april fool’s day should be my birthday for I may wish to restrict being only a fool for one day not the whole year.
notes… I started this little project a few years ago on April Fools Day.. that was not an accident, for I have been a fool, and still am, no matter how far ahead I get I know I am handled by my own limitations, trying to breach them is my mission, I fail, I stumble, but I move on anyway, head held high with foolish pride, because… well, I’m human you know. And the poem… this is meant as an exercise in diction/pace, sometimes they just come to me that way.. so here it is in simple terms… enjoy… and thanks to all who have ever taken a pause here to view my work.
the sky unfolded above me out toward the horizon ‘I have had dreams like this’ -thought crossed; unfurled cotton waves extended into the burnt orange just an ordinary man in an ordinary lot the world transformed into living art
notes… even on a rough day, I felt ground down to a stump, back was barking a bit, I was no where special, no where besides this miracle marble, more locally New Jersey south, in an asphalt parking lot, outside a supermarket in a semi-beach town in winter, something inside me said “pause”, the cosmos? god? an ancient ancestor giving a nod? maybe all those… for like our ancient past, I looked to the sky… and was amazed (that photo is what I saw above the usual fray I was mired in)… so, like I always say, take a pause, take it in, you might be dazzled every now and again when the norm is hanging over your head…
a cup of tea, for one just the thought of an actual formal tea set brings pause, brings calm but I have never met, such an instance just on the tele, as they say the tea-totalers, that is our neighbors once lords and ladies; and why do I not think of japan a barrier of language, perhaps
I was thinking the day was dreary but I looked up and there is sun the mix of peppermint and honey on my tongue is like a sauna, the sun draws out the steam fills in, I can imagine the release of water evaporating on the rocks the audible nature of transformation
I am glad tea is not instant or at least not mine directions, steep for awhile time to contemplate a pause, a calm
notes… am I drinking more tea these days? well, yes, yes I am, maybe it is a ritual that will keep my head on straight in these crazy days, I have tried talismans of various sorts but right now tea seems to be the brakes I need on speeding forward…
(note to any new readers: this particular series is all stream of consciousness that I write off the cuff in one take, so take it as thus)
‘raking’ sometimes the old way of doing something is therapeutic, or am I being the old man where balls disappear because the kids are afraid to go near his yard, is that even a thing anymore? kids can explore whole alien worlds without leaving their room, has the simple joy of a bat and a ball been lost or diminished? not a moral judgement, it is a silly thing to try and drag the past into the now, things change, some for better, some for worse, some for we have no clue, but raking- something so ancient, well, as old as we are on this truly aged world that is, there is something about raking leaves, the rustle, the sweetly slight decay scent in the air from the bottom layers as you peel them away, thrush- thrush- thrush-, like a rolling airy-loose wave into a pile they flush as you go, the subtle vibration of the rake in your hands as it scrapes the scape, in this case, the old thin style, only good for raking things lightly, the head of the thing has seen better days, held in place by crooked bent nails, but this base technology still works fine, a stick with some tines, and there is satisfaction in the chore, there is just enough chill in the air to block any sweat from forming, there is just enough sun to warrant short sleeves and feel the waning warmth on your skin for at least one more day, a leaf blower is just not as satisfying (even if gratifying and practical), plus, they are loud whining machines of arcing crescendos, even the electric ones, maybe it is because I am raking on a sunday, the off day, I want to hear and feel the very pulse of fall not some infernal machine… rake… let the memories seep in, huge piles of leaves to dive in and feel the crinkle… thrush- thrush- thrush-, the satisfaction of building up a huge bunch, gazing up @ the trees to estimate the next delivery, fall is generally very quiet, except the squirrels, they are too easy to track racing through the downed leaves, most birds have gone south already, so here I am, just table setting for the coming winter, cleaning up the lost purveyors of shade, for their job is done now, I’m sure parts of me will ache tomorrow, but in a good way, in a good fashion, doing things the old way, connection to the simple, to the past, and there is satisfaction there, in something like this, raking.
walking the dog up the street tonight, sure, colder than I might like (she could care less, tallying tail wags as yes votes that is), the leaves make the landscape strange and interesting, the ground is all shades and shapes, mostly maple outlines (what is this, canada, eh?), lawn and sidewalk are alike, just one canvas laid out, soon this will just be leaf litter, but now? a world of cut out paper stars that have fallen to the ground, the dog’s paws create audible pitter patter on them due to the moisture left from the days weather, and there are puddles, black lakes, hard to see by the intermittent street lamps, like I am playing pitfall back in the day, I avoid most but, PLUNK, not all, as I feel the cold water sink slowly into my walking shoes I feel some angst, I laugh to myself for making such a big deal over it for a second there, ‘just some minor unpleasantness ya dope, get over it’, maybe I should be more like the dog, taking this all in stride, the temp is just cold enough to warrant a sweat shirt, one of those heavy hoodies you break out when you don’t want the formality of a jacket (and damn those broken in sweats are like a cozy familiar blanket), the cold has chased everyone away, so, just me, the dog, the leaves and the occasional car driving past, but mostly what I notice is the crisp air, so enjoyable to inhale, refreshing like a splash to the lungs, near intoxicating, of course I can not linger to long, someone, ahem, dog, is pulling on the leash in anticipation, there is always another patch to sniff, after all, there is a campaign sign on that lawn at the top of the street, good placement I think, and I remember the world feels like it wants to explode in a couple of days, I feel the proto-anxiety seeping in, but out here, just me and the dog, things seem like they will be alright. unplug. unplug.
along the morning commute, I usually see them lined up by the dozens, in their usual spot, erm… row, actually, on a line that crosses above a particular side road I use to get to the ole turnpike, but this morning, they were on a lawn feasting, a bit early for thanksgiving I thought, apparently someone laid out some feed and the pigeons were doing what any upstanding pigeon citizen would be doing with such a bountiful opportunity, then there is me, in all my armor complexity, wrapped neatly in this breathing metal skinned beast, a cocoon of technology separating me at almost every instance from simplicity, I wondered, wandered, for a moment… -to be a pigeon, the pure simplicity of the thing, just being, unaware of things that do not matter, like who won the bachelor, I wonder if pigeon’s have real house wives? I suppose not, no town names, street names, house numbers, interstate monikers, none of it, all falls away, would I be happy this way, a mental exercise with no destination as I surely can not make that determination reality, but I can dream, or retrograde I think, how would I begin? strip? strip down from this onion, mantle to core? or more, start from the ground up, scratch, I’m not sure, but I must admit, I felt a moment of calm contemplating the whole scenario as it whizzed through my mind like a bullet train, the simplicity is alluring, but how much do I really know, maybe I should park, stick my beak on the ground and give it a go, I might find there are more complexities to this quick puddle toe, nothing is ever as it seems on first glance, but I do wonder sometimes and try to mold some of that into my own experience, essence, being or what have you, for I did have that moment, nature punting a lesson in my direction, sometimes you just need to stop and listen.
on occasion little things like this pop in my head, today, @ work for example, which is strange, usually work is not the place I am musing, must be a friday thing…. anyway, without further pause…
A prayer to absorb from those who came before might I turn to the wind and hear your voices bathe in your wisdom if only for a moment if only a small slice of the vast share with me your vision so I might not repeat the past