You Know It’s Halloween

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Image Copyright: Kati Bergman 2014

 

When ghosts drift past
under darkening skies,
when upon brooms
the witches fly,
when you can’t believe your eyes,
you know it’s Halloween!

When skeletons dance
beneath the stars,
and children munch
on candy bars,
when all the pumpkins are carved,
you know it’s Halloween!

When the moon is full and round
and goblins run amok in town,
when all the potions have simmered down,
and monsters and Draculas abound,
when the silent night is filled with sound,
you know it’s Halloween!

🎃👻 Happy Halloween!! 🎃👻

The Lesson

This is a short piece of work I had to do for class.  The professor asked us to write a reflective piece on someone we knew.  I wrote about a teacher of mine that I never had the opportunity to say goodbye to but always wished I had, so this is partially a work of fiction.  I found it on my computer today.  I thought it was interesting that my writing style has changed a bit, even in the course of three short years.

 

All was quiet in the room except for the constant beeping of the monitors.  He looked as if he were peacefully dreaming. At least he was peaceful; at least he wasn’t suffering from the pain, anymore.  The doctors had given him so many drugs to chase away, well, pretty much everything.  He was only just still alive; hanging in there just so I could whisper my gratitude and thank him for all the wonderful moments he’d shared with me.

I met Mr. Lawson when he was in his sixties, so I never really knew him as a young man.  My mother had forced me to choose an instrument to help me become a well-rounded person, and when I chose the violin fate guided me onto Mr. Lawson’s path.  I was shy and didn’t really talk all that much, but he was patient, he understood, and he waited.  Just as he was doing now.

We had our lesson every Monday afternoon for an hour.  How I dreaded those hours!  I didn’t care much for practicing my allotted half an hour a day as I was supposed to, and I always felt uncomfortable being left alone in the music room with only one other person.  I was also afraid he would one day find out I didn’t know how to read music.  I was first chair in my school orchestra, and we had worked our way to a level six violin book.  That was the level where you start having notes higher than human ears can hear or so it seemed as I made my fingers stretch further than my skin told me they were supposed to go.  I learned it all by listening to him play it first.  He thought I just wasn’t a good sight-reader, so he would play it and I would match the sounds.   He never discovered that I never read a single note.

A lot of the time he would take breaks so I could rest my fingers.  He had been playing forever so I knew the breaks were for my benefit alone.  He was kind that way.  Since I never talked he would tell me stories about his life.  He told me about working on the Panama Canal, living through the Depression, and fighting and losing his brother in the war.  He talked about his family most of whom were long gone or had moved away leaving him pretty much alone in his little house.  I loved that whenever one of his cats dropped by for a mid-lesson visit he always let me stop to pet it.

I looked at him now.  Each line on his face told me those stories again.  The whispers of air that came from his shallow breaths asked me to remember.  To remember the stories, remember the music, and to remember him.

The beeps of the machinery kept tempo like the tapping of feet.  I smiled remembering how he always had to get me to keep the rhythm on my feet during the lesson.  My feet always wanted to surge ahead with the fast notes, and nap along with the bow on the slow ones.  His foot always steadily tracking our movement through the songs we played, patiently guiding my foot to eventually do the same.

He was having trouble keeping pace now; the machine began to beep a little more loudly to alert the nurses that something was wrong.

“Can you stand back, just a second please?” the nurse bumped me out of the way appearing from nowhere.

It took only a few listens of the stethoscope and a quick glance at the monitor to see the life slipping away, like the deepest notes we played together, disappearing beneath the staff to finish their journey elsewhere.

“You might want to say something now.”  The nurse kept her fingers against his wrist to keep track of his pulse.

“I…” There were so many things I wanted to say but couldn’t seem to find the right words.  Once I did, a large thick knot kept me from breathing any life into them.

“Thank you.” I managed to whisper as the rhythmic beats of the monitor changed into one long note.  Then the machine malfunctioned slightly causing a sort of wavering in the sound.  Vibrato.  Not five seconds in heaven and he was already making music.

The Answer

It is there, the answer, somewhere.
The balm to soothe these aching doubts,
the wind to clear away these hateful clouds,
a way to help, to figure out,
exactly what I need to do, to be,
to fulfill these ever present, haunting dreams.

But like a ship tossed out to sea,
tossed and tumbled in storms that rage,
I’m afraid…
of knowing
and not knowing my fate

As doubts battle inside
I know there is no place to hide,
No peace, no certainty can be mine,
Until I discover the answer
I seek to find.

Ferry Farm

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Image Copyright: Kati Bergman 2014

 

This past weekend provided an opportunity to go exploring and we found ourselves at Ferry Farm, the childhood residence of George Washington. (Where he supposedly cut down the infamous cherry tree.)

In addition to belonging to the Washingtons, the property has witnessed several historical events, including sheltering Civil War soldiers, and hosted several historical figures. I’ve included a few images from the property as well as a small poem here. I hope you enjoy!!

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Image Copyright: Kati Bergman 2014

Please don’t mind my footsteps,
I try to step with care
in the fields you used to roam, your home,
passing memories made of air.

The echoes of days gone by
still drift among the trees
and if I still myself to listen,
the stories live on even now
in each and every breeze.

The river laps and licks the Ferry Road,
though ships no longer kiss the shore,
those busy days of trade and trust
faded, gone…
forever more

And as I leave I can’t help but to wonder…

I wonder what you’d think,
I wonder what you’d say,
if you could see the place you knew
the way it is today.

Harvesting Autumn

Someone has built a fire
and the smoke sails through the air.
On its back travel the scents of past years,
past harvests, past autumns.
The surviving leaves on the trees
mock the ones sent into the flames,
flashing gold, and orange, and red.
Some though, refuse to give into such taunting,
their green boughs concentrated on soaking up
the rays of a much cooler autumn sun,
breaths of kettle corn, apple butter,
and woodsmoke,
and the contented buzz of the harvesters.

Written June 18, 2013

Facebook Games

Kati B has invited you to read this post.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve glanced over similar words this week.  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Everyday my phone lights up in mocking glee as it happily informs me I have been requested to play another game on Facebook.

I don’t play Facebook games.  I don’t play video games.  My friends know this about me!  We have had discussions!  So I’m a little perplexed as to why they keep draining my phone battery with invites.

That however, is not the real dilemma.  The real dilemma is trying to find a way to ask them, again, to please stop sending the notifications!

‘Listen.  I don’t want to be friends anymore.  I can’t deal with all the games you play in our relationship.’

No…that won’t do…

‘Hey.  I’m not messing around.  I don’t play games.’

No, that wasn’t it either.

After considerable thought I posted the following to my Facebook wall…we shall see if it does the trick:

My thoughts on Facebook Games

I could not would not in a box,
I could not would not with a fox.
I do not like them here or there,
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like those Facebook games,
So please (before you send that invite)
Remove my name!

What do you think? Will it work? Has anyone successfully navigated away from being inundated with game requests?

October Settled In

Then October whistled in
on a blustery cool fall wind
and the season began to settle in.
Spiders worked to spin
silken homes to trap within
every guest that dared to enter in.
Pumpkins sat with crooked grins,
on dried out lawns that had begun to thin.
Stories told send shivers up your skin,
and again the world is cloaked in shenanigans
as strangers dress as things they’ve never been.
Yes, much to September’s chagrin
October came and settled in.