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Come Down to the River

6

come down to the river and have your sins washed away

seemingly as easy as moss grows on a sunless day

proving that rocks can grow no matter what some may say

don’t doubt miracles in front of your eyes piled in a soft array

scattered like the hearts of selfish men across a murky bay

shameless and wicked they sail past without a moment’s sway

never seeing the amazing in Gods’ creations in this way

missing YHVH and Yeshuah in all their Glory many still will today

while I sit in the river surrounded by stone and now must pray

for their lost souls are as countless as the rocks of mottled grey

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Rising Above Stone

7

amazing detail, growing in stone, alone

an explosion of Glory rising above dull

His idea of Majesty in perfect chaos

a solitary bush created for bees and butterflies

stunning, they hover as lovers, touching gently

kissing this tiny beauty across its painted face

each second blooming, like Yeshuah

He hopes they will carry His love

beyond the river

to rise above stone

Ripples

g

 

nature’s mirror, a rippled view, of the chaos rushing down a hillside

blurred moments, clear and bright the next, teaching us to follow her lead

no reason to rush, for the ending is harsh and walled

blocked by boulders of intent, sanded and strewn in the mud

whereas the soft moments, swirling gently, are caresses to be loved

the sweet kindnesses that mimic the heart of a butterfly

lifting opening hovering in contentment

on bright waves of sunshine and warm breezy hugs

Just Water and Knowledge

blue

 

we are all

just water and knowledge

 

little dust at the beginning

remaining only on the surface

‘til the breeze has it’s way

rippling with laughter

across years of wash

while a moment is filled

with a flowing grace

unrecognized or shunned

by a will diminished at each turn

as desire pulls at us

like roots wrinkled with age

as the seas loom in the distance

forgetting we were made

from beneath the sky

rising slowly after each fall

to cascade with light

while mercy covers our soul

and wisdom wanes into a well

His Death

fire river 2

 

His soft and gentle blood ran in red rapids

While His torturous death gave me my life

How I ache to become His devoted wife

Sadly I deign to think He’d have me

It’s discerning to learn I can’t repay Him

I’m disgusted my blood is soured and weak

~~~~~~~

Yet His hope is filling an empty vessel

Dripping in time with each weeping need

Holiness replacing my soul with a lamb

Drowning me until I’m finally freed

~~~~~~~

Suddenly I’m high with unbelievable spirit

My drumming heartbeat flows into music

For I will always be deemed worthy

Without one single second thought

Someday soon I will be His Adoring Wife

Because His Pure Love Gave Me Life

~~~~~~~

As His hope is filling an empty vessel

Dripping in time with each weeping need

Holiness replacing my soul with a lamb

Drowning me until I’m finally freed

Life Finds A Way

9

Life finds a way

in a river

atop a bus sized boulder

with only a few things needed:

sunshine, water

and something to hold onto.

In life, to find your way

through the twists and turns

raging falls and calm pools

atop a boulder or under a spell

struggling through some eventual rapids

or floating along peacefully

you only need a few things:

the sunshine God created to grow our world

the pure clean water and food He created

and His Amazing Promise to hold onto.

Everything else is just wind.

Leafless Soul

rock

swaying, mesmerizing, back and forth

the leafless soul dances to life

ripples shimmering light in the tiniest waves

creating the current tune

faces appear to stare at the light

confused by the babbling all around

washing on by with each passing shadow

eyes winking in altered states

pushed and pulled they float away

in a gentle shifting with each rush

while the rootless hangs on, little condos of life,

flood proof and settled in, rock solid

no longer lost in a blurry crowd

a pulse of green to light the way home

Mischief

skirt of an angel (2)

A whisper of hello, she shimmered as if I’d startled her, eyes tiny pools with mischief dancing in time to her swirl, waiting to see if my eyes followed her or if perhaps I was only speaking to the voices singing softly in a babble. Grinning at the distorted trees wavering in her light, I said, I see you, eyebrows raising with an instant ornery glee. Father will be so mad at me, she said with a burst of mirth, spinning in a happy blur, rainbow sparks flying from her glow, laughter twinkling between the leaves, as soft pink becomes orange glory, sunshine meshing with purple haze, and neon green deepening into a blue jazz only she heard. Oh, but to breathe in the pine and decay and flowers, I’ve missed it so-o-o-o, she said, climbing an imaginary stair, swirling down the neck of a tree, a barbershop pole of rainbow color, her laughter melting into a puddle, merging into the river below with a swish of a rainbow trout’s tail, with only bubbles reaching the surface to burst with the joy of existing, even if only, just for a moment.

Fluid

rocks

life seems heavier

balanced across our backs

holding us in place far longer

than the welcome was intended

moving forward in some small way

blends into a more fluid journey

a flow of experiences too deep

and too powerful to imagine

how easy it is to transcend

watching or standing still is useless

supporting the bulk of inertia

lumped together with reality

surrounded by perpetual motion

results in veracious roots

clinging to rotting vegetation

in a disturbed current

collapsing into an avalanche

of loneliness

soiled in the past

So Much Glory!

4

He created breathtaking Glory for me…

that hard headed soul rooted deeper than a tree

 

Here before many an eternity…

flowing through time a magnificent sea

 

He began before dawn mercifully…

gushing life to bursting yet openly lonely

 

So mountains rose with Majesty…

volcanoes erupting in joy as oceans swelled uncontrollably

 

While the earth shook frantically…

His smile fashioned giants warming our souls into reality

 

A Heaven filled with impossible Glory…

wrapped around our home before spending an eternity…

on just you and me

Without Rest

5

yes the love of writing

layers upon my soul

the petals of a rose

could never the less pull

my heart spilled in a mess

letters dancing without rest

a ballet of pages swirl

with grace faintly blessed

one voice tipping the right

another swaying low

flying across a stage

in my life merely billow

back around growing light

a moshing of thoughts flow

from rainbow shades of hope

to a whirlpool of sorrow

tinted words twirl wildly

my mind a flowing banshee

a pirouette of fonted words

plie’ding to be set free

The Power

rocks with water 2

the power

to move mountains

one rocky bit at a time

begins with a tear drop

or two

cast together

shameless and unswerving

lured by a deep desire

becoming a legion

undistorted

by a singular longing

winding

picking up speed

meandering

swelling

unable to resist

only restrained

by reflection

until

a tiny grain slips away

followed

by another

and another

until

sentiment

becomes

sediment

For a time…

 

rocks with ice in riverher cold soul

reaching into the stone

sank into the depths

of a quiet heart

barely beating

regardless

of its suffering

and hard knocks

to begin molding

a crown

fit for a frigid queen

to rest atop

and pretend for a time

she was majesty 

SammyTeri Rules

Sammyteri

I am King of the River Rocks. I’ll have you know, this one I have possessed is

twice my height, yet I rule because I am twice as tall in stature. I have been

helping my human dig for gold; thus we will soon be very rich and I will hire my

own personal Sherpa and no longer have to jump 3 foot tall tree trunks lying in

my path, or get my feet wet when it’s cold out. I have conquered these lowly

river rocks, repeatedly marking them with my own personal brand. My work here

is done. Although I am embarrassed to admit I have a dirt mustache, I am still

available if needed for all sloppy kisses. Just come closer… no closer.

Swelling

5a

as shadows play across a quiet scene

a raging river rushes by unseen

rippling down the rocks of a crowded bed

I wonder why satan has immersed and led

us down this path strewn with his lies

diluting and surging he forever tries

to blind us from truth and Heavenly hope

like water racing down a cascading slope

slippery and slimy and covered in moss

our journey turns into sadness and loss

the greatest deceit found under fame

of Yeshuah’s dishonor just in His name

for when the river began to carve the sod

His name meant simply The Salvation of God

still the stream churned and danced across

miles of boulders until it came to a cross

where it washed even Him with pure salvation

drowning all evil and saving a lost nation

to this day we dishonor His amazing grace

submerging our world in entrenched disgrace

channeling his name into a soiled form

and speaking it daily making it the norm

like my tears washing over cheek and bone

I can almost hear Yeshuah’s swelling moan

Blue

 

11

(I know it’s bright, but do you see the two Great Blue Heron’s fishing?)

~~~~~~~

 

Clouds on a winter day, a million shades of gray

But the sky is a blue gem, God’s choice on a whim

Water a cold deep blue, hiding nothing from a birds eye view

Ripples behind the breaking rocks, against the trees it knocks

Newborn twigs fighting for light, fish stay clean out of sight

A typical day on a river, glorious life in a sliver

a flick

HPIM0961.JPG

 

touching my soul with just a flick

breathing a windswept caress

feeling the cool whisper of hope

as I touch my toe in a blue river

slipping at the last moment

moss laughing at my grip

choice no longer matters

of grace I appear to have none

as I flail forward not unwilling

yet baptized in a chilled scream

Just a Touch

 

Just a Touch

10-7-13

 

just a look, is all it took

shaking pebbles from stone

just a glance, to alter light

to know we’re not alone

just a touch, traced a river

a push into Earth creates a hill

pull back, a cone of smoke rises

manifest a moment of will

a glance at a tiny blue rock

a breath of clouds to bestow

gentle nudges balance with fire

melting into a raging flow

an Almighty love caressing

from a distance vast to us

a kiss of grace feather light

trembling into glorious

~~~~~~~

Thank you Tommiaw, aka, Takako!

Psalm 104:32

He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.”

Knowing Peace

Knowing Peace

9-5-13

 

rushing towards fear

I know I can face it

pain, shame, betrayal

even sinking in darkness

theirs not mine

I can swim through it

for I float in peace

already established

my anchor in a storm

of hate and jealousy

swirling rising always

I won’t be dragged down

pulled under or snagged

because I skim the surface

like a flower petal fallen

into the river raging

still I know

after the painful falls

it’s calm and peaceful

near the rock

I’m SO proud of him…

brandon in italy on top of stromboli

I miss the days when my son and I were explorers, heading out across miles of countryside, crossing the US twice at least, looking for an adventure like none we’d had before.

We were friends then, close friends, and no one could stop us.  We were all we had, each other, and we were so tight.  He was my little man, who was the man of the house, and at one point, he actually saved my life.  At 4 years old, he knew how and when to call 911.  He’s always been smart like that!

We were pirates on a ferry across the rivers, and soldiers outracing the tanks plowing down the highway in a huge convoy.

Each trucker had to blow his horn, or we lost our ever loving minds slowing down to get their attention, waving like two kids on the front of a train, woo woo…..

We gave up counting birds as we traveled across the deserts of Nevada, after we reached 3.  We counted more tumbleweeds than that racing across the highway after they had apparently jumped the fences.  We stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon in awe, side by side, and screamed out echoes, laughing hysterically when “you suck” came echoing back.

We saw two completely unidentified flying objects, after trying to catch one that evaded us through half of Utah, on a dark night with not another living person in sight.  He tried to sleep through most of it, but I woke him up to join in the hunt after an hour of chasing it.  I knew he wouldn’t want to miss it. 

We were mountaineers in Colorado, living at the highest point in the Us that you can live at, around 13,000 feet.  We had to 4-wheel drive my truck across a rickety bridge just to get home.  This was the year a friendly forester taught him how to rock climb the mountain behind our cabin.  Of course, he didn’t know he was afraid of heights, because my son has always faced his fears head on.  Since his last 2 skydiving trips, and current desire to fly in a squirrel-suit; I think I can safely say he’s conquered that fear.  Now if I can just figure out a way to get him past his fear of spiders… lol

We’ve explored caves together, camped out, climbed numerous mountains, crabbed in the ocean, built many a sand castle, ridden roller-coasters until he puked, never me…of course I blame it on the nutritious blue cotton candy, for the puke was a glorious shade of sky blue. 

My dad taught him how to drive a boat, at age 2 or so, and my brother let him fly his Cessna at age 5.  He’s ridden just about everything you can think of, from horses, to snowmobiles, motorcycles and rails, unicycles, jet ski’s and snowboards like he’s invincible, not to mention he swims like a fish.

He taught me how to rollerblade and skateboard, and I taught him to try everything once, if he could, for life is way too short! 

I smiled deeply a few days ago, when someone said “now I understand why he is so happy, and enjoys every minute of life…he’s just like you!”

I miss those days of closeness: for now I must watch from the sidelines, while he sails up the coast of Italy, scales Mt. Stromboli to camp overnight and watch lava erupt; and cliff dives with out me off the Croatian Archipelago’s islands.  He got to ride a camel to the Pyramids of Egypt, and stopped in Rhome for a few days this year, on his way to another great adventure. 

brandon on DUBI SPLIT boat

And yes, this was one of the yachts he was on, what are the chances of this:  the DuBi Split!  Leave it to him, aka DuBi!  (love that floaty sunburn! haha)

He’s taken my love of adventure to a whole new level, and I am so proud to know that is one of the things I instilled in him.  Of course, he will hate the fact that I just took credit for all that….hahaha, at age 30 he still thinks I had nothing to do with molding his mind and character! 

😉

This Morning, August 26th at 12:23 am…..

a 1.0 magnitude earthquake stuck at the center of Mt. Rainier.  You may think to yourself that this is just a tiny earthquake, no need to stress or worry….but….you would be wrong.  This is a massive Stratovolcano, that stands over 14 thousand feet tall, and has a huge hollow magma center directly beneath it’s peak.

This earthquake’s epicenter was at 0.9 km below the surface.  If you understand that Mt. Rainier is the largest mountain in our state, and an active volcano to boot, you would know this is not good.  Any seismologist will tell you, shallow quakes are the worst.

The actual earthquakes though, are the least of your worries.  What you need to understand is the amount of water that is sitting at the top of this volcano, held frozen in “25” beautiful glaciers.Glaciers of Mount Rainier overlaid on a base map LIDAR image, which shows the topography of the volcano.

This is 35 square miles, on average over 100 feet deep of frozen ice, the headwaters to 5 major rivers in our area.

Mount Rainier has an active hydrothermal system, which acts like an acidic sauna that essentially steams the mountain’s rocky interior into soft, gooey clay. The rock eventually becomes so weak that it can collapse under it own weight. This ice does its share of damage, freezing and expanding, slowly eroding the volcanic rocks, and dripping melted water into the acidic interior.  But the resulting collapse becomes a massive lahar, that buries everything in it’s path with mud, water and debris.  There are over 100,000 people living on top of old lahar debris below the mountain.  Lahars can travel at over 20-40 miles per hour!

We have hundreds of earthquakes, daily here in the North West, due to all the fault lines running up and down the coastline.

But if Rainier is waking up, the enormous mudslides and flooding would wipe out tens of 1000’s of acres of land and people, long before any lava flows would reach them.  This isn’t something you can out drive…this is not something you can out run.  This is imminent danger you cannot stop.

Quakes are not a huge problem unless you happen to work in a skyscraper, or may be in the new underground tunnel being dug under Seattle.

The problem that faces the entire Kent, Puyallup, and Tacoma areas is not the tiny earthquakes, but the shallowness of these earthquakes.  The first one this morning was almost 15 km below the surface of Seattle, but the one that hit a few hours ago, was AT THE SURFACE!!!

So were the quakes that hit BC Canada this morning, and just a few hours ago, the last quake was also at the surface.  Surface quakes are much more dangerous for humans, but also can trigger volcanic activity.

Volcanic activity is also known to trigger earthquakes. For example, swarms of small earthquakes, rarely larger than M5, can accompany the upward movement of magma through the Earth’s crust. Also, large volumes of magma that rise from deep within the lower crust to shallower depths are thought to perturb the stress field around a volcano, possibly triggering small earthquakes up to 25 km away.

Deep large magnitude earthquakes can also trigger volcanic activity, either by pulling the land apart and creating venting or by compressing and expanding the magma reservoir pressure. Some seismic waves can even cause bubbles to form, creating “overturn” which means gas poor magma sinks and gas rich magma rises…and rises. 

We have numerous earthquakes we know nothing about, but when they become shallow, and are centered in our largest mountains, and most horrifying of all, our largest volcano, this is when you need to prepare.

I don’t want to scare people, but I do want to warn you, as of this moment, be prepared.  Check your disaster kits, and get them updated if necessary.  To see quakes recorded at under a kilometer below Mt. Rainier is very scary to me…and to be honest, I have a bad feeling about this, or I wouldn’t have bothered writing about it.

Other than all that, have a wonderful evening! 😉

color me in light

3

color my world with bright blue that’s not sad

pine or neon green that’s not a fad

and purples that just must be had

fill my sky’s with yellows that scream

to become red’s that sometimes dream

to be oranges that taste of soft cream

for black feels empty and shadowed

and browns feel dirty like a long road

and grey seems such a heavy load

so only give me glorious sunrise light

still strong enough at sunset to fight

for love… this is God’s pure white light

Swollen

oh so wide

engorged

trees try to shelter her

a swollen and lonely mother

curving with her bursting

rushing with a bearing urgency

longing to be back at her own birth

cascading down the mountain peaks

dripping down from pine needles

or climbing across the tops

within the clouds

no worries

just falling

Ethereal

Recovering you

from a deep pit

with His Blood

every time

~

Releasing you

from having to choose

between hate and

disappointment

~

Restoring you

each heartbreak

to peace

and happiness

~

Redeeming you

deeming you worthy

no matter what

once again

 ~

its like releasing a new blue butterfly

caught in a nasty web

recovering it in a glorious shine

floating in an ethereal ebb

restoring its very freedom

for every thing has a soul

redeeming it’s purpose in life

it must fly to be whole

Blessed Waters

the sun is trying to peek through the clouds

contrasting colors of flowers to a deep glow

the rain has raised the river levels to flooding

mountains protect us from most winter snow

the elk have coats that are waterproof slick

living in a town with seven bridges seems risky

a rain forest that is truly a cascade of waterfall

fishermen love the quiet calm pools of plenty

the birds fly like bats in a wind storm of glee

the greens of moss and trees are emeralds

eagles play hide and seek in the stormy sky’s

the mountain lakes are majestic royals

green-blues of Glory paint all year long

the cathedral beauty of batholiths of rock

the winds sway back and forth the arms

of sheltering giants gathering their flock

the trash of humans is hidden under ferns

so many greys of shadow hanging darkness

try to hide glorious rainbows reminding us of Him

but He has clearly Blessed the great northwest

In a Second

they say… someday soon

this may all be gone

just one crazy person

could send us all home

in a blink of an eye

a push of a button

survivors living in dust

a desert all the sudden

~~~

they say… are you ready

at this exact moment

without a single prayer

or one begging lament

to face the Holy One

who created the mountains

who’s loved you long enough

who’s done forgiving your sins

~~~

they say… He’ll be merciful

but He will judge you fair

I too can’t imagine it all gone

surely He will still care

today is all we ever have

look at the beautiful view

you may go home in a second

you may not in two

not alone

          gazing up creek
     no paddle in sight
a walk not alone
in the morning light
     reflecting leaves
          shimmering cascade
     eyes watching closely
fish hiding in the shade

                    breeze calling softly 

among butterflies and bees

             ants      marching      the      bark

a last stand holds the trees

     spatter of the water
          dancing on the rocks
     tickling the shore
a chipmunk mocks

the Truth

a wee duck told her one day
as she sat near a river blue
"Words are mightier than the sword
soon you will be given the truth."

she waited in the beauty for hours
no inspiration came to her mind
getting cold and soon shivering
she left the Glory behind

days went by, she hoped and prayed
but nothing came from her fingertips
then one day she felt a warm breath
lean down and lightly kiss her lips

her world changed from grey to green
the sky melted into orange and red
her heart pounded drums of Djembe
even though He still wept and bled

paused in awe, excitement to burst
colors, scents and sights now flew
she had every cast and tone she'd need
yet none enveloped in a belt of true

she knew the Way, she'd seen the Light
she knew not to carve images above
yet no words were given to her
no thoughts of His Almighty Love

sitting with her pen poised over paper
looking out at pure clouds of white
a face slowly appeared floating by
with sun beams encircling His Light

smiling at the loving look portrayed
she wished she had her camera ready
an unthought thought tickled her mind
"Hear, my little girl," Said He

"Write it out however you dream it up
'I Am the Truth, the Light and the Way
My Blood and Breathe have saved you all!'
that is all you should need to say."

Secret Stand

Secret Stand

2-12-13

knocked over, trampled and bent

the sapling struggled on

as it grew into a lovely bench

lovers squandered the dawn

held fast it aged and wintered

roots deep beneath the bank

flowers fell to wash away

water began a teasing prank

branches fled with the birds

fooled it into thinking

no need to carry on

it was slowly sinking

but it never lost hope

it refused to weep

the scrubbing waters

itching to creep

bracing ’til return for summer

the lovers desire secret to keep

no longer sitting holding hands

instead a joyful leap

The Silent Slew

HPIM0162.JPG

They head out each morning an hour before the bell rings, and walk past the school and park, to the callous and diabolical slew of the river nearby.  Always waiting quietly, eerily, with no current to speak of since it’s a dead-end to the river.  In his mind it was a heartless slew he could never forgive.  Dark green, motionless death.  Yet he couldn’t stop himself from coming every day.

Emily was a dainty lil’ thing, only six, and since her Dad works at home, this is their morning routine before school.  He doesn’t go out much anymore at all, other than once a month he takes out his wife for dinner and drinks somewhere fancy, her requirement for happiness.  She’s so busy with her store, it’s more than enough, plus she has her book club, writers club, Tuesday casino night and hump-day-drinks night with the girls.  So once again, he’s the stay-at-home Mom.  With Sam it was great, every minute they were together they were having fun, they had been closer than best friends.  But with Emily, it seems forced.  Well maybe not forced, he does love her, just awkward, like a mother duck raising a kitten.

He loves her, just like he loved Sam, but realizes there is something missing in their relationship.  When people stop him and say, “Your granddaughter is so adorable,” he just smiles a half-smile and walks away before she happily informs them that “This is my Dad!”  He’s not embarrassed, it’s just getting old, him and the annoying people who assume incorrectly and comment on something they know nothing about.

That’s not what bothers him, it’s just an example of the awkwardness.  It’s not the age difference, it’s a connection.  He can feel that something is missing from their relationship, he feels it’s deeper down.  He’s never been very close mentally to her, not like he was with Sam.  He was still alive when Sam was alive.  He threw a football to Sam every day for most of his life, taught him how to ride his bike, and mini-bike, and how to ski, snowboard, and Rollerblade.  Every step of his childhood from homework to girls, he had been involved.  He had been lucky to have a job where he only spent a couple of hours away from home each week if at all, working on IT issues he could sit in his home office each day, only going to the corporate office for meetings and such.  He’d coached Sam’s soccer team in junior high and was an assistant coach on the highschool football team, always so involved in Sam’s day-to-day life.

But with Emily, things were different.  He couldn’t seem to connect with her or her dolls and teacups and play high heels.  She rarely rode her bike; it still had training wheels on it.  Her friend Sara taught her how to skate, and he knew he was being silly, she was only 6, but still when he was aware enough to have thoughts, it bothered him.

They held hands, swinging slightly to their strides, and crunched across the gravel on the bridge that spanned the river.  He’d been walking this path for 8 years now, every day since that day.  The one where his world stopped.  The one where life will never be the same again, after a phone call from a friend saying, “Sam’s been in an accident.”   That day is etched forever into his brain.  It seems to cloud over other memories, not letting new ones form, or even seem real.  Some days he doesn’t know if anything is real, it feels like his brain is floating along, like when your asleep, jumping from one real moment to another a week later.  Like consciousness is one second, then nothing for three days, then another single moment of consciousness.  The time in between spent floating, not slow motion, but floating motion.  It’s the spaces in between.  He rides them like a kite.  Up, down, sideways, just rarely landing.

The spaces bother him, when he remembers there should have been memories there.  Like when he runs into the football coach, Tom, that he coached with for three years, the floating stops.  Reality starts again while he responds to Tom’s “Hello, how ya doing?” or whatever mundane question pops in his head?  He answers, “Just fine,” then time floats away until he has to perform again.  And for some reason, when he’s floating, he doesn’t ever think about Emily.  Or anything else, for that matter, except Sam.  It’s only Sam.  What would Sam be doing now, if he had lived through the accident.  Is Sam here right now, hanging out as a spirit or something, here at the river where he died?  He’s looking right now at the exact spot where his car hit the tree and slammed off to the right and down into the 10 feet of water in the slew of the river below.  It was such a pretty spot.  He had to come here every day, every single day.  It wasn’t something he could stop doing.  It was programmed into the Float Aimlessly program his brain had mapped out in 0’s and 1’s.

He couldn’t stop the floating either.  His mind just flipped into a different gear, and took over the control of his thoughts.  Some days after he arrived back at the house, after safely dropping Emily at the school on the way back, he wouldn’t be able to work all day.  He wasn’t even aware he wasn’t working.  He just sat down in a chair, leaving the door open, his coat on, and floated until his wife came home with Emily and startled him into a moment or two of reality called loosely, dinner time.

So when his wife turned up amazingly pregnant at her age, it hadn’t even occurred to him that she would decide on her own to have another child.  One moment she was slapping him, and telling him loudly, the next they were rushing to the hospital to deliver her.  Then boom; there she was.  He didn’t even remember having sex.  Thank God they had decided to have a Nanny at first, because if they hadn’t Emily would still be sitting in a diaper, the one she came home from the hospital in.  It was only in the last few weeks since she started Kindergarten that he was once again responsible for a child.  Literally some days smacking himself repeatedly, just to get her ready and out the door.  After his wife had smacked him a few times, more than he could count actually, he realized it actually worked.  Just a quick pop on the forehead.  It would focus his brain long enough to stay in the real world, and take care of his daughter.

Emily tossed a rock at the water, sending out rings, mesmerizing rings.  He shook his head.  Looked down at her and asked,

“Would you like to learn how to skip a rock?”

She nearly erupted with happiness.  Bubbling out like champagne, a string of happy words linked together in a pink flow like,

“Oh can we, will you Dad, will you teach me, Oh yes, I so want to learn Dad, any rock, any kind of rock, you can make it skip? …” he just smiled, floating a second.  Then he shook his head again, rattling the thoughts a bit, and took her hand.  They walked a few steps as he looked at the ground, stooped over to pick up a couple flat shaped rocks, then they walked to the end of the bridge and down the trail, taking a little side path to the water.  Emily was bouncing.  It was the only word to describe her joy, she bounced.  He had called her Tigger, maybe once or twice, he couldn’t remember, but it should have been her name.

He began to explain it to her, showing her how to hold the rock, how to let it fly, how to bend a bit lower to the ground as you zing it across the water.  She had it mastered in three throws, ran back up to the bridge trail and found a couple more rocks, while he floated.  His eyes wandering back to that spot again, across from him now, across all that water that had been so unbelievably unforgiving.  Silent now, yet so cold and cruel then.  Ruining any chances he had of surviving the crash, a strong football lineman, going off to college that next month, trapped inside his Audi and surrounded by the cruel dark green water.  Even if he had been conscious, it wouldn’t have cared.  Some moments, he hated that river.  Hated it with every inch of his being.  Just some moments, when he wasn’t floating, but the anger rose instead.  Sometimes it took over, stopped the floating completely, and he was alive and aware and angry for a time, stomping around the house, slamming doors, before sitting down to rest again when thankfully the Float Aimlessly program kicked in again.

The tree he was leaning against felt just cold and wet enough it seeped into his skin, bringing him back.  Emily had a good arm, he thought, then told her, and she began bouncing again.  They needed to go, or she’d be late for class, but she streaked up to the rocks again, picked out a few more, and he waited while she zinged them into the quiet green water, now content for some reason.  Only disturbed by the million rings Emily was creating.  He took her hand, brushed off the dirt, and helped her along the path back up to the bridge.  As they walked across, he looked to the left, at the spot, and tears welled up around his eyes, blurring his vision.  He could just make out the huge cross that held his football jersey and his old hiking boots hanging from a nail.  He always wondered who had put the boots there, too.  His best friend had placed his jersey over the cross, making it a hanger; the school had retired his number, hanging a special jersey in the gymnasium during his funeral services.

He looked down at his little girl, skip-hopping along beside him, glowing with happiness, bubbling out chatter he couldn’t follow even if he had been aware, and wondered why something so simple as skipping rocks had made her day?

Weeping the Stones

It embraces a wetland of barren Alder

pilfering a crumbling crook,

a stream of fish tears winding downhill

weeping the stones into skippers.

Blue moons will shine on the boulders

before they bend to the will of the rush,

dragging along forgotten trails

widening in a surge of bubbling mirth.

Forsaking a nave to inspire poets

its edges now scarred and wrung,

rusted leaves gasping at last

drift into nothing but sunshine.