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1d · 76
Some folks say
Some folks say
that other folks
get their opinions
from the media.
They can be right.

Other folks say
that some folks
get their opinions
from mediums.
They can be right.

Some other folks
have their own minds
and use them.
Their opinions
can be right too.
.
6d · 116
The Lotus Song
Om-mani birds
hold back the night
Om mani padme hum

Old nun bee Padme-hum
she waggles to the lotus song
Om mani padme hum

Om Metteyya
Om Maitreya
Om mani padme hum


.
This poem, The Lotus Song, reflects on my lifetimes as a Buddhist. There is a Buddhist mantra, a kind of meditative and spiritually meaningful chant: This quintessential utterance, Om mani padme hum, is considered to encapsulate all of the wisdom of Buddhism. Om is a sacred sound and certifies the holiness of whatever it is expressed with. Mani means jewel, Padme is the lotus flower, and Hum represents the sprit of enlightenment. There are many interpretations and significances but this is the simplicity of it.

In this poem the first two words "Om mani" are used as the name of a sacred bird. The last two words of the mantra, "padme hum" are taken to name a bee.

And waggle, a curious word to use here, is the actual technical term used in describing the dance of the bee upon returning to the hive to communicate the path to the source of pollen: Spiritually, the road to enlightenment.

Metteyya and Maitreya have the same meaning, essentially "friend" in two languages (Metteyya in Pali, the ancient language spoken by Lord Buddha, and Maitreya in Sanskrit). They refer to the prophesy that an enlightened being will come to complete the work begun by Lord Buddha.

ॐ at the end of the poem is the Sanskrit symbol for Om.
Nov 13 · 42
à l'envers
I rise from my body
My fall à l'envers
Through cold brilliant sunlight
And thinness of air

Past floating ions
Into almost bare space
And I shift my gaze back
And I wish for your face

I'll one day return
With the wind in my hair
Some bright afternoon
And all devil-may-care

With the kiss I'm left owing
Until it is paid
With the kiss I left holding
When I fell away
.
à l'envers is French for upside down or wrong way to. It is pronounced a bit like "ah lon vair". The s is silent.
Nov 11 · 73
First Night
I remember the moment you first saw the light
The moment you reached up and held my hand tight
The moment you took your first steps in the world
Each moment, each step— Now no longer a girl
I remember these moments, each one of them bright
Like the moment I held you that very first night
What if every man you met was God?
What then? Would you wonder?
Would you know?
What if God forgot His godness
and went looking for Himself
within His own creation?
Where would He wander?
What if you were God?
What about death?
Do you think He'd give it a shot?
Would you? I think I would, if I was Him.
What if God was bored? Would He lounge around
on a glacier or a cumulonimbus cloud?
What if He was ticked off one day?
Would He thunder against the sky
and let everyone know?
What if He was hurting?
He must know pain to understand it.
What if He was angry?
Would He scream across the heavens
and stamp us into submission?
And what if He hated?
What would a god that hated do?
Or a resentful god?
Would He sit around
with His lip out
and refuse
to play?
Who does He play with anyway?
And what about a fearful god?
A god that couldn't god properly one day?
Or a confused god?
What if God was hiding?
Where would He go?
What if every man you met was God?
.

The word "man" here refers to any human as far as I'm concerned. And God is traditionally referred to as male but might just as well be female or without gender.
His light,
     A blossom and a humble bee—
     So proffers God
     That All may see.

Gardens bloom
     And earthworms sing.
     God calls each name
     And seasons' turn.

His light,
     A blossom and a humble bee—
     So proffers God
     That All may see.
Aug 16 · 119
Young Wm.
The point is, young Wm., you have no ticket

to the pantheon. Earned it? Yes. But in leaving,

left the scrip behind; compared yourself

to erstwhile selves, and having fallen thus,

go now unbidden. Whilst you, young Wm., hailed

Lo! A fraud! A thief! or by some lower

hellish frame, have learned that crueler hells

no doubt exist, though like the pantheon

as hard to find. The point is, young Wm., you

have no ticket to the pantheon. Get on with it!
Aug 8 · 56
UNDER THE SAME SKY
HERE’S WHAT CAN BE DONE
WE CAN VOTE
BY OUR OWN HAND
BY OUR OWN PERSONAL EXECUTIVE ORDER
WE HAVE A SAY
FROM AN UNASSAILABLE TRUTH
WITH AN INDOMITABLE PURPOSE

THE ONLY WAY WE'VE EVER LOST WAS BY AGREEING
TO BE STOPPED
MOVE INSTEAD IN THE IMAGE
OF GOD’S GREATNESS
IN THE GREATNESS OF GOD'S IMAGE
IN SPITE OF CONFUSION
IN SPITE OF DANGER
IN SPITE OF FEAR
IN SPITE OF PAST DECISIONS
VOTE FOR
VOTE AGAINST
VOTE WITH
IF IT’S THE LAST THING WE DO

CALL THIS A PRAYER
YOU ARE REAL TO ME
AM I REAL TO YOU
EITHER WAY
VOTE  
AMEN
Jul 20 · 299
Hello for the earth
Hello for the earth
Hello for the moon
Hello from the sky
Hello from a room

Hello my new friend
Hello little brown bird

Hello trees
Hello clouds
Hello thoughts
Hello words

Hello joy
Hello breeze
Hello life
Hello me

Hello all that I see
Hello you
Jun 26 · 71
Avatars:
Dark and hurried skies, forewarning end to all as sure as night the day; bodies heaped, bone to dust, ash of fallen prayer amounting in still, now silent ruins.

Beings of abandoned cause, broken, dulled, awaiting eagles sent, gone a thousand years, here now returned; floating down a thousand skies to tell the way.

From ever endless skies, shall we, at our arrival, our return, rejoicing, ask wisely (O so wisely), “Who knew?” and know and laugh again?
Jun 22 · 682
Peace
Peace
Is not withdrawal
Peace is the surge
The urge
Peace is arising
Swelling
It's an overflowing
Swing of
Upturning
Turned-up rhythm
Peace is resurgence
Peace is expression
In and of
Common Purpose
Cresting waves
Of purpose
Aligned
Upon a new dynamic line
Peace is
Not withdrawal from life
Peace is not placid
Not flaccid
Peace is active
Busy
Peace is believed
Conceived
Crafted
Peace is for
And not against
Peace just is
See?
And you are its source
And I am its source
And we are its source
Reaching
Reaching from and for and to
Every searching soul
Peace is strength
Of integrity
Peace is living anyway
Loving
Peace is faith
Peace is good
Peace is yours
Mine
Ours
Peace is ready now
.
Jun 19 · 51
Downhill
“But Lord Mother!” young Yahweh cries,
“It is all downhill to the mountaintops.
              And all downhill from there.”
.
Jun 17 · 150
Untitled
The lie's
the limit.
Today is the ship and the sail and the star!
And there is no better when than now.
Today is the way of the when's we've made
Or cunningly allowed.
Choice is the wheel we turn upon turn,
Upon these racing seas
And across the wilds of wide flung lives
And each breath in eternity.
May 31 · 67
Justice BEFORE death
RISE UP! TODAY! TODAY AND EVERY DAY! RISE UP! THIS AIN'T NO NURSERY RHYME. JUSTICE BEFORE DEATH AND FREEDOM FOR EVERY BREATH. COP TAKES A KNEE—KILLS A MAN FOR THE TEAM WHILE KAEPERNICK TAKES HEAT FROM THE TOWER KINGPIN. RISIN' UP FROM THE GROUND, HEADIN’ OUT THE DOOR. GOTTA BE DOWNTOWN TO SCORE ONE MORE DAY OF WHAT I NEED TO SURVIVE THIS SORRY LIFE. TOO POOR TO PAY AND YET HERE I AM, STRONG WITH PURPOSE. I CARRY ON. AIN’T DONE FOR YET— CAN YOU HEAR ME ROAR? DECLARING WAR TO A WORLD THAT IGNITES ITS SUFFERIN’ HUMANITY— T-MAN SEES BIO-WASTE / LIVES LAID WASTE / LOWEST CLASS / EVEN LOWER CASTE WALKIN’ DOWNTOWN HALLS WHERE NAILED SHUT DOORS. RISE UP! WE AIN'T DONE FOR YET. THIS AIN’T PROTEST. IT’S PAST THAT. WAY BACK. IT’S REST IN HELL *******. 6 FEET BACK OR 6 FEET UNDER. WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS INHUMANITY! HEAR OUR ROAR. BREATHE OUR THUNDER. WE’RE BACK. STEPPIN' UP. AIN’T DONE FOR. NO MORE.
Apr 5 · 50
Turnings of the Glass
Dear Friend, 'tis time that fails! 'Tis time that lies
And measures all with ne'er a thought for beauty,
Truth and all that springs from love and duty,
Honor, hope and all that's seen through honest eyes.
'Tis time that marks not greetings but good-byes:
Blind to kindness, lame, yet resolutely
Hails the loss and pain of temp'ral *****,
Accumulated whilst some friend or lover dies.
O Friend! 'Tis life and lives Life celebrates
'Twixt turnings of the glass! Our brazen dance
And all that parts us from the brindled Fates,
Shouts, Glory! Ever Glory! Life's advance.
     'Tis time that fails! Whilst Life, unshackled, sings,
      Along the giddied path whence Freedom rings.
Feb 27 · 77
Allow
You've seen me slip beyond our door
To whisper home again from wars
I've fought within, to you again—
And pillow, table, field, plow—
I pray, these too, that you'll allow.
.
Sep 2019 · 394
Cataclysm (revisited)
Kevin J Taylor Sep 2019
they fought us back / we fought them down / on in the air / in on the ground / millennia / millennia / we carry on

from thundercloud / we fleet as rain / clapping corrugated tin / rising from the sea again / rising silently again

under dark assembled things / assembling / assembling / broken straws / severed wings / in all the ground a war of things / too late / we carry on
.

This poem was originally written with a couple of f-bombs in place of "fought" but in order to make it more accessible to a wider group of readers I've created this version. The other one is on this page somewhere.
Aug 2019 · 382
Call of the Reapers
Kevin J Taylor Aug 2019
Individual death is not enough.
Cities of death are not enough.
Entire civilizations of dead, now dust,
And they are not enough.
Extinction events are not enough.
Galaxies of death. Infinities of death.
Extinguishment of all life everywhere:
All forms past, present, real, imagined:
Death: Nothing.
.

I read a story about men in long black coats...
Jul 2019 · 568
FREE BEINGS
Kevin J Taylor Jul 2019
From out of the lights the Free Beings came
From out of the cities the Free Beings came

From out of the forests the Free Beings came
From out of the fields the Free Beings came

From out of the mountains the Free Beings came
From out of the darkness the Free Beings came

And the Free Beings are here
And the Free Beings are here

And the Free Beings are amongst us
.
Apr 2019 · 835
After Frost
Kevin J Taylor Apr 2019
It's snowing
Crows racing, caw-calling
Old hemlocks waiting
.
Apr 2019 · 959
Tall against the night
Kevin J Taylor Apr 2019
Below the smoking cliffs
We wait and parting ways

To live a while between the fires
You, there

And I
And Who had come

Already tall against the night
Eight threads

Eight shining cords
Of livingness

Are we not eight
But one? Just so
.
Apr 2019 · 483
Break my heart
Kevin J Taylor Apr 2019
Break my heart
Break my back
Waste my time
Bend my path

Do your best

I know Freedom
Future
Faith
.
Plagiarized on Twitter https://twitter.com/Dharkneeds/status/1186668799111716864?s=20
Mar 2019 · 839
Surgeon’s pride
Kevin J Taylor Mar 2019
no saws
no taxidermied limbs
to swell the surgeon’s pride
none seen behind the gleam
and paint
no gangrene
formaldehyde
no ether
excrement
red bags
and waiting
uncleaned body trays

no
today the sun rises
.
Feb 2019 · 941
Cold
Kevin J Taylor Feb 2019
Cold under a starlit sky
before dawn.

Cold in the dark
at the glow of false dawn.

Cold breath of shapes
that huddle by dawn.

Cold wind from the lake
at new day and dawn.
Feb 2019 · 6.0k
LOGIC STICKS
Kevin J Taylor Feb 2019
Don't beat me with your logic sticks
It ain't that I can't take the licks
My skin is thick, as thick as bricks
It's just I've had my fill of it

Chorus
          We'll beat you when you're up
          No, we'll beat you when you're down
          No, we'll beat you when you're up again
          And beat you when you're down

René Descartes rests headless in his tomb
Cogito ergo—ergo whom?
Don't beat me with your logic sticks
Fidem! ergo sum

Chorus

Don't care what makes your logic tick
It ain't that I can't take the licks
Don't know where your logic's been
Logic gets around

Chorus

Don't beat me with your logic sticks
My skin is thick, as thick as bricks
It ain’t that I can’t take the licks
IT'S JUST I'VE HAD MY FILL OF IT
.
This is a song lyric.
Feb 2019 · 3.6k
Vox Rhianna
Kevin J Taylor Feb 2019
Beauty without increment
(Instrument, implement)

A single breath
(Principled)

In spiritum unum
(Indivisibilis, invictus)
.
In spiritum unum = In one breath
Indivisibilis, invictus = indivisible, undefeated
Jan 2019 · 3.9k
Sally
Kevin J Taylor Jan 2019
"Don't be silly, Dad, I'm your only daughter."

"Yes. But you'd still be my favorite even if you had a dozen sisters and as many brothers."

"And your mother is my favorite wife."

"Oh Dad, you only have one."

"... At a time. And anyway, she would still be my favorite even if those other wives were favorites too, if I loved them all as much as you."
.
Jan 2019 · 7.1k
The Photograph
Kevin J Taylor Jan 2019
The photograph hangs on the wall by the window,
Three judges appear (one carries a folder)—
A tarot card reader, embalmer, engraver,
Without much to say and not much of it said
About the boot in the crib and the tire in the bed
The round faced man and the *** on his head
Painted with flowers and chipped on its edge.
And the cat near the door with its collar and bell
Flailing and airborne and mid caterwaul.
And the three-leggèd dog with her leash on
And sweater, jubilant, leaping— Mon Dieu! Grand jeté!
And the crow— O the crow! In its cage cawing “Fire!”
The crow crowing “Mayhem!” and “****** most foul!”
The dog and the cat and the crow and the tire
The cage and the crib, the *** painted in flowers;
All in a frame with a sign alongside—
“Self portrait. Around the Ides of July.”
A ribbon is clipped and then hung for its owner.
It bears the word “Mention” and then the engraver
Makes a note on a form he hands to the embalmer.
The tarot card reader turns— She and her hat,
And addresses the room, “Ain't no card made for that.”
.
An ekphrastic poem.
Kevin J Taylor Jan 2019
Authority: noun, (with capital A)
An expert source of inexpert advice
Or information, with little to say
But popular amongst Authori-ties
Which is the (noun) plural form of small minds
With little to say and lots of them saying
FACTS (Hear those majuscules!) HARD TO UNWIND!
We find ourselves inclined to decline such waylaying
Of truth or of fact with opinions sans stature
(Somehow I have managed twelve beats to my measure)
Like Truth from The Mount of their own manufacture
They pander and ponce for their profit and pleasure.
Authority: noun (with capital A)
What can I say? It's the Word of The Day!
.
Dec 2018 · 759
auparavant
Kevin J Taylor Dec 2018
It seems the walls that block my vision
were once my wishes, my decisions.

Lives seem built upon themselves and where
we are, who knows which floor? How high above,
how far below, how many more?

And every ceiling thwarts ascent—
each one a floor auparavant.
.
Auparavant: a French word meaning "previously".
Dec 2018 · 1.1k
Homage to Ogden Nash
Kevin J Taylor Dec 2018
I love to eat with just a spoon: soups, puddings too, if there is room. I love to eat with forks and knives while dining in with friends and wives. I love to eat with little sticks, especially the tricky bits. But most of all with hands and fingers or any things where flavors lingers.
.
Nov 2018 · 52
Color
Kevin J Taylor Nov 2018
What color is your heart?
What faith bleeds some other red?
What color is my heart to you?
What colors fill your world?
Kevin J Taylor Nov 2018
When I see flowers I pass them by.
And lovers, I avert my eyes.
Laughter makes me turn and walk the other way.

When I hear music I've got no place to go.
No place to hide. No quiet place to lie.
When I hear music I just close my eyes and cry.

It might as well be yesterday. Today is just the same.
Every morning lies and says I've come alive again,
That I'm not dying.

It might as well be yesterday.
It might just as well be yesterday.
Today is just the same.
.
Nov 2018 · 3.0k
Rise! (Whitman unwritten)
Kevin J Taylor Nov 2018
Rise! Rise! from this body
of prosody ex Auctoritate
whence, unknowing, each
cell, sine arbitro, marches here,
there, just so— Confusing
comet ice, constellations,
Van Allen skies, abandoned
seas. So again, a song may end.

Rise! Sing instead, embodiment
of purpose, ardent, godslike,
unhidden— Release your sounds.
.
Nov 2018 · 164
slep in starwells
Kevin J Taylor Nov 2018
slep in starwells
slep undr carnivaltrucks
gonwithout
slep in parkinlots cornr
darkgreengarbagebags

8 month old ry bred
dogfood wetdryflour
insecs bigmacs

worblankets
nbredbags

spare a dime
show me yr change
all show u mine
.
A poem I wrote a VERY long time ago about what it was like being homeless.
Nov 2018 · 1.3k
Lie between us
Kevin J Taylor Nov 2018
On a blanket on a wooden floor
Abandoned articles of war
Lie between us
And that future left behind
.
May 2018 · 5.4k
Orange Grove
Kevin J Taylor May 2018
If in some other life
we sat in endless space
(perhaps you came alone)
leaning in, could it have been
an orange grove?

If in another life
we listened (in this
or that other grove) and wept
and overflowed with hope—
Then it was real.
.
Apr 2018 · 3.7k
As ye love
Kevin J Taylor Apr 2018
Do not the mothers and the fathers
of Islam love their daughters, love
their sons, love the children as ye love?
.
Dec 2017 · 447
Peace Be
Kevin J Taylor Dec 2017
Peace last night.
Snow. White.
Still.
.
Nov 2017 · 7.8k
I don't care
Kevin J Taylor Nov 2017
I don't care who your god is
        It's alright who your god is
I don't care how you pray
        It's alright
All I care is where my heart is
        Here. Here my heart is
What I do with it today
.
Oct 2017 · 224
Tears in our eyes
Kevin J Taylor Oct 2017
It is hard to wash windows
with tears in my eyes
with tears in your eyes
.
Washing windows? Because I am a storefront window cleaner which pays the bills. We had angry words with each other the night before.
Oct 2017 · 11.6k
Not much to tell
Kevin J Taylor Oct 2017
Still here, my friend, not much to tell.
Winter came, wearied, went.
Spring—hurried skies, or sun or rain.
Hot summer days, hot sleepless nights.
Fall was fresher, raked what fell.
Another year. Mostly well.
.
Oct 2017 · 11.7k
The Hateful Man
Kevin J Taylor Oct 2017
Let each hate, and ours for his,
Be scraped away. Hopefully
He cared for some— At least the few
That may have cared for him.

Allow unchanged what good remains.
At length, with love or hate or both,
We go. In time, some with pause
And some without, return.
.
Oct 2017 · 1.3k
Begin
Kevin J Taylor Oct 2017
Begin with faith
Beyond belief
Faith is

Begin with hope
Hope is the point
Rekindle hope

Begin with love
Love in all
Love anyway

Begin with self
You, your universe
Made well
.
Sep 2017 · 2.0k
Everyone
Kevin J Taylor Sep 2017
I have not come, he says,
to defend God,
but to offend sinners.

Looks straight at me—
I am everyone.
.
Sep 2017 · 1.7k
Broken bowls
Kevin J Taylor Sep 2017
The road is littered
with broken bowls and buddhas
flung in bits from cliffs
.
Sep 2017 · 1.7k
Joy of Kitchen
Kevin J Taylor Sep 2017
Spoons
c-d-lick-k-k

pots/pans
b-bang-ng-ng
bowng b boawng
Hey!

-ey!
lids
CRSH-INGGG

Hey ng ng-ng b-ba-wnng Hey!

Hey!
HeyboangHecd-ba-b-yonnHey!
HeyowngHeyboangdeclick (SHiNGHey!)
Heyang-b-bang-c-dlick bongHey!
c-Hey-c-baowngSHINGGbonng-nging-Hey!
.
Aug 2017 · 10.6k
One Cat, Maybe Two
Kevin J Taylor Aug 2017
Raymond shifted his weight forward on the coffee
shop chair and leaned his cheekbone into the heel of
his palm. A childhood verse chided him in his
mother’s voice of over fifty years ago.

“Raymond, Raymond, if you’re able,
get your elbows off the table.
This is not a horse’s stable,
but your mother’s dining table.”


It didn’t immediately connect to any
pictures in his mind but he had heard it enough
to know it was real. An hour ago he had been
at his mother’s side in the palliative care ward.

She had appeared smaller than he liked to think of
her—had looked almost like he was seeing her at
a distance. She hadn’t greeted him, only closed
her eyes and said, “Feed the cats, will you.” It wasn’t

really a question. “Yes,” he answered, but the cats,
whoever they were, must have left or died years ago.
The only living thing she owned, he suspected,
was the small Christmas cactus someone had brought to

cheer her up. He looked at her again, waiting for
her eyes to open. They never did. Her jaw dropped
and that was that. Raymond hadn’t wanted to be
in the room when the nurses and orderly would

come to take her away. He stopped at the reception
desk to say that he’d be in the coffee shop
waiting for his brother and sister-in-law to
arrive. They were late and he was thankful to have

a few minutes to himself. From where he sat he
faced the open entrance of the café. There was
a couple sitting tiredly off to one side.
A man in a shapeless blue hospital gown and

slippers shuffled in pushing an IV pole ahead
of him. Raymond heard steps echo sharply down
the hallway. Here they are, he thought, hurrying
needlessly. Bill and Marijke had been fast asleep

at 2:30 am when Raymond’s first text message
came in. They never saw it until 5:00 when Bill
reached for his cell phone as he did every morning
right after Marijke turned off the alarm. “****,”

he said, “No time.” Bill, “William” on his realtor
business card, and Marijke, were used to demands
on their time from potential home buyers. But they
usually had early mornings to themselves—

breakfast, coffee, catch up on current events. Not
today. The text had said, “ASAP.” They hit the drive-
through at Starbucks on their way to the hospital.
“Hey Bill. Marijke,” Raymond said. Bill nodded. “Hey,”

he replied and paused to look at Raymond, to see
if he’d say something else, “Is she gone?” “Couple of
hours ago,” Raymond said. “Should we see her?” Bill asked.
“Can if you want, I suppose. Maybe later,"

Raymond said, "Did she have a cat? She mentioned cats.
I haven’t seen any for years. Did you take them?”
Mother might have mixed him up with Bill again.
Raymond looked at his brother who didn’t seem to

be listening and then at Marijke. "She used to
feed the neighborhood cats before she broke her hip,”
Marijke said. “That might be it.” It seemed odd that
Marijke knew more about his mother’s life than

her sons did. “Maybe you’re right,” Raymond said. “What’s next?”
“I’ll call her lawyer and get him on it,” Bill answered.
Raymond suddenly realized that his brother
had been listening. Marijke started to cry. 
 
Raymond pulled some napkins from their holder and pressed
them hard against his eyes. Bill looked down and away.
Over the next few days life seemed to stop. Nothing
more than daily routines and only as long as

they didn’t require much effort or attention.
Coffee, whatever was in the fridge—dishes sat in
the sink. Gradually he began to feel alive
again. It was as though he had been wrapped in blankets,

hearing distant, mostly muffled voices, glimpsing
unfamiliar rooms and spaces when he closed his
eyes to sleep. Marijke had startled him this morning
when she called and said to the answering machine that

Bill and she were coming over with something from
the lawyer and hoped he would be in. She didn’t
wait for him to pick up. She’d have known he was at
the kitchen table. They arrived mid-afternoon.

No knock at the door. Bill was the older of the
two and was the most like their dad. And Dad had not
been the knocking sort. Not with Raymond anyway.
Bill and Marijke each carried a bag of groceries

which they placed on the kitchen counter. “Thought you might
need some things,” Marijke said. “Nice to see you, Ray.”
She took a bag of groceries and made room in the
fridge for its contents: milk, BBQ chicken and

eggs. She placed the bananas in a wooden bowl.
“Saw the lawyer yesterday,” Bill started. “He has
the will but it doesn’t amount to much except
for the house,” he paused, “The equity has mostly

been ****** out of it. God knows what for. And there’s this…”
Bill dropped a large manila envelope in front
of Raymond. “I’ve already opened it. There’s an
envelope for each of us in there. Marijke

says we should open them together because we’re
all the family we have now.” He tipped the envelope
on its end and let the two smaller envelopes
slip out. One each for William and Raymond. Bill picked

his up and tore the corner of the flap destroying
most of the envelope in the process and
extracted what appeared to be several sheets of
neat handwriting. “It’s just a letter,” Bill said. He

put it into the inside breast pocket of his
suit jacket. Raymond waited a moment then picked
up the other envelope, turned it over and nodded
almost imperceptibly. He stood, walked to the

shelf between the window and the back door where he
had made room for the Christmas cactus instead of
leaving it behind. Not sure about the light, he
thought, and leaned the unopened letter against the

earthenware ***. “Not you, too?” Marijke shook her
head. “It’ll be like…” Raymond said, he paused, looking
at her, “It’ll be like not hanging up the phone.”
Marijke understood—he’d never open it.

“I get it,” she said in a softer tone. Bill looked
blankly at his brother. And Raymond smiled a little
for the first time in a while. By six the next
morning Raymond was already dressed and brewing

coffee. Usually he would head down to Timmy’s
Donut Shop for his caffeine fix. “Double trouble,”
he’d say, meaning “Double double,” as he always
did at Timmy’s. It amused him and often made

his favorite server smile. “Too much trouble, you mean,”
she’d say. Human contact. Raymond guessed that some of
the guys at the corner table would be wondering
how he was doing. They’d know what had happened, of

course, but they’d ask just the same. He poured his first cup
and walked out onto the back porch. Still a bit cool
out here, he thought as he leaned against the railing,
sipping his coffee as his eyes wandered around

the yard. He’d have another cup in a while but
first he had something he needed to do. Raymond
sat down on the porch steps and slipped his feet into
an old pair of shoes. He tied them and flicked the loops

with his finger to see how the laces fell, to
make sure he had not tied them backwards and would not
work their way loose. Someone had taught him that a long
time ago when they had seen his laces come undone.

He stood up and walked across the yard to the back
lane and the narrow picket fence, missing a picket
here and there and much of its original coat
of white paint. Some boys had probably pulled the missing

pickets off decades ago and with galvanized
garbage can lids for shields spent a Saturday
morning sword fighting. The gate was leaning and half
open, held there by uncut grass, weeds and neglect.

He stepped out and onto the lane that led between
the two rows of houses that backed onto it. Raymond
looked at each fence, each set of stairs and window as
he passed them by. A block later he turned and headed

home satisfied that he had seen at least one cat,
maybe two. Another cup of coffee in hand,
Raymond sat on the top step. On his way out of
the kitchen and onto the porch he had stopped to

turn the cactus in the morning light, stepped outside
placing a saucer of fresh milk by the porch door,
and sat down.

THE END
.
Aug 2017 · 9.0k
Relax
Kevin J Taylor Aug 2017
Keep calm.
What doesn't **** you
Just takes longer.
.
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