a swan, snow-feathered,
you seemed, until you molted
to reveal a duck
with feathers like the mountain:
snow melting, lilies blooming
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the end of silencevoicelessly, they rose
from sunlit depths, speaking
in glistens, in the gliding of eyes
in the pass of color over the gray and decayed
and blooming wrecks—
unnamed, but not nameless,
bone and bark
walls that were never
meant to keep anything out
now rustle like dead leaves
singing in a bone crown. Breath
through a bone flute. They rustle
in the wind that flees from
the storm clouds closing in.
ReticenceSpringtime. In my inbox is an invitation to join a honor society for English majors and minors. I idly wonder if they clear their mailing list.
Gray, who does not enjoy being inside, spends his time standing at the window, watching people come and go. It is warm enough to walk outside without wearing two layers of sweaters, but there is always work to do inside.
I wake one night to Gray shaking my shoulder. I’d dreamt again about my mother dying. Sometimes I dream those dreams with horror, sometimes with relief, always with guilt.
This time, it had been horror. Gray sits at the foot of my bed while I hug my blankets and remember that my mother is not dead yet. When we talk, our voices carry softly through the darkness.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
A respected author said she’d written those two quotes on yellow Post-Its and tacked them above her desk, to read every morning before she started
Lessons for TodayToday in math class, they would be learning how to factor quadratic equations. Miss Gracie, called Mrs. G by her students, knew this because she had the lesson planned out meticulously across three-and-a-half sheets of college-ruled notebook paper, which sat neatly in a folder before her. She knew because, like with all her lessons, she had recited it in front of her dressing mirror last night, right before bed.
She glanced at the clock. Ten minutes left until class. Its tick, tick, tick was the only sound in the room.
She looked around the room. Nothing but the equation charts that she covered with long sheets of colored paper during tests (always to the dismay of the students) and Tu fui, ego eris. Latin. What you are, I was; what I am, you will be. She stared at it. She had written it out on a sheet of white cardstock and stuck it to the wall with blue tape on her first day. It seemed like a kind and encouraging quote, a reflection
Old FriendsThe visit happened suddenly, and to her complete nonsurprise.
She had been typing up a report on various South Asian butterflies when he had simply appeared in her room, as casually as if they had agreed beforehand to meet there. “Hello,” he said calmly from the doorway. “Don’t mind me.”
“Hello there,” she replied, just as casually. “You’re always welcome here.” She didn’t bother turning around, knowing that, at her age, she would no longer be able to see him. She was aware that she was far beyond the age where visitations by imaginary friends, however beloved when younger, were considered acceptable. But she was about as bothered as she was surprised.
“It’s been a while since I last visited,” she heard him say mildly as he walked around the room, just out of her sight.
“It has,” she agreed. “Sorry, I don’t think there’s another chair here.”
“It’s all righ
On CousinshipI once showed my friend an Oreo cake
in every sense of the word—Oreo-shaped,
though wide around as my waist,
with four thick, crushed-Oreo layers
stacked amongst Oreo-cream filling
embedded with more crushed Oreos,
and the whole thing lathered over
with icing (Oreo-flavored, I presume)
and garnished with Oreos,
two per slice, not counting the minis
and uncountable crushed Oreos. I said,
Now, that is America on a plate,
and he, though he was British, laughed
and I could not help but think
of old Jefferson, his time-eaten bones rattling
at the double insult. Old Jefferson, who they said
was weak-voiced, but a talented writer
nonetheless—one who might appreciate irony,
perhaps, that didn't involve the British.
He and the others—
how, I wonder, would they react
if I told them, told the sailors, the soldiers,
the citizens, Patriot and Loyalist alike—told them all
that this morning,
at a university named for the First General,
a man spo
small heresiesthis morning in General Chemistry
while trying to keep up with the professor
I wrote in pen accidentally
The three-dimensional particle-
in-a-box model is
a good model for predicting the behavior
of a matter wave confined to a region in space
and would have stopped to further scribble it out
if I had not remembered where I was.
Harvest SongOnce, I was the plain
where badgers napped among twining roots,
where voles wrestled beneath the grasses,
and where the elk roamed, stately at dawn.
And I was the plain
where meadowlarks nestled against the earth.
I was the plain
of asters, smooth and willow,
of blue vervain and blue-eyed grass,
of sawtooth sunflowers and wild onions,
of compass plants,
of obedience plants,
of orange milkweed blooms that flew—
and, of course, the grain.
(At that time, we saw only the grain.)
Sometimes, I was the plain
and you were the hawk—
and your wings covered the summer sky
and the sun shone from between your feathers
and the grain bent and swayed, bent and fluttered
and shone with the dance of gold upon gold!
(Only the gold of falling stalks could rival that gold.)
Now, I am the plain
alone—hawkless, and grainless.
I am the plain
where the grass
has failed to regrow—I am the plain
where only wind stirs
though one can hear,
Integration by PartsTo trace, in deep gray, the curves and hooks
of silent numbers, is to invoke
the whorls of seashells, edges stiff
as curled rulers. Slide a graphite tip
along the length of a snake, and there
you'll find a bucket rising from a well
or leaves fluttering from a wind-tossed tree,
sketching arcs in the cooling air. Somewhere,
a scrap of paper rots at the root
of a creaking tower; somewhere,
a stallion, against a star-domed sphere, strikes
his angled hoof—and sings, and louder sings.
Fever DreamIn my restless sleep, I beheld a ring
Of prismatic mountains, their shining peaks
Ambitious in height like the faded stars
Swallowed by the glow of the rose-tinged sky.
At that assembly's center laid a lake
Mirror-like, or a mirror like a lake.
At its banks, trees and flowers like sculptures
Gazed at themselves. The air hung warm, humid,
And like the lake-mirror, utterly still.
And out of the unchanging dawn, there soared
A bird with wings wide like the horizon,
With feathers like coals, or tongues of flame
Burning, blazing like eyes—green and glaring—
It gave the world an unreadable look
And dove—and gales poured forth from its searing flight
To ring among the mountaintops—to drive
The lingering clouds—to fling the stiff growth—
And yet, the lake-mirror laid smooth and bright,
But brightened and brightened as the bird fell—
Wings and water, both brilliant as eyes!
And all the world erupted in radiance—
Oh, radiance! Mou
Why Push Yourself?Sometimes all it takes
Is the floor dragging you to
Your knees, reminding
You of your limitations;
Listen closely - don't push them.
Summertheres this girl
who lives on my street
her name is
and she only ever comes out
to see the rain
her feet bare
she twirls in the puddles
her skirt dripping
and i never see her
and when people ask me
i like the rain
it reminds me
Keep in Touch!
Lilyas has dedicated herself to making our community a brighter place with her vibrant artwork and infectious enthusiasm for interacting with others in our community. It has certainly paid off, as many deviants flock to her page on a daily basis to let her know how much of an inspiration she is. We absolutely agree, and couldn't let all that hard work go without recognition, so it's with great pride that we bestow the Deviousness Award for March 2014, to ... Read More