Yeah, it's hard, baby It's hard right down to the bone I said Oh, it's hard baby It's hard right down to the very bone It's hard when you're a woman And you find yourself all alone I've been flapping and scrapping And running from door to door You know I've been flapping and scrapping, honey Running from door to door
Walter Dean Myers
Actresses can get outrageously precious about the way they look. That's not what life's about. If you starve yourself to the point where your brain cells shrivel, you will never do good work. And if you're overly conscious of your arms flapping in the wind, how can you look the other actor in the eye to respond to them?
To me, it feels like 'The Doctor' has to have a long coat, and that's something imprinted on me from childhood, because he always did. And there's something heroic in a flapping coat, but at the same time, I need to get rid of it sometimes and just be a scrawny guy in a suit that doesn't quite fit.
I want you to notice nature, how geese are in flight and they form a V in a leadership role... The lead goose, when he gets tired of flapping his wings, he drops to the back and the next goose comes up front. Without stopping, without fussing, without whining. He becomes that next leader, he or she, that's what we have to do.
Outside, the sleet had gotten thicker. You could hear it pebbling against the large glass windows, you could see it swirling wildly through the spotlights of street lamps. It was the kind of night when you might expect to see a skeleton flying through the air, its ragged black shroud flapping in the wind.
But the future is unknown, and stands before a man like autumnal fogs rising from the swamps; birds fly foolishly up and down in it with flapping wings, never recognizing each other, the dove seeing not the vulture, nor the vulture the dove, and no one knowing how far he may be flying from destruction.
Over the weekend the vultures got into the presidential palace by pecking through the screens on the balcony windows and the flapping of their wings stirred up the stagnant time inside, and at dawn on Monday the city awoke out of its lethargy of centuries with the warm, soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
History is often the tale of small moments-chance encounters or casual decisions or sheer coincidence-that seem of little consequence at the time, but somehow fuse with other small moments to produce something momentous, the proverbial flapping of a butterfly's wings that triggers a hurricane.
History is often the tale of small moments""chance encounters or casual decisions or sheer coincidence""that seem of little consequence at the time, but somehow fuse with other small moments to produce something momentous, the proverbial flapping of a butterfly's wings that triggers a hurricane.
If I saw something once that I can't explain, that doesn't make them real. And if a trick of the dark gave me a chill, that doesn't make them real. And if a madman says what's at the core of us all is a senseless, flapping quiver of black shade, that's just one more reason not to believe.
Rena?' I looked up as a figure emerged from the white void of snowfall. The snow dusted his broad shoulders as he took long, measured strides toward me, his black coat flapping in the wind. As he neared, I made out his startled features. 'Wallace?' His gaze burned with indiscernible emotion. 'Are you hugging the lamp post?
I must confess that I and a few others are burdened with heavy responsibilities regarding the future of criticism. I am certainly, if not the inventor, then at least one of the first systematizers of an absurd critical practice that, as soon as it had peeked its beak out of the nest, flapping its new wet wings, took flight in the minds of the young, becoming a wild ox and sowing avant-garde literature with the mighty tomes of what might as well be called the abstract bear.
The flapping of a single butterfly's wing today produces a tiny change in the state of the atmosphere. Over a period of time, what the atmosphere actually does diverges from what it would have done. So, in a month's time, a tornado that would have devastated the Indonesian coast doesn't happen. Or maybe one that wasn't going to happen, does.
My mama steps out of her dress and drops it, an inheritance falling to my feet. She stands alone: bathed, blooming, burdened with nothing of this world. Her body is naked and beautiful, her wings gray and scorched, her brown eyes piercing the brown of mine. I watch her departure, her flapping wings: She doesn't look back, not even once, not even to whisper my name
Brenda Sutton Rose
Nearly every morning, a certain woman in our community comes running out of her house with her face white and her overcoat flapping wildly. She cries out, "Emergency, emergency," and one of us runs to her and holds her until her fears are calmed. We know she is making it up; nothing is has really happened to her. But we understand, because there is hardly one of us who has no been moved at some time to do just what she has done, and every time, it has taken all our strength, and even the strength of our friends and families, too, to keep us quiet.
The artificial intelligence approach may not be altogether the right one to make to the problem of designing automatic assembly devices. Animals and machines are constructed from entirely different materials and on quite different principles. When engineers have tried to draw inspiration from a study of the way animals work they have usually been misled; the history of early attempts to construct flying machines with flapping wings illustrates this very clearly.
But the owls themselves are not hard to find, silent and on the wing, with their ear tufts flat against their heads as they fly and their huge wings alternately gliding and flapping as they maneuver through the trees. Athena's owl of wisdom and Merlin's companion, Archimedes, were screech owls surely, not this bird with the glassy gaze, restless on the bough, nothing but blood on its mind.
Summer set lip to earth's bosom bare, And left the flushed print in a poppy there: Like a yawn of fire from the grass it came, And the fanning wind puffed it to flapping flame. With burnt mouth red like a lion's it drank The blood of the sun as he slaughtered sank, And dipped its cup in the purpurate shine When the eastern conduits ran with wine.
No, that flapping isn't all the pigeons in the park zeroing in on some spilled popcorn! That antediluvian (old and prehistoric) scream that's numbing your brain isn't a subway on a curve! No, it's the one and only Thunderbird -just released from a long, long nap in a cave on the Kijowa reservation by Tom Tallwolf and J. Jay Jaye, known as The Big Promoter! But it looks like all he's promoted now is... trouble with wings!
I hold that in the flight of the soaring birds (the vultures, the eagles, and other birds which fly without flapping) ascension is produced by the skillful use of the force of the wind, and the steering, in any direction, is the result of skillful manoeuvres; so that by a moderate wind a man can, with an aeroplane, un- provided with any motor whatever, rise up into the air and direct himself at will, even against the wind itself.
Louis Pierre Mouillard
She was beginning to stir questions in me that I'd spent all my life refusing to ask, since the day I had looked down from the window at the broken body of the schoolboy on the flagstones a long way below, while a master hurried from the cloisters with his black gown flapping in the winter wind, to see what had happened: the day when I was suddenly old enough to understand that I had a choice. I could either do what that other boy had done, or I could spend the rest of my life outside society, where it was safe
As those who have seen Jurassic Park will know, this means a tiny disturbance in one place, can cause a major change in another. A butterfly flapping its wings can cause rain in Central Park, New York. The trouble is, it is not repeatable. The next time the butterfly flaps its wings, a host of other things will be different, which will also influence the weather. That is why weather forecasts are so unreliable.
They trekked out along the crescent sweep of beach, keeping to the firmer sand below the tidewrack. They stood, their clothes flapping softly. Glass floats covered with a gray crust. The bones of seabirds. At the tideline a woven mat of weeds and the ribs of fishes in their millions stretching along the shore as far as the eye could see like an isocline of death. One vast salt sepulchre. Senseless. Senseless.
An author, like any other so-called artist, is a man in whom the normal vanity of all men is so vastly exaggerated that he finds it a sheer impossibility to hold it in. His over-powering impulse is to gyrate before his fellow men, flapping his wings and emitting defiant yells. This being forbidden by the police of all civilized nations, he takes it out by putting his yells on paper. Such is the thing called self-expression.
H. L. Mencken
Good fences make good neighbors, and these were apparently good enough that they had not felt the need for razor wire at the top. I crested the fence, threw myself into the yard beyond, fell, rolled to my feet, and ran with the expectation of being garroted by a taut clothesline. I heard panting, looked down, and saw a gold retriever running at my side, ears flapping. The dog glanced up at me tongue rolling, grinning, as though jazzed by the prospect of an unscheduled play session.
For now, " Amelie said. "Take her home. And - " "Say nothing - yes, yes, I heard you the first seven hundred times, " Myrnin said, much too sharply. "I'm ancient. I'm not deaf. " Amelie's cold expression deepened, and her gray eyes took on an unpleasant reddish glitter. "Do you think I find this a joking matter?" "Maybe you should, " he said. "And maybe you should have cut off the old man's head when you had the chance. Absolutely no one would have argued with that choice. Merely walling him up, to increase his suffering and create an example - that was unmerciful, and, worse, it was sloppy. I believe that flapping sound you hear is pigeons, coming home to roost.
But it is rather derogatory that your dwelling-place should be only a neighborhood to a great city,--to live on an inclined plane.I do not like their cities and forts, with their morning and evening guns, and sails flapping in one's eye. I want a whole continent to breathe in, and a good deal of solitude and silence, such as all Wall Street cannot buy,--nor Broadway with its wooden pavement. I must live along the beach, on the southern shore, which looks directly out to sea,--and see what that great parade of water means, that dashes and roars, and has not yet wet me, as long as I have lived.
Henry David Thoreau
I am a sacrifice bound with cords to the horns of the world's rock altar, waiting for worms. I take a deep breath, I open my eyes. Looking, I see there are worms in the horns of the altar like live maggots in amber, there are shells of worms in the rock and moths flapping at my eyes. A wind from no place rises. A sense of the real exults me; the cords loosen: I walk on my way.
At thirty-three the Whammer still enjoyed exceptional eyesight. He saw the ball spin off Roy's fingertips and it reminded him of a white pigeon he had kept as a boy, that he would send into flight by flipping it into the air. The ball flew at him and he was conscious of its bird-form and white flapping wings, until it suddenly disappeared from view. He heard a noise like the bang of a firecracker at his feet and Sam had the ball in his mitt. Unable to believe his ears he heard Mercy intone a reluctant strike.
Time isn't an orderly stream. Time isn't a placid lake recording each of our ripples. Time is viscous. Time is a massive flow. It is a self-healing substance, which is to say, almost everything will be lost. We're too slight, to inconsequntial, despite all of our thrashing and swimming and waving our arms about. Time is an ocean of inertia, drowning out the small vibrations, absorbing the slosh and churn, the foam and wash, and we're up here, flapping and slapping and just generally spazzing out, and sure, there's a little splashing on the surface, but that doesn't even register in the depths, in the powerful undercurrents miles below us, taking us wherever they are taking us.
Just as sometimes I wondered if Grandpa had ever existed, sometimes I wondered if I truly existed myself. As I was running, I could see myself from outside myself: a skinny girl with the flapping shorts and too- big a T-shirt, always watching the other girls at school, a girl in a pink bedroom sitting with a book propped on her knees, the words she was reading entering her mind, some sticking like gluey never to be forgotten, others disappearing instantly, I could remember everything and remember nothing. I would watch a movie and recall every scene as if I had written the script, then watch another movie another day and be unable to recall it at all.
Oh yes, " said Jana. "You want the birdbath." She let him down onto the rim of the birdbath, then watched as he dipped his head, lowered his chest into the water, and raised it. Having finished his bath, he did a dance of sheer joy, flapping his wings and shaking off the water in a circle of drops. "He enjoys life, " said a voice. Mr. Powell the optometrist, a closed umbrella in hand, was letting his two dachshunds chase each other around the park. "As do your dogs, " said Jana. "Yes, " said Mr. Powell, "they have fun in a simpler and more joyous way than most humans do. Their pleasures seem more reliable. All you have to do is say the word 'walk' and they're wiggling from head to toe...
I dreamed my shoulders held up the sky for a thousand hawks that squawked and cawed and beat their feathered wings against the hotness of the day. I supported their flight, watching and marveling, until sweat dripped from my body, and groans crossed my lips over fatiguing muscles. Choosing to let the sky fall, I awoke. My eyes opened to a cast of hawks gripping me in their talons. They supported my weight, hauling me high above the clouds through a blue expanse of heaven. And though they struggled-squawking and flapping wearily-never once did a single bird release its hold.
Richelle E. Goodrich
Stumbling closer, I held up the manuscript, the pages flapping frantically in the wind. 'I take it this is a murder mystery? You killed the ex-fiancee and thanked her in the dedication? Mighty dignified of you, I must say.' 'Nah. It's a horror novel. But yeah, the bimbo dies in the end. Bob Hall says it's going to be a bestseller, so I figured I owed her some thanks for the inspiration.' He edged a few feet closer, his smile spread from ear to ear. The glimmer in his eyes flickered toward the ocean, breaking our connection. He hung his head, licked his lips, then returned his eyes to mine, restoring the connection with an intense smolder. 'Are you gonna get over here, or what?' Letting out a soft chuckle, the tears began to blind me. 'Make me.
That was the only time, as I stood there, looking at that strange rubbish, feeling the wind coming across those empty fields, that I started to imagine just a little fantasy thing, because this was Norfolk after all, and it was only a couple of weeks since I'd lost him. I was thinking about the rubbish, the flapping plastic in the branches, the shore-line of odd stuff caught along the fencing, and I half-closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field, and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, maybe even call. The fantasy never got beyond that -I didn't let it- and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn't sobbing or out of control. I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.
Would my head were a head of lettuce. I drove the last car over the Sagamore Bridge before the state police closed it off. The Cape Cod Canal all atempest beneath. No cars coming, no cars going. The bridge cables flapping like rubber bands. You think in certain circumstances a few thousand feet of bridge isn't a thousand miles? The hurricane wiped out Dennis. Horace thanked God for insurance. I saved our little girl. You want me to say, Hurrah! Hurrah! but I can't, I won't, because to save her once isn't to save her, and still she thumps as if the world was something thumpable. As if it wasn't silence on a fundamental level. Yap on, wife, yap on. Thump, daughter, thump. Louder, Orangutan, louder. I can't hear you.
The sea is full of saints. You know that? You know that: you're a big boy. The sea's full of saints and it's been full of saints for years. Since longer than anything. Saints were there before there were even gods. They were waiting for them, and they're still there now. Saints eat fish and shellfish. Some of them catch jellyfish and some of them eat rubbish. Some saints eat anything they can find. They hide under rocks; they turn themselves inside out: they spit up spirals. There's nothing saints don't do. Make this shape with your hands. Like that. Move your fingers. There, you made a saint. Look out, here come another one! Now they're fighting! Yours won. There aren't any big corkscrew saints anymore, but there are still ones like sacks and ones like coils, and ones like robes with flapping sleeves. What's your favourite saint? I'll tell you mine. But wait a minute, first, do you know what it is makes them all saints? They're all a holy family, they're all cousins. Of each other, and of... you know what else they're cousins of? That's right. Of gods. Alright now. Who was it made you? You know what to say. Who made you?
Logan felt like Icarus. He had never felt so free and blissfully alive as he did whenever he was with her. The closer he got to her the higher and happier he felt. Even at the mention of her name his heart would pound incessantly and all the giddy feelings he didn't quite understand would suddenly reemerge. Every glance upon her blinding beauty cast a shadow upon every other girl for him. Everyone else paled in comparison to her. With every passing moment he had somehow discovered something new and exciting about her. With her by his side he could feel the light breeze flapping against his sides and the warmth of sunshine beating down on his handsome face. This is what it meant to be truly awake. This is what it meant to be in love. But just like Icarus he had gotten too close and had crashed and burned. As he lay crippled in the aftermath of his own destruction he wondered what hurt more the aching pangs of physical pain his body had been subjected to or the raw burning sensation he felt in his heart. He had gladly given her his heart and in return she threw it back in pieces claiming it wasn't enough. That he wasn't enough.
The things of your life arrived in their own time, like a train you had to catch. Sometimes this was easy, all you had to do was step onto it, the train was plush and comfortable and full of people smiling at you in a hush, and a conductor who punched your ticket and tousled your head with his big hand, saying, Ain't you pretty, ain't you the prettiest girl now, lucky lady taking a big train trip with your daddy, while you sank into the dreamy softness of your seat and sipped ginger ale from a can and watched the world float in magical silence past your window, the tall buildings of the city in the crisp autumn light and then the backs of the houses with laundry flapping and a crossing with gates where a boy was waving from his bicycle, and then the woods and fields and a single cow eating grass... Because sometimes it was one way, easy, and sometimes it was the other, not easy; the things of your life roared down to you and it was all you could do to grab hold and hang on. Your old life ended, and the train took you away to another...
It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke, to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch and lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.
Today I'm on tell you bout a man from outer space." She just loves hearing about peoples from outer space. Her favorite show on the tee-vee is My Favorite Martian, I pull on my antennae hats I shaped last night out a tin foil, fasten em on our heads. One for her and one for me. We look like we a couple a crazy people in them things. "One day, a wise Martian come down to Earth to teach us people a thing or two, " I say. "Martian? How big?" "oh, he about six-two." "What's his name?" "Martian Luther King." She take a deep breath and lean her head down on my shoulder. I feel her three-year-old heart racing against mine, flapping like butterflies on my white uniform. "He was a real nice Martian, Mister King. Looked just like us, nose, mouth, hair up on his head, but sometime people looked at him funny and sometime, well, I guess sometime people was just downright mean." I coul get in a lot a trouble telling her these little stories, especially with Mister Leefolt. But Mae Mobley know these our "secret stories". "Why Aibee? Why was they so mean to him?" she ask. "Cause he was green.
Chapter 8 - The Rescue Team: "Timbroke Hall was completely dark. A creaking shutter opened and closed to the rhythm of a howling, north wind. It bore a cold reminder of the harsh winter coming quickly this year. The children crept up the rock stairs to the familiar wooden doors at the front of the building. Ariana led them around the porch to a side door according to her, was never locked. The broken handle dangled loosely and offered free entrance. The team cautiously crossed the threshold of the old hall into pitch blackness. An owl hooted and the sound of large wings flapping reverberated around them. Camilla startled, cried out a fearful yelp causing everyone to jump. Hannah reflexively covered Camilla's mouth until she was certain nothing more would slip out. 'Quiet, ' whispered Jess in an angry tone directed at Hannah. 'It wasn't me, ' whispered Hannah pointing down at Camilla. 'Sorry, ' whispered Camilla apologetically.
STAINS With red clay between my toes, and the sun setting over my head, the ghost of my mother blows in, riding on a honeysuckle breeze, oh lord, riding on a honeysuckle breeze. Her teeth, the keys of a piano. I play her grinning ivory notes with cadenced fumbling fingers, splattered with paint, textured with scars. A song rises up from the belly of my past and rocks me in the bosom of buried memories. My mama's dress bears the stains of her life: blueberries, blood, bleach, and breast milk; She cradles in her arms a lifetime of love and sorrow; Its brilliance nearly blinds me. My fingers tire, as though I've played this song for years. The tune swells red, dying around the edges of a setting sun. A magnolia breeze blows in strong, a heavenly taxi sent to carry my mother home. She will not say goodbye. For there is no truth in spoken farewells. I am pregnant with a poem, my life lost in its stanzas. My mama steps out of her dress and drops it, an inheritance falling to my feet. She stands alone: bathed, blooming, burdened with nothing of this world. Her body is naked and beautiful, her wings gray and scorched, her brown eyes piercing the brown of mine. I watch her departure, her flapping wings: She doesn't look back, not even once, not even to whisper my name: Brenda. I lick the teeth of my piano mouth. With a painter's hands, with a writer's hands with rusty wrinkled hands, with hands soaked in the joys, the sorrows, the spills of my mother's life, I pick up eighty-one years of stains And pull her dress over my head. Her stains look good on me.
Brenda Sutton Rose
A cloud in the sky suddenly lighted as if turned on by a switch; its reflection just as suddenly materialized on the water upstream, flat and floating, so that I couldn't see the creek bottom, or life in the water under the cloud. Downstream, away from the cloud on the water, water turtles smooth as beans were gliding down with the current. I didn't know whether to trace the progress of one turtle... or scan the mud bank in hope of seeing a muskrat, or follow the last of the swallows who caught at my heart and trailed it after them... But shadows spread, and deepened, and stayed. Things were going on. I couldn't see whether that sere rustle I heard was a distant rattlesnake, slit-eyed, or a nearby sparrow kicking at debris... Tremendous action roiled the water everywhere I looked, big action, inexplicable... At last I stared upstream where only the deepest violet remained of the cloud, a cloud so high its underbelly still glowed feeble color from a hidden sky lighted in turn by sun halfway to China. And out of that violet, a sudden enormous black body arced over the water. I saw only a cylindrical sleekness. Head and tail, if there was a head and tail, were both submerged in a cloud. I saw only one ebony fling, a headlong dive to darkness; then the waters closed and the lights went out. I walked home in a shivering daze, uphill and down. Later I lay open-mouthed in bed, my arms flung wide at my sides to steady the whirling darkness. At this latitude I'm spinning 836 miles an hour round the earth's axis; I often fancy I feel my sweeping fall as a breakneck arc like the dive of dolphins, and the hollow rushing of wind raises hair on my neck and the side of my face. In orbit around the sun I'm moving 64,800 miles an hour. The solar system as a whole, like a merry-go-round unhinged, spins, bobs, and blinks at the speed of 43,200 miles an hour along a course set east of Hercules. Someone has piped, and we are dancing a tarantella until the sweat pours. I open my eyes and I see dark, muscled forms curl out of water, with flapping gills and flattened eyes. I close my eyes and I see stars, deep stars giving way to deeper stars, deeper stars bowing to deepest stars at the crown on an infinite cone.
One night he sits up. In cots around him are a few dozen sick or wounded. A warm September wind pours across the countryside and sets the walls of the tent rippling. Werner's head swivels lightly on his neck. The wind is strong and gusting stronger, and the corners of the tent strain against their guy ropes, and where the flaps at the two ends come up, he can see trees buck and sway. Everything rustles. Werner zips his old notebook and the little house into his duffel and the man beside him murmurs questions to himself and the rest of the ruined company sleeps. Even Werner's thirst has faded. He feels only the raw, impassive surge of the moonlight as it strikes the tent above him and scatters. Out there, through the open flaps of the tent, clouds hurtle above treetops. Toward Germany, toward home. Silver and blue, blue and silver. Sheets of paper tumble down the rows of cots, and in Werner's chest comes a quickening. He sees Frau Elena kneel beside the coal stove and bank up the fire. Children in their beds. Baby Jutta sleeps in her cradle. His father lights a lamp, steps into an elevator, and disappears. The voice of Volkheimer: What you could be. Werner's body seems to have gone weightless under his blanket, and beyond the flapping tent doors, the trees dance and the clouds keep up their huge billowing march, and he swings first one leg and then the other off the edge of the bed. 'Ernst, ' says the man beside him. 'Ernst.' But there is no Ernst; the men in the cots do not reply; the American soldier at the door of the tent sleeps. Werner walks past him into the grass. The wind moves through his undershirt. He is a kite, a balloon. Once, he and Jutta built a little sailboat from scraps of wood and carried it to the river. Jutta painted the vessel in ecstatic purples and greens, and she set it on the water with great formality. But the boat sagged as soon as the current got hold of it. It floated downstream, out of reach, and the flat black water swallowed it. Jutta blinked at Werner with wet eyes, pulling at the battered loops of yarn in her sweater. 'It's all right, ' he told her. 'Things hardly ever work on the first try. We'll make another, a better one.' Did they? He hopes they did. He seems to remember a little boat-a more seaworthy one-gliding down a river. It sailed around a bend and left them behind. Didn't it? The moonlight shines and billows; the broken clouds scud above the trees. Leaves fly everywhere. But the moonlight stays unmoved by the wind, passing through clouds, through air, in what seems to Werner like impossibly slow, imperturbable rays. They hang across the buckling grass. Why doesn't the wind move the light? Across the field, an American watches a boy leave the sick tent and move against the background of the trees. He sits up. He raises his hand. 'Stop, ' he calls. 'Halt, ' he calls. But Werner has crossed the edge of the field, where he steps on a trigger land mine set there by his own army three months before, and disappears in a fountain of earth.