Poem: Votive

Votive

by Shannon P. Laws

 

Candle burns into a puddle of cinnamon

Flame sorts through the fallen

 

A pile in the back of the yard

The unusable parts of me

 

Makes way for stalks

To break burnt soil

 

 

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Maggie the Ghost

Have you ever worked with a ghost?
One summer, I worked on a Washington island as a housekeeper at a large inn that is playfully haunted by “Maggie”.  My encounters with the ghost were so gentle, she is an inspiration for my book scheduled to be released 2015.
The Inn wasn’t very old.  You’d expect a few ghosties in ancient buildings, but this fairly new island-craftsman seems the last place for a spirit to haunt.  The inn has beautiful contemporary cabin accents, and is set near a lake that mists up in the early summer mornings.  Walking around the lodge and grounds the spirit of the place is light and inspiring.  It has a magical feel to it, as if hidden from sight wood gnomes and nymphs dance around the ferns, and fairy princes ride dragon flies through the cedar and fir forest.
Red Hair and Footprints
My first encounter with the ghost was in the manifestation of long red hairs.  After cleaning a tub or sink, leaving the room and returning with clean towels, a bright red hair would sometimes waved “Hello” at me, all laid back resting on the clean white surface.  The third or fourth “Hello”, I started to calculate the odds of how many red-headed guests visited.  When I shared my findings with the house manager, she confirmed, it was the ghost.
Anything strange like that was given to the lady ghost’s credit.  The staff believes her to be an early pioneer woman, whose spirit wandered into the lodge attracted by the lights and noise.  One day we decided to give her a name.  We all felt like it was an “M” name, so she was named Maggie.  Maggie has a great sense of humor, locking staff and guest out of the rooms, turning on the heat in summer, but her specialty is leaving barefoot footprints on mopped floors.
Maggie’s prints came to visit me one day.  Two bare foot marks appeared on either side of the toilet, toes facing out, on my newly mopped floor.  When I saw the foot marks, I knew it was the lodge ghost!  Just to be sure, I took a stiff brush and cleaner to the area.  No success.  The marks could not be brushed off.  Before the new guests arrived I checked the bathroom floor a last time.  The floor now dry, the footprints dissipated properly, as any nice ghost would do.  What a lady!
Thank you Maggie, for cleaning up your mess.  You’re alright in my book.
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Poetry: Evening Walk

In an evening walk
I’ll calculate my next move
Coordinate my conversations
Consider the risks
Conceive inspiration
An evening walk will
Tidy my head
Warm my heart
Make my nose run
Red scarf flies like a flag
Of freedom and life
Wrapped around me
Coiled across my mouth
That’s speaking only fog
Under the street lights
I travel across time
The sidewalk is my path
Street signs guide me
The alleyway home
Lights the runway
Motion detection working
At every gate
In MOTION I am
Night walking