Sunday September 12th, 2010

The exercise:

Let's give this a whirl: cramped quarters.

Spent most of today crawling around the basement of the cabin installing insulation. And finding very dead mice. Which, for the record, I highly prefer when the alternative is very alive mice.

Tomorrow shall be our day off this week, since we wanted to take advantage of the availability of Kat's parents to help us today. A lot of cleaning of walls got done, as well as new locks installed on both of the doors on the main floor and the main hole from outside to the basement got plugged.

Next step: more cleaning. And then maybe we can get to painting!


Sailing life is not for me -
This ship is just too tiny!
The crew are all much too big,
And the captain is a prig
With no sense of direction
And a bladder infection.

My thoughts have no room to breathe,
All my meals I want to heave.
I can't take this any more,
My spirit just wants to soar!
It's hard to go full throttle
When your ship's in a bottle.


Greg said...

Live mice are definitely cuter than dead ones, but can't you solve the problem by just getting a few snakes for the basement?
Sounds like you had a very busy Sunday, so I hope you enjoy your day off this week and have a chance to just laze around, chilling out and writing :)
Great last line of your poem that brings a sudden flash of clarity to what's going on! I think your tiredness is showing up though, as one or two of your couplets feel a little bit as though you were thinking "That'll do," when you were writing it.

Cramped quarters

I can lie down in my quarters,
And reach up to the ceiling
Without having to stretch
And reach down to the floor,
Where my blankets and pillows
Didn't quite fall.

There's just me and a dog
Crewing this capsule, and the dog
Has much more space to roam,
Relatively speaking.

Keeping me sane is optimism,
The hope for wide open spaces
Under a familiar sun but a different sky.
This trip to Mars is taking forever,
And when I get there I'll be lonely,
Because the dog is starting to die.

morganna said...

Scene: Dark cave on mountainside. Small tunnel about 3 feet high leading out of cave, deeper into the mountain.
A small girl about three
Her mother
Her father
Three young men, aged about twenty

The men are preparing to enter the small tunnel.

Girl: Mommy, I want to go back there! It's just my size.
Mother: No, dear, you can't!
Girl: Why not? Those men are.
Young man: She can come with us, m'am. We'll take good care of her. The tunnel just goes through the mountain. We'll see the other side and be back in a couple hours.
Mother: Oh, no, she's too little.
Girl: Please, Mommy, please.
Young man: You or your husband can come too, m'am. We love company. It's perfectly safe.
Mother: I couldn't possibly.
Little girl inching towards the tunnel.
Young man: She really wants to come. Will you come, sir?
Father: No. Come on, honey, time to go.
Young men prepare to climb in the tunnel. Family heads towards the main entrance, girl looking back longingly.
True story from a cave near my childhood home. I was that little girl. My mother hates small dark places and I can only imagine her horror thinking of going back in that tunnel.

Heather said...

Marc- Oddly, I always imagined very tiny people to be aboard such a ship and never thought of them not having enough room.

Greg- Yours is a journey I would rather not endure!

Morganna- I took my kids on their first cave trip and it brought back grand memories of my spelunking days. I'm sorry you weren't able to explore that as a child.
I'd known her for most of my life. In many ways, I respected her. Joanne was a strong women, lived life with humor and understanding, stretched out a hand to those in need, and always worried she would die a burden. As we sat together on the beach, her nose buried deeply in a book mostly because of poor eyesight, I thought of our relationship.

She had never been very tolerant of people who didn't take care of their bodies. She had been an aerobics instructor for years. When she stopped teaching, she became obsessed with training dogs in agility, something that kept her on her feet and active most of the day. She'd always been thin. Even now, in the bright sunlight, her tanned skin hung limply around her slender body. Kindness toward over weight people was not in her abilities. It was a small thing that had always bothered me.

She also didn't value people with disabilities much. Sure, she preached that they should have rights and should be an important part of the community, but that sentiment only lasted until they got in her way. Move over or be set aside seemed to be the underlining feel of her philosophy. It was another hard pillow to swallow when I was around her, especially when she was younger.

I looked at Joanne, lying comfortably on the chair, and smiled at her. "I'm going to order a drink. Do you want anything?" she asked as the cabana boy approached.

"No thank you," I said.

Joanne summoned the young man over with a flip of her wrist. "What do you have to drink?" she asked him with a coolness to her voice.

"Drink? What kind?" He stood, smiling at the old woman first and then myself.

"That's what I am asking you. What kind of drinks do you have?" She looked impressed at the youth's lack of understanding as he stood happily mute at her feet.

"Yes." he responded, still smiling at her scornful face. "We have drinks. What kind do you like?"

Joanne stiffened and I shrunk at the thought of where this conversation would go. I didn't make myself small enough because she turned to me, incredulity coloring her eyes. "Well, you know how I feel! The kid should speak English well enough to work here and he doesn't! I can't stand this kind of disrespect. Would you please order me a drink and be reproachful, none of this nicety stuff for the lazy bum?!?"

I smiled at the young man kindly. "Lo siento muchismo. Podemos tener dos Margaritas doble, por favor?"

"Si Senora," he said and was off. Joanne rolled her eyes at me and went back to her book. I could hear her mumbling about my foolhardy tolerance for those who refused to speak English. She didn't care that we were sitting on the pristine white sands of Mexico. Suddenly the long white beaches felt to cramped of a space to share with this burden of a woman.

I haven't had a chance to read this as a whole and was disrupted by the school bell alerting me I was late picking my son up from school. I hope it makes some semblance of sense!

Anonymous said...

I find it amzusing to see how everyone interprets the prompts and how they add their own flair. I'm glad I discovered your blog Marc. Anywho, here's mine:

Too much stuff,
Not enough space.
The life of a pack-rat
Of excess, of waste.

I can't get around,
Can't find my way,
Through this sea of clutter,
I just can't get away!

The space is tight
Cramped, if you will
With these piles of junk,
Which closely resemble hills.

Marc said...

Greg - I'd rather just seal up the holes and not have anything living in the basement, thanks though :)

And, oh yes, there was at least one 'that'll do' moment yesterday :D

Intriguing poem be yours. I like it.

Morganna - unexplored places always make me a little sad. Were you able to return at a later age to see what you weren't allowed to the first time?

Heather - I'd say it makes complete sense. You conveyed the other woman very well, and I found the narrator relatable.

Anon - that's truly my favorite part. Same starting point, such different end points. I'm glad you found your way here as well :)

Great, fun little poem! I enjoyed the first and final stanzas the most.

morganna said...

Marc, no, I've never seen the inside of that tunnel. I am now *far* too tall to fit inside except doubled over in a crouch and have no desire to spend an hour that way, peer over the other side of the mountain, and then spend another hour crouched double.