Friday, September 02, 2011

Broccoli and Other Stories

Carol Eve Ford

—Carol Eve Ford, Kenai, AK

The blue has drained
from the summer green,
when the dull yellow of endings
unexpectedly catches its icy breath,
changes its tune,
blazes instead
a brilliant gold,
a swashbuckling copper,
and a red
so penetrating and joyful
that the loons sing Hallelujahs
all night long!


—Carol Eve Ford

Morning wakes me
with misty rain ghosts
gusting in phantom columns
across the tormented lake.
Wind wreaks havoc with trees,
bends them to near-breaking,
the shy underbellies of leaves
helplessly exposed.
The dog whines,
thumping her tail.
I pedal the exercise bike
until I can go no further.
I have gone nowhere.


—Carol Eve Ford

He loved women
like a gourmet chef
loves ingredients.
Every nuance of every herb,
spice, fragrance, texture,
he savored them, inhaled them,
doted on them and cherished them,
sought out their every implication,
their deepest essence.
And each was wildly, briefly certain
that she was his favorite.

One watched,
leaning her shoulder
against the refrigerator door jam —
peeking from the crisper drawer.
When she realized that she was simply
broccoli —
utilitarian, ever-present, plebeian, ordinary
broccoli —
it was something of a jolt.
She supposed broccoli was the right image:
plain, steady, nutritious, easily forgotten,
comfortably intense, not horribly unattractive,
when fixed just right.
She had garnished the plate
of several succulent creations
before she recognized that,
for good or ill,
she was simply — solidly — boringly —

Oddly, for all the joyous energy he lavished
on each facet of the culinary palate,
his own personal eating habits were vague
and veiled in mystery.
She supposed that eating was very much secondary
to the heady delights
of creation.
She, of course, could not speak from personal experience
of his actual
eating habits.


—Carol Eve Ford

Translucent, he sits,
bathed in light,
emitting light,
illumined with potential, purity, holy essence —
my backseat toddler,
all eyes wide with plans and baby ideas.
Yet suddenly — there he is beside the road.
How did he get there?
Diaper bottom goes up first.
He stands jackknifed, then up, balancing
beside his toy,
poking, exploring, absorbed.
“That child!” I think, horrified, marveling.
I pull off the road.
So much traffic!
His little red jacket is solid in the distance.
I can hear — even so far off —
the soft rustle of his diaper
as he squats again, looking underneath.
I run.
He is too far away for me to see the smile,
the absorbed, awed concentration,
But I know them like I know my own heartbeat.
The traffic,
gusting by, oblivious,
blows his downy hair.
A cry tangles in my throat.
I run,
willing him to stay where he is,
a mother willing,
holding time and earth still
by sheer will,
gasping, stumbling,
yet the little red jacket appears farther and farther away
the faster I run.
The diaper whispers
as if he were sitting in the sunlight in my living room.
He stands, and heads out on a nameless baby errand
across the highway.
The silver car screeches into the toy.
The translucent, golden hairs
dance fairy-like above his eager little head,
full of sunlight
and dreams,
against the dark, oncoming truck. . .
In the sweaty darkness
I jerk myself awake,
NO! He is safe downstairs in his bed,
almost as tall as I am, now. Just a dream!
And yet,
his translucent,
holy essence
toddles wide eyed
among the roaring traffic of now,
just out of reach.


—Carol Eve Ford

In the living stream colors
rush and swirl
in interchanging patterns,
or pool
and minuet
in ripples
and soundless, geometric dances
along the sandy edge,
tossing, rolling, winking sun
and sky
and forest
back and down
into its ever-shifting tones.
If we take a picture —
many pictures —
and if we analyze the colors,
we could follow how the greens go.
We could see what happens
when emerald
eddies around glistening granite
and what blues there are in a cascade.
We could follow each passionate ribbon,
write papers on the physics
of purples
in mountain streams
at dusk.
with overlays
to examine the interchanges
and how depth and speed and light
influence sapphire to silver,
green to gold
and back again.
If we analyzed
with compassion
and depth,
with a light touch,
we might rhyme the reasons,
comprehend the currents of cause,
and effect,
make sense
of these
stream stories.
Or maybe just
take off our shoes and socks
and stick our bare feet in
for now.


New visitor to the Kitchen—this time all the way from Kenai, Alaska! About herself, Carol Ford writes: My childhood in a small California farming community (mumble) decades ago was uncomplicated and fun. My stories were happy, I sang, danced and performed stories in local venues, and all my poems rhymed. College brought love, marriage, teaching high school in Montana briefly, then it was “Mom” all the way. Many of the stories in those years were not happy, and sometimes neither my life nor my poetry rhymed. But writing continues to offer hope that I may survive.

Our family moved to Alaska in 1980, where our youngest son was born. We live on a lovely lake with the other loons. I continue to tell stories, collect oral histories, write poetry, prose, and plays, perform and direct community theatre productions, teach writing and storytelling on all levels from preschool to adults for Kenai Performers, The Arts Alliance, Kenai Peninsula College, UAA’s Kachemak Bay Campus, and the Alaska Humanities Forum as well as for schools and others around the state. And I write. I’ve illustrated one book, and hope to do more. And I also enjoy writing. I’m currently learning about getting things published, which I have never had time to do before this. But I do love to write. I am a storyteller. And a writer.

Welcome, Carol, and thanks for your tasty contributions! Come back and see us soon.


Today's LittleNip: 

The one essential thing is that we strive to have light in ourselves. Our strivings will be recognized by others, and when people have light in themselves, it will shine out from them.

—Albert Schweitzer



Kenai, Alaska

Kenai Peninsula