Crisp air takes away my breath this morning as I let my mother’s dogs run free to chase away the startled deer that have wandered harmlessly onto the property. The dogs are harmless themselves only being a miniature poodle and schnauzer. They love the freedom of the mornings when the sleepy sun has yet to wake my little portion of Earth from dutiful slumber. I’m watching him peek at me from the horizon like a child beneath the cozy covers on a Saturday morning. Light is refracted across the entire sky in shades of rainbow – deep violet near the horizon that melts into a stunning bloody orange that mellows with a gray-ish hued greenblue and finally relinquishes itself to the common blue. The Cheshire Cat still hangs indignantly in the sky as if teasing the sun to block him from view. I love the morning. It allows me to think most clearly and see the world, or at least, my skewed perceptions of the world in this brief moment of perfection. Often I like to think on mornings like these what it would be like to wake up facing a great expanse of mountains where the sun must conquer the climb to their majestic peak before smiling upon me. I can see myself rocking in an overly stuffed rocking chair on the porch of a simple cabin with mug of freshly brewed coffee in my hand as I listen to the natural world rise from it temporal hibernation. I’d have pen and notebook resting in my lap likewise waiting for the muse to awake in my soul and take flight with Cardinals and other avian creatures. Such thoughts lead me towards dreaming. If I were to sit in such a rocking chair with that undeniable well of inspiration presented to me from God himself and do nothing but think, I am curious where my thoughts would take me. I know for a fact that I would not be able to sit still for very long because there would arise the unmistakable itch to write down the thoughts that bubble from my soul and seal them into ink. Perhaps I would transform myself via meditation on that gloriously philosophical day into a profound prophetess who transcribes the destinies of my characters like a benevolent goddess. I would scratch them to life on my parchment…………..Mmmmmm. I feel a poem begin to leak from the tips of my fingers. My keys are slowly being stained…
“Ink Stains” by Rachel Karp
The outer side of her left palm
And the knuckle of her pinkie.
The words she scratches to paper
Are so furiously penned that the black
Has little time to dry.
The stains are just an obvious result.
Crouching with her feet tucked
Beneath her bum,
She perches like a feral cat
Ready to pounce.
Instead of preying upon a bird
Or wandering butterfly, however
She claws her revenge into the written word.
Loose papers litter the floor.
Coffee drips from a spoon
That is haphazardly resting atop
A stack of notebooks.
She chews on her bottom lip in concentration
As though the action will produce
A steady flow of thought.
Because her fingers twitch and twist the ink
To murmurs of her heart.
And the paper adores this type of attention.
It likes when she finds herself
So absorbed in the task that
She has forgotten to dress.
She herself becomes a naked muse worth penning.
Tangled hair from a night’s stressful,
Dream-filled sleep is brushed continuously
In a flip away from her eyes.
The red hues of it
Shimmer to gold and auburn and back
To a hint of blond
In the shaft of light that cuts her desk in two.
Even the sun enjoys rising to peek in on her
The fact that she closes her eyes
For a moment in the evenings,
Let alone an entire night,
Is a surprise unto itself.
For if she had one super power
It would be to never have to sleep.
Infinite energy to write and write and
Pour her soul into the pages of her books.
Here she is again –
A fine form of priestess
Who palms her psalms
In a desperate attempt to convert the unwilling.
And conversion is always simple.
A single phrase and she has you in rapture.
In a similar way,
She melts your heart with a smile
When a pause to think brings
Her head to a tilt in your direction.
You rest there upon the bed eyes closed,
She would draw you or
Immortalize you in ink.
You shift among the silks and fabric
Falls from your bare thighs.
What a thought!
Without a second glance,
She transforms herself into an Egyptian dream,
Etching your soul in her parchment.
Unknowingly you have become her private muse.
When at last the final word
Soaks and dries upon the paper,
She leans back stretching herself like a cat
Awaking from a trance.
Arms high above her head,
Breasts jutting outward and each leg
Unfurling from their perch one after the other.
Everywhere is a mess
As the reality of the situation
Presenting itself in her studio assaults her.
She curls her lips into a sour pucker
Before swooping her billows of hair
Into a sloppy bun atop her head
Kept in place by glasses
As they are swept from her nose
To rest on her forehead.
With a grunt,
She stands and you roll over onto your back
Stuffing your head so deep into the pillows
That even a vacuum could not wake you.
She lights up her remaining
Quarter of a cigarette, and
Stands observing her space
As though she is some explorer
Happening upon an ancient tomb.
As the medicinal gray smoke fills her lungs and
Travels through the grooves of her brain
Before being set free through the channels of her nose,
She begins to hum and
Push about a Chinese take-out box
With her big right toe.
Is now forgotten –
The witching hour through –
And rests upon her desk in a pile of unorganized chaos.
The ink sighs
As it dries
And papers yet untouched
Wait patiently for their turn
Because they know,
Better than she knows herself,
That she will be back before the hour is over
Once her cigarette is nothing
But a butt in its tray.
A new fantasy will have bubbled to the surface
Having originated from her soul,
And her fingers will itch.
She will capitulate to the urgings that she will
Never be able to repress.