Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Heart

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Creator is the rock band Heart:

Sisters Ann (on vocal) and Nancy Wilson (on guitar) are the heart of the band, Heart. They turned out some of the best rock music in the late 1970s.  But they didn’t stop with the seventies. They drove their sound into the 1980s and 1990s, selling truckloads of records and continue in the 2000s. They were deservedly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Along with the Runaways, Ann and Nancy showed the world that women could kick butt and take names. They proved women had the chops to be considered the real deal to play Rock and Roll. Ann’s voice and Nancy’s guitar licks give all their songs that something extra that makes Heart special. And through the years, they have just got better and better.

Crazy on You.

Near 500 words: The Church of the Almost Forgotten

Connie entered the Church of the Almost Forgotten and headed toward the altar. The Church was empty. A few votive candles and the light above the altar provided the only light. She slowly made her way toward her usual pew. She had come to have a conversation with her uncle, who had passed on ten years before.

She found a pew and took her seat on the wood. There wasn’t a riser for kneeling. The people who came here saw themselves as free people and they were not about to kneel to anyone, not even God.

As she sat contemplating, she let the silence embrace her heart. Then she whispered, “Uncle Matt, it’s me.” Connie was an atheist but there were times she needed to pretend there was an afterlife. The Church of the Almost Forgotten was the place to do that.

“I have a problem. I know you can’t help here but it’s nice just to bring it up to the silence.” She pushed her long auburn hair out of her face.

The silence didn’t answer.

“I think I am in love. The problem is that he is a Christian. Now, I know you didn’t have anything against Christians. And I don’t either. But he insists I convert.”

She waited, and wondered. What had she expected when she came here. Answers.

She continued, “And he’s pretty adamant about that. And he sticks to his Christian guns. He won’t even sleep with me till we’re married. In a church, no less.”

She studied the light above the altar. It was beautiful, its colors changing as it rotated slowly, almost imperceptibly.

“I haven’t been a virgin since I was fourteen. Boy, was that a mistake. I know you warned me, but he was all shiny and wonderful. A regular Lancelot. No wonder Guinevere fell for him with one fell swoop. The guy was irresistible. He sure charmed me out of my panties. You were right. He liked to collect panties. Thank, God. Oops. Sorry I mentioned that guy. It’s just a saying. Something you used to say. Well, I’m thankful he ditched me. Two weeks later, I caught him with my best friend. You know the old saying, ‘He came. He saw. He conquered.’”

Connie still couldn’t stand to see Judith’s face. Betrayer.

“All he wanted was a bit of tail, then it was off to the races again. But he got what he deserved. He got a bad case of the clap. He slept with one girl after another till he slept with the wrong bitch.”

Connie breathed a deep sigh. Five guys she had slept with, and all of them turned out not to be the one. How could she be so wrong about so many. And now this one, who wouldn’t sleep with her. Was it a ruse? Or was he the One every girl talked about? She might be an atheist, but she still had feelings. As many said of her poetry.

“Well, you know how it’s been. Watching me from the other side. Wondering how I can be such a pushover. And I know I am a pushover. Why don’t I just go out and have lots of sex and leave love be? I wish I could. My friend, Olivia, does. And she’s no worse for the wear. And she does have good advice. ‘Always make ‘em wear a condom.’

“I’ve been tempted. And I have done it from time to time. But, I don’t know, Quinton seems so genuine. I met his parents last weekend. Beautiful people.”

Connie looked at her watch. If she didn’t leave soon, she’d be running late.

“Well, thanks for listening. I really appreciate your time.”

She slipped out of the pew and headed toward the giant wooden doors. As she closed the doors behind her, she thought she heard from inside the Church, “No problem.”

She turned to check and opened the door once again. There was no one there.

micropoem for the day: a trail of dust

Back last July, I began posting poetry the four days a week I didn’t post my regulars. Most were either a haiku or a micropoem. I have come to the point where the poems no longer have a freshness to them but seem to be retreads. Besides that, I have longer works I need to be working on. With that in mind, I am taking a break from the daily poetry gig.

In the meantime, I will continue my regular posts Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. From time to time I may post a new haiku or micropoem if I find that they are fresh, In the meantime, here’s one for the road:

as the sun sets,
that masked haiku rider
rides off
with a trail of dust
and a hi-yo haiku

micropoem for the day: the car

As you walk by cars in the parking lot, aren’t you tempted to look inside of them? To check out how the owners have turned their cars into a home away from home. Because for many of us, that’s what our cars have become. And it’s not something we share. Many couples own two car, one for the wife, one for the hubby. Her’s may look like a pinterest board, his a sportsman’s paradise. When we first pick up our cars, the first thing that happens is that new car smell goes away. Pretty soon we’ve got an extra change of clothes, a box of cds stacked in the back and an extra snack bar just in case. It’s becoming a wonderland in there.

long shadows
across the rearview mirror
a St. Christopher

Sometimes It Takes Two

From the first moment, Jon and Eileen loved the church. It was small, only holding about two hundred folks. More a chapel than a full-size church, and definitely not a mega or a cathedral. Just perfect for Eileen and him.

The couple, in their early fifties, walked around the grounds till they found the fountain behind the building. It sprang out of a pond. Eileen looked at her husband. “It’s a lovely place. I love it.”

“Then I’ll accept,” Jon said. Had he not received her approval the answer to the church committee would have been no. From the first moment since they started dating, Eileen had veto power over any decision he made.

Then they went to tour the parsonage nearby. Eileen’s only comment, “It needs work.”

Jon brought this up to the Deacon’s Committee. “We’ll take care of it,” they agreed. They wanted this man and his wife to pastor their church. It had been six years since their full-time pastor of thirty years died.

Over the years the Committee had interviewed a number of men and a few women for the position. None fit the bill. Several came close. One, a woman, came very close. But there had been something about the husband. He didn’t feel right. Two months after the interview, they later found out, he had cheated on his wife and she had committed suicide. No, the pastor came as a couple or not at all.

“When can you move in and begin?” Deacon Rich asked. He was head deacon and chairman of the committee.

Jon looked at Eileen, then back at the deacon. “How ‘bout the first of next month?”

“That would be fine,” the deacon said.

As the couple drove the hundred miles or so back to their temporary home, the two rode in silence. They had waited two years to find the perfect people for them to shepherd. They were ready for this new start. There had been so much struggle in their lives. They had been single until they were forty. Both had had disastrous relationships. Both had grown up in abusive homes. Both had failed at just about everything they had done.

Until they met in a bar one night ten years ago. Earlier in the evening they each were abandoned by their dates. They were just about ready to go home with anyone, so great was their loneliness. Eileen sat down beside Jon.

“Scotch,” she ordered from the bartender. Thoughts of suicide ran through her head. Bad relationships, bad job, lousy life, she was thinking.

Jon turned to the woman sitting next to him. Somehow he knew that his life was about to change. Somehow he knew he was about to become someone he never thought he could be.

He smiled at Eileen. For some reason, she smiled back. She wasn’t sure why. She decided to take Jon up on his smile. “I’m Eileen and I drink my scotch straight.”

“I’m more a rum and coke man myself,” Jon said. “And my name is Jon.”

The bartender brought her drink. She took a sip, then asked, “What is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?”

“It’s hard to choose. There have been so many.”

“Pick one. The most recent.”

“My date went to the bathroom and didn’t come back.”

“Did she leave you with the bill?”

“Not only that. She stole my wallet.”

“That’s pretty bad.” Eileen said, then she considered what to do next. The one thing she did not want to do that night was to go home alone. “Would you like to go home with me tonight?” she offered.

“I’d like that very much.”

When they left the bar, they walked down the street and headed toward Eileen’s apartment. Not knowing what to say next, they both said nothing. Suddenly Eileen’s heel broke. “Damn,” she said, then laughed. “Well, that makes for a perfect evening.”

Jon gave her his arm to help her steady herself. “What’s the matter?” He was thinking there was something wrong with him. There wasn’t. He was just fine.

“I broke my heel,” she said and removed the shoes from her feet, then the other one. Then she laughed.

Jon liked her laugh. It was then that they noticed a small chapel. It was an out-of-the-way place, set off from the street.

“What do you think?” Jon asked.

“Let’s see if it’s open.”

They looked at the name of the chapel. St. Jude’s Chapel, it said.

“Patron saint of lost causes,” Eileen informed Jon.

The chapel door was open. They went inside. The chapel was lit by candles. There was no one there. They found a pew and sat down side by side. For the rest of the night, they sat in that chapel and didn’t say a word. Then Eileen glanced at her watch. “Oh, my God,” she said. “It’s seven a.m.”

Jon and Eileen walked out into the fresh air. “Would you like to get some breakfast?” she asked.

“Then what?”

“I don’t know. Guess we’ll figure it out.”