The Narrator Returns

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Day One :

There a bloom has fallen , laying off the path , red fading  almost grey . She picked it up and buried it . She was a reader of fairytales . The birds left broken shells under their nests and all the fields outside the city were soft and green . Voices , insects digging , wheat grass , musk , rusted gates , warm winds , always the wind , all of it , all of it in that green . She walks here often , the odor of pink painting the tender joy of her life .

Day Two :

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There the white sheets are flapping on the clothesline when he appears . She was sitting on the front steps of her house on the corner of Parmalee Street . She is thin , small breasted and fine in stripped bell bottoms , poet blouse , Moroccan sandals , the leather pale and worn wrapping around her ankles , such beautiful bones . His heart was going like mad . The out of style clothes and the arch of her foot , unusual . He knew he would panic if she moved . She held a baby . The neighborhood lights dimmed . The summer of the year 1983 was ordained . The humming of the lawn sprinklers sang it .

There , under the sky , she  looked at him and looked at him longer and in that pause they both heard the birds screaming on the road above , so resplendent in escape . He would never forget the sound of her voice and she would never forget the sad drooping of his quite lovely left eye or the music he would later play for her . He stalked her with a plea that turned into a gift . His name is Paulo .

Day Three :

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Well , he was young , just out of university . She was older with no education . He slept with ” Abba ” on the wall above his bed , she slept under the long neck of a Modigliani print under glass . Truth has an oblique face , an extraordinary stone the gods hide deep within . The hunt began the day they met , maybe paradise , maybe a nightmare , maybe both . Her name is Mary .

That same week :

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And there , two hundred miles to the north , along the coast of the Great Lake Michigan  where apples hang heavy on the trees , a young man overturns a silver rowboat , pushing it into the waves of an inland lake . His name yet unknown .

Paragraph : Blue

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The sky was blue on April 16 at one minute before noon . It was to be my debut onto Avenue Magdalena , one street over from Clover Drive , the pale blue singing me into life , a life we are all born to die , the blue pushing me through onto earths keyboard , the blue stealing my heart , the blue separating the land and the sea by only a membrane . I’ve been watching , always watching , looking into a hued haze of violet swirling my days in New Mexico now , vast this country , nostalgic , old , fragile , faint with dark blue veins connecting canyons , cottonwood , cattle , antelope , crevices , plateau , juniper , tumbleweed  and the breath of sage sighing like dust clouds , moving ghosts over dry land , land the color of my body . Nothing is hidden here , here where melodies of wind bring forth imagination as if tears dropping from blue , drop compassion upon these hills of ivory skulls and bones .

I have been alive for sixty-five years today , today with the blue sky a circle . Those holes blue , drawn by the clouds becoming navels , the dark purple of the night are my east and west , the rising and falling of my nipples erect and exposed , the north and the south are my womb and stomach swallowed by the moon . I wish I could have another baby . I wish I could dance the flamingo . I wish I could hold onto my mother once more or play the accordion ( the green one I always write about ) or live at an ashram or walk the Camino de Santiago or fly like birds do . But I am a ” poem painter “. I was born in the bosom of Mother Earth , in a place beyond the horizon , a place whose residents have an inclination for precipitating miracles , a place under the bright blue sky of 1951 . Who stole my heart ? I’m always looking so far for it . I wish I could have back the round black mole that was once burned off my cheek bone . It came with me , an onyx from somewhere before , the day the sky was blue .

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Photos by D. Cook Photography

Paragraphs : William

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She pulled chimes in me . It could have been anyone , but it wasn’t , it was her , my destination unknown until then of which nothing can be said . She sang to me from a heart graced with eternal deserts , of gazelles , of souls complete , running towards the borderline of Mecca . She was the silence of a colorful arid flower , the silence of sandstorms . She was older , still breast feeding her baby , not yet divorced when I sent her letters from the Gulf War . ” Come she is your soul , let’s go to bed together , mount my bed and mix the magic , the work of love will breed trust between us “. ( Ulysses ) . She was my lover for three months , my illicit lover before I flew over the Persian Gulf . Changing my name , embracing Allah , leaving her behind she expanded awareness , not always hearing what I wrote but always hearing what I meant . She would never do me harm . She lied about me for those few months . I felt her shame , a shame so soundless . She wasn’t always open with me , not really open with anyone , soundless as if appearing in the frame of a camera held high above , looking down . No one understood us together , different ethnic races , me a black man and much younger . But then no one saw her sit in the bathtub with her thin arms wrapped around her knees the way I did . And when the night caught its breath at the window , she reminded me of a wandering albatross drifting out to sea with no control over direction or fate . While I drove my tank on the outskirts of Kuwait City , the desert birds , soundlessly standing on the cracks of Highway 8 , brought her back to me . On the coffin of war , rumbling faint , rumbling continuous , rumbling loud I lost my mind and on the flight back to the United States , I saw her image in someone else’s goggles peering back at me . I asked for tea , the copper lid shining like burning oil fields and the tea pouring to a thundering symphony with drums triumphant , strings mournful . What happened to Francis , my beloved ? Only the Most High could foretell . ” You will leave life even more beautiful than you entered it . Heaven will take you back ” …

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Last quote from ” The Reader ”

Bridge to Detour

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her soft lovely body

lays on blushing horizon

touching her as if

she were about to disappear

look , the bright moon

afraid of its own emptiness

the evening choking

over Whitefish Bay

two hundred miles of open waters

Lake Superiors graveyard

silver ships beyond the seas

no snow , no rain

no heat , only lands

refreshed by balmy breeze .

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her soft lovely body

crossing over the bridge

east to Amsterdam , west

to Wamaia , north to Canada

south to Patagonia

looking for a tent show

in Point de la Batture

unable to yell

from Bay Mills outlook

where below the muskrat

comes up dead , his paws

closed tight

holding a little earth

for the Great Spirit to

make a new world .

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her soft lovely body

sitting in the bathtub

arms wrapped around her knees

noone understanding

the future twisting the window crank of

broken dances or

the bizaar site

of the undertaker

riding upon a coffin

on the Great North Lake

emerging from thick fog white

or that jellyfish drifting purple

from across the Red Sea

out of place

like the boy appearing from the hole

in the knotty pine ceiling .

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her soft lovely body

sings to berry laden bushes

he drops fruit

onto her opened night gown

staining blood

the stripped pine looking

like human skin

see the nail making

a stain in that tree

she has dirt under her nails

the freighter passes by

the osprey fish , windmills turn

a man with a day old beard drives by

drinking from a thermos .

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see the grass growing in cracks

of deserted highway

did we trade wonder for reason

in the last moment .

let it be , let it be

her soft lovely body

gazing from Menominee Ridge

her soft lovely body

like a bud , like a bud

caught upon the erecting steel

of Mackinaw Bridge .

credits : Mackinaw Bridge photos by Dale De Vries Photography

Upper Michigan waterfalls by Daniel Cook

The Book of One Thousand Beginnings : Dana : Final Paragraph

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I took a photograph of her , her mouth wide open when a bird hit the window , a messenger from across the species divide . It lies on the grass before me and my dead mother . A flying creature , knowing things I do not , a divine emissary . Do I share kinship with this one who mimics my speech , my sobs ? Just who is guided by this passerine bird to this room of death , this pale room of my mothers end . And what will they do with her remains , the Christ-like stillness of her body , a body of delicate white bones , a body dead with skin like that fish I once saw aglow , not yet cold , blue moving with fog across waters of the Great Lake . Flowers are everywhere in this place , messages , repeated words on cards , ribbons caught in the air of a musky smell from life’s underbelly . I remember my brother once shooting a songbird out of its nest with his Daisy B-B gun and wonder when will he be here . I want to embalm my misunderstood mother and this raven together and watch them be mummified in beeswax and honey . But I know it will not be allowed . In what corner of my mind are my dead mothers poems hidden ? I cannot capture everything or anything with words any more …

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Personal note : I have been lost in my story , words and more words , editing and cutting until only the ending above remains . I can’t find the plot anymore . Writing has become the long , long dance with music that refuses to end , even without any lyrics … but alas , I’m rather tired of searching for that plot . . .

Thank you , each of my friends for following and for always encouraging with your kind comments and inspiring hearts …it matters so very much …

It’s Here

 

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This is is where I live – it’s here . I miss you . The land called Michigan is mysterious , paradoxical , soulful , wild – we all have lake in our eyes here . It’s here too that I think of you … your stories , your poetry , your photos , your places . I want to tell you something , it’s this , you are not far from me . I’ve come to know you as friend in discovering the dance of your words and spirit . I want to tell you that I remain so deeply grateful … the waters surge … and you are here .

with love glorious,

meg

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Credits : first two photos of Lake Michigan by Dale DeVries Photography … Third photo of children swimming by my son Ted Ippel .

One Hundred Kisses

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Francis’s heart went “boom” and the fifth falcon with diamond drops of rain glistening its wing left the copper roof , circled and flew from the east to the farthest east creating a shadow as it passed over the tombstones on Cemetary Road . ” Boom , boom ” , what caused this abrupt beat transforming them all as if they were drinking a portion ? The fox , the horse , the doe of the morning , the mink gazing and gazing , the skull of the Earth counting and counting the days , days of ballads , of jazz , rock-n-roll , of rhythm and blues , days of symphonies , soundtracks , days of songs . Listen , listen , there’s the hip-click to the off beat , that syncopated accent of the off beat … the Holy Stream of sound , the world about to burst open from its slumber of ignorance , of pain , apathy and destruction , a yearning in the land . The falcon flashing by trees that took a hundred years to grow , tearing across towns where men lived their whole lives . The mighty bird keeps right on going to the booming beat , drawn to the sound like crows are to shiny objects and children are to secret ceremonies of their own . He flys on his way to the distant Egyptian tombs where the heart is the source of human wisdom .

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The sun is finally out , the lake has gentled again after the storm . The boy with the kiss on his forehead has whirled by on his bicycle , his hair blowing in the balmy spring air . It’s time for a feast Francis thinks , a season for tasting velvet nights and smelling the promise of dawn . She sits looking , looking over the hills about to bloom wildflowers , the strange boom of her heartbeat bringing up the past of childhood when she thought she could jump off the tree stump and land in the clouds . She remembers now hiding behind the louvered doors of her bedroom closet as a girl reading ” Betty and Veronica ” comic books , making paper dolls , hiding her orphaned objects in small silver boxes her dad had brought back from Detroit . These objects so precious , intimate souvenirs picked up from sidewalks and streets , becoming companions , mysterious yet ordinary things . Memories of her birthdays, her 13th just after President Kennedy was assassinated , when she was given a pink Zenith transistor radio , how she retreated to that safe closet and heard the Beatles ” I Want To Hold your Hand ” for the first time and how saturated her body felt with a simple joy and wonder and hope after all the destruction in her country , a huge room of confusion on the verge of an opening to something beautiful , something healing for an entire planet , her radio having incredible power as she listened to the lyrics of “She Loves You ” under the covers at night .

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But for a nine year old boy living in a small northern hamlet it was another world . A mother telling him his father would not be living with them anymore . A memory of the day his father went into the bar , leaving him in the car with the top down as Jack happily sat in the drivers seat on his bluejeaned knees , just able to reach the big silver steering wheel , pretending he was going down hills and curves , traveling fast . Playing with the radio dials as he hears the beat of the country singers wafting from The Hard Times Bar and Grill where his father sits drinking beer . The day his mother told them about the divorce was his older sisters first day of junior high and it was his best moment when he said to her , ” please don’t cry , please , it’s your first day , wouldn’t you like to take your shoes off and wear your flip-flops “?  Things had changed , somebody lived here once but no more , should he act like nothing’s wrong ? And from that time on , Jack embraced change as if he were clutching onto his fathers soft flannel shirt . . . the beat of his life finding glory in the change of his many sufferings , changing course from boyhood , bad boy , drinking too much , divorce , heartache . Will you bring me happiness or will you bring me sorrow , a question he asked for a long time . . . and then , ” boom ” , a new street sign , a new road of peace like coming into an unknown and unexpected birthright . For years he had wished it . The once scarry beard shaved to reveal a clearly handsome face .

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Here comes Jack looking for Francis now . Open the gateway . Here is the landscape he once thought only he walked on . . . the tree trunks filled with eyes . He loves seeing her on the grass or sitting on his sofa in gypsy frocks , or in his bed or walking down his driveway . And Francis , well , she hears something in his voice , the way it is said , a certain tone and her heart goes ” Boom ” and she knows it’s not only her heart that’s involved , but every creatures . ” I’m kissing you , I’m kissing you , boom boom , ohh I’m kissing you “.

” Francie , I’m hiding the ladder so you won’t leave ” Boom , boom .

And that last peregrine falcon on Jacks roof , well , she remains watching there at the top of the pinnacle under a white sky . She is like a chord change of breathtaking beauty , a sprig of white ginger caught in her wing feathers from that little Hawaiin figurine on Jacks dashboard , a golden crown of turmeric anointing her head .

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” Oh my heart which I had from my mother , oh my heart which I had upon earth ” ( inscription found on tombstone on Cemetary Road ) . . . from Chapter 30 of The Book Of The Dead

Exit Music playing

CAST :

Jack as himself

Francis as herself

SUPPORTING CAST : ( with graditude )

Hariod Brawn – contented ness.net

Michael – Embracing Forever

John Flanagan – johnpoetflanagan

Cyan Ryan – 21 Shades of Blue

J. D . Riso ( Julie ) – Wish I were Here ( LaVagabonde)

Vanessa – vanbytheriver

Christine Robinson – Before Sundown

Sue Dreamwalker – Dreamwalkers Sanctuary

Jo – Restlessjo

Inese – Inesemjphotography

samesizesoul – The Emptiness of Longing

Christy Birmingham – Poetic Parfait

Christina Strigas – Writing & Poetry

Chris – chrisnelson61

Diana Wallace Peach – Myths of the Mirror

Laurent Domergue – Laurent DOMERGUE

Tony Single – Crumble Cult

Aquileana – La Avelaia de Aquiles

Marga Teichman – Life as Improv

Tia – Unbolt

Mino – Mihran Kalaydjian

Holly – House of Heart

Ellen Stockdalewolfe – MOONSIDE

Tom – Tom Clausen

Amy ( Lady Pink Rose ) – Petals Unfolding

Pepperanne ( Pippa ) – field of thorns

MUSIC SCORE :

Ashes and Snow – Feather to Fire

Olsen Olsen – Sigur Ros

Practical Arrangement – Sting

Imagine – John Lennon

Chateau Lobby #4 – Father John Misty

PHOTOGRAPHY

Ken Scott

Vivian Maier

Sorolta Ban

Aela Labbe

Denise Thomasin

Special thank you to WordPress ( blog design )

” If the doors of perception were cleansed , everything would be seen as it is – infinite “.  William Blake

Note from meg : this was my 100th post and the last and 6th in the series about Jack and Francis which began on Feb. 12 with Something Happened , Jack and Francis , Leelanau County , White Spots of a Fawn , Moons Wandering and finally , One Hundred Kisses ….Thankyou to all of my friends who made such kind comments and kept me going ( mentioned in the credits ) and to all who read and ” liked ” ….from my heart with love xxxmeg

Launching : Peggy Doll Paper Cutouts

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Tune # 1.

No one was watching except for me . I saw them , those two little rascals , those two little girls , the one born in her sac , the other with a spark of silver brightening her chocolate eyes . A flavor of salted caramel , both .

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” Owa , look ! ”

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” Now what , Sequoia ? Was that Peter Pan ” ?

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” Oooooooooo ! ”

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” Let’s not tell , O . K . .? ”

Many years go by ….

Tune # 2 .

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” Did you ever tell mom about seeing Peter Pan ? ”

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” Yes , but no one else “.

” I told her too ” .

” What did she say ” ?

” She said she once saw him too AND that he lives upstairs ” !

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Starring : grand daughters , Sequoia and Owa  … daughters , Denise and Jacqueline

Credits : Denise Thomasin Photography and Photos of Christopher Senn