Turning

Twenty-four hours to turn
So they say
That much time to earn
A new day

Not just any new day
I am told
This one will make me
Very old

Turnin’ sixty-five today
Must be time
To begin my play
In good rhyme

Twenty-four hours to turn
This year ’round
Makin’ what I can
‘Fore I drown

–Victoria Emmons, Copyright 2015

Hide

Dawn foretells reason and points life
into the unknown. Fantasy is easy in
the darkness when the exuberance of
friends who may not be friends
overtakes my soul, rides along a rail of desire,
hope and pleasure if only for a moment.
Hide the truth from no one but myself since hiding
offers temporary relief. How do I live with constant
grief and still live to see the new morning?
Stay silent in my loneliness so that
peace surrounds me and everyone is calm.

 –Victoria Emmons, Copyright 2015

Rings of Time

In the middle ring
The oldest of the circular
Bands of time that surround
My life in the kitchen
Lies the center of my world

Lively areas encircle me
Hug the very middle in a
Friendly way that feels calm
And loving, comfortable
Yet in need of a dust mop

Yellow fur balls float
In mid-step on a staircase
Filled with 20 years of
Family ups and downs
To nowhere and everywhere

The middle ring houses
Sizzling salmon or steak
Teacups for a visitor
Books packed with recipes
A loyal sleeping dog

A door swings open to
Tables and chairs awaiting
A friend or someone else
Who cares enough to listen
To my pounding heart

Loud voices fill the next room
Strangers in a digital frame
Tell me to swallow a pill
To cure my heartbreak or
Headache or incontinence

Bottles beckon in a dance
Of red and white and brown
Along the well-stocked bar
An adjoining ring of hope
To splash away worries

Beyond the walls lie the newest
Of the circles, those that tell
A story of love, nature and loss
Under an umbrella of shade
That covers my acre of life

Fear prevents me from scaling
The walls to the outer rings
Unable to risk failure
Or satisfaction,
Worse yet, a grand success

Safety is in the middle ring
Protection under glass
My soul divided must be scorned
Shame hidden deep within
Paralyzes me with laughter

Beg you, come out and play
They always try to coax
Knowing I will refuse
In favor of the inner prison
Where I must live to thrive

–Victoria Emmons, © 2014

A Clash of Old and New

I am somewhere between the Castro Valley and Bay Fair stations. The BART train schedule is on time today. I have to change to the Richmond line in order to arrive at Oakland City Center-12th Street. There I will find Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and the seminar I am to attend.

I am reading an article in The Atlantic about how women can’t have it all. As I flip to page four of the lengthy article, I look up periodically not wanting to miss my stop. I did that once on another train and woke up to find myself in Livermore. I have learned my lesson.

The magazine article has captured my attention, yet I am semi-distracted by the garbled train announcer telling me something I cannot fully comprehend. I am confident that I can multi-task. I glance out the window for only a second and then my gaze returns to the magazine. I press my pointer finger to move the digital page up for a better view of the next paragraph. Only problem was the magazine was paper.

I smiled to myself.

–Victoria Emmons, © 2014

White Horse

Rescue me, mon ami,
from the debris of life
save me from the
threads that weave
my heart to yours

I need saving now and then
my head is tired and
my body aches for you
to save me some day
on your white horse

I’m not your Fairy Godmother
flying in and out of your life
to save you from yourself
I carry no magic wand
to make it all better

I can only offer one gift
my eternal love for you
wretched soul that you are
so rescue me, mon amour,
save me from myself

–by Victoria Emmons, © 2014

Open Doors for Baudelaire

BaudelaireI will not be ruled by my cat. No more is he allowed to curl up in the warmth of my lap. No longer is he invited to live under my roof. I brought him home five years ago when he only seven weeks old. The cute, little champagne kitten stood out from the rest of the litter in the cage that day. I only needed one kitten. That’s all. But the volunteer with the pet shelter convinced me I should have a pair. This kitten would need a playmate, she advised.

I have had cats for over half a century. I know all about cats. Or so I thought. I did know the volunteer’s suggestion had merit. Kittens like to play with one another, especially when I am off at work and they would be otherwise all alone. Having a playmate helps keep them from climbing curtains, scratching furniture and other untoward behavior.

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One Ticket

Is enough
Two too many
To find a date
To wait and wait
For him to state
His intentions

One lonely ticket
Two far gone
To hear a sound
Of my past life
With my old man
His favorite song

One is okay
Not two or three
Or even four
Just one
One lonely life
To hear the score

Of violins and
Saxophone dreams
A piano note or two
Blend the cacophony
Of life together
With a single tune

–Victoria Emmons, © 2013

Un poème pour Mustapha

je souris et
je rigole
ce moment
d’ecstase
qui m’attend

à cause de toi
la vie est gaie
j’ai des amis
qui sont devant
et autour de moi

j’ai des amis
qui me protègent
tous les jours
et toutes les nuits
sais pas pourquoi

suis-je belle?
peut-etre jolie?
je parle langage
trop fleuri
de mauvais temps

je les aime
ces chers amis
dans ma vie
dans le monde
de tristesse

de très loin
lumière d’Algérie
qui m’écrit
de bons mots
d’amitiés

je souris et
je rigole
car la vie est
comme tu dis
mon cher ami

–Victoire, 2014