Beatrice Box

Beatrice was a square sort of being. Squat, brown, dusty, a bit bent; she couldn’t help it. See, Beatrice was literally a box. Still, she longed for love. Like most boxes, however, she couldn’t open her mouth without attracting the wrong sort of attention.

“I can’t even lift a flap,” she complained to the bureau, “Without acquiring an odd or end.”

He squeaked a commiseratory joint. “I’ve the same problem with me drawers, Love. Have ye tried tape?”

Beatrice hadn’t, so she did. The tape worked quite well for keeping out; but, how could she get love in? She appealed to the cedar chest. “What’s your secret? However do you attract such finery?”

The cedar chest considered. She sniffed. “Smell, mostly. Seems to keep riff-raff at a distance. Then, there’s the carvings up top what observers always notice.”

“Carvings? Smell?” Beatrice examined the parts of herself she could. What she saw failed to instill confidence. She was, as noted, a box. Her relations tended more toward the packing variety and less toward containers in millinery shops. “Have I a scent? What about designs?”

“Hm.” The cedar chest strained; Beatrice thumped in an awkward, squarish spin before her. “You’ve an essence of forgotten memories, like old jumpers. Not unpleasant, I’d say; not pleasant, either. Ooh! I can make out a bit of an imprint… Upst- Hm. Upstares -Yes! Upstares closet. …could be an exotic locale…”

“Oh, dear,” Beatrice sighed. She knew how ‘exotic’ the upstairs closet was. But just when she thought to give up all hope, she met him: the box of her dreams. He fell on her like a ton of bricks.

Literally.

Good thing the tape held.

“Well howdy, ya pine box!” he addressed the cedar chest. “I’m Bob, a box. I’m currently haulin’ a buttload o’ building blocks! Ha!” He scratched at his top with a handy flap. “Thing is, I’m a mite lonely. You wouldn’t happen to know where a fella could find some company, would ya? -A good, solid, squarish sort of company?”

Beatrice could hardly speak for excitement. She could hardly speak for the box of bricks named Bob that sat atop her as well. She tried. “Mmph mmm mph phuhm.”

“Who said that??” Bob swept the room.

“Mmph mmm mph phuhm.”

Bob shifted. He couldn’t catch where the noise came from. “How’s that, pardner?”

“Mmph! Mm mph mph phuh mphm.”

Bob scooted a titch more; which, it turns out, was a titch too far. *CLONK!* He landed on the floor like a ton of -oh, you get the idea. He caught sight of Beatrice. “Well, howdy!”

Beatrice blushed. “Hello.”

It was the start of a beautiful future. Beatrice had such a crush, she was already making moving plans.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

©2022 Chel Owens

“It is impossible to know, in the moment, how a small act of goodness will reverberate through time. The notion is empowering and it is frightening -because it means that we’re all capable of changing the world, and responsible for finding those opportunities to protect, feed, grow, and guide love.”

Bishop Michael Curry, Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times (co-authored by Sara Grace)

“I think the biggest disease this world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved.”
…I think the…people need someone in public life to give affection, to make them feel important, to support them, to give them light in their dark tunnels.”

Princess Diana, “An Interview with HRH The Princess of Wales,” BBC, 20 November 1995

“The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”

Carl Sagan, “In the Valley of the Shadow,” Parade, 10 March 1996

WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 3/15/2021

We apologise for the fault in the A Mused Poetry Contest and its delay. While the hostess would prefer being sacked after forgetfulness, a birthday, a church newsletter assignment, and then a stomach ‘flu came through; she’ll go ahead and announce who won this month’s contest, instead:

The winner of the most ‘romantic’ love poem in a greeting card is:

Untitled, by Gary
When you lie in double bed all alone
Experiencing a completely love free zone
Feeling like a redundant out of tune trombone
Your only company is a smelly dog and farting cat
Feeling as popular as flea ridden rabid fat wombat
But maybe today that Hallmark card will land on my mat
Bringing much needed kisses and expressions of affection
Offering a few sweet moments of romantic misdirection
Which is always better than a bad case of fungal infection…..

Congratulations, Gary! You are the funniest poet for the week!

I loved reading the entries (finally!) this time around. Even the silly, snarky ones made me sigh. And laugh. There were some close contenders, but Gary’s won for heavy-handed awfulness. Who wouldn’t be won over by a farting cat or a comparison to a fungal infection?

If you need more material for that special someone, just read the rest:

Blessed are the cheesemakers, by Doug Jacquier
You said you didn’t want a birthday gift,
Hallmark cheesy made you vomit.
But I’ve fallen for that before,
so here’s some Wallace and some Gromit.

Hence behold my new invention!
No vapid Wensleydale, penicillin’s what it’s built on.
Cambridgeshire meets jalapeno
in my stunning chilli Stilton.

I’ve named this fromage after you
because it causes odd and vivid dreams
and on the morrow, it is said,
requires use of soothing creams.

Enjoy your day, my curdle dove,
as you wend your merry whey,
and feast full well on this daily rind …
My God, put that knife away!

Something bright and gay, by Bruce
These dozen red roses, please accept them I pray,
To celebrate love on this Valentine’s Day.
You light up my life in every way,
Just don’t tell my fiancée.

Untitled, by Dumbestblogger
Love is a burning thing
I’m so glad we had a fling
Glad I didn’t get a ring
Happily, I have no strings

Untitled, by Writerinretrospect
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I eat lots of chocolates
You should too!

(Chocolates not included)

Mountains and Valleys, by Frank Hubeny
Love comes when the mountains ring
and valleys rise to roar.
They rang, I fear.
Oh, can’t you hear?
I love you more and more.

Heart Strings, by Obbverse
Accept this humble Valentines card, my sweet,
Know ’tis only you who makes my life complete,
You cause my happy heart to lightly skip a beat,
I freely give you my heart- consider my card your receipt.

My love, my love for you runs true and deep,
Know I dream of you at night before I sleep,
So my love, close to your heart my love-note keep,
I’d hand you a few roses too- but I’m too damned cheap.

Untitled, by Kshtatiana
I have been hiding all my feelings.
Of fear that I might lose you
The truth is, I can’t conceal it.
My heart is in love with you.

If the hearts could melt,
Mine melted since the day you said ‘hello.’
When our eyes first met, I felt-
I could not let you go.

Happy Lover’s Day, by Ruth Scribbles
We met in the restaurant above
Had drinks and by chance you got shoved
You tumbled and fell
That rang your bell
And that was our start of true love

Love Languages, by Bilocalalia
Yours is clearing off the snow,
mine is saying not to go;
you sweep the car with a broom
while I watch cozy in our room.
You rise early while I sleep late;
I cook the meat that’s on your plate;
you eye my veggies with disdain,
but walk the dog out in the rain.
You’re my media naranja, I swear;
opposites make the perfect pair.

—–

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Stick around a little later for the next month’s prompt!

Gary, here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!

©2021 The poets, and their respective works

The A Mused Poetry Contest 2/7/2021 – 3/5/2021 (AKA 7/2/21-5/3/21)

Phew! After last month‘s hilarious entries, I had a bit of trouble thinking of what our next venture should be. What to do, what to do…

  1. Let’s try an oldie but a goodie: A Funny Love Poem Inside a Greeting Card.
  2. Most greeting cards can’t hold a ballad, so a few stanzas ought to do us for the Length.
  3. I’d recommend rhyming. I mean, you are serious about this love interest, aren’t you?
  4. Yes, this is love (or something like unto it) but the Rating‘s PG or cleaner. After all, some kid might stumble across your offering while trying out all the musical cards.
  5. Only in stories do lovers say all the right words, remember every birthday and anniversary, and get just the right present. We are not writing a story, here, we’re writing a humorous poem. As such, make us laugh. Laughter’s the best way to a person’s heart; right?
    And, as a side note, whoever said this was a card expressing love to a person? What if you’re more fond of a juicy cheeseburger? Just a thought…

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next MONTH (March 5) to submit a poem.

Use the form, below, to remain anonymous until results are posted.

Otherwise, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. You cannot simply link back to my post because WordPress is stupid and I will not receive it.

—–

Enjoy.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

—–

©2021 Chel Owens

Tell Me the Story, Daddy.

“Tell me the story, Daddy. Tell me …when you met Mommy. Tell me when you knew.”

Arthur smiled that smile that never quite touched his eyes anymore. “When I knew what, son?”

Little Sammy squirmed atop his bedcovers. “You know, Daddy. When you knew… You know.”

Arthur almost laughed. Almost. “Okay. Okay. …Once upon a time, your dad -me- was young. I was barely an adult and was working my first job, at a bookstore…”

Arthur could still smell the scholarly breath of time and leather that greeted him each morning, could still hear the muted tinkle of the bell over the door, could still see the morning light filtering through mullioned front windows. Tomes ranging from paper romance to hardbacked alchemy built labyrinth paths between the barely-visible masonry walls. The dust of every bibliophile’s essence hung, distilled, in the motes that danced where empty spaces dared exist.

“I stood at a desk where I could see the door. Everywhere else was books.” This is where he changed the story; embellished it. “Harry Potter, James and the Giant Peach, Shel Silverstein, and even Where the Wild Things Are; comic books, picture books; fat ones, thin ones; old and new.”

His son’s eyes shone and then twitched over to the bookshelf in the corner. “What about your books, Dad? Did they have those, too?”

“Yes, son. Those, too.”

“Did Mom like your books, Dad?”

Sammy hadn’t asked that one before. The question gave Arthur pause. “No, not really. She -well! That’s a different story!”

This elicited a giggle and more rocking. Sammy even turned a lopsided somersault into his pillow.

Arthur wagged his finger in a pretended sternness. “All right. One day, I heard the bell on the door that meant someone had come in…”

There had been more light that day, enough that the younger Arthur could not see who entered the store. He raised a hand against the brightness and squinted at a diminutive shadow. The door closed, the bell sang, the shadow resolved to a timid, tiny young woman. Encircled by light and interrupted space, Arthur was smitten.

“I saw a very small, very beautiful woman. She came up to the desk and slid a paper on the glass -too shy to ask me for the name of the book she’d written on it.”

His son’s eyes -her eyes- were round in his small, attentive face.

“It was a book on poetry. ‘For school,’ she whispered. She wouldn’t look up, but I saw her look at me when I was searching through our book about books. …We didn’t have computers then, you see. We had a book that we wrote all the books in -well, we typed them on papers, then…”

Sammy yawned.

Now, Arthur managed a shadow of a chuckle. “I came around the desk. She seemed surprised when I stood; later, she said she hadn’t realized we were so close to the same size.”

Something inside fluttered at being nearer to her, he remembered. Her smile set it off again. The feeling was unlike any he’d felt in his lonely, empty life; one spent with one relative or another handing him off till he could move out and raise himself. Whether she smiled, or not, her very existence shook his. Next to her, he could be anyone or do anything.

“But, Daddy! When did you know?”

Arthur’s eyes refocused to the bedroom of the apartment he and Sammy shared, just the two of them. “I …walked with the gir- woman, over to our poetry section. I found what she needed. Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass. She took it from my hand, and our fingers touched.”

It had felt electric, a touch of divinity that opened an eternity of thought and feeling for this tiny, timid woman before him.

“And that, Sammy, was when I knew I loved your Mommy.” Arthur smiled. For an instant, it reached his eyes.

His son somersaulted again. “So, then you asked her to marry you?”

Arthur blushed. “Yes.”

The laughter from his son sounded so much like her startled laughter, from all those years before. At first she’d been shocked, of course, then she’d laughed. How much it sounded like the door bell, he’d thought. He had also thought to hide in a pile of The Rise and Fall of the Greeks and Romans.

“All right, Sammy. Time for bed.” Arthur stood and pushed the chair beneath his work desk. He’d be revisiting it in the morning while Sammy slept in.

Sammy snuck a few more twists and wiggles in before allowing his dad to lift the covers and shoo him beneath them. “‘Night, Dad.” He rolled his head up to see the framed photograph on the desk. “‘Night, Mom.”

“Good night, Sam.” Arthur went to the door and stood. Good night, Catherine, he thought to her picture, and turned out the light.

©2021 Chel Owens