Grandpa, tell me what you know about the butterflies


It has been a few days since we spoke and I told you that I would start collecting my poetry and all the writings that I have been doing lately to send to you. I have had family on my mind a lot lately and there is a story that I need to tell you, one that I know you perceive far better than I.

It had been a long, excruciating Summer afternoon. The smell of dirt under my nose and saccharine chocolate between my canines. We lived at the house on Tidewater at the time, the only place I longed to roam about when school got out in May. The sun was surpassing the trees and I knew dinner was getting hot by now. I’d be craving glazed ribs (before I became vegetarian) and pasta soaked in alfredo, only to hope there’d be brownies looming from the oven for when we’d finish. The rest of the kids would be collecting themselves at the dinner table by now, like caricatures climbing into a clown car. I left Jessica, my bird of a feather from around the street corner, after a long day of Bratz and Mary Kate and Ashley: “Sweet 16” on the PS2. Trotting up the driveway and in through the tawny front door, I was greeted by mom in our tiled entry way. She was soft and warm. The smell of her clothes and her skin like home and fragrant perfume were my favorite hello’s (they still are). I saw a look in her russet eyes that faded south of her half grin. She looked at me with forgiving eyes and said that it was Nana’s birthday. I was puzzled and I didn’t see a face. Odd. I have a lot of family and have collected many faces into my subconscious over the years but this one, I cannot touch whole in my mind.
When we wound up at the Sun Burst house when I was 11, we lost the creek. Deep green, zig-zagging through backyards where we would hold hands in black inner tubes and race to where the neighborhood ended (and where our parents demanded we stop). I got my first scar in that creek. The house on Sun Burst would still be just as vibrant and asking of those scars. We’d have a deep cherry tree and equally sized green apple opposite one another in the new backyard. Sunsets that rained through our neighbor’s oaks. I’d notice butterflies skating through our large maple and they would hang on the lattice work underneath. I would watch them whenever I was out there. I still do. Mom and I would sit on the back patio and she would tell me how she thought of Nana when she saw them glide. The Monarchs and the Swallow Tails, the Blues and the Skippers. I never even asked why. I saw the peace in her eyes as they would dip up and over the bushes and the fence and I only smiled.

Maybe that’s why I’m sending this to you. I never asked a lot of questions about Nana, I only ever responded with a smile. I can’t imagine my questions could make you feel any less emotional than my own mother would, but Grandpa – tell me all you can about the butterfly that brings my mom back home.


My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke

The whisky on your breath could make a small boy dizzy, but I hung on like death . Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans slid from the kitchen shelf. My mother’s countenance could not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wrist was battered on one knuckle. At every step you missed my right ear scraped a buckle. You beat time on my head with a palm cake hard by dirt, then waltzed me off to bed still clinging to your shirt.

What is the Importance of Setting

Find Your Creative Muse

What is the importance of setting in a short story? Every short story must include a setting. It provides the backdrop of the story, establishing the time, place, and context.   

The writer selects a particular setting for many other reasons—as a motive, as a metaphor, to create conflict, to create a mood.

How the writer describes the passage of time is also important to the reader. The writer can use scene, summary, or flashback to show the passage of time.
In this article, I will discuss the importance of setting. I will cover following aspects of setting:

  • Definition of setting
  • Role of setting
  • How to Write about Time
  • Requirements of the Writer

Definition of a Short Story

The setting refers to the time and place and context of the story. The story takes place in a certain location, most often a single location. For instance, in Jack London’s “To…

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Mountain Castle — Poetry, Short Prose and Walking

In my mountainous castle well hidden away There’s my beast getting restless for lightness of day And the blood that I seek must be innocent, sweet, So delight feeds the brain and my rapture’s complete. How I long that the travelers wandering by Are so pure that they capture my sensitive eye. How I long […]

via Mountain Castle — Poetry, Short Prose and Walking

Step One: Give Love and Your Garden Will Thrive, Right Down to the Roots

I need self love as if I have never pretended to understand the meaning of love before.
Toppled books, piling up  upon walnut shelves like I know the meaning of growing.
Growing a careful niche of green leaves and prepossessing blossoms behind rows of woody stems of rosemary.
Freshly pressed between the lungs  and I am trying not to breathe because trying to inhale a new satisfactory feeling of tenderness in this town lasts but a moment.
And it just isn’t enough time; enough time to revive warmth back into these hands so that I can grow too.
And confront all of the ways to simply not fall apart.
To trust myself in this body. I have been staring into this dull, ivory glint for several years like I know the meaning growing. 

Bury Me In Letters Like These

A Spin Off

I can’t bend my back like this for too long, not much longer. It begins to strain and ache.
My frail hands have left rosy imprints on my cheeks and my face is warm and wet.
I find myself resonating with Alred Stieglitz, from a piece only meant for two.
“What do I want from you? Sometimes I feel I’m going stark mad. That I ought to say,
“Dearest, you are so much to me that you must not come near me. Coming may bring you darkness instead of light and it’s an everlasting light you should live.”

Good God, I have found myself watching the sunlight drip over new leaves that twist like a kaleidoscope and there is something in the way that I move on. Someone once said that “things do not get easier because they get quieter.”
And I bet that you couldn’t imagine how I often long for storms in June.
I am composing a new kind of way to be. Planning ahead feels like sandpaper that ebbs and glides until I am flattened and numb.
The tail end of this does not fix me and the drives home do not become more subtle
And despite a curdled bust and a crystalized line down to my jaw
Just before the edge breaks – I am home. I am Georgia on a new train home.
To Alfred, from lost encounters of love, I am moving on too.