Crocodile Fears

My Friends,

A Reptilian Tale

Looking back, I remember the day well. I was skipping rocks near the water’s edge, when I spied two bulbous sockets breaking the liquid plain. Parting the waters like a submersible vessel, her massive crocodile body rose up. Her head cocked slightly as she surveyed my posture. I held the nonthreatening pose of a seaside pelican. She promised not to eat me for lunch if I promised to be a good listener. We both agreed.

I sat on a limestone shelf – one toasted by the morning sun. I leaned in close to her large triangular head. Her rows of teeth brought to mind the alien pillars of Bryce Canyon. I recalled how I’d been more enamored by Utah’s stalagmite forms than all the grandness of the Grand Canyon. I was surprised when her putrid breath hit my face. I didn’t wince, for those cold melancholy eyes kindled my reptilian compassion.

She sighed or snorted through her surface nostrils then whispered why she was brooding. Her words confounded me. She wanted – or that is – desperately needed to share her miraculous beauty secret. I didn’t know crocodiles held vanity in high regard. Expecting to pen an extensive list, I licked the tip of my blue ballpoint and flicked over the spent pages of my pocket-sized notepad. I sat pumped at the edge of my toasty rock. This astounding, fifteen-foot, two-hundred-year-old reptile appeared primed to live two-hundred more years, I suspected she must possess a powerful cosmetological recipe. I was certain, minerals and plant wraps would be involved.

Then that ancient reptile with rows of murderous teeth and callous gold eyes confessed to me that she’d been cheating death. I leaned in closer, my Bic hand sweating. She said humans had it all wrong and that crocodiles did most definitely shed tears, in fact, they shed many. It was tears that escaped her yellow eyes when her children were taken. It was fear that had frozen her ancient heart, when her bold sons and brazen daughters became pricey stilettoes and elite attaché cases.

Before sinking back into the dark water she whispered her beauty secret to me. “Beauty is submerging your body in quiet bubbles. Beauty is water changing from aqua to deep blue as the orange sun burnishes the wavy surface. Beauty is living two-hundred years and hoping to live two-hundred more.”

I watched the silent trail of delicate foam disappear along with her brown, wrinkled form. I never saw her again. I did not pen her beauty secret in my frayed notepad.
crocMay you dream beautiful dreams when you’re two-hundred years old.

Croc rendered last week with Tombow markers, a little white acrylic paint, a touch of Prisma pencil and lots of coffee. :-)


The Land of Little

My Friends,

Long ago
in the land of little
a big girl smiled
she worked small movements
she moved in tight steps
she managed
to be small
in the land of little

Long ago
in the land of little
trotted a pony
the big girl smiled
life was pretty ponies
and giant dreams
stepping up
she was asked
to step down
too big
for the little pony

big enough
to hide the tears

big enough
to have
smaller dreams
in the land of little
mistyMay you dream of galloping on a prancing pony with smooth, satin grass underfoot…

Shetland Pony painted when I was little :-)

Rubbing Earth’s Elbows

My Friends,

the sun rubs earth’s elbows
the moon caresses her back
the wind feathers the soil
the rain cleanses her wounds
the fire titillates new life
the ice sculpts her bed
the clouds find purchase
the mountains alight
her muse sustains us
in perpetual current
as dried leaves fluttering away…

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Thank you. May you dream of the seasons – old friends conversing at a tea party graciously allowing one another time to tell their tales…

Galeen in Autumn, collage created a few months ago. Published in a prior post.

Getting Ready to Leave

My Friends,

The warm door sweeps across the welcome mat
light spills out the snow-stained windows onto the walkway
It’s cold out there in the dark
Looking back
familiar laughter seeps out the cracked seals
like chimes in the wind
beautiful images tucked into the pockets of her travel coat

The warm door gently closes
she walks above the snow
and slips away into the night
moonlit chimes accompany her slippered feet
her thin hands slide into her travel coat pockets
caressing the memories
as the walkway disappears

Deer Friends

Deer Friends

May you dream of your warmest memories and hold them tight…
For Aunt Nina

Outside the Window

My Friends,

Outside the window buildings twirl into the clouds
Inside are wisps of twisted thought
Up in the skies are throbbing raptor hearts
Inside are thumps of programmed expectancy
Westward are sands that time cannot shift
Inside – the tap, tap, tap of an egg timer
Under the waters coral architects sculpt
Inside are teardrops falling down a drain
Outside the window the world plays against the glass
Inside the sun stops reaching
big skyMay you dream while awake…

Calcutta’s Brothel Children

My Friends,
Once in awhile, I’m reminded of my bubble. The bubble I float in across space. The oily mist lets me imagine rainbows. Its composition allows me to glide and not dirty the ‘souls’ of my feet.
Today was one of the days my bubble smacked reality. I watched a documentary by Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski. Their film, Born into Brothels, shines white light on the children born into Calcutta’s red light district. These young children rarely tread on hope. Their feet are too busy cleaning, scouring and hiding behind makeshift curtains – the flimsy sheets separating them from their working mothers. Many young girls will eventually take up their mothers’ occupation, some starting at age eleven. Some will be sold by their fathers.

The bright side of this award-winning film is the “power of art to transform lives.” Ms. Briski, a talented photographer takes several of Calcutta’s children under her wing. They learn that beauty can be found behind a lens. Ms. Briski goes beyond teacher as she dedicates herself to these young lives. She organizes an exhibit of their work in NYC to highlight their desperate situation. Of the children permitted to leave, Ms. Briski manages to secure them places in boarding schools. While some children return to the brothels of Calcutta, others are able to learn of hope and a better life…
CalcuttaThank you. May you hold on dear to your loved ones.
Calcutta Window sketched in the dark while watching documentary. 


My Friends,

We lived as kings
none as fierce
We unleashed massive power
taking what we needed
Impenetrable as we were
we did not understand
our inability to punch through
the black clouds
We lived as kings…
TrexThank you. May you dream of blue skies and rainbows.
T’rex Battle created in the 1990’s using Adobe Illustrator and a mouse.