A Thousand Cranes, Volume 3 // Sample Chapter

A Thousand Cranes, Volume 3 by Ashlee Craft

A Crane About to Take Flight

the breeze is picking up
can you feel it in the air?
can you feel it in the air?
newborn wings just beginning to flap
flap for the first time
so the crane can fly free in the sky
free with the sun & the moon & the stars
free with the limitless birds
free with the soaring breezes & the gently swaying
meadow grasses
free from the sorrowful gravity that weighs her down
free from the deluging pains of boredom
free like she was intended to be
something wonderful is getting near
can you feel it in the air?
can you feel it in the air?
to freedom she is heading
to freedom she is heading
a crane about to take flight


Stirring in the Darkness

stirring in the darkness
silent call of the lark
over the lake I see the owls flying
calling down to the mice below
off in the distance is a harmonica crying
off to the west is my home
trees like towering warriors
sheltering me from harm
I crouch on the frozen earth
as I clear my path
I’ve suddenly seen through the glass that looks
in the sunlight reflecting on snow
I feel the power of the eternal glow
which all this time I stole, I took
through the dreams I felt at night
I knew no reason for evil or fright
selling what I owned & knowing what I had
I left the city & moved into the presence I’d once known
under the stars like I never knew
I drove on illuminated by the glow
I saw in the heavens my destiny
I saw the path in life I’d take to be free
playing for pleasure & working for joy
I knew what I’d found was hard to come by
light like I’d never known
shone onto the grass & into my soul
every darkened path became visible
as every darkened cloud’s silver lining appeared
the light suddenly faded & I saw the world
just as I’d seen it for many years before
but something in me remained, it wouldn’t be the same
I knew I could never know what darkness was again
stirring in the sunlight


I Want a Sweeping Romance

I want a soaring romance to lift me off my feat
to give me my first taste of what love is like
& when the storm blows I will reside within your arm’s retreat
someone to hold near when midnight the clock must strike
& a new day begins, to know what it feels to look into your eyes
intoxicated by your gaze as I hold your hand
within you the glory of one thousand universal skies
inside your heart you truly understand
but what if I search one hundred thousand miles for you
& still cannot find where your heart waits for me?
will you seek me out just as determined & as true?
I still wait for you, my love, as I hope someday you’ll see
I want a sweeping romance of a love crystal pure
& I will love you with everything I am, this I can assure


Little Secret Moments

little secret moments that no one is aware of
things only visible to my eye at that exact moment in time
because I happened to look a particular way at a particular second
in a particular state of mind
see the tiny blooming mango flower, or the bright red of a magnolia’s seeds
hear the crickets chirping out a melody, hear the wind rustling meadow weeds
a brief second in time in which everything is happy & bathed in perfection
little thoughts that fill my mind during personalized introspection
see the tree leaf falling slowly to the ground or see the sign unnoticed prior
see those people smiling at each other in pure love, the rose in the briar
buildings & special places in the forest where the water glistens
cars passing in the morning, quiet buzzing of bees only heard when you listen
morning light shining in the prism in my window, waves washing up shells from the sea
little things like these that belong only to me



there is so much darkness around me
like walking thru outerspace without light
like driving blindfolded
like walking along the dark dusty highways leading nowhere
the sky is dark & I can’t see what’s in front of me
walking blindly into the unknown
but the stars are just coming out
just appearing upon that sacred horizon
& now I know
that I will find my way


Footprints on the Heart

she sees the sign on the window that reads
“you are right”
but anyone watching cannot pick a side, divided by their beliefs
she strums a single note onto the guitar
& all heads turn away from the freed
footsteps removed from the world have far longer to go
he whispers out a note on the wood
underneath the hawk’s nested fool
a forbidden drum beat from beneath his mind’s pool
as he snaps out of his crazy reality
his ears capture & he hears what he thinks he should
footsteps echoed in the hallway of dreams
that night
footsteps on the ocean & buried underneath the truth
copies of our heartbeats & the distant pounding of the hooves
footsteps in the meadow mingling with salted rain’s taste so tart
copies of the depths of our souls & footsteps on the heart
the woman & the man converse freely
without fear of being heard
the flutist in the back of the empty play of words
is forgotten with the night’s embark
as they laughed the melody of time
time itself was hidden in love’s first & last remark
out of the blue
soundtrack for the beginning
kind words of good luck at the end
a spin around in the rest of the earth
& I knew where I had to begin
footsteps on the ocean & buried underneath the truth
copies of our heartbeats & the distant pounding of the hooves
footsteps in the meadow mingling with salted rain’s taste so tart
copies of the depths of our souls & footsteps on the heart


in the beginning
the flowers bloomed without a trace of memories
in the beginning
my time was spent free & carelessly dreaming
in the beginning
I never had to worry
in the beginning I had no knowledge of what was to come
what would turn my world around
I was so naive
never had to plan ahead
I believed that things would always be the way
they had been when I was a child
easy & carefree & without the slightest trouble
yet in my innocence
I did not know what was to come
in the beginning,
I thought that all was well
that the sea was calm,
although a storm was brewing & would turn the tables round
behind the scenes I couldn’t see what conspired
although somewhere in the back of my mind
I had thought of these possibilities
it had never occurred to me that things would be changing
so soon
& time passed like evening flowers blooming
growing every season until
I saw that all this time I was right



it looms above me like a dark shadow
it calls like wild beasts prowling in the night
it ticks like a time bomb at any moment could detonate
it screams like the prisoner alone in the cell
it blots out the sun like a hurricane’s wrath
it hides like the frightened trembling animal
it accepts the blows like Invictus’ captain
it does what is possible to keep hold onto the ship’s railing
it grasps the rope on the side of the mountain
it perseveres like the grass growing ever towards the sun
it climbs to the top of the mountain so it can see the whole wide world
it dances in the sunlight to the invisible music
it smiles & sighs with contentment, crying tears of joy
when the relief of a new day rolls round
& it forges its life from the block of marble
& creates it into what it wants to be


Doing Okay

you know it’s kind of
interesting how it all started
a few days ago
it seemed like it was going to be like every other time
the clouds rolled around & the thunder crashed
& the monsoon rain flooded the sky
& teardrops rolled down from the clouds & splashed against my pillow
it seemed like it was happening all over again
& I couldn’t be bothered to stop it because I knew it was true
but it wasn’t actually a storm
just cloudy skies overhead
& it’s a new emotion
new emotions are often good or at least interesting
I’ve never actually felt this way before
I’m lost & unhappy & frightened & dissatisfied & I don’t know what to do
I’m lost out on the sea alone alone alone
I don’t know where to go any longer
because everywhere I can think of that’s easily reached
is impossible or isn’t worth the effort in the end
& everything worth it is difficult & a little frightening
& I don’t know if it must come to that yet
there’s nowhere for me to go
like I’m standing homeless in the street trying to grasp the things that are mine
but few things belong to me any longer
I’m unhappy with the way things are
filled with various moments of contempt for the monotony of my life
yes just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I’m not bored underneath it all
I’m unhappy with every single day being exactly the same as the day before
every single day being exactly the same as the day before
every single day being exactly the same as the day before
sometimes making progress but never stepping forwards
& yet I don’t know what to do to change it
I’m afraid, so afraid
afraid of asking about what I might want because I don’t want to hurt you
or make things worse for you in your life
but can’t you see this is hurting me?
who must win this in the end?
afraid of trying & only finding more & more of this
but only Emptiness looming behind me & knocking on the door
(behind me behind me, in the past)
& I’m dissatisfied
dissatisfied of being happy & letting myself bask in sunshine for the moment
because I know that until something changes
really, actually, truly changes, I will always fall back upon this
& so I must resolve to remain this way
until I am courageous enough to change it
or else I’ll just keep on coming back to this
& I don’t know what to do
I don’t want to ask & I don’t want to make too drastic a change
I don’t want to hurt you or ruin things forever
I don’t want to have regrets
I’m lost & unhappy & dissatisfied & I don’t know what to do
but I’m not broken & or unusually desperately down, struggling to save myself from drowning or frantically hiding tears rolling down my cheeks, forcing myself to stand straight & hide lying down on the floor under a blanket whenever I can
for now, I’m doing okay


Lying on My Back on My Bed

lying on my back on my bed
my piles of soft blankets
around my arms
engulfing me like a cocoon & caressing
my skin
my dog lies beside my feet on the end of my bed
I watch him breathing softly
upon his face, contentment
my heart fills with adoration for him
pillow soft as a cloud beneath my head
the morning light streams in my window
& my prism, a pendulum dancing upon my wall
casting rainbows across my floor
the air is filled with magic
I could only hope to be as radiant as the sun
& that which inspires me
pretty thoughts fill my mind
today is going to be a good day


Twinkling Lights

starlight in the night
moon glistening on the water
like electrified dolphins caressing the water
beams of electricity sparking across the water
there is reason to hope there is reason to hope
smell the night air gently filling the room
hear the crickets chirping
& smile at the moon
maybe things are not so bad after all
can you remember that first night we were here?
how after weeks of filling boxes & tying up loose ends
how after a tired day of packing the moving truck
outside in the heat, driving all the day
late at night we finally reached our destination?
how we were all tired & sore & dirty & yet we felt wonderful?
how we had a quick pizza & soaked long in the bathtub?
can you remember the first night we were there?
how when I was on the driveway I felt that this time things would be different?
how things would be better?
can you remember the way we felt so safe out there in the sacred darkness
only stars playing witness to our deep emotions & passionate love?
can you remember how we knew, just somehow knew that everything would now be better for us?
& how after the long day & all the trials we faced
we nestled into our warm safe bed
how we looked out the window at the lake behind the house
& we saw the lights from every house surrounding it shining down
sparkling into the water?
remember how beautiful that was?
& the sense of belonging we felt then?


Kindle Edition