Umbrella

I wait at the bus stop as usual to catch the last bus home. I’ve come to know a few others who take this bus and smile at them as they arrive to wait with me. I say “hi” and make small talk with a few of them. I don’t know any of them well, and we usually stop talking when the bus arrives. Today is no different. The bus arrives and I get in line behind two other middle-aged men who are dressed like they just left the gym. I think to myself “I used to wear clothes like that.” As I am about to board the bus, a hand taps my shoulder and I hear a woman say, “Excuse me?” I turn around and see a disheveled lady wearing a coat that reaches her shoes and a hat straight out from a 60s gangster flick. I gaze into her eyes and she continues, “Is this your umbrella?” I look at the umbrella being held out to me and I know that it isn’t mine. I reply, “Yes, it is.” She pauses a moment and then hands it to me with a smile. I smile back at her and she keeps her hand stretched out. I automatically dig out my purse and hand her a few bills. She’s surprised too but she walks away silently. I wonder if she wanted me to kiss her hand as her shadow fades into the night. The next day, I wait expectantly for the bus to arrive. I’m hoping the umbrella lady brings me something again. I keep looking around me to check if she is lurking nearby, but she does not turn up. No one stops me as I board the bus. As the bus rolls down the street, I see her leaning against a lamppost smoking a cigarette. She spots me and reaches out her hand. I wave at her awkwardly. She is at the bus stop when I arrive the next day. She sits quietly in one corner, reading a newspaper. I think about going up to her and then change my mind. I notice her peeking over the paper at me from time to time. I smile to myself. Today, she gets on the bus with the rest of us. I take a window seat and she sits across the aisle from me. I turn to her and smile. I almost forget that she’s there when I hear a “Psst.” I turn to her and she’s leaning over with a wicked smile. She asks, “Did you open the umbrella?” I reply, “Umbre– Uh, no–yes, I mean no.” She shows no sign of retreating so I add, “Why?” She says, “You’ll see,” and sits upright in her seat. I watch her confused, hoping she would explain what she means. Nothing. When I reach my flat, I unlock the door and rush to my bedroom. I see the umbrella near my study table and whisk it up. I press the button to open it and “whoop” it spreads out. Lit up in huge, glowing letters on the inside of the umbrella is scrawled “LIAR.”

To the Pure…

Ask not
You will not be lied
To
Wait not
Time will not hold you
Down
Envy not
A blessing will not
Escape

Speak through action
Decide with conviction
Tread in premonition

What you believe
Holds you
What you value
Guides you

Where there’s understanding
There’s life

Things

It’s the little things
That tear us apart
Build us
From root to point of no return

It’s the simple things
We can never learn
Understand
From beginning to lack of concern

It’s the hardest thing
To be content
Aware
From innocence to slaves of time

Bliss

Singled out
Ah, the throng… the throng
So seductive it glows

Voices like echoes still ring
Church bells chiming

Praise of my peers
Riches that flow and flow
Ah, the show… this vain show

Even the stars call my name
Smiling down like ivory incisors
Waiting for prey

Yet through it all
A simpler call
The flutter of tiny wings
Raindrops clinging to petals
Rustling in a heap of nameless leaves
Not knowing
Not caring
Not trying

Being

The Plunge

A sight for sore eyes
Tiptoeing around white picket fences
Follow the bounce in your step
Imagined serendipities

A figure of speech
Skin that resembles the waves
Swaying like an autumn breeze
Whispered sentimentalities

A symphony in motion
Tresses like droplets of free-run wine
Feral and uninhibited
Embodied sensualities

my pleasure

Let nothing distract
No one disrupt
Whether calamity or death
Insanity or a bet
Lessen my pleasure

Shed every barrier
Quell the memories scarier
Despite pushback or regret
Dangers beset
Threaten my pleasure

A barrage of questions
Claustrophobic dungeons
Lack of options or a safety net
Consequences I’ll never get
Taint my pleasure

Live a Little

Stay open and in awe of the wonders around you
Be vulnerable to ideas and beliefs that question yours

Take a chance and delve into emotions that make you uncomfortable
Step out of the lines you’ve drawn in your fixed ways

Understand that there is more than one way of viewing any situation
Everyone does not have to be wrong for your peace of mind

Challenge anything that doesn’t make sense to you
But also be willing to accept the choices people make

Try to create an atmosphere where differences can coexist
There are other things more important than people

seek

Seek truth
Every choice becomes simpler
Every road a little clearer

Seek love
Any hurt ceases to sting
Any failure is a lesson

Seek integrity
Whatever befalls, you will overcome
Whatever distorts, you will know

Seek freedom
From your old self that you’ve outgrown
From the fear of standing alone