damn the heat, sitting here, stewing like potted meat, my legs are pincushions, feeding stations, they look like shot up road signs in rural locations (for those unfamiliar there is a tradition of shooting at signs out in the sticks, hey it can be boring out there), but I want to soak in the last lines of light tonight anyway, knowing (well always hoping) that the next day will come, but I certainly do not want to let this one go, not yet, sticking to shade today did not dissuade the helter swelter, but the recent tropical storm left a mess, nothing major thanks, but still lots of limbs and branches to gather once I cleared the obvious big ones post event, and yet other ones to cull and cut, I’m not a professional landscaper but perhaps I could play one on TV, probably not a good idea for a TV show, not even on DYI network now that I think about it, so there I was melting, as the summer sun can do to you, even by convection baking, taking my time, stopping for breaks, wondering why my water did not get cold enough so I put a bottle in the freezer, sure to forget and find an ice block later, but then, in moments gathered, like a sponge realizing it’s purpose, akin to soaking in, I would stand there in the middle of my driveway, lookup skyward high, and admire the immediate warmth I could focus, staring at the sun directly with my eyes quite closed, but I can still see that heat seeking globe, more orange and red penetrating through my downed garage door eyelids, how good the warmth feels, like getting near a fire just close enough, just far enough, to not be burnt, that satisfying glow, as all your outer layer is exposed and rises, at first from outer and then from the inside, reflection of radiation radiating, pulsing, like a breath exchange, in and out – in and out, like symmetrical twin-couplet waves never crashing just as if a buoy on the eternal ocean rising and falling in perfect calm increments, breathing up and down, the warming sensation on my face until I sense the intensity nearing a red line, or a burn, so I turn and go back about my business, or nonsense, somewhat satisfied, charged, with light, and the warmth that has fueled life itself, I sweat more in the toil in the shade than in that moment, and the energy is drained, quickly, little twinges in my back, here and there, remind me of my age, my limits, I’m not confined to ancient stock, not yet, but perhaps closer to that than the indomitable spirit of childhood or even early manhood, the middle ages were not the best times for man, perhaps this is true for now, for me, who knows, I can only be me, anything else would be delusion, although many might have tried that particular path myself included, but today I am just me, sitting here, worldly duties fulfilled, the silent and not so contract with my neighbors filled (property values are an underlying strong current in this urban sport), my prize, sitting for a moment to glare off at the fire bitten clouds, watch the sun slowly sink down, the week’s end, back to the grind of work in the morning, but I must remain armed, armed with these soft moments, energy spent, sweat, sweat around my neck and down my back, all sorts of the insect world half bent at taking turns at my epidermal spigot, so I let them have at it, maybe I will itch to a bleed later, but for now, I just want to sip in this sun, the fading rays of waning summer days, for they are life, best to charge up now when things are bright, like the land, to be ripe in fall and be prepared to sleep and dream of days, days like this when the sun draws into the night and the cold, the cold is just a tale on days like this.
notes: part of my porch series ya’ silly goose, it varies by times of year of course….
now writing this after the event, I am unclear, was this a dream, a hallucination? something other? of that I am now unsure, but in the moment everything seemed as real as a pinch in a dream might, as best I recall, but this is the next morning after all so I can not be nailed down to the details, however they might seem… the scene: nearly 2am on a summer night, hazy, street lights suspended in the humid air, hanging there like diffused cones, not exactly romantic, I know, I had to venture out to my car to put a couple of things in so I would not forget in the whirlwind of morning when I am surely not at my sharpest, especially before the coffee kicks in, the whole street seems blurred, mired in the dampness and lingering heat, almost like the reception of my eyes was off a bit, I scanned around like I always would, sometimes I spot a fox, or other things that go hump in the night, but tonight, about three houses down, something, surely a four legged thing, as best I could discern a deer, perhaps with antlers, I’m not sure, the form is also hazy like the whole lot of the world right now, I raise my phone up, pop on the flashlight app so cleverly in there, held up like a torch but not as bright, at least not on this night, the damn light is trapped in the infernal mist that is shrouding my sure identification, I swear the thing is looking at me, is it a deer? by itself, this late? I see them all the time, the local pack I mean, I know their work hours… and this ain’t one, my mind races to identify for certain, some fear has snuck back stage, coyotes have been spotted in the area and who knows, at this distance roughly could be the size I suppose, probably I am over thinking, but what throws my mind, the color seems off, for any creature of this earth, aside from a polar bear, which this certainly is not, I approach slowly, with caution, my flashlight phone is really doing nothing to help, and still the ‘deer’ stares right at me locked, surely my stealth is anything but, I hear no sounds, not even my own breathing but the white deer is aware of me anyway, as I am aware of it, just staring, the only two beings of the hour in a standoff, except I am approaching, these are my broken-in shoes, worn down like thrift store blue jeans for sale, walking in velvet, no sound, and I inch forward, I swear the thing has a glow to it, I can not describe it, except it exists in a mist, in it’s own atmosphere, the haze that is an occupying force, this night, I sense it might take flight, so I slowly, surely, lower the phone, activate the camera, get ready for the shot, somehow it knows, it looks forward once, and then back at me as to signal, I press the button, FLASH, hah, I must have captured it, for it is gone from view in the next instant, I hurriedly check my photos, nothing… nothing? this was a long few minutes of pulse to come up without a fish, there was something there! I swear! I check again, and there is a faint outline perhaps, a phantom’s trace maybe, and the more I recollect the white deer, bounced like a light-beam pinball behind the neighbor’s house, so fast, grease lightning, a trick of the mind? a trap of the haze? there were rumors that these parts were a farm long ago, I remember seeing a ghost chicken run under the car as a small child, but that was so long ago as to seem like a made up memory, I begin to wonder, and I look at my phone again, there was something there, an aftermath, a remnant, so what were you? the white deer.
why this popped into my head? I have no idea, the whim of the universe I suppose… but go with me and maybe you will reveal something to yourself as I did, so… take your hands, turn them inwards, so your palms and wrists are facing towards your face, connect your pinky tips together and then bring your hands together in the middle seam (top to bottom) like they are sewn together, all the while keeping your palms up in your line of sight… and look, examine, the lines, all those inexplicable lines come together in some sort of crazy jigsaw map of YOU, not a perfect mirror but certainly remnants of that one cell that divided to become two… is the natural state of our hands? a basin, a cup, a vessel, to remind us of the vessel from which we were brought from, I suppose I have noticed this before but for some reason missed the wonder, putting my hands side by side so the lines collide and become one – running outward to the coasts of the palms, a pause of earnest humble, …supplication… when two become one for the greater outcome or goal, this is not prayer with palms together, no, this is asking to receive, a willing flag of good surrender of one’s self to believe, to place faith in a higher fate, and for some reason, this pose, this slight of hands, makes me think of a fetus in the womb, our purest existence untainted and not stained by the outer world as yet, the womb may be the palms themselves cradling life, sheltering in a shell this ultimate gift, the most sacred Matryoska doll inside, do we actually realize we spent nearly a year inside someone else? such a strange and foreign thought that we were very much alive but not breathing as we have done every day since, a semi-aquatic being in world of such all encompassing warmth and yet all darkness but not the darkness of fear, but not absence of light – the light of life inside, an egg in a shell floating within an amazing protective harness, an incubation of our coming self forward, from a couple of cells to this moment, all those years ago and I have no memory – as if, as if I was meant to forget the start of the journey, perhaps like a lotus flower, I was meant to bloom, but archaeological human remnants remain, in this… a basin of hands… so I say thanks in my inner way and stare at my hands once again… with great wonder, I could never have built this alone.
to death, so thee I wed the inevitable my betrothed
notes: haiku feel, at least that was my feel on it, one of those that ‘wrote itself’ as I say, well, because it did, the universe was in charge, I was just driving to work this morning, contemplating another useless day earning a buck so I could fund better ones, listening to some tunes, but since traffic has been light(er) I can not jot down my thoughts, so I kept reciting this like a mantra until I got to the office and could write this down, so maybe it resonates more with me, if so, that’s cool, but I leave it up to you…
tonight, out walking the dogs, I looked up, and discovered – the sky was a dream, maybe a combination even, all the right mix to sweep me off to paradise duty free, the heat of the day has sighed and gone off to sleep, the oppressive mass of humidity has retreated to some other port, I thought to myself “I wish I had all the money in the world to see this all the time”, the irony, here I was, viewing for free, noticing the same thing, not a perfectly clear sky, no, not a glowing soft moon, no, just enough stars for constellation fishing, a large swath of perfectly white clouds thrown across like cotton candy as a wind sock, with caves and nooks, all little pockets and playgrounds for the gods, a blue sky, yes, a blue sky at night, not the stunning azure of day mind you, more towards dark but still blue indeed, what I imagine the middle of the ocean looks like when no one is looking (but I suppose I will never know), the dogs seem oblivious, but they have access to a whole olfactory world I do not, my nose is free enough of allergies tonight to enjoy the subtle pine notes of the evergreens, a hint of treated water smell as my neighbor’s sprinklers go off and some wayward spray is blown my way, how can even a perfect picture encompass all this? the sights, the sounds, the smells, the experience, at least perhaps the photo can be a reminder, of these little slices, the devices left for us to discover, all laid out before us, to simply look… skyward and be thankful we are here.
I just came in from outside, I did not notice a straggler, a stowaway of sorts, a hanger on, a single sad maple leaf, wrinkled and dead dried, probably dragged in on my shoe or shooed in by a weak wind, I picked it up and threw it away as insignificant, and then, it hit me, someday, someone will read my obituary and do the same thing… with me.
notes… morbid ? perhaps. true? probably. The eventuality, the realization, it is all there, an underlying theme I try to ignore because I have no control over it… but it does not erase that it is there… do I look away? do I pay attention? do I subscribe to a belief? … all of these… all of these…
I woke up drowning caught in the undertow so normal now the flow and I am lost to the surface to the sun I wonder under without struggle further, further down from the sun surrounded by depths a siren of fathoms the light stretched hand spires in flight can not even guide these hands, lost hands no grip, no will, slides down a hole why was I asleep at all I would rather never have known
notes… I have said it before, but it bears repeating, I had some serious asthma attack when I was in my teens, I am talking turning blue and barely making it, being pumped full of adrenaline so hard that I walked around my house for 96 hours straight without sleep, no complaint, that is barely hardship compared to some but damn it made an impression, breath, we take it for granted, even me, but I have been on the other side of it, and I expect it to kill me honestly, I think we all romanticize our own death, slipping away in our sleep while whispering to our loved ones, it is rarely like that, I waver now and again, sometimes I want to be the wolf in the face of it, knowing what is happening and fighting to the end, I used to want to die in my sleep and not know… but reality is… I will have no choice how it goes.
so here I am, rock you like a hurricane, here I am… sorry, 80’s flashback there, so, here I am, sitting outside, waiting for the reported storm to come, the wind has been kicking up for a few hours but is oddly quiet now, cliche, I know, the calm before the storm and all, but what can I say? it applies in this case, the sky has darkened but not to doomsday levels of bleak black, just darker than it should be at this 7pm hour, the kind of dark you experience like a curtain slowly dropping a storm in, a dimming of the lights of sorts, and then begins, the sound, the subtle pitter-patter pacing, the approaching, hearing the footsteps, slowly creeping closer, then building volume while shortening the distance, leaves being gently prodded then a few moments later pelted with droplet heavy hammers, ever closer, waiting for the invisible dam to explode wide open, and the then, a pause, the thought hit me, the actual ‘idea’ of rain and what it is, I understand all the variables as I was taught them at a young age, and the actual science of same, water vapor and the cycle of water through the atmosphere, and I feel robbed, in a way, by the knowledge, the wonder is lost, the sheer amazement of this amazing thing is lost, I imagine, or try to feel the naivety of my ancestral form, looking up into the sky and wondering where this water is coming from, surely clouds, surely one would make that connection with no scientific anchor around, but beyond that, imagine water just appearing from the sky, the sheer amazement, the sheer why, the sheer wonder, how can this water be? maybe I am a romantic when my mind comes to nature, or just a dreamer that prefers to think of the sky as wonder, to dance in the idea that the sun is carried across the heavens in a chariot, the moon a nearby companion, the stars a map of constellation figures… and the rain now beats harder, to the drum to move my bum back indoors, and maybe listen to the drops beating against the window, and perhaps… to dream a little more.
a needle’s guide, finding the eddies in everyday life, break down to now, trimming to shape one of my bamboo bushes (bamboo comes in many forms not just the tall stuff you see those ultra cute Pandas chomping on), anyway, seems so mundane, doesn’t it? but (you know a big ‘but’ was coming sirmixalot), BUT this leads to that space, a sort of zen space, my version of bonsai time I suppose… some describe time as a river, always moving (assuming no dry season, I will have to parse that one out with Einstein on the other side I suppose), there I times when I have imagined, if there is a bank, if I could swim on over, grab a branch, some downed tree, and crawl up on the shore, even if for a moment or more, to be outside of time as it were, or was, or is, or… well, you get the drift (pun intended), finding the eddy, putting your finger in, being aware you are within the counter to the norm, the space where time seems to stand at attention, or still, if you will, now certainly I am no fool (contrary to reports you may have heard, perhaps she was right in some regard, regardless), time does not truly stand still (ever), anyway, finding those activities, hobbies, proclivities, situations, permutations, active participation in the moments where time finds a way to slip your mind, to fall away from any perception of the moment in hand, or on hand, or in your hands, like a flame dancing in your grasp without burning you, because you are the owner of this momentary reality outside normal parameters, thinking outside the box that there is no more box, for you see, there are times we are virtually occupying these spaces, usually without realization, so… trimming my bamboo, slowly pulls me into an eddy of calm, I am not even dawned upon that I am gone, the world is still moving about, surely, but I am lost in a sea of my own tranquility, unknowingly, and when I realize, then, of course, the moment is gone, where did the time go? sped up? “impossible” we’re told, why? that is the best we understand at this rest area of the human mind, but surely, and of this I am sure, the road goes on, the river does not cease, but every rare once in a while, the cosmos, god, the essence of life provides, a door, an escape hatch, a slide into temporary reprieve from the ponderous heft of time, so be sure to notice and thread the needle through the loophole’s eye, and look, and breath in the free space that was created just for you…