I arrived at the crossroads, pulled out my shovel and dug.

I wasn’t sure what I would turn up as I began to write again- would I find things I had lost- like my Muse my ability to create a story,  to let go and have fun?

I did.

This is what I brought out of the Alluvial Mine.

And was I surprised!

I  discovered writing Poetry is fun.

I hated Poetry almost as much as I hate Math- and that’s a lot.

Let me confess here, I know I’m not good at Poetry, I don’t even get it when I read it. But I’ve found that when you go into a project with a Devil-May-Care attitude…you can either get burned or you can have a heck of a good time.

 I had such a good time with Poetry that I’ve fallen in love with writing all over again.

I’m no poet and I never will be, but I have learned what it’s like ( through those attempt to write it) how to let go, have fun and write it down.

I can’t wait to start my next adventure

Who knows what I’ll take from that one?



The Bargain

Alluvial Mining

The Keeper Of The Mine


The coin was buried very deep

on a hill overlooking a grave

of a woman

who died

before I was born.


I found it there

as I dug for bones

for a little something I do

when the Moon is full

and turns blood red

and the stars burn out

and fall

from the sky

with a scream.


Strange it should be here

that one single coin

on the hill

above the grave

of a woman who died

before I was born.


I wondered

if the odd little coin

was worth anything

it wasn’t made of gold or silver

it wasn’t covered in jewels

it was just an

odd little coin

I dug up

on a hill

overlooking a graveyard

when the Moon was full.


The answer I learned

came from a man

who saw the coin in my hand

at the shop where they

buy such things

with no questions asked.


He said with lust

with passion:

and longing

” I’d give my soul to own

one of those.”


The Mine


Entering The Mine


Maria Soler was one of five people who were trapped in the Tompkins Haunted Cave Tour last Halloween.

Along with the guide-Alan- there was a young couple- Craig and Elspeth, there was an amatuer photographer named Herman and  there was Mindy and Leah.

The young couple were looking for a little romance in the dark, the photographer had gotten himself lost looking for a Halloween party on Lawton Road and ended up on Paradise Road instead.

Mindy and Leah saw a flyer for the Haunted Cave Tour taped to the gas pump at the Midnight Mart and decided that since they were dressed up as Zombies and had some time to kill before the Halloween Ball at Zombie Fest in Seattle why not check it out?

Maria Soler had no reason to be at the Tompkins Cave, she  had no idea the Cave was out there- and it was only twenty miles from where she grew up in Vantage, Washington.

That night there was a full Moon

Outside of the small shop that was over the entrance to the cave Maria bought her ticket from Alan The Tour Guides assistant and she  listened politely  to Alan The Tour Guide tell a story about  the Giles Family who had a house on the property and how the cave system was discovered.

One winter an intruder broke into the Giles home which was still standing ( though it has been empty for several years ) about two miles down the road.

The Nameless Killer  cut the heads off of each and every member of the family as they slept- all eight of them.

Even the baby.

The bodies were discovered a few days later by a family friend who had stopped by to help Mr. Giles  do some repairs to the roof which had suffered some damage in a recent windstorm.The heads were discovered by some hikers 80 years later when their dog seemed to just appear out a hillside with a skull in it’s mouth.

That’s how the Tompkins ( that was the dog’s name ) cave system was discovered- and the rest of the Giles family.

After the story Alan The Tour Guide led the small group through the shop that had been built over the cave entrance- he opened a very ordinary door and led them down into the darkness.

Maria was the last through the door, she heard it swing shut and she heard it click.

That’s when the hairs on the backs of her neck stood up. She put her hand under her hair and tried to smooth them down but they wouldn’t stay.

With her hand still on the back of her neck, she stopped and turned around and looked back up the stairs and she almost walked back up. The only reason she didn’t was that she knew in her bones that it was locked and that she could only go forward.

It wasn’t in her nature to panic, besides the lights were working. At least they had those she thought.


That and the Lantern Alan The Tour Guide was carrying.

The small group walked on a boardwalk, there were hand  railings to keep them back from nature ( Maria guessed ) and above the cave was lit by strings of lights.

Following beside them in the cave there was a little river. There several little ponds and even rock formations that looked like twisted bodies- arms reaching up, fingerless hands reaching out, jaws clenched shut in terror on misshapen heads.

Alan explained that the formations were natural, caused by water running down from above.

Craig held Elspeth and said something into her ear that made her giggle, Mindy and Leah compared the figures to modern art and Herman whispered in Maria’s ear ” Obviously fake.”

Maria shrugged noncommittally as they followed the group up a ramp. Alan stopped halfway up and pointed out a series of gaps in the wall where the skulls of the Giles family had been found.

He didn’t tell them about the black metal kettle wrapped in chains under the shelf of skulls.

At one point he had it x-rayed and inside the kettle were bird bones, nails, human finger bones, bullet casings and knives.

Alan The Tour Guide had been trying for years to get rid of that evil looking thing and when he couldn’t he buried it here

As the group walked over the  kettle Alan The Tour Guide noticed the woman, Maria stop short of stepping on the buried kettle.

She walked around it and when she looked up at him her dark eyes were expressionless but he didn’t believe that look for a single minute.

The next room in the cave system was called the Cathedral- it’s ceiling was high and the floor was cracked and surprisingly even.

” Years after they found the remain of the Giles family, five graves were found here in the Cathedral.

The remains they took from the ground were headless.

” Every bone in the bodies found in these plots were smashed and broken.”

The Zombie ladies walked around the plots and moved the soil around with their toes. ” What happened to them, do you think?”

Maria said, with surprise, ” Their were  bones broken and ground to dust in their skins and their were torn heads off.”

Alan blanched, ” I don’t think…”

” Oh but I do. Don’t you know what this place is, what happened to that family? And you’ve been selling tickets to take people through here? You’re fucking crazy!”

Maria started to back away from the group.

” Tell me…go on.” Herman asked. ” You’re part of the tour right?”

 Craig and Elspeth were holding hands and it smelled like Mindy and Leah may have fortified themselves sometime during the tour with a little bourbon.

Herman looked bored.

Maria answered :

” Vampires.”

Mindy said slowly so as to not slur her words- plus it made her sound authoritative ” Vampires don’t tear anyone’s heads off.”

” No they don’t tear heads off. But Werewolves do. One, maybe two caught the scent when the Giles family began turning into Vampires, the graves down here are where the Vampires were sleeping.”

Alan said trying to get his tour back, ” There are no Werewolves down here…”

Maria pulled the lantern from Alan’s hands  down and tried to cast some light directly on the opened graves.” How complete bodies did they take out of the graves Alan?”

” Three…I think.”

 Maria pulled the lantern from Alan’s hands and swung it up so that she could get a look at the ceiling.

They all looked up and Elspeth said for one of them as one of the shadowy figures turned it head and looked down and snapped it’s teeth at them, ” Oh hell no.”

As a group they ran the rest of the way to the end of the tour.

They came to the sliding metal door that should have slid to the right to let them out but of course it wouldn’t budge.

Not one inch.

” I have been down here a million times, ” Alan insisted and I have never seen those things on the ceiling!”

” Someone woke them up.” Maria told him. ” Other Vampires must be on their way, close maybe. And where there are Vampires there are Werewolves.”

” Oh that’s just great.” Craig said. ” If we don’t get our blood sucked we’re going to get our bones pulverized by Werewolves.”

” Then let’s get out of here.”

Maria ran the lantern close to the wall.  ” See these handprints? Push on them.”

” Why?” Herman asked with interest.

” Because you’re human. Now do as I say.”

The door slid open and Maria pushed Alan and Craig and Elspeth out and just as Herman cleared the threshold the door slammed shut.

” Now that I can have the real stuff “

Mindy pulled the small bottle of bourbon out of her purse and dropped it to the ground.

Leah loosened her collar and they both looked at Maria.

“That trick with the handprints won’t save you . And there’s two of us.” Leah said. ” I’ll snap your spine and Mindy will drain your blood before you hit the ground.

Maria backed up against the wall and that’s when Leah and Mindy saw the crude wolf drawing near the floor under the hand prints.

” No you don’t you bit…”

The wall slid open and Maria fell backwards.

 As she fell she grabbed Leah and Mindy by the hair on the tops of their heads and pulled them after her

and then…

the door slammed shut.


She had taken the heads of Mindy and Leah back into the cave and buried them near the kettle.

 Maria Soler was saying goodbye to what was left of the group and Alan The Tour Guide.

They wanted to thank her, they also didn’t want to get any closer to Maria then they had to. But she had saved them and they wanted to be polite so they shook her hand and Herman even threw his arm around her shoulder and gave her a quick hug.

” When the Moon is full” Maria said when Herman asked her how it was she ended up there that night with them, “I seemed to get pulled along by it. I can never tell where I’ll end up.”


Venka Greer

:::Alluvial Mining:::

Memory’s Molten Stream
The Temptation


Venka Greer stood on the shore

and the River that flowed by whispered to her:

Taste me and forget, swim in me and forget, drown in me

and live.


Venka Greer wanted to taste the river

swim in the water

drown in it

but she did not want to live.


she turned back from the shoreline

and walked through the darkness until she came to another River.


Taste me and remember, swim in me and remember, drown in me

and die

this River sang to her.


Venka Greer considered the two Rivers.

She considered her life.

And between the two Rivers…

She died of thirst.

Milo The Muse Muses In A Big Way

:::Alluvial Mining:::

Glastonbury Tor

“What are you doing?” Milo the Muse asks me as I sat at my desk laughing into  my computer screen.

” Nothing.”  I snap the off button on my screen and it goes dark.

” Let me see.”

I swivel around on my chair and face the window.

He reaches over, clicks it on and is not amused at what he sees:


” You’ve been on Facebook again.”

I twirl around and I smack his hand away from the off button. ” It’s Facebook, not porn. Go away. I’m looking for inspiration.”

Milo makes a circle around his face with his finger. ” Wrong place to be looking Anita. Besides. I have a great idea.”

” Does it involve six fish being-“

” No. I am sorry. It does not. But if you’d rather be here looking at Pornbook, excuse me, Facebook don’t let me disturb you. I’ve just go a lead on where the Gate To Hell is. But please. Stay here. Oh look. Another post about being a strong independent woman….and look another David Bowie tribute.  Well. I’m off. I know one of these things is going to inspire a story. How can it not?”

He gives me one more look and then saunters out the door like a cat who has just gorged himself on Tuna and Cream.

I sit there like it doesn’t matter.

Then I jump up.

” I’m coming!Wait up” I follow him out the door that opens  into my backyard and as he disappears behind the tree my cat is buried under I follow him- actually I run after him.


I’m stunned.

“That’s not Hell..that’s a falling down old house. There isn’t even a door and all the windows are gone. What’s the matter with you Milo?”

” What did you expect?”

” Well. I expected to see monsters and spirits in torment…oh and that river and demons and maybe a few live people who can’t get out and fire and lava and caves and a blood-red sky and not some falling down house in…where are we Iowa?”

” I expected better of you. To be fooled by appearances. But yes we are in  Iowa. Des Moines to be precise.”

I shrug. ” Well. ” I walk up to the house.

The stairs are soft and mushy and I expect to fall through them but I make it safely to the porch.

The flooring here is solid, but when I look down and realize those grooves look like claw makes and there are a few finger nails stuck in them, I turn to Milo and give him a thumbs up. Then I peer through the doorway into the darkness and from somewhere deep in the darkness I hear…

something dripping and from very far away the unmistakable sounds of birds in flight.

My skin crawls over my bones in an effort to get away from that door.

I turn around.

” I love you Milo.”

He hops up the stairs and waits at the doorway

and I go through first.

Of course.


” I didn’t expect it to be so, you know alive.”

We are watching the ground melt, twisted human bodies moving to nowhere in the distance and above us birds of all kinds circling over head.

” Why are they here?” I wonder.

” Because, they carry the souls here. ” I thought you’d know that. The problem is most of them won’t give the little bastards up so they end up flying around for eternity with them. Touching considering the way they get treated on this planet anyway.

Milo and I look at each other and then we turn around.

” Hello Anita and Milo. So good of you to visit me. I’m sure you must have several questions. But I can only answer a few. I’m very busy you know.”

” Well. I do have one.”

” No.” Milo says. ” No.”

“It’s not every mortal who can ask a deity a question and receive an answer. To tell you the truth. It’s PR on my part because I’d rather have you walk through that door then to be brought down here by birds who …”

Lucifer looks up at the sky and roars ” spend all day shitting all over the place!”

” Yeah. That must be nasty all right.”

I step aside so a demon can slither its way past us.

If you think demons are sexy, you’re wrong. None of their body parts are the same size, they smell like olives and when they move their skin splits open and they bleed bright yellow pus.

” So ask me, ask me anything.”

” You really need TO SHUT UP RIGHT NOW.”

Lucifer looks from me to Milo and back to me again.

Milo throws himself on the sword for me. ” She’s going to ask you why Hell is in Des Moines Iowa.”

Lucifer looks up into the red bird filled sky and roars:

” I moved my entire kingdom because this is where my girlfriend lived. But she dumped me for her brother. HER BROTHER.  And they both jump out a church window together because the Priest wouldn’t marry them.  Can you believe it? They actually got up one morning and said, ‘lets go ask Father Thomas to marry us’.

So of course they both end up down here and now I have to hear them reciting poetry about their love damning them to an eternity and how their passion will be the brightest flame in Hell.

Let me tell you something I personally asked God to take them in because dealing with those two is cruel and unusual punishment and God tells me fine…on the same day I ask for forgiveness and to come home.


Fuck that!”

Lucifer is on a rant and I punch Milo in the arm.

” I was NOT going to ask you why Hell is in Des Moines, Iowa. “

Lucifer closes his eyes, takes a breath. ” What would you like to know.”

” I lost a charm bracelet. I can’t find it. Do you know where it is?”

Milo face palms himself so hard I’m afraid he’s given himself a concussion.

Lucifer walks towards us, he does have wings and when they fan out the block the sky.

He looks down at us and his eyes are yellow, tinged with red and they’re bleeding a little.

” You what?”

“My bracelet. I lost it when I was nine. I wore it to bed and when I woke up in the morning it was gone. I want it back. Do you know where it is.”

” I know who has it.”

Lucifer is smiling.

I smile back.

” Come on Milo.”

Milo and I turn away from Lucifer and walk back up the trail that leads to the door outside.

” Ok. No Deal. Fine. Can’t blame a guy for trying right.”

” Okay. Look. Poke around for a while. You know your way out. Just watch out for the bird turds and my ex-girlfriend. She’s pretty damn creepy.”

” You wanted to sightsee.” Milo whispers into my ear.

” But I want my bracelet back. It was the coolest thing I ever owned.”

Milo is standing there tapping his foot.

” Okay. Let’s look around for awhile.”

I head back into Hell and Milo is following me.

Lucifer takes to the sky and birds poop all over him as he rises above his kingdom.



:::Mining Our Dreams:::


I wanted to write a story

I wanted to write a poem

So I went inside my head

where my monsters live.

Let me have a story

let me write a poem

I don’t care which

as long as I don’t leave my page




Go away said the monsters

that live inside my head

we are keeping all of these words to ourselves

so you might as well just go to bed


Fine I said as I switched off my light

and drifted off to sleep.

I kept my dreams

happy and full of song.

I even danced.

No monsters there.

No monsters allowed.

So all night they were left



Graveyard Shift



Weighing Words

Brava Rubena has worked in her family’s funeral home since she was 16- she’s in her 50’s now and sometimes she wonders what it would be  like to work in an office, or as a bus driver or maybe a teacher.

She doesn’t wonder for long because once she has been charged with caring for the deceased she doesn’t wonder about anything except for the job at hand.

She rebuilds  faces shattered by accidents or disease, she embalms and washes and dresses each body with care. Her small dark hands carefully shave and comb or brush hair, she applies makes with a light touch. She arranges hands, light smiles and turns and tilts heads on pillows stuffed with plastic filler.

At some point during the day she will look up at the clock and notice the day has gone.

Then Brava gets cleaned up and drives home just like all the other evening commuters.


Every once and awhile- her Mother or Father will pop their heads into the prep room and say, ” Brava, sweetheart- do you mind working the night shift? Say you will. Please.”

Brava always says yes- she never married, has no pets and hates TV. She would assume be at one home or the other.

It’s all the same to her.

” Ok.”

“Wonderful ” her Mother said ( in this case ) ” His name is Logan Waters. We need him ready for processing by 11:00 tonight. Can you take care of it?”

Brava looked up at the clock. ” It’s cutting it a bit close Mother.”

” I know, but your work is always superb Brava. I know you can do it. And I’m sure Mr. Waters would be grateful.”

” Don’t worry Mother, I’ll take care of Mr Waters.

After her Mother leaves, Brava goes into the cooling unit pushing a gurney.

She Sets the gurney against the shelf Mr.Waters has been resting on and adjusts it with a few snaps and clicks. Then she slides him onto the gurney and pushes him out of the CU.

Shes halfway through the Prep room when she remembers she might as well turn the lights off and get the rest of her things.

The prep room is dark and lit with a few undercabinet lights. It doesn’t matter to Brava, she walks to her locker, takes out a garment bag and reaches up on a shelf and takes down a hat box as if the room was fully lit.

When she has what she needs she sets her things on Mr. Water’s legs and pushes him out of the Prep room and down the hall to the Old Chapel.

Like the prep room door the Old Chapel has a key card lock and a sign on the door that says staff only.

Brava swipes her keycard in the lock and the door swings open and she and Mr Waters move into the darkness together.


In the pitch black  Chapel Brava puts on her work clothes, she opens the hat box and drops the mask  over her head and arranges it on top her shoulders.

She whispers into the darkness and the windows glow dull red and the candles hiss to life.

Brava’s voice moves on through the room like a fog and she reaches down to the gurney and unzips Mr. Water’s body bag.

Logan Water’s eyes are wide open and they are looking up beyond Brava’s masked face. He would scream if he could open his mouth, but he can’t.

His mouth is sewn shut.


” Mr. Waters, you can speak.” Brava reaches down and touches his mouth. ” Now you can see.” she touches his eyes.

” Now Mr. Water’s,  is your last chance. When you were a young man you wronged a woman. Her bones are mouldering under a tree in your backyard. Think very carefully before you speak. Think very carefully what your last words on this Earth are going to be.”

Logan Waters can see the dead woman’s face before he wrapped his hands around her neck. He can still see the look on his sister in laws face before he snuffed her life out like a candle.

” Tell me what she said to you.” Brava asks

She told me ” I want to go home.”

Logan looks up into Brava’s masked face, she looks down at him and waits.

” I couldn’t let her go home. She saw. She knew.”

” You are telling me the truth Mr. Waters. That will save your soul from being shredded apart and thrown into a million different directions. Just one thing…”

Logan the dead man begins to cry dead man’s tears…in the end he got away with killing that nosey bitch after all.

Brava stands up straight. She draws her hand back and plunges it down into his ribcage.

She pulls his heart out and drops it to the floor.

” You won’t be needing that where you are going to spend eternity  Mr. Waters.”