Your Shirt – Poetry


Your Shirt


You left a shirt behind

that you had worn once

I press the fabric to my cheek

as if it were resting on your chest

so I can sleep at night

Your scent covers my senses

like a blanket

so that I can’t see the passage of time

I hope the warm fragrance of your soap

and skin

will never wash away

But I know, in time,

it will


It’s night
and it’s dark
and I’m all alone
until suddenly a noise
has me wishing for the loneliness again.

Peace is elusive
the tag of my t-shirt itches my back
and every fluff on the blanket is suddenly spiders
crawling all over my skin and I have to turn the light on and check.

Back in bed
fighting for comfort
fighting for warmth
and, hell, acceptance and love
and just, please, five hours of sleep
if I fall asleep right now I can get five hours of sleep.

As if rational thought has any place here.

Clear your mind
close your eyes
try to count sheep
but they’re not sheep
they’re fears and worries and “what ifs”
until tomorrow looks so bleak you almost can’t stand it anymore
but if I fall asleep right now I can get four hours of sleep
please, I’ll take four, that’s why they invented makeup, right?

As if hopeful thought has any place here.

Flip the pillow
as if flipping it changes it
I flip myself all the time and it changes nothing
then fluff it, push it back into the shape of a pillow
as if once it’s pulled apart it can ever be the same again
this side is wet, too
my tears from earlier haven’t even dried
but why not because this night has been so long
and if I just fall asleep right now I can get three hours of sleep.

As if wishful thought has any place here.

It’s starting to get light
but my eyes still hurt from staring into the darkness
trying to find the meaning
trying to find the purpose
trying to find myself again
we all lose our way but was I even on the path?
and if I just fall asleep right now I can get two hours of sleep.

Is it even worth it?

As if introspective thought has any place here.

Fuck it
get up, get a shower
get some caffeine
leave plenty of time to paint on the face
that is the silent, elaborate lie you tell everyday
but, maybe, if I fall asleep right now I could get just one hour of sleep…

As if any thought has any place here.

Stories of Rynne – Karen

The engine of her fighter plane stuttered, coughed, and began streaming smoke. Karen Cyneas, ace pilot in the military air division, cursed. Fighting with the controls, she banked left, steering away from the rocky cliffs that jutted out from underneath the floating island of Rynne. Passing through a cloud bank, she grappled with the control wheel, the muscles in her arms straining to lift the nose of her aircraft. Dials whirled out of control and lights began flashing on her console.

“Come on, baby! Come on!” she coaxed soothingly. The engine hiccuped, stalled, coughed again and spluttered back to life.

“Don’t you do this to me you son of a bitch!” she screamed. The wind roaring past her whisked the shout away. Plummeting down towards the waves a sickeningly far ways below, Karen re-evaluated her sneaky plan to explore the restricted sectors beneath the island and cursed even harder.

Wrenching the steering controls, she managed to tip the nose of her plane skyward again. Still streaming smoke and curses, she made her way back towards the airfield. Her engine only stalled once more on the return trip, but every hack and hiccup from her machine caused her heart to jump into her throat.

The men were ready with hoses when her wheels bumped back onto solid ground. She killed the engine, and as she coasted towards the garage she could smell burning rubber. Karen was still cursing when her feet hit the ground. Continue reading

Stories of Rynne – Dawn

It was a charmed life living on the floating island of Rynne, especially for those of noble blood. Every need was attended to, every wish fulfilled. Dawn Leville wandered around her family’s estate aimlessly. It was a sweet spring afternoon and her feet found their way into the back gardens. Her mother, Jocelyn Gael-Leville, was taking her tea by the fountain. Settling down in the chair opposite mother, Dawn heaved a little sigh.

“Don’t sigh like that, Dawn. It isn’t ladylike.” Her mother set her cup down on the china saucer and placed her hands in her lap. “Come, child, tell me what is bothering you.”

“I’m bored, mother,” Dawn whined. Immediately she could tell that she had said the wrong thing in the wrong tone of voice because Jocelyn’s lips thinned into a line. She cringed, the silence stretching on. Then her mother said something that shocked her.

“Well,” she replied, standing. “I think it’s time that you were introduced as a lady to our society.”

She blinked her light green eyes in shock. Dawn had been pining for this for almost a full year now, but she had always been refused. Instantly she grew wary.

“I’m…. overjoyed, mother, but…” she hesitated, “Why now? What’s the catch?”

Jocelyn gave her daughter a dark, wolfish smile. “The catch is that you’re going to have to think like that for the rest of your life now, my dear. Our society isn’t all parties and wine, galas and pretty dresses. We make alliances, form contracts, discredit and destroy our enemies and we do it all with sweet smiles and soft words. If you’re so bored of your care-free life, I think it’s time you learned how to be a productive member of this family.”

Swallowing, Dawn wasn’t sure how to feel about the news. She was getting something she had wanted, but the price seemed very steep. Her mother sensed her trepidation.

“It’s a package deal, darling. If you want to be a lady you’ll learn to act like one. And,” she added with a little twist of her lips, “We’ll need to start working on your betrothal. Oh, it’ll take some time, don’t you worry about that, dear.” She patted her daughter on the cheek as her face went slightly ashen at the thought of marriage.

Jocelyn stood, arranging her skirts and picking up her fan.

“I’m so glad we had this chat, darling. I’ll go tell your father the good news.”

Dawn was left in the garden staring after her mother.

“What have I done?” she thought worriedly. Continue reading

Siren’s Call


The sea-witch spat into the bowl of gull feet and toad blood. Her gnarled fingers beckoned to the captain.

“Tell me what you seek,” her voice slithered through the air.

“Riches!” he bellowed, irritated at her stalling tactics. “Hidden treasures of the sea and land. I already told ye this, hag!”

She sneered at him over the plate, a grotesque grin splitting her face.

“You cannot rush the spell, Captain! The words must be spoken at the correct time, or all the work is for nothing.” Fetid lips pulled away from rotting teeth in a mockery of a smile, “And you’ll still owe me for my time.”

The captain scowled, hand resting on the hilt of his cutlass in a mute threat.

Stirring the spit and blood with an old white bone, she peered into the contents.

“Yes… Yes. I see a way for you to have what you seek.”

“Speak the answer then and let me be rid of you!”

“There is an island,” she began, leaning over the table between them. “A secret island where a siren lives. She lures unsuspecting sailors to her den and snatches their gold and jewels for herself! I have been shown the way to this island,” she cackled, pushing the bowl towards him as if he could read the portents. “But there is great danger! No man yet has been able to resist her charms.”

She leered at him, extending her rag-covered bony arm out, palm open. Continue reading

Old Gods


Brooke looked to her mother as they were finishing up their chores for the afternoon. Her mother was taking the washing down from the line, the sun at her back. The girl sighed.

“Tell me what’s wrong, love,” her mother paused in her work.

“I’m worried about the land,” she admitted, folding the linen blanket in her hands and placing it in the basket. “The last few harvests have been meager, and it has been so dry this summer,” she trailed off, looking out towards the winding, pockmarked dirt road that led to their farm. A lone knight sat upon his horse, clanking nearer.

“We’ll manage, Brooke, like we always do. The rains will come.” She cupped her daughter’s cheek, brushing away her wild, raven locks. The crashing of the knight falling off his horse made both women jump. They gathered up their skirts and ran to the road. Continue reading