Dahlia Ravikovitch, “Pride”

I tell you, even rocks crack,
and not because of age.
For years they lie on thier backs
in the heat and the cold,
so many years,
it seems peaceful.
They dont move, so the cracks stay hidden.
A kind of pride.
Years pass over them, waiting there.
Whoever is going to shatter them
hasn’t come yet.
And so the moss flourishes, the seaweed whips around,
the sea pushes through and rolls back—
the rocks seem motionless.
And suddently the rock has an open wound.
I told you, when rocks break, it happens by surprise.
And people, too.

You get a poem today, because it’s almost midnight and I haven’t time to blog because I am too busy reading a good book tonight.

Hope you liked it!


A Bad Dream

There was a loud crash in the hallway. A stack of boxes left over from moving, still packed, slamming down to the floor.

I woke to the crash, heart hammering in my chest. I clutched the blankets under my chin, white-knuckled, my whole body locked up in a statue of fear.

There was something out in the hallway.

I heard a rustling out there, something moving among the detritus that spilled from the boxes onto the floor.

I turned my head, ever so slightly, to the door. Peeled open my eyelids and let them adjust to the near darkness, the only light coming from so far down the hallway, a lamp left on in the living room.

I couldn’t move. Fear paralyzed me. There was someone – or something – in the house in the middle of the night. Roaming my halls and the new rooms. Making messes.

I wanted to call out “Who’s there?” or lie and say that I have a gun, which I don’t, which I never would, because guns are dangerous and I can’t bear to touch them. I wanted to be strong and get out of bed, go to the door and open it, see what was out there, but I couldn’t move.

I heard another noise, a shuffling of cardboard, and my tense muscles tightened further. My hands became claws wrapped in the fabric of my sheets, unwilling to let go of their lifeline.

I closed my eyes again. Breathed deep and slow and quiet. Maybe if I just close my eyes it will go away. If I could get back to my dream, that picnic by the stream in the middle of a beautiful green valley, that dream – If I could get back to it, maybe this would all go away.

There wouldn’t be someone – or something – out in the hallway.

There would just be me, sleeping in my bed, not worrying about all the horrible things out in the world.

And then, a footstep. Unmistakeable. And then another. Coming toward my room.

I squeezed my eyes shut tighter, a sound like a pig’s squeal came from my throat and I kicked my feet under the covers, my body telling me to get up and run, but some broken animal part of my brain telling me to cower, telling me I’m not a fighter. I’ll go early in a zombie apocalypse.

The door opened, and I looked – I had to look.

A shadow in the doorway, stepping forward.

“Mommy,” my daughter reached out to me in the darkness. “I had a bad dream.”

This was written for Yeah Write’s Speakeasy writing challenge. The challenge this week was to use the first line: “There was a loud crash in the hallway.” and to make reference to this beautiful image that was provided:

Hibiscus-300x225This is the first piece of fiction that I have written and posted here on The Janie Doh Daily – tell me, are you interested in reading short fiction here in the future, or should I keep a separate blog for my writing challenge pieces?

Barbara Ras, “You Can’t Have It All”

But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could I would bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys
until you realize foam’s twin is blood.
You can have the skin at the center between a man’s legs,
so solid, so doll-like. You can have the life of the mind,
glowing occasionally in priestly vestments, never admitting pettiness,
never stooping to bribe the sullen guard who’ll tell you
all roads narrow at the border.
You can speak a foreign language, sometimes,
and it can mean something. You can visit the marker on the grave
where your father wept openly. You can’t bring back the dead,
but you can have the words forgive and forget hold hands
as if they meant to spend a lifetime together. And you can be grateful
for makeup, the way it kisses your face, half spice, half amnesia, grateful
for Mozart, his many notes racing one another towards joy, for towels
sucking up the drops on your clean skin, and for deeper thirsts,
for passion fruit, for saliva. You can have the dream,
the dream of Egypt, the horses of Egypt and you riding in the hot sand.
You can have your grandfather sitting on the side of your bed,
at least for a while, you can have clouds and letters, the leaping
of distances, and Indian food with yellow sauce like sunrise.
You can’t count on grace to pick you out of a crowd
but here is your friend to teach you how to high jump,
how to throw yourself over the bar, backwards,
until you learn about love, about sweet surrender,
and here are periwinkles, buses that kneel, farms in the mind
as real as Africa. And when adulthood fails you,
you can still summon the memory of the black swan on the pond
of your childhood, the rye bread with peanut butter and bananas
your grandmother gave you while the rest of the family slept.
There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother’s,
it will always whisper, you can’t have it all,
but there is this.

I love this poem. I love poetry in general, and thought – why not share my absolute favorite poems sometimes on the blog? Let me know what you think about this. I myself love sharing poetry with people, opening people up to new thoughts and ideas and taking in words that flow so beautifully and true.