Upon the Ledger of Stolen Moments

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Wearing her perfume

Is like donning Freya’s falcon coat –

A sacred ritual,

A thing not in the realm of mortal men,

An act of not-quite blasphemy

Akin to turning back the hourglass of life

One fraction of an instant –

Yet, I count the cost.

 

Pale Death doubtless keeps a tally

Of moments such as these,

Marking with his heavy quill

Each second I borrow from him,

For surely these stolen moments

Of desiderium for a dream long lost,

Of a kind of twilight haze that settles over one

Only in the aftermath,

When all that is left of her is silence,

Surely, for this, and more, I count the cost.

 

For these moments, surely

I sacrifice myself to myself,

Hanging upon the world tree impaled by my own blade,

Surely, a debt accrued must one day be paid,

Surely,

For every moment of tender joy and ardent longing

I hoard in the bitter month of October,

Surely, I pay, one day in the middle

Of an otherwise blissful May.

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Communion

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Poetry is a bit like photography

In that the lighting needs to be just so,

And the moment – it passes all too quickly,

Far too swiftly to be recorded at its purest,

And the reader, the viewer,

The person in communion with the art,

Will never see your world

With the same exactitude;

Yes, their world rivals yours

In clarity and complexity,

And perhaps even the twain do meet,

Somewhere at a crossroads

In Idaho,

One car turning slightly

To give the right of way to the other;

The encounter is brief,

And is quickly forgotten

In the midst of the other infinitude of moments

Stacked together in your memory

Like the pages of a book.

There is Light

3

 

He sits chain-smoking a six-pack of the finest cigars

He’s ever had the pleasure of smoking

Bequeathed to him upon the occasion

Of his father’s death;

One hand balancing the fat roll of tobacco against his lips

The other clutching the ashtray like a lifeline.

 

Soon, he will make the necessary telephone calls

But for now let them all arrive to the stench of burnt tobacco

And the thin shifting curls of smoke gathering like storm clouds far above

Let them know that where there is fire, there is light

Show them all he lived

If only through the ashes of the only pack of cigars

His father never smoked

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Update: 1000 Questions to Ask Your Character

Hello, friends, family, fellow lovers of the written word.

I have been working on a new project, tentatively titled 1000 Questions to Ask Your Character.

I may have written 1,000 questions for you to ask your characters, but I have just one question for you: Which title, of out the following nine, do you prefer?

  • 1000 Questions to Ask Your Character
  • 1000 Questions to Ask Your Characters
  • One Thousand Questions to Ask Your Character
  • One Thousand Questions to Ask Your Characters
  • 1000 Questions to Ask About Your Character
  • 1000 Questions to Ask Your Character: A Writer’s Toolkit
  • 1000 Questions to Ask Your Character: A Writer’s Toolbox
  • 1000 Questions to Ask Your Character: A Writer’s Aid
  • 1000 Questions to Ask Your Character: A Writer’s Guide
  • 1000 Questions to Ask Your Character: A Writer’s Guide to Creating Believable Characters

Vote in the comments!