Teach Me, Lord

Dear Lord in Heaven up above.
Teach me to be blind.
Teach me not to see the misery,
The suffering,
The pain,
In the souls around me.

I want to be happy, Lord.
Not sad.
I want to smile.
And laugh.
Not frown,
And cry.

I don’t want to know
What’s wrong with the world.
Or the people in it.
I don’t want to know
About those who are sick.
And dieing.
I find knowing that disturbs me.
Upsets me.
Makes me cry.

I want to be happy, Lord.
Not sad.
I want to smile.
And laugh.
Not frown,
And cry.

Teach me, Lord,
To walk away
From the people of this world
Who know things are not OK.
They ask questions,
And say things,
That make me think about
Things I rather not.

I don’t care about gun control.
The poor.
The haves, and the have-nots.
So what if there are children
Here in town,
That have no food to eat tonight?

If I think of things like that.
I’ll be sad.
I’ll frown.
And cry.

Teach me, Lord,
To be oblivious to everything
That could bring me down.

So it is, Lord in heaven, up above,
I ask again tonight,
Turn my heart to stone.
And blind my eyes.
So I’ll believe
Everything’s alright.

#MidWeekBluesBuster 12 : Sea Of Love

I sat on my towel, on the sand, watching the calm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Feeling the soft breeze flowing from the Gulf to the shore in the early morning, while the ground was still colder than the water.

I closed my eyes, and felt what little hair I had left moving in that breeze. I felt the sunshine on my face. I listened to the quiet, calm surf of the Gulf. I’d told her, once, it was like the Gulf was a giant swimming pool, with calm water, and peaceful waves.

Sitting there, it was like I could reach out, take her hand, feel her fingers interlace through mine, feel the warmth of her skin, the delicate, graceful lines of each finger. It was, of course, nothing more than a memory. I’d never see her again, at least, not in this world. No one would ever see her again.

She was gone. Beyond the veil of life. Where I couldn’t yet follow. Where I couldn’t yet reach.

But every year I returned to the Gulf. To her favorite strip of sand. She’d always loved it there. I used to watch her get up before the sun, spray herself down with insect repellent, and walk out to the shore in her swimsuit, barefoot, with nothing but an old Wal-Mart shopping bag.

I used to follow her out, taking a long, two-hour walk on the shore. I always saw her as I walked out and back. She’d be there, up to her ankles in the Gulf’s waters, peering into the sand, looking for shells. And I always loved to watch her. Such a simple thing, searching for shells at the beach. Most people would ignore her.

They never saw what I saw. The brilliant blue light shining in her eyes. A light that I could never see enough. A light connected to my heart. The gentle smile on her face that said everything in the world was OK. That made me feel alive.

Sitting on the sand every year, I always wished I could see her one more time. Watch her searching for shells, with her eyes so very much alive, and he smile driving away all the hurt and pain of the world.

I couldn’t. I knew that. She was gone.

All I could do was sit on the sand. And remember.

All the times we’d visited the Gulf. All the times I’d walked along the water’s edge with her, holding her hand in mine. All the times the world just went away, and left me alone with her. Happy. Every year I took long walks by the water. Watching the clouds and the calm, relaxing waves. Remembering the days my heart was still alive. The days my soul still cared for life.

Remembering her.

471 Words
@LurchMunster


Trying Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge again. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

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Fifteen Years

One day, there she was. We hadn’t seen each other in fifteen years. She was with her spouse. They’d been together 25 years at that point. She recognized me. I’ve been told I never really change. Just age. The lines in my face growing deeper. My hair growing more grey, and ever thinner up top. “Tom?”

I heard her voice. I stopped walking, and turned to look for who had asked my name. I saw her standing there, staring right at me. I didn’t know who she was. “Tom?” she asked again. “Is it you?”

I didn’t speak. My mind was racing through my mental archives. Searching through everyone I’d ever known. Everyone I remembered. Trying to remember people I’d long ago forgotten. She spoke as if she knew me. “Tom. It’s me. Barbara.”

I tilted my head to the side. “Barbara?” My mind searched for that name. I’d only known two people with that name in my 65 years on Earth. One in high school. One from the land of work. A land I’d exited rather suddenly.

As I stood there I remembered her. “You don’t remember me,” she said. “Do you.”

She was wrong. “I remember.” I wanted to add, “How could I forget?” I didn’t. It wouldn’t have been right. I’d come to realize in the years after my exit from the working world, I’d hurt her. I’d never meant to. But I had. It took me years to figure out what I’d done. And how my coming apart had hurt her.

I still didn’t really understand what I’d done. How what I’d done had caused so much damage. I only knew it had. I had.

“You look well,” I threw out a phrase I’d learned through the years. Something I knew people said to each other. It was a social skill I didn’t have. One I could mimic, but I couldn’t understand it. Small talk. “You look happy.”

She smiled. “It’s been a long time.”

I knew how long. I’m like that. I remember dates. Times. Events. Like the date and pretty close to the time of day I’d met my wife. The date, and time each of our children were born. Dates my mind considered important always remained in my mind. I could never forget them.

I could never forget the dates tied to her. The date she told me she was ill. The date the people at work had sent me home, forcing me out on leave. The date those same people declared I was never to talk with any of them again. For any reason. So many dates.

I remembered other dates. The one I’d told her I’d take her out on a boat, on the river, any day she asked, for as long as she wanted to go. The date I’d told her I’d send her a picture of a rose once a week until she got well. The date she’d come back to work after her first round of surgery. So many dates.

“15 years. Give or take,” I’d learned to fuzzy up the answer. I’d learned imprecision. Precision upset people. It disturbed them. Made them uncomfortable.

“How’ve you been?” She smiled as she asked. I remembered her smile. And her eyes. Both still reached right to my soul, touching my heart. I knew I could still forget everything just by looking into her eyes, seeing her smile.

She’d never understood, I knew that. No one ever had understood. Except my family. And my doctor. They knew. They understood me. They knew I loved Barbara. They knew I believed she was my friend. Someone I never wanted to hurt. Someone I would help any way I could.

Barbara never understood that kind of love. Learning I cared for her, learning I loved her scared her. She backed away. And everyone that knew both of us acted to keep her safe from me. Now, there she was. Standing an arm’s length away from me. Smiling.

I took a chance. I glanced, briefly, into her eyes. Then, I looked at her husband. I smiled at him, and extended my hand. He accepted the gesture. “Good to see you both,” I stated the greeting I’d learned over the years.

I’d promised myself I’d do one thing if I ever saw her again. I’m a lot of things. Disturbing. Disruptive. Confusing. Lost in a social environment. But I always tried to keep my word, and I’d promised myself, and God, I’d apologize to her if I ever saw her again.

I looked back at her eyes. She always had such beautiful eyes. “I’m sorry, you know.”

She just looked at me.

“I never meant to hurt you.”

I looked at him once more. “It’s been good seeing you both. I wish you well.”

With that, I smiled one last time, at her. Then I did what I had to. I turned and walked away. I knew how much I’d changed. I knew she didn’t know who I was. She only knew who I’d once been. I knew too, she’d never understand me, what I’d become, who I’d become. Part of why my time in the working world ended as badly as it did was to protect her. From me.

I wouldn’t take the chance to hurt her again. I would honor the wishes of the people I’d once known, and protect her from me.

So I turned, and walked away.

#VisDare 13 : Atmospheric

At the altar, we turned right and walked down a short hallway, through a door, into daylight. We were on the bank of a large, fog covered lake. I could see old wooden posts jutting out of the lake where piers had once been. On the far side of the lake, I could see mountains, their tops hidden by the clouds. There was a walkway parallel to the shore of the lake. Alice led me to its entrance. She held my hand the whole time.

“Taran,” she smiled. She was so happy she was crying. “No one ever called me pretty.”

“Why?”

She didn’t answer. I stopped on the walkway and looked out over the lake, watching the fog. I put an arm around Alice’s waist, and pulled her close to me. “Why?”

“The others from the caves,” she whispered, “weren’t like you.”

146 Words
@LurchMunster


This piece is the tenth piece in a continuing story I’m working through for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.

#VisDare 8 : Listen

The door closed behind us, and Alice kept pulling me along. We were in another hall, that led to a train tunnel. A train was waiting. Alice pulled me into a car, and thought, “Please, sit where you wish.”

I sat next to the doors of the car. The train started moving. “Listen, Alice,” I asked, my voice filling the car, “You’re pretty, so I don’t mind following you, but I’d like to know where we’re going.”

Two voices spoke in my head. One was Alice. I’d never heard the other. I didn’t understand either voice. When the voices stopped, Alice sat down beside me, and spoke, “I’ll  tell you where we are going, but first,” she looked at me and smiled. I thought she had a gorgeous smile, stunning eyes, and very kissable lips. “Do you really think I’m pretty?”

150 Words
@LurchMunster


This piece is the fifth in a continuing story I’m working through for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge. I like all of them.

#BCF : Month 2, Prompt 1 – It Was All A Lie

BCF_Month_2_Prompt_1_PictureBCF_Month_2_Prompt_1

I wrote this for Business Card Fiction, Month 2, Prompt 1. Please go read all the other entries in this round of Business Card Fiction. They are all well written, well crafted little pieces of art. You can links to them all here:

Business Card Fiction, Month 2, Prompt 1, Judged by J. M. Blackman

#12DaysBop : Day 5 – Camellia Blooms

It’s day 5 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the topic is flowers. I love flowers. And this time, I went with something true, for someone I remember…


IMG_2655They say, as long as you remember someone, they are still alive. At least in some way. I like that thought very much. Because it means you’re still alive. Because, I remember you. We went to high school together. You were one of my friends. I had so few friends back then.

I remember your smile. The way it made your eyes crinkle. I used to look in those eyes of yours. They weren’t the prettiest I’d ever seen. But they were pretty. Yes, you weren’t a hot chick. It was the 70s. The days of Charlie’s Angles. Dukes of Hazard. You certainly didn’t compare to Jill Munroe, or Daisy Duke. But then, who did? You looked pretty to me.

I’m sorry for all the 33 years we missed between then, and when we met again. It was sad to learn you were so very ill. I remember calling you. Some people said I was doing that ’cause I was being nice to you. They said I was doing that ‘cause it was the right thing to do. But you knew. You knew I was calling you because I wanted to. I wanted to talk with you. Not that I ever said much. But I did love to listen to your voice.

I’d hoped to visit you someday. Meet your family. But that never happened.

You loved the pictures of flowers I shared with you. Especially the Camellias. I find sometimes, walking here, through the Camellia trees filled with blooms. I remember you. Your smile. Your laughter. The sound of your voice.

I’m glad I do. And maybe someday. When when it’s my turn to move on. I’ll get the chance to visit you again.


Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 5 – The Gift Of Flowers

#12DaysBop : Day 3 – A Song Of Hope

It’s day 3 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the topic is the gift of music. There’s a song I know. One of my favorites…


“There’s a song I want you to hear,” Tommy sat next to Becky in the Panera’s.

“Another song?” Becky sighed. “The music you like is so… Depressing.”

“Not this one.” He opened his laptop and clicked play.

After a few seconds of the melancholic piano music, Becky shook her head. “See? Depressing.”

“You don’t understand it yet. You have to hear the whole song.”

She tried to listen, but the song was really depressing. The story of someone’s dreams coming to an end.

Standing by the ruins of your soul
That cries for some more meaning
Wondering when you have become
So cold

She was relieved when the song ended. “It’s such a sad song.”

Tommy‘s head sagged and he looked at his laptop “You didn’t hear it, did you?” His smile was gone.

“Hear what? The story of someone’s life falling apart? Everything coming to an end?” Sometimes, Tommy was so hard to deal with. How could he tell her this song wasn’t depressing? “Just another of your depressing songs.”

Tommy signed, then whispered,

Forget yourself
And who you are
Another life
Is not that far
Not that far

Becky could tell those words were important to him. “Tommy?”

“It’s what I had to do.” He looked up, right into her eyes. “What I had to do, when…” His voice faded into silence.

Becky saw the memory of pain in his eyes. She’d always wondered what he’d done before she’d met him at work, always wished he could trust her enough to tell her. “Tommy?” She reached out. Placed her hand on his, and quietly, almost whispering, asked “When what?”

Tommy smiled. “I’ve always wanted to tell you.”

That day at Panera’s, he did.


Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 3 – The Gift Of Music

Have You Forgotten?

Why do you say
There is no hope?
Why do you act
So doomed?
As if the world had ended.
Or will end soon.

Don’t you understand?
Don’t you see the truth?

Each day of life we get
Is a gift.
Each heartbeat.
Each breath.

Why do you give up
On the future?
On the unknown?
On what hasn’t happened yet?
Do you really know
What is to come?
Do you know
What each day will bring?
Can you see
Ahead in time?

How do you know
The Earth will not quake today?
A gigantic wave
Won’t wash the oceanfront away?
Someone else
Won’t plow their car
Into the side of yours today.

How do you know
This won’t be
Your last day?

Yet you sit there.
Doing nothing.
Not living at all.
Not smiling.
Not laughing.
Not feeling the breeze
Flow past the fingers
Of your hands.
Not feeling the warmth
Of the heat
Within your house.

Not thanking God above
That your heat beats.
That you aren’t
Hooked to a machine
Just to stay alive.

You don’t see the flowers.
You don’t see the clouds
Floating in the sky.
You don’t see the trees
Along the ground.

It’s as if your blind
To everything around.
Everything life gives to you.
Each day.

Even when you know
It doesn’t have to give you
Another day at all.

Why do you stay inside.
Wishing.
Dreaming.
For the days of glory
Long past now?
When you were happy.
When you didn’t have a worry
In the world.

Why do you sit there
And wish
Those days would return?
When you know they can’t.
You know there’s no way
To turn back the clock.
And yet you wish
Things could just be the same
As they were in the days
When you were happy.
When you smiled.
When you laughed.

When the world was a place
You wanted to live in?

Why don’t you want
To be alive right now?

Have you forgotten
The simple joy
Of each breath you take?
Have you forgotten
That you have food to eat
Every day?
More than you need.
More even than you want.
So that you throw food away?

When you know
You could be that person
You saw just yesterday.
The one on the corner.
Dressed in rags.
Outside in the cold.
Without a coat.
Holding up that cardboard sign.
“Will work for food.”

And you sit there
And complain
About your horrible life?
You call that person
With that sign
A failure.
“His kind are what’s wrong
With the world today!”

And your Jesus said,
“The poor will always be here.”

And yet you say,
“Hide them from me!
I don’t want to know
Such people exist!
It spoils my view
Of the world that I live in!”

And you hear the words
Of that song you heard
On the radio
From years ago,
“Get a job,
You fucking slob.”

And you drive away.

Have you really forgotten
The gift you have been given
By life
Every day?