The Sky Inside Nina’s Heart

One of the men thanked the crowd for attending the performance and then announced that “We will leave now.” Of Native heritage, the three men beautifully portrayed the Nations through moving, haunting, and memorable melodies. The harmonics delicately although deeply touched the heart, mind and soul. Musically, the histories were spoken through various instruments such as, the whistle, shakers, flutes, and mouth harps accompanied by incredible background music; and then, from time to time, smoky words realized illusions.

With exception to the whistle, which was tin, every instrument consisted of a wooden, or, bone construction. Including one mouth harp, extending the entire body of its performer. Obviously, everyone enjoyed the performances. Powerful.

On that day and in addition to the pleasantry, the wonder, the kinship that I experienced, for, I, in part, am of Native heritage, always, something has lived with me.

A child of about three years old walked over to the group; the men busied by breaking down the equipment. Standing near the performer who thanked the crowd, the girl’s face glowed. “Hello,” she said, looking up at the big man. Turning to see her, “Hello, ‘Little One,’” the big man returning a smile. “I love you,” she said, beaming with a light that almost dulled the sunny day. Greatly pleased and surprised, he said, “You do?” Shaking her head “Yes” the girl walked closer to the man, while reaching out her tiny hand. Accepting the child’s soft, gentle hand, he searched the crowd, asking, “Where are your parents, Little One?”

Slightly turning and pointing, “My Mommy is right there,” she said. Meeting her mother’s glance, the man smiled, rocking his head hello. Mommy returns the gesture. Bending toward the child, the man asked, “And what is your name?” “Nina.”  “Tell me, Nina, what is your favorite thing about outside?” Looking upward, she points, saying, “The sky.” The glow inside Nina’s eyes and the smile on her pretty face increase, and the performer, says, “I am going to write a song that has your name in it, and it will be about all things living inside the sky, OK?” “OK,” she grins.

Mommy at Nina’s side: The man asks, “Mommy, may I contact you whenever the song is ready?” the man asks. Welcoming the consideration, and then smiling while extending her hand, “Thank you; and I am Laura.” Hello, Laura, I am Little Bear.”

Weeks later, as he sits thinking, Nina’s sweet face touches Bear. The grassy hillside feels soft and the man sometimes retires here, overnight. The river rushes with clean, clear water, and from time to time a big one leaps from the water and into the air. The trees seem to whisper old secrets; about lovers, tragedy and dreamers of long ago. Above him: The Sky Mother; watching, protecting and securing all things. Little Bear loves this spot, this place and this town; and he has lived here for his entire life. Both the his promise to and the child stay with Bear and this moment his face fills with light.

Slowly, a melody stirs him and he feels it. All in nature speak to the big man, and of course, inside his heart lives the sky. The melody for this theme is one of great joy; although embraced by a pleasant sadness. A melancholy blend but Bear knows this concoction well, too well. This type of melody mothers him, holds him, closely, and to its breasts.

After three days the lyrics are ready, but for the music Bear seeks the help of his fellow group members. The men produce a work that surprises even him, and then staring deeply into the pages, he utters, “This one is special.” Recalling that Nina had said that the sky lives inside her heart; this, Bear thinks, has a good feel to it. “The Sky Inside Nina’s Heart.” The men agree on the song title and then begin studio productions of the work.

One day, Nina’s Mommy receives a telephone call from Little Bear; and he invites her and Nina to the performance. “Nina and you will be up front, close to us and me, Ok?” “Great!” says Laura. “I’ll tell her, she’ll be sooo happy!” Oh, thank you, so much,  Bear!” “We’ll be there, can’t wait!”

Nina and her Mommy attend, and as promised are close to the performers, except and even to Mommy’s surprise, Little Bear introduces Nina to the crowd; telling it that she inspired the song. “The Sky Inside Nina’s Heart,” he says, “is forever dedicated to this special child.” Holding Nina in his arms, Bear says, “I love you, ‘Little One.’”  With a big hug, “I love you too.”

An old man wakes to find a strange woman seated near his bedside. His liver and he are dying. Something about the woman feels familiar, but Little Bear says nothing. Touching his hands, she says, “Hello, it has been a long time, Bear, do you remember me?” Nina was a teenager the last time they spoke, however, her eyes and voice, now, brighten his face. In a weakened voice, “‘Little One?’”

Leaning in and wrapping her arms around the dying man, “Yes.” “I am sorry…” Tears wetting her face. Bear feels her sadness and then, momentarily, joy energizes him. “You are a strange one, my child, for I have known no other sharing sadness and joy as I do but you.”

Something inside Nina’s eyes speaks to him; and the old man has known these feelings since she was a child, since they first met. As she aged: Bear began to see him in the child; however, and although he wanted to know, could never intrude in such a way. Inside him, believably, Nina is his daughter. His love for her could never exceed the love he knew from the fist day, none is greater. “My final moments smile because you are with me, “My” Daughter.” (Nina tears.)

Embracing tightly, closely, they share the song and as the melody warms them, Bear becomes cold. Singing, Nina buries her face inside his chest and then cries in a way only he could share.

Four years after Little Bear’s death, Nina’s Mom dies; and as a sorrowful daughter attends the hurtful tasks of inspecting and cleaning, she finds a document. Reading it, the startled woman learns that her Mom used an agency to assist with pregnancy; this is puzzling and the gasping woman sits, to catch her breath.

“Why?” she thinks, “would Mom do something like this, why?” The street address is local and the agency continues to operate. A few short rings and a woman answers the telephone. After a series of questions, finally, and although unusual, the person agrees to help with identification of the sperm donor. Within the week Nina receives a Certified Letter.

The sperm donor is a Mr. Nigel Clayton Leaks. Naturally, the name means nothing to Nina, after all, and all her life, she has known nothing of her true father. The document includes miscellaneous information, such as Race, Tribe, and Tribal Name. With big eyes and racing heart: Nina is incredulous of what she reads. The man is identified as Blackfeet and his tribal name is “Little Bear.”

“What?” “Little Bear?” Mom never told me…(Laura never knew the donor, the law restricted this information.) Of course, it could be any Little Bear but something inside her assures Nina of her thinking. She has things that Bear gave her and his DNA has to be on them. She would have the test done. Within the month proof arrives and (in fact) Little Bear was her biological father. Nina, although sad, feels elated because she loved Bear and who else would better be her Daddy. “Joy, sometimes, arrives in bundles of sadness.” Anxiously: She would change her surname.

Six months later: Nina drives to a town about ten miles south of her residence and then finds a quiet spot to relax, think. The news about Bear significantly changed her life; knowing the truth of whom she is and the totality of her ancestry, pleases her; her Mom always told Nina of their Seminole heritage and now she has more, much more. Spotting a good place to relax Nina safely parks the car, inside an elbow, and off the road. As the weary woman strolls across the highway, something about this place feels familiar.

Here: The rushing river, with clear and clean water, the whispering trees and above her, the Sky Mother; oh, and look, from time to time, a big one leaps out the water and into the air. Reclining, right there, on the soft grassy hillside, Nina thinks of Little Bear-“Daddy.” Sadly smiling, she hums “The Sky Inside Nina’s Heart.” Tired, worn and missing Mom and now, too, her Dad, she feels everything surrounding her. The affects of inspiration swelling her chest: briefly, the old woman energizes; and as the trees tickle her with tales of long ago, happily, and for the last time, Nina closes her eyes…incoherently, “My final moments smile… because… you are with me, my Father…”

Epilogue

The powers in Nature, truly, mystify: Without knowing: A father and daughter are united although for the while, truth remained hidden from them; yet, and before her death, a newly found truth connects a woman to her entire heritage.

This joy delivered by sadness is genetically and eternally shared with a Mom who the woman has ever known and a Dad found and then lost before she could know him; although, and for most of her life, she (has known and) loved him.

This tale forever lives as told to me by my mother; the melodies Nina heard that day and the song written for her wake, walk with and then lull me, to sleep. Nina died more than ten years ago; and proudly, I say, she was my grandmother.

(c) 2017 Delbert H. Rhodes

An Illuminating Darkness

One man, one moment, a storm, and the intensity of insight.

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Incoming waves thrash an old seawall as, once more, its timbers stand. The howling winds uproot trees, exploding their bodies into the air. Thunder cracks, the sky falls, and strings of light brighten the darkness. The ferocious storm rips the night; and I am incredulous of and at a loss to define, the vestiges, the mysteries of purity, paradox and power. Such magnificence could do less than mystify and although the allure sweeps me away, considerations of another passion intrude. I love my profession; but lately, and unfortunately, it feels less exciting, unimportant, and even undesirable.

What once was, now, decays; and beneath it all, somehow, I must understand. The mighty pool rises, dismantling the seawall; and as its timbers tumble, I am reminded that of all we  are, all we may be, and no matter what defines us, but one force determines human existence; and, it is not man. For, and as shown here, one breath of nature not only escalates, but devastates us; and although sucking her breasts is sweet, we must carefully cling; and ever be wary and respectful of her will. She is Mother.

(I scurry to shelter, the salty air inflating my lungs; and although exhilarated, I am saddened that professionally, I cannot breath. Strangely, by searching the mind I find the heart.)

The intensity of the storm does not diminish hunger; and although, spectrally, the Seagulls are shadows, their squeals resound clearly. One imagines the peril the birds face, as hunger drives them, deeply, into the seas. Tonight: The magnitude of a harsh climate curtseys to the majesty of the Celestials, as everywhere, the stars remain visible. This tender tapestry, this enigma, is almost unimaginable, unthinkable and even unbelievable.

This is Nature’s Stage: (And) a play written by forces greater (much greater) than man and elementally cast by characters whose names, truly, he could never know but applied to them so as to distract him (?) from the one truth he, actually, shares. His quests to understand, and even to help and although gallant, often demonstrate pretentiousness, self aggrandizement, rude awakenings, and sometimes, deceit Yet: Man struggles (he struggles) to persevere: Questions forever answers forever questions…forever…

Before me reign natural, and by some, even questionable events; and while inside me, live surging, conflicting emotions, adjoined by the occasional relishes of rage, I cannot help but wonder.

Honestly: How controlling of natural forces is man; and how forceful is he of him?

Thunder rakes the skies, immersing the canvas with an illuminating darkness; and as I observe the reparations, that is to say, how everything returns to its meaningful place, its natural place, somehow, (somehow?) it all… makes… sense.

Copyright (c) 2017 Delbert H. Rhodes

Ten O’Clock

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Delbert H. Rhodes

Years later, the memories hang on but why? Yesterday is gone and suffrage is a benefit to no one; and yet no matter how she tries her ex’s memory haunts her, permits her little peace. An American woman whose Dutch parents emigrated Nederland to immigrate America, Story Vanderbloren was conceived in Amsterdam and born in Minnesota. Raised and cherished by a loving family, after high school she leaves to study Archeology; and it is soon after completing her P. H. D. that someone special enters her life.

At the age of twelve and while talking with Mommy, the girl asks about her first name and why she has it. “The tale of your conception, and delivery and love that you brought to us is a wonderfully, glorious story; and so, your Dad and I agreed that no other name could suit you.”

Tall, blond, blue, and curvy and intelligently beautiful, Story has traded French Fries for Fish and Chips. Her life, and new profession are better, much better and she prefers positive to negative distractions.

Time, and terms must meet the mind and hers struggles for clarity, to think clearly about things that matter most, that matter now.

London Towne is lovely and especially at night, the lights, the shoppes, Libraries, the Trem, the people and glory of the new world surrounding her. I digress: The “Trem” (silent e, long m: pronounced trm) is the local high-speed monorail, it is an excellent and wonderful ride.

Of the resources available in the city, its Libraries contain ancestral files, these halls of antiquity are some of the finest in the world, invaluable to her research.

Today Story walks the sidewalk in Belcher Street and then something wonderful meets her, rounding the corner to Tolstoy it occurs that the smells come from Le Patisserie, a shoppe two stores away. In America, “Le Patisserie” would be The Bakery. Entering, she sees not only beauty but something sweetly agonizing.

Unbelievably well organized, the cakes, pastries, cookies and other delicacies appear to await the photographer rather than customer. “I Love this place!” She visits no less than once weekly.

Oh, my, and Story simply adores her new life, except for one small thing…memories. If she could remove only a portion of them then everything would be happier. Although never easy she perseveres, surrender to the toils of yesterday is not optional.

“Sto-V,” the nickname given to her by her colleagues, is a Research Writer and she works diligently to uncover facts, truths to prove her premises. Sometimes she disproves them and this too is okay, a foot in the right direction. Disproof proves something, a person of critical thinking works either way, both are beneficial, worthy.

She loves it whenever waking to new questions. Life is strange, often placing answers before us that either incomprehensibly or, sensibly, we fail to recognize and may even refuse to acknowledge.

Yes, but since Story’s youth she has been a dreamer and the truth in dreams is less fuzzy than people make it; a superb analogy, she thinks, is the innocence of children which acts expansively, making anything, everything possible. As such, unlearning adult fears, permitting the mind to freely think, she believes, provides greater opportunities in life.

Opportunity: Story’s middle name.

As a researcher she is deeply busied by events of humankind, she has developed a premise that though not popular may one day prove man’s existence. No, not actually his place here but the reason he is here. Story believes that it has less to do with either the egg or the chicken and more to do with the bearer, the creator of them. She must somehow make sense of it. She will make sense of it.

This woman strongly feels reason to be both parent, and plan of humankind and whether Celestial, Natural, or, neither, she struggles to find the clues, the pathways leading to proof. Thirty four-years old and after five years of research, she uncovers only uncertainties; definitive evidence eludes her. Still, she persists and to the end would not falter. Either Story proves or disproves her theory, a dedicated Scientist, she tirelessly works long hours and so far, without rewards. “One day.”

Reason.

The word flutters about her head like a lacy butterfly with little care. Tomorrow a business meeting about Policy and then Story attends the Theater, she sits front row center stage. “Les Miserable,” her favorite play is in town and she simply must see it; “Front Row Center Stage, Exciting!”

In many ways, her life resembles the theme and as the tale unfolds, like a looking-glass much of Story’s life unveils. She realizes that this too must be dealt, it has to one day (all) end. How the end plays out is the question and one the woman, right now, cares to ignore. Somehow, and even this moment, Darren speaks to her and as much as she should not, she listens…

“I told you, it wasn’t like that,” Darren stammers, staring out the window.

“You are lying!” Story stabs the air with her finger, trying to see his eyes. “And witnesses tell me that you and your girlfriend were there at ten o’clock. They are credible, I trust them, they saw you and I believe them!”

“Ten o’clock?” He says, looking directly at her. “I don’t know about witnesses but ten o’clock has always been ‘my’ witness. I was not there, I love ‘you!'”

He just kept repeating it over and over again but what exactly did he mean, what does “it” mean? “Ten O’Clock?” Of the many things said that last night the time frame lingers in her mind, she is oblivious to its meaning and is without useable clues to make sense of it. Surely, if truly she wanted to she could find the evidence: the missing pieces to the puzzle; but, is the responsibility hers?

“As far as I am concerned, those words, like time on a clock, have freed me of abuse; and true, he neither hit, pushed nor physically injured me but daily reduced me mentally and emotionally. The scars, though invisible, are more devastating and destructive than any black eye or, broken jaw. I am ‘free!'”

Story loves her new life and refuses to surrender it; and admittedly, Darren and she should have ended years ago but love strangely partners with reason.

Reason, the term strongly affects her and she knows that it plays, in large parts, a very important role in her life. Darren at one time was her life and without him she sometimes feels lonely. Loneliness has a way of prevailing truth and like a catapult propels Story forward. Now, here in wonderful London Towne Happiness and She stroll hand in hand; a ringless marriage to her work and life.

Once more and as usual dreaming offers more pieces to the puzzle; and waking, Story smiles. She stretches as the feelings in her dream embrace her with clarity. Lazily, she slumps into the bathroom for a Lady’s Moment and then to the Kitchen for some Chocolate Tea, “Chocotea,” she calls it. Blended with Cocoa and any Tea of choice, she favors Green Tea, her concoction is refreshing, tasty and medicinally healthy. Cocoa is a good thing.

As her dream and the phrase “A Loving Plot” touch her, Story permits a childlike innocence to control her; for, “Puty,” her laptop, seems to ask that she pen the dream, now, before its memories leave her. “Ok, ‘Ok,’ I’m coming.” Careful not to spill her Chocotea, slowly, Story crosses to her desk. Moments later, done, she has written something new and powerful. A wonderful addition to her poem book.

Filled with feelings and honesty, the poem exemplifies the lady’s suffrage; and understandably, truly, she admonishes and  admires it. Actually, why would Story not love it, for, from her heart, and inside every verse is her freedom and her life.

…..

A Loving Plot

You think I love you
Please tell me why
Should I think of you
Better to cry

Challenge I must
The surging seas
The damning rock slides
Inside your knees

Scale I the towers
The tallest skies
Or smallest flowers
Your floral eyes

Want that I want you
Your tender kiss
A bee its honey
Want me you this

Sometimes I wonder
Why loved you, I
And then the thunder
Love’s alibi

Sweetly, you scorn
Oh, yes, I know
So dark your sunshine
A summer snow

Tarnished my teardrops
Torn is my soul
Autumn to Springtime
A Winter cold

Scripted, our tale
A loving plot
“To have to hold?”
I think, have not

…..

…Outside, darkness smothers the sky; inside and deliciously, Chocotea creams her, the woman smiles…

She Fills Me

Delbert H. Rhodes

1235188-1440x900-[DesktopNexus.com]The morning sweetly touches her and he smiles. Yes, today marks the thirtieth year of their lives together; and although some roads were curvy and at times bumpy, they always led home. Grief, disappointments and dissatisfaction are mere memories and his affections for his wife are powerful. Sleeping, Dina’s beauty astounds her husband and he unconditionally loves her. A susurrating wind displaces the curtains, causing light to spray the room, shadows artistically line Dina’s face. Her delicate skin and classic features are simply breathtaking.

The years have neither erased her youth nor the tenderness in her cheeks, the teasing softness pursing her lips. Gently, Arty presses Dina’s mouth with his, sensuously, she surrenders, even in sleep her husband and she sweetly connect. Cheek to cheek, she swoons as her lover recites a phrase from her favorite poem, he found it about two years after they married. Dina loves it, and hearing it pleases her as much as reading it pleases him.

Leaning, Arty strains to retrieve a folder; ever careful to never wrinkle its contents. Resting the poem inside his lap, the happy “Prince” snuggles sleeping beauty; and then accompanied by the lute in his heart, a poetic serenade:

—————————————-

She Fills Me

A woman’s love soft and tender
To her passions I surrender
Watching her move I’m mystified
My heart and eyes open wide

With morning light she wakes me
In dark of night she shakes me
Because of her I’m surely blessed
For all to give I’d give the rest

Her fleeting glance I adore
A somber smile I hurt for more
Her eyes and lips mine to kiss
Without her soul lost is this

The very blood of my life
Flowing to every part
With all there is I love her so
She feeds my hungry heart

Everyday she fills me
Emotionally she thrills me

No sweeter wind to calm the storm
Inside her arms I’m safe and warm
To lose her love I’m lost you see
She is always there for me

—————————————–

“I love you, ‘so’ much.”

Copyright © 2007-2015 Delbert H. Rhodes

“Watchful Flies”

flyDoris’ day terribly ends. Trace, her love of many years, abandons her.  Sleep frustrates the tormented woman. Finally, her convoluted dreams soothe the hurt in Doris’ heart. Upon its walls, a strange poem offers peace:

 

 

Where go I
to find a place,
someplace, I need
to hide

What must I do
to hide my face
dare I, my faceless
pride

A quiet peaceful
loneliness, you
seek me, go away

They  hurt me so
my painful knees, I
broke them yesterday

This plate of food,
how do I eat, its taste
I cannot stand

My throat a web
of spider claws, I
feel its clammy hands

Upon a tomb my
name I read, written
by my fears

A dusty grotesque Eulogy
of wretched morbid
tears

Turn from me,
oh, do not stay, leave
me to my thoughts

To understand this
mind in me and why
to me it talks

The  warmth of you
I cannot feel
your searing cold
I dread

Dare risk I
the bold in you, melt,
should I instead

Inside my heart a
darkness looms, dare
I love you so

A tapestry of watchful flies
warning, “No,”
“please, no!”

The fate of love never risk
its ending is foretold;
watchful flies never bate,
thy youth is much too old.

Copyright © 2014 Delbert H. Rhodes

Anna: The Passionate Tomb

fragmentation rouge
ARE YOU HERE?

By Delbert H. Rhodes

 Staring into her eyes, Tony feels wounded by her sorrows. Anna is hurt because she cares for Tony, and though he has produced creative works inspired by others and especially women he has written nothing because of her. Tony aches for Anna, she is special to him and he loves her. Attempting to quell Anna’s anguish, he speaks while holding her hand.

“There is reason that I have not written because of you. My feelings for you are so delicate; they are powerful. I fear that if I were to produce works inspired by you my passions would entomb me. Then for the life of me what could I do.” Her heart pounding Anna begins to tear. She intently listens as Tony continues.

“My dear Anna, you are young, and beautiful and I am much older; your life, your friends are strange worlds to me. We are too different; I could not relate.” (Tony withdraws from his desire to hold Anna.) “You have a boyfriend; you love him. I am alone and I love you. The circle suffers fragmentation, too many obstacles to a meaningful connection. Anna, what should I do? Should I expect you to leave your boyfriend, to surrender all that you are to him, giving up everything you have with him? Am I the fool to dare such thoughts? No, Anna. Yes, sweet woman, I want you; but what should I do and what would become of me?”

Tony’s pleas deeply affect Anna, yet his words ring with sincerity, truth. These last moments, and although all Tony has said she feels and truly knows, still, Anna must honestly acknowledge her passions for Tony. For seven years, she has loved her boyfriend and engagement soon follows. Oh, what should she do? Her eyes welling with torrents the distraught woman says nothing, she sadly turns, and then walks away.

Copyright © 2012 Delbert H. Rhodes