A Thousand Cranes, Volume 1 // Sample Chapter

A Thousand Cranes, Volume 1 by Ashlee Craft
A Thousand Cranes

a thousand cranes / a thousand cranes of paper flying in a giant rippling cloud high in the sky / setting out to find their own ways

She, the artistpoet, once took a thousand sheets of paper & placed them on the old oak table, & in the warm lighting of deep afternoon where tiny particles of dust caught the light like a thousand prisms sparkling in the air, folded a thousand paper cranes / taking her time to make each one perfect / putting her heart & soul & love into her work, making each sheet of paper come alive with every fold / & when the cranes were finished, she released them into the world & let them fly free / releasing them so they could do what they had to do

the cranes flew off in the world to make their own fortune & find their own way / circling around the equator & to the countries & oceans & forests & houses & cities, making their way & fluttering thru the skies causing all who saw them to smile / making the people who saw them feel / helping the people who saw them to understand their feelings a little better / making the people who saw them remember what it was like, remember why they began in the first place / making them remember why they had to keep trying / making them notice just a little more of the beauty in the world / showing them the magic

the cranes enjoyed their freedom / soaring & dancing & diving & fluttering all over the world / but one day the cranes longed to go back to the artistpoet / they missed her / she had brought them to life / she had given them so much / she had given them their Dreams / she had given them the chance to fly / it was time they did the same for her / it was time for them to return

the white cranes gathered together & flew as a cloud once again overhead moving on towards the artistpoet’s house in the dark / searching thru alleyways in the big lonely city / & finally there, finding the receiver of the Dream / their artistpoet, creator of beauty in the world & the one who, with every word she spoke, with every brush stroke on canvas, with every smile she gave, the world became a little more beautiful / the artistpoet sleeping in the alleyway covered in a blanket of painter’s canvas & old clothes made from ragged poetry / sleeping gently in the light of the moon

& the cranes softly softly softly landed surrounding in a circle the artistpoet who continued sleeping unaware of their presence / she stirred a little when the last crane landed but remained in dreamland / the cranes with their bright eyes regarded her with love / waiting no longer

& at that moment the cranes bestowed their gift upon her / the gift of Dreams / the same gift she’d given them years ago when she’d created them / she’d given them the gift of Life / she had taken sheets of paper & constructed them into beautiful things / she had made something magical out of nothing / she had sent beauty out into the world / & now her cranes looked upon her smiling at her softly / bestowing upon her the Dream & everything she’d need to be able to go after her Dream / strength hope optimism happiness determination & most of all Courage

the cranes filled the whole alleyway & were illuminated brightly by the moonlight seeming to glow in the darkness & forming a protective circle around their artistpoet

at that moment, the Dream now belonged to her & she woke up, sitting quickly & heart pounding fast / seeing surrounding her the thousand cranes she’d created but they had blossomed in their absence & had grown with each day & now were Real Cranes / they sat, eyes looking into eyes, silence filling the alleyway & the still air surrounding them / silence quivering as if waiting for something

the artistpoet felt different than she had in a long time / she felt ecstatic / she felt Possible / she felt stronger than ever before in her life as she regarded the beauty she’d created in the world / her works of art had come back to her, come back to her to bestow upon her the love she’d imbued into each fold / & at that moment she felt the purest love rising inside her for the love they were giving back to her / & she uttered softly “Thank You”

the first crane she’d folded slowly approached & reached out its neck to her / she touched it feeling a spark that could only be described as Magic / & then she gently climbed onto its back & the cranes took off as one fluttering glittering gossamer cloud / they flew & circled round in the night near the moon & the artistpoet touched one of the sparkling stars & stardust sprinkled down upon her shoulders / flying flying flying onwards as a huge cloud of Possible / & when daylight neared the cranes brought her back to the alleyway & set her down gently upon the pavement

she looked to the cranes, looked deep into their eyes / & she thanked them again, knowing that whenever she needed them next time, they’d be waiting for her to bestow upon her once more the Dream & remind her of why she’d begun in the first place

Infusions of Innocent Stories

infusions of innocence, stories & silence written upon the blank pages of paper, written out desires & questions brewing behind the surfaces of treasured coves of golden waters / yearning & sitting on the edge of the ocean, feet dangling into the water & remembering remembrances into the deep blue sea & looking up at the sky, sun upon your face & the seabreeze upon your skin / closing your eyes & picturing the next words, reopening them to record them forever on the paper / writing / but midway thru, realizing that the story isn’t going the way you want it to go / it’s all wrong & you realize it’s not what you want, but what other people want you to want / it’s not you & you know it, realizing it suddenly midway thru the novel you’re writing upon the shadows of paper / & right then & there, you stop & the story turns around / you write the next sentence of the new beginning / you smile to yourself & write this new story, looking back briefly upon the old story & seeing how the scenes fit in with the new story, but not letting the original direction determine the ending of the story / & upon the seashore as you write your story, you see the answers between your book & real life, & suddenly you find the answers you sought

A Meshing of Sounds

sounds swirling around
coming from the old record player
sitting on the dusty floor
of the old attic
& hearing from the downstairs
the sound of rock music
played loudly from someone’s bedroom speakers
boom-boom-boom of bass & pounding of drums
& then down the street
hearing the sound coming in faintly
thru the opened window
the solo choir singer practicing in her bedroom
& me standing in the dusty attic
with the old record player on the floor
warm sound of vinyl & the soulful rock below & crisp clear vocals
blend together
with the makeshift rhapsodic melody
of perfection

Floral Surprise

reaching out empty handed
away from the past
the soft pillow which I’ve rested my head on many times
when the time itself proved to filled with boredom
& I was sleepy from the tiring way things were
but getting up at the ring of the alarm clock
jumping out of bed & hurrying towards the window
where the bright sacred yellow glow
of the sunrise was just shining in
basking in the light
looking out the window & into the busy happy street
& seeing the bright surprise of flowers
blooming in the windowbox

That Person

yesterday I was sitting there
questioning & wondering as my mind wandered
that person that I always wanted to be
one of those intensely passionate people
who know where they’re going in life
who can be anything & do anything
who believes in themselves unconditionally
who trusts that there is always a way
vows to find a way, & if there’s not, makes one
the one who’s always happy
the one with the perfect life
the person I’ve always wanted to be
what if I already am that person?
what if I’ve always been
but it just took me until now to see that?

Raindrops in Tree Hollows

raindrops dripping from soaked leaves into the deep dark hollows of trees hidden from the light / meshings of magical escapes played out amongst traffic lights of freshly lit candles & sitting on the edge of the porch in the rainstorm, watching the rain drip drip drip down & smiling / the gentle sound of rain falling & splashing against the tin roof of my house, beautiful melodic music drifting downwards to me, & the melody of raindrops in that tree hollow echoing & reverberating throughout the darkened sky / absolute magnitude of freshly mown grass & fruits of your labors laid out of the heavy wooden table & vases of flowers laid out in the sunlight / trees sprouting upwards in the rain & the smell of fresh rain fresh rain / metropolitan messages scrawled out on suburban subway corridors, writing in dark ink & remaining basking in this darkness of hidden poetry waiting for the beautiful eye of longing to look upon it & make some meaning of it / trusting in the silver medallion of great things & smiling at the turning of the clock’s hands, written & writing down with the passage of time, new memories as the rain drops drip drop ticking off seconds of time but delving into them delicious beauty / rhythm of raindrops amongst the trees & soaking the ground / & then me going back inside to the warm safeness & solitude of my bed / falling asleep to the sound of raindrops mingling with Jazz

Kindle Edition