A Welcome Home

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Life was different out there. They didn’t get much traffic that far out-of-town. The house was situated on the slope of the mountain. It was a gravel road while she was growing up, but they paved it a few years back. That made it slick in the winter months. The first snows had left a dusting overnight. She leaned against a post of the front porch in her oversized cable-knit sweater. Her dirty blonde hair, peeking out of a woolen cap, was in a large braid over one shoulder.

It really was a beautiful country. Some people called it ‘God’s Country’, but everyone called their part of the world that. She was just grateful for what she had. Life was good and she knew it. Everyday wasn’t was this perfect, so you had to truly cherish it.

The phone started to ring and she let it. That was what voicemail was for. Nothing was so important as to disturb this beautiful moment. Her coffee was getting low. She would have to go inside soon anyway.

When she went inside, she checked the phone. The number was unfamiliar and there was no messages left. She walked to the kitchen without a second thought. It was too good of a morning to waste any of it on someone who clearly didn’t have anything important to say.
The thoughts of a certain someone started to filter through her mind. Why hadn’t he called yet? The news of her arrival assuredly made to him by now. I’m sure the dirty old men at the bar made a few wise cracks. Did he no longer care? Had he moved on? Was he married? Maybe she needed to get dressed and pay the town a visit. Sitting here, thinking these negative thoughts wasn’t going to do any good.

While pouring another cup of coffee, there was a knock on the door. Startled, she clearly wasn’t expecting anyone. Heading towards the door, she paused at the mirror to make sure she wasn’t going to embarrass herself. “As good as it’s going to be,” she mumbled to herself. She peeked out the side window as she was about to unlock the door. Oh my God, it was William! He knocked again. She was frozen. All kinds of thoughts and emotions overwhelmed her.

“Hayden, I saw you. Please open up.”

“Hi,” was all she could come up with. She was instantly embarrassed. Where had all the things she’s wanted to say forever? She sounded like a star struck school girl.

“I just heard you were in town. How long has it been?”

“I don’t know. A long time. You look terrific. How are you?”

“Thank you, Hayden. You look great, too. I’m okay.”

“I’m sorry. Where are my manners? Do you want to come in? I have some coffee.”

“Yes, coffee sounds terrific. Thanks.” His smile was wide and enthusiastic and melted her instantly.

Hayden led him through the house. He followed her into the kitchen. He took in all the sights and smells of being next to her again. Life can be complicated. How he felt about her had never been complicated. He did not always know how to deal with it, but he was never confused by how he felt about Hayden.

“How do you want your coffee?”

“Do you have any creamer?”

“No.”

“I’ll take it black then.” He smiled at Hayden. She was caught up in that face. She cursed herself for succumbing to his charm again. She opened a cabinet and started up on her tiptoes. The hem of her sweater inched it’s way up, revealing more and more of her skin. She paused when she realized her state of dress.

“The mugs are up here. You’ll have to get one yourself.” Momentarily confused, he smiled again.

“What’s the matter, Hayden?” William took advantage of standing right next to her when he grabbed his coffee cup. He could tell she had stopped breathing. He placed his hand over hers, which was on her hip. “Relax. It’s just coffee.”

“I know.” She replied softly, almost imperceptible. Why did he make her feel this way? Hayden was nervous and shy around William. She always had been.

She took the cup from him. Their fingers touching again. She looked up into his eyes. He stepped back, grudgingly to allow her to pour the coffee.

“So, how have you been?”

“I’ve been okay, I guess.”

“You guess?” He blew on his coffee, pursing his lips and making her squirm. She loved those lips long ago.

“I don’t know. I’ve been feeling lost recently. That’s why I came back here.”

“I, for one, am grateful you’re back. It’s good to see you.” He took another sip, trying to hide his smirk.

“Thank you.” She blushed.

“What’s been keeping you so busy?”

“Work, mostly. There’s not that much to tell. None of it is interesting.”

“I think it is. I want to know everything.”

“No, you don’t. It’s boring. You don’t…”

“Shhhh….” William leaned in and kissed her before she could say anything else. She pushed him back. He was grinning.

“Did you just shush me?! Stop that smiling!”

“As you wish.” He grabbed her again and kissed her deep. She could feel all of her inhibitions leaving. His arms wrapped around her, holding her as to never let her go.

He knew within his heart, that this is what he had been missing. The passion between them was obvious. The mutual desire and hunger in their kisses carried them further in this embrace.

“I’ve missed you.” She whispered to him. He looked into her eyes, like she was the most beautiful woman in the world. He reached out, just touching the bottom of her sweater. Her hand met his. “Not here.” Never taking her hand off his, Hayden led them back to the bedroom.
It was sparsely decorated. An antique dresser with a mirror and a bed with a nightstand were the only furniture in there. The bed was covered in all white linens and stacked with too many pillows. The nightstand had a Tiffany lamp and books stacked on top and on the floor next to it.

“This is as it should be.”

“What do you mean?”

“I just mean that this room is exactly how I’ve always thought of you. It is kinda organized with the bed being perfectly made and hardly anything else in the room. Then you find the books all askew. You’re focused and organized, but then you an unraveling edge that you try to hide.”

“Are you trying to seduce me with this talk?” William laughed. Hayden tried to keep a straight face, but then broke into a wide smile.

William reached up to hold her face in his hands. He closed his eyes and leaned in to gently kiss her lips. He could feel her melt. He moved his hands down her back and increased the passion of his kisses.

Hayden reached up and untied his tie. She slipped it slowly from under his collar. Her eyes never left William’s eyes. She bit her lip as she began to unbutton his shirt. She took her time with each one. There was a certain distraction as she was trying to continue kissing as she fumbled with his buttons. They laughed together without breaking lip contact. She finished unbuttoning and hastily jerked the dress shirt over his shoulders. She kissed his chest lightly and then gave him a firmer kiss on his neck.

Taking a step back, she admired William’s innate manliness. He was rugged in a way that she had missed over the years. She was not fragile and didn’t want to be treated as though she was. William knew how to treat a woman as feminine, yet not disrespect her as a breakable object.

William kissed her hard with the passion of all the missed years. He then placed a hand on the center of her chest and pushed her back on the bed. She lifted her head with amazed eyes.

“What was that for?”

“You were distracting me.”

“Oh, I was, was I?” She flashed a playful smile. “How was I doing that?”

“You were in the way.” William slipped off his shoes and unbuckled his belt.

“I’m sorry. Would you prefer I got out of your way?”

“Nope. I want you to stay right there.” He pulled his pants and boxers off.

“Oh, my.” She released an involuntary approval. “Nice socks.”

“Would you like me to leave them on?” He reached down and pulled them off. He stood before her as natural as he could be. A smile of sheer confidence crossed his face. He approached her slowly and climbed on the bed over her. Hayden grew nervous. Her heartbeat increased.

“Are you going to take my clothes off?” She whispered. He kissed her cheek.

“Are you in a hurry?”

“No. I’m just…”

“Hayden, are you okay with this?”

“Yes. I’m just a little nervous.”

“Why would you be nervous?”

“I haven’t seen you in awhile. This is so sudden.”

“Do you want to me to put my clothes back on?”

“Oh God no!” She leaned into his lips and kissed him deeply. “I just needed a minute. I’m good. Why do I still have these clothes on?”

William placed a hand under her head, cradling it gently. He kissed her sweetly and slowly increased the pressure of his kisses. His other hand touched her mid-thigh. He could feel her begin to squirm. He relished every reaction she made. His hand slowly and deliberately made its way up her side. He stopped at her hip and then worked his way up her sweater. The fact that she wore nothing under made him dizzy with desire. His hand finally made it to her right breast. He cupped it and firmly squeezed it. He brought his left hand from under her head and started again at her left thigh. Their kisses never once stopped or slowed. As his left hand worked its way up Hayden’s side, the sweater rose, revealing more and more of her perfect skin. William’s eyes were closed. He was focused on her sweet lips.

Once her sweater was up over her breasts, William finally broke free of her kisses. He guided her up to finally remove her sweater. It was flung carelessly, far into the corner. He looked down in satisfaction. Here was the most beautiful woman.

They took a minute to admire each other again. Time changes many things, but not love. Hayden scooted herself up to the top of the bed. William climbed next to her. They looked quietly into each other’s eyes. She reached a hand to his cheek and closed her eyes before kissing him again. He reached out and pulled her into his arms.

They made love twice that morning. William made sure to concentrate on Hayden and make her feel how much he had missed her. He wanted her to feel how much love still burned for her.

He wanted to tell her everything that was in his heart. He wanted to unburden his soul. But most of all, he wanted her to be happy. Just because he had something to say, did not mean she needed to hear it. William clung to the hope that there would be a time for all those talks.

They laid in bed as the sun rose higher in the morning sky. He slipped away to take a shower. Hayden watched him walked naked out of the room. Her heart swelled. The morning had not gone as expected.

He returned and was soon dressed and ready for the day a second time. He looked grown up. He was a gentleman.

“I have to get to work. Can I call you?”

“Of course!” She smiled at him.

“Hayden, a broken soul doesn’t have to remain broken forever.” He kissed her one last time before walking out the door.

All she had to do was decide. This could be her reality once again. There was no good reason why she had to stay in the city. The job wasn’t enjoyable. She could feel her soul heavy with regret. There had been moments in her life when she traded happiness for success. They had told her that she could have it all. That turned out to be a lie.

With a fresh cup of coffee, she walked back out to the porch. Her soul yearned to be in this natural air. There isn’t much better than being in the purity of this land. The view alone was enough to change your life. She knew she had to make a decision. It didn’t have to be today. She could enjoy the beauty in front of her. It was possible to be happy. All she had to do was decide.

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Thousand Yard Stare

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It was dark out on the flight deck. The stars and moon not visable tonight. The hum of the Diesel engines mixed with the lapping of the waves. The rest of the guys were inside playing cards. He was sitting on a bullnose, where the mooring lines enter the ship.

He was dirty. The overall grime of shipboard life had taken its toll on his uniform, exposed flesh and general psyche. At this point of the deployment, his blue ‘digital’ camouflage pants were were out of regulations. They had rips, paint splatter and grease stains. No one gave him flack about it. There was no time to focus on those aspects or the means to replace uniforms. It was not important at this point. There was a mission at hand. The priorities were to do your job correctly the first time. Crisp new uniforms would not help you succeed out here. There is a feeling among sailors that those who had time to polish their boots did not have a real job. Admin types and supply personnel usually were the ones with nice looking boots.
“Smitty, you okay man?”
“I’m cool”
“You got that 1,000 yard stare going.”
“Naw, I’m just thinking. I’m fucking tired man”
“Me too.”
“I just want to go home. This shit sucks.”
“I know, I don’t even want to get off the boat in port.”
“Right? Let’s just go back, cut all this short.”
“Wish we could, man. You gonna be okay?”
“Yeah. I’m cool. I’m gonna go to bed soon.”
“All right man, don’t be grabbing chains and jumping off the side.” They both smiled. “We’re laughing, but seriously. It’s not that bad. We’ll be home soon enough.”
“I know, thanks man.”
They went their separate ways. Smitty returned his gaze back out on the water.
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Last Night She Wore Garters

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Last night she wore garters
In spite of our fates, we were free
I brought wine redder than her lips
Wearing only a crucifix & a church key
We were intoxicatingly in love
I’ve sailed all the seas, always to return
There’s no other to own my heart
She’s the only one for whom I’ll ever yearn

Where’s Your Smile

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Where’s your smile
Where’s your happy thoughts
A positive outlook is needed
A return to Neverland is sought
A slight glimmer from the stars
Reflecting back to us; our own hope
Embrace all the love we can find
For it’s the only way to cope

Do Not Be Afraid Of Your Strength

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Do not be afraid of your strength
Learn to love yourself & all forms
There’s peace within the text
Embrace ideas as they swarm
Take a walk into the fields
Go further, down where the fairies reside
Take time to learn the dwarves’ names
When you return you’ll be bonafide
Write what your soul has digested
Tell us the stories living up within
Once you become young
That’s the exact moment life will begin

I Was Mortally Wounded In Love

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I was mortally wounded in love
So here I sit, writing verse after verse
My soul wilting, returning to nature
Damn, feelings no more than a curse
But you’ve got to keep on living
Knowing there’s an end to the bitter night
We’ll find the light of morning sunshine
In the meantime, we’ll have all we write

Words Keep Me Buoyed

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Words keep me buoyed
Sanity sifted, then promptly returned
Thought processes turned on end
Satisfaction smells like salty sunburns
But we were born out of time
Scribbles & poems don’t mean anything anymore
But to a few hidden scoundrels
The fringe of society behind unmarked doors

Returning To Simplicity

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Returning to simplicity
Tossing out these fledgling fates
Stunted growth increasing these days
Hindered by our technological rates
I don’t want to watch my soul wilt
I want to break free & soak up the sunshine
I’m through with this culture of victims
You’ll hear the dial tone & know its mine

Neglected Rose On These Midnight Streets

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Neglected rose on these midnight streets
Finding myself detached from all other souls
Close to something which resembles an answer
No need to guide me, I already know the holes
I’ve already left, did you notice I was gone
I return to myself, closing all windows & doors
You may know where I am
But you don’t know what I have in store

The Unsteady Horizon Rocking Me

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The unsteady horizon rocking me
I’m doing my best to remain upright
Another desert soul back to sea
Taking steps to catch my fall tonight
My eyes are exhausted & can’t open
Cautiously alert for what’s out there
Wished & prayed never return again
The ocean’s been a dangling nightmare