Egress

Updated on December 28, 2018
snakeslane profile image

Verlie Burroughs is a west coast writer from Vancouver Island.

Source

Egress

Regret,
forget,
perpetually.

December Storm

It is blowing in relentlessly, from the wild Pacific.
Loaded, laden, heavy, blasting, banging air.
Pounding, hammering, bending ancient trees.
Under leaden skies, churning, chugging, rivers rise -
Sweeping, seeping into every hollow flooding.
Flowing, grinding, frenzied force, gathering debris -
Swirling, tossing, ripping, roaring, to the restless sea.
Down it pushes, sideways, slashing rain -
Then lifts, and crashes, shuddering window frame.
I am huddled inside, worrying,
Where are the birds today?

It's Not a Test*

On the edge, the brink
almost extinct
running low on ink.
Clock is ticking
time is clicking
too late for picking.
A deal's a deal
it's not a meal
I need to appeal.
Don't know how it got so
sitting in the back row
missing the whole show.
Not much is left
except for feeling bereft
like an unwanted guest.
Poetry ain't the answer
never was a dancer
not a smooth romancer.
Always pretending I'm okay
living day to day
not much more to say.
Can't write worth a damn
this is just how I am
words in a cram.
It is such a fancy flight
to yearn how to write
in the middle of the night.
Maybe it is best
that I put this to rest
it's not a test.

*so much self-doubt in this, I hesitate to put it out there, but I'm thinking others may feel this too.

The Long Way Home

He doesn't have to
but he does
go out of his way
(takes the long way
up the steep
driveway)
lays out the wheel chair ramp
as if it is a magic carpet
carries the old bag lady's bags
right into the house.
Makes an unscheduled stop
in the middle of nowhere
to deliver
a package to a spry woman
in gumboots
accompanied by a muddy
little dog.
They exchange bags (looks like dinner, is this his Mother?)
they smile, and chat (in a language I don't understand)
like they've got
all the time in the world.
Yesterday, delivering a wobbly old timer
to his abode, and hefting boxes
of groceries (again right to the door)
He came back packing a salmon
(frozen, and wrapped).
He gave me a fish! he laughed.
I'm the last passenger
on the bus.
We drive for miles in silence.
Until, almost there, he switches on the radio,
and whistles a little tune.
I imagine him carrying on home
to his wife and family after work,
with his prized salmon
tucked under his arm.
I get off at the last stop.
I have no packages,
and I don't need the ramp.

© 2018 Verlie Burroughs

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    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Morning mar, Lovely to see your note. You give me confidence! Thank you for that, and for your love and inspiration throughout the year(s). Wishing you all the best on this New Years Eve.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      21 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      "It's Not A Test" struck a chord with me - more times that I tend to admit. I love your authenticity, Verlie. Your expressions feel as though they come out of my heart.

      What a perfect song / message to listen to this new year's eve morn.

      Wishing you 'all that and a bag of chips' for 2019. I'm grateful you are my Sista, dear V.

      Love,

      Maria

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Yes, I've been following the California devastation with horror. It's not been a good year, that's for sure.

    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Wow. That’s a bummer. I live in California now. Here we get mudslides and wildfires.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Thanks Mark, appreciate your reading, and your kind feedback.

      The December storms hit hard one after another here on the coast. My home became a casualty. I've had to move out. Not sure if, or when I can go back. Still no power or running water. The storm ripped down the utility pole on the property (not the main power grid pole on the street) so now it's up to the property owners to decide if it's worth fixing. I haven't heard back, so I'm worrying. Lucky I have been able to move just across the street where I can keep an eye on things. I'm still in shock..

    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      The December storm reminded me of a hurricane that I experienced in Philly some years ago. it uprooted trees and tore shingles off houses. It felt like I would be blown away with my house. I love your vivid depictions of events and details in your poems. Mark

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Dream On, my most humble thanks for your kindness dear Poet! If the end of a year means new beginnings, then I am ready.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      21 months ago

      The way you express yourself is beauty in the making. What can I say that hasn't been already said. Music to my ears. What a wonderful way to end one year and bring on the next. Thank you for sharing and caring. I am so happy to read and enjoy your poems.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Wow Patty, that's encouraging. Thank you! You are too kind. Happy New Year to you too!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      21 months ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I adore "It's Not a Test"! I know so many people who have felt this way. It is refreshing to see it in writing by a talented writer. Happy New Year!

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Mike, Thanks for coming back! You are sweet, such a gift.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      21 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      "I get off at the last stop.

      I have no packages,

      and I don't need the ramp."

      this reads like a prayer

      you have such a gift

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Hi Rinita! I'm so happy to see your comments, good to hear your feedback dear Poet friend (and friendly Poet too I must add).

      Thanks for all you do, always so thoughtfully.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      21 months ago

      Egress says it all. December Storm is the one write I have been expecting from you, of course. Smoothest wordplay from you there. Definitely it is not a test, a reminder that everyone needs, those filled with self doubt as well as those consumed by vanity - your best piece here, so I am glad you put it up. The last piece was a great read, kind of like when your day ends in a daze but you are still looking for a little more clarity before drifting off to sleep. Pleasure to read your work, as always.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Thanks for reading Paul, and thanks so much for commenting. Self-doubt is always lurking. How's things in Poughkeepsie? The name of your town is poetic...Happy New Year!

    • Pnknucklez profile image

      Paul Neglia 

      21 months ago from Poughkeepsie, NY USA

      4 totally intriguing and different pieces. I must say i really enjoyed the third one. I think weve all had that moment of self doubt, is my stuff good enough for people to read and feel. I loved the fast tempo of each line. Grear rhyming as well. Nice quartet of poetry you've given us.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Haha, yes very good plan Paula.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Suzie 

      21 months ago from Carson City

      Just get an expandable and/or adjustable hat for all occasions!! :)

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Paula, thank you! You are too kind lady, I will need to get a bigger hat...

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Suzie 

      21 months ago from Carson City

      Verlie....Quite simply.....you are REALLY good! Each time I read your work, I am very impressed with your amazing talent! Paula.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Manatita, thank you so much.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Oh! Thank you Mike, what a nice thing to say, so appreciated. Happy New Year to you!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      21 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Verlie - You are a wind chime floating music into the air. It may seem you are not going anywhere, but the notes of your song penetrate distance.

      Happy New Year

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      21 months ago from london

      My empathies.

      Hold on! A new dawn is awakening. The Light shines in the heavens even when the shadows are dense.

      I will keep you inside my Heart this evening here in Heidleberg, Germany. Much Love.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Bill, your comment makes me smile, so warming. Happy New year to you too!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True confession time: there is only a handful of poets I actually enjoy. You are in that handful.

      Happy New Year, my friend. May 2019 be filled with more of your beautiful work.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      21 months ago from Canada

      Hello manatita. Thanks so much. I appreciate your thoughtful read, especially today, and given the somber mood, I appreciate your light, Happy New Year to you too!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      21 months ago from london

      The last poem is extremely beautiful and quite a difference in pace from the second.

      I like the second. Raw ... open like a wound ... spontaneous perhaps. No neatness, which gives it strength. Pacy. Lots of simplicity, openness ...

      A big one, self-doubt. Not easily conquered.

      You got the storm right. A few very big ones around. Wrapped it up in an intetesting way. A very happy New Year to you Verlie.

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