Friday, October 2, 2015

Jot -- by Gayla

This moment to write,
To satisfy a basic need,
Not to live just day by year,
But to capture bits of life,
An everlasting record of our better thoughts.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Awaited Day -- by Gayla

One old "doll" putting on red lipstick
One old platinum wedding ring
One old money bag hidden away
One old gangster getting out today
One old "doll" touching fading hair
One old hope this time he'll stay.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Depression -- by Gayla

Depression is a selfish place to be
“Dear me, oh me, why me.”

A bottle of drugs may be just the thing
But for me another answer came.

"Consider," He said, "how you’ll never feel low
When giving to others as you go.

May be as simple as cookies on a plate,
Or a card of friendship before it’s too late

Count all you can do to make others happy,
In the time you waste wondering why you feel crappy."

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Through the Window

This maze of haze
With streets aglaze
Windows wet
No sun to set.
We dream of days
With streams of rays
When the birds will return to the trees.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Tradition sticks like dirt,
Like dried oatmeal,
And nothing can remove it, 
Like this spot on my new white dress.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Uncomplicate -- by Gayla

My mind is out of focus
And I cannot concentrate.
There much too much to think on,
And confusion is my state.

I cannot seem to get things done
(though this is nothing new)
And even if I do it all
There still is more to do.

My mental eyes dart to and fro,
My senses feel the strife.
My nerves have had it--they cry out

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Floriana -- by Gayla

Inspired by a painting by Pino (

Pino waits
The table hard beneath his wrist
A guitar strums a promising cord
From the shadow Constancia strolls
Drawing her skirt to her tender hip
Swishing abruptly to a pose

Pino waits
Entranced by trembling lace
Constancia's cinched waist
Her tender young breasts
Chin tipped into place

Pino waits
She looks like her mother
Black hair tight in a bun
Red rose blossom
Red slipper poised

Pino waits
The guitarist begins
Constansia flashes her open fan
Graceful, slow
Steps into the dance, Goyesca

Pino waits
The fierce flamenco her mother's dance
Eyes flashing with passion
Foot stomping the floor
Echoing Pino! Pino! Pino!
He loved her now and again

Pino waits
Constancia turns his way
Her mother is in that face
Ah, what was her mother's name…
Floriana, yes, Floriana
Caring for no one, pulling apart
Wild to the muse of her own dancer’s heart

Sunday, March 23, 2014

First Warm, Sunny Day

I was sitting in the sun
And got to thinking that
I could make it better.
So out I went to buy
shorts and a hat,
But when I came back
the sun was down
And then it didn't matter,
             ------Gayla Williams

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Excerpt from my novel Fool's Gold

Rachel rushed up the stairs to her bedroom and snatched the hated black mourning dress from the trash basket.After hastily dressing, she swung a black scarf over her hair, knotting it under her chin.
She found Mary waiting in the dark at the gate, a black shawl pulled over her head and shoulders.
“Let’s go,” Rachel said.
It was past midnight and the sky was dense with small dark clouds that kept the light of the moon out. Lest their shoes make noise on the cobble stone street, they walked in the grass along the way, hurrying past three blocks of quiet houses on Fifth Street, past the church and across Broadway. A half a block later they stood in front of the wide window of Townsend’s Emporium.
Mary stood back to watch for movement on the street while Rachel peered through the letter “O” on the window's glass. A light was flickering in the office.
“It’s Imelda," Rachel whispered. “I knew that was her coming down the street awhile ago.
“Are you sure?” said Mary, coming close to look through the window. “Maybe it’s a robber.”
“No, it’s her. Her hood is pulled back. She’s moving back and forth between the desk and the safe—probably cleaning out the cash before the new owner takes over tomorrow.”
“Let’s go home,” Mary said, turning away and pulling her shawl tight around her.
“God help us! She’s set fire to papers in the wastebasket. She could burn down the place."
Rachel ran to the entrance door relieved to feel it open.  Emelda had not locked the door behind her.
Not caring that Emelda heard her, she ran to the isle of blankets stacked on a table and yanked one up. It brushed against a row of hanging cook pots causing them to clang like alarm bells.
When Rachel flew through the office door, Emelda was wide-eyed. “You! Get out of here!” she ordered.
Rachel roughly pushed Emelda back and stuffed the blanket into the crackling wastebasket. “Are you crazy?” Rachel yelled.  "You could burn down the town!"
Emelda’s eyes reflected the fire from the kerosene desk lamp.   “I said ‘Get out of here!’ It's my store! Get out. Get out!”
Emelda ran to the back of the desk and pulled open a drawer. She raised a heavy pistol, and with clumsy hands tried to cock it and point it at Rachel.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lifting the Waxwing

The day a Cedar Waxwing bit my finger,  I was at my computer when two hard thumps came from my living room window. One thump was a Waxwing on my patio, wings closed, head bowed in death, a silvery gray lifeless lump. The other thump was second Waxwing, erect but motionless just inches away from what I imagined was its mate. 

With care like gathering up a bubble, I cupped the dazed bird, expecting it to fall sideways in my hands, but it stayed upright.  Gently, I placed it on the patio wall, hoping it would soon gather its jarred little wits and fly away. 

Through the window, I watched in torment as I prayed to God that the little bird would live.
A couple of times it teetered but righted itself. Half an hour passed as I suffered, thinking I was watching it slowly dying.  

When I  couldn't watch anymore, I decided to place him in a bush or a tree to keep him out of the frigid wind and where I couldn't see him.  As soon as I gently scooped it up, it cried out. It opened its beak to bite me and I let it; and it didn’t hurt a bit.

Its body in my hands felt a soft, silky, smooth that I'd never felt before.  It was warm on my palms and I wondered if it could at least try to fly if I opened my hands.   And it did.   It spread its wings and flew far, far away over two distant trees and out of my site.

Back in the house, I did a one-person Jericho march around my living room, thanking God for sparing that one small bird.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Vandra Had a Baby - a memoir

Sometimes I think about Vandra White. Though not best friends, we were in the same grade from elementary through high school. Within the year following high school graduation, Vandra died after having a baby. In her hospital bed, she hemorrhaged to death before anyone realized it was happening.

I heard the story in the summer, when I came home from my first year of college. For days, a scene played over and over in my head—an image of sweet Vandra, lying unattended in a hospital bed, her life pouring out of her.

I’d just turned eighteen and still naive about everything. I recalled Vandra’s plans to get married right out of high school, and then she got pregnant right away. After all, that’s what girls did then; they got married and then they got pregnant, right?  At least, that was the order for everyone I knew. That order mattered very much to us in those days, not so long ago. They went to great lengths to hide the truth, and we went to great lengths to believe them.

Today, I wonder about Vandra’s baby: wonder if it was a boy or a girl, wonder if it was loved, and if it felt responsible for its mother’s death. It happens—guilt, I mean—so eager to point blame at you if your mother dies because you were born..

Sometimes I think about Vandra White, with her curly hair and her freckled face. She would see me much older now, but in my memory, Vandra will forever be seventeen and look exactly like her picture in my year book.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Basement Kittens

Most people don’t remember sleeping in a baby bed, but I remember doing so because of one special surprise. As my mother was putting me down for a nap in my baby bed, she promised that if I took my nap “like a good girl” she would have a surprise for me. Amazingly, I was able to close my eyes and fall asleep after such a promise. I awoke sometime later, and in my socked feet I climbed over and down the hard wooden bedrail to find my mother.
She assisted me down the basement stairs, telling me to be real quiet as she lead me to a cardboard box on the floor near my dad’s workbench. I was in rapturous awe, for inside the box was a light-colored, shorthaired cat nursing four tiny kittens that looked just like her, their little tummies rising and falling as they suckled.
Mother said the mama cat had wandered into our basement and had her kittens in the box of rags she kept there.
This set in motion my lifelong love for felines of every size and color.