The End [Part I]

He was reading, sitting on a tall chair, leaning on a counter-top that spanned the length of the room. When he chuckled, amused by something written on the paper, it was like a shadow was thrown against a cave wall, bouncing into a fog of silence. The space was too big for one person to occupy alone. And the room itself interacted with the man as if he had always been there, or never was.

Shifting to a more relaxed position, reclining against the short-backed chair, he considered the paper from where he held it, wrists now resting on the cool, white counter. After staring at the little black and grey shapes before him long enough to watch darkness cast it’s way across the page as shadows changed, he spoke, and the air shuddered to make space for the sound, “My own Death Certificate…. Has anyone ever read their own Death Certificate?”

It was a simple legal document, stating with clarity that the government declared him dead. He had spent some time stunned by this news. He didn’t feel dead. All his parts and pieces were still attached. He’d even worn his favorite suit today, pewter grey, like pastel chrome, with an ivory button-down shirt and leather shoes, all fitted to his particular form — as anything else always looked a little too big or a little too small on him. It was a special occasion, of sorts, as he was supposed to start a new job; but when he’d shown up, they’d said they were sorry for his loss and when he inquired as to their meaning, they said, “You must be a family member, you look quite like him. We were informed a few days ago that Jason was lost in a tragic accident — “unnatural causes” was what we were told. I assume you’re here to collect his things, but there’s nothing to collect. Today was supposed to be his first day. Again, we’re sorry for your loss. Tragic.”

As he’d never been in this situation before and they’d filled the position already, he wasn’t sure how to move forward. He searched the internet afterwards, which confirmed his death with a little picture and an “in memoriam”, and repeated what he’d heard about “unnatural causes” without further explanation, and that was it. No one mentioned as “He left behind a wife and daughter” or “Passed before his Parents” or “Will be mourned by family and friends.” It simply stated: “Jason has passed.” It looked so empty.

He went to the record’s office after that, and not knowing else to do asked for his records as “the brother.” Now here it was. It was just a copy, not official, those took weeks to process and required substantial identification. He’d tried using his own, and the clerk let him know that despite the resemblance that he had to his twin brother, he’d still need to bring his own proof of identification for the release of the official documents. Considering the circumstances, they made a quick unofficial copy, as “the loss of a loved one is a difficult process and we wouldn’t want to send you home with nothing.”

So here he was, all dressed up, wondering if there’d been a funeral, or if there was a body and whose it was, and what did “unnatural causes” mean exactly?


Let me pull it apart for you,
crumble the cake,
dissect a dream.
Let me make it intricate,
take each individual layer
and show it to you:
from above, below, around,
inside, what do we find?
Journey with me
through reality
and we’ll see the beauty
of each sense standing alone.

The conversations trees
have with wind, in light,
percussive tones.
How invisible birds are,
until they want something,
or they’re scared.
The world blends in.
Together, all of creation
teaches us about balance.
Even the extremes,
the bright and dark shades
we call colors,
have meaning, and maybe
not always what we think.
Why stop there?

We’ll be discovering
as long as we’re here.
And I want to discover:
perspective, carpe diem,
and why Robin Williams died.
Is it in the details?
Or the big picture?
Which is more astonishing?
Were you as shocked as I
when you were born?

{Pranks of Love}

There’s craziness around us
and there’s not much that we can do.
So I thought I’d send some pranks,
to show you my love is true.

I think I’ll send you a chicken,
cause I know you’re feeling scared.
It’s rubber, so it’s funny!
You’ll do things you never dared.

Babe, you make me happy,
I’d like to have you and to hold.
With this ring, will you be mine?
I made it from fool’s gold!

Out of spiders, insects, and snakes,
Which do you like best?
Cause I found one in the garden,
and I left it on your vest.

On this day of all days,
when people are running mad,
remember that life’s silly
and things are not so bad.

I pinned a fish behind you.
I may have made a mistake.
It’s not paper, it’s your favorite:
Salmon! I forgot to make it fake…

You know, you’re such a sweetie.
—Almost to a fault—
So I thought I’d make things different
and switch your sugar with your salt.

In keeping with tradition,
I wrote you the letter above.
So let’s hunt the gowk together,
and foolishly fall in love.

by Monica Schumacher
for NaPoWriMo – Day One

Tao of Spring

I am outdoors with the falling petals and the insects and the sudden snapping sounds nature makes when it sometimes explodes against the ground.

Spring passes the blossoms from the trees much faster than I remember. Trees full of blooms one week shed their petals like autumn leaves by the next. How fast California moves through the seasons, marching at a pace even ants might admire on its journey towards summer.

In the midst of the growing warmth, I take comfort in the breeze, sighing as it lifts the heat from my body, calming me in rhythmic breaths. I like listening to nothing and hearing only the birds twittering and the percussion of the leaves as the air plays them like cymbals. Almost April, I could dread the coming heat that such a lovely day promises so early in the year. Or, I could simply soak in the now. Nothing else. This is a beautiful moment.


Maybe my Muse is an Echo?

I want to name a character Echo.

What Echo? Echo who?

I would like to be named Echo,

So when words are called out

they grow.

Maybe my muse is an Echo?

A disembodied voice.

Gathering on the winds to change

what I used to think was choice.

Maybe my muse is named Echo,

hearing my sounds resound,

and picking them up one by one,

sends some of them back around.

I think I like this idea of Echo;

a voice without a source,

that follows where I wonder

and shares ideas without force.

They pass through me with no question,

like a ghost requests an ear,

so someone out there in the world

will listen and might hear.

My muse is a gentle echo,

made passionate by hope.

Gathered up inside my heart,

these thoughts are changed to trope.

Written by Monica Schumacher

March 19th, 2015

My Muse is an Echo
Maybe my Muse is an Echo

recording haiku in a barrel

today i have recorded my own
voice. it is so quite a new thing.
Ray Bradbury’s words mean so much more.
i like this book. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of the book and its pages, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
read, i like reading this and that to you,
i like,slowly enunciating so there’s, shocking fuzz
on the tape recorder, and the what-it-is comes
over parting words. . . .drifting from my lips like love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of after, my voice, so quite new

(on attempting to read “Zen in the Art of Writing” by Ray Bradbury aloud to a tape recorder, adapted into my favorite poem which is by the marrrvelous ee cummings)


My heart is a place of confusion.

Darting little arrows pincushion heart.

Towering creative kaleidoscope heart.

Traveling on handmade wings heart.

Torch and offering at the crossroads heart.

Patiently waiting to know you heart.

Painted jester without a ruler heart.

Fire-made forest of tiny trees heart.

Charcoal roots, strong growth heart.

Hollow as the spaces in between heart,

Where all things are possible heart.

Wishing you were here heart.

January 2, 2014