Sunday, April 23, 2006

Dreaming in Daylight

Once it was part of a gravel drive.
In another month, my herb garden may look like this again.
One has to dream a garden into being. Be concerned with sun and shadow.
Plan for porportion and height, for balance and background. For color and compatibility.
Writing is like that.
Some plants winter-kill. Others flourish. Some must be constantly pruned. Others treated tenderly. Some are annuals. Others are perennial, seed prolifically or send up little sprouts in inconvenient places.
Writing is like that.

Night Lights

She liked the lamp in the daytime.
She liked the black Scottie dogs with the red bows chasing each other 'round and 'round the oil basin.
The little painted dogs were just like the barrettes Grandma gave her last birthday.
She didn't like the teethy smell of the kerosene though, just like the thin spindles of her crib.
She didn't like the lamp at night neither.
At night it brought the monsters.
Monsters that swept out of the shadows of the high figured ceiling and swooped through the golden halo by the stairs, on the landing, past her door.
Just bats, Father said. It's an old house.
He'd showed her a dead one.
Small and ugly and shrunk.
Father didn't know how big they grew at night.

18 comments:

Carla said...

"Father didn't know how big they grew at night"

I like that line.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Carla.

Erik Ivan James said...

Yeah, I ditto Carla.

And, beautiful picture. Another.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Erik.
As I meant to say to Carla - a child's perceptions may be an odd mix at times.

Dennie McDonald said...

Lovely poem - and creepy

I love that your garden thoughts remind me so much of people I know - - so very metaphorical - - and so very acurate!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Dennie.
Immensely flattering that the post induced thoughts and comparisons beyond its limited intent.

Savannah Jordan said...

Coming from one who suffered nightmares, this one hit home, Bernita. None but those who suffer will ever know the truth.

James Goodman said...

That was good stuff, Bernita. I also have to echo Carla, the last line just sets the whole thing off. Nicely done.

jason evans said...

You have a beautiful garden, Bernita.

And that short piece was excellent. I too was wowed by the last line.

kmfrontain said...

Yeah, loved that last line. :D

Martyn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Martyn said...

Beautiful garden Bernita . You can tell from the photo it's had a lot of love and attention poured on it. Likewise with the excellent poem, lot's of really resonant lines in there.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Martyn, Jason, James, KM, Savannah.

Martyn has some very nice scenes of Yorkshire up on his blog, BTW. Make you yearn to be there.
Surprised it came across as a poem to two of you. It is actually a piece of flash I was considering sending to Jason for his fun flash contest.
Shadows are always larger than reality, Savannah, but it's hard for a small child to understand.

Lady M said...

B - to me it felt like the begining of a horror novel. One where the girl is plagued by either demons or monsters - and this was just a scene from when she was a child.

It felt like a prologue.

I think it would be a good submit for a flash.

But to me - it felt like just the begining of something so much more.

Lady M

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I agree with Lady M...that would be a good beginning for a gothic horror..LOL

But it reminded me of childhood perceptions. I remember how high the snow was on the stone wall at the edge of our yard....when I grew to an adult, the wall was really very low!

Lisa Hunter said...

OK, so you draw wonderfully, write well, and have the medieval herb garden of my dreams. I used to have blue eyes, but they're turning green.

Erik Ivan James said...

Lisa,
I'll bet she can sing too.

Bernita said...

That's all there is, Lady m, just a fragment.
As Bonnie says, a child's perception.
Oh, Lisa, so nice of you to say.
As a matter of fact, Erik...
And Blogger, which has been bratty all morning just decided to publish my post!