Excerpt for A Ordinary Day by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


An Ordinary Day

Told in twenty poems


Katyjean Leslie


Smashwords edition


copyright 2017 Katyjean Leslie

Contents


Sun Rise

Morning

All Because

The Rules

The Exchange (rhyming)

The Actor (rhyming)

Walking with Elvis (rhyming)

They

Tattoo

Hollow Gourds

Glass

Softly

Dinner (rhyming)

Knee Deep in Love

The Walking Dead

When I Go (rhyming)

Night

The Woman

Insomnia

Ode to Attila (rhyming)

Sun Rise


Under a hazy cover among the lush green

The sun peers lazily over the early hour

And the tops of the trees

To smile his warmth across the sleepy morning

And blow a familiar kiss through my open window

Like so many mornings before

Nudging me gently with his long golden finger

To present me with an unspoiled unwritten day.

Morning


Morning sun awakens-

Colorful ribbons stretch

languorously across the sky-

Cries to me, “Rise!”

It is a brand-new day-

half asleep and laden with dew,

pregnant with all the hope

and apprehension that the

unknown, unproved can hold.


I do rise-

and through eyes open, expectant,

contemplating the lushness that life can bring,

I pay homage to the sun-

its arms encompass all

growing wider and wider-

colors fade into each other

become white and far reaching,

draws shadows on the ground.


Beyond-

lies the highway, hard and gray

neither guilty nor innocent,

It just is-

it can take you

or lose you

but you will go

along with all the other vehicles

their headlights now going off.




The sun illuminates the way

as they embark on their various

routines and destinations.

I breathe deep

becoming the moment,

absorbing the lightness,

unreachable and brilliant.

All Because


There I was,

Blithely going through my days,

Never strayed off the path,

Always kept my eyes on the clock

And my hands upon the wheel

Until that inexplicable moment

When the world exploded into

A vibrant cosmos of color,

The air became heavy

And my heart pound in my ears

Like a thousand horse’s hooves--

I could not breathe,

My stomach clinched

And my knees felt as if they would buckle

Under the sudden extreme weight of my body--

All because you said, "Hello".

The Rules

We all play the same game

We play by the same rules

Some of us do well, some do not

But we play by the same rules

Some of us try very hard indeed

Some find it better to cheat

Since we all play by the same rules.


But what if the rules were changed

Only none of us citizens knew?

What if the ‘powers that be’ lied to us

Only none of us citizens knew?

What if there were secret handshakes

That caused alliances to shift and change;

If the ‘powers that be’ bought the world

But none of us citizens knew?


If we suddenly woke one morning

To find we could no longer come and go

As we choose

What would we do?

If everyone carried an unlicensed gun

Around on their pocket

Because ‘terrorist’ are everywhere

What would we do?

Or if we had to live under one religion

And sign a book if we worshipped differently

What would we do?

And if the ‘powers that be’ decided to

‘Rehouse’ the broken, the impoverished, the impaired and the elderly

So as not to be a drain on the system

Would we allow it?


We knew how to play the game

Because we knew the rules.

But the ‘powers that be’,

The powers that ‘we’ elected,

Are changing the rules

Only they are not telling us

What those rules are.

We need to make it our business to know.

Now is the time for accountability.

Now is the time for action.

Now before we ask the question,

“What could we have done?”

The Exchange

The building seems tall

in the eyes of the child

but the whole world is huge

when you’re so very small.


All brick red with concrete

for casements and sills.

The building is four stories high

with windows that repeat.


The child held tight

to the hand of her mother.

A bright colored balloon

bounced along on her right.


Between the buildings were

sidewalks and patches of grass.

The child looked up at the windows

to see a little girl looking at her.


Her mother had stopped

to speak to a passerby.

She had no choice but to wait

when something suddenly dropped.


There just a foot away,

wearing a bright blue bow with

the grass cushioning its head,

a fluffy brown teddy bear lay.

A huge smile came across

the face of the child below.

She gazed at the window

from where it was tossed.


The face in the window waved

at her secret friend below

who released the colorful balloon for

The teddy bear she could have.


The colorful balloon glided high

up toward the window child,

it’s colors shining in the sun.

Causing such a joyful cry.


In through the opened window

with speeds both swift and quick

the balloon was gleefully received

from the child on the ground below.


The teddy bear now retrieved

held tight in childish arms.

A secret pact of friendship;

A childhood language conceived.


As the mother started to go;

her little charge still in hand.

One last glance to the child above.

To exchange silent smiles below.


The Actor


Under the glaring spotlights

On top of the wooden stage

In front of the velvet curtain

The actor becomes the sage.


He wears all the costumes

He plays all the parts

He invokes all his lines

He knows them all by heart.


Now he has come to the end

He has played his last show

He has taken his final bow

Only thing left is to go.


One last curtain call

One last look around

One last deep breath

Then silence comes down.


He exits stage left

Through the side door

Onto the street


Where the actor,

Once revered,

Is just one more in a million feet.


Walking with Elvis

We walked a mile!

Or was it two?

I’d like to say it was because

We had nothing better to do.

But really it was the doctor

Who said we should walk each day.

The exercise, you see,

Should help take the pain away.

So, I put on my walking shoes

And Elvis adorned his lead.

Ok. He had my hands to use

But his big brown eyes said, “Please”.

So off we went down the street

Past Mrs. Wilson’s bungalow.

We quite enjoyed the folks we met.

Though it must be said you were slow!

All that stopping to smell everything

Just so you could pee on it!

And I wouldn’t have said a thing

Until you got the leg of Mrs. DeWitt.

I tell you, I’ve never seen

Anyone go into such a rant!

That woman was downright mean!

After all she was wearing pants.

Mrs. Johnson’s roses were divine.

They smell just as lovely and sweet.

Your watering them I’m sure she didn’t mind.

I’m just grateful that you missed my feet.

I thought poor old Mr. Agee

Didn’t look quite himself

Might be sick. Don’t you agree?

Plus, he had a peculiar smell.

He did have a pocket of treats.

He’s still thoughtful and kind.

I guess if he’s giving you something to eat,

An odd smell you’re not going to mind.

Say, when did the filling station close?

You know, the one on the corner.

Look, I know I may be getting old

But I thought the place got a new owner.

Don’t give me that look, little dog!

I have not yet become senile.

Besides, who tripped over that log?

You could have seen that from a mile!

I noticed you were quicker coming back.

Was it the thought of your bag of treats?

Oh no. That’s right. It was Mrs. Ferrelli’s cat

That had you pulling at your lead!

However, pooping in her yard was not good.

You see, I forgot to bring the bag

So, I couldn’t retrieve it like I should

And she can be quite a nag.

Oh well, home again my little friend

Off with your lead and my shoes.

A pat on your head, a scratch of your chin.

Time for a snack and a snooze.

I know we walked a mile today.

Or maybe it was two.

Not even close, I dare say

But I always like walking with you.


(for Elvis, my terrier, my buddy)

They

They met.

They laughed.

They loved.

They married.

Time passed.

He cheated.

She cried.

He raged.

She hurt.

He hit.

She bled.

He left.

She died.

It ended.



An experiment in writing. Two word sentences without descriptions that tell a story.


Tattoo


Like some strange voodoo,

You crept into my brain

Through my blood

And lodged yourself in my life.

I wear you like a tattoo no one can see-

You’ve become a part of me-

In my waking and my sleeping-

Yet you are not there.

It’s a weird magic that fills my lungs-

When I breathe deep

I can almost feel you, taste you-

The air becomes electric.

My eyes open wide

And my head is filled

With the sound of your voice;

At once lyrical and alive.

My soul gives birth to a new song

As the day gives birth to a new world.

I have been made strong.


(for Wombat)

Hollow Gourds


Hollow gourds hang

emotionless, empty

with holes cut through

to expose

their dark vacancy.

They adorn barren trees

devoid of life and

shiver in the frigid night air;

their song echoes through my mind.


I close my eyes and hear your voice.

As it moves through my seasons

it pronounces each one

with clarity and grace.


I feel your touch,

your caress,

your breath on my skin.

It molds me,

owns me,

dances rhythmically

through my brain

until I open my eyes

and you cease to be.


I die a little more

each day

until I just can't bear it!

The sharp edge of night

draws ever near.



It pierces into my eyes,

shines its cold hard glare,

blinds me from what was

and what could be

until all I can see is the now-

the greedy, hungry now!

O night! Devour me!

Tear the sun from the sky

and throw the stars into the sea!

Bury me where you buried my love!

Leave me nothing but dry bones;

barren earth and clay

and the sorrow of hollow gourds

that hang from a dead tree.

Glass


Why?

You were here.

I was happy.

We were 'us'.


The days were warm

Even in the winter

Because you were here.


The sun was bright, shining

Even through the rain

Because you were here.


There was sweet, wonderful music

In the dead of night

The world made sense

Even while it was falling apart

Because you were here.


No one ever told me

That blue could turn black;

That summer could be cold;

That silence could be the loudest sound on earth.


No one ever told me

That the night was an ocean

And the world was made of glass


Until it shattered.

Angels and devils fought,

Prisms of color danced behind exploding lies,

Fire froze.


And when the ocean stopped swallowing

You were gone.


You were here.

There was an 'us'.

I was happy.


Softly


Softly

The day unfolds

On gossamer wings

That gradually flutter

Through the hours

Unnoticed

To land on my doorstep

With the evening paper.


Dinner


The old man sat in his recliner

And yelled about the Democrats on t.v.

His equally old wife made dinner;

Tried to see in him what she use to see.


His politics were red; his language blue

His skin was pasty white and stretched.

Made to do things it shouldn’t do;

His recliner was permanently etched.


In his current, agitated state

He clumsily dropped his cigar.

In the kitchen came the sound of plates

Laid on the table with the pickled eggs jar.


The call to dinner was like a battle cry

That required him to stand and adjust.

“Hands?” she asked. “I did” he lied

As he retrieved his bottle of hot sauce.


Seats were taken and food generously plated

As always, she insisted that ‘grace’ was said.

Ten minutes later his appetite satiated,

Back to his pungent recliner he fled.


There she sat, alone, pensive, philosophic

In the quiet acceptance that was her life.

She had buried herself a long time back.

She was empty; an automated wife.




A demand for beer reached its way

Through the kitchen wall to her ears.

“Yes, dear” she would calmly say

Unhindered by her dried-up tears.


The beer delivered, she cleared the table

Her own plate left unfinished, cold.

Unaided, she did what she was able.

Fifty years married, she just felt old.


In his musty recliner, he sat

Swearing in his drunken way

“To hell with them damn Democrats!”

Was the very last thing he’d say.


In his fervor, he failed to swallow

He inhaled his beer instead.

His desperate pleas fell hollow.

Since his tired wife had gone to bed.


Knee Deep in Love


Knee deep in love

we'll run through lazy summer afternoons,

worship at the feet of the sun

and embarrass the hummingbirds.


Knee deep in love

we'll celebrate the fireflies

in the late August evening

dressed in our finest moonlight.


Knee deep in love

we'll drink wine from paper cups

and I'll trace the trail it makes

down your chin with my tongue.


Knee deep in love

we'll croon out our song

and dance to each other’s heartbeat

until the stars cease to shine.

The Walking Dead


As evening grew long a chill settled in for the night.

My dogs and I ventured out for one last walk.

Dusk wrapped its velvet arms around us.

I breathed deep inhaling the spicy pines

and decayed leaves underfoot.

A hungry wind devoured what leaves were left

to cling helplessly to the trees.

I could hear voices echo down the years

and whistle softly through naked branches.

They spoke of lives spent

from the ravages of time;

from loss, fear, self-doubt and loathing.

When death claims life it is final;

the pain is gone, the story done.

But for the living

who know no comfort from their loss,

who drown in their own pity

and live only in their memories,

death does not come for them.

They are the walking dead

and are as real as the wind

picking his teeth with the tree branches.

They are shadows that cry in the night,

a hunger that can’t be satisfied.

My dogs sniff the air as if they anticipate

the arrival of some unforeseen visitor.

The moon is full and heavy as if in its ninth month.

It hangs behind my house and waits for us to return.

So, we do

and I close the door on the shadow world-

its hollow secrets-

and the walking dead.

When I Go


When I go what will I leave behind?

Will it be desired? Loved?

Or just old and falling apart?

Will it have the power to heal the human heart?


Will there be music and dancing?

Or just apathy and strife?

Will I have been able to change a life?


When I go what will I go to?

Will there be angels and singing?

Or will it be shadows? Gloom?

Perhaps just the darkness of the tomb?


I'll go it alone as we all must

Until my body returns to dust.


But before I go drifting away

To join that primordial soup,

I want it to be said that

I laughed from my gut frequently,

Loved from my heart always,

Forgave every chance I could

And tried to be as annoying as hell.

Oh, and I spent all the money.

That'll teach them!


Night


While no one was watching

Night, like a silky-smooth glove,

Slipped in.


It slipped in through

cracks and crevasses;

through rips and tears

and holes in the walls.

It invaded the streets

between tall buildings

made of brick and steel and glass.

It surrounded vehicles,

pedestrians, signs,

lampposts.

It overtook cities,

towns, fields

and farms.

It shared its presence with

mountains and valleys,

oceans and woods.


It provided cover for

the lover and the derelict,

for the addict and the killer.

It is the keeper of secrets,

holding close all events,

both good and bad,

that happen under its cloak.

It is the seductive drug for

lovers and poets

who desperately seek moments of

ecstasy and understanding.


It is the henchman,

the second-hand,

that holds the victim

so the madman can

go about his business.

It is the dark, seemingly eternal,

corrupt governance that hides

in the guise of “a benevolent protector”

but whose intent is as sour as a cesspool

and as black as night.



(for David, my night, your dungeon. Thank you)

The Woman


The woman, wakeful, stares

At the face of the moon

The stars dancing ‘round,

While her babe sleeps at her breast.


Slowly, she rocks, now and then

Stares at the moon again and again

Softly, lowly, she hums,

While her babe sleeps at her breast.


A soft, gentle breeze blows

That tenderly kisses her cheeks

As her eyes slowly close,

While her babe sleeps at her breast.


(written in high school as a class assignment)

Insomnia


The night didn't fall; it crashed upon my bed.

Attacked me while I lay there, instead

Climbed up me like Hillary up Everest

Staked its claim for the moon to see.

It wrapped me in its velvet arms

Caressed me softly with it's charms

It poured over me like a lover’s tongue.

Whispered to my very soul with its song.

I lie there awake yet dreaming.

In my fevered state, it came sneaking

To steal its way into my brain

Over my skin and through my veins

Like a drug, it coursed through my body

Pulsating, throbbing, intensifying

Until it exploded behind my eyes

Then gently kissed the corners of my mind

Before it left me crumpled in disarray

Vulnerable and exposed to the oncoming day.


Ode to Attila

(may you live on in infamy)


Along the ridge side by side

Roman and Goth did meet

To await the arrival of their mutual foe-

The Terror of the East.


In clouds of dust the hordes came

The Evil under the Sun-

The Goths and Romans did steady themselves

Prepared for the mighty Hun.


Somewhere down in the depths of their bowels

Came their battle cry!

By stomping hooves and the clash swords

Many men did die.


The land was ripe with blood that day

Metal, flesh and earth became one.

No Roman or Goth would stand alone

Against Attila the Hun.


But the scourge of the earth road onward

Raging his bloody cry!

As he raped and ravished poor Italy--

Only Rome would not die.


On to Rome the marauders would go

They left destruction in their wake

But Rome was fortified and ready

When the Barbarians arrived at the gate.



Ah, but even Attila had his Achilles heel

In this case, it was Caesar's daughter

In exchange for her he would leave Rome

And not lead it into slaughter.


But Caesar became enraged!

This insult he would not take!

The Romans indignantly took up arms

Causing Attila to consider his mistake.


Long is the day for a worn warrior

And the Huns were worn through and through

Their energy spent; their resources depleted

Retreat was all that Attila could do.


In the eyes of his people Attila was a hero

And a hero's welcome is what he received

Victories of the Hun were widely celebrated

Stories of glorious battle believed.


As the custom was with his people

Attila had many wives

None had ever claimed his heart

Assuming they even tried.


There was one woman, however, young and fair

Who seemed to be sent from above

One simple glance and the fearsome warrior fell;

Attila was in love.


Soon a great wedding was made;

A feast to end all feast

People came from near and far

To see this beauty of the east.


Now there is nothing more ridiculous as a warrior in love

Their commonsense and boldness are sunk

So, Attila did what all besotted warriors do

He wholeheartedly got drunk.


Now, as with most great warriors of his ilk

Attila wanted to die a warrior’s death.

Engaged in combat on the battlefield

He wanted to draw his last breath.


But for poor drunken Attila

It simply was not to be

He suffered, you see, a bloody nose

And died unceremoniously.


No hero's death for him

No warriors last stand

Nature did for history

What could not be done by man.


Thank you. I hope you enjoyed it.

Would love feedback or if you just want to shoot the breeze.


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