Choice: Part 5

Photo by Mark A. Harrison

V

It is Saturday again, and they are leaning over the wooden railing, watching children play.  Boats made of sticks and paper bob in the green water.  At the end of the boardwalk, a woman in face paint is giving out free balloons.  Is this real? he asks.  She shrugs, says, that’s up to you.  Her hand on his is warm and cold, like ice melting. The sparks from the bonfire jump and spit like firecrackers in the final throes of ecstasy.

Above, a gull circles the sky, white against the blue.

< Part Four

Unbound

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Flying Blue by Mark A. Harrison

Didn’t have the greatest start to the day; remembering this scene cheered me up a little.

Unbound

bubbles of mirth rising up
cascading over the edge
of her smile
her laughter unbound
against the clear blue sky
a snap in the wind
of a flag unfurled
she runs through the grass
arms held wide
making airplane noises
she doesn’t realize
as she runs towards
the startled huddle of geese
that they are frightened
there is only joy
at the scatter of a dozen white wings
the sound they make in the air
her own hands clapping in delight

– T.H.

Flying with crows

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Oil & Light by Mark A. Harrison

flying with crows

I sometimes imagine
I’m flying with crows
over autumn fields
and deep river valleys
telephone wires catching
the last of the evening sun
shining white mercurial fire
against the slate dark sky
hills lying like a giant’s body
elbows crooked, cradling a head of stone
how long does it take
for forests to grow up and cover
this still sleeping form?

I don’t believe in miracles
or divine intervention
the universe is what it is
but if I could find the market
where they sell time
I’d find the merchant with the cold, dead eyes
the one who never smiles
and while his back was turned, I’d steal
as much as I could carry;

I hold onto each year like it’s a ledge that’s crumbling
I want to reach out and strangle time
want to steal more than I’m allowed
I have so much more I want to do
but someone cut the brake lines
and here I am, reaching out for anything
to grab onto, to stop this insane headlong rush
I’d write myself a thousand lifetimes, if I could.

– T.H.

(a shortened, edited version of a poem I wrote when I was eight years younger than I am now)