Song of the Thorn Bird

Song of the Thorn Bird

Friday, May 21, 2010

Catch, Release, and Go Fly a Falcon

“Honey, there are more fish in the sea. Throw that one back and find you a good one.”

Sure, that is what THEY say. You know the ones. Married for eleventy hundred years. Married back when naughty was boys pulling girls' pigtails, men were manly men, and the women cooked three squares a day…instead of opening three square boxes and heating them up (my favorite cooking style to date). And, you met your intended at a social and not via social networking. Married when marriage was truly forever and the photos to prove it were in sepia tone.

I am now nearly 42 and divorced for ten. Fishes my age don’t live too much longer and most don’t stay single that long….well the ones worth catching and keeping anyways. All the others flailing around are charter members of the Catch and Release Program (them being the ones released). There may be “more fish in the sea”, but at my age my sea has shrunk to a bracken fish-hatchery filled with nothing but in-bred options. All the keepers have already swum upstream snatched by all those “fly” fishermen. I am left with those too lazy and too weak to even bother swimming in the right direction out of the tank. Hell, the few that might have gotten caught in some unsuspecting net were tossed back quicker than it takes a fish to flop to his death in a fisherman’s basket.

Just in case you’re wondering, I don’t believe there are any good ones left in the sea…or the hell-hole, water hole I have been floundering in. So I think I might just stop fishing all together. I’m going to take up something more worthy of my time. Like falconry. Now that is something on which I can put my stamp of approval. Hint: in this fable, I am the keen-eyed falcon with the razor sharp talons….watch out my pretty little prey. Here comes the delusioned divorcee.
Sponsored by Willow at Magpie Tales.  Go on over and read a spell!


Temptation of forbidden fruit, lured to soul-catchers of Ceylon blue
Adonis with raven hair vies to consume completely

Should have been any other,
but not him
any other than him

Refusal to forsake, to turn away, to walk away, to run away
head held high, leaving well enough alone

Should have been any other,
but not him
anyone other than him

Weakness of spirit, caution swayed by the careless madness
longing for tender touch and impassioned embrace

Should have been any other,
but not him
any other than him

Surrender to most primal calling, inner stirrings erupt and unbridled
passion’s denouement, but for a brief and measured time

Should have been any other,
but not him
any other than him

Wreckage from the surrender, hearts shattered, lives razed to ruin
obliteration, all gladly given just for the touch of the youthful god

Should have been any other,
but not him
any other than him

Saturday, May 15, 2010


She was standing in a war zone that had once been a marriage. The tantrum was over and everything was lying in shambles. The china and crystal once gifted to a doe-eyed couple blinded by love. The promises and sacred vows shattered into a thousand shards, each ready to slice any hand trying to piece it all back together. The dream of their twilight years to rock on the veranda, reminiscing the past while surrounded by their future, all ten of them, russet-haired, hazel-eyed charmers. All of it gone, seemingly destroyed, except for a single china plate ensconced in her tight grasp.

After all the raging tears and a tirade of words vomited out in anger, a single remnant of hope remained. Her great-grandmother’s Chinese treasure had endured the Great Quake, the Great Depression, two World Wars, and 71 years of marriage to a cantankerous bastard, and, now it had survived this great quake and this great depression. Perhaps this was a divine sign that all had not been lost between them after all these years. But how could that be possible?

Once upon a blooming youth, she would look into his eyes only to be swept off her feet, into his heart and into his bed. As in any marriage, over time the chemistry waxed and waned with the seasons of life; the bills came, the children came, and the disappointments came, all as youth faded into the beige of the walls of a two-story house with the white picket fence. The eventual apathy that grew from routine and repetition was hard to endure. However, it was when mutual contempt took residence in their hearts that a silent war began.

No longer did either strive to edify the other or offer shelter when life’s tempests came. They would rather give the other the finger than to give a helping hand. One day, the pair simply woke up to find a gauntlet, deftly stitched with broken promises and unfulfilled dreams, had been thrown. For an entire decade, their marriage had become a series of petty battles and callous calculations. A line had been drawn. Someone was going to win with the other plummeting to absolute defeat, but with both lives in absolute ruin.

Or was this the only possible outcome? The plate in her arms was still intact. Perhaps just as this piece of fine china had survived destruction, death, and a lifetime of disappointment, so could the single thread that held these two souls together…

Probably not, so she just lets go…lets go of the plate and any hope with it.

Photo provided by and story inspired by Magpie Tales.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quiet Moment

sultry sundress musings
breezes frolic, kiss the cheek
breathe in scent of sunshine
feet plunge into liquid azure
soul draped in pleasure

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Nadine turned to her half-wit, half-brother, chastising him with voice part sugary, southern kiss and part viper hiss, “Now, Darvis, when Momma told you to keep your eye on the future, she did not mean it literally. Put your goddamn glass eye back into that empty skull of yours. Lord knows you cannot afford to lose another thing up there after the accident. Frankly, that trick has gotten old after 8 years. This Van Gogh sketch is my future, my ticket out of here. Get your greasy fingers and piece of shit prosthetics off of it!”

Who would have thought that their weekly ritual of buying other people’s crap at the crack of dawn would have finally paid off? Who would have thought that a gaudy painting bought for $22 at the estate sale of some decrepit old hermit lady on Mortimer Lane was actually hiding an undiscovered Masterpiece behind it. Nadine may be the daughter of Mac and Merlene Hopkins, white trash Texas royalty, but she knew class and refinement, she knew art when she saw it. Nadine also could recognize a chance to escape “Armpit”, Texas once and for all. Now only if she could get rid of Darvis, her blood and her burden.

Inspired by Magpie Tales and the weekly photo prompt. 
Go on by and join in the fun!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Little Fish, Small Town (Mag 12)

Solid glass sphere, hand-blown in Europe, with a story patterned inside. Within its depths, Lauralye could feel the wrath of the lava-hand erupting into the center grasping to control its surroundings, grasping to control her. All the while, a tiny, delicate, solitary fish seeks only to live her life in peace and harmony.

The small-town girl grown to jaded woman twirls the blown glass memory in her hands. Like a rubbing a lantern to produce the genie with three wishes, staring into the moving glass trinket transports Lauralye to another time and place. The only time and place that allowed her respite from this two-traffic stop town. A spring long ago.

It’s May of 1999 and Lauralye was the only daughter of THE Hoods, as in the white-trash-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks Hoods of Petitville. The raven-haired beauty had a plan to take her away from this small town and the even smaller minds determined to keep her here and in her place. Once she was out of here, it would be forever, even if that meant saying goodbye to Marshall Goldun, heir to Goldun Enterprises, the company that owned the town and her father’s soul. She wanted Marshall and the life he had, but not enough to delude herself that it would ever be allowed in this town with its modern, American caste system. No, Lauralye had a careful, thorough escape plan that did not include the Goldun Boy.

For the past two and a half years, Lauralye had worked at the local Dairy Cream every weekend, walking the 3.17 miles each way, come hell or high water. If she intended to flee this place, the plan did not include wasting money on gas, insurance payments, and upkeep on the crappy car her wages would allow her to have. She could endure anything or pay any price, knowing it would be the ticket out of this hell-hole. For that reason she put up with the out-dated, polyester uniforms of the Dairy Cream Darlins, the taunts and catcalls from Petitville’s Pretty People, and especially the humiliation of having him witness her degradation from his friends without his saying one damn thing to stop it.

But through it all, this dreamer held onto to the plan and ultimately onto nearly $10,000. Luckily Duke Hood, her father the sell-out and local drunk, was just ignorant enough with his 7th-grade education not to realize that she made enough money to help out with things around the house, while stock-piling every other dollar that would get her out of Duke’s house and this town’s smallness, both which conspired to keep her in Petitville.

Just four months earlier Lauralye sent off for her passport and all necessary travel papers to live and work in Paris. Just yesterday she bought her ticket and received confirmation for bed space at an “affordable” youth hostel in Montmartre, home of Sacre Coeur. In exactly 21 days, Lauralye would graduate from Petitville High and in 22 days she would forever shake the dust of this place from her heels. In 22 days, her life would begin, but not before she had said a proper good-bye to her Goldun Boy.

For two years, no matter how much her heart and physical yearnings begged for Marshall’s total embrace, she had always managed to pull away in time before she crossed a line that could not be uncrossed. It was one thing to be white trash and the daughter of the town drunk, but it was another to be the town whore. She made sure that line was never crossed, until tonight. Lauralye had always wanted the satisfaction of Marshall being the one to take her innocence and with graduation a week away, tonight would be the night. She could not risk losing the only chance of escape, the night of graduation when her parents would not be looking for her to be home early. If she were going give Marshall a proper farewell, it was tonight or never. At the end of the date, on the way back to her house, Lauralye convinced him to stop at Flower Bluff, a secluded rendezvous point for amorous couples. That night under the light of a crescent moon, Lauralye said goodbye to her childhood and to the one person who could imprison her to life in this small town.

Eight weeks later, the newly freed spirit now wandered the streets of Paris, drank “un express” every morning, and worked in a local brasserie owned by a very kind and generous woman. Lauralye was poorer than an English church mouse, but she had never been happier and never had as much. On a rare day off, she went exploring at Les Puces de Saint-Ouen or the flea markets of Porte de Clignancourt. Lauralye, unable to afford anything frivolous, loved just being among the thousands of items, each with its own history, some with stories literally centuries old. As she wandered among the priceless treasures, something caught her eye. A glass sphere with a shocking splash of red. Upon closer inspection, Lauralye realized that objet d’arte was hand blown class with a coral and fish scene inside. She was instantly drawn to the story created inside. She was the fish, but that was no coral. It was the angry hand of small-minded people trying to drag her back to a place that would surely be a death sentence for her soul. She had to have this treasure and the 210 Francs it cost meant she would do without dinner tonight. That was okay; she wasn’t feeling that well anyway. She had a stomach virus that had been hanging around for a couple of weeks now.

Several more weeks later in August, all of Paris seemed to be closed down as most Parisians escaped the heat and crowds of the city. Lauralye enjoyed this time feeling as if she had a bit more of the city to herself. However, she wished, she could enjoy it more. That stomach virus just kept hanging on. Her nagging “French Maman” convinced her to visit the family doctor. Frankly, Lauralye was ready to see him in hopes of obtaining a prescription to end the discomfort so as to continue the Parisian Adventure without a constant wave of nausea.

After a thorough exam, the doctor came back to the room with a smile, which could only mean good news; Lauralye had been worried she might have IBS or maybe even an ulcer from those oppressive years in Petitville. In a heavily accented English, Monsieur Doctor Mauvais gave the nervous patient the results. “Everyzeeng eez okay. Dees leedle tummy zeeng weel clear up in six mois, ummm, six monts. FĂ©licitations, Mademoiselle, you weel be a mozhur soon!”

“Whaaat? I will be a what soon? A mother? I’m pregnant?” Lauralye cried out as she nearly fainted from the shock and from her growing condition. In an instant, her Great Escape and Parisian Adventure had come to a screeching halt. The ever-reaching hand of Petitville had managed to find the happy fugitive, across an entire ocean, securing her in its grasp. The small town and the small mindedness had won in the end…

“Mom! Where are you? I need the keys to the car. My shift at the Dairy Cream starts in 15 minutes and I am running late!” Lauralye is instantly dragged back to the present. Shaken out of her reverie by her daughter's shrill voice, she puts her fragile memory back onto the shelf; it will still be waiting for her when she comes back to visit. She always does. But now she needs to get ready to return back to work. She had let too much time pass on her lunch break. She had to get back to her shift as the restaurant manager at the Dairy Cream.  But a single mom without a college education can’t be too picky in this town. Luckily she only had 3.17 miles to drive to get there.

Lauralye calls across the house, “Paris, don’t get your knickers in a twist! I’m working a double today. You can ride with me tonight.” As she leaves the room she glances back at the blown-glass sphere and whispers, “All the little fish ever wanted was to live a peaceful life in the great big ocean. Now all she has is this bracken pond.”

Story inspired by the Magpie Tales.