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Egress

Verlie Burroughs is a west coast writer from Vancouver Island.

egress

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

Comments

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 31, 2018:

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.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on December 31, 2018:

"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

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 30, 2018:

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

Mark Tulin from Ventura, California on December 30, 2018:

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

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 30, 2018:

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 from Ventura, California on December 30, 2018:

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

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 30, 2018:

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 on December 29, 2018:

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.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 29, 2018:

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

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 29, 2018:

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!

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 29, 2018:

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

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 29, 2018:

"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

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 29, 2018:

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.

Rinita Sen on December 29, 2018:

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.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 28, 2018:

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!

Paul Neglia from Poughkeepsie, NY USA on December 28, 2018:

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.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 28, 2018:

Haha, yes very good plan Paula.

Suzie from Carson City on December 28, 2018:

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

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 28, 2018:

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

Suzie from Carson City on December 28, 2018:

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

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 28, 2018:

Manatita, thank you so much.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 28, 2018:

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

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 28, 2018:

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 from london on December 28, 2018:

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.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 28, 2018:

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

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 28, 2018:

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.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on December 28, 2018:

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 from london on December 28, 2018:

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.