Monday, November 15, 2010

Suspended Nightmare

Like a dark cloud, they fill the sky. Their beaks break windows and clean eye sockets. Razor talons deeply cut human flesh leaving strokes of thick red proof splattering the ground. Heard above, a choir of shrieks and off scale pitches sings over people below, echoing from door to door with a volume that never dies.

I’m surrounded by birds when I walk into the crisp morning air. I try to tell myself that this will be a better day. They can mind their own business as long as I do the same. I’m guessing they’ve been waiting for me. I turn down my iPod to be sure no sneak attacks are made. It’s a great risk if I’m unable to hear the piercing cry of a crow swooping from its perch. So far so good I’m sure they’re not all watching me right now. “CawwwCAWWWW,” a black winged demon cuts me off and stares into me with its black beads confirming all of my fears. My heart flutters out of control as my walk turns into a trot. One crow brought attention to the others, now they begin swooping from one building to the next. My rule? They always have right-of-way. I continue on to class, adjusting my sunglasses hiding a stream of tears.

I am ashamed. Hyperventilating and crying fit into my daily routine. As long as I imagine the horrible things that they’re capable of, I will remain haunted. They are everywhere I go and they are plotting against me. What if they grip onto my bookbag? What if they grip onto my skull? What if they hold on and never let go? Most people think my anxiety is hilarious. I really wished I did too.

I was home one weekend from college and my dad was shaking with laughter during the entire movie of Alfred Hitchcock’s the Birds.

“Olivia, are you crying?!”

My dad hit pause, freezing a violent seagull on screen.

I was sitting in the corner of the couch, my eyes stuck to the t.v. expecting for the gull to start attacking uncontrolled by any remote.

“Dad, just play it, I’m not even scared,” my voice was steady but monotone.

I leaned toward our television as hundreds of birds attacked the actors. I was crying for the people because I knew that the birds would be merciless and it could happen again in real life, my life.

It had started with an owl. Expanded wings tilted as if measuring the height of my car. A replay in slow motion occurs when I remember the eyes. Like an insomniac the yellow eyes cracked out in terror and reached my heart commanding a faster rhythm. “WHOOOWOOOO.” The sound round and hollow, identical to the eyes

The morning after the attack I felt hung over with spinning flashbacks that I hoped to God were make believe.

I tried to laugh away my fear and tell my owl story in the exact light of my nightmare. I started to imitate the wing-span of my flying demon I performed in front of many people, putting on the show that worked to convince me that I was exaggerating.

A few months after the owl night, the truth had begun descended down on me on different occasions. 4:00am brought to me a malfunctioning alarm clock in the form of a crow. “Caw, caw, CAW,” jerked me awake, the bird stayed outside of my window for twenty minutes. My room is located on the third floor of my buildings and there are no trees. For twenty minutes a crow hovered outside of my window without a branch to restfully perch on. I sat awake and let the bird verbally harass me.

By downplaying my phobia I’m able to briefly stuff the anxiety it truly brings me. But this fear is as unyielding as the grave.

I show my true colors by alerting the public. “Leave them alone, they don’t need any bread!!!” Two jerk-offs at the beach were feeding the birds as if they were needy, homeless children. I don’t go to the beach often especially now that I’ve noticed the overcrowded skies and the idiots who bring them closer. I tried just napping on the sand. Closing my eyes and pretending that the watchful seagulls had vanished.

“Look how close that one is to her head!” I heard my friends whisper and laugh softly before I lifted my hat off my face in time to see a bird tip-toeing closer to my head.

This of course sparked spastic flapping. My arms fanned defending my head. The bird wings moved like a puppet on strings, clapping towards me before taking off. I stared wide-eyed into space trying to prevent myself from letting every bird memory take me away to hysteria. That cued the head nodding, foot stomping laughter from the chorus of my sympathetic friends. I got a better idea of two things that day: the phrase, “sleep with one eye open,” and the sacrifice friends make for a potential good laugh.

It’s humiliating. Running to the car in a Walmart parking lot. Dreading the days my friend’s suggest, “Let’s go to the beach.” Stopping in mid-step terrified in the shadow of a bird flying over me. Nervous breaks occurring thinking of all of my duck and cover stories. I, a 20 year old grown up will run away from a chirping blue bird that twitches at me the wrong way. I’m always looking up waiting for the next air attack. I want to escape this nightmare that drifts over me, but that day seems to be flying further and further away.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Glow In the Dark Stars

They light up the dark and become the most beautiful thing in the night’s darkness. Solo they are just but a dim glimpse of an illuminated spec, but together they triumph over darkness with their strong shining might. I admired the glow in the dark stars from the rooms of my friends. I remember drifting off to sleep as I gazed at their beauty.

I’m enchanted by how you can have stars so close within your reach. You can actually reach for the stars and then have them at your finger tips. I was jealous that my friends had such wonder staring down on them at night, watching over them as they slept and lighting up their darkness.

I never got glow in the dark stars for myself because my parents did not relish the idea of some “thing” sticking to our ceiling. They were not just some “thing” to me. To me they represented and still represent a wondrous way to grasp the stars. To reach and to obtain.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cardboard Box

Her tiny voice drifted from the backseat.
"I didn't know it would be like that."

Her father just kept driving.

"You didn't tell me what it would be like."

"I told you not to come," he father reassured.

"Yea I just didn't know."

Silence fell as they heard the cardboard box knock around in the trunk.

Tears began to flood over her words.
"She wasn't that sick...she had time."

He father's eyes consoled her from the rear view mirror.
"She was old, she would've wanted it this way."

That wasn't ever going to be enough for her.
"How can we be sure? We never asked her and she couldn't tell us."

They pulled up to the house. As she walked in the front door she saw the rusted shovel, glossed with mud, leaning impatiently. She turned around to see her father out of the car and opening the trunk.

He lifted the cardboard box and cradled it,adoringly, under his arm. As he closed the trunk his eyes searched and met hers.

"Go inside," he said. "She'll be by the tree in the back...whenever you're ready."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reason:searched and found

God is the reason I write.
Me pen is the fork that allows me to devour every detail of his splendor

God is the reason I love
He loves harder, faster, unconditionally more than could be understood

God is the reason my faith lives
my faith had fallen ill to the fears of this world
but has been revived by the truth of his words

God is my answer
to every question that is too old for me

God is the reason for my beauty
It's like faith
I may not see it but because he says it's there
beauty is there

And God is the reason I wait
One day descending
this curious sky will be understood
with the rescue, the reunion
the ending married to the beginning
the sky will make way for a transcendent ceiling
ceiling of eternal award and a life that is forever lived
in the arms of my God, master, father

God is the reason I write
my written dreams come true
the possibilities are traced endlessly

Careful, every man's dream is different
but every purpose is the same
And the destination is clear even when the road is not

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oval Park

I step onto the playground. The streetlights are the only thing left to illuminate the glorious Oval Park. My very own ghost town awaits me. The wind alerts the swingsets of my arrival followed by the high pitched sound of rusted metal pacing back and forth.

My walk to my familiar spot underneath the jungle gym is matched with the aroma of mulch and pure summer night air.

We sat underneath the jungle gym right amongst all the mulch we could ever want. The smell of the dirt interwined with the smell that was seaping from the glass blue bowl. There was silence besides the occasional "flick, flick" of a stubborn lighter. The wind would tease us by pretending to be sounds of foreign feet breaking the earth or whispers of an unwelcomed guess. It wasn't the smartest place to get high, but it was brilliant in its own mysitc wonder.

We knew hours previous children had been sitting on the top of this jungle gym kingdom believing they could take flight. No we sat underneath convinced that we too could take flight.

Under the sky the stars blinked curiously at us and God cringed at our stupidity. We stared back. In the sober darkness we soaked in all the little moments that we will remember when we are back at school wishing that we had been left there underneath the dark, summer sky.

Onward and Onward

When I am sheltered in his presence, I am shielded by every second thought. I am shielded from the deeper lessons of this cloudy affair. I see only our underground tunnel with the future driving, speeding with no escape in sight. He bewitches me with all of his hidden talents and the sweet new flavor of his world. He leaves me starving for discovery and growth. But a case of chronic bulimia occurs with an aftertaste of truth. I choke on bitter flavors that taints all the sweetness of his filling meal. I begin gagging on the unbearable truth. Right when I think it's going to take me, I'm saved by his Heimlich of lies maneuvering the sensible logic out. Dislodging doubt, questions, and the right answers.

Fearfully and Wonderfully

The feeling is pulsing through my veins. Hello again, I never thought I’d feel you here again. Here, where darkness clouded it’s vision. My heart could not see ahead and never dreamed forward. I thought it was the end, it should have been the death of me. I had stopped hearing, feeling, knowing you. I was left in the company with fear, unfaithfulness, and defeat.

You heard me all along. Your heard me blaming you, cursing you, and disowning you. You felt me all along. You felt ever fistful heartache, you felt all of my falls, all of my blow outs. You’ve known me. Known me when I loved you, when I left you, when I forgot you. I had given up and then you stepped into my ring. After watching patiently in my corner you fought back. My enemies didn’t stand a chance once you brought down your mighty hand. This would be the last round of bullying and setbacks. Ring, goes the first bell. You made contact with my opponent with the your unfailing love for me. Ring, Ring goes the second bell. Darkness, was blinded by your strike of freedom and sacrifice. I heard the last ring. He had beaten my threat with his grace and his promise that he will always be in my corner.

He reached for me and the he embraced me. My sins, my shame, my fears, and everything that filled the space between me and him. And for the wonder that happened next..thank you. I wanted to thank him for every gifted second that he revived me. His whisper of peace swept away everything that I should have apologized for. But those things remains in the darkness; forgotten, alone, without me.

I Am Eve

She took her stance in the middle of the first garden.

The teasing tree shielded her from the watchful sky, his watchful eye.

The leaves hissed her closer but the wind sat steadfast.

Her hand stretched upward reaching for her downfall.

Fingers brushed the heaven sent fruit,

a fruit that was flavored by knowledge and truth.

She had been blinded by evil desire.

She stretched

fingers spread like spider legs,

fingers ready to take

The sphere was shaped for her palm.

Lust brought her lips to kissing

the forbidden fruit before biting deeply.

Bitter remorse seeped down to her core.

Sour disgrace stained her lips.

The sun peaked through the branch-

Caught, Spotted, seen.

The fruit, the betrayer fell from her touch

She took back her place in the middle of the first garden


Pen Strokes

my pen hits the paper
it strikes a cord
hearing your music
in my head
strumming my fingers along

lyrics on your sheet music
matches words on this page

i paint you here
you paint me there

this paper
my canvas
your paper
your measure

co-write my pen stroke
looping, tracing
letters upon letters

your rhythm circulates
through my fingers

your music
my words
this song.