The Suitcase

‘Mid inky midnight

I open suitcase, the

One with initials

Though I don’t know

Whose they are…

Heavy lock had once

Been unbreakable, but

Efficacy of determined

Perseverance must

Ne’er be discounted…

Inside bruised leather

Is everything I’ll need

To live out my days

As though someone

Gracious spirit, perhaps

Had ascertained what I’d

Require to remain content

Utterly independent:

There’s money, savings

Bequeathed by stranger

To provide for modest life…

One long, meander-shaped

Stone, representing my

Intrepid soul…

A piece of palest blue

(Moon at dusk)

Sea glass, symbolizing

Inmost discerning sight

And sandcastle, size

Of my hand, swathed in

Cheesecloth to protect

Keep intact…once, it housed

Tiny scurry-crabs, hermits

Now it’s my home, heart’s

Ever-here home, small yet

Spacious, it will embrace

Horn of plenty’s blessings

Suitcase-full—plus prayers

Penned in poetry, windswept

Notions, melodic dreams—

But cold-boned skeletons 

Of memories, I’ll bury at sea

They’ll never visit again…

Gulls wing near, silvered in sun

Their welcome cries greet; and

There! Sirens surface, merely to

Glimpse lone female mortal, before

Diving back to depths, their world…

Tides bring psalms, drifted from

Heaven, to become embroidery

On wavelets laced, ribbon-tied

Banners fly o’er bijou castle

I unpack simple possessions

Draw calm breaths…grateful

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Driving Conversations

I tremble at memories:

The driving conversations

Were only monologues

Dad would interrupt my nearly

Nonexistent Me-time with

“Let’s go for a ride”

Not an invitation, no choice nor excuses

He demanded, gave unsmiling commands

Silently I got in passenger seat, Dad drove

The station wagon aimlessly—I, a wood

Sculpture sitting eyes forward, while he

Quietly lectured as to his expectations

Regarding my continuing education, his

Plans, goals for my anticipated success

I remained mute, my input not

Solicited or desired, he was

Captain of the ship, I was his captive

It mattered not a whit that I might have

Dreams, ideas, interests of my own

The one time I mentioned writing, he

Decried “avocation that won’t pay bills” —

Reliable profession (his choosing) was needed

Prince charming, IF he showed up

Might die or desert me

These mobile discourses delivering

Branding iron edicts seemed to last hours

Every nerve, muscle clenched painfully, and

My heart…my heart broke over ‘n over, tearless

In his presence, stifled rage smoldering

‘Neath hurt, cowed submission

I’d been schooled since he entered my life

That it’s a man’s world—of course, they

Know best about any and everything

He was stuck in the 40’s-50’s, though real

World was in tumultuous 60’s-early-70’s

I’d yet to rebel like my stronger, more

Independent, younger siblings

I’m supposed to believe he was a loving

Father, guiding with wisdom… Driving

Till he ran out of dictates, directives

He never realized he was suffocating

My soul, spirit each time he returned

The car to the driveway and I nodded

Wordless assent to query: 

“Are we in agreement?”


He was furious when I wouldn’t

Learn to drive… Again, when

I bailed midway through college

(‘Breakdowns’ are unacceptable in

Family which functions by

Dysfunctional denial)…

He burned cold, soundless as winter

When I foolishly married domineering

Man who’d ride roughshod over me…

Just like he’d done.

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Azure-Shaded Afternoon


Maybe you’re not a stone

Statue, river rocks for eyes

I’m well-accustomed to

How you typically respond

To any presence—with safe

Pensive, wordless reserve

Yet suddenly a window slides

Open, highlighting beautiful

Masculine planes I feast on, and

You smicker* at me instead

(As though only now

Noticing, appreciating)

And cause me to blush

Melting heart’s reticence

I’m dazed, half-dozing

For in your far-off gaze

The world looks different

More like it was when we

Both were younger, and

Any dream seemed possible

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

* (def: to ogle and smile amorously —used with at, or after)

Crowded Mind (Limerick)

In bijou mind I need more space

Myriad thoughts vie for rightful place

Most notions have good purpose sweet

Some with grim shadows are replete

Brain bustling, I seek rest in grace🙂

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

My Nefelibata (“If We Never…”)

Silver grace beneath

Your feet of clay, now crumbled

You were child’s hero

My dear nefelibata

Still cherished in keepsake heart


If we never had

Exchanged brief notes, sealed and stamped

I’d doubt mind…but your

Bold-penned signature below

Few lines is not forgery


Gazing at clouds I

Muse, do you wait for kindred


©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

NOTE*:  The literal Portuguese translation is implied in my 1st stanza; the common definition, “daydreamer”, in the final stanza.

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge–July 21, 2020

*Ragtag Community prompt for today is “nefelibata”.  Portuguese in origin, derived from “nefele” (cloud) and “batha” (a place to walk), it literally translates to “cloudwalker”.  Noun – daydreamer; a person lost in imagination; an unorthodox person who doesn’t abide by the rules of society.

Held Hostage

42-Word Prompt: LOST or MORBID (or Both)

Lost in morbid thoughts

Sickening scenes, conflict

I can’t escape (uninvited

Conjured not by conscious

Mind) ~ Obsessed notions

Congregate in numbers

Lazy, loitering ‘mid sleep’s

Labyrinth; cesspool lips

Whisper curses I can’t

Obscure, obliterate ~

Memories hold me

Hostage, won’t pardon

Vacate sentence

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Heaven’s Gala (Blessing)

“He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love.”

Song of Solomon 2:4, New American Standard Bible


One day in Heaven

There will be lavish gala

Full banquet table

Mouthwatering angel cake

Myriad delicacies

And giddy dancing

Like long ago, David’s* reign

Joy with King Jesus

Hearts celebrating Presence

Eternal blessings of God

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

“You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” Psalm 16:11, Berean Study Bible

“They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.” Psalm 36:8, English Standard Bible

“Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.” Psalm 149:3, NASB

*“And David danced before the LORD with all his might, wearing a priestly garment.” 2 Samuel 6:14, New Living Translation