and I looked up, so there it was, literally, a window, is this me? fate? you? a blank slate? it just seemed… to all fall into place, and my hand moved, or did it move me? to watch this natural TV, this parade of, well, what is, no fake production could produce this so perfectly, or CGI could mimic this to a tee, no… just me, here, allowed to be in audience, lucky enough to capture this…
The setup… so I was driving over the Verrazano bridge the day after Hurricane Ida came rumbling through, it was a glorious day weather wise (some wind), personally, eh, not so much, not bad but tiring, so this was all stuff that floated through my head as I drove over the bridge, it is an awesome sight, especially on a clear day like this, you tend to forget the fact that the water is not exactly, um… clean, especially from that vantage point, so it was more like being a bird flying over the span from Brooklyn to Staten Island (the narrows as it is called), the phrase “breakers on the narrows” is the trigger and what popped into my head, after I wrote the 1st draft I thought I missed the point by trying to make a point rather than make a picture (or share the sensation/feeling/moment)… so I included both drafts here, I don’t fret over my work, I don’t strive for perfection, I just wish to be me, as much as I can be (no one is pure imo… we all filter @ some level so I am not going to preach about how honest I am, I’m not 100% without filter… is that the goal? you bet… but I ain’t there yet…)
breakers on the narrows
as I am passing over
might I look over
and from here, this is almost mystical
this structure, seemingly bifrost made real
this gleaming span, many thousands roam, daily
and I, one of those
turned into spectator by spectacle
as ida has departed, the sky opens wide blue
a boat’s wake, turns
rows of wind swept, rakes
breakers on the narrows peak
frozen in motion like marching saints
as I speed by this scene
hundreds of feet up above
in the comfort of my driving machine
wanting to dive right in
I imagine I can hear the sounds above the din
seagulls, waves breaking onto themselves and the shore-
a horn breaks the trance
I am transported back to this land
the common asphalt, ezpass flash
breakers on the narrows,
tailwinds whip up clone-peaks
angled on-towards the beach
I can not hear the roar
but do imagine
as I pass above them
such a scene from afar
a sky wide open blue
and the cleansing sensation
as this flying by calms-
breakers on the narrows.
the song has no link to the post other than allison was a tropical storm that ravaged texas a decade or so ago… sometimes rain is the worst part… as was the case with Ida, except super south jersey which got tornadoes (mullica river area, I love tooling around down there when I get the chance, it is like a different state)
There is something romantic about an approaching summer-esque storm, ok, maybe romantic is not the right word, maybe a marriage, a marriage of awe, anticipation and relief, relief in breaking the yoke of humidity descended down upon my neck, a little yard work after work has me dripping condensation down the sides like a cold bottle of water sitting in a hot car, even at this late hour – near sunset, I think, but I can not know from the cloud cover pulled over my sight eyes, a photo flash of distant lightning, a gentle rumble-roll dash of far off thunder, and I wait, will this be a furious tempest pitching a fit or a methodic super-soaker waterfall event, or maybe the red-headed unpredictable step child of both, who knows, as many of these as I have seen this world has seen far more, but she is not taking questions from the press pool at the moment, the battle seems on between good and evil, darkness and light, day and night, cats and dogs, all this painted with portions of perfection upon the sky, or is this just simply symbiosis in plain disguise, the give and take of the land, for I can almost hear the mutters of exhaustion from the plants holding steady tall (but suppressing inner rumors of the will to wilt under the weight of a soaked heavy-hot blanket of a ninety degree day), or maybe that is me projecting, cells vibrating, pacing in circles inside my skin, just as anxious to feel nature’s faucet turned on to unleash a sweet-cool torrent pour, how utterly amazing the whole process really is, sometimes travelling on this bullet train we don’t stop at the familiar stops anymore to admire the old sights, take the time to take a natural inventory of what we know and the startling nature of well, everything, everything we are granted is often taken for granted, all the dressing: electricity, carpeting, TV, internet, down to our very breath, a ladder rungs so high we climb until the ground becomes a tale we were once told, the sky lurks darker, moves closer, a slight cool breeze walks over, introduces itself and has a seat next to me, I guess to also enjoy the festivities and fireworks just as me, and I might thought to have this moment alone, not so, there is so much around, we just do not speak the same tongue (but perhaps share the same thoughts and experience in moments like this), from mole to mammal to avian residents, we will all feel the initial droplets bombarding fall, and huddle in our homes, wherever they are until all is done, some masters of the planet we are, the breeze is a bit restless now as his friends from out of town are arriving, a constant shuffle now of leaves tremble-shaking, and like a slow-motion scripted movie scene thhttps://youtu.be/liwZrALrwBMat first drop smacks me dead center in my brow (could be because I was looking straight up), the ground flexes and sighs as the pores of the landscape gape open to accept the gilded prize, and as the pace quickens, the wind thickens, too many drops to get an accurate count now, this is refreshing though… so I linger, for a few seconds, and now I am fetching to duck inside, after all, I don’t want to get soaked…
notes… for those in the know (thanks), for those not, this is total stream of consciousness from my, um, porch silly ! real life, real prose, no pose… just me, and if you get me… awesome, if not, well.. somehow I will get over it and wish you well anyway…
(a spur of the moment / freeform post)
snow, -the weight, snow had broken the back of a tree, an old pine, not tall, but stout, the kind you could make a teapot song about, covered the view to the boring side of the neighbor’s house, taken for granted until now, now split in two from the sheer weight of snow more than a few weeks ago, so, even though the hour is late for such things, evening, the air is crisp, borderline cold, but just enough, enough to be a refreshing refreshment rather than an impediment to work, no breeze tonight, no breeze to chill the hairs on my arms to stand at arms, just the sharp clean air as an infusion and invitation to engage the evening, and then the pine, pine has such a distinct smell, how could I forget, as I clipped off the branches outward in, with large hand clippers, with almost bonsai-like detail, such a divine smell, one of those things a memory never forgets, a transportation to the first time in a forest, or touching the sap on cones thrown like footballs as a child, or cones laced with peanut butter and nuts strung up for a squirrels delight, pine, one of the only green statues to stand up to winter, even now as the season is changing, forsythia has shone golden light on the dulled lands, ramps have burst through like tufts of rebellious hair forts, here and there, daffodils round out the crew, even here, at night, trimming the branches down of this broken pine, soon will come the giving rains, and the explosion of life, the glory of spring, but now this sits a time, somewhere between dawn and full sunrise, ah, the smell of pine, as I trim and opine...
(for the uninitiated, this is freeform where I sit on my porch and let the thoughts flow… sometimes they even do)
sitting outside and being able to unpack the day has been far and few between, aside from life, and winter, and all those things, so tonight, at least a window cracked open for some time to unwind, the day struck 80, so I’m told, I can not say it felt that warm, but a welcome departure from the lately norm, but tonight? not as nice, in fact there is a gale warning, so I’m told, but I happen to enjoy listening to the stories of the wind, especially a busy one, and one not carrying rain, more like performance art really, wind does not make noise it simply rushes over the strings provided, slides over the reeds, bends to creeks, reverbs in the hollows, even here, staring at typical suburbia, my neighbor has company, they all drive hondas, but the not so subtle voice of the wind is able to bring me somewhere else even if I remain right here in place, the pine tree is making an odd clicking sound, almost like tic tacs falling on a tile floor one by two, lights dance, well, at least what blocks them is swaying like peekabo with a shake, the wind brings me a reprieve, empty branches reach out like the skeletons of ancient horned beasts, lined up the trunks like sentinels in formation, at least for the time being, nests of antlers, barren like bone, I enjoy the build up of a strong gust, I can hear it coming like a big ocean wave roaring, hard to gauge the direction until you are inundated in the bluster-under, and then gone, I wonder if this land, this home, will retain some memory of me, some piece, some energy, nearly my whole life have I haunted this space, I think of being buried here, or maybe my ashes can be spread here, so I may remain, here, in this comfortable familiar earth, my little patch, shared through the ages for sure, mine for now as long as I endure, and I feel peaceful as the wind has washed the toil from my daily brow, even if – only for now.
hello my old friend, been awhile since we spent some time…
the relentless tide of cold has relented, and the world seems to be stirring from her slumber, some number of months now since I sat here, for this simple pleasure, inhaling and sampling the entirety of my immediate native surroundings, to sit and unpack my thoughts, a bird burst from a box, here I am again, alone, outside, starry night, full moon bright stained with a wisp of haze, a furrowed cloud line struck at a twenty degree angle beneath the face from right to left, as if to add an underline to the moon itself, “what a silly thing to do” I quip to myself, in a voice only I have ever heard, yes though, sound has slowly found a way back in to this since empty hall, as the blanket of snow retreats, lawns revealed peeking groggy gates, “ten more minutes mom”, “well, you have ’til march” (which is coming soon, certainly the next number to come up at the deli counter for order), what a strange year this has been, could I have prophesied such an entangled ride? no, for surely not, but here we are, on the promising precipice of another spring, as my family still mourns the king, and there is no natural ascension to the throne known, no writ of delegation, time will take care of that coronation, I suppose, so I wait, I have learned to have more patience these days but time still seems to roll over at break-neck pace, I can feel the itch and twitch of the hand moving, listening closely I can hear the gears turning in ever-forward motion, there is no pause, no rest, save that- one, there is no pause, just little valleys like these moments, like these when I sit among the trees pretending to be, waiting for them to bloom again, to show me the way, as ever seasons to better days – ahead. and this brings the calms of psalms, to the house of my residing soul.
(a stream of consciousness post)
I felt an uncomfortable sensation, like I was some where I did not belong, sure, the air is still and calm, and the sounds I hear are more like a glacier’s song, but here?? on a standard street in new jersey suburbia, I was awaiting the proverbial jumping cat to normalize the scene with banality, no luck there, sudden subtle whooshing water sounds, creaks and cracks, little pops, especially when the wind played cover for the under, fog, on a cold winter night? I can taste the moisture on my tongue somewhat, something is thawing, something is coming, that slight frozen fog suspended in air… or my eyes, I am not sure if I am in the dream state between or this is some parallel I have stepped into between worlds, I look to my neighbor’s house, all the lights are out, except those landscape domes buried in half a foot of snow, a semi circle, almost like a buried ufo, or proof of roswell is buried there, prints, prints across the white ‘scape, evidence, a trace, things have been skulking about but the melt makes a succinct inspection impossible, a cat, a dog, a fox, who knows, a person lost in the storm, probably not on that score, but these are written stories on the temporary ice canvas laid out, soon to become a book and flow into a stream, into the ocean, and off into the vast consciousness of the world continued and forgotten, all twined together like our daily lives, just these frozen at this one time, inextricably linked by binds of time and circumstance, and I can not decipher them before this alexandria burns into the ground, such is the way of the world, but I do not have to like it, and again, I hear more strange sounds, the closer I walk towards the more silence raises up to block my ears, the wind, a loki, shakes the tree above me raining down perfect droplet bombs of sub chill local tree rain, not from a cloud, at least not now, they hit me to distract from the creeping doom I imagine is out there… or I know is out there, but not tonight, not here, I return to the warmth of my hearth and home, to the domain of my screen, and these words, a survivor as long as fate may grant me, able to write my words at night so faintly, I hope my echo can carry in this chasm and catch the wind on the other side.
notes… as usual, all thoughts and comments are appreciated. good, bad, indifferent, did you read this? I wonder. did you experience?
and for all my bluster, and flowery language, inevitably the world reverses course, something about a bloom on a rose I suppose or colored glasses in the same pose, for today the world turned (as it always does), I guess I would call it a ‘heavy rain’, for it is, with weight, there is probably some technical term but I am certainly not a meteorologist, at least not in this life mix, the once lovely pure-‘gelic snow of a day or so ago is now reduced to sludge, and choppy dirty flotillas of mini-icebergs worthy of a titanic miniature collision, stark white has turned dull grey in best case, and worst case near chimney-innards-soot black, stained by the dirt of roads and travelers by of all ilk spilt upon the canvas, once gingerbread perfection has now fled, from roofs – swiped swaths of vanilla icing missing, stolen by wayward fingers of solar and wind, a receded white hairline revealing flaws and spent youth or the truth of time reality, the shelf life of pristine is a delicate phrase, and the rain, local buckets of spots, the kind of rain that always winds up with a huge lumbering drop in your eye socket as you walk out the door, because, because it just does, or a big slap of wet right on your bangs that bend and drips that branch forward down your face before you manage the escape scramble to the car, then the inaccurate art of getting the wipers at the right speed to match the pace of rain, they never are, so you settle some where in-between, such is life, the dance of compromise rather than the exact right, which makes perfection or sheer beauty that much more of a delight, since the visual has left the dream maybe my ears are more attuned, not the sweet soft calming silence mid storm swoon, now I hear every little thing, every drop, as I park to embark to my office confines, I hear the world siphon into the sewer drain, drain, I should not let the drab drain me of drive, for I am alive, just muddled in the middle of snow becoming dishwater soup in a cafe serving up grey, there will be better days, for there always are, and if not, memory serves, serves them up warm… if I just close my eyes, think on the sun, two dollar neon pail and tiny shovel in hand, molding castles to serve this little lord of the sand land, waves gently lapping at a moat’s door, far away from this, and I can feel the sun, I know I can feel the sun.
notes… as I go so mind my goes, dig it… dig it…
notes… Franklin Lakes, NJ, about a 15 minute jaunt from the office in Hackensack. Even in the super bitter cold there is merit in being out in nature. or I am nuts… ah, take your pick…
I wish I might be, a simple painted turtle, sitting on a rock, in a glacial lake, the telegraphed waves just under my eyes, on occasion breaking their horizon causing an instinctual slow graceful wink motion like window shades rising, stoic, as the sun, as the stars, as the moon, pass on by above in an arc, not aware of time, as this procession prances on above, not aware of, the course of, meteor showers, comets, planets, or actual counted hours, just a personal picked patch of rock, jutting just slightly above the water, a vantage point, a peak, an observation deck, in the one perfect spot, I have found for now, by luck or circumstance or guile, to stretch my neck out just so, above the subtle tide, taking in air as needed, never more, never less, balanced breathing, watching the lights grow and stretch out over time, to the heavens and down into the water beneath in depth, reflections, stoic, timeless, a simple painted turtle, on my rock, witness, beneath the heavens, the earth tethered below in water, without a judgement in sight, I wish I might be at such peace, for a time. (exhale)