Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Mini-challenge: Routines, smeared by orange juice

Hi Toads & Visitors to The Garden !  This is Grace for your Sunday's prompt for the month of April.    This week has been different for me as I started Monday on my new job (but with the same company) in downtown Toronto City.   This meant that I have been commuting via subway, instead of driving to the office.   I take the same route & station but with the volume of commuters, I always see different people of all kinds and hear different musicians at the platforms.  In the morning, I observe that people have their "routines" - read the papers, listen to music, solve puzzles, drink coffee, while waiting for metal doors to chime & announce their destination.  "Please stand clear of the doors" refrains at every stop.      

Picture Credit by Grace

By the 4th morning, I was "zoning out" and almost missed my station's arrival.   What was initially an interesting train ride for me is now turning into "sleeping zone".  This was precisely the reason why I changed job assignments - because I was very comfortable with my prior job that it became a routine.   We have routines that we stick to everyday from household chores to buying groceries to preparing meals to scheduling our time. What is your routine?   

The Morning Routine

I tell my attendants,
Right there,
When they rub me where it itches.
They rub for a few seconds, then move on,
There’s so much of it to wash,
“It” being me, a former person,
Now something that must be washed every day
In so little time.
Fifty minutes outside my breathing machine,
And all I can do is stare
As my breath recedes like the woman
Who would not love me.
It’s almost over,
I say over and over to myself
As soon as the machine is turned off.
An idiotic mantra perhaps,
But it helps when the ache descends into my eyes
And my words quit coming out right.
Left hand, I say.
Right foot? the attendant says, guessing.
I begin to fantasize about gusts of air
Rushing down my windpipe with hurricane force.
Garish and impossible, they’re respiratory porn.
My re-entry is stalled
By the attendant straightening a sheet
That no one will see.
Enraged, I squeeze my eyes closed.
Never mind.
Once back in and turned on,
I cough violently and with conviction.
Shocked by the force of the inrushing air,
I feel my lungs expand like birthday balloons,
My terror-flattened mind pops up into 3-D,
As I return to the land of breathing.

Clear Night


Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky.
Moon-fingers lay down their same routine
On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys.
Bird hush and bird song. A cassia flower falls.

I want to be bruised by God.
I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out.
I want to be stretched, like music wrung from a dropped seed.   
I want to be entered and picked clean.

And the wind says “What?” to me.
And the castor beans, with their little earrings of death, say “What?” to me.
And the stars start out on their cold slide through the dark.   
And the gears notch and the engines wheel.


Our challenge is to write about a routine, something which we do or observe in others or what we observe in our surroundings, in a non-routine way.  Some suggestions are:  an unexpected twist or ending, writing from different  point of view, or use of synesthesia. Please write a new poem or prose poem and post it with Mr. Linky.   Kindly visit your fellow writers too.   

I look forward to reading your work ~  Happy Sunday ~ 

Grace (aka Heaven)


Anonymous said...

This mini-challenge really hits home with me, Grace. Thank you so much for giving me a chance to put thoughts that often bounce around my head down on paper... Great job!

Anonymous said...

a good challenge, Grace. Hope you don't miss your stop! and have a good week ~

Sumana Roy said...

Thank you Grace for the nice prompt..

Sumana Roy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadSnapper said...

thank you for your comment on my post yesterday. My husband and I live our daily lives by a routine that rarely changes..

Phil Slade said...

You chose a beautiful painting Mama Zen. No routine in painting that.

Grace said...

Good morning everyone ~ I am still writing for my post so I will be checking in throughout the day for your work ~

Happy Sunday ~

Susan said...

Grace, the two poems you used here moved me to tears--well, the first did and then the second continues the mood, gasping for air, bruised by God--such longing, simply to breath and be alive in the spirit. I hope to be back with something worthy. Thank you.

Grace said...

Thank you Susan ~ Am looking forward to reading it ~

Susie Clevenger said...

Grace, there was a time when all I knew was routine..This poem is about the time and my awakening.

Hannah said...

Excellent and inventive challenge, Grace...thank you!

Margaret said...

Outside all day working on the yard. Am typing with calloused hands :) Thanks for the prompt - I didn't have much time to really ponder this, so I hope it somehow fits the bill.

Margaret said...

I'll be back in the morning to read everyones and comment… racking and mulching has wore me out.