Boredom, Competence, Poetry, Satire

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: Bless! Bless the Passionate Red Lights of Christmas!

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel

(About a 2 minute read)

I interrupted Evelyn before she had properly asked her question.
“A poetry slam in Manitou? Sure I’ll go! You bet!
Now what were you going to ask?”

That was yesterday. Tonight I’m thinking, “How rude of me!
When was the last time I interrupted someone?” But then,
Twenty years since your last slam is time enough to get hungry.
Besides. Besides, I’m probably almost over the trauma of it, I hope.

To speak as an artist, Sarah and Josh did it right — visually.
Good hosts, those two — visually. On Poor Richard’s quiet patio,
Candles on every table, summer’s stars above, colored Christmas lights.
It all came together to create a bit of magic that night — visually.

Ah, the volunteers! There had to have been a typo in the ad,
The ad requesting poets willing to sound their work.
There had to have been a typo in that ad.

Someone must have crossed out “poets requested for a public reading”,
And then inserted, “Compassionate, soft-spoken folks needed to whisper
Phone books in soothing tones for the benefit and relief of insomniacs”.

An easy mistake to make in a newspaper office on a day busy enough,
Busy enough to kill six, maybe seven people from overwork.

I admit it was my own fault. I confess I’m to blame for having picked
A table way back, way out of hearing range. Second row and center.
But how was to I to know the couple in front of me would be so boisterous
As to loudly breathe? Couldn’t hear much of anything over their crashing ocean waves.

Now and then a lucky breeze would blow six to a dozen words my way.
All of them uttered in monotones.
Such a refreshing breeze! I hung on every word.
Or to be more precise, I felt deeply every word, just as if it were my hanging.

But what a wonderful night it was!
What a wonderful night it turned out to be!
A wonderful night!

A wonderful night to spend counting the Christmas lights.
Ecstatically, step by step, I approached the blissful goal
Of summing all the red bulbs that night.
There were 144 in all, and every last one of them a blessed relief to behold.

4 thoughts on “A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: Bless! Bless the Passionate Red Lights of Christmas!”

      1. I lived there for over a year — way back in the day, Marysa. The downside was the town’s economy is tourism. So a lot of cheap, shoddy tourist trinkets in some of shop windows.

        But the upside is just wonderful. Free concerts Monday nights during the summer in one of the public parks. Friendly people in the coffee shops — such as confident, free spirited women who approach you out of no where in the shops to introduce themselves by sitting on your lap. Original yard sculptures every fourth or fifth house down. Old, ornate Victorian Homes jumbled together with eclectic more modern designs. Seven natural mineral springs, three that you can drink out of, and whose waters are rumored to cure hang-overs. An artist’s incubator that rents studios at low cost to aspiring artists trying to establish themselves. Mountains within a short walk of the town’s center. An annual competition just after Christmas to see who has spent the year building a catapult capable of tossing a fruitcake further than any of the other catapults. And even a 100 room castle.

        To give you an example of the town’s artistic spirit, I lived in a cottage there that the landlord had hired an artist to paint — so the artist painted it in such a fashion that it appeared like it was in the process of being painted. Every time I came home and saw my cottage, I would think, “Looks like the painters just left. I wonder if they’ll be back tomorrow to finish it up?”


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