About Life · My Writing

Mildred & Monty

Mildred was hiding in a beam above the kitchen. She stared at me from the knotted wood. I felt her gaze and, looking up, caught sight of her. What peculiar eyes, I thought, what an elongated, fearsome forehead and skull, what a beak, what a…

Abandoning my crack-of-dawn tea drinking, I shot to the bedroom and grabbed pens, watercolor pencil crayons, paper. Mildred was a fey humdinger. Her emu-alien, bulging-eyeballs stare – one dilated pupil married to a mismatched, shrinking one – intrigued me. I was sketching in no time.

Mildred gawped. I gawped back. I flipped the page and, lo and behold, Mildred was Monty.

I erased the lace-edged collar (in an app) and eyed Monty. His long neck and head poke through an impossibly small hole in the wood. Bulbous eyes, and a bulbous nose, dominate a ludicrous fantasy-animal face.

Mildred flip Monty

Double trouble, these two.

Mildred is an astute wheeler-dealer, while Monty, with sweet, fumbling charm, wrecks havoc wherever he goes. Look at what he did to my ceiling (see me roll my not-quite-symmetrical humanoid eyes).

When I gaze at enlivened wood, things emerge. A portion of a woman’s face is on my bedroom ceiling, in a plank. Her eye socket is empty black yet sees, her nose long but not sharp. Her mouth does not show. I must sketch her soon. Remind me, please, to do so. She is surrounded by other flights of fancy, a perfect heart included.

I could doodle for days, but cannot. Lots to do, lots to do.

The Mildred | Monty perspective shift reinforced a lesson I have grudgingly learnt – jumping to conclusions needlessly complicates life.

In future, I will turn my assumptions on their overthinking heads.

This week’s Happiness is…

We have a cat, whether we like it or not, and I like it.

It is an unusual state of affairs. She is not my cat but, as do many cats, decided this is her pad and padded in. Other visiting cats have been asked to leave because of Roach the Rat, and they sprayed, despite being ‘fixed’ by their owners.

But Bailey is Bailey. If she can smell Roach, which she must do because I can, she doesn’t do anything about it. We keep the door of the room where old Roach scratches around under the bed, a fat recluse, closed.

Normally, felines take to the stairs with unseemly haste and pace the second floor, hunting eyes switched on, paws and claws and jaws remembering the ancestral preference for running meat.

Bailey is escorted home late at night but is back before a bird opens a beak, i.e. 3.30 a.m. (a new record, set this morning). She prances around outside, making the bell on her collar ring let me in, let me in.

Here’s a pic of her sitting on my desk, taken the first night she visited.

Photo of Bailey the Cat
Bailey the Cat

And there’s another Happiness…

I made time to transfer more completed Journal Juice poems onto digital cards.

Harvesting these poems gives me a kick, much the same as finding Mildred and Monty on the underside of a wooden floor did.

Gaslighting was constructed by taking all the slips from the previous eight poems, shuffling them, and randomly selecting ten lines to build the poem. Add two words here and here, change the gender there, and it works.

Again, it’s finding another way to look at the same thing. Phrases are reframed when they keep new company.

It is Time, a poem by Michele Damstra
Persecution, a poem by Michele Damstra
Less, a poem by Michele Damstra
Create, a poem by Michele Damstra
Promise, a poem by Michele Damstra
Fists, a poem by Michele Damstra
Will I, a poem by Michele Damstra
Conversation, a poem by Michele Damstra
Gaslighting, by Michele Damstra

Any-hoo,

that’s enough natter-chatter from me.

Toodle-oo, I love you. Mpwha.

xxx ❤ TeaShell Michele

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