Notebook 1002

(This is something I wrote years ago, and I no longer remember its inspiration)


He closed the notebook with a loud rustling of its pages. Holding it up by the spiral binding, he shook it until all of the pages hung flat and it closed to an acceptable thickness. Then he grabbed it in the middle to hold it together and placed it back on the counter. It looked benign enough sitting there, the faded geometric patterns of green hues labeling it as what it was; a notebook.

But it was nothing even close to ordinary. It had tabs along its side, wide tabs that could be opened in a hurry to any of its subjects. These were what distinguished it from any other notebook sold in countless stores across the world. Perhaps it was not unique, he had no reason to believe that it was, just because he had never heard of something like it before. That was just plain arrogance to believe that he was special enough to assume that he had found something extraordinary.

Along the side were its subjects, each on a tab of its own. The topmost tab was enticing to him. It was labeled Peace. It lived up to its name the first time he opened it. Within its borders was a screen that was as completely functional as a site on his computer. It had an arrow on either side of the screen with a small label to indicate what you were headed towards. The sun seemed to turn itself on and brighten the whole room and then the notebook.

To the left it was images. He found that opening it produced relaxing photos from across the world, geographic sites, cultural sites, people smiling and sitting in groups of colorful regional clothing, and animals, mostly asleep in various poses in their natural environments. Although this may also have been an artificial setting in a zoo somewhere built to appear and seem as though it was in real time, the peaceful images were of the animal enjoying nothing more than lazing around. It didn’t matter to them one way or another, even if they possibly knew the difference in the first place. Well, except for the awful smell that filled his kitchen when it was looking at a reclining lion close up. He turned the image to that of a pasture filled with flowers, letting the image merge and force out the more unpleasant smells.

He meant to leave the notebook open to that page while he made his breakfast, but it was a warm day, and without a breeze in the room or the pasture. That changed when he turned on the small desktop fan to create a little wind through the kitchen. As it swung to the right it caught the corner of the page of the notebook and turned it. Chaos ensued.

The streets of an unknown city appeared. Tall buildings of a whitish stone or mortar climbed the sides of the page like a border. But it wasn’t a stable picture, it jiggled and shook as though the city was in the middle of an earthquake. Instead, it was the camera taking the abuse;  being shaken as a crowd of people ran past it, a flood that parted on either side of it, but jostled it enough to make the image move as though it was being stomped upon continually.

Faces moved into view, then passed along either side, expressions of fear, mouths gaping, eyes widened to their facial limits, the irises surrounded by streaks of brown or red across the sclera. They were eyes that were both panicked and possibly injured, either of which could be causing the flight past the camera lens.

It was a horrible intrusion into the calm beginning of his breakfast but he was caught up in it instantly. The ground beneath his feet began to vibrate as though thousands of people were running right through his breakfast. He had to find out where all this disorder and fear was happening. He thought it seemed like it was happening in the present time, but had no reason other than instinct to believe this. Either way, his eyes were caught by the severe action of it and he craved more.

Hundreds of faces came and went before the mounted camera was dislodged and began aiming lower, showing the bodies of the same people running past it. He wondered briefly how this camera was able to remain where it was with all this physical abuse rifling past it. The torsos and arms kept flailing as they passed, being bumped and also shoving each another to one side or another.

Suddenly a body caught between two others was forced directly into the camera and nothing could be seen but the off-white robe across the stomach of its occupant. Even the apparently fast speed of the camera couldn’t keep up and became a blur as the body began rising, the person leaping up and over the camera in desperation.

There was a violent shake and then the camera was looking at the tops of heads. Bright scarves wrapped them and fluttered as they passed. A brief opening emerged as the rush of people separated around the base of the camera, likely to avoid the body that hadn’t made a successful leap over it and had ended up sprawled behind it instead. People recognized it was an obstacle and began a parting of the bodies moving hurriedly around it.

Beyond the space of the people several buildings were seen. The tops of them were disappearing in rapidly expanding clouds of brown that could only be explosions. Some had multiple explosions while others collapsed and pushed the cloud of debris outward, descending onto the crowds still beneath them and rushing towards the viewpoint of the camera.

A buzzer sounded and he snapped out of this hypnotic vision. Toasted bread was already sticking out of the top of the toaster. The microwave was alerting him to its completed function. He shook his head and grabbed at the notebook, people still running towards him on the small screen, stumbling through his kitchen.

He closed the notebook with a loud rustling of its pages. Holding it up by the spiral binding, he shook it until all of the pages hung flat and it closed to an acceptable thickness. Then he grabbed it in the middle to hold it together and placed it back on the counter. It looked benign enough sitting there, the faded geometric patterns of green hues labeling it as what it was; a notebook.


Barbara Blackcinder

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The Good Person


Neigh a Christian nor a preacher be

What you get is what you see

I have no reason for being good

It’s just this urge that I should


The good man just turns a cheek

A returning trick is what he seeks

Doing to others what he will do

Expecting from you the same thing too


No more instructions need be made

There were no plans ever laid

Just many hints along the way

Man’s survival goes with his say


Barbara Blackcinder

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The Will To Not Write


I might not want to be a writer

I might not want to spill my brain

Perhaps I don’t want to write things

And then have to write them over again


Maybe I could be a lawyer, rich and proud

Or a doctor, his wealth an enormous car

Anything but a writer of books and fiction

Not so rich but having gone quite far


Could I force myself not to write?

Could I close that echoing cocoon?

Is it possible to stop those words?

Would I have to decide too soon?


The tangles that are set in my mind

Will stay there until released

Flowing freely through a quill or pen

One piece written but will never cease


I decided that I will follow a course

Take the path not so obscured

Recklessly sought and helplessly found

A life delineating the most absurd.


Barbara Blackcinder

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Did you ever? No I daren’t

I might crash to the ground

Could I ever? No I shalln’t

No happiness could be found


But dare I might, risk I do

Just may be a cure

It’s hard to say, yea or nay

One can never be sure


Bruised skin, broken limbs

Now I’ll know my fate

Nothing really has befallen me

Risk taken wasn’t too great


Barbara Blackcinder

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A Walk


Among the trees my strides are taken

Crunching sticks and falls

Crackling from boots lethargically placed

Oblivious to them all


Eyes search with careless designs

Viewing whatever may be

Bringing the natural all around

Enjoyment is all that I see


With dereliction towards intent

I wander without design

Passing time without doubt

Ecstasy is surely mine


Barbara Blackcinder

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The Candy Kids


It was a scene right out of Rockwell

So cute it almost tasted sweet

Children running to the drug store

On the quickest and tiniest of feet


Soon the door they shoved open

It’s weight being only a delay

For everyone got a nickel from mom

It’s a pocketful of candy today


Smiles and grins, a few missing teeth

But all with their faces pressed hard

Against the glass of the display case

Where children were never barred


Give me some red or maybe some black

As gooey and sweet as can be

But just as you were about to pick

There was something else there to see


Maybe a sucker, perhaps a gumball

That chocolate sure does look good

I’m not sure, let me look again

Fingers smearing the glass and wood


Little white bags in the grocer’s hand

Dropping candy into rustling paper

We turn and run down wood floors

We’re gone through the door like vapor


We group again, in a park or at school

To discuss what we have in our sacks

Which candy is chewiest or sweetest

Our anticipation never slacks


Barbara Blackcinder

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Under a Pillow or Cloud



Here’s a flash, just for you

Or should I say for me

I’m not quite what you think

I’m not quite what you see


It seems that I’m a writer

A purveyor of words you know

Someone who juggles words

But hardly lets it show


But that is not the secret

It’s not the only claim

I also want to be recognized

Just a little bit of fame


No it’s not for profit

It seems it’s late for that

This longing for recognition

Is something on which I’ve sat


Okay it’s not a secret

Anyone would want the same

It common for anyone expressive

To also want be known by name


In fact it’s only hidden

By its lack of presentation

This self-induced denial

Obscured by hesitation


So I would like to someday see

A single publication some day

That brings someone happiness

Before they go their way


So there you have my secret

Though not a revelation

Just another bit of exposure

Another bit of exploration


Barbara Blackcinder


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