A Poem A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

(The mental doctor that is)

The Squirrel & The Fox

“I suppose I should write. I should really write something down,” said the sad fox to the lonely squirrel.

“I find that it is best to write in times so grey,” the squirrel returned.

“I think myself a lion, at times of brave display”

“Me thinks you’re just a coward, who likes to laugh and play,”

“Or, perhaps, I am a bird, flying free beneath the clouds!”

“Or, perhaps, your head is dense and heavy, and your wings are made of shrouds.”

“Dear squirrel, dost thou mock me? With lines so dry and grey?”

“Dear sir, why I would never, your mind doth carry you away. Oh my friend, I know your plight and I shall aid you in this quest! I can rid you of your riddles, and form a key to all your locks.”

“Dear squirrel, pray, you help me! Can thou free me from this box?”

“My dear friend, hear me closely. Your fur is brown and short, your eyes are dark and wide, your paws are sharp with daggers. Dear sir, you are a fox.”

-N.B.

Is It Too Late?

One of the first poems I had ever written was when I was twelve. I wrote a quaint little poem about colors and I submitted it to my teacher, Mr. Someone (For lack of a better anonymous name, I will be referring to my teacher as Mr. Someone). Although I did not realize it at the time, I was head over heels for Mr. Someone. See, for a twelve year old girl, who never felt like she fit in anywhere, having a teacher who believed in you was everything. Every morning in Mr. Someone’s english class he would set aside thirty minutes for free writing. He told us we could write anything we wanted. I asked him if I could write a poem and he said, “of course!”
So when he gave me back my poem about colors, I was pleased to see that he loved it! His exact words were “Hey, I’m color blind and I love this!” I was mortified. I had no idea that I had just wrote a whole page worth describing colors and handed it in to a man who could not see them. Despite this minor embarrassment, Mr. Someone continued to encourage me to write poems and so I did. I wrote poems about sadness, happiness, friendship, courage and my fears. What I did not understand at the time was that this teacher had reached in through my invisible wall and turned on this creative engine I did not know existed. I truly loved writing. It gave me a sense of freedom to speak my mind that I never really thought I was capable of. So, then, what happened?
I grew up. I changed. I listened to those who told me creative pursuits would get me no where and make me no money. Instead, I took the advice of those older and wiser than me, also known as my dad, and followed in my mom’s footsteps. I majored in biology and became a laboratory technician. Three and half years later, that is what I am today. But the truth is, I am not happy. If I could go back, I would tell myself to write a different story. In fact, maybe that’s exactly what I am telling myself right now. As I pick up the keyboard and begin to write again, I feel alive. I feel like my truest self. I want to write every day and be free of the confinements I have been locking myself in since I decided that following your passion was not what “normal” people did. It’s okay to not fit in. It’s okay to be different and it is never too late to change.
-N.B.

Desert Lullaby

A small excerpt from a fantasy novel I am working on:

Desert Lullaby

Cursed am I, for the crickets do chirp,

At night in a land, so quietly serene,

So desolate and vast,

As I sit here gazing at the dust in the sky,

I am but nothing

But a mourner, a sea-side foreigner,

In the desert of my mind,

Shalt my body whither so divine.

-N.B.

Who We Were

Sometimes its a song, spinning my mind in circles

Of what we had, 

Of who we were,

Of how it was. 

In these rose colored glasses,

I see only the good.

The two of us laughing in the streets,

Forgetting our way, our path, our reasons.

Rain soaked us through to the bone, but carefree we ran.

Paper bag, not on head, 

Because that pie was more important,

Handmade in the city that made us.

That wove us,

Together, like two separate strings of yarn,

You blue and me pink. 

The two of us sinking into the sandy deep,

Sunset over the horizon,

I cover my face with yours, just before

That high rushes me towards the water.

And you laugh, your face splashed with smiles. 

Its just a smile,

Thoughts of us bring to my reminiscent face,

Filling me with glee, as I delight in our  memories

In the way it was.

And in these moments, I forget the way it is. 

I forget the struggles that this dream has cost us.

I forget the goals we wrote,

With fast pens and slow hands. 

My mind forgets it all, 

But my heart remembers how it was. 

In that life, we had no reasons, no consequences.

We lived in the now, and oh,

How, 

We lived. 

-N.B.

FlyFish – A Feathertale

Katrina had met Lola on her first flyfish catching trip. Her parents had been so excited to have her participate in this age-old Truxton Village tradition. Every year on the first day of spring, Truxton villagers would take their children who were between the ages of nine and ten years old to the Truxe River to catch their first flyfish. It was said that catching a flyfish would bring one great wisdom and help them to grow into the person they were meant to be. Being from out of the village, Katrina’s parents were always trying their best to assimilate to the Truxton ways. They wanted Katrina to fit in and feel like she belonged here.

Katrina had made herself comfortable in a dry dirt spot next to a soft grey-white round rock that seemed just right for her to lean her back up against as she peered into the wild running river before her. As she gazed at the clear blue flowing river just before the water met the rocks turning it into beautiful white rapids, she wondered what her life would be like as a flyfish. Would it feel like freedom to swish your tale from left to right until you hit the waters surface, spread your scaly pink wings and bound into the air. For a few glorious seconds, would it be worth their inevitable demise? Would it be worth becoming some random villager’s dinner?

It was 7:15 pm and with just a few minutes before night fall, the fly fish would be out soon. Katrina’s parents were just down the river a few feet away from her, conversing with some other parents about the excitement of their childrens’ first fly fishing event. It was then that a tall, skinny girl with hairy legs and glasses sat next to Katrina.

She shyly said, “hello,” and then starred down at her fishing rod. She seemed either quietly anxious or, simply bored by the activity to come. Like many Truxton girls, the shy girl wore a long brown dress that cut off just before her ankles, exposing her skinny, hairy legs. Maybe her mom didn’t let her participate in the hair removing ritual of young Truxton women, Katrina thought. Perhaps her parents were strict and forced her to come here against her will. Well I better talk to her and save her from this hairy mess. After all, Katrina once had hairy legs herself.

Nine-year-old Katrina turned to the girl and piped up, “My parents are making me do this. What about yours?”

“Huh, oh. Yeah, me too. I don’t really like fishing much,” the girl responded.

“Well, maybe instead of catching a fish we can jump on one and fly away!” Katrina exclaimed with child like glee.

The girl politely chuckled. “I would like that. I’m Lola.”

About twenty minutes into their conversation about their parents being completely lame, the sun had fallen from their sight and darkness befell the forest. Katrina looked around and noticed the other children gathering around her new favorite rock to get a better vantage point at the river. They waited with baited breath for the first flyfish to leave the water. Katrina was half mad that they had squeezed into her special rock area, when she heard it.

The first splash sounded lightly like a pebble being flung into a pond. The first flyfish had a large gaping mouth which billowed as air rushed inside of it. It’s wings spread open wide as it emerged from the dark blue water revealing scaly patches that sparkled in bright shades of pink in the moonlight. As barrels of flyfish followed it’s lead and lept from the underworld, the other children readied their fishing rods dutifully as their parents had taught them. Katrina looked down at her long, black shiny fishing rod, with its wiry white string and rusted metal spindle. She then proceeded to let it fall to the forest floor. She didn’t want to catch any of these miraculous creatures. She just wanted to watch them. Her parents still down the river, she looked over at Lola, who had a similar expression of awe on her face. They exchanged looks knowing that neither one of them would be eating dinner tonight. As the other children struggled with their fishing rods and impatient parents, Katrina and Lola sat by the soft grey rock and watched as a stream of glistening pink glided over the dark blue.

-N.B.

Owl in the Night

Brown eyes like murky wells so deep, they stare me down in the night.

Blinking back my shallow depths, I hopelessly peer,

For I have lost my sight.

Time passes, I carry on.

What have I to fear, as I saunter towards the facade of the light.

Nothing, or so it appears, waits for me here,

But if my eyes could dig deeper,

Like sharp claws to a loose branch,

Then those eyes could guide me home,

My owl in the night.

-N.B.

Hidden

My eyes wide with confusion,

Furrowed brows, clasped hands, hollow lips,

As my teeth dug as deep

As my nails in red, torn skin.

Wishing I could start again.

One massive, personality transfusion.

My tongue, numb to true words spoken,

But, oh, how I wished that you had seen me.

How I wished that you knew my soul.

But, really, how could you?

Human eyes are blind in the dark

And I am the burrowed mole.

-N.B.