Like the Wind

Originally I wrote this on July 7th, but since it’s Winter now.. *

Ramblings of a Mad Hatter

You pass through the trees,
Whispering nature’s deepest secrets
Singing the songs of the ancients,
Blessings of eternal truth

You came to me on a winter’s day,
Playfully dancing as snowflakes do,
A frosty bite in the air, you turned my cheeks to blush

Piercing through me, through my very bones,

You tossed the illusion of this world upside down,

As I tossed caution aside,

Opening the window to let you in like nothing before

Nothing less, nothing more

Strong and fierce, you blast the senses,

Creating piles of leaves to truffle through with joy, rain swept sideways, Dorothy flying from Kansas

True to nature, you too are the gentle breeze off the cerulean waters,

Calming my spirit on a sweltering summer’s day,

Sending butterflies twirling, dipping and fluttering, through the meadows of my heart

Kites of all sorts soaring in the skies,

Children below giving you thanks

As they…

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Mellow Yellow

“They call her mellow yellow,”  — Lyrics from Donovan, “Mellow Yellow.” 
I made friends with this most unusual caterpillar that day. Watching her trot among the leaves in the grass was nothing short of amazing. We were concerned that she could be squished while going about her afternoon at our campground, especially if we played football or even from people walking around, as our campsite is near the log house with the bathrooms, and some people around the campsite might not look down at their feet when they walk, being as attentive as possible of the little creatures on the ground.

So as not to startle her, I laid in the grass, with my finger a make-shift log, still as could be.. and introduced myself and off we went on this traveling adventure; this little lady or gentleman caterpillar on my finger, until safely delivered to their new home- a sturdy log past the bushes where the chipmunks hang out, near the clearing in the woods.. a little alcove with a tiny stream, where only the forest animals live (and where once that weekend I wandered off to explore at a respectful distance (close enough to feel the enchantment of their world, yet far enough as to not disturb any of the animals or their habitat.)

Anyhow, this caterpillar had a new log house, and has perhaps now transformed into a most magnificent butterfly, spreading her glorious wings and with freedom of flight, hopefully to live out her days in peace and never be squished in the grass! I wonder if she remembers our adventure that day, or any of her time as a caterpillar. The thrill of exploring this curious world, step by step; and the hazards that accompany such a journey. I remember her, and feel inspired to revisit a story I begun to write a few months ago, about a turtle named Gus’ adventures, and now when I write for the character, “Mister Felix” the caterpillar, I will have a cherished inspiration.

— in Roscoe, New York.

This was a narrative which I posted with a facebook photo after camping in Roscoe, New York in August. 

Fuzzy, gentle little caterpillar by the campsite. Photo by: Lisa Ellen Goodman Photography

Fuzzy, gentle little caterpillar by the campsite. Photo by: Lisa Ellen Goodman Photography

 

How You Know You’re Completely F**ked

When you spend a joyous Friday evening entertaining with your favorite 5 yr old, Sammy; and in the midst of performing songs from Frozen & Jingle Bells (by The Barking Dogs), you for a moment, you imagine you’re singing & dancing around the living room with the woman you love and your little daughter, and your face lights up brighter than the tree at Rockerfeller Center, and you can’t stop smiling goofy.

That’s when you know you’re royally f**ked.

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The Cat In The Strawberry House OR The Dog Who Kept Books (Draft 1)

The following is a draft of a picture book that I’m working on. 

“Hello Cat, why Hello Cat,

In your Strawberry house

I say, I must say

You are nary larger than a mouse!”

 

“Well hey there, now who are you?”,

The Cat asked me,

As I appeared out of the blue.

 

“I am the wise Traveler,” I answered.

“I hail from the West.

I showed up because I heard that your fruity house was the best!”

 

“So I wonder, Cat,

Do you bake strawberry cakes?

Ice them on your frosty white roof,

And use the leftovers for shakes?”

 

“Speaking of roofs..

Did you know that you have a new neighbor who goes rrroofs?

His name is Bowser,

and he’s a Long-Haired Schnauzer.

This mutt lives in an Apricot hut,

At 1-7-2 Go Fetch! Avenue.”

 

“No”, replied Cat.

“I did not know he moved in.”

(The hair stood up on Cat’s chinny chin chin.)

“Gadzooks! Oh dear me!

Should I have the spooks?

Tell me, does Bowser even keep a collection of books?”

 

“We cats love to read..

Any story for our imagination to plant a seed.

But dogs.. NOT so!

They prefer a game of Tiddly Winks

Or Hot Pota-to.”

 

“Well Cat, I’m not sure,

I better pay him a visit.

I bet I’ll find him out by the hydrant,

If not I’ll just whiz it!”

 

“Goodbye,” said Cat.

And the wise Traveler was on his way..

The hills he pranced

Glistened like a bale of golden hay, that fine day.

 

As he arrived at the Apricot hut,

Nobody was home.

Not Bowser the mutt.

 

“Now where could he be?”

In my head,

I said to me;

When out from behind a tree,

Stepped Bowser, with a cup of tea.

 

“Rrroof rrroof!

Welcome friend.

Why don’t you come in the house,

And see the Ostrich

With the polka-dot blouse?”

 

“Yes, you’re invited inside!

We can play Fetch, Seek, and then Hide.”

We can even play See-Saw with my paw

On the dog house slide!”

 

“Now come on in, dear Traveler,

And help yourself to the tea and marmalade,

Before all the ants in the neighborhood

Go on parade.”

 

“Why, thank you,”

I said to Bowser,

The Long-Haired Schnauzer.

 

Into the hut he went,

And they sat down for tea,

The Traveler, Bowser, and the Ostrich

Made three.

 

“Dog, I thank you for being so kind.

But I do have a question,

If you don’t mind.”

 

“The tea and marmalade

Were quite delicious,

But all the gizmos and gadgets ’round here

Make me suspicious!

Before I embark on further inspection,

Please let me know,

Do you keep a reading collection?”

To Be Continued..

Pencil sketch rough draft of page one. Illustrated by: Lisa Ellen Goodman
Pencil sketch rough draft of page one. Illustrated by: Lisa Ellen Goodman

Turnkey

Turnkey, turnkey,

Spiral cogs in the lock

The purveyor’s shop of antiquities

Dusty shelves,

Lights dim,

The wooden clock goes,

Tick tock.

 

Trolls of Nordic lineage

Parade behind the counter,

Frozen in time,

Their little faces possess secrets

Worth far more than any coin once tendered at the shop register, the old relic.

 

That noise..

It grows louder,

Haunting,

A row of Bisque dolls animate a wink down the line,

In their lace dresses,

Movements synchronous,

As the clock strikes three.

 

The shopkeeper rises in the backroom,

Among boxes filled with one man’s junk,

Another man’s treasure

The noise beckons..

Fumbling through the boxes,

Searching for its source, the sublime

 

At last he finds it among the knickknacks and tchotchkes,

A vintage music box,

Vienna,

The 1920’s,

Another time, another place.

 

He dusts it off, gently

With a fine linen cloth

Ornate, opulent,

Golden-leaf to trim the most intricate detail

 

The rattling noise screeches,

An unbearable cacophony

Reaching into his breast pocket,

He finds the answer.

The turnkey twists inside the familiar music box,

As it opens, the horrendous sound is muted, at last.

 

In its place rises the symphony of angels,

Two porcelain dancers on the platform stage,

The gentleman in fine waistcoat,

One hand caressing the small of the noble woman’s back,

The other entwined with her delicate fingers, painted with apricot lacquer.

 

Into the night, the lovers keep in step to the Baroque tune,

And the old shopkeeper, he remembers,

(tears glistening his pale cheek)

This music box,

An anniversary gift,

To his wife, in 1927

They had celebrated 50 years together,

That Winter’s day.

 

A treasure trove of memories,

The music box a mere memento

Of a life well-lived.

Two hearts, two souls,

Beating in harmony

Nurturing a family with love, wisdom, and uplifting grace.

Children, now grown, with children of their own.

 

Her face lit up with wonder and delight,

At the sight of this Viennese music box.

“A little something to remember us by, always, 

As long as we each keep the turnkey by our heart.” 

 

She passed away,

Nearly seven years later,

By the foot of the bed,

With the music box playing on the dresser,

Its enchanting melody.

 

The shopkeeper was sobbing now,

He cradled his love one last time,

Before placing the keepsake back in its box,

Where it will rest until the old wooden clock in the shop strikes three the next day.

 

Drifting past a bronze mirror in the storage room,

He noticed that it reflected only the shelves behind him.

For 87 years had past hence,

He was no longer there,

Only his spectre remained in the once bustling antiquities shop,

Rising each day at the bewitching hour,

When, somewhere in the Universe,

They embrace,

Both holding the turnkey close to their hearts,

Their love transcending all of time and space,

They dance, a Waltz eternal.

A key adorns the wall at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, on the Summer Solstice, 2014. Photo By: Lisa Ellen Goodman
A key adorns the wall at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, on the Summer Solstice, 2014. Photo By: Lisa Ellen Goodman

 

Ferdinand the Giraffe- Intro. (Draft)

Ferdinand the giraffe was a giraffe like any other- he was tan with brown spots, two ears, two antlers, a dark purple tongue, and a tuft of hair on top of his head that resembled a toupee.

He enjoyed roaming the Savannah with his brothers and sisters, mom and pop; and his favorite thing to do was to munch on the leaves of the acacia tree. Yep, he was a giraffe like any other.. except for one thing.. he was born tiny and never grew any bigger than you or me- for instead of giraffe-size, he stood at 3 ft. 3!

This is a draft of the introduction, and I’m busy brainstorming at this point and starting to make my own drawings. In the meantime, I’ve included this adorable cartoon drawing from an artist on Creative Commons. 🙂 

"The Giraffe", Illustration by Reginald Daye David, courtesy of flickr.com Creative Commons.
“The Giraffe”, Illustration by Reginald Daye David, courtesy of flickr.com Creative Commons.