thoughts… from the porch…

thoughts… from the porch…

Photo by David Bartus on

(a stream of consciousness experiment going on four years now…)

this is, well was, the first truly day of spring, no, not the first nice day, but one that seems to announce the semi-permanent arrival, I’d love to paint you some ethereal picture of beautiful perfections, but that is not to be today turning into night, the air, is a soothing temperature though, a soft flow, however, in one direction I pick up the heavy scent of lawn chemicals like a teen with too much drakar doused on, I almost feel for the pests and grubs that must absorb that cruel gruel, I used to think a wonderous sparkling lawn was a wonderous thing, no more, I loathe such a faux carpet as more of a waste of resources these days, and a desert of imagination, not half as alluring as a mix of exotic and native plants that change like chameleons with the seasons, the pandemic must be slowing a bit, just from the sounds of the world, or the ones drowned now out, for there is a not so subtle undertow roar of cars in the distance, emanating from the local four lane road, oak tree road – as if that name imparts some gravitas of nature to course pavement and the sounds thereof, of course, there is the delightful, occasional throttle mash dash, a bugle call for ego small down our town’s little famous stretch, a couple of robins are chattering, not some euphony as you might think, the sound more like a cantankerous old married couple arguing, knowing there is no point in this dos-e-doe, knowing they have an audience’s ear for their nonsense, besides their own (and they are the only ones enjoying this show), robins are not songbirds I tell you, at least not those of this local herd, well… at least my various bamboo plants are blooming, in actuality shooting up new spikes left and right – which does not sound as nice or flowery, but a new generation looking to take a place in the some-day-ending parade, this past winter was very harsh on my crop, they look like a blonde wig that has been tossed about the mall parking lot floor for a few weeks or more, you can clearly see the glory that once was, like an outline, or a memory, but you surely would not pick it up to wear it; a commercial airliner is roaring out there somewhere, horizon-ish, hidden by the darkened clouds, not quite dark enough to see the beacons blinking indicating and exact location, a lone goose passes by, one honk, no formation to amaze by, this only confirms the underwhelming litany of this night, yet… even with all this, and that damn dog barking it’s head off some blocks away, the people walking by yapping loudly on their important calls, the last blasts of the mating calls of leaf-blowers in landscaper hands, somewhere, even in this, this imperfection, my eye is taken, to a small broken branch, barely more than a mere twig, I watch as it swings back and forth like some hypnotic pendulum, am I getting sleepy? no, just the back and forth and the back and forth, breathing in… and breathing out… and I am found, all of time, all of history, have brought me right here, the enemies of my revelation send various types of gas chariots down the street to distract me, but they only make me realize, and crack a wry smile, I found peace in place, the subtle trick, the wave, a fractured stick, sometimes… is all it takes.

notes… I wanted something dissonant… and probably something you never heard, I have eclectic tastes to be sure… but this evening felt like an immersion and birthing all in one…



man person people old
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many years from now, I might imagine sitting on my porch, as an older gentleman, ok, maybe not gentle, but the outside look might call assumptions in the minds of others, younger, an old man, more wrinkles than hair, sitting in a comfortable, not terribly plush, chair, on a summer day, not in the thick of the day, more towards a slow, lazy hazy afternoon, tall glass of lemonade, sweating beads roll down, with a straw poking out – bobbing, an old dog laid out sleeping one eye open by my feet, contemplating life, like a movie review, the good, the bad, the peaks, the valleys, everything in between, the one, or many that got away (and we ain’t talkin’ fish), all the ups and downs survived, at least to get to this point in life, not an accomplishment perhaps, maybe an accident, or just dumb luck, but such is life, this life, and all the show, times like this (I mean the actual present) might seem like a myth, a story told, something someone made up, ‘a country shut down? what?‘, it all seems like a strange dream, the masks, the no masks, the plexi-glass, work from home, no work at all, a mad dash for toilet paper and bottled water, and what most… ?
perhaps that might be the question posed.

apartment architecture buildings business
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I remember 9/11 clearly, I was in Florida then, driving to work when I heard the news, all these years since the one pin that sticks is the phone, the inability to contact anyone, all my family is up here, by up I mean the NY/NJ metro area, and the day was so crazy you didn’t know what was going on, or what was being hit or what could be hit, there was much more than just the towers in the moments of the day, it is easy to look back and focus only on that, but for me, the singular memory, aside from almost feeling like a zombie driver in shock, was the phones, the desperation, the isolation, the lack of information, that was the terror for me, those hours with no contact, no confirmation, no word, no information, knowing I had to know some who were affected directly, but not being able to make the connection, that is my core recollection…

eye of the storm image from outer space
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I remember Sandy, the superstorm, more recent, so the details are quite fresh, the feeling like we dodged a bullet until I heard and saw the transformers popping on the power lines that pass through my neighborhood around 9:30pm, no flooding or damage like that most would associate with, or those that suffered that, just no power, and the next day the temperature dropped off table into the frigid, of all the strange things that went on those weeks the one thing that stands out is the lines, the lines on the parkway for gas, not just cars, miles of cars, people as well with gas cans, lines of people longer than the cars, the constant worry that you might run out of fuel, all the while trying to live life as normal, going to bed early as there was no power, candles, flashlights, and the like are somewhat of a calming influence, no bustle, no TV, no internet, what else is there but sleep and rest at the end of the day, but the lines, always that is what I first remember, waking daily at 3am to drive over to the Hess by the Outer Bridge that would get a delivery nightly, and being thankful to be able to get gas, at all, even waiting hours, then crawl back into bed to get to work by 8:30am and start the whole cycle again, until it is routine…
so maybe many years from now, and this is subject to change, my change, the world changes, you never know, well, you do, change is a guaranty, that much is certain, with the question posed, ‘so what about the pandemic of 2020?’ I’ll probably make some lame crack about hindsight referencing the year, so clever, and obvious, but then, on reflection, maybe without hesitation, something on my daily commute that has always been a clarion, not the obvious, masks and distance and all that, my answer might be on track…
“the empty train station”

Photo by Febi Ariyanto on

and with that, the whole of my experience might come back, I live within ear shot of one NJ’s largest train stations, not that that in itself is some amazing fact, but you get used to things, you wear them for awhile and expect them to maintain the same comfort time and again, because… well, there are no surprises, there is consistency, and that frames complacency and assurance, routine, a signal that I am but a couple of turns from home, passing Metropark, seeing the masses unpack from the tubes, shuffle across the road with the awkward flashing pedestrian light installment, passing all the passengers on that road with no sidewalk, I imagine their jobs in NYC, because, where else would they be commuting to honestly, the cars that come to meet them, causing their own little traffic jams turning a little section of cross streets into grand central, but not lately, and maybe I have come to expect this these days, the trains still come, like clockwork they have not missed a beat, I don’t know the schedule but mine intersects the same, nightly, pretty much the same, but these days, empty trains, not a one, not a two, no stragglers, no strangers, no passengers, no… anyone, just empty trains as if this major hub was now a ghost town, and I suppose it was…
(and so with that, I might sip some lemonade on these aged broken lips)

cultural divide (a short ditty, true story)

cultural divide (a short ditty, true story)

close up portrait of a antelope
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so anyway, if you read me, my blog I mean, I like to people watch from my porch and take in the super local nature at the same time, the other day some deer were born in my backyard and I caught one of the little fellas on video, so there I am sitting out last night, enjoying the lovely weather, letting nature purge the knots of my daily humanity, so on walks by this older Russian couple, I don’t know Russian but I guess I saw enough stereotyped movies in the 80s to recognize Russian, anyway, all of a sudden the wife starts walking up my neighbor’s lawn across the street, this is curious of course, but then I see one of the little baby deer I filmed last week, she was getting in close for a photo with her phone, I thought, so I walked over to see the deer also, I mean, cmon, they are adorable, I don’t care who you are, it is instant Bambi love moment man, sure, when they are older I think “yum, venison steak” but at that age? they are like forest puppies, so, she finally gets within spittin’ distance and the little one bolts, mama appears on the scene and they disappear off into the next block, so from across the street I tell them “I just saw that one born last week”, and without skipping a beat, in a very, almost made up, laid on thick Russian accent she blunts out (now say this out loud in the accent to get the effect)…

“it is baby… it is stupid”

ah, yeah, ruined that moment dead flat but those words just sounded so hilarious to me, the only clever thing I could think to say was “we were all stupid when we were babies”, and we both went our separate ways, so, the takeaway, maybe everyone is not as enamored with baby deer as I am…

Thoughts from the porch (continued series)

Thoughts from the porch (continued series)

autumn autumn colours autumn leaves beautiful
Photo by Pixabay on

From the porch (series)


remnants of the rain remain

seeping out from welcome mats

on the underside of fallen leaves

huddled in patches of patchwork

for what little warmth they might gather

all the colors littered

like a parade route after

after the crowd is gone,

all revelers, peddlers nearing dawn,

one last hurrah before last embrace

a dance, a chance, to perceive the delay

to spin frantic all without a know

well all the while, the signs all point

all sight lost in whirling dervish delights, for now

until we awake into the next morn

branches sparse, the snare of cold breath

a frost

we retreat to our dens and hearths

and wait.

notes… we just had a Nor’easter here so it is almost the last cruel insult to the leaves… they are clinging for dear life knowing they will all be stripped bare dead and here comes this horizontal rain fall and ripping wind to take away their spark, the aftermath is all these leaves, some even green, strewn about like a total mess, so I was commenting on all that and larger themes of the season.

not sure why I am going this way…

Faith No More – Epic

Michael Patton… a fascinating dude…

Hey !  thoughts, comments, arguments, follows, ice cream, and angry harangues are always appreciated !!