thoughts… from the porch.

thoughts… from the porch.

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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.

mundane… … …

mundane… … …

Photo by Brooke Lewis on Pexels.com

new year drive

up that same stretch
the same pavement
different constructions signs perhaps
the same general perception
some time has passed
enough to grow a beard, maybe
slightly longer than that
there is a different feel
yet the birds still sway
back and forth over the meadowlands
over the roadway
like giant hollow swings
billboards, toll booths
wet with new year rain
the same
the same as last year’s rain
as far as I can tell –
I await for a thread of sunshine

notes: this is a feel thing, this was my first day back at the office in a month, since I had covid and since my father passed, you almost expect the world to be different, you feel different, you look at things differently, but everything else, feels the same or acts that way, so I wanted this work to be… mundane…

lost.love.letters. (music trigger)

lost.love.letters. (music trigger)

Photo by Evgenia Basyrova on Pexels.com

in the background “I wish you were here” is playing, somewhat muted from the other room, but such an easy sentiment, so true, and I do, looking out the sliding glass window door at a fall, well, the fall has happened, just the outlines, the bare bones of trees now, with giant lollipop tufts of leaves that the squirrels have devised and deployed as housing, not much camouflage now, not needed I guess, my the little buggers have grown quite fat, nearly falling off the limbs like overmatched wallendas, not the daring darters and dashers of just a few months past, a hawk is circling high above, but they pay no mind, I half expect to see a scene out of one of those wildlife documentaries, but nothing happens, just a feeling of stillness as I watch the outside world move about, a stiff breeze bends my bamboo halfway down, puddles have gathered where they decided to form a crowd, standing alone in the house, the colors are not dreary, just certainly not bright, every shade of brown imaginable, and wet bark, tends to be blackish, every once in a while there is a flash of bright color, a cardinal, or a bluejay will swoop in and steal my eye, but mostly the monotony of brown, I hear no sounds of the outside, just the song, and my mind…

“How I wish, how I wish you were here
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl year after year
Running over the same old ground, what have we found?
The same old fears, wish you were here”

I feel time flowing around me, like a standing ‘henge rock in a river, for at least a respite, before I am swept with the rest of it, I’m not sad, no, more of just empty, or deprived of what I once had, no blame, no anger, none of that matters now, never did but stole those moments anyway back then, those days, not today, for I am in the here now, regardless of good fate or bad, there is no turning back, just this pause, as I try to lose myself in the minutia of squirrels in their world, in my backyard, mine, at least for a time, a lifetime just a stitch in this quilt, if that much, deep breath the experience in, fading into my own pale reflection in the glass now, staring, at myself, no, through myself, no doubt, I am the sum of what stands here, maybe I won the argument, maybe I stood by principle, maybe I was right, maybe I was wrong, that has all washed away now, inside these bones the truth takes hold.

“So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell? Blue skies from pain?
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell?
Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change? Did you exchange
A walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?”

-fin, fade to gray

notes… the quotes are obviously from the Pink Floyd tune above… do I need to even say that? perhaps…. I don’t want to be accused of stealing things, those words are surely not mine, part of my post, and the inspiration, that they are.

thoughts from the porch…

thoughts from the porch…

wayfarer sunglasses on sand tilt shift lens photography
Photo by Fabio Partenheimer on Pexels.com

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….

the white deer.

the white deer.

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.

a basin of hands

a basin of hands

Outstretched cupped hands of woman on white background
Outstretched cupped hands of woman on white background

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.

‘the idea of color’ (observational pause)

‘the idea of color’ (observational pause)

optical glass triangular prism
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given the prospect of being blind or deaf, I would not choose either, I can not imagine the world as other, I suspect it would be ‘better’ to be born that way then to know of the fruit and then be denied it’s sweet taste, how often do we ponder the good graces of the basics, sight, and more specifically color, something we all take for granted (not wagging a finger, myself charged guilty aside from moments of clarity such as this), just the idea of color is an amazing thing when you stop to wonder on it for a moment, and the mere spectrum we see is just a hint, a shadow really, of all the color actually out there, I suppose we do not tend to think of X-ray, infrared, ultraviolet and microwaves as ‘colors’ but they are in wave form just the same as ROYGBIV, but they are not recognized by our eyes by design, who knows what the future may bring if we leave this earthly thing, or become more bionic than human… maybe someone will be painting in microwave one day (and heating din din at the same time)…
holding a prism and breaking light into a rainbow swath of ingredients, a hidden cascade locked in every light, except when the rain and sun meet, we marvel at those natural rainbows but what is color? visible light, if you look at a strawberry, it is not actually red, the surface of the berry is merely reflecting red light, absorbing the rest, that is what your eyes cast and catch, so therefore “strawberries are red” even when they are not, color is simply an interpretation of what an object is sending back to your optical receptors, but these calculations, happenings, actualities, we process millions in a daily breeze with no effort, just the sheer idea of color shows the sheer wonder of our creation and ability to sample the world provided around us, truly amazing, a palate built for our exact imaginations…

thoughts hit you sometimes…

thoughts hit you sometimes…

brown leaf
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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.

notesmorbid ? 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…

‘birds in pools’ (a quick moment phrases)

‘birds in pools’ (a quick moment phrases)

close up photo of gray bird
Photo by Monique Laats on Pexels.com

birds in pools, well to them perhaps, backtrack, why do I find midnight rain so soothing, just the sheer sound shrouded by the darkness, better than no sound and just the dark I suppose, the intermittent rumble of distant thunder, how distant, I could count the seconds and do the calculation but I would rather drift off into autopilot, and so the night goes, window open, the constant humming of rain, ebbing and flowing in volume and strength, the occasional flash, and so I am carried off by sleep arriving @ the sunrise, to my morning eyes, this has the blueprint guise of spring, the stolen spring, the spring that seemingly never was, maybe just a late arrival, fashionably late, nature does not take to my time table even though she is old reliable, for at least this little slice of time, my life that occupies the now, and having been groomed to know the expectations of four seasons in episodes, this morning, birds in pools, or puddles really, frolicking with the release of abundant energy not seen for awhile, what seemed abandoned is bloomed, or maybe I am projecting on them, or trying to capture what they have and transfer same to me, that first burst, the first trip to the shore, the burning hot sand on soles, that first burst into the surf, the enveloping rush of cold early summer ocean waters, head first, a semi cannon ball of sorts, the rest of the reality world just slides away, a momentary lapse of all concern as flesh is baptized by the simplest of actions, splashing, soaking up the sun without burning, dancing, spinning, splashing, maybe that is why I adore the midnight rain, the sensation, the shower, that moment of washed over sensation, so many memories…

thoughts from the porch… (an unfolding day)

thoughts from the porch… (an unfolding day)

sunset beach los angeles venice
Photo by Juan Salamanca on Pexels.com

contemplation.
sitting here, watching the last of the day drain out down into the horizon, everything becoming silhouette and shadow until all will be shadow soon save for the false lights, how all this now seems like three days, not just one which I ‘know’ it is, is this apprehension (fear ratchets), tension, anticipation, regularity creeping back in?
rewind.
I suppose this could have been a day I dialed up, weather wise, weather I would order a la carte of I could, a prescription filled if you would, this morning there was rain, the kind of rain I seek out on youtube for nightly comfort, heavy rain but not threatening, a gentle downpour if there ever was, and this was, no threat of wind whisking water into your window sill, so I open it further wide and tall, to invite in as much as the sound as possible, as good as my sound system is, there is no substitute for pure nature, you get used to the recorded sounds but somehow they are not the cradle in the arms that this is, I just want to curl up like cooked bacon wrapped in the blankets and imagine I am surrounded on all sides by the rain, the symphonic barrage, just hard enough collect in pools on the sidewalk quickly but not buckets bearing down on tin roofs like weighted bullets, no human sounds, no leaf blowers or lawn mowers, just this rain, this is the spring rain, you can almost hear the ground as a mouth soaking, slurping it all in, the thirsty roots, the shoots, the seeds, the spring, feeding on the energy from the clouds, nurturing, I could sleep and dream forever in these fields and this scene, the morning stretches out and feels like half a day, maybe, either way the rejuvenation is the same, and then my phone rang….

person holding white ceramic mug beside macbook pro
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ah yes, still working, I grab a cup of coffee from my little magic pod thing, starbucks hazelnut (it was three dollars off at the store the other day man, who am I to complain), a thomas’ english muffin, toasted with faux butter (I do like it, I have to admit), I log on to my old desk PC (whom I haven’t seen in weeks or is it month’s now?), so I am at work (magically), not a bad commute these days, well, none actually, I can’t even recall the last time I filled up my car with gas, strange…

close up photo of a bed of white flowers
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

forward.
the rain petered out, as did the calls on my call board, and amazingly enough the sun is out, I almost do not recognize the sun these days (who are you?), apparently this was the first april in many a moon where the temperature did not crest 70 even once (in these parts), so maybe all the dreary feeling and dark air was not my imagination after all this impossible month, doldrums, doldrums man, definite doldrums have been beating on me internally but how quickly things spin and come round in an instant, the sun dancing and sparkling in the little pools, reflections bouncing, the fresh green of spring that much brighter, transformation, the birds employ to serenade this new beginning, a celebration, the uplift of souls on a wing, a song, just walking along my lawn soaking in as much as I can, turning my skin into a receptor of the energy of light, of life, wanting to spin like a top and never stop…

woman in green and white stripe shirt covering her face with white mask
Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

present. grind.
and the phone rang, am I repeating myself? or am I watching someone else? no, the call is for me, which makes sense being it rang on my phone, after all, my manager, well, one of them, one of the higher up muckity mucks, above me, at least, my services are needed at the office in the AM, is this how this weird fairy tale will end? I almost have forgotten the daily slog and grind of the past fifteen years, this seems like a foreign request, or even a flirt with death, or… I’m just not sure exactly what I am feeling, as I usually do I say ‘yes’, I rarely go against the flow at work unless I really have to, is that the best thing? probably not, but sometimes we are who we are regardless of who we would like to be wired like, so, pining away all this time to ‘get back to normal’, I have no idea what that is anymore, different pieces have been added to the puzzle the past few months, the recipe for normal is completely off, I am starting with fresh steps.
current. tonight.
so, sitting, trying to listen to the birds, somehow the human sounds have been creeping back in, my neighbor’s cars, his garage up and down, the slow hum of a freight train taking it’s damn time grind, traffic traveling on the main road in town just over a treeline in the bend of my street, car’s racing engines somewhere close, in the neighborhood I think, as night draws in, so I near the entrance to another chapter, at once – I used to think I was writing this tale, this book, but now? I feel just like a character waiting for the author to finish my story arc. and so, tomorrow I may find out…

notes… thanks for all eyeballs and likes and the like if you like, also, if you dig this post this is part of my ongoing Porch Project, a blog ? a diary? eh… sort of, it is what it is, so if you like this check out the whole darn thing (I try to keep it up to date you know)