Tuesday, November 1, 2016

No Man is an Island

Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours. Meditation 17, John Donne.

His small transistor radio sat next to him on the park bench. It played 50s, 60s and 70s tunes mixed in with car sales and pawn shop ads.  Harvey sat absently listening and watching the leaves drift and swirl to the ground. He felt like those leaves. For the first time, he couldn't write a love poem. He really couldn't write anything. 

So he sat with his small notebook on his lap. Finally, he closed his eyes and thought of when met her. He was applying for the maintenance position...

"Harvey, right?" She stood over him, partially blocking the sun. 
"Yes, yes, that's right. I'm Harvey." He replied.
"I thought so. I saw you a few times around the building, mostly fixing the damage from that lunatic concierge." She said.
"Well, sometimes matters need to be settled quickly.  At least that's what Ms. Davis says." He replied.
Jenn chuckled. "I'd say that was true. Jenn, my name is Jenn," and she reached out a hand.
Harvey was a bit startled at the firmness of her grip. "Hello" is all he could manage. 
"You trying to get away from everyone complaining about the water situation?"
"Actually, I'm suffering from writer's block."
Jenn sits down on the bench next to him. "Well, now that's a first."
"I can't seem to get the words out that have always been there. It's like this city, they've dried-up."
"What do are you trying to write?"
"Poems? To someone?"
He hesitates, looks out into the park and the changing colors and says, "Ms. Davis."
Jenn sits back, chuckles again. "Well, that's another first." 
She leans over in his direction and says, "Have you got anything yet?"

Monday, October 10, 2016


"Perhaps this one?" Harvey was beside himself with hope. He knew that this was his chance to finally get her attention. The reporter looked tired and kept looking at his phone. 

"Well, maybe, Mr. Potter, but space is limited for this spread. Can you tell me more about how you came to this place?"

"It was destiny. Oh, maybe that poem would be better." He quickly moved back to the table, slightly bumping the edge and sending several notebooks to the floor.  The reporter merely looked down at them. Harvey looked up and handed him the poem.

Life ended when I came here,
but began again when I saw your face.

All loneliness, longing and fear
faded away without a trace.

As I move through my day
I feel your constant gaze.

Our dreams collide and stay
together until the end of days.

The reporter looked up.  Harvey cleared his throat, and said, "Well, it was one of the early ones.  I was learning the couplet form. But keep reading, it has a strong finish."

The reporter glanced again at his phone. "Oh, sorry, Mr. Potter, I just received a text from my boss. I need to go, but thank you so much for your time." He pushed the paper back into Harvey's hand. 
As the reporter quickly left, Harvey stood next to his small desk, his arm slightly extended and still holding on to the poem. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Ode to Ellen

He sat at the small, worn table tucked under the window in his small, tidy living room. Harvey (not Harry) Potter was composing another poem to the love of his life, the apple of his eye, the sun to his sunrise.
The one, the only, Ellen Davis, desk clerk of the Victorian.

Everyday for the 10 years he's worked in this building, he has written a love something to her but never delivered it. The first one he wrote, he did slip it onto the corner of the desk, but somehow it was displaced and ended up on the floor. People coming in and out didn't notice Harvey's love as they walked over it, smudging it with every step.

Later, as he was sweeping, he found it crumpled and dirty. He carefully tucked into his uniform pocket. Since then, he's stacked them neatly into the desk drawer.

In the calm light of the evening,
I see you seated there
From your hair
to your toes
Your beauty shows.

The dust may settle in the corners
of the desk,
in the hall,
but I will love you
most of all.

He stopped for a moment, looked up and out of the window to see the shadow develop into the evening. Then his tiny desk lamp quit and he heard the love of his life call his name.

"Harvey! The power's out again! Get your lazy self in here, now!"