New Year's Eve

I saw the girl of my dreams beside the highway and I stopped.
She wanted nothing to do with me
for I was from the world of men.

As she drifted away into the trees I followed,
and made sweeps of blooming flowers blanket the land in her wake.
I thought she'd like that.

Trolls sent by a war queen scouted the wooded hills.
Each of us hidden, she watched them unafraid while I feared for her,
but the trolls moved on without a fight.

She liked the flowers and began to follow me.
But I could hear the distant churning sounds
of a War Machine being built in Charleston.

from the collection Are you Scratch & Sniff, or Peel & Eat?

The Wreckage of the Past

I occasionally dive upon the wreck. When I need reminding, or when I feel like punishing myself. Although it's hard to see in the darkness, it's easy enough to find. Remnants of a giant, half-buried in the muck, a ghostly shape lurking in the gloomy depths of the ocean. Eventually the hulk will dissolve into the sediment. The grand behemoth will be nothing more than a patch of oxide soil; a brownish stain indistinguishable in the vast plains of the ocean floor.

But for now I float, pondering what is left of the wreck. It is a broken and misshapen monster. Barely recognizable portions of it are encrusted and shaggy with decay. It's only when I glimpse a part that almost looks like something; a railing dripping with corrosion, a gaping porthole, an empty space where my belle used to be...

There is nothing left to salvage, no way to profit from it. It is only here for me to remember.

I remember it as the most glorious thing in the world, steaming out of port on a sunny morning, lined with hundreds of happy faces. It was a bright, beautiful day in a time filled with hope and joy. Passengers laughed with merriment while onlookers stood smiling, marvelling in the luxurious glow. What an amazing ship, they exclaimed. Glossy and new, it shone in the sun as it set out on an infinite and steady sea. It was a wonder, sleek and gleaming and unstoppable. It carried the grand promise of a future filled with wonder.

Now I float in the darkness over the wreck... and think, and determine... that I shall never sink another ship.

I surface, emerging into a cold grey sky and choppy waves slapping my face. My small sailboat awaits, bobbing in the wind. There are heavy clouds overhead, foretelling of distant storms. As I clamber aboard, my son has set a course away from the rain, and together we unfurl the sails and head for home.