Acquainted with the Night- Robert Frost

The past week has been quite draining and I just realized that I didn’t post anything on the blog. So tonight, I’m sharing a piece from Frost that is a classic. I feel as though I may have posted this one before because it’s one of my favorites. But as an insomniac, I am acquainted with the night so it is always apropos.  

Enjoy!

I have been one acquainted with the night. 

I have walked out in rainand back in rain. 

I have outwalked the furthest city light. 

I have looked down the saddest city lane. 

I have passed by the watchman on his beat 

And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. 

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet 

When far away an interrupted cry 

Came over houses from another street, 

But not to call me back or say good-bye; 

And further still at an unearthly height, 

One luminary clock against the sky 

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. 

I have been one acquainted with the night.

Recovery

Finally, new fiction from yours truly. This is a bit from a story that I am currently working on. The story is an offshoot from one that I’ve shared a bit of before. This one is about a single mother who is building a new career and life with her son who suffers from sickle cell anemia. Her name is Aubrey Samuels and she is a former supermodel and the ex-wife of retired basketball player. There are going to be some threats to her carefully ordered world but you meet her before any of that starts. *This is unedited and may contain some errors.

I hope you enjoy and please feel free to share any comments!

Dry-Creative-Projects-studio.-photo-by-Mikael-Axelsson-

 

 

Aubrey

 

The morning started like so many others, with her curled up in bed with her favorite men. Her four-year-old son Lucien lay beside her and their one year old Bernese Mountain dog lay by Lucien’s legs. She enjoyed these moments the most.

“Good morning, what are you two doing in here” she asked.

“I’m hungry and Bear needs to go potty” he replied flashing her his huge brown eyes. She laughed and got up to slip her feet into her slippers.

“Well, let’s get all of this taken care of” she told him and walked out of her room with the boys following her.

In the sunny kitchen downstairs, she quickly let the puppy out and got started making Lucien a spinach and cheese scramble along with a multi grain muffin with almond butter and honey.

“Thanks Ma” he said before saying grace and digging in.

She laughed as she watched him eat with gusto. She was glad that he had an appetite after last week’s crisis. They’d spent two days in the hospital with him being lethargic and in pain but luckily, he’d quickly bounced back. She dropped a kiss on his head before letting Bear back in.

“All done” he said. She watched as he put his dishes in the dishwasher and bounced out of the kitchen to go get ready for school. Aubrey said a quick prayer of thanks for him and a good day before going upstairs too.

After she dropped Lucien off at school, she made her way to work. The building that she’d purchased housed a mini showroom of pieces that were for sale and an office where she met with clients but her favorite place was the second-floor workshop where she spent most of her time when she was at work.

Good morning” she said entering the building with her hands stuffed with breakfast for the crew and the extra-large tote that she normally took with her every day. She put the food and drinks on the reception desk and took off her coat while speaking to her receptionist and assistant. She handed out the breakfast sandwiches and smoothies before heading upstairs to get to work.

A while later, Aubrey stood in her workshop admiring the prototype of her new design, a gilded looking chandelier with six jeweled globes. This was a special order for a sixteen year old and Aubrey wanted to make sure that the piece walked the fine line between girly and grown up; there was a finesse that the age dictated. Her client was planning to make the gift part of a big renovation for her stepdaughter’s room. She was scheduled to arrive in an hour and Aubrey couldn’t wait to see what she thought. As she ripped off her gloves, Aubrey couldn’t help but wonder how things were going for Ryan and the kids. She had been recalling what happened last week at Ryan’s house for the past few days. His wife was a piece of work but Aubrey certainly didn’t blame her for being shocked at seeing another woman at her home so early in the morning. She just worried about how the kids were faring. Last week’s scene had an effect on them that lingered throughout the day.

She crossed the room to her makeshift eating area which housed a mini refrigerator, microwave, an electric kettle, a Keurig, and a farmhouse sink and started making her favorite drink.  She grabbed her tablet to look at notes on what else she needed to take care of that day.

“Aub, there’s someone here to see you” her assistant Nola said from the door. Aubrey spun around to look at her before glancing at her watch. On mornings like this she kept a strict schedule which they usually went over as soon as Aubrey entered the office. Nola made sure to update her throughout the day if anything changed. So, she was shocked that something popped up so soon.

“Did I have an appointment?” she asked. They tried to stay on top of everything but once the creative forces started then Aubrey could forget almost anything.

“No, but she claims that it’s important” Nola said as Bart’s girlfriend walked up behind her. Aubrey stood there in shock but nodded her head at Nola who stood aside to allow her access to the door.

“Nola, I’m going to take this. Give me a twenty-minute warning before my appointment” Aubrey said as Anatra stepped into the room. She was a pretty girl but she believed everything that fell from Maxwell Lewis’ lips and that was dangerous for any woman. Even Max’s mother knew that he was a pathological liar.

Aubrey watched as Anatra’s eyes took in the workspaces including the two chevron sawhorse tables, built in bookcases and drafting table that took up the back of the room as well as the armchairs, custom cocktail table and rugs that comprised the sitting area. Aubrey motioned for Anatra to sit in one of the toile armchairs as she sipped her white chocolate mocha latte.

“Look, I apologize for showing up unannounced and I won’t take up much of your time” she said. Anatra looked chic and put together in her electric blue blouse with a bow at the neck and print pencil skirt and nude pumps. She had her cashmere overcoat on her arm. Her dark hair fell into a sleek chin level bob.  The overall appeal was gorgeous even with minimal jewelry. Aubrey couldn’t resist looking down at herself wearing distressed jeans, a black baby t bearing her logo and the Timbs that she often wore while working. Her hair was in two braids and she felt anything but chic.

“I just wanted to let you know that we wouldn’t be able to take Lucien this weekend” she said.
Aubrey remained silent and continued to sip her latter until Anatra squirmed in her chair and held out her left hand to show off the engagement ring that looked remarkably like the one that Aubrey had thrown at him before he left for China.

She smothered a laugh and said, “Congratulations.”

“We’re going to Punta Cana for the weekend to celebrate so it wouldn’t be a good time for Lucien to come with us” she stated in a matter of fact tone.

“Let me get this straight. Max’s son was just in the hospital for two days and neither of you visited or called but instead of his father keeping his scheduled visit you both think that going out of the country to celebrate is more important?” Aubrey asked. This was another example of how freaking clueless of how Max and this broad are. It’s not as if she would let him leave the country with Maxwell especially so soon after a crisis but he never put Lucien first. He didn’t have to because he isn’t a full-time parent. Aubrey just shook her head.

She leaned forward, placed her cup on the table and said, “Thanks for stopping by Anatra. I’ll be sure to let my son know that he will not be spending the weekend with his father, again.”

“Max said that you were going to be pissy about this.  It’s not like we’re telling you at the last minute. I just didn’t want this to be a problem” she said.

“Sweetheart, you don’t have to worry about that. My son being with me is not now nor will it ever be a problem. Now you can go tell your boyfriend that you did what he sent you over her here to do. Bye-bye” Aubrey said all while walking towards the door.

Anatra sat there looking confused for a second before getting up and walking out.

Nola entered the office just as Aubrey was about to call Darby to vent

She held up her hand and pulled a fat slice of lemon cake. Aubrey burst into laughter and reached for her favorite comfort dessert. After her first bite, she moaned deeply.

“Okay, now hit me with it” Nola said. Aubrey quickly gave her the rundown.

“Max is a complete idiot. You knew that when you married him and now we all have to pay the price for it” Nola said. “He never wants to spend time with Lucien anyway because of his health issues and the fact that he had missed two visits with his son and didn’t even bother to call to check on him after his latest hospital stay says everything.

“Girl, you know my expectations low but he didn’t even bother to at least send him a gift. But now he wants to miss another visit to go celebrate his engagement. He probably couldn’t even tell anyone Lucien’s blood type or what were his favorite toys because he has never really expressed an extended interest in his child” Aubrey said putting down the plate.

“Forget him, you know that Isiah’s party is this weekend so we will have a good time and he won’t even think about the missed visit” she said.

“This is why I never wanted to force him to be a part of Lucien’s life. I knew that he wasn’t going to be consistent” Aubrey told her as she went back to her notes for her next appointment.

As she left the office, Nola told Aubrey that she had already called Darby and that she would be there with lunch at 1:30. Aubrey laughed. That’s why she loved Nola, she always had her back. Tonight, she would have to tell her son that he wouldn’t be seeing his father again. She hoped that the idea of Isiah’s party would keep his spirits high.

I Don’t Miss It- Tracy K. Smith

This week’s piece is by the new U.S Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. It’s from her 2007 collection Duende, and it happens to be one of my favorites. I wanted to share something to celebrate her appointment as Poet Laureate and this seemed to be the perfect time and poem to do it. I’m sure that we all have those moments when we remember something from the past and just for a millisecond, recall the good times. This poem epitomizes that feeling so well.

Enjoy!

Image result for duende tracy k smith

 

But sometimes I forget where I am,
Imagine myself inside that life again.
Recalcitrant mornings. Sun perhaps,
Or more likely colorless light
Filtering its way through shapeless cloud.
And when I begin to believe I haven’t left,
The rest comes back. Our couch. My smoke
Climbing the walls while the hours fall.
Straining against the noise of traffic, music,
Anything alive, to catch your key in the door.
And that scamper of feeling in my chest,
As if the day, the night, wherever it is
I am by then, has been only a whir
Of something other than waiting.
We hear so much about what love feels like.
Right now, today, with the rain outside,
And leaves that want as much as I do to believe
In May, in seasons that come when called,
It’s impossible not to want
To walk into the next room and let you
Run your hands down the sides of my legs,
Knowing perfectly well what they know.

A Lesson for This Sunday- Derek Walcott

For some strange reason, my latest posts have not been showing up. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the app or just some sheer craziness but I have had to start composing on my laptop again which is a bit frustrating. Today’s post is another piece by Derek Walcott that I simply fell in love with this past weekend. In light of how hot it’s been in North Carolina recently, I felt that this was the perfect time to share this piece. The image seemed perfect to accompany the poem too. Even though it’s not quite summer yet. As always, I hope you enjoy.

sand-instagram-or-facebook-post

 

The growing idleness of summer grass

With its frail kites of furious butterflies

Requests the lemonade of simple praise

In scansion gentler than my hammock swings

And rituals no more upsetting than a

Black maid shaking linen as she sings

The plain notes of some Protestant hosanna—

Since I lie idling from the thought in things—

 

Or so they should, until I hear the cries

Of two small children hunting yellow wings,

Who break my Sabbath with the thought of sin.

Brother and sister, with a common pin,

Frowning like serious lepidopterists.

The little surgeon pierces the thin eyes.

Crouched on plump haunches, as a mantis prays

She shrieks to eviscerate its abdomen.

The lesson is the same. The maid removes

Both prodigies from their interest in science.

The girl, in lemon frock, begins to scream

As the maimed, teetering thing attempts its flight.

She is herself a thing of summery light,

Frail as a flower in this blue August air,

Not marked for some late grief that cannot speak.

 

The mind swings inward on itself in fear

Swayed towards nausea from each normal sign.

Heredity of cruelty everywhere,

And everywhere the frocks of summer torn,

The long look back to see where choice is born,

As summer grass sways to the scythe’s design.

Wordsmith


Some people say they’re just words

Like words aren’t perfectly formed arrows

Shot from lips, pens and fingertips 

As if only sticks, stones and bullets are capable of inflicting pain. 

They think words don’t bruise souls or tear down self-esteem. 

They probably don’t even read since they can only see “just words.”

Words form sentences, breathe life into characters, and create worlds

Words lay the cornerstone of communication 

Tell your story, pour out your feelings all over this world cause

The world needs more storytellers. More imagination. More words. 

Some people don’t respect the power of words until they are directed towards them.

Blog Planning

I have so many ideas for the blog and for posts. Generally, I write them down on paper(see below) or make notes/write in Evernote. But that wasn’t really practical. 

I also have the blog planning sheets (see above) that I’ve shared before but I wanted something more complete so that I wasn’t always taking up space in my regular planner. So I took some tools from the lovely, amazing Leslie over at Lamberts Lately. I wanted to include the link but it wasn’t up at the time. Anyway, I combined some of her blog planning printable, the planner sheets that I already had and some cute calendars and blank note sheets to make an amazing blog planner of my own. 

I took it to a local shop and had it bound and I love the results. This thing has editorial calendars, two sections to plan out posts, sheets to take notes, to do pages, social media schedules, and pages for series ideas. It’s awesome.

I’ve still been staying pretty much on task in creating posts and planning them. Hopefully, this is going to go a long way to helping me stay on course as I continue to build the blog and my audience. 

Do any of you use blog planners? Have you been successful using them? 

Spring Poem For the Sake of Breathing, Written After a Walk to Foster Island- James Masao Mitsui

Today, I’m sharing a piece written by one of my former poetry professors. I have a volume of his poetry in my collection and coming across this piece made me decide to spend more time with his works. 

Hope you all enjoy! 



The sky wants the water to turn grey,

but if I notice how waves

 

play with the clumps of yellow flags,

or the way turtles share logs,

 

or even try to understand a friend’s decision

to walk onto a glacier

 

and end her life—I will be ready

for any poems that have been waiting.

 

The horizon opens as I walk,

escorted by swans and Canada geese.

 

I need to stop backpedaling into the present.

In my old life people would straighten

 

the truth, but the river

flows in curves.

 

The names of my father and my mother

rest next to each other in Greenwood Cemetery.

 

The distance between me and the mountains

measures an uneven thought: I feel like an orphan.

 

An early moon is just a piece of change

in the softening sky.

 

Light is such an actress. Time to seek

Hopper’s wish to simply paint sunlight

 

on the wooden wall of a house. I am growing

older. Maru in Japanese means

 

the ship

will make it back home.