Unless otherwise attributed, all content, text or image, on this site is © TaunaLen 2005-2011.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Empty Spaces

an empty space
in the driveway
but she’s just spending
the night with friends

an empty bowl in the sink
she was here--she ate
she’s gone again

a half empty room
filled with half empty boxes
it’s a trial run
a fire drill
a test of the
broadcast system

an empty coat hanger
on my bedroom door
a wet towel over
the shower curtain rod

a phone call at midnight
out with friends again
a smile, a laugh
an echoing silence

but she’s here
her warmth, her place
it’s still under my roof
for now

an empty box
being filled with books
pencils, CDs
21 years of music
passion loved
by a girl who lives
to be in the music

an empty stage
where she once sang
danced, moved by
with, in the music
she’s still there

an empty book case
being loaded into
a not so empty truck
an empty seat at
the dinner table

mingled with anxiety
in her eyes
she’s stepping
out into thin air

she can, she will
be okay
she can fly
I believe
know her strength
her potential
her passion

she will change
the world
In her way
like she has
changed mine
since the first
moment I looked
into her eyes

life is calling
my darling, my self
and she wouldn’t dream
of ignoring his voice

I know
it is time
apron string

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Clever Trick

Fiction writing exercise from my A Cup of Words Writer's Group. Monday, July 21, 2008.

Prompt is The Lyric:

“You sang me Spanish lullabies, the sweetest sadness in your eyes, clever trick.”


The sunlight sliced through your hair, picking up strands of red, blonde and brown and combed through them like a lover’s fingers might do. I sat, watching as you spoke, the rich, amber timbre in your voice soaking into my consciousness. You talked and I watched your mouth move, the way you gnawed on your bottom lip, your nervous fingers fiddling with the hem of your shirt. I wanted to take your hand, and press it to my lips. I wanted to pull your head to my shoulder and rock you silently.

And you knew. Practiced in the art of pulling heartstrings, you measured each word, each breath, each flicker of your eyes toward my face. How you ever packed so much tension into that spot just below your bottom lip, I may never fully understand. But you drew me in, and I loved you. I did. My heart broke for you. I believed you.

I was foolish.

I fell, headlong into your eyes, into your stories, your arms, your beautiful perfectly orchestrated lies. And now I sit, in that same, empty window seat, sunlight raking through my hair, scattering across the floor in pieces, as I try to gather the bits of my heart. And still those lovely Spanish lullabies echo in my head, and I am not sorry. To have held you and loved you, and known you, was well worth the price of admission.


Thursday, July 17, 2008


Forty-two points in twenty eight pieces of ivory, and I warily eye his face, wondering if he’s already uncovered my off.

His eyes narrow, the creases in his face deepen and he smiles. He studies what’s been played and selects a domino. Turning its face to the table with a resounding ‘thunk’, he arches a bushy eyebrow at me. I am anxious, second-guessing myself, eyeing my remaining hand. I hope it’s not a trey.

It’s hard to imagine a day, long before I was born, when only men were admitted into this squared circle, the clack of wooden rectangles being shuffled on the surface of the card table, the voices of women floating in from the kitchen.

I have heard the story of a young girl, not quite teenager, who stood silently at her grandfather’s shoulder, watching, not making a sound. Eventually, that gruff, wrinkled man granted her entrance, and began to whisper explanations. He challenged her to pay attention, read the pips and anticipate his opponent’s next move.

And my mother learned, and she taught me. Today, fifty years later, I can sit beside that grandfather’s son, and hope that he is not disappointed by my mistakes, that he’s as patient with this four generation square of both males and females as we try to anticipate his next move.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lost in the Chords


Write about a musician whose addiction is the music.


He sat surrounded by friends and family, the smell of fireworks and bug spray filling the air. An acoustic guitar in his hands, here on his place, his plot of land under his square mile of sky, in the shadow of the trees and the house he was building with his own two hands. He looked happy. He laughed and joked and entertained us all, before he ever played a note on that guitar.

But when his hands caressed the strings, he bowed his head. He opened his mouth and his heart poured out in front of the waiting crowd. He sang about this very night ten years ago, when she’d kissed him goodbye, and never fully returned. He was no longer here, not in this circle of family and friends, instead, he was there in the circle of her arms, reliving that last conversation, that last kiss, and wishing he had known.

The notes faded into the twilight, and in a moment he began another song, followed by another…filling the night air with music. Heads nodded, and feet tapped in rhythm with his tempo. Babies and Grandpas shared the joy that is his music, and we all laughed and sang along—some of us quietly, under our breath.

I watched his eyes, his hands, his face, as he pulled the music around him like a blanket, and lost himself in its folds. He needed no beer tonight, no cigarette, no starry sky or circle of friends. And like that beautiful young woman who never fully came back to him that hot July night a decade ago, he never completely returned to us until long after his guitar was quiet, and the conversation turned to other things.

The music had done it’s job, drawing him in, soothing his recurring nightmare for a few hours, and for that he was grateful.

So were we.

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