Spoken Free Verse: Late for Overtime

Late for Overtime

by Shannon P. Laws

As I recover from a concussion ( please visit my Go Fund Me to learn more ) I thought this week was a good time to explore the audio files I have accumulated on my phone over the year.  Often inspiration strikes when I am away from a pen and paper and I can’t type the words quick enough into a note.  Recording observations as RAW audio free verse poems are satisfying for me.  Background sounds are incorporated into the piece which, I think, adds to the impromptu performance.  Also, there is a desirable amount of light pressure to form a creative thought in one take.

The first one I present, “Late for Overtime”, was recorded September 16, 2017.  I was working a double shift with a six-hour layover.  That looks like a swing shift 2:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. then work the morning shift, 5:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  I was waiting for a carpool to pick me up 4:30 a.m. at the same place they dropped me off the day before.  However, my ride was running late, so, I am late for overtime.  It was that warm September morning, on the corner of Larrabee and somewhere, when inspiration hit me upside the head.

BTW, I open the Google links in Music Player for Google Drive.  you can listen as you read if you want. Please let me know what you think.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=13_eoS1FBjViDN2yFSFBYuhOSWkaciG_d

 

I’m sitting on the curb on the corner of Larrabee
and some street I can’t see the sign for
It’s almost  5:30 in the morning and the sun
is just coming up over the cascades
Its paint brush is changing the sky from
a charcoal gray to a very, very dark blue
Fingernail moon is just misty just fuzzy,
right almost out of sight behind a thin layer of clouds

Cold rushes up over the hill
hits my back
It’s the evening
running
running west
Afraid of the light
afraid of the warmth
afraid of the sun
It’s always running
its always running west
away from the sun

The air was so still just a moment ago and now
after seeing that sliver of light over the hills
it picked up and it
rushes itself down the
ravine, towards the water
towards Bellingham Bay

It flosses the town in a silent scream

There’s sprinklers in the background and I’m wondering…
I’m wondering why I never sat on
a street corner
in my neighborhood
at 5;30 in the morning before

The sounds and the smells of the air
the change in the air—is refreshing!
It’s life!
It’s better than any season
because it happens every morning

The tall cedars dropping down with
their question mark branches
Look like a golden retriever’s tail
I know they’re hiding owls in there
Maybe they’re looking at me
watching me
wondering if I’ll scurry
across the street
turn in a mouse

At any moment the birds will wake up
The first bit of light will just hit the lids
of the sleeping birds
They’ll be the first to announce it—

It’s Saturday!

and Shannon is late for overtime at the mill

 

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Poetry: Moon Dial

MOON DIAL


The moon speaks to me through my window slit,
curtain and blinds open just enough for fresh air
to relieve me in the night

     The moon speaks to me announcing it is 3 o’clock
     it chatters away for 20 minutes about plans, loves, problems, recipes
     Please be quiet and let me sleep, I say in moon-speak
     Wake up and love me, it replies

Meanwhile, car headlights in the drive below
mark the return of my car-pooling bar tending neighbor
she is tired at the end of her shift, dinner and bed will come quickly

She tossed drinks and mixed spirits all night 
for others, now the stars put her to sleep

     I toss and turn awaken by the commotion of conversation
     between heavenly bodies and earthly

Please do me a favor moon, put me to bed, send me to sleep
till the sun rises, tuck me up in sheets of silver beams, warm 
me in your glow, watch over my spirit when it jumps out 
to dream, be my Guardian tonight and…
just shut your mouth!

Moonlight Through Window,
watercolor by Vinderburger
For more information about Vinderburger:


     


Poetry: Moon Spell

Peace has left
the green house
with Iris by the door
Cast out by the Walking Witch
whose heart is charcoal black
Warts and the summer moon
bear witness to her dance outside
the garden gate
“Manifest!”, she cries casting her spell
Moonlight jumping on extended arms
as they stir her cauldron sky
Curse without cause can not fly-
Fly it does from her fingers end
like sparks off the blacksmith’s forge
Children’s laughter sing like sirens
Pain plays the vocal cords changing the song
Those with ears to hear pick up the tune
Moaning prayers sing response
moves across the ground like fog
“Flame of love turn to fire
Flames at the windows
Flames at the door
Leave the house
pass by the Iris
NEVERMORE!”

Poetry: Alarm

For about 12 years I spent two hours or more a day commuting to work, just sitting in traffic 10 hours a week, 40 hours a month!  This poem is a window into that “zombiefied” lifestyle, something I’ve been freed from for over three years.  How wonderful to have that time returned to me:

Watching the clock
waiting for time to
catch up with me:
Breakfast time.
Traffic time.
Working time.
Lunch time
More working time
Leaving time… finally here.
Time drags along
like a leashed cat
never taught to heel
Coming home late
the house dark
My kitchen smells like
the dinner missed
Opening a window
a breeze floats in
scent like rain on the black top,
dust and wet at the same moment
Pouring myself into bed
next to one already asleep
a new rhythm starts.
Breath bellows in and out
Fresh replacing exhausted
In a room absent of fluorescent
Moon glowing through
slits of blinds
patterns across the nightstand
where the alarm clock sits
Not a clock only
nor an alarm, but both.
It’s red eyes watching
as I toggle its hated button
Alarm clock: sound and visual aide
that announces my next destination.
A location I’ve purchased no ticket for
but a price has been paid.
Eyelids close
Mind opens
Dreams dreamt,
too quick to absorb
ALARM!  ALARM!
Time races out of the gate!
I am the slow one now…
5 a.m. comes too early.
Quickly get on the carousel!
Around I go into another day,
following the sun,
while wishing for the moon.