Beware! Dark Seas Ahead

My poems, Kraken and Wishes are featured this month in the Beware! Dark Seas Author & Artist Showcase.

Each year, Jolene Haley features dark stories and creations for the month of October. Come walk along the dark shore and meet the watery denizens that lurk there.

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Red Bellied – A Haiku

Red Bellied
by Victoria Nations

Red hair spilling down,
nearly as bright as the red
staining her belly

 

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More horrific goodness is a The Midnight Society’s #SpookyAllYear Blog Hop

 

THERE ARE GHOSTS IN THE GROVES (II)

THERE ARE GHOSTS IN THE GROVES (II)
by Victoria Nations

There are ghosts in the groves picking
oranges that fall through the net sacks and
bounce onto the ground.
The oranges are too bright to be
anything but real. They look alive.

The ghosts flit about, preoccupied by the work.
They don’t notice the oranges
laying about, rotten on the ground,
now lost to the living
who could taste them.

The ghosts in the groves let vines crawl up
and wrap around tree branches,
and cover the leaves.
The orange trees struggle for light, but
The ghosts
never cut them down even though
the trees are strangled.

 

It’s past due when the orange groves should have been picked here in Florida.  The abandoned groves drop their heavy fruit.  Or maybe the ghosts don’t notice their sacks won’t hold them anymore.

The abandoned groves are haunting and full of memories.  You can read “There Are Ghosts in the Groves (I)” here.

Check out #SpookyAllYear for links to creepy stories and blog posts.  And click on the graphic for spooky goodness by The Midnight Society.

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The Little Man – 6 Days Until Halloween

The Little Man
by Victoria Nations

There’s a little man
crouching by the fence past the stop sign.
He’s bald and wearing a shapeless coat,
and he reminds me of Uncle Fester,
but he’s grinning a little too wide.
His teeth are very long.
And he looks much too menacing to be an Addams.

He’s shaking the split rail fence.
Maybe he’s trying to pry one of the boards off,
though it would be easy enough to crawl over
or even through the fence.
But perhaps he’s just doing it to get my attention.
He’s catching my eye, and he’s grinning wider now.
And he’s pulling the fence with greater force.

Bang.
Bang.
Bang.

He pauses for a moment and looks to see if I’m reacting.
I’m trying to hold my face still.
I’m trying to look as if I’m not watching him.
And I’m wishing that I could drive past him faster.
He’s obviously tracking me. He knows what I’m doing.
His head swivels around, and his smile is wider.
I can see the gums above his teeth.

I lose him in my blind spot as I pass closest to him.
When I look in the rearview mirror,
he’s not at the fence anymore.
The board is still in place.
I can’t see him anymore,
and it’s worse than watching him follow me.
I wonder how fast he can move, or jump.

I think about him clinging to the roof,
his face raised to the wind.
It’s causing his lips to pull back from those long teeth.
I think about him waiting there.
He’s waiting for me to get farther down the road.
I hear his grip shift on the roof, before trying to pry it off.

Bang.
Bang.
Bang.

Horse – A Poem Poised To Run

Horse
by Victoria Nations

Smooth planes of muscle and bone
grown over with layers of
detritus, lichen and grime
caught
in the corners
spreading
until they touch one another
crusting the surface
beneath
which lies
smooth planes of muscle and bone
and skin
shiny with sweat
wetting the living things who
drink
and cover the
smooth planes of muscle and bone
rolling beneath
hard but for
a rolling eye
wild in its socket
caught
tangled in the
detritus, lichen and grime
smothering the
smooth planes of muscle and bone

My Hunger Will Consume All That Is Here And Will Free You – A Poem of Celebration

My Hunger Will Consume All That Is Here And Will Free You
by Victoria Nations

I will climb and tear
and rip it all apart with my teeth,
until the way is cleared before me.
I will lay waste to the kingdom I’ve invaded.
I will eat until I am gorged,
until I am satisfied.
The fabric that binds this world will hang in tatters.
And the sun will reach the ground once more
after I have passed through.

air potato vineAir potato (Dioscorea bulbifera L.) is an invasive vine that was introduced to Florida from Asia over 100 years ago.  It can grow to 20 meters or more, climbing over and smothering native plants.  After years of research, a leaf feeding beetle, Lilioceris cheni, was recently introduced into Florida from China for biological control of air potato.  This is the second year we’ve had this feisty red beetle in our yard and their ability to destroy the leaves and vines of air potato is truly impressive.  Way to go, little guys!

For more information, check out the UF/IFAS Extension fact sheet.

Captain G – A Love Poem For May 20

CAPTAIN G
by Victoria Nations

Rough seas at bedtime, the faithful crew
of stuffies rush around, pulling ropes and sails.
My glass scans the horizon,
but riding the surf is too thrilling to
turn into that calm port ahead.

A huge island rises above the waves, and we cry:
It’s a gum ball! I love gum balls!
And we break into laughter, rolling around the poop deck,
jumping over the sides,
swimming out of the sheets and falling onto the floor.

Courage and Turt preside over our splashing, while
Iggy and Spike make rude noises, which break us up even more.
Count Sockula flies around and Tex stampedes;
we run around the deck with them, and Honey tries to hush us.
Minitee and Orcky are dolphining around, and suddenly
The Annoying Thing goes off, chattering at the top of his lungs,
and we are all lost, gasping for air in the sea of bedclothes.

Mom clomps upstairs, and there is a chorus of shushing.
Everyone wiggles to snuggle down and look asleep.
(Several are holding their breath, submerged under blankets)
After a kiss and a drink, Mom tells us to go to sleep.
And we smother ourselves, nodding that we will, watching
the door close. It is bedtime.

Until Minitee breaches big, his tummy breaking above the waves of pillows,
a great round gum ball bobbing there.
And we are drowning in giggles until we can’t breathe.

* This poem was published in Chronicle 2014 Prize-Winning Poems, a publication of Seminole State College