Monday, October 12, 2009

I offer you a song (one of fourteen) from my musical COSTUMES
opening Thursday, October 22, 2009, at the Tulsa Garden Center.

I Remember You

I remember you in autumn with leaves in your hair
How your eyes smiled at mine with the love that we shared
I remember a kiss, I remember a sigh
But most of all I remember the vow we made to not say goodbye

Time is but a costume we don't know we wear
More masquerade and make believe than those sewn with care
It's a blindfold, a mask, it's a truthless disguise
Cast it off and let your heart feel the love that I see in your eyes

I remember you in autumn when I opened the door
How your magic and your laughter soon made my heart soar
I remember that kiss, I remember that sigh
But most of all I remember the vow we made to not say goodbye

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's Time For Hallowe'en

Copper pumpkins grin with chiseled fang
And blaze a burnt sienna roguish eye.
Blushing leaves rehearse a twilight twist
‘Til branch and breath are lost in lullaby
That sighs farewell to summer’s meadow green.
Without a doubt, it’s time for Hallowe’en!

Caterpillars crawl along the road
With woolly jackets, dreaming wings to fly.
Starlings swoop the harvest fields to roost
As sunset streaks of honking geese reply
To Beldame Nature’s artful change of scene.
Without a doubt, it’s time for Hallowe’en!

Clouds unmask a waning moon that slips
On spider threads across the autumn sky.
Elfin folk concealed by darkness paint
Their ghostly frost-writ ferns to prophesy
Foreshortened days with longer nights between.
Without a doubt, it’s time for Hallowe’en!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

First Mate

I have a Pirate Skeleton in my sock drawer.

In July 2006 I flew into Portland from Tulsa, rented a car, and zipped north along Interstate 5 toward Seattle, through the tallest cedars and firs I’d ever seen, when I realized I was far too hungry to drive another mile without food. I pulled off the highway.

“I’ll have the chicken wrap, small orange drink, and a pirate skeleton,” I said at a drive-in window.

McDonald’s was offering its “Summer of Happy Meal Fun” based on Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” and banking on the popularity of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. I must say the eye-lined, swaggering captain caught my attention. But I didn’t want to order the Happy Meal; in fact, I wasn’t even sure what a Happy Meal was. A chicken wrap promised the least amount of indigestion for the hours of driving still ahead of me.

“You want what?” The girl squinted through the small window.

“The chicken wrap, small orange drink, and one of your pirate skeletons, please!”

Not only was I hungry, I was in desperate need of a First Mate to keep me awake behind the wheel on my Northwest Coast adventure, even if he was only a five-inch tall felt toy with a chartreuse complexion. As I pulled back onto the highway, he stood proud in the cup holder, his big eyes and toothy grin making me laugh as he kept watch over me through unfamiliar territory. He wasn’t a lot of help when we got lost between parkways known as East Lake Sammamish and West Lake Sammamish, but we were road buddies and that made all the difference.

In Seattle, I discovered he fit neatly into the pocket of my corduroy jacket. From that moment on, we were inseparable. He joined me for hotel breakfasts, lunches of Dungeness Crab, late night snacks of chili and beer. He shivered in my pocket as I hiked along Hurricane Ridge on the Olympic Peninsula in a windy 55 degrees. On an Argosy Cruise from Elliott Bay to Tillicum Village, he peeked out to look at a mystical Mount Rainier and drink in the salty breezes. When the salmon flew from fishmonger to fishmonger at the Pike Place Market, though, he ducked deep inside. On our way back to Portland, he refused, without explanation, to leave the cup holder to view Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

In Portland he snoozed on the pillow next to mine in a second-story Victorian B&B room until a middle-of-the-night disturbance in the Cascadia subduction zone fault swayed the entire building. He thought he was back out at sea; I thought I was going to get seasick. The next day he talked me into buying an armload of books, plays, and maps at Powell’s, all of which I lugged back uphill to the B&B while he stretched out in my pocket.

We continued our journey south through Oregon, past skiers enjoying a glacier-covered Mount Hood, past distant volcanic peaks known as The Three Sisters, past the Deschutes River and into Bend for a first-ever family reunion. He guffawed at the stories eleven cousins and their families shared into the wee hours, guffawed, that is, until I locked him in my suitcase. Two days later, he was back in the cup holder as we retraced our route north to the Columbia River Gorge. In Hood River he drooled in my corduroy pocket as I walked along the back roads and plucked ripe blueberries and blackberries, their purplish juices exploding in my mouth. Too soon we stood together in the mist of Multnomah Falls, returned the rental car in Portland, and flew back to Tulsa. His first flight. I worried he might barf in my pocket, but he was a real trouper.

I have a Pirate Skeleton in my sock drawer. Every morning when I open the drawer, I chuckle. At him. At me. At how he keeps me from taking myself too seriously and, at the same time, turns my sock drawer into a treasure chest of memories.