Chasing Taillights


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Rio Grande Gorge, Taos, NM

Down the highway
Through the canyons
Where spirits soar
In the gusting winds
Swirling their way
Through my mind
Through the trees
Through the passing cars
As I try to find my way
Back to the memories
Back to the imagination
Back to where I belong
Home

Emmaline’s Opal


dragon
A darkness moved across the sun. Emmaline looked up and then rushed under cover of the bushes. The sunlight shimmered off the dragon’s creamy iridescent scales. Once it flew over, she ran as quickly as she could down the path to her secret castle entrance.
She ran into the throne room, her father, brothers and several knights had gathered.
“Father! The dragon…”
Her mother came into the room behind her and caught her arm. “Why are you running through the castle? Can’t you see that your father is busy running the kingdom?” She pulled Emmaline out of the throne room.
“But Mama, the dragon.”
“Your father is taking care of it. You need to be back in your room working on your lessons.” Suddenly, her mother reached over and pulled at her hair. She pulled a large twig from the princess’s tangled hair. “You have been running around outside again. It is just not ladylike! I am going to have to lock you in your room if you can’t start acting like the princess.”
“But Mama.”
“Don’t talk back to me, young lady!” The Queen was angry. She marched her daughter down the hall to her room, opened the door and pushed her in. “You need to stay in here and think about how a princess should act. And I do not want you going into the forest ever again! It is too dangerous for you. What if you were to be kidnapped? Or worse, what if the dragon found you?” She left the room, locking the door behind her.
Emmaline threw herself down on the bed, but she couldn’t cry. She had to do something. Her father and the others were going to ride right into a trap. She hadn’t had a chance to tell them where the dragon was going.
She rose and walked to the window. She could see that the hunting party was preparing to leave. She needed to get down there before they departed.
Quickly, she changed into the worn pants and shirt she has gotten from one of the stable hands. She braided her long hair and put the braid inside her shirt. Then she slid on her riding boots and a long, dark cloak, pulling up the hood to cover her face.
She plumped up her pillows under the blankets on the bed so that, hopefully, her mother would think she was sleeping. She grabbed her bow and quiver of arrows, then slipped into the closet and through the passageway that led to the kitchen. Moving quickly, she got to the bottom of the stairs and then walked out into the bright sunlight outside.
The knights, led by her father, were mounting their horses. There was a nervous excitement in the air. Everyone was excited about hunting the dragon, but afraid of what would happen when they found it. Emmaline found a small gray horse, saddled and waiting for a rider. She mounted the horse and then moved around so she was as far away from her father and brothers as possible. She whispered encouragement to the little horse as they began the trek into the forest, keeping close to one of the knights who had several pages with him.
They took the main road leading through the castle heading east. The column of knights, pages and horses moved quickly through the forest. As they came out into a clearing, they could see a huge plume of smoke rising from the village. Suddenly, the dragon flew up over the ridge. He was huge with opalescent scales. He slowly turned over the village and then quickly dove, a burst of flames shooting from his mouth. As the stables went up in flames, horses ran terrified from the burning building.
The archers moved to the front of the line and prepared to fire on the dragon. The rest of the soldiers began to move into the forest. A small group of men began to ride toward the village. The dragon saw them coming and turned toward them, swooping through the distance in an instance.
Emmaline dismounted and led her horse back into the woods. She found the tallest tree on the edge of the forest and climbed to the top. She watched as the group of men split up and ran in different directions. That movement confused the dragon and the archers chose that moment to let their arrows fly. Most bounced harmlessly off the dragon’s opal scales. A few lodged in the dragon’s nose, which just irritated the beast. He dipped down suddenly and blasted the nearest man and horse.
The archers prepared to fire again. The dragon saw them and began to fly toward them. The archers held in a line until the dragon was almost upon them. As he began to open his mouth, they fired. Several arrows hit him in the nose and mouth. He shook his head and the flames sprayed wildly. A small stand of trees burst into flames, flushing out the men and horses hiding in them. One unfortunate soul ran screaming aflame.
Emmaline had watched the volleys of arrows hit the dragon and had a plan. His face was vulnerable and she thought that if he were shot in the eye, it might just be enough to take him down. But was she good enough to do it herself? Or should she climb down and try to convince the archers to aim for the eye? As she thought, the dragon came around for another pass. He was bearing down upon the archers and the main group of soldiers, including her father and her brothers.
She didn’t have time. So she notched her arrow and slowed her breathing. The Master Archer found it amusing to teach the princess with her brothers, until Emmaline had turned into a better archer than her brothers could ever hope to be. The Queen had been furious and refused to allow Emmaline to continue the archery lessons because “it was just not ladylike.”
She took a deep breath and held it as she drew back on the bow. Slowly, she released the air as she aimed. The dragon was coming closer, ever closer. Making an adjustment for a slight wind, she let the arrow fly. She notched another arrow, even as the first spiraled in slow motion toward the fuming beast.
Bullseye! The arrow entered the dragon’s eye. He slowed and the second arrow followed it. His body jerked and then fell from the sky, crashing to the ground. Knights ran to the fallen dragon and looked her direction.
She started climbing down the tree and by the time she got to the bottom, there was a group of knights waiting for her. Her brother, Michael was among them. He knew who she was before she hit the ground.
“Emma! That was an amazing shot!” He pulled the hood from her head, showing her face to the knights. Then he lifted her to his shoulders and carried her to their father. The look of shock and then joy on the King’s face made Emmaline feel incredibly proud.
He lifted her down from her brother’s shoulder and pulled her into a hug. “I am so proud of you, my girl. But you do know your mother is not going to be happy.”
“But if I hadn’t been here, you guys would have been killed!”
“I know and I will talk to her. But she is still going to be disappointed that you are not the little ladylike princess she had always hoped for.”
Just then, her brother, Brian came up and ruffled her hair. “I brought you a present.” She turned to look at him. He was holding a beautiful opal scale from the dragon. “I thought you might like a souvenir of the most incredible shot I have ever seen!”
Emmaline went and got her horse. She rode back to the castle at the head of the column, triumphantly, by her father’s side. She walked into the throne room with him and her brothers. The Queen moved toward her, but was stopped by the King. He spoke quietly to her for several minutes.
When she turned back to Emmaline, her face softened. She opened her arms and Emma ran into them. She could feel her mother’s tears on her cheek. She showed her mother the dragon scale. “Oh, it is beautiful! If you would like we can have the jeweler create a necklace for you. I am so very proud of you.”
She looked to her father. He smiled but then said, “I am happy you were there and that you were able to slay the dragon. However, we will need to talk about your sneaking out and disobeying your mother. After all, I can’t have a Master Archer in Training who doesn’t listen to what she is told.” And he walked to her and pulled her and her mother into a huge hug.

Snowstorm


Winds

Biting, snapping, painful

Cold

A few icy flakes

Frozen pellets blowing in the gale

Multiplying now

A whirlwind of snowy bullets

That melt upon hitting the ground

Until darkness cools the ground

And all the liquid deviltry

Refreezes

Into slick, dangerous glass on roads and sidewalks

Covered by the continuing snow.

What to Do? What to Do?


 

Silly question really because the plans I am worrying over are all long range plans; nothing as easy as should I have chicken for dinner or go for a drive on the weekend. My dilemma is do I pursue my charter school idea or do I continue the path I am on now and buy my cabin and travel. Both ideas get me excited. I just don’t think I can do both successfully.

I love my job. Currently, I am the reading specialist and 6th grade English teacher at a charter school. I know I am making an impact in many children’s lives.  I could easily continue to do this happily for the rest of my career.

A few years ago, I was part of a team who was writing an application for a charter school. Our team spent a lot of time planning how the school would operate and going to trainings to learn the best ways of writing the application. We went to Santa Fe and defended our application. It was rejected the first time; however, we were given many ideas on how to make the application stronger for the next year. Unfortunately, before we got very far into the second application, our team fell apart. And then, my marriage fell apart. I am not sure what happened to the charter school plan as I have lost contact with the rest of the team over the years.

The idea of creating a school has stuck with me over the years. I have a plan in mind. I would like it to be a STEM school, focusing on life and earth sciences. We would have access to irrigation, so water usage, water resources, and environmental studies would be important. There would be a community garden, which would be used, in part, to feed the students in the cafeteria. I would also like to have small animals, such as chickens or rabbits. These aspects would also allow for agricultural sciences and biology. I have not started planning the application or gotten anywhere beyond the daydream stage with this, but I think it is a viable idea for a school.

I have a couple of things I need to do before I get serious about this daydream. And, interestingly, they are the same things I need to do if I don’t. I need to do my dossier to move to a level 3 teaching license in New Mexico. I am planning to do that this spring. I am four classes away from completing an administrative license and since I am so close, I should finish it. I’ve thought seriously about working on my doctorate, although that is on hold for now and not really necessary for either of my plans. Finally, and probably most importantly, I need to get the disaster which is my personal budget figured out. I am working on it but have a long way to go.

Now, for the other option, I would still want to complete all of the above. I would like to buy a cabin in the woods and a house in town. Nothing big or too expensive in either case. The advantage of this option is that I will have time to do many of the things I enjoy. I would be able to continue working on my writing and my crafty things. And I would be able to travel! By not committing myself to a large, time-consuming project, I would be able to enjoy many of the things I want to do. I would also continue to teach, so would still have the satisfaction of helping others and making an impact on my students’ lives.

I know this isn’t a decision I have to make right now. I can continue with what I am doing for now and make the choices when the time is right. And I’m sure that it would be possible to do both, it just wouldn’t be easy. It’s exciting either way!

Furbabies


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Complications


passion

Complications

You were the complication I didn’t need.
With your smiling eyes
Treated me like a queen
Left me reeling
Lying there
Bones turned to gelatin
Brains to mush
Stretching languidly
Smiling
Like a cat heading to prowl

We fit together so perfectly
Two, interconnected
Electric impulses
Following your magic hands
Nerve-endings on alert
Feeling the rush
As passion crashes over us
Synchronous movement
Screaming
Our pleasure to the heavens

I wasn’t looking for this
This need, like a bullet to the brain
Aching
Begging for more
Knowing I should run
Yet wondering just where
Into your waiting arms?
Or as far as fast away
Confused
With you on my mind

Happy Birthday to my First Love


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So many many years ago, I fell in love. I didn’t know at the time I was in love…figured I was too young and afraid to commit to anything. Afraid to defy my parents.

That man stayed on my mind for years. I thought about him all the time, even through a marriage. After my first divorce, I located him and we did talk. He was with someone else, but it was good hearing from him.

A couple of years ago, we reconnected on Facebook. I was married, although we separated a couple months later. He chatted with me a lot through my break up and will always hold a piece of my heart for being there for me when I needed support. He is with someone now and I wish the two of them all the happiness in the world.

Somehow over the last couple years, I have found my own strength and realized that I am pretty happy on my own, living my life the way I want. I also realized that the boy I fell in love with and who had lived in my mind for so many years was not the man he actually became. I had changed him into someone of my own making over time.

Ghosts in the Shadows

Walking down by the river
Deep in the underbrush
I found you
Hidden in the shadows.

Memories flood my mind
Like unshed tears
As I realize
Those memories aren’t memories at all
Rather manufactured dreams
Dreams of how we could have been together
If we had stayed together
Ghosts of a past
That never really existed

How can I hold you if you were never real to start with
How can I look the real you in the eye
Knowing that my remembrances
Over all these years
Have been altered to fit my ideals
You have been changed

Watching the mist change with the rising sun
I see the ethereal vision of you
Fade into the mystical magical
And know that the dream will remain
Even if you never reappear.

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