doing some research, fell in love with the idea. Artist and writer Austin Kleon created the process and calls it

"poetry made by redacting the words in a text with a
permanent marker, leaving behind only a few choice 
words to make a poem"

Box the words you want to keep – checking that their order makes sense – and blackout everything else. So creative, and still so simple. Naturally, I grabbed a few sheets of newspaper and a black marker and sat down to try my hand at blackout poetry:

Blackout poetry
I accidentally blotted out part of the “a”!

Continue reading “When Marker Meets Newspaper”