Playground

September 28, 2008 at 4:08 pm (Dominic Alapat, Poetry)

 

I wonder at the opening of the scene.

The dropping of a moment into place. 

First, the rain. Then, the shouts of the boys

running. The sky, and the boys falling into

the muck. Is there anything that could outdo this?

These voices carried down the years, the grass

still wet, the boys skidding in the rain?

Tell me reader, what plays out this moment,

slipping into which place, where?

Oh tell me so I can be there right now.

So I can kick this soccer ball passed

straight to me, past Johnny standing

at the goal-post. 

 

– Dominic Alapat

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The Garden

September 23, 2008 at 3:42 am (Dominic Alapat, Poetry)

 

There were people in the evening,

groups chatting, playing cards,

and women and children; and maids

running after toddlers. The balloon-seller

made an otherworldly sound rubbing his

fingers on a balloon; and the sky seen

through the balloons…; there was dew

on the grass and the kulfiwallah passed

by with his basket on his head, a maroon

cloth tied over the rim; and the kulfis

smoking on the leaf handed out;

in the distance lanterns burned,

kerosene lamps of the bhelpuriwallah,

the sharbatwallah, the paubhajiwallah,

the radga-patticewallah, the Chinese cart

opposite the road with flames leaping out

of the wok, the night with its stars smiling,

spraying this boy with light, with its glow of eternity;

this boy who will now get up from the grass

and walk home.

 

– Dominic Alapat

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The Thought-Act

September 7, 2008 at 1:22 pm (Dominic Alapat, Poetry)

 

I was thinking of a forest

of dry brown leaves

rustling in the wind,

when it occurred to me

how the sun had decided

that it could have a different

radiance in my head. I kept

it with me, illusion or no,

I did not bother to check.

Things always had a way

of being convincing with me.

I drifted with the howling winds,

knowing them to be kin;

hoping they would carry me along;

Someday, I dreamt, someday

I would be able to extend

my hand and crush a leaf.

 

– Dominic Alapat

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Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

September 3, 2008 at 8:13 pm (Mary McQueary, Short Story)

 

He sat staring blankly at the wall, the bulging manila envelope lying in his lap unopened. Seeming on their own accord his fingers suddenly began to move back and forth over the handwriting on the envelope’s front. He looked like a psychic blind man trying to divine from the stain of ink.

 
His gaze dropped to the words. How beautiful her handwriting was he thought. She had perfected Zaner-Bloser cursive writing by the end of 2nd grade. She had been proud of the achievement.

 

The words were written in black gel, she had favored those pens due to their smooth flow, the ink responding like a well-trained puppy, never puddling when startled or pressed, not scratching when asked to jot a quick thought.

 
He looked down at the writing, reading again for the hundredth time the words, his mind still unable to understand the full import of what they meant. “Open Only In The Case of My Death”. The sigh that escaped from his mouth was one of disbelief tainted with curiosity.

 

In one fell swoop he ripped open the envelope across its right edge, his grasp letting go of the fragment as he quickly caught the contents within. When his brain registered what he was looking at he began to sob uncontrollably.

 

Before him lay a cluster of envelopes. He picked up one at a time. Each envelope was addressed “To My Friend” followed underneath by a person’s name. He leafed through the names, looking for his own. A panic rose in his throat, wasn’t there one here with his name on it? He was almost through the entire pile before he found his name lovingly written under the “To My Friend” preface.

 
He shoved the other envelopes off of the table violently then gently laid his envelope on the table and sat and stared at it as if it was a bomb that needed defusing and careful thought needed to be taken before disarming. At the beginning of the word “Friend” the ink spread, as if she had hesitated leaving the pen touching the paper for a thought as to what to write. What other label would she have given him other than Friend? Lover? Husband? 

 

Sweat began to bead on his brow. He began to open the letter but sobs once again tore out of his throat and he clenched tight the envelope, tears spilling down like heavy rain of tropical summers, landing on the ink blurring his name when he tried to brush it off with his thumb. His vision blurred and his stomach in knots, he ripped the end of the envelope and shook out the paper inside. His heart raced as he unfolded the beautiful piece of stationary and searched for the top left corner, for the first word, eager to hear what she had to say.

 

– Mary McQueary

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Start Again

September 1, 2008 at 5:01 am (Mary McQueary, Poetry)

 

Build me a castle with a tower.
I need to touch the sky.

 

Lower me below everyone.
So I can feel their heartbeats next to me.

 

The closer the farther.
So send me to Mars.

 

I want to know the color of your eyes.
Can’t hold on to the sudden burst.
Only shadow traces left surging on my brain.

 

Can’t you foresee what’s going to happen to me?
Ain’t there a trick or two you could do?

 

I’m feeling lots of pain like bursts of flames.
Feel their heat.
Frustration running deep.

 

Can’t control what thoughts they’ve got in their head.
Though I can hear them loud in mine.

 

Read the bad news in the paper again today.
That guy insane (her too!)
Existing sacred or profane.
Fame has become the game.


Forget all those things you thought they said.
Start again.

 

– Mary McQueary

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