A Stunning Prose piece, Recurring Dreams Of a Happy Child

Of Water and other Dreamy Things

I  had the BIGGEST IMAGINATION when I was a child. One recurring dream I had was that our house was full of water and I could swim all around in it like a big aquarium. Now, I am sure there are all kinds of interpretations of this, but for me…it sparked this lovely piece of prose. Enjoy!

Water Bubbles Under the Sea

Of Water and Other Dreamy Things

 

          I used to dream of water. Not the kind of water that winds down hills, shifting itself, a great endless slinky stepping across land to a vast and hungry sea, but a strange, floating, weightless water that filled our tiny house from wall to wall, window to door, toy box to floor. Iridescent blue, glowing, breathing, holding great bouncing bubbles in its belly, it welcomed me. Moonlight crept in the windows, wrapped its arms around each bubble, and danced a quiet waltz down my arms, across my back, and into my floating brunette spirals.

          I swam from room to room. From my bedroom I swam, down the quiet hall past my brother’s room with the great clown walls, past my parents ’room with the drawers of pencils and paper and the gray flat table where Daddy drew lines that made buildings grow up, to our white-flushed simple bathroom. There I’d float before the mirror, a tiny princess. I’d brush my teeth and get ready for school; my jeans legs pulling on easily without the usual tug and jerk. Jeans weren’t heavy in liquid dream. Mom didn’t have to shove her arm up the pant legs to tuck in the extra length., knuckles scraping knobby bone. My sleeves hung like moss, a velvet hug on cool skin.

          I used to dream a lot of things and not always in my sleep. I used to hear monkeys in the woods. They sang to me as I sailed on wooden swing, feet stretched toward sky, waiting for the night to bring its firefly dreams. A crimson sky would yield once more while toads tucked themselves safely under stone.

          I used to dream. I was a magical child.

If you enjoyed this, please like and comment, and check out these prose pieces as well:

“Clarity,” Winner of the Arrowhead Awards Best Prose Work, 2004

Today~

Horizons

A poem Inspired by the Green Lacewing – Your garden Helper!!

Green Lacewings are a delicate insect with intricate lacy veining on their wings. You may have never noticed them before. If you see them, be happy! They are a very beneficial insect to have around your garden because of the garden pests (insects and larvae) that they predate. So munch away at those pests dear Lacewings…today we celebrate you through this whimsical poem…

See the source image
Green Lacewing

Green Lacewing

See the source image
Alpine Asters

 

The delicate smile
Of a green lacewing
Landing there, on
An aster reaching
Toward Heaven.

A union made
By chance of the breeze,
Nature’s own, entwined,
Tickled with the soft,
Cool dews of April.

If I could become so small
As to land upon flowers!
To flit about in that freedom!

If I could climb into
your copper eyes,
Would I remember
How it tickled me so?

If you could please,
I’d like to visit the garden.
I need to feel the whisper
Of your wings
As we dance among
The bees.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading. If you enjoy the poetry here at Fiddleheads & Floss,  please be sure to like and follow. Have a wonderful day!

~Christina Ward
poet / blogger / nature enthusiast

Hoppy-Toads in the Summer ~ a poem

 

Black and Brown Frog Sitting on White Concrete Floor

I don’t know about you but when I was a child the summers were magnificent. Long hot days spent out in the yard, playing in our sand box and on the swing set my daddy built. He also built our sandbox which had a second floor with a tire ladder to climb up. There was also a circular arrangement of logs he stood up on end and held together with a chain that made a spiral staircase. He painted the tops of them different colors. We’d play “Cops n Robbers,” chasing each other through the tall grass, June bugs slapping against our shirts. We drove our Hotwheels in the sandbox, wetting the sand with the garden hose so we could build things out of the wet sand. We chased butterflies, followed ants, captured caterpillars and begged mom for a Styrofoam cup or a jar to put them in. We rode our Big Wheels, our bikes, and our scooters.  The sun set late. If we were playing down the street, we’d come home when the street lights came on. This later time of the day was the perfect time to find what we called hoppy-toads. If you’ve never gone hoppy-toad huntin’ in the waning of a summer day, then I implore you to take up your bucket and give it a try. Enjoy this ode to the hoppy-toads that lived in our yard and brought me great joy as a child.

Hoppy-Toads in the Summer

 

Hoppy-toads grow fat
tucked behind cool gray
stones and fragments of brick.
A yellow bucket nestles
there, waiting. 

Determined,
I take up my bucket
The white plastic handle
Digging into my arm.
I set out.


I lift each rock carefully
Disturbing the grass
Unveiling worm and cricket.
I search for them
In the cool, dark places.


The edge of the driveway
No stone unturned
But to no avail.
I set my eyes on the
Row of bricks beside our house.


Finally, a fat one leaps
But I am fast.
I scoop him up and
Plop! He squats into
The corner of my bucket.

Hoppy-toads like friends,
I think, and search for him
A mate. A companion.
The third brick hides her.
Plop! Into the bucket she goes.

Desperately Seeking Oblivion

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Desperately Seeking Oblivion

 

He wants to taste it,
quick on the tip of his tongue
sliding with ease down
down into his gut…

Someone should tell him to stop
swallowing it whole.

A strange enigma,
[oblivion]
tasting like nothing,
encompassing, delivering, numbness…
a capsuled oasis in vast desert
to which all will dig and crawl
our tongues in our hands.

Sometimes the depth to which he thinks
is too deep for him to take…

So he swallows down, an
emptiness that won’t settle.
Again and again it rises
hissing in the back of his throat,
an esophageal argument
without victor.

He swallows it down again.

 

 

Thank you for reading my poetry. Be sure to follow, and check out my other poetry posts. 

Christina

Tomorrows ~ a poem about HOPE, by Christina Ward

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This poem is about hope. About reaching into tomorrow and becoming whatever you want to be. It is about connecting with the world around you and truly feeling inspired and blessed by it. What will your tomorrows bring? Will you embrace it? Here is my newest poem:

Tomorrows

 

Here it is.
A new year rising,
a great orange ball
of fire in the sky,
wearing my name
like a smile.

The door behind me
closes so easily,
the dust slipping away,
falling away like ash.
Grays can be
so deceiving.

This year I will dig
through colors and words
and paint them out
with a new fury.
Unbound and imperfect
I form and take flight.

Possibilities hang,
towels in the wind, clean,
smelling like summer,
tomorrow peeking through them
smiling at me.
Hope is fresh in the trees.

I am a fiddlehead
rising,
unfurling.
Can you see me?
The winds that drive me
are ever-changing.

I am feathers and fury,
green and growing,
Cirrus and stratus
stretching my arms in the sky.
I release and release
and unfold.

 

 

 

 

Comments and likes always appreciated. Have a great day everyone! (Note here, if you enjoy my poetry please do share it with others that may enjoy it. My group of readers is slowly growing and I would love to have more readers who can appreciate my work. Thank you so much.)

 

Christina ~

Doe Season in Mamma’s Kitchen ~ a poem about my childhood

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Doe Season in Mamma’s Kitchen

 

Every week or so Daddy brings home a stiff-legged,
russet-colored doe and hangs her by her feet on my swing set.
Mamma blinks her eyes away and silently wipes
down the aged green countertops
with a dilapidated kitchen sponge.

He is careful with the knife in the afternoon sun,
b
lood mixing with sweat,
dripping from his elbows.
The dirt below is painted a muddy sienna
that stays for days.

We are careful where we step,
remembering the blood that had
drained from her nose.

Daddy works quickly.
I turn my eyes from the tongue, hanging there
f
at, limp, pink.
Mamma defrosts the freezer with hot water
that runs across the floor.
We mop it up quickly,
slip out of Daddy’s way as he carries each
veiny lump to the counter.

He washes them carefully.
They drop and slap loudly in the sink.
He wraps them, marks them,
arranges them in piles on the table.

Mamma prepares the flour and the skillet.

 

Christina Ward, 2019

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My childhood was a humble, but blessed one. I grew up in a family of 7: my parents, my 4 siblings and I, in a 2 bedroom, one bath “mill house.” My father was a deer hunter, as are most of the Uncles in my family. I remember gathering around them to hear their “deer stories” which were basically long, drawn-out tales of their hunting adventures. You will never meet a finer bunch of hard-working, nature-loving, down-to-earth men as these.

My final year of college I wrapped up a minor in English with a “concentration in writing” as there was no writing minor available to me, by taking a class in environmental writing. This class was designed for me. I was the only student. I began the words that would eventually become this poem while in that class. I wanted to pay tribute to the legacy of deer hunting and the genuine, deep love for the environment in my family.

A word about deer hunting and the environment: Due to habitat loss and fragmentation, would-be predators for deer (other species populations) have been forced into smaller areas as they retreat from areas they once roamed and hunted freely. Ecologically speaking, the numbers of prey species outnumber their respective predators. When the predators are removed, the populations of the species they would normally prey upon can reach unsustainable levels which could lead to too much competition for food and subsequently starvation, among a host of other issues. The US Fish & Widlife service and state Fish and Wildlife Services are crucial in monitoring population trends and setting hunting parameters which are then used to monitor key populations. The fees collected from hunters to maintain their hunting licenses also contribute to environmental conservation projects.

For more information:

US Fish and Wildlife: Hunting

Article on Hunting and Habitat Conservation

***Trophy hunting of big game  and endangered or threatened species, however, is another matter. I will offer NO argument in favor of that travesty.

Thank you so much for reading my poem. I understand this is a subject matter that can be difficult. I grew up very conflicted with my LOVE for deer (as equal a time my father spent hunting, we spent loaded up in the car driving at a snail’s pace through local state parks to look for, count and watch the deer) and my desire to understand why people would want to hunt them. I understood my father hunted and fed our family but as a child, it was still difficult to accept. I am grateful now to have a better understanding. Again, thank you for reading “Doe Season in Mamma’s Kitchen.”

Please see some of my other poetry on environmental issues, nature, and wildlife. Together we all play a very important role!

Hoppy-Toads in the Summer ~ a poem

Green Lacewing ~ a poem about these beneficial garden insects

Cornucopian Dream ~ a poem for my fellow Earth lovers

No Return, A Heartbreaking Poem about the Soldiers of the USS Indianapolis

No Return

Suspended,
rafts drift with blood
and oil they spread on
their gaping faces.
Dorsal fins flashing, stirring
like soup spoons.

Death waits below,
saucer-eyed, evolved.
Dog tags slink down the
esophagus of the sea,
silver coins shimmer
then vanish.
Faces toward Son,
they that remain uneaten
claw themselves,
beg to be found.

I am here,
settled into couch
you, layed out beside me,
your head in my lap.
You look up at me and flash a silver smile.
Your irises, soft shifting blues,
a hungry mercury sea
drawing me in…
I slip from raft,
soldier to mermaid,
surface to thermocline.

Christina Ward, 2009

USS Indianapolis(pic. from: http://www.ussindianapolis.org)

Author Note: The USS Indianapolis sunk in the last campaign of WW II, on July 30, 1945, just two weeks before the end of the war, when it was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58 Many men lost their lives in the two days they spent adrift. Only 316 men of the 1199 were rescued on August 2, 1945 when they were spotted by a patrol aircraft. This poem was inspired by the plight and suffering of these soldiers and I hope it serves as an honoring of their suffering. To the men and women who serve our country, thank you could never be enough, but it is a start.

Thank you.

Cornucopian Dream ~ a poem for my fellow Earth lovers

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**Trigger warning, rape reference but only metaphorically speaking

 

 

Cornucopian Dream

It topples, crumbles
into soils that regret
to bear their yield.

We burn it, borrow it,
bend it and stake it,
box it,
ship it,
buy it,
b
ut we cannot make it.

We cannot build minds
that know the end,
minds that know no want,
minds that know enough
must surely be
enough.

Abscission is approaching
and on her heels
is Winter.

She must be angry that we
have raped her Mother.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I earned my Bachelor of Science in environmental science, I have been told a “junk” degree, but it sure wasn’t, and isn’t, to me. I treasure my environmental education, and the liberal arts college I earned it from. It is difficult to hear people discredit science when it comes to Climate Change, something that YES is a naturally occurring event, but not at the RATE at which it is happening. Imagine you are driving a car toward a concrete barrier, and you are destined to hit that barrier. You are going 1 mph. Are you afraid? Probably not. Now imagine the same scenario, only you are going 100 mph. Completely different feeling, right? Well, the simplest way to explain Climate Change is to say that humans have sped up the natural process so much so that it is no longer safe, not for the earth, and not for all of it’s inhabitants.

My writing, if you are following it, is permeated with references to nature. I cannot help this. It, simply put, is part of who I am, and often the core thought that births the poem. The preceding poem is addressing the burden I feel concerning our precious planet. It was written in 2008, but still touches  me. I hope that you can connect to the core purpose of it and that it touches you as well.

Christina Ward

Gone ~ A poem

Gone

 

Civilization swings
one extreme to the other.
You try in vain to understand it all.

A silenced moon hangs low, red,
angry,
and you are on the other side
walking a tightrope of a dream.

Hasn’t anyone told you
that you are gone?

You know I care about you,
you said.

That night I dreamt of sunflowers,
Schweinitz’s, the kind
you don’t see much anymore.

Fingertips pulling at my hair from behind
remind me that
Somewhere beyond my quiet porch,
bent around corners I no longer see,
the rain is whispering your name.

Hasn’t anyone told you
that I am sitting here?

I smile,
because sunflowers are beautiful,
even if I can’t see them.

 

Christina Ward
8/22/06

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Author’s Note: Schweinitz’s Sunflower is endemic to my region of the world. This precious flower species (pictured above) is a member of the Asteraecae family and has been on the federal endangered species list since 1991. (Gale 2000)

 

“Distribution

Schweinitz’s sunflower is endemic to the piedmont of the Carolinas, where it is currently known from 10 populations in North Carolina and six in South Carolina. The North Carolina populations are located in Union, Stanly, Cabarrus, Mecklenberg, and Rowan Counties. The species has been extirpated from Stokes and Montgomery Counties in North Carolina. All the extant and historic sites for the species in South Carolina are in York County. Thirty-eight percent of the historically extant populations have been destroyed. Most of the remaining populations are small, with four of them containing less than 40 individuals each.” (Siler, R.)

 

REFERENCES:

The Gale Group Inc. (2000). Schweinitz’s Sunflower. Beacham’s Guide to the Endangered Species of North America. Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/science-magazines/schweinitzs-sunflower

Siler, Robert. Schweinitz’s Sunflower – Helianthus schweinitzii . Retrieved from http://www.scwf.org/schweinitzs-sunflower

 

 

Dear Mr. Valentine

A hastily written but mightily felt wish of the heart…

 

Dear Mr. Valentine,

 

You sleep next to me like a happy rock.
As night rolls over into tomorrow,
I sit staring at our future.
Two creaky rocking chairs are there
Gnawing at the porch as we rest our aching backs
And laugh until breathing hurts our ribs.
Waterfalls and grassy balds and eagles
We’ve shared will occupy our minds
As we, together, will forget to say
The things we forgot that we meant to say
And laugh, still more.
This tea is so good, you’ll say.
I made it for you, I’ll say.
We are great old people aren’t we, Babe?
We’ll agree.
Just like we’ve always said we would be.
Dear Mr. Valentine,
as you lay there sleeping
As the night turns over to February 14,
I just want you to know I don’t need any flowers.
I remember all the ones we have seen.
I don’t need a ring or shiny things.
I remember the suns and the moons we’ve seen.
I don’t need you to say a bunch of romantical things.
I see them in the way that you still look at me.
Just promise me that
We will make great old people someday.

 

Christina Ward
2/14/19

 

 

Because sometimes you just decide it’s Valentine’s Day, and there are things to say. To the “happy rock” sleeping next to me, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for reading…Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!