Poems · Stories · writing

Upended Voices

Really all I’d like to do right now is laugh.

Just laugh and laugh until I can’t remember what I was sad about anymore.

Sometimes I think if I laughed enough the whole sky could come down and I’d jump around in puddles of cloud, and the blue would be like an ocean that never boils any fish or bleaches any coral.

Once it was nighttime I’d be able to collect stars like little lightning bugs and put them in a jar, and I could swim through the inky universe and pretend I was just another galaxy floating by.

I would especially love to hang out with the moon, since she doesn’t give sunburns and always seems nice.


I hope it rains tomorrow.

Random prose?

Stories · writing

The Cephalolad

There once was a cuttlefish named Inky, who, waiting to hatch, was very excited to explore the ocean with his brothers and sisters. Inky waited patiently in the comforting grotto, squinting through the thin film of his tiny universe as each egg around him gave a little pop! and out came a new baby cuttlefish, no bigger than your thumb. (note for Juba: kids’ fingers, even thumbs, are very small. So Inky is a lot smaller than your thumb, but just the right size and source of wonder for anyone of a more compact stature.)

Inky counted on his tentacles to pass the time, one, two, three, four, five, six, until suddenly… pop! Inky was shooting away toward his siblings. When he reached them, he was a little tired, so Inky watched as his brothers and sisters darted around, changing color and figuring out how to blend in with the things around them, which is how the cuttlefish do. Inky drifted towards one of his sisters, who was trying to match the color of some deep green seaweed she had found.

“I wanna try that!” Inky said, drifting closer. He squinted at the seaweed and then closed his eyes, concentrating as hard as he could, and when he opened them…nothing. Inky was the same grey color as before! But how could this be? He looked at the cuttlefish around him, not one the same shade of blue, orange, green, or purple. It seemed so easy for them! “Maybe you weren’t trying hard enough”, his sister shrugged her tentacles, which were a lovely shade of green. Inky frowned, starting to get a little worried.

He moved over to to his big brother, who was in the middle of blending in with a purple sea anemone. Inky was determined to get it right this time. He closed his eyes and concentrated as hard as he could, picturing the sharp spines and dark hues in front of him. When he opened them again, his brother was laughing, “how many spines do you think an anemone has, squid-for-brains? That’s like, ten too many!” He said, sporting a very purple and very correctly-numbered-amount of spikes on his back.

Inky turned an immediate shade of pink and scooted away, doing his best to smooth the bristles.

After unsuccessfully blending in with a coral reef, (turning what appeared to be checkerboard, rather than orange), and after interrupting (quite by accident) the neighbor mantis shrimp, who he mistook to be a colorful brother, Inky floated sadly to where his parents were floating watchfully nearby. He stared after his older siblings, all flitting about and changing every color imaginable in the blink of an eye.

“What’s wrong Inky? Why aren’t you playing with your brothers and sisters?” His mom drifted down to him. Inky told his parents how he couldn’t seem to blend in with anything. His dad laughed, which Inky did not think was very nice of him. “I think I might have an idea of what’s going on,” His dad held up two tentacles, “how many are there, Inky?”

Inky squinted for a long time before answering, “there are…three? No, four! I think…” He replied, not quite sure.

Inky’s parents gave each other a knowing look, and disappeared briefly into the grotto behind them. When they returned, his mom was carrying a pair of glasses! Inky hesitated, “what if everyone else thinks they’re silly?” He wondered.

“I promise they won’t! And even if they do, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what you need in order to succeed!” Inky’s mom said, chuckling at her own little joke, and placed the glasses over Inky’s eyes.

It was like taking a deep breath after a particularly nice nap. Everything was so bright and clear! Inky immediately tried blending in with the sand below him, turning a delightful sandy-tan. “It works!” He laughed, swimming off to show his siblings.

As soon as Inky jetted into the group, three of his siblings rushed over to see what their brother had on his face. Inky excitedly showed them how easily he could change now. Orange, green, red, purple, blue, polka-dot; he was a kaleidoscope of colors! His siblings ooed and awed, asking Inky if he could show them how to change colors so fast. One of his brothers asked if he could have glasses, too!

And so with time, Inky became well-known across the surrounding reefs, with astounding colors brighter than anyone else on the seabed.

Poems · writing


Shooting stars abound above us

I stand transfixed

Rooted in the sky

Free from your truth, your lies

Oceans of thought below me

Of stars, of light, it floats by

This watery tincture will cure

Will cure my heart

We’re torn apart but we will be new

I’m coming soon

Coming soon

In that room

Echoing cavern

Hope and be new

Repeating because these words ring true

Rise above

Drink in that love

Be new

Be new

Drink in and be new

Poems · writing

Out To Sea

She thought she had it all figured out, all grown up, so very wise

That little daughter, only so much cannon fodder, used as someone else’s guise

No match for pirate’s, a little girl like she,

When they tossed her in that barrel she was carried out to sea

No mermaids here, no siren’s laughter,

Only that little girl with waves that thrashed around her

They were hungry, and it had been so long, since they were fed by little more than song

A memory then, she heeded here, of those pirates whom she never held too dear.

One of them would tease and pry, rejoicing at tears of frustration flushed from her eye

Another one, his name was Cree, always knew she’d be thrown out to sea

The third, she thought of, had deep blue eyes, and in desperate want of a better disguise

With short cropped hair and baggy clothes, this pirate didn’t look much like a woman, she supposed

Still, she knew now too late, the cleverness of that particular crew mate

Hopeless and hapless she drifted on,

Days bled into nights,

(You can’t exactly tell when there is no light)

And she felt drawn

Through this despair she did not weep,

Though that may have been due to the lack of sleep

A barrel is not a comfortable home, but in her heart she was far from alone.

She remembered her friends on the shores of Merleign,

The boy with grey eyes who would walk down her lane

She was always glad to make him smile, as it made him that much happier, for awhile

Now she had to focus on her own pain, and not on a world so far away

Thinking of her father’s words, she found some strength and quietly versed,

“Draining all my life out, worrying over you

But you’re gone out of my sight and there’s not much I can do

I’d just as soon fly from here if I thought I’d get some answers

Struggling with what love means and whether we’re all in danger

Though something stops me in my path

Every time I go, my love, I’m sure you’d laugh,

But I’m afraid somehow of what you’d think of me.

Showing up announced, an unwanted pithily.

So I travel on, wanting more of your song,

Though now it’s up to me to form the melody.”

The daughter squared her shoulders, bracing herself with her father’s poem,

Pushing up against the wood, splinters welcome a blessed pain,

As she breaks through she can see sunlight again.

Using a long scarf to catch the breeze, striped colors flashing bright,

The little boat (for that’s what it has become) darts over the waves chasing away her plight

A smile lights up in her face, and she’s on her way,

And not a single cloud,

(Except that fluffy one)

Covered the day.


Segments Of Mind

The laughter in my dreams is keeping me awake. Do you know me, still? And where are you now?

You live in my mind and I’m hard pressed to find any proof of your previous existence. I reach out in hesitation, is it better that I laugh and smile, despite this stipulation?

This absolutely reeks of desperation, but isn’t that what I am? Desperate? No. Alone? Closer. Most days I scream into the echo chamber where you used to live.

My heart aches, my bones break, they tell me “god, just get over it.” but when I close my eyes I see your face. Every step reverberates with you, and I no longer know what to do.

The silence falls upon me in waves, drifting through this numbing haze, I think I see the ocean floor. I’ve never been this deep before.

The dreams tied to my ankles keep me safely weighted down, and hopes cling sticky to my chest, beseeching me to drown. 

My body is pulled apart, segmented. My once beating heart again dented, and I’m fighting now for air.

In this nightmare you’re there. You see me and I call out, but bubbles are all that fall out. With a flick you flit away, leaving me to this decay

Breath boils in my lungs. Feverish, fickle, “she’s so young”. Tears don’t show up underwater.

Waking from my death I sputter, breathing deep I feel another

Wave coming on.

A siren’s song.

I wish the numbness could be gone.