A simple goal (or mission)… I go out on my porch, which is an unremarkable concrete and brick structure that faces a very normal new jersey suburban street (certainly not the lovely vista pictured above)… and I write what I see, I write what comes to me… hopefully it comes out, half not bad… or maybe better than even that sometimes…
5.12.2020, they tell me this is spring
is the world off kilter? is the earth spinning a bit off axis? or am I just paying more attention lately (or running out of things to do indoors), this evening, winter temperatures laced with spring intentions, all signs pointing in the blooming direction, there was even the occasional peep show of seventy degrees last week, or am I embellishing my own memory, the trees are now fully clothed, the dandelion’s time has crested and fallen, the breeze has a louder voice among the leaves, like occasional waves breaking on the beach, no discernible undulation or pattern, but much the same sound as waves crashing, I feel I am in the eye of the calm, this corner of the world is quite quiet now, the sun setting rays readily highlight the various tribes of leaves on the stage before me, all with the same function but a different design to achieve the same destination, I imagine humans are much the same…
5.11.2020, random thoughts on this strange spring
in the distance I can hear children faintly playing, yells and screams evoke alarms inside instead of joy, in these abnormal times, my instincts, reactions, daily actions, all come into question now…
Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
We all fall down.
I wonder if a simple child’s rhyme will outline this stretch of death one day, that, of course will come after, not in the teeth of the pathogenic strife, I have always believed I was a patient person, certainly not a short fuse bomb waiting to happen, just when I do reach that limit I feel like I am up on the absolute edge of a cliff, no other side, no bottom, no turning around but leap… I picture that my candle was great and tall like a fortress castle wall, but burning down for so long now, my wick surely has not much longer to go, and the dawn, I am not a candle-maker, maybe I have to be, or learn to be, I do not know, or should I strive to deprive the flame of bright oxygen, I can not cap all the air, even if I tried my subconscious thoughts would betray and supply, a traitor I harbor inside.
This is much easier, today, sitting here on my porch, no mask (aside from the ones I always wear in that other life), no gloves, no one around to be socially distant from, I suppose Fear is taking a nap, he had a busy week with me back at my office, and certainly he plastered my inner walls with doubt, but all seems calm now, with a deep breath, I exhale as much of the negative as I can muster, I envision my candle now, small flame flickering inside my sanctum, the wax of the worn melted drawn out onto the wooden table, the newborn pool of spent liquid wax reflecting a dancing twin, “slowly, slowly” I mantra, “this will all end” with a hope wrapped in a prayer
onward goes, this strangest spring, awaiting the salvation of normalcy to arrive into these harbors overflowed with a cargo of hope… and renewal.
5.2.2020, an unfolding day
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?
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….
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…
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…
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.
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…
4.29.2020, me canto es su canto
here comes the sun, “cue the music my good man, make it so!” (hey, I have been watching Picard, slack me), and so by comparison this is a bounty, a parade, a glorious celebration, when not taking phone calls about windows computing pratfalls I venture outside to literally soak it in, the applied balm for what ills when stuck inside for days at a time, behind brooding clouds and held down by winds of lousy content, the rain is good for the green but perhaps not for the heart I think, maybe not the most scientific method, but in this, I must trust, something else – instinct.
a single spider thread catches my eye, winking in the sunlight like a mirrored line, just one thread, not a web, a prelude to a night trap, and I can see the quarry, there is a small swarm of some type of insect milling about, haphazard to my eye but they know their own purpose, no doubt, a mild winter and a wet spring, there will be lots of bugs around this summer (pun intended if you catch my drift), but these winged fellows are not bothering me, so I can’t hate them for their relations, their pesky cousins and whatnot, we all have them after all, we choose our friends, not our families, I imagine insects are the same, can’t blame the fireflies for the mosquitoes, at least that seems unreasonable to me, it would be easy to parlay hate of one insect bite into a whole genus, and that would be unwise, besides, there is a chain in place, at least for now, a pecking order, or a picking at the buffet order, I imagine the spider putting on a bib, lining up a table, knife and fork in hand, ready for the bounty coming.
the lower branches
the little ones, as I call them, finches and that sort to be clear, seem to love the bosom of the bottom branches of the bushes, especially the evergreens, the short ones, the stout ones, vertically challenged I believe is the ‘nome de acceptable’ (my term)… either way, it leads me to think of the lower branches, certainly not as much sunlight, not as easy to navigate than the outer reaches, protection from the rain perhaps, the sanctity of closed spaces, for three, four, more I see them, darting in and out like feathered laser beams, so exact, quick, manic seeming even, I wonder if I resemble that after three cups of coffee, or so I am told I can be high wired, these little ones, a maelstrom of fidgets, I imagine the lower branches appeal to their sense of security, or fear of heights? nah, that would be silly for a bird, not this one (me) but I should not transfer my human fears onto them, I take note of all the hierarchy, air and ground, what led each to such choices, noble patrolman, the robins, like guards, running back and forth on the grass, not bird-like at all, even squabbling over land claims with their own, blue jays seem undecided, maybe they just take the best of both land and wind, I see them scavenging on lawn and wing, the mourning doves content to feed on feeder scraps, easily spooked and fled, with their tell tale ‘coo coo’, nature has produced many successful designs, mine included, I just wonder which branch I would gravitate to, how about you?
I can see the wind
what a strange thought, not literal, but yet not false, entirely, wind is sometimes a bludgeon, other times a feather swipe, today she is cascading, moving across in an unmarked mass leaving footprints across all the leaves, and there is where I can see her, flowing across the surface, as the branches bend and release, ever closer, I can see her approaching, and then in an instant she has rushed over me like water on an outcrop river rock, as I am not a natural thing with my feet roots not quite firmly planted like most everything else, I happen to be observing, an interloper of sorts, that is, and this is more of a gentle deliberate freight train, so behind in steps sisters the same, nearly the same bends and waves as I watch them approach, anticipating the moment of break upon my space, across my face, my hands, temporarily dousing the warm of sun, so you can be lullaby-ed again by rays in the next moment, ah the blessed sun, where have you been hiding all these days?
4.21.2020, ah, what the hell this is random
only with these eyes but these, a pink swath of clouds, there is no perceptible breeze but the trees seem slight shimmering, slow belly dancing, mesmerizing, as I lose myself in the display, focusing only at a particular patch of sky, framed in by branches, twigs, the world sounds flowing, people talking walking by, cars hum on the distant main road less-ly, no planes however, how odd, this afternoon, at least, no eyes have seen, or ever been, to see this exact distinct scene, which begs the question, is this just for me? I feel, I feel slightly guilty with hand half cocked in the cookie jar of the natural wonder, caught, charged, or is this for all who wish to take the time to take this in, for this is spectacle, a convergence of all time to create a quiet place, moment, trace, in space section now, power lines provide context and bisect vision into windows, a lonely goose honks somewhere in the any-direction distance, the rare car speeds by , an anomaly, these days, I count the laps of the walkers and bike riders, never more than three, universal subtle mystery, this is the inner works of the new clockwork of this suburban street, I’m not sure if the robin on my lawn is winning the bidding war, so strange, most human sounds, now, are secondary day by day, out here, how easily we have been tamed.
4.20.2020, calendars be damned
what day is this? Sunday you say? I suppose so, what’s the difference? some rogue could hold a gun to my head and I’d swear on Tuesday, I didn’t log my digital self into work today, I think, so I guess that squares that vote down, but everything else? the same.
the weather is vacillating, the atmosphere seems quite undecided in mind, sun filled hope has given way to rumors of storm, or maybe the trees are just finding their voice more, more green drapes, buds graduated into kindergarten leaves, every moment struck past one further down the rail line took, spikes driven in, for miles back, through this latest mountain pass, you never know quite where the end of the line will be, and always the questions, the doubts, am I doing this… right? starting over not being an option, as the only direction now and ever is forward, the only place to ever start is this foot right here, now, this step, this one that leads to the next, I must remember that little epithet, like a tattoo perhaps, no, that is voluntary (usually), something more, something with no outer choice, a scar, yes, a scar, something that will pull that next step into a different space, maybe for better, maybe for worse, but forward nonetheless, for lest we let fear stop us in perfect statuesque, to be admired by others in perfect pose, then, left behind, museum, forgotten in some room, or left to creeping moss watching a tomb, I wish to have the fire to live like a lightning bolt, so I might, so I may, I can, but only to turn on that first corner, and turn my back on where I began, a real place no more, a memory, lore, the time now is the journey, forward.
in just a few days time the limbs of trees have grown fat with seed pods, dipping down ever so slightly, and I thought I might never utter, how beautiful the reflection in my car hood of one particular overhanging, the reflection reminds me of a japanese painting, maybe the resemblance to cherry blossoms is a trigger, I filled one particular bird feeder for the first time in quite some time, packed with actual seed, I usually just throw my old stale bread bits in there, ‘bird feeder’ is certainly a misnomer, for the squirrels certainly think the buffet presented is for their benefit, I do not mind, I know there is whole industries at war with the squirrels and bird feeders, not here, not for my time though, I try to figure out the sign language of their tails flailing instead, a man is walking with his son, across the street, playing a game where he counts his steps trying to step as far as his much taller father, the kid is laughing it up and having a blast, truly the simple things, the world has fallen away, how fast to shed the human skin, so might I just concentrate on the warming sun of coming days as so I hope they are…
4.14.2020, a storm hence
oddly, though, I do not fear the roaring of this early spring lion, I fear consequences, but the wind itself is somehow comforting, as all else noise is cancelled thoroughly, no cars, no traffic, no horns or radios thumping, nor animal sign or sound, just the wailing pendulum thrush of the wind testing the mettle of every item in bounds, the purposeful fury of nature, is calming, as the hours pass, then…
and there is the thumping, the pounding into the ground, now that all the weather drama has subsided, I always like to take a walk along the lawn after a storm has passed, to see what did and did not last the lash, nothing of sort to note this day, the usual litter of elder limbs that were on their way anyway, nothing too big, nothing threatening certainly my life or limbs, this hardly seems like the same day now, the sun is daring to breakthrough now, bathing the backs of the remnant cruising clouds, the backlit clouds flowing by like milky orange blossom tea blooming, as I continue to listen to the metered pounding, rhythmic sound –
my neighbor’s mailbox was a casualty of the day, well, not mortally wounded, but down for a spell, and his was, well is, a so much nicer mailbox than mine ever was, so as I write, letting the cleansing wind surround (as the tempest is quite tame now), he pounds, to open the ground, for a new post, a stronger root, digging a hole, digging a hole has not changed much these thousands of years, of that I can be quite sure, and before I realize the time gone, he is done, the mailbox is back up.
watching the clouds lazily cruise by, much like those lazy river rides that surround and about in waterparks, there is something about just letting yourself drift with no care about destination, time, purpose, just the being of nothing, hand dangling in the water, spinning slowly in the sun, that is what these clouds remind me of tonight, and maybe that’s the point, there doesn’t always have to be some profound reason to be, sometimes, just be…
I suppose this is my cathedral of sorts, the trees across the landscape like spires climbing into the night, upwards higher than I could ever reach but tethered to the ground, quite like myself, everything is bound to this ground in some way, the clouds, the birds, we are all cradled by an invisible umbilical created around this humble earth, a protective layer encases us in the most inprobable of manners, and for us, is just a matter of fact, when even reminders are right there, an almost full moon spies down on the scene, and surely does not look like the actuality of it’s domain, cold, breathless, battered and barren, from here just a cheerful companion reflecting the light of the sun in various phases, so close, so close to us in cosmic terms but so far outside the miracle of our atmosphere that allows us to look up and wonder…
I think there is a tangible perception, unconscious, about walls, I think our mind somehow knows and can perceive walls, think of a cold day when you finally get inside and shut the door, it is almost as if the cold is gone in an instant, and conversely I think our minds know when walls have been keeping us in, cabin fever, or whatever you might like to call it, even if you are perfectly content I think we are meant to be outside, at least part of the time, after days of dreary weather the prospect of just the simple kiss of fresh air on my brow is intoxicating, no walls, I actually find myself able to expand my mind out, open up the floor plan as it were, as I look again and watch the clouds draw my breath and slow attentions.
instead, these lions should be seen as more, they are heralds, bright harbingers of the spring, even with edible leaves, and then there is the transformation, from a golden disc that sings then sleeps, then without even the cocoon of a butterfly, up rises the perfect disco ball of cotton spires, delicate sphere loaded with airships to transport the future to all corners the imagination or wind or beast can reach, a lottery which odds are obviously good, a simple engine of design, probably will outlast all our technology, the simple dandelion, to be admired, truly.
I try to project myself onto that line, calmly, calmly bobbing up and down in tidal drafts, none of these human concerns bound, for there is value to become lost in a destination, now and again, to separate yourself from the every-thing, the whole-thing, the no-thing, I’ll never truly understand what it is to be that little bird perched on that tree, but perhaps, in some simple cosmic way, we were both admiring the very same things…
3.27.2020, modern against the madness
sitting outside on a conference call on my iphone about the state of work, my job, still on going, I think, I was doing remote support all day and never noticed the sun or how nice it was…
the spring sun is beaming down, I endeavor to absorb it all on every surface of skin, I don’t want to leave an inch, I close my eyes so the sun can cover my face, my eye sockets even, flood them warm, such reassurance, such a familiar song in this very strange time to bring me calm, even if for just these instants strung together, there is a rock, on my lawn near the sidewalk, not just a rock, one large enough to sit on quite comfortably for two, they had to remove it when laying the foundation, it has naturally two stations, one where I child could sit, one for those older, so I sit, I remember watching my neighbors from here, now they all keep a safe distance, the landscape roar in the background, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, this sounds like a spring sunday even if for a thursday, robins in little gangs state their marks, seemingly keeping their social distance as well, although they were ahead of the curve, I want to cherish each bit of the sun, for months the light has not brought this warmth that has arrived now, the trees, at a glance, still bare, but on the ends, the sparks of life bear buds, but still strange silent the scene seems, no children arriving home from school at the prescribed times, this could be any day of the week now, I think I can open a window, or two, air out the house, clean out the mood, perhaps clean out the stiffness of sheltering in place for days, the odor of stillness, of sameness, of watching history channel for 12 hours clean, life has slowed to a no pace, every moment seems like counting the time between dawn and dark, my symptoms are vague, for a few days now, kind of a general tightness in my chest, no cough, no fever, I am not sick enough to be tested, and I should revel in that really, but honestly at times it eats at your walls, especially since I know respiratory distress well, not in many years, but in my youth, asthma nearly took me twice, I was actually literally blue, I have had lifelong nightmares of drowning, so this is something that has always been in the back of my mind even if I have not been sick like that in years, a co-worker has the exact same symptoms I do, not sure if that is comforting, clarifying, or terrifying… this is literally one moment at a time, which makes this sun, so much more than just a bit of warmth, I want to feel the sun reach through me, into my cells, give that gift of life for as long as it will, and so I wait, as the sun once goes down again, I wait for the dawn and what transpires tomorrow.
2.10.2020, winter clovers
just cleaning up the yard, gathering up the victims of the wind that whipped through here the other day, they say 50 mph gusts, I don’t know, I just know it was windy and my bamboo was thwacking against the bedroom window, bamboo is great for privacy, tall, thick, elegant, and a whipping knock knocker during a storm, who knew, plants don’t come with a guide book, but I suppose a little forethought could have prevented this, but visually I love the darn plant, so in it stays and my sleep will went… I wheel the old trash can out to the designated curb spot area, and something grabs fishhook my eye… so I look down, bend the knee, and examine…
‘winter clovers’, well, that might not be the scientific name, probably is not, but anyway, that is what these little very green clumps in a mulch mound looked like, with all the trees bare, and a nice warm winter sun out there, these types of things tend to jump out to the eye, I bend over to try and find a four leafer, shouldn’t I, don’t we all look for that lotto ticket or magic moment regardless of odds or logic, that wellspring of hope just tingles your soul, we all do it, dna? instinct? fool’s gold? perhaps, perhaps all these, to witness how life fights to break in regardless of season, terrain, the odds, the same odds that made me possible, a contemporary to these little plants, sometimes called weeds, not to me, not today at least, I wonder if I have that same innate desire to survive, breed and keep the whole assembly line moving along at pace, or do worldly distractions shield me from the most basic of things, perhaps, my friend, I should recall you, and the lesson spent, from a little patch, of seemingly insignificant plant-life, life, I must remember the humble nature of the winter clovers, they sure are braver than me, at least this day… but at least I noticed so I must remember…
not many a January night you can sit out, at least in this clime, in shorts, on the porch, ponder life, look up at the moon, take a moment or two, contemplate, deep breath, and just let the world talk to you, or perhaps the universe should it so be inclined, the moon is bright, but a bit diffused, and lower in the sky than usual, I’m sure there is a good reason, I just don’t care to know at this exact moment of flow, I sit down on my porch, well the steps to be honest, the weather is sliding back into the role as it grows colder and the weatherman is selling rumors of snow later in the week, but now? mild, just a chill, not enough to chase me in before I can take in this night, another night, I can hear a dull murmur of the four lane road not too far off my block, I imagine it is rather a mountain stream, it has that same quality of moving constant sound, but for the occasional sport who feels the need to test their throttle past my little grotto, or the angry driver jousting with another announced by trivial horns, and the occasional jet liner, another low roar you can trace across the sky with both eyes and ears, but mostly quiet…
I look down at my hands, I do not think of myself as a skeleton, but I quite am, I hold my palms against my face and I can almost see the sockets, feel them back there, behind my hands, naked grey caves we inhabit with our flesh, for a time, we are tenants, I look down at my hands again, remembering I am a skeleton, seeing my fingers as bare bones like sticks, only as I examine them, and trying, with my mind to build up all the fleshy layers from there to here in my visual field, everything that makes this work, how often do I even think about what it takes just to make my hands move, my heart pump, my lungs breathe, my feet walk, all in concert, usually, but more often than not a symphony of the unconscious, thinking about it, really visualizing it now, the chassis, the frame, the architecture underneath all this, makes every movement feel different in that light, I imagine watching the electrical spark that travels from my mind down the neural highway, from my shoulder, down to my hand, for each of these thoughts to translate to the page, as if these words are a direct remnant of my machine, a printing press of my brain, just the idea of walking, inhaling, thinking about exactly what is going on, can be exhausting minute to minute, no wonder our bodies can not last forever, what could under such strain, that daily work with no rest, until again, we become once more bones at best.
1.1.2020, the red serpent bedevils me
an endless trail of red tail lights slithering inches off for miles, as far as I can see, I try to concentrate on the lobster mac n’ cheese waiting for me, sitting, stewing, a frog in a Jacuzzi, trying to find the right soundtrack to alter my mood, new year’s eve and here I am again, isolated in a forest of people trapped in tin cans, finally, an accident up ahead, better yet a car was on fire, at least the payoff was there, I hate to sit though bumper to bumper stadium seating with no show, as long as no one is hurt of course, there is no ambulance present, unless I missed it, that is, and with that time jolts, as if a starting gun bang, down the stretch they go, burst forth from an invisible gate, a car, new york plates, blows by me at about ninety I think, “did you not just see that mangled wreck? !“, I scream, in my head at least, screaming at a car screaming by would have no effect at all, of course, white lines flash, speed up, speed on by, white line links in the road, that boring morse code, how soon hopeless waiting becomes the quick past in the rear view mirror forum, another year, another year I whisper in my mind to myself, what does it mean, seemingly stuck in the same old themes, rinse, repeat, today is your birthday, I know, do I send you a note? would it be for you, truly, or words that would be serving myself, mostly, every day possibility seems dimmer, but there are still stars in the sky, out of reach, but still transmitting light, no matter how far away they may lie, I know, I know the pain I caused you, put upon you, mine, mine has never gone away, like they said it should, would, sometimes I think I am wired wrong, but complaining to the manufacturer will do no good, at this point, anymore, at least I can hold you in my thoughts, you were, you were a reality, a reality that I had parallel, I try to hold you from fading into history, even though, it is, with each passing year…
tonight smells like winter, a hint of wood smoke as somewhere someone stokes a fireplace, a delicate drizzle drifts in and out of phase, a cold wind chills the air just enough to catch breath, the trees are just bare limbs, frozen in the night, the bamboo rattles against the siding of the house, sometimes rapping, sometimes tapping, or fingernails scraping against the windows, there is quiet on the street, no moon, I step inside, the comfort of lobster mac n’ cheese offers a temporary shelter, tomorrow another day, another year, shall rise, shall I? when times are darkest, no matter what the mood, the view, the doom, there is life, and let that be my lantern guide…
12.25.2019, ho ho ho edition
been awhile, my mortar friend, mostly used you as just steps lately, tonight teeters on forty degrees, so I can stop and catch up, I won’t be able to stay long, I already sense the temperature drop, as important as I remind myself to be observant, to take a moment and breathe the world in, and see what I see, that is a lot easier thought and easier to accomplish in warmer weather, but catch a window when you can like a ray of light, so here I am, contemplating life, I covered the late shift at work, I’m not religious and someone else, someone with people to go home to wanted off, so, to me it seemed like the right thing to do, winds up this way most years anyway, my prize was an easy drive for once, no traffic, just the occasional left lane interloper that requires passing on the right, which I hate to do, technically illegal to, but no malice tonight, no glare, no rage, everything is notched down a bit, I picked up some chinese and the only other busy place in the strip mall (or open one) was the ATM kiosk next door, got some gas, I don’t actually pay for gas, company car, fifteen years now, I tipped the guy thirty bucks, he is always nice enough, and cleans my back window from time to time, he was generally appreciative I think, so I drive on home with no major streaks, my street is lined with cars, both sides, but yet… so quiet, everyone is inside, usually such parked traffic has a bit of an audible buzz, but this is more cozy, or maybe I am, I sense something in the air, almost like someone is burning those cinnamon brooms you see outside store doors this time of year, no, that’s not it, pipe tobacco, definitely, I imagine my neighbors are sitting in their backyard, out of my sight, probably a few who broke off from the main party, to shoot the bull on this moonless night, the smell is intoxicating I must say, funny how I am surrounded by buildings, cars, people in their homes, and I am isolated, as many are this time of year, alone on the holidays, even if it is not your holiday really, the whole world seems caught up in it, like a wave you can not stop from washing over you even though you are not near the beach, “just another day” but everything else around you tells a different tale entirely, but I already received my gift, whether I be the amalgamation of scientific randomness, or the very touch of divine spark to my forehead in utero, the universe, in all these billions of years, whether by accident or design, has aligned in such a way, that I am here, alive, right now, as are you, regardless of belief, this is the gift, a gift so great that everything follows the unwrapping, need not be delivered by st nick, or some other myth, this is the truest fable one can… live.
a prayer for those
at home alone tonight
for know you well
and all time that tell
you were chosen
the greatest gift
you have been given
rejoice in life.
11.25.2019, end of Cape May, NJ vacation edition…
The last day, always, or at least it seems so, the cream of the crop, or at least perception be, from my hotel, the ocean is gleaming, sparkling morning sun fingers playing upon the little tiles of tide ridges, looking out my hotel window, no wind, no temperature to consider, just the visual, I walk down to take in one more final gulp of this ocean town, now, I am standing at the cusp of the beach, there is one of those small beach fences just mere kindling and chicken wire, just past the sign that warns you about there being no lifeguard, morning coffee in hand, more like my habits back on the mainland, to which I am summoned to return in a matter of hours, in retrospect, maybe this is not such a perfect day, a bit hazy, a bit cold, I close my eyes to feel the sun on my face, granted, the warming seems more mental than actual, and it is, if I concentrate for a bit I can feel the tops of my ears are quite exposed and colder, but somehow, with my eyes closed, a hazed globe shining on, the waves crashing down left to right, the occasional intrusion of the world around, am old diesel engine kicking up rattling throat, conversations about nonsense and such as people walk by, behind me on the boardwalk and benches meant for such things, I try to soak it all in, somehow capture this moment to store as long as I can, I know this is futile and fleeting but I inhale with hope anyway, moments like these choose me to ignore my reason, and my mind drifts…
I imagine the shore and the wonder of the original explorers, I think of how vast the ocean must have seemed and actually been, that moment, that eruption of emotion when they first spotted this shore, on the horizon, a hallucination for months of maritime lore, the realization that even among something so vast and unknown, had an end when no one had found such end until that initial landing, is that the pinnacle of man? discovery past known boundaries? our hope, our quest, to be at the beginning and end of that next discovery, there is, the pure seed of hope resident in that, all the despair, the lost ships and lost men, sunken lives in so many centuries past, but now what was once the impossible pass, is just to us a simple basic task, maybe that is what I was meant to take away this day, not just the same sun to bear upon my face, I open my eyes and nothing has changed, outwardly, an owner and a dog walking, a couple being a couple out on the sand in their moment of love, me, standing like an observant statue on the cusp of this beach, I reach for one more slug of my latte, take one more deeper breath, snapshot with my mind, one more look, a postcard to take away, and that lesson of hope, against the vast ocean, against the unknown, to ride the waves to where they go…
10.28.2019, the balance
the balance has not quite yet shifted, but surely as the days flash on by, the ground is more littered, bathed in various shades of red and yellow, all over my car window, stuck there spread eagle by autumn rain, always the maple leaf, I suppose, being a creature of the northeast I am having a singular experience, for maple is mostly the way here, quilt patch blankets of wet leaves all around, the ground, the lawn, lining the street except in the spots with the constant pounding foot traffic of cars, all these leaves have come to an end, spent the spring and summer, gathering what sunlight and shade they can, or could, depending on where they were born and placed, all in an effort to save the root cause and see through another winter’s pause, moving on into detached certainty, so the next generation might have a start and the life of the host moves on, the buds of the next generation may never know unless nutrients flow past that newly formed ring and pay attention, that anniversary, the subtle reminder that can only be truly read when cut down a thread and laid out, counted, because everything is numbers, everything is time, always right in front of us, dead fast in front of us where we can never truly reach, like a reflection in a pool, we see everything exactly as is but we can not touch the image by any means, because in a moment that exactness is gone, all these leaves, upon closer inspection, different markings, colors, spots, holes from insects or time, slight variations in size, slight variations in tribe, all in all all fall down, all in all blanket the moist autumn ground, and I may take a moment to remember, them all…
10.25.2019, vacation / lost love letters edition
Prolog: the photo above is literally the view behind the hotel here in the Poconos, I needed to unplug for a few days so here I am, at night they light up the falls with flood lights and all around the outside decks are torches, there is an outdoor bar/restaurant sort of under the hotel observation decks, so this is where I was when I penned this tonight…
sitting here, somewhere in between, civilization and nature, a crossroads of seams, where worlds meet, unsure of my allegiances, for I feel I have drifted far, the constant motion and shower of waterfalls, lit up this night by artificial lights, pieces of conversations are more like a hum, nothing distinct, not as succinct or as calming as the waters constant falling, sitting here, alone, in the middle of everyone, other’s lives, unaware of each other’s stories, strife, or triumphs, or nothings, a gentleman is serenading the outside bar with acoustic renditions, gathering polite applause between songs, his voice seems more in harmony with the water than the human din dining and drinking to the sides of him, fueled torches flicker in the slight breeze, dancing to a completely different song unto themselves but in tune with the water, somehow, I consider this scene for a second, like a painting, a framework snapshot of heaven if for a moment touched the earth, but for me, there is quite the angel missing, by my own hand, my own doing, I am never sure if that fact makes the wound that much worse or open longer my forever, somehow this perfect scene, the serene, the seeming peace accord between the pulverizing mass of humanity and the glorious natural wonder of the world, I can not enjoy this the same, without you, without you to share this with, all the goodness and hope saps my strength, as my thoughts turn to you, only you, sometimes a shadow is impossible to shake, so I withdraw, to my room.
10.19.2019, bomb cyclone edition
the rain has gone but the song of the storm still plays a heavy dirge upon theses lands (as I observe), there is always these storms this time of year, where the sky is utterly gray and unforgiving, not pockets of lightning, not roving cloud wombs birthing thunder, rains that once quenched the glorious hot pavement of summer, so distant now but from just weeks ago, all the demons and reasons creeping back in, in this season, the summer light kept them hidden, locked in their quarters, but now as the trees are being undressed, their hiding places no longer needed, they are coming out, to stalk the night as it grows longer and longer, chewing, gnawing at the edges of the day morsel by mouthful, a crescendo descends upon the devil’s night, as candy and subtle mayhem ignite imaginations, shadows and flickering candles dancing in jack smiles, the world is retelling the ancient story, one it knows well, sending emissaries and portents to further the tale, and should we pay mind, or pay strict attention, details and devils may rise, all in the slight of hand concealed by an autumn storm as it rages in from the ocean on familiar northeastern tract, we bustle about under all this happening almost unaware, this transforming, but yet it dictates our path, changes trajectories whether we perceive them or not, from one leaf down to the whole lot, soon, soon a blanket will come, not of comfort but stillness cold, as the world prepares and truth be told, not mere whispers but whipping winds, change is coming and has already been.
taking this moment to study and enjoy the subtle-ness and suppleness of this cool breeze, letting it caress me, wrap itself around me, swirl undress me to my core, while still clothed, how this wind in my hand allows me to wind down, the gears, to a grinding rusty sparking halt, to full inhale and breathe deep, to realize the world has had me wound going at an accelerated pace, all day, for no real rational reason, I suppose this is manifest stress destiny, allowing your gears to be flung wide west open to please the demon of production, of work that is never done and will still be here long, undone as I am off into the next stage of life, how easily we get wrapped into the tow throng of the assembly line, I suppose it is all in the deft trap of routine, the schedule, the drive, the morning coffee, the vacant hellos to some, the longer hellos to those that know you, or at least know ‘the work you’, and those that are actually friends outside the confines, the walls all determined by time cards and paychecks, a structure construct, the contract codex of the workplace, the pace, a race, to nowhere or upwards rung for more money less time both in years and in life as time forwards by, the gears shift seamlessly and to all speeds, speeds by so rapidly without seams, no fun mondays blur into wtf wednesdays to gateway fridays and weekends relief, the summer is gone and I barely had time to admire her smile, warmth, and sun, I do not miss the bugs however, to sit out on nights like these, this comforter of a breeze, much cooler than has been, not enough to chase me in, or out of my shorts, my toes are growing cold but I still prefer bare-feet for now, the dew on the lawn is certainly cold, not a foil anymore to a blazing sun’s gaze, but for at least a few more precious days I can pretend to feel what the summer was while awaiting the growing cold, such is the nature of things, such is nature, the pace is the same, year in and out, the seasons roll in and out, the rest of the natural world flows as the river natural goes, but do we ?
10.12.2019, blaze of sky
the sky is the portrait of a blaze, moments like these there are colors that are difficult to even explain, like flames of deep reds and purples blending and lurking on the horizon, I might imagine how this all looked as I look back with an ancient eye, clouds, white clouds, like angels racing off to the battle, the blaze, the hordes of the underworld that await, the unearthly glow, for what else could this site be? just some random formation of moisture, a construct of nature, weather conspiring to ignite imagination, why lose the spectacle of this all, indulge in the genesis of how stories unfold and are told in the night sky, but not every night, not every night is the show such as this, not every brilliant magenta hue is seen dancing as the curtains of night unveil,the sprites of streaking white angels dive off into the narrowing event horizon, as that lone beacon rises, only three quarters full but bright as any moon recorded, and before a moment’s breath, the clouds are gone, dipped and passed somewhere out of mortal sight, lost to the lands of kings and gods, seemingly swallowed by the ever motioning night, the grand scheme of color carousel has faded out, just the moon, with a spurious eye, casts light from up on down, a reflection of the sun upon the face, ever looking down from that lonely space, the night watcher compels… sleep.
9.30.2019, elysian fields
how these elysian fields have lost their glaring luster, however foolish, the world desperately clings to the intoxicating golden hue of summer, for remember, there is always hope in any order, the only matter is how hard hope may be to find in the given time, as leaves fall so do the obvious possibilities, but let our memories remain stronger and more resilient than the harshest of winter’s arsenal, as the season fades so we shall rise again, of this I am quite confident, at least for now…
I had forgotten the sounds and the real feel of dry breaking leaves on my feet, how when I hold them and fold them they crackle, like a fire, as a fire burns through fuel is spent, as are these leaves, crumble into near dust at barely a subtle crush, the glorious summer sun drained from these veins, soon to be remade into the very dirt from whence they came, some time ago, acorns survived not found by ambitious squirrels, allowed to bloom, grow, stretch out toward the sky and transform the light of the sun into food, over and over these years, to be right back here, starting all over again, cards on the table now ready to fold, awaiting the next game, all the cards the same in the pack, however the shuffle never remains identical, the game, the game goes on until you lose your spot at the table… that is not this day, this is just the sunset of one season, the transfer of life back down from heights, to bury once more in the womb of the mother of life, this earth, as this hemisphere tips another will catch the fire, the balance of scales must tip, and this one must lose in hours, no many how many times has been, no matter how many times will be, the shedding of the leaves, a process, a tribute, a sign, a portent into the coming months, so we should gather up these leaves of memories, absorb them into our essence, like a thick blanket, to prepare for that barren land, that barren time, life may slow, and temperatures may drop, but the fierce heat of the human heart and that of life itself, dares not stop, if not draw still, biding time for hope to will.
9.23.2019, back home, back to routine (or not?)…
how the familiar slips back on in such familiar ways, I am fighting the dread that I can feel creeping up my spine, to dive back into that 9-5, well, 9-5 on an easy day, the honking horns, the stop and forth commute, I want to remain like this, like a coil unfurled, springs hold and maintain tension, and I am good at managing that existence but the fatigue of constant bearing weight has perhaps been wearing me down these years, and only now, off a week of down time might I realize how unfurled I am now and how curled I am usually so inclined, I know it is cliche, to say a place is magical, but what is magic after all, something we don’t understand completely, maybe a better word is ‘solution’ as if to a puzzle, Scientist Cliffs is one of those places for me, maybe many others exist but that does not mean this was not meant to be, maybe this is like true love found just with a place with a soul for mine to meet, here, indeed, my mind was not lost navigating in the constant maze of problem solving, so lovingly overwhelmed as is my normal state of being, I would revel in the chaos, but at what cost? here, but here, quite quiet in fact, content to sit on a beach, listen to the waves gently crashing caressing the sands, watching the birds of prey hunting above the cliffs far overhead, studying the breeze as it caresses over the dunes and past me, just another piece of the earth to navigate around, I watch the dune grass bend back and sway and imagine I am doing the same, just an observer, and the waves, the constant, the waves, for whatever reason, this is the solution to my conundrums, my elixir distilled, that lets my fury of thoughts fade into simpler terms, no less complex but not a lightning nexus of constant bombardment, a quietness there, one I can internalize with each long breath and each slowing heart beat…
up on the cliffs, since there are no cities nearby, the night sky is alive, the moon dancing on the silent water waves some hundred feet below, upwards, galaxy dust and all the traditional constellations glowing, resplendent, the wonders above we rarely see with a naked eye in metropolitan new jersey, like all things this is indeed a temporary place, the constant grinding of the waves never ending erodes the cliffs, every year, inches to feet, the cliffs creep inward and with time will swallow whole, this place, probably long after I am gone, but I will have been a part of it at least, and I hope to take a part of it with me into the real world, at least the real world I inhabit on a day to day, so that is what I am trying to take away, as I return to my normal place, the workplace, that same space, how long can I maintain, how long will the echoes of the surf remain, so clear, so cleansing, so pure… (additional photos from the post, click and scroll down)
9.16.2019, Maryland (annual trip)
so here I am, admiring the moon across the water, shimmering sections of the bay hold my attention, I come back here every year, laziness, familiarity, perhaps, maybe I have found something that suits me, my personality, having the experience of being in the middle of nowhere but yet with slingTV, cable internet and a Starbucks fifteen minutes away, sure, that’s fair, but I am off the beaten path, even if that path is not but a stone’s throw away, the familiarity lets me decompress, the guess and the guess work has been removed, there is still plenty I could do or explore in these parts, just as in my own state there are corners and nooks I have yet to really route around in, I suppose I revel in the strange juxtaposition of this place, the cliffs produce fossils from the miocene era quite often, I am staying in a hand built 100 year old log cabin, and I am sitting here typing on my dumbly suped up alienware laptop, whittling away at the meaning of life or at least mine, it all seems pretentious, sometimes I feel guilty, do I deserve this? do I feel guilt due to circumstance? perhaps, but how can we change the circumstance of how we are brought in to this world, all we can do is be empathetic, I say those words, but I do not know if I believe them 100%, although I should, the truth does not always set you free, maybe like many things I must practice in this, allowing myself to uncoil and feel able to embrace my life such as it is, I did not wrong anyone to have the things I have, maybe the world did, but I do not want to have blind thankfulness to that end, but tonight should not be about such things, I need to clear my mind, feel the subtle gentle wisp of wind, cold dew on the bottom of my feet, I have to decompress, let all the stress from work seep out into the ground, let the moon’s light cleanse me as I lose myself in those ripples down on the bay, soak up each moment and forget myself for a time, deep exhale, the world moves on regardless, this is my time to become lost, for a few days, not quite separated from the race, but enough to recharge and renew, it all begins with the view, and the immediate effect I feel…
you can check out the views of Scientist Cliffs on my YouTube channel, I am uploading the moon vid right now, it is taking some time, I should be posting some nice vids this week from my new 4K go pro style cam… or at least that is the plan…
I want to run up that ruby lined ridge line on the back of that mountain of a cloud, right up to the moon, I wish to go there but know I never will, but how soon my romantic side forgets, the moon, sitting there framed in blue, is not quite in our sky, my logical side steps in to remind that the moon is in perfect orbit, locked in the cold black breathless death of space, a dead world, echoes of impacts heard in countless lifeless craters, traces of history of billions of years as if transpired just yesterday, as magical, as mystical as the moon may seem, the man, the moon, the dream, it is the dead end of all being, and what will be, for when life retreats or is drawn to another place, a lifeless husk will remain, dust, gravity no longer caring, losing it’s grip, so weak it becomes just a globe in another’s collection, so which do I choose? of my dual nature I lean to the romanticism of the world, the concept of the eternal, but there is that constant reminder in the sky, whether a sliver, a quarter or full glory, the fact that everything dies is not much consolation for the living, more like a rationalization that we all drive down that dead end road, logic is cold, hard to argue with a stone as words do not carve granite well, or at all, but I suppose what choice do I have but to drive on, forward, with hope, for the alternative, while more rational, more reasoned, more probable, leaves nothing on the bone and in fact no bones… at all.
9.10.2019, the lone dandelion
as I look all about my yard, thinking of something clever to say, or some universal truth to transmit, I have to remind myself, the whole purpose of sitting out here, is, none of these things, to let the world flow, and go from there, I suppose that is my humanity tugging at my strings, sometimes I feel like I could pen a novel in an afternoon, or other times I struggle to write a simple line, maybe this is one of those times, so I pay more attention to the dog, perhaps as slavish as I to routine, yet I know her senses are much keener than mine, or at least more overt, maybe mine are buried by human arrogance, I look at all the leaves scattered on the lawn, a chill I know but since left long ago has snuck back into this room, alas, where did the summer go? I suppose that sentiment loses some significance as we get older and are saddled with work, the days of youth – the summer was this singular freedom, long days, beach days, peeling skin, neon colored buckets, hiking in the catskills, scraped knees, everything seemed possible, now, just the nicer drive to work, waking up with sunlight and coming home with same, a delight on it’s own, and it is coming to a close, as everything does, I suppose, I look off to one of my bamboo bushes, and oddly, totally out of season, there is a single dandelion, no, not even in the flower phase, in the hair is white spread the seeds phase, how odd, and how quite late, I want to tell the little guy he is a bit out of sorts, but why cut short the singular joy this little weed might be channeling, a single dandelion spreading it’s wings, futile, I know, but the singular notion of it is in a way inspiring, a singular bloom out of season, but a bloom just the same, for a second, there is spring even in the face of the fading shadow of summer.
9.2.2019, surprising labor day edition
labor day, the traditional death of summer, everyone rushes in like an orgy of decadence to have the last hurrah, the last dance, on the last day, school begins next week, so seemingly the season of play is gasping for breath, the last stand of the ph warriors who battled chemical balance in their pools all summer long, for this payoff, as the door is closing, I know, in my mind, or in my rational side, that time has a singular pace but I will still swear on my grave there are times when time speeds up or down, always the contrast of what we feel is true up against what we ‘know’ as truth, there are already early casualties of the seasonal war, leaves already yellowed, scattered about my lawn, how quickly the summer is gone, like the rest of everything else around me I will cling to every bit of the warm sun, and absorb every last of molecule of heat, from which I can…
this is not a quiet night, in fact my immediate neighbors, to my right, are throwing quite the party, like they should need a permit loud party, the street is lined with parked cars I do not recognize, my neighbors have white balloons tied to their mailbox, to mark the spot even though everyone has GPS today, on their phones, or otherwise devices, I think to myself, such is the cycle, the cycle of life, a celebration of life just next door, and yet literally three houses down they continue in mourning of passing, and me here, dwelling, veritably in the middle of both, I suppose that is a midlife crisis? being between birth and death equally, seeing so clearly both wherever I may roam? I do not know… and I suppose no one does.
I am not certain what type of party this is, somewhat formal, guests dressed in sunday best as far as I can tell, bottles of wine and platters of food in tow, they have a live band, so I imagine it is an occasion of some importance, the band seems to be playing the standards, I am guessing, it is all in vietnamese, but I thought I heard a rendition of “daddy’s little girl” in there, maybe it’s a wedding, white balloons and all… there is a little cadre of the neighbor’s friends or relatives on the front porch, away from the party, grabbing a smoke, some drinks, probably talking shit about the ones in the main gathering out back, I know this group well, I’m usually one of those self righteous rebellious comrades, too cool for the main room, or backyard, in this instance, but I must realize and admit, it is my own inadequacies and lack of comfortable self that makes me break off, as I do, into the smaller group, where I can exert more control, avoid my own failures and flaws instead of accepting them whole cloth, and wearing them proudly back into the fold, proclaiming me, but maybe sometimes I also think, I do not truly belong, both truths can be true, a married couple of ineptitude in my soul…
as more guest arrive, their long shadows almost stretch and touch me from the sidewalk, these last lights of the day, bending into a celebration, I notice myself in the moment, I am uplifted, I do not know any of the words to any of these songs, not even the language, but somehow, there is translation in the sentiment, perhaps this is latent memory taking the wheel, I have been to many affairs and parties over the years, just not my own, so maybe this is why I know the feelings so well, I guess that is why I feel so relaxed and comfortable now, sitting here alone, on my porch, enjoying a celebration of life, quite outside my own, knowing this is all life, the cycle of loved ones and dear friends, come and gone, celebrations, gatherings, moments, come and gone, these we hold on to, we need to hold on to, each other while we are still here because even within my block, all the reminders of life’s start and end, stay very near.
8.29.2019, the clouds they are a changing
the clouds are like a perfectly aligned photograph of a still fire bloom set upon the dazzling supreme aqua of a pristine tropical ocean, maybe a cliche, maybe not, I’ll take it any day of the week, and three times today or tonight as the sun is slipping under the horizon, even though this is really just the earth’s rotation, such a large but understood concept, but do we stand here and admire that fact? or feel the spin, feel the ground whipping around at dizzying speeds, all with our terra firma feet planted well on this ground, the dirt, the thin skin layer of the molten apple we call earth, a seething ocean of fire just a few miles, under where we feel so safe, a thin layer of air all that separates us from space, how precarious we are, but do we perceive it, we worry more about the local buzzing about, unaware of some outer calamity that could end our little love affair with ourselves, the action of every breath of every being, an orchestra of the absurd chances of just being, being here, writing this, or reading these words, I am truly amazed in moments like this, I think nature is sneaky, or wise, or both quite combined, to show us glimpses, here and there, drops of reminders, breath taking visions, thundering falls, tiny bugs of imaginable stripe and scope, unimaginable combinations of dna in humans alone, the colors, of eyes, of hair, heights, and smiles, the buffet of laughter shared across global realms, all revealed in an evening sky, the signs are all there, they describe locations, the mile markers, more subtle than neon flashing colors but no less informative, all around, so train the mind, use your eyes, take in that precious breath, hold a loved one for just a moment to feel that warmth, that is the miracle of life, this is bounty, this is our corner of the universe, the only one we can possibly know but we are here in the face of impossibility, that rare bloom of existence, for a short while, stars have formed your very core, for once twilight is now your veins, once heavenly bodies are your precious thoughts, take a moment, absorb the world’s wonder, feel the universe in your bones as we are one, we all come from the most basic of elements, a recipe of those touched by a spark, and here you are.
8.26.2019, the script is flip’t
the script is flip’t, the tide has turned, cliches rue the day as the day is long, or actually not, anymore, the summer is losing some heat, quite literally, this was the first night that the driveway was actually cool on my bare feet, that magic number, like when the thermometer is clawing out of the doldrums of winter, that sweet seventy degrees mark, has been met, tonight, and now after not seeing that number for a spell, it has returned as if to say “so, you had your fun, time to get back to things”, everything in the world seems just a bit cooled off, the sun was not as punishing, and did not deliver as much heat to disperse after dark, no more lingering simmering in the dark hours, everything has a mild comfortable chill to it, right in the bulls-eye of comfortable, like all things inevitable and subject to the yoke of time, the season marches on hardly looking for my approval or nod, even the bugs seem to be taking it easy tonight, I can sit outside and wiggle my toes in all delight without the constant swat of my horse tail hands chasing mosquitoes about, maybe they are tired of the game as well, resting somewhere to enjoy the night, even the usual summer din is dialed back… just a touch, does heat magnify sound or just a biological hitch, I suppose, but either way I am swept away into this lull, nothing changed in my life today, no circumstance worsened or lightened, but yet somehow life seems a bit lighter this night, I can close my eyes, take a more abnormally deep breath than I might, to capture as much of this moment internally I think, as I breathe it all in, capture it, harness it, even in just the moments, pen it into memory, store it away for that proverbial rainy day or better yet on one of those brutally cold january nights when I need a fire from an internal source… to remind of this day, to remember late august, the calm, the just warm… enough, that line of seventy degrees, a breeze flowing about the trees in good nature, the last of a day’s light transitioning into a pillow to lay down, on a cloud, now illuminated by moonlight, and let the gentle wind wash, bend, send, blend you unto the night, into the night, into the sleep of content dreams…
8.21.2019, Fluke Edition…
I was perusing the fish section of my local Wegman’s supermarket today, and they had Fluke, now Fluke is often referred to as “summer flounder” and is a very east coast thing, especially this time of year as they migrate close to shore abandoning their deep ocean homes, because like everything in jersey, it flocks to the shore in the summer, even the damn fish… I haven’t seen Fluke in a while, maybe I wasn’t quite looking, or maybe happening upon it today was just a fluke… they remind me of summer, day boating, or as we more common in these parts referred to them as “party boats”, you can do the math, but suffice it to say they were quite lax on allowing libations as stowaways, hell, you could not even spell “fishing charter” without ‘beer’, I must say the night boat trips were rather interesting, so yeah, I used to fish for Fluke as a kid, one of those very summer memories even though you can fish for them year round surely, I recall the party boats were with friends, but I remember the times with my dad more vividly, on my uncle’s boat, I don’t even recall how old I was, but the whole routine, getting on the boat not falling in, untying the ropes and such, the shiny white surfaces, chugging out slowly out of the marina, stopping at the gas station dock for fuel, food and bait-fish, eventually picking up a little speed out of the harbor, passing sandy hook, then skipping along the water until whatever destination was chosen was met, casting out our lines, catching mostly sea robins, and the occasional fluke, large enough to keep and then consume, that feeling when as the smallest person on board and you catch the catch of the day, the biggest fish, not often but sometimes, following the seagulls around as they spot schools, casting out to catch some blues among the frenzy, spending the whole day on the water, hours not mattering, starting at sunrise and finishing near sunset, all in a blink, I so romanticize it now, forgetting the work, getting up before dawn (ahem, not my specialty, ever), scrubbing everything down on the boat, the slime of the fish on your hands, the gunk on your shirt and shorts, that time my brother was unloading the catch and picked up my fish (the champ, the trophy of the day) and dropped it… back into the water, right by the dock, my heart swam away with the fish I lost, the rank old dead fish odor of the fillet station on the dock, the errant old scales all about like shiny little plates on a tangled fishing line wind chime, gutting the fish, evisceration of organs, the seagulls and shore birds in a veritable orgy of gore that they found so tasty as we threw the scraps and bits into the water next to the moored boat, and then becoming the bearer of a proud ziploc of perfect triangles of fish, to be had later as a reward or frozen – never seen from again… but my immediate recollection was all the positive things, and maybe just maybe that should be my focus when experiencing life, as it seems that is what we most remember anyway, there must be a reason for this, some biological thing I suppose, I doubt that it is just… a fluke…
8.19.2019, The Carousel of Life…
Being at a family gathering can give you interesting perspectives, maybe it is lost on some, perhaps on the young, on those who don’t step back and look at the whole, but I suppose that is what makes me who I am, an observer, sometimes on the outside, the carousel of life, but the more I thought, the more I observed, “carousel” is a terrible word, and an even worse analogy, it sounds lofty and poetic but is not true, a carousel, well, by it’s very nature people hop on and off, riding fake fabled beasts, everything is decoration and pomp, lighting and circumstance, you always arrive from where you came, that is not life indeed, as un-glorious as it may seem, life is more like a conveyor belt powered by unrelenting time, not quite unlike that famous lucille ball clip, but perhaps more subtle, just in one glance I am looking at the end of the belt and near to the beginning, those starting their lives off, moving into family mode, those watching their grandchildren blossom into adulthood, those nearing the end and faculties fade and old tried stories remain and remind of days long gone by, the passage of time, the belt just moves along, never stopping, always forward, there is no fight to be won, just enjoy the ride…
I wonder about my place on the belt as well, somewhere in the middle of all this, but my experience is vastly different, I suppose I am on a different route, same belt, more doubt, wondering if I could have or should have done things differently, of course this is feeble distraction and not worth my time, but I can not say I do not indulge in the delusion of that particular rabbit hole, the ‘what ifs’ bear intoxication, as dreams mainline into my veins, here, at a summer night, one block off the ocean, the breeze coming in, a cover band of covers I don’t recognize, probably bon jovi and springsteen as is the custom here in my native rock, I notice the air has condensed on the banisters of the deck, I look around and realize I am reading a book, a story, an amstel in my hand, drips condensation down on to my leg, I wonder if they can read what I am thinking, or what they think of me, families are a strange thing, people you know your whole life but at times more mysterious than friends, years pass and things seem the same, the only gauge is hair, lack thereof, and kids, who are no longer kids, I must admit I passed a grin, even if none of this is for me, at least for now, probably never, but there is joy in others, even if we are on a factory floor, riding a conveyor belt to an inevitable end… maybe the best if this is a carousel, if I choose to look at the draw, the charm, the joy, the smiles, on a summer night, by the beach, hearing stories of childhood from eighty year olds, why not… circle around again and enjoy it all… again…
prologue, a travel story of phobias and foibles…
I was off last weekend so trying to snag two saturdays in a row would not be feasible with work (or fair to my fellow workers, I have this strange work ethic thing happening), but I did manage to leave the office @ 3:30 pm which seemed reasonable to get somewhere by 5:00 pm in a state where you can pretty much drive anywhere in 2 hours (give or take), and this was not (well should not have been) a 2 hour drive, certainly a sparkling day, not too humid, and I am traveling to the shore… so expectations are a damn nice ride, if I can get there, ah, the garden state parkway, in summer, living up to the “park” portion that is for sure, I was colored surprised figuring if you want to get to the shore, you leave friday, or early saturday, why oh why would saturday later afternoon be a traffic magnet, but I suppose the universe was conspiring against me, although I should really just relax a bit, this is a family gathering, not a court appearance, so, I tried to convince myself of that, although I don’t like to be late, I nod to myself to accept my fate (well, OK I think I went about 82% and held onto the rest anxiousness, c’mon that is progress), so, I slog through some traffic, mainly just frustrating, as there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the flow, or lack thereof, stopping, starting, darting, speeding up for four miles to come to a complete stop, the relentless tease of release which does not come until I am well south of edison, around the arts center, at least there was no concert tonight, time is ticking, the hour of the party is approaching, I have to stop myself from thinking, just accept being late, just a margin of how late, half an hour, seems reasonable, but 42 minutes? for some reason that makes me feel like a scoundrel, ah, turn up the tunes, you live in a world with thousands of choices within reach, jam out for a bit, for some reason, and I do not know why, “monmouth beach” sounds so much closer in my mind than it actually is, am I conflating “monmouth” as an area, or the college? this is almost a foreign area to me, I have been every place in and around it, all the roads, 35, 36, all of it so well traveled in my travels, but never right HERE, strange, how could I miss out on something as great as “seven bridges road” as you crest and fall like slow waves up and over gorgeous views, water is more of a power broker here than land, it shapes everything in your eye, surrounding, people hiking with fishing poles, I’m jealous, but I have somewhere to be, even if late, my GPS glares at me screaming 5:42 arrival – no matter how fast I seem to go, I think I earned back a minute, damn these things for being so damn accurate, as the miles dwindle, the sky in the coming not so distant distance is beginning to resemble smoke, so of course your mind starts to wander to wonder? is that smoke ? or is that fog? well, I am travelling right in that direction so I suppose I will find out, and the closer I get to my destination (always a bit of trepidation to new locations is creeping in), the closer I get the sun is more obscured, it is not cloudy for sure, just this amorphous fog that seems to have dark streaks, one thing about the shore, you know you are there when every street seems to have a purposeful name… “seaview avenue”, “ocean avenue”, “atlantic avenue”, “dave don’t turn here blvd”, ok, I made the last one up… so here I am tooling about this town I know nothing about, a strange mix of old style beach houses, huge porches, decks, those awnings that remind me of the beach as a kid in deal and yet also italian restaurants, and then there is some other gaudy mansions, roman columns, some other homes that look like an architect could not resist bucking what a beach house should look like, I am probably rubber necking, I try and keep my eye on the prize and be aware of cars behind me, but this is a nice town, it is all new and yet familiar to my jersey DNA, I make a turn, I think I’m here, on the street at least, frantically looking for the number 10, making sure I am not causing a traffic dust up, that must be it, over there, on my left, catering truck check, OK, first mission accomplished, time to park, oh, there’s my brother’s car, definitely got the right place, damn, was that a space in front of him? hard to tell, there is yellow curbs and some curbs kind of colored with rust that in a flash throw me off, so I go to the next block… can I fit there? I have a perception problem, I always over estimate the size of my car, which makes parking a loving endeavor or I drive around needlessly for too ling, so I begin to parallel park, damn, awful angle, and I knew it pulling in, a quick look, eh, no one saw me as I now micro correct my parking job back, turn, forward, back, curb, forward, turn, turn, back, no curb, whew, back, back, park and I’m in, so I grab my offering and saunter over to the house, up the driveway, “hey dave”, it’s my brother, in the garage, I assume up to no good, but no, he was helping his beau prepare a cake in the form of a truck, like one of those cakes you see on TV that looks more like a toy than chow, but it was apparently a rice krispies cake, pretty neat I must say, although I hate sweets, looking more forward to the clams and such, I’m a mollusk freak in that way, so all my fears now allayed, I stroll to the back of the place, noting all the house features, the smell of the ocean is faint at the moment, and the fog? yes, I almost forgot about the fog, since I smell no smoke, this must be fog that decided to join us from over the water, no matter, no matter at all…
8.13.2019, back to normal edition
my suburban jungle, the town of my birth, although the town I grew up in and knew has certainly grown larger through the years, still recognizable as the same animal as when I was a child, perhaps some of the habitat has changed, so, this is my domain, and surely I should know all the creatures great and small, human or otherwise, within my bubble safari, but alas, I have spent 48 hours romping in the wilds of new jersey, taking in those foreign sights, sounds, scents of another world not so far but far enough from familiar home, and now returned, sitting out here, I am finding the noise, the human traffic absurdly loud, a rattling diesel truck, a jet that seems to be roaring rumbling 10 feet above my head, various cars and their various escalation of rates of acceleration as the sound finally reaches me, bounces off and then Doppler effects me as they pass, the chatter on cellphones as others take their nightly walks, I have seen them all before, they seem like strangers masquerading as my neighbors, I don’t remember their manner being so distracting. can a mere 48 hours away have gone and transformed me into some feral new jersey man? nell jersey? (although my powers of speech and distinct joizee accent remain) I suppose it is all what you become accustomed to, acoustics, visualistic, olfaction, all those… the local mosquitoes are quite bothersome but not nearly compared to their giant cousins the unrelenting torrent of greenheads that ransacked my legs, I stroke my chin, damn, I need a shave, time to get back to this reality, this civilization, and readjust to the current situation, my re-urbanization, re-insertion into the matrix I am used to, knowing that some piece of me is still in there for the out there, wild, and ready to roam free, wild, feral, should the chance provide…
8.12.2019, post mini vacation edition
I have been blogging (writing) about ‘unremarkable days’, how there is something to be found in them regardless of how ordinary they may seem, and surely those days outnumber the rest by a large margin, but today was one of those other days, the one where you can remove the “un” entirely, picture book clouds on perfect hand-picked blue print, the sun just quite hot enough as you teeter on the brink of sweat but the damn never breaks, and again, the clouds, not a one with ill intent or a portent to rain (not even a hint), just fluffy white dreams that steal your imagination with their shapes, the kind of day where just looking at the sky makes you smile and drift… I was even mired in hours of Sunday-to-home traffic from the shore, but it felt different, it felt OK and perhaps better, this is the type of day, the type of day that releases you from your daily lease, relief from the daily grind, your personal slate is wiped clean and you can just… be, in the moment, this moment, like experiencing a long slow deep breath from sunrise to sunset…
Is this because I took a couple of days off to commune with nature? sure, could be, I believe in re-charging your batteries, I should just learn to take my advice more often… there is this strange exhaustion you feel when you vacation right, you aren’t quite tired or quite refreshed, but are, in both respects, you feel like you can take on the world or not have a care in it, a false premise of course, but I’ll take it in these moments, again, one of those things I wish I could bottle, or prescribe to myself and the world to ingest on a daily basis, but I suppose if it was all that easy, everything would be that easy, so I say to you (and me, by extension, as this is my voice here) go find ‘it’, try to find that thing that at once flushes your system out from the daily weight, sheds the chains, let’s you take flight, find out that which both exhausts you and in the same action re-energizes you, for this life, that is where I am at tonight, my dog, she does not seem impressed… but I can bribe her with peanut butter, so her vote doesn’t count…
8.9.2019, the sun will come out (or so I am told, I’m not convinced)
as much as I love rain, and thunderstorms (specifically), sometimes the wonder is shadowed over by angst or perhaps the persistence of the rain, driving in urban new jersey is perilous enough, throw in what looks like the contents of a washer on psycho spin cycle up against your windshield and even the staunchest optimist-acrat can become trodden down, last night was such one of these nights, no end to traffic in site, no accident on my side, not that I can see anyway, the whirring of flashing lights, ambulance, tow truck, fire truck, police, all speak to the seriousness of the wreck I can not even see, but in front is a winding river of endless angry red taillights, behind me a cauldron of various states of humanity, ranging from frustration, to anger, to the begrudging acceptance of fate, this night, a one hour drive stretches miles into two although the toll feels more like years shaved in-artfully off my soul, like a blunt object piercing my skull (think head butting a bowling ball, rinse, repeat), I should know better than succumb, but the seductive sirens sitting there on the concrete medians sing their song seducing, and lure me nearly into the rocks amidst this throng of mass humanity, somehow, by providence, sheer will, experience, and perhaps some blind luck I make it home without a scratch, aside from the aforementioned carved up and beaten about soul, I should know better, and have a firewall in place to brace for such equations, but sometimes 2+2 adds up to more than four, or my math skills have deteriorated past the point or no return, at least for now, I arrive in my driveway, did I mention I hate traffic?
so this brings me to this morning, nothing unusual there, the humidity is making my car sweat, or perhaps the rain when I slept, no matter, I pop my trunk and water runs out on my arm good enough to soak a sleeve, “ah, continuation” I think, and so it goes, on down the road, same lefts and rights and lights and cars, of course there is an accident by the on ramp, why wouldn’t there be? getting to work on time becomes more of a fantasy than concrete reality, just more salt in the old wound I suspect, and the trek, why would the turnpike be clear this morning, thursdays are for traffic they say, or they don’t, but I think it anyway, anything to keep my mind drifting into road rage, which is a misnomer, I clearly am not mad at the road, the road can not help the lack of planning that has it crowded so, besides the poor thing is out here all hours of night, in all weather, so who am I to gripe? against my fellow man, woman or whatever, perhaps then, I watch people in my mirrors jockey in the lanes like slow motion indy 500 drivers, somehow I think myself better than them as I stay put in my lane, a little pocket of joy pops when I pass them, and a sliver of grrrr when they pass me, just the same, what the hell am I doing contemplating such things? feeling the swirling, like flushing down a drain, the rain is still in the zip code but relenting, and then, as if I texted the sky gods, the sun decided to have a go, a little late, but better now than never, you know one of those times like it seems the sky has opened and the very light of heaven is streaming down ? yeah, something like that… literally as if I had reached up in my basement and pulled that old string attached to the too short chain attached to the rickety light bulb that is probably older than dirt itself (judging by the dust cloud puff), the blazing sunlight bathes my car from hood to rear like a curtain pulling back, and then quite suddenly I felt a sense of, I don’t know how best to describe it, joy ? uplifting… joy? joy-spiration? (sure, that works) I did not literally turn 180 degrees as that would be foolish (and illegal, not to mention dangerous) but my spirit certainly did, in an instant of just abundant joy, from a mere smattering of sunlight revealed, and people wait on street corners for drugs… I should corner the market I tell you (if I could bottle the stuff)… but anyway, the moral of the story, well, OK there is no moral per se, just a reminder, a little spark of joy might just be around the corner (or the next one), so when you get dressed in the morning, remember your underwear (important), lace up your shoes with some hope, attune your ears to receive positive radar pings, warm up your eyes to the idea of possibility, be open to the world… and you may, just may, find a little slice of heaven out there just waiting for your to discover… or even just some crumbs of happiness, I’ll take either or the latter…
8.5.2019, that castle up on the hill
so much of what we are told is what we are told, I ponder about that castle up on the hill, that was my dream, once all seemingly within my reach, it was what I was supposed to be, the prince, the crown, the queen, then king, the life laid out before I knew anything of this life, down the hill, from that great mount, but, upon rainbow’s end, it was not real, just an ideal of what I was supposed to want, to aspire to be, in the image planned, of those who raised this vessel and chose what might fill the same, the directions I might start out upon, which roads I should follow, and how the other choices were trails that led to nothingness from their experience or opinion, but for yet those before had never laid their own eyes beyond those walls either, and rather engender the dreams I might have gathered, pointed me in the direction of their own, not by malice, or ill intentions, of the hope of granting that castle dream to a future generation, dreams, as such, are best kept to those asleep, for it is better to sit under these stars than to pretend I belong among them, but, do not interpret this the wrong way, but for this is not despair or the death of dreams, this is forthright ground, dirt I can clasp in my hand and sprinkle out on the earth in front of me, this is not despair, to understand the common life, a human life, for there is plenty to wonder at there…
this is quite an unremarkable night, as most are, the sunset is not particularly grand, the clouds are just swabs of gray against a not even blue sky, but here I lie, here I am, breathing in such breath, creating words from the fruit of the universe filtered down through my hand, and this pen, I could despair, I could dwell on all the wrong, out there in the world, or know, and truly feel, alive, untouched, at the moment, by the great miseries, that stalk us down, but tonight, this night, that dark finger has not crossed me, not pointed me out, not tapped on my shoulder and gave me that nod, for this is my time, my dream, an unremarkable life perhaps in the scheme, of things, not a castle on a hill, not a cache of riches, not the adoration of faceless masses, just the sheer miracle and joy of this existence, even if this, is just for a minute, let this by my tale so others may know it…
7.26.2019, immediate take, walking the dog @ 2am(ish)…
life should be like just now, let my dog scamper about, the temp is, just right, the summer sounds are still about, but nothing is stirring at 2:30am, it is a time you can have for yourself in these parts, right at this particular time I have no issues pending, I could quit my job with no consequence, I am of good health, I have no worries outside of anything really, and it all seems in line tonight, so relaxing and releasing, my dog’s silhouette walking the strip of lawn between the sidewalk and the curb (a truly suburban thing), she turns her head and looks at me, and I say “no, it’s OK” as usually I am in a hurry for some nonsense reason, tonight I think, let her roam free, not too free mind you, I do not feel like tracking her down when she ranges… and she does range sometimes, she always comes back, BUT there is always that underlying panic that grows each minute when I know she is out of my vocal reach or vision reach, I know in my mind she always comes back, she always does, but the what if… the what if always plays with your mind… tonight, is not that night, she stays tightly bound to me, maybe recognizing the hour, I do talk to her like a person, “hey, before we go out, make it quick, it’s late” as if she understands that sentiment, I pretend she does, I can delude myself and elevate my dog full rosetta stone, thank you very much, for it works, at least tonight, no panic, she deposited what she had to, for me to clean up in the morrow, but came back with just a snap, and all was good… and with that I am off to hopeful dreams, lay my head down and sleep, for a few hours at least…
7.22.2019, hot hot hot…
I could sense a palpable sigh as the rain began to fall, as if the ground was tired of holding up the heat and wished to heave the warmth back into the sky, I watched the lightning coming in, the breeze as an emissary picking up, I am in no hurry to run for cover, this is a welcome rain, I have seen days that hit three digits, I have seen heat waves, so this was not some panic toxic today, just a nod to not be working out in the yard, better to dip your feet in the water and sip on a frozen pina colada by the neighbor’s pool, some would say my mother raised a fool, but at least not this day, so anyway, back to the rain, I am not sure if it is perception, reaction, or imagination, the change seems swift, the temperature drops like a bullet, plummets, not very scientific of me, just the feel, the hair on my arms as the weather stations reporting the local condition, my dog rolling around on her back, in the grass, getting all wet, she does not like to be clean, she’s over ten years old now, so she has earned the privilege of her particular needs, so I let her roll around until her dog heart is content…
why is lightning so fascinating ? the largeness of it? the semi magical seeming nature of it? the perceived and real danger? Even though we mostly know technically what lightning is… does that remove the wonder? not for me, maybe not for you. the rain is coming now, the breeze with subtle trumpets has announced, and you can hear the sheets creeping, falling, advancing, feet from me now, an errant drop scout here and there in my hair, I was facing the wrong direction, somehow, the rain snuck up on the rear while the light show distracted the front of house, nature, she has been at this a good deal longer than I, she will always have the upper hand no matter how smart I might project to be, the only question now is, how wet do I care to be? no soak tonight, I casually stroll back to my door as it now really cracks the sky to pour, I hear the symphony of downward water pounding on the leaves, increasing, I call out to sam to “come inside”, she obliges, her little happy bouncing gate in stride, and back I go, the weight of the heat of the day lifted, I look forward to open skies in the morning.
7.18.2019, Dancing in the Rain…
another long standard (read: stressful) day @ the office, I wanted to sit out on the old porch tonight and muse to transport my mind off-world or on-world just somewhere else, the weather, on the other back hand slap, had other ideas, and decided to mess heavily with my commute with continuous walls of rain, so I was burned out by the time I arrived @ home night, much later than hoped, and drained, so I decided what the hell… remember the scene from Shawshank where Andy crawls out from the tunnel? yeah, something like that, I happen to love thunderstorms, the pageantry, the power, the light-show, so… I stepped outside, barefoot as I am known to do these days, and frolicked in the rain like a silly spun child, pouring rain that began to pour more so as I go, so what if I get soaked to the bone, what does it matter, why did I ever care about rain on my shoulders, or hair, or else, I found myself splashing about the puddles on my driveway, still quite warm from a 90 degree blazing sun day, and on the lawn, much cooler, grass reaching up and flooding the gaps in my toes, somehow being barefoot and about outside in the world is a taste of free range, I have been doing it quite often as of late, just not in a torrent of near blinding rain, I twirled around a bit under the street light like a top, hands out, palms up, forgot about any dirt or grit that might be about, pacing slowly pacing on my lawn, flexing my toes like talons to pick up all the sensations, so this is Barry? I thought to myself, how do you do sir, heard a good deal about you, long way to travel just to see New Jersey from the Gulf, but he won’t be in town but for the night, so I say adieu and goodnight, soaked to the skin, I feel refreshed, renewed, relaxed, a localized baptism, experience, why did I ever run from the rain in the past? and why did it take me so long to reconnect to such simple pleasures, kicking around in a puddle without a care of consequence, letting go of all my adult trappings, washed down to the curb, next time I think, however, I should throw on a bathing suit… my knickers are sticking…
7.15.2019, life moments… waking…
Sometimes feelings sweep over me, I can not explain, it is like revelation burst, just something changes, a realization, this is not always a pleasant experience, today, I stepped out into the sun soaked summer day, for the utterly mundane task of putting out the garbage, the sun felt great on my back, my bare feet warmed on the driveway, I avoided stepping on sharp pebbles, all seemed OK, but I then just felt a wave, who the hell am I? how the hell did I get here right now? surely this is not the be-end of my dreams of years ago, am I even recognizable from that? externally? in my mind I am the same person all this time, I think, but how did I get here, I feel lost, I feel out of place, I feel I have no place, logically I know I am living a life far greater than many in this world, I know this intellectually but can not get it to sing in my bones, like I think it should, how did I get here? I feel like foreigner in my own land, walking the garbage bin out to the curb I feel out of place in a place I have known so well and so long, as if I was sitting on a train, speeding past my life, a decade spent, gone, a decade gone, spent, just riding along watching the landscapes blur by, nothing of consequence happens, just time passes, and here I am, off the train, at this stop, barely recognizing the universal familiar, I feel lost, adrift, knowing who I am but not how I fit, how did I get here?
change is a fickle thing, I have made progress this year from here to there, I’m just not back yet, I can not say I have lived in the lands of despair but I surely indulged in the rituals of same, denial of the self, finding it easier to retreat into a shell, to autopilot, to become a passenger to my own life, in all I must remember that the way up and out is not a straight line, it never will, but sometimes I am reminded how far I have not gone, the failures, the lure and comfort of normalcy, of conformity, of base expectation when I am capable of much more, but only the internal knows the true potential, it is draining, at times the energy is not there, I must retain to summon the cost, for it is worth every moment here on this earth, I struggle to find the strength, on this night, at least, I must find the missing ingredient.
7.10.2019, general musings…
I decided to mix things up a touch, I was in the mood to listen to some music while I sat out here, contemplating my little world and all the whole thing, strange to see the world moving around but not hearing all the usual sounds, just the ones I chose, melody, the beats almost mold my experience, my butt perched in the same old spot, watching much the same scenes, I imagine myself as those clouds, over there, the last warmth, the last rays of the day upon my face, much more comforting than the sun of noon, a warming palm upon my cheek, as the temperature casually calms into a more comfortable zone…
have you ever really watched fireflies? they make no sense, like a top, they spin around in all directions until they stop, their wings are the illusion of spin, little bells hanging and bobbing in the wind, it all seems so random, there must be some purpose I think, it just eludes me, irony, irony would be that the secret of life resides in the dancing chaos of this common summer insect in my yard, why not? maybe it is them not eye, that has a case on the pulse of the universe, light without electricity, I can only imagine what ancient people thought of these things, magic? or something else? but, we, are so much more evolved, our cars, houses, computers, et al… but in the end we are all doing the same things, living, loving, telling stories to each other by the fire, my fire happens to be this blog, irony, like a log, sitting on a log, in front of a fire, seeing embers crackle up into the night sky like starry travelers, telling stories of wonder, of the future, of the past, of things mystical, wonderful, and true, or that hold some truth, for truly, how much have we changed, aside from all the extra layers of technology, are we just the same?
7.5.2019: on the eve of holiday…
be a cliche, today was that summer day, hot, sun bearing down, blacktop hot enough to burn bare feet, I think my plants have adjusted too well to this year’s heavy rains, they have become accustomed to what seemed always available @ immediate now, so we share that weakness of assumption in the snapshot, so, just a mere two days without storm and they all look thirsty, sagging in the swelter, not wishing to see them suffer further, and quite proud of my shiny green thumb, I unreel the hose, and let loose the valve, left squeak, left full turn – squeak, left full circle – stop, I hear the flow rush of the water filling up the coils, I reach down to grab the the iron spray-head, forgetting it was sitting in the blistering sun all day, and damn it’s blazing hot, I juggle and fumble just to squeeze the thing to get the cold water going, I spray my hands immediately, sweet relief, I shower my bamboo, my pride and joy plant wise, my personal banzai, really, each year as it grows into a bigger ball, some of the water hits the driveway, and turns to steam immediately, and there is that smell, not of water, of the chemicals and minerals in the water, escaping as gases in the steam, definitely metallic in nature, one of those smells that remains utterly distinct in life, lake water, charcoal on a fired up grill, the first cut into a ripe pineapple, technology does not seem to touch these things, they were the same and are the same for a hundred years, to generations of summer culture.
So, this is a holiday, seems like another day to me, admittedly I expected much more noise outside than this, it is rather quite calm, maybe the heavy weight of the sun has beaten the starch out of life a little today, and the world is in resting phase, but I am sure, on the night, will come the fireworks, to light the sky, mark the occasion, scare my dog, overtures and songs, a holiday throng when fireworks are certainly foreign born.
For me, nothing is different tonight, just sitting here contemplating life, fate, the past, the future, what it all means as if I have the means to solve this puzzle in the first place, as the sun sits between the V of two branches, I understand how holidays can isolate, make you feel lonely, all the joyous sounding around, and you are not part of it, of course some of that is by choice, yes I must confess I am not the social butterfly I once never was, has this past year been better, yes, by slow standards, although change happens all around us all the time, inner, personal change does not seem up to speed, the relics of the past, deeds, memories, they are bindings much stronger in comfort than landing first foot in the new world, landing, with wonder, and fear, will that new land be as “good” as the old I left (or should have fled), the fear, even if home was built on the cold stone face of misery, misery loves comfort, for even the walls of a prison can become familiar horizons, to the point where beyond those walls no longer matters, this is why I struggle to construct pillars of reminder, the truth is rather easy and consistent in most things, we know what is right, what must or should be done, in our deepest well lurks the truth, what we know, that our days are quite literally numbered, there is a countdown as to which we are bound but not allowed to witness, but we know of it’s existence, do we all live in the moment, as if this may be our last minute? do I? maybe this is my reminder, my map, my guide, taking the time to let the “important” world slide away and just consider thoughts in writing, and maybe the rest will arrive, in it’s own time, trust not in despair, you know what is there, trust in the fact, that you are alive, you have a choice, choose the nuptials of love and hope, whenever you can, fail, more than succeed, likely, but it is apparent, that for most of us, this was never meant to be easy…
7.2.2019: a beach where you may make it…
maybe this is my beach, my refuge, after a long day of grinding, phones ringing beating on my drums, the same old problems at work wrapped up all new and presented, with even a different card and perfume, fading, the low discernible rumble of local traffic humming on the main road beyond sight and a treeline, much like the murmured roar of surf past the markers, strolling barefoot through the soft evening dew of the longer grass, like wading my toes in the small surf of flattened waves receding, splashing with my feet by standing and swinging my legs, as if on a hinge, swinging through the soft wet blades, if kicking up sand, deliberately, the birds, not the same calls, not the same flock, nor the same stock, but birds, none-the-less, sunset etching dunes upon the cloud lines, glowing, reflecting back on the passing day, fireflies like night time embers rising spiral from a log’s crossed flame, the hint of humidity on the tongue, in deep breaths from the nose, moisture hanging in the air, right now, right here, not beholden to any train or bus schedule, or alarm clock, or care, yes, I imagine this is my shore, as it were, a substitute perhaps, perhaps more, perhaps more.
“I council with the earth
read knowledge upon the leaves
reach down and grasp the dirt
to further my beliefs
learn patience from the sky
imagination from the clouds
the flowers teach me of beauty
of which we are all endowed.”
7.1.2019: summer sounds…
the sounds of a summer night offer a certain melody maybe mistaken for cacophony, school is out, a holiday looms in a few, the sun has warmed the all and now it is beginning to cool, my neighbors to my left are having a pool party, loudly, but not obnoxiously, I used to want a pool myself, too much trouble now, to few days to use it properly in this climate zone, I would much rather prefer a jacuzzi to soak away the troubles of the day, the daily aches and pains of age, besides, I have no children, just a dog, and she seems fine with a water hose and the occasional ride to the beach, have you heard squirrel-speak? kind of a high pitch squeal, something you might imagine a little pig in the trees to make but more shrill, at first you surely would not think of a squirrel, but mostly the younger ones make this sound, the breeze is on double time tonight, lulling me as it creates a tangible rustle as it touches down through the branches and leaves, rising and falling in intensity, not quite as timely as a tide but much the same calling, much the same effect, at times it climbs higher in pitch and fierce force – for just a moment, ready, as if to crash down upon me like a giant wave, and then it relents returning back again to subtle flow, my neighbors are of vietnamese descent, well, they happen to be very american, but many of their relatives speak the native tongue, completely foreign to me only in the fact that I can recognize it is foreign, obviously, but some how… familiar, I mean it is a pool party after all, not a debate about world politics, more or less the same things that go on under the sun, by the grill, silly floating animals, splashing, dont do thats doing thats, the whole family component of people you only see on such occasions, the mourning doves are cooing, a very persistent dog is barking in the close distance, may be a street away, might as well be 100 miles, I look out into all the plants I have planted, great and small, how they come back every year, until they don’t, and how permanent it all seems, in this moment, but of course the only thing that is permanent is change, so I gladly admire my little space in suburbia, and continue to paint it with these words as it was, because was is all that ever is, was, I was sitting here tonight, listening, that dog is still barking, the party is settling out, an airliner rumbles out of view somewhere in the sky, the world is getting quieter, softer, as the day wears thin, so to does my mind, trying to ingest this as nourishment to fuel my being, this feeling, this now, this was.
6.26.2019: what is done on the porch, stays on the porch (OK, not really)
so you have returned
I might call you a beacon
but know not who you signal
a lighthouse perhaps?
but we are miles from any shores
perhaps you are a flare
but I see no alarm
in any part of the land,
are you just a flash in the pantheon
of your winged kind
an oddity among your brethren
as you sway and dip and climb,
where have you been all this time?
only to return
in your love of the sweat humid nights
I suppose you are a wiser being than I
for your pick of season
seems that of an inspired mind,
I do not know your purpose
or even your fate
my little floating lantern
you seem to exist for only beholder’s sake,
good night, my sweet darling of light.
how would I know if I am hallucinating right, now, or dreaming, or is this my mind interpreting the stimulus around me as best as this evolved design can handle, I suspect there are mathematical equations in the leaves, calculable variables in the way each blade of grass has sprung – and not sprung, am I really seeing this the same as you, on a physical level? how can I ever know, I wonder if I might borrow your eyes, ears and tongue someday, to experience the world truly by the only true thing, comparison, how do I know something is “more” green of I have not seen the other green, or many green.
I wear glasses, does it make the world clearer, or alter my designed perception as extracted from the DNA pod of my mother’s womb, all those year’s ago, was I meant to see the world near-sighted all this time, so my imagination of far things would be, just that, imagination, why is there higher value in rote homogenization? or should we embrace what makes us less perfect or same average in pursuit of our own perception of this reality? a unique perspective from a seemingly similar vessel.
I stare deeply at a flower, it is not moving, but -it -is, at some basis, there are millions of particles that make up one petal, and they are in petal in perpetual motion, I just can not see this movement, so, in this we assume the whole as solid based on observation, or at least our perception of solid, not concerned that we are definitely not seeing what is actually going on, the reverse would be true if we were a speck on the moon, looking down at the earth, no idea about the billions of humans moving about, but surely that micro world is vivid and alive, not dead as it looks from this above, so perspective, time, location determine which version of the world we see and to what extent, as it spins blindly under our feet.
so, am I hallucinating?
I’ll never know…
6.22.2019: summer solstice edition
if ever there was a day, a day to ride the light from dusk ’til dawn, today would be that day, and so it was, and so I did, I would love to tell you it was some great plan of mine, some great scheme, but I would be lying, just the random circumstance of life forcing my hand, would I be droll if I still said
“this was a long day”…
that would be both empirically accurate and anecdotally emphatic, because of the way it felt and this is, truly the longest day of the year by actual time measure, but other yardsticks poked their rule-y heads up this day, I had a store to open on the East Side, New York City that is, waking up at 5am to get a jump, showered, the dog walked, rye toast in tow, in the car by 5thirty, cruising, the sun not rising, at least visibly, only rain clouds writing the morning forecast on the canvas out before me, and then, then the faucet opens, full tilt, pouring, all of a sudden my dreams of beating the traffic become being the traffic, I get over the bridge and onto the FDR, I can not say what the “F” stood for this morning but it certainly was not Franklin…
so the freeway was doing it’s best impression of a parking lot, so to have a shot at being on time I hopped off on Park Avenue, making sure to avoid the guy with the sign in the middle of said FDR (a very common occurrence), cut across, 40 blocks down, all the while the rain beguiling me with change of pace, a constant game with my wipers engaged at the right speed, so I arrive, sort of on time, I must admit I scoped out a local coffee joint to try, so I loaded up on a latte, got over to the store grand opening, pouring, pouring rain, a grand total of ten customers in two hours, does not make the time fly I tell you, so the time passes, mostly all goes well, that chore doused, store secure on their own now, noon, around the corner I walk into the parking garage, slap down $38 buckaroos for 5 hours of parking, a guy drives up next to me standing, and rolls down his window
“hey, I will only be an hour”
I don’t recall wearing my garage attendant uniform, I look down and check anyway, nope, not today, besides I am holding a mouse and keyboard, not exactly common garage guy fare, from my experience at least, so I cheerfully offer to take the car off his hands (a spankin’ new mercedes sedan no doubt), it would be a nice upgrade after all, he realizes his mistake, and is very apologetic, I wasn’t offended anyway, with that charade passed I make my way back to HQ in jersey knowing there is a pile of files waiting for me to wade through and down, unfortunately, I am quite right about that pile, except little fires keep popping up and I am brigaded to those tasks while the pile grins at me, gleeful, for it knows it has gained a temporary stay of execution, the governor’s call has come in, for today, at least, admittedly the time passes faster in this bowl of hectic, I hardly notice the rain has hopped on a cruise out to sea and given way to delightful golden rays, six o’clock rolls around, predictably, right at 6, I figure over 12 hours is quite enough off this already…
so here I sit, the day has turned about, this morning was like a dreary monday dragging and now I am leaped to an ending friday, a perfect 70 out, truly a tale of 2 sittings, the sun is slowly sinking, the wind is warmly chilling, two baby jack rabbits are grazing, even the usual rambunctious crowd of local birds are just listening, I look out, at this familiar scene, I loosen up my mind, my body, I let my limbs drop limp, I look out and pretend I am a leaf on one of my trees subject to whim, letting the breeze rock me back and forth, to and fro, swaying, filling my sail as the wind sees fit, setting my compass to none, just letting the ocean of air wash over me in waves, with each moment draining away my worldly cares, whisking away the baggage from earlier in this day, as the curtains close, on this, the longest day… the solstice, from dawn to dusk witness, the solstice.
6.18.2019: “the transformative nature of nature (and clouds, at least this occasion)
there are some nights where I can just watch the clouds, flowing by like a lazy, winding river through vast swaying grassy plains, slowly pushing – towards the east in procession, yet another part of the sky is more like a river of smoke, shadows of random forms of no form at all, the pace, the pace, the pace is hypnotic, slow but methodic, the only break, breaks are the occasional diamonds and triangles of a solitary bird flight off to some local destination, here and there, but mostly this is all encompassing one long lone exhale, I am gradually forgetting the day, the work, the traffic, it is all dropping off somewhere behind me, as I stare, and contemplate – the very air, the atmosphere itself, letting enough space in the space between my molecules, my atoms expanding and rising until I am that loose connection of clouds, slowly, calmly, meandering, wandering across that evening sky, sliding up over like a blanket being tucked for a child’s lullaby, before the sleep, I’m at ease, floating freely, loosely, high above the grandest trees, as a cloud, a river of gas of varying degrees, I’m at peace, I am part of the world no matter how small a piece, I am at peace.
yes, see, the world has awoken
the bounty of spring has now been open
life leaps forward sky and ground
for the trees are fullest now
full now within the grand display
however within lies a great irony
they cast more shadow now
than on any winter day
I listen for the distant cars, hoping they will turn down my street so I might know who they are, I stare out at the same view now as always, some might think it unremarkable, or what different things might I see in this common canvas, that I have not seen before, many times before, but I suppose that is the trick of the thing, the longer you look the more you are apt to reveal the nuances and subtleties you would not get on first glance or random chance.
I was out earlier than usual today-tonight, the robins are singing, not in unison, but individually like a one-up-man-ship contest (but in a cordial manner), much unlike the bickering they engage in when it comes to nightly quarters, the shadows of the leafs on my japanese maple are like dark diamonds dancing on my walkway, all because of the breeze, a little show for me or anyone who cared to pull up a chair to the attraction and pay a modicum of attention, pause the real world and just breathe for a second or twelve, so I sit, barefoot, as weather permits, a bumble bee does a fly by across my bridge like tom cruise, and I must admit I quite flinch and then grin at the ridiculousness of the situation, his only weapon is a suicide sting and I am this big bulky thing between him and pollen, his death blow would be mere inconvenience to me, certainly not a pleasant experience but certainly not worth the jumping apprehension I felt on first impression, it is good to catch yourself now and again, and examine your immediate reactions, the why behind that particular reflex…
a little ant is making a run at my big toe, I feel revulsion, surely it is a strange sensation as it works it’s way above my nail, but against initial instinct I do nothing, I have better things to worry about (I tell myself), of course I am not totally sold on being out of the moment, I can’t seem to forget the little traveler now on toe number two, I look down and upon my feet and wonder… how many miles do I have on these things? and looking further wonder how anyone could have a foot fetish, to each their own I guess, the sun is fading, the world is turning into silhouettes in the rising dark, a lone bird on a lone wire, leaves, trees, all 2D cut outs now, a slight breeze flows across and brings peaceful calm, as the world slows, as the world slips… into sleep (for those not nocturnal)
I was driving home from the market tonight, I like to cook my daily lunches in advance for at least part of the week, color me captain prudent, guilty as charged, for some reason, just tonight, a revelation lit up the confines of my car, well, perhaps maybe not as dramatic as an alien abduction, more like a realization in the moment, I noticed (to my left) the strange architecture of a house on some random side street I have never been down, and in fact passed twice now just tonight alone, and all these side roads, I even know their names by heart, but I have never thought about turning down one of them, I always ramble on the familiar path right past them
– every – single – time
there could be inspiration lying in wait there, interesting cars, strange landscape choices (or cool ones), familiar animals doing familiar things in an unfamiliar setting, sheer possibilities to add to the flavor of my personal recipe, a love interest perhaps (OK, maybe I should stop myself, Fabio, I am not), point being, there is an obvious metaphor slapping me about the face with a cold wet fish (yech), so then to why, why do I not explore each and every corner of everything within auto-shot of my door, why? is it just the calming comfort of sameness, the opioid of familiarity, I would like to think of myself as some elevated being, an independent beacon broadcasting light at my own wavelength separate from the common walkers of this life, but, in truth, with all my high mindedness am I just as much a slave to routines, unable (or unwilling) to break the barriers I put on myself, is it an instance of instinct, intrinsic to our nature as humans? or is it risk aversion even if the risk is nothing more than the gentle prod of the unfamiliar, I act as if some random ten minutes of my life holds some great worldly importance, we all become myopic as we are driving this flesh machine with our minds, I think the trick is to recognize this and let go of these tethering things, they brought us here (as a species) but maybe now are the appendix of our psyche, I strive to experience things from a new objective, I can not truly change my perspective, I am me, I can merely change the prescription on my contacts and go forth to look from there, but like all things it must be in steps, I am not a dive into the deep end of the pool kind of guy, that much I know and concede, but I am also not the tip my toe in the water to get accommodated guy, I reside somewhere in between, I wrote this after I arrived back home, I took the usual way, of course, were you expecting more? I have not taken that first step yet, but at least I know it is out there to be had…
tonight is not as delightful as some lately but it is very calm, I just need to remember here and there to explore as much of this world as I may get the chance, be it some exotic location or just that random turn down a street I have passed one thousand times, the world will not end nor bend on the comings and goings of me, although I may feel that way at times, silly as it may be, the world just is, with or without me, and I should carry that like a symbol on a chain, or a bracelet, or ink inlaid in my skin, time will always win, but I have been given time, this time, I own this right now time and space until my least breath, life is truly miraculous. I must always remember that, life is precious and the confluence that created this life is a miracle.
Walking barefoot in the sun, I feel once again young, as if I am looking down at my feet and seeing a child’s body, my body, walking in the sun, a t-shirt and shorts, destinations and appointments give way to innocent desires and pursuits, this feels like the summer I remember in my bones, the warm laziness that calms all membranes, the quelling of all senses, for a moment I utterly bask.
I park my car under a tree, so, things happen in the natural order of things, so I figure I might hose it off as I just had it proper washed on friday, so in the midst of aiming to knock off the bird presents for a moment the hose jerked up, and the breeze picked up, mist sprays into the air almost like slow motion each drop frozen shimmering in the sun, misting me up the legs up my arms and my face, there is immediate revulsion but then a hugely wide smile, there – I am taken into an immediate transfer back in time, I’m a child, with other children, running through a lawn sprinkler on a day just like this, so vivid I can hear and taste the moment, how the water felt on my skin, the belief that we could jump through unwashed or untouched, ‘oh that next jump’, the pure hope of children, such a simple thing, more memorable than some fancy vacation to a posh destination, there is more in slices of life like that than can ever be paid for, the simplicity of a hose attached to a fan sprinkler and the mad dash to jump over them (to be nimbler than jack), such distilled existence, purity of joy and fun with nothing attached to it, no expectations, just the next moment, maybe that is the problem with adulthood, all these outward layers we collect bear us down, in that it is like everything else, you pick up things as you travel, you fill your house, and unless occasion or circumstance demands you to down-size… will you?
I am not saying strip down your clothing until you are a child again, that would be a simplistic thing and I would be a fool doctor to prescribe such a prescription, but maybe take a look around and see what actually benefits and supports your life – and what does not, be that a trinket or a person or a person of trinkets, try to mine down to the things, that are the purest version of your thoughts, you will know them when the shovel hits them, for now I want to go walk in the sun some more, letting my toes explore the lawn, step on an itchy ball or three, let my skin absorb the sun to the point of just sweat, and maybe.. maybe find a sprinkler to jump through (and hopefully not break a leg)
(I escape tonight, with a smile and filled with satisfaction)
the clouds seem to want to have a conversation tonight, I am not sure what about, they seem quite still, shadows painted flat against the blue, not a blue recognizable as a hue you would associate with day, a blue looking over a ledge right before it fades into black, but still perceptibly blue even at almost nine at night, a commercial flight blinking as it moves across the main face, pulsing in and out, passing in and out, just as a car passes by, symmetry in random things, a sign? or just reading the page nature has laid out in front of me…
“I’ll surely miss this one day”
so, I must, with my best intent soak it all in, but then, for a moment I notice the yellow jacket lady has a hitch in her walking steps, and that little detail manages to spirit my attention away, until the subtle shfff shfff scrape shfff shfff scrape fades, no matter how much we stop and look at the world in frame, the world is content to whirl around us never stopping, an unpredictable machine with infinite parts, we announce to the universe that we know the ticks, the gears, the hands, but we are still landlocked on this one planetary earth, as sophisticated as we are… string theory, dark matter, chaos theory, astrophysics, a holographic universe, the multiverse, buckyball (I just wanted to throw that in there because of the name), the god particle (higss boson), all fascinating areas to stretch our limited knowledge wider (and I revel in immersing in all these things as possibility is imagination, dreams into reality essentially), but there is also equal satisfaction in staring at the variance of leaves on a simple single tree, as I am doing now, there is enchantment in looking at what we might ignore in the very daily day but it is it’s own complex network of molecules and matter in a nearly infinite scale, I can get lost in the peaks and valleys in just a tree I planted some years ago with these hands, fascination, watching the subtle twitches from insects or a breeze, mesmerizing, I find myself lost in the moment for a moment or some, another plane breaks through, a train calls out in the distance, as the clouds are fading back into the darkening sky, I forgot by now, what was I going to ask them, what were they going to say ?
So here I sit, halfway through May, 70! seventy seems like such a magical number, a threshold, perhaps mental or winter weary, just 24 mere hours ago I thought about penning the misery of a cold “unforgiving” rain, one that seemed keen to rob me of my day off, I can almost taste them now, in spring, days off, the promise of all the things I love to do outdoors crushed by the cruel scheduling of Mother Nature, but at least, for this moment, I can bask in this, especially after the tides of rain of late, my lawn certainly looks greener than I recall, my Japanese maple is invading the walking path to my door, taunting me to dust off my trimmer, my various bamboo plots are literally jumping out of the ground (not always where planned), the smell of a fresh cut lawn hits me, my neighbor has one of those do-it-all riding mowers and pretty much does my whole yard without a word, who am I to contest? our interactions at best are usually just the nod as I drive past in the morning to work, he’s a good guy, a family man, two kids, he and his wife have the same first name, some sort of cultural thing, “han”, I refer to them as Han Duo, and they get the joke, he invites me to his pool sometimes, I usually decline, at least, I have in the past, I see two asian indian girls walking up the street, I have seen them before, I always wonder about people’s stories, one of them is usually wearing some Rutgers schwag, I don’t know much more than that, or what house they are from, I used to know everyone up and down, but things are different now, or so I am told or so I experience, the day moon stands prominent just above the clouds, shaded in the same color of blue somehow, I’m sure there is some scientific explanation, but I’ll just take awe and contemplation as sustenance for now,
maybe this is a perfect segment of time
no perceptible wind, seventy degrees, the sun is nearly down and certainly no longer in my sights, insects are not yet quite in season (although there are a few outliers but certainly not sipping mosquitoes), I try and listen to the stillness of it all and wish to internalize the sum, capture it, stow it away for future use, rare are the days that allergies do not cripple my olfactory line, this is one of those times, where I can feel the expression of all my senses full, I do not bemoan my condition, it is a mere penance compared to many before and gone, and even, perhaps, a too familiar friend all these years, my iris are in full bloom which most likely is a sure sign my daffodils are quite gone, I do not have the will to go look at the scene of the natural crime, why kill the mood? even the uneven sound of clamoring garbage bins being dragged out to the curb does not top the bird call competition, common birds but still a remarkable collection, and there is quite the mic battle, but, they seem almost like children trying to get the last word in, before the night,
in between light
perhaps that is a better way to think of the dark.
I sit here in that little nook of my porch, the corner where the porch meets the wall, kind of tucked behind the Japanese maple I planted so many years ago, after so many failures, after the birch was gone, the one I grew up with, that now seems like lore, captured only in old photographs, but here I am behind the tree once more, yesterday was a day of beating rain, the type that assaults and holds you prisoner, the storm has passed and moved on, out into the ocean now, along with the wild winds that carried, this makes the sun, even at this late hour, quite welcome to my skin, the sky is quite blue, just a couple of strange cloud formations here and there, more like disembodied puffs of smoke, I find myself mesmerized by how the breeze waves and sways the upper branches of the trees in the fading light, illuminates every crack and cranny in between, there must be a party across the street, a child’s birthday should I guess, they have a whole array of blow up landscapes, slides, and a castle, I think, but their fence is rather quite tall, so I can only enter a suppose of the all, better to yet, let my imagination earn it’s rent in this old head, I never saw such wonders at a local birthday party in my day, not to complain, I realize it is all quite relative of course, I am sure kids of today would not be so enamored by a roller rink, the ground round, or a crown from some fast food joint, the kids across the way are very loud, but honestly I don’t mind the sound, a reminder of where we all once were, living among pure wonder of the world, free of daily encumberment, I pause, can we ever put that good genie back in the bottle? And what of our three wishes, would they be even remotely the same?
“Captain Underpants! Captain Underpants!”
one of the little girls exclaims, I have no idea what it means but she is certainly enthusiastic about it, and then there is an impromptu chorus sung of “We Are The Champions”, it strikes me as amazing to consider that children of that age (9-12 perhaps?) know this song, but I must pinch myself and realize they are grown in the internet age, where discovery is merely an instant away, sharing of art and song is merely a question of getting the suggestion, something 40 years old can be as relevant as something 40 minutes old, with both gone and wiped in another moment, or preserved, or forgotten.
This makes me wonder ,or perhaps more truthfully regret, this scene, will never be mine, I am nearly past the point where children might become a foregone non-conclusion, like everything else I do, maybe I have thought too much into it, planning, worrying, fearing, circumstance building, rather than seizing the living of my life, of course my logical mind can always rationalize, what is the point? They will all die, just as everything does, but I argue with myself, does that mean we simply give up? Or surely try to extract every ounce from this life we possibly can, until the canister of effort is driven empty or fate decides to drop in for that ultimate visit, I think, well, I want to will myself to be, to grab such fruit that I can, from that wisest tree, oh such, in this shortest span, I search for the strength and will of man immortal. (and I lay down my pen).
that first dandelion has appeared in my yard, sure enough to be followed by more, is this that produces the roar of the coming season with that golden mane? the transition of land, the prey shall inherit the earth from the predator, I quite see all the harbinger’s of spring in their many forms, the golden locks of golden rods, the marked pinks and purples of cherry blossoms, daffodils ranging on ‘scaped frontiers, even as I count these happenings the shift seems an instant, is the world a touch greener every minute, each moment, or are my eyes just adjusting.
I watched a cardinal below my window, in the bush, hurriedly and meticulously crafting a nest, flitting off like a bolt to gather more building materials, placing them with expert instinct feet and beak, then sitting upon them, shaking her tail furiously about to settle the lot down, shaking her whole body with decided fury, and settling down to check the foundation, over and over and over again, I watched the process, careful not to disclose my perch, or my intrusion into family work, and on I watch, wondering, wishing, wishing I had such singular devotion in my own daily pursuits.
I must readily admit that the visuals this evening, are… well… not particularly inspiring, my neighbor must have guests as cars line the street announcing there is a party at that location, there is no raucous sounds, and this is not some holiday I know of, perhaps a birthday or anniversary I suppose, what dominates my eyes is the lines, the data and power lines running perpendicular and parallel held up with power poles planted, the human string section of technology, like sign posts of humanity, at least the buds on trees have begun to poke, so easy to spot upon what seems fruitless spines for ages now, but not much else is stirring, so I decide to concentrate on what is.
I close my eyes and this does provide, a requiem of sound…
in this meeting place, where certainly man has dominion, but forever, nature waits, quite benevolent in a sense but still base elemental, waiting for the slip of one little finger, holding back from the dam, through that crack will purge the world of man again, for the dam is forever cracking, we just take solace in our dominance no matter how ultimately precarious.
robins engaged in an endless twitter battle, at times I think I can distill some meaning, perhaps glean a sentiment or two, but I am a reaching fool, for there is no rosetta stone for these fellows, the distant train horn sounds distant but I actually know exactly where the crossing is, the horn does not recall the slick silver boxes of now, it is bathed in nostalgia, or perhaps the filter of my mind, the sound is more of dreams, or movies, an eruption of steam bellows rise, and that gutteral scream of a great whistle, the veritable choo choo, the supreme romance in that, of leaving the station,
either being left behind or now onward to your destination.
I sit out upon my porch, my usual place, do I wish to write about the birds, the coming spring, the buds on trees? I’m simply not in the mood, while all of those things are certainly true, instead, I close my eyes and imagine everything is slowly fading into nothing – revealing, phasing back to the way the world was, before this land was torn about and put upon, all to meet our needs as a species, assigning and asserting our assumptions upon the landscape, but now, in this dream, I am sitting on a rock, viewing out upon a chain-o-never ending hills, golden grasses swaying in unison in the breeze, local fauna in all manners of splendor, maples and oaks left to roost in their own glory, a world certainly alive with the madness of squirrels and chipmunks, tides of birds flowing in and out of frame, deer in packs like herds roaming in thousands, lynx on the prowl in the shadows, and bears the kings of all they may see emerging from their winter burrows.
I was digging once as a child, in the backyard, as children do, well, at least before smart phones, and came across what now I realize was clearly a river bed, perhaps river is a bit strong, but surely this was the work of water, perfectly smoothed rocks aligned in a basin, a sorted bed, harsh rock edges worn away by the constant water flowing over time, I even found a fossilized fish inside one of these rocks, so perhaps my (this) projection will not be historically accurate but no matter, this is a mental exercise not science or archaeology, I can put them away for today and dream, such as this, so I imagine this brook running through what was once (or now) my fence line, how the water must be clean and clear like the finest crystal in liquid form gleaming in the warming sun, yet ever cool fed by a natural spring, and this dream, there are no sounds here, for whatever reason I can only hear the visuals, the calming water, hypnotizing me, in this dream…
and with that, shatters, in comes actual sound to break this meditation, the gravely churn of a big wheel approaching, a car screaming down the street at speed for no reason, and the quibbling of the robin who was patrolling my lawn but had to run off across the way to avoid human interaction, sigh, at least for a moment, at least for a time, I lived in a dream of what once was, not that I mind the now but I certainly didn’t mind the escape. so I withdraw back inside and bid you a good night, my world, thank you.
the lull of white suburban noise.
I contemplate the sameness of my street, for me all this has always been here, but surely this hallmark will be gone, strange to think of dinosaurs, beasts, and all manner of creatures traipsing about this space where I sit now, concrete foundation in this tamed landscape, or so for now, soft sounds amplify in space like this, a neighbor walking mistaken for some demon lurking just out of my sight’s reach, until a bright yellow breaker rolls into view, and I concentrate on their steps, how uneven they are against the lose layer of debris that resides on top of the asphalt, the non perfection of form, scrapes of humanity, I could call this a soft cool breeze tonight, but somehow it is lighter than that, almost just the subtle presence of air settling down, not enough to provoke thoughts of cold, or flight back into my hole, still waiting for the spring, patience, I know, but still it wears thin on me, the dull low roar of commercial flight reminds me I am not far from the airport, I could go anywhere right now, but where would I go? where would I be? I have trouble accurately describing the sound of passing cars driving by, I know the technical side, tires on pavement in rotation against the ground, some seem calm, others rushed, as I try to make out the muffled music during the brief encounter, or to build a story about a neighbor filling a jar full of momentary assumptions flavored by flash judgements, based on a car, driving by, in only this matter of time of my arbitrary observation, a neighbor, I only know because their house is on the same block, a stranger, in any other contextual lock, the same person walking comes back from the other direction, on the sidewalk this time, not sure why, variety I suppose or no thought to it whatsoever, my direct neighbor across the street gets delivery, no signs on the car so I can only speculate, they had a little girl, she used to play outside, I have not seen her in a few years, how little we know about those in just the next house living whole lives next to ours, I wonder what lurks in the shadows and dark spots and corners, but in all honesty, there is nothing here that can harm me for real, this tame banal suburbia, the lull of white noise, the sleepy outdoor gaze of a jersey night
the gentle but solitary coo
of the mourning dove
the last ten top feet of copper fading
atop the highest trees
three quarters full day moon above
artfully placed against the blue
even surface features visible to this naked eye,
and onward the call
woo-ah, coo… coo… coo
woo-ah, coo… coo… coo
robin’s still bickering, over this lullaby
a jack’s seasoned camo so sublime
even a good size one nearly escapes my view
a bird of prey enters the scene across the street
I carefully stride forward, closer
to identify and get a clean look
with a great whoosh down in flight
crossing my eyes
a falcon’s unmistakable lines
for a moment all other sounds
commit to silence
I was not the only one
I wonder where my energy has run off to, just the comfort of a snug bed on a bitter cold day, have I been body snatched and replaced by the twin pair of lethargy and laziness? or are the two consorting for an offspring in my form, my thoughts are short these days much like the hours the sun is keeping shop, I wonder about correlation, or collaboration against my will (or perhaps the pull of unknown instinct), either way I seem steered to submission by the cold iron grip of invading arctic mass, perhaps this was just the crash my soul needed after a long week of work, after all I had two long jaunts into the night, with my only reward a full six days on top, sort of an oppressive sundae where the cherry is a bloody burdensome spike, I am not meaning to complain, I could walk away of course (and surely that sounds nice in due course in written words more fantasy than a battle plan), I suppose then I am complaining yet pretending to not do so, how veritably clever and not so transparent, so who might notice this anyway, a love letter, a complain notice, a tangent pamphlet of thought, posted by a celestial peasant pitching ideas out from this pebble planet cast out upon the shore of our galaxy, maybe all the answers are out there (not too far from reach), I think about going to attain them, there is a little spark in there deep down somewhere…
but a comfy bed, curled up, the dog as ready to snooze as I, this seems like the best answer to everything, at the moment.
(so, I close my eyes… lights dim… I drift off into dream)
a gentle snow falls 1.18.2019
there is a calming in the falling snow, not a blizzard, just what you would order online, on cue, if you could, small flakes that barely leave a mark, just gracing the branches with a hint of white glisten, a calming, as if weaving a slow blanket across the land, all these pieces somehow in silent cooperation, no wind has come to ruin this show, no biting cold to chase these eyes inside to burrow in a blanket, so I may just stand here under a street light, watching the crystals cascade, like slow motion frozen captures of rain, holding out a hand to catch a glimpse, how this snow brings back rushes of memory, sledding, snowballs, snowmen, and cocoa, the worldly melts away as I observe this little truth, a smile emerges, mostly inside, with warmth, sometimes there is perfection in things, this is one of those nights, here under the street light, just being a figure in this slice, all the while around the floating down, there is calming in – this falling snow, I close my eyes and try to commit this to dream so I may recall this again.
a gentle snow falls
the calming snow does slow pause
this frozen moment
(I’m a little cold but it’s my fault for wearing shorts when taking out the garbage on sunday night edition) 1.6.2019
I wish that I could truly transcribe how I see the night sky this evening, this was not a remarkable day, in any way or form, this was a day birthed in the shadows of a nasty storm, amazing to think how common storms are like common arguments, so fierce in the moment, unrelenting, encompassing all the landscape of the eyes, but they pass over and the common tongue returns to banal banter, that was today if I were to give it a name, some leftovers of bluster rustling the bamboo spires against a bedroom window (such an unmistakable rattling) – but back to my shortcomings, or maybe my lack of complete mastery of my craft (not for lack of practice), I suppose I should be content to compose with the tools I currently possess, not that which I have not mastered yet, so use the only lens I might, describe this most un-descript of nights, but in that exercise is where I shall, let me not fail to interject, to pause, to detect the wonder surround in even these so common of moments, so I paused –
(and took a deep long breath)
this night sky is a mix (not a mixed bag, not a mixed sack, just a combination of the usual customers), some stars that seem set behind a slow motion procession of wispy clouds, just slowly drifting by in sync and guided by some hidden hand, there is a calm to all this and the calm resonates inside (if you let it in), the silent cold, bare trees reaching upward like living statues grasping for something they know they can never attain (but do so stretch anyway), the winter has a way of revealing, the true essence of beings, all the lovely sequins and dressings of the other seasons fallen away, just bare bark, trunk and arms, save for the giant pine stoic, there still in full dress, another deep breath, as the clouds are truly to meander much that like a lazy river, flowing over carefully framed pockets of stars in still pools, in this I try to describe, this most usual of nightly sky.
Remember to pause, look and take it all in, the miracle of life – never ends.
reason for being 12.29.2018 in the AM walking out to my car for work
I noticed the flap of red overlap of a local newspaper plastic sleeve in my driveway bend up and over this morning in the breeze, if I was not there to witness who might be, so was this event just for me? a universe wink? something to ponder? or nothing at all (aside from a racing mind)? the immensity of what had to transpire in the universe (to this point) to just have this simple, seemingly meaningless moment of my notice is beyond calculation, barely in the grasp of comprehension and surely more complex than humanity may ever know, but there it was, a moment just for me to see in a world of all happening and motion, of lives starting, ending and being, of the earth spinning, the sun breathing radiation upon our goldilox home, the sheer perfection of the amalgamation of circumstance, in a blink and I move on, to the mundane spectacular that is this daily life. (but listen closely, for a moment, just a fraction I bet, time stopped and froze, for that pose my eye composed in just that very precious second in between all seconds, I did not chose this, it chose me, and in that exists the birth of miracles, if you stop to notice).
winter flowers (driving to work)
not that today should be (or is) any different than the next (or previous), but decidedly I feel a different vibe going on, driving to work this morning the sky feels more alive, the winter sun’s emissaries bursting in lines out through the unmanned outposts of barren branches, casting long shadows across the road (right to left) showcasing cars upon the median wall in a procession of shadows like the projection of a carousel at night, the light adding a shimmer to the leftovers on the asphalt from yesterday’s never ending deluge, somehow things seem better, warmer, surely not in truth by empirical data (my usual cozy), but in feel, who am I to argue, but rather observe and revel, something about the winter sunlight beams as the earth’s pores broadcast open wide and soak them all in, the clouds all in place in one layer, sitting there aligned as a blueprint laid on top of the blue by a steady hand, many times I ponder that which is beyond this atmosphere, out there, but today… I am perfectly grounded within that laid out in front and behind, this morning drive, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but maybe that has been my problem sometimes, sometimes it is better to sit back and take it all in, smell the roses, even in winter when flowers are rarer but not unknown.
12.25.2018 (Xmas Edition)
Mustering up the muster to sit and write, on a xmas night, none the less, not a very xmas feel, at least in these parts (and I am not referring to my legs), cold enough but not quite cold enough, somewhat clear sky, not quite a full moon, everything seems just a bit less than it should, I guess the bloom comes off the rose at times, there have been those Rockwell scenes, the fire blaze, the cozy afghan blanket, gently falling snow where you could read the stories on the flakes themselves as they fell, no, not this year, and no saint nick, no jolly old fellow, just a myth, but not such a bad imagining, not such a bad thing, in a world sometimes grim, marred by pain, a jolly old fat man to bring presents mysteriously in the night, there are worse things to believe in, surely, no reindeer, not certainly in this metro shadow, we see the odd deer (or four), mere cousins of the north pole dweller reign, and no little laborers either (with their busy little hands), the only ones here are garden gnomes and they feel less genuine than their brothers (especially when said gnomes are busy trying to book me flights all the time), where is the harm in old saint nick? has he been reduced to an app just yet ? (I’m afraid to even google that to find out the answer) well, at least Norad stays in step with the season, tracking the sled even if just an exercise for Joshua, where is the harm in this quite affable fellow? maybe we should just tell the kids the truth, the truth that it is not the myth that needs belief, it is what lies underneath in the fabric of the thing, no, not the felt red sack or silly hat, or even the contemplation of a stranger sliding down a chimney (surely worse than a coal miner’s dime), what drives the sled? good tidings for the ride, the idea of giving with nothing in return (well, perhaps a tray of cookies in trade, fair enough), the idea, not the man, and children can know throughout the land that morning comes and gifts exchanged, they have the power within… to do the same.
be well everyone. and to all of you a good night.
I knew, in the back of my mind, somewhere (in that dusty old space), among those piles of clutter, old magazines in a digital age, piled up like ancient grave markers but not as grand, more or less memories, piles of them, lying around, I figure I might use them one day, what day? probably never, but there is comfort in them, the familiar things, places I’ve been, they surely are not stepping stones, so I knew, back when this started, this experiment upon reflection, sitting out on the porch seemed like such a harmless predilection, so I knew, I told myself that this would one day (soon) seem like not the smartest endeavor, given the weather, I don’t mind the rain, but the cold, I tell myself it isn’t THAT cold, only 32, c’mon man you grew up here, be a man, toughen up, is it brave or tough to sit out in the cold? surely not, but was it worth it? for these thoughts.
remnants of the first snow
still upon the ground
half moon surrounded by moonlit shroud
the land’s last hope of holding onto the sun’s kind warmth
departs- with a sigh
now we must submit holding on
wrap a blanket, hold you close
stoke a fire, to crackle and roast
embers rise up the flue
or dance and curl
as the embers bloom, and decay
falling apart as the night longs on
holding their energy for as far as long
the tv flickering six feet past. eyes close.
now will be the mornings of frozen lawns
frost to cover grass and glass of cars
but for now
curled up to sleep
awaiting, counting, sleeping dreaming
to survive the season, the silent schemes of the longer shadows
as one day this will no longer be a metaphor
as one day will come and close the door.
winter is certainly more than a visitor now, the last heroes of the fall have succumb (even the stubborn ones), so many familiar things, I’m noticing, more these days, paying attention to the details (always the details), wading through piles of leaves, kicking up my feet, much like traipsing through the surf as I churn, that distinct sound – of the dry death in dry leaves, the sweet breath of decay suspended in the cold air, such a unique scent, like the blooming of flowers in spring, this is the signature of the fall, held so still around my ghostly breath, the flashes of red and yellow now turning into brown, and then near nothingness, dormant stars to hide in the earth, burying luminescence, life is retreating into a cocoon, we, the overseers, as it were, pursue – the vast importance of our daily lives, but at least the coming of the cranberry holiday can give us pause, to say thanks, and pause to look on the world’s comings and goings as a lesson, to hold on to the remains of a dying year, to remain to hold those we hold dear, and to remember above all, love is life – and we are alive, give thanks.
10.24.2018 “porch series”
long gone are the soft summer nights
on this night full moon high
the august sun, is faded words on bristled pages now
the silence – – –
the silence and the still drowns out
still, desperate leaves cling
on the now loudly breeze, passing
once comfort now certain coming
for all fruits shall meet the earth
and ground, and fall, and rot
in the cold space, as the calendar turns
hope is easily dashed upon these shores
lashed by what was no more
the world retreats curls into a womb
to be born again anew (with hope)
so might a slumber rest
and unshined eyes forget
dreams to carry through this death
may a door emerge on waking breath
“porch” (vacation version – I was in Cape May NJ on the beach) 10.7.2018
cape may, cusp of columbus day
I come here to get away
and find myself surrounded
by sounds and lights
I can hardly hear the waves crashing
billy joel cover band and conversations,
shadows from car lights through railings flashing
shadows of people that grow and stretch
I’m sitting on a bench on the ocean road
a concrete promenade
across from an official entrance to the beach
a sign orders me I am not allowed, by the town, ordinance
white wood rails cast an L on the ground
and now the cabana bar is wailing some stevie ray vaughn
something I might have chosen
“the sky is falling”
kindle wood wired fences, to protect the dunes
the car lights feel like flashlights, walking up like midnight joggers
older couples walk by –
I wonder, flip flops make a certain pop sound
what will I be when I am older
not too far from now
I am the only one out here alone, writing,
everything else seems inviting and wrapped in reveling
but I remain, trying to concentrate on the waves
the constant surf in the near distance
not the clamor blocking from all directions, distraction
am I selfish, for just wanting the sound
the sound of the ocean crashing, allowing my mind to rest,
there is a breeze, but yet, the plants of the dunes do not move
I suppose they are immune when I am enamored by the move,
a silver mother and golden daughter walk past
at least I imagine they are such, their language in form and my experience spoke to that,
the bike racks are not quite bursting but near full, at night,
the paint and stain on the bench looks quite pristine, woody and iron blue,
even the garbage bins seem clean,
but the din…
that ever present welling of amplified conversation.
If ever a tower of babble there ever was
“porch” (vacation version – I was in Cape May NJ on the beach) 10.7.2018
so how did I wind up here?
sitting alone on a bench
the stir of life all around, a maelstrom
and I am the eye
sitting and observing, all this life
a lifeless eye, closest to the intense
but calmest of all,
life, merry, singing, dancing,
friend, family, lovers,
cheaters, smokers, would be elopers,
detached from all this
tricking my mind, that time is,
time also sweeping me by, and through
sidelined (as if escaped)
but the days peeling away just the same
I question my motives my every move
I have more than many
certainly more than some
I should rejoice –
but here I am
staring at foreign plants on common sand
these pages moist with the breath of the common sea.
9.30.2018 “porch” (series)
I gazed out towards the horizon, searching for a moment of clarity, I paused and listened, and then – I heard a voice in this late september hour:
“yo, we’re not in kansas anymore”
Firstly I was surprised the horizon had a Jersey accent let alone a voice. Secondly I was not sure how the horizon was familiar with the source material. Thirdly I was surprised at what a deft metaphor that was for the passage of one season to another… but then again the horizon has a few billion years on me to contemplate such things. There are so many questions I would like to ask back but the horizon is always so out of reach that my speech can not possibly keep up. Talk about moving the goal posts… if I could somehow thrust myself forward enough to where the horizon will be it will have been and gone before I could even get to the spot, kind of reminds me of tomorrow, something else we never can seem to catch up with or be at. So what to do? Sit back and enjoy the cool air associated with the tilt so subtle in 23 degrees but so defined in the coming winter’s lease. Another year’s ride descends into the end of a julian cycle, hopefully I will see you on the other side, as this whole carousel resets again, for another spin.
9/23/18 (porch series)
I thought it might be a clear night
but it is not
there are no stars
just a muddled shade of black mixed gray
the only light, artificial
from the light of my porch, behind me
usually under siege with moths
but not tonight, the fort is oddly quiet
the subtle chill is no longer on the breeze
as there is none this eve
the subtle chill has settled, into being, no need for a vehicle
time pushes the notch hand towards harvest
all the year’s resources spent
on a last bounty of the fall, before comes
as close as the world comes to death
the time as life bears down to hold
hold on, to dear life
wait out this coming cold reign.
and some will emerge, into the March
and others, will be lost, buried forever by the calming frost
swept under the sea of seasons
written into the ever revolving story,
maybe I should move back to a place
where the seasons are more
hot and blazing, less humid or raining
would I miss these reminders
these stage backdrops changing
the season’s play, performing, before me
brings both terror and inspiration
just cause to outlast the procession,
knowing one day the curtains will close (not just for intermission)
for all those, those who pay attention, or merely attendants
and, for me,
in which of these would I prefer to end?
as if I have some choice
but – if given a choice?
a blanket of snow, or the warm hand of august sun?
the miraculous burst of bloom or the flash of fire across autumn trees before the fall,
might I be a greedy soul
I wish for – all of these.
9.16.18 (porch series)
this is one of those fall nights
where everything seems the way described in books
the temperature has fallen into comfort
into just cool enough
especially on the back of the memory of an angry blistering summer
(but that even now seems so faraway
weeks wipe memories faster than time can build candles on a cake);
leaves have two lives now
clinging to branches or littering the floor
all from verdant green move to vivid spectrum now
swatches of the dead adorn
but no rebirth can occur without the purge, I know,
this same hour in which I write, is much later now
the ancients association of death with night
the night that approaches and slowly suffocates the daylight
day by day swallowed night by night longer into winter, a descent,
all life is strangled to slumber
each phase of the passing days
subtracts a piece of the orchestra
summer full bloom is certainly a symphony
(or cacophony for some)
but now the year moves to loom on ever still
the lights burn out from the peak fire of life
leaves fall, insects lose their songs
the rain will become hard blocks
but – I should remain in now
not dwell on such dire things
even if I might be quite used to them
why faster should I wish their arrival
for now – enjoy, this nearly flawless night
something of which I might wish I could capture
in a moving minute moment picture
wrapped up in ball of cloth, stuffed in my pocket,
so I might take it out and wrap around
to block out
the whatever “importance” is swirling about,
and come back, to now
sitting here under the hazy crescent moon
drawing deep breaths
to become a component of this night
under the hazy tender glow
of a crescent moon.
9.10.2018 (porch series)
in an instant, seemingly
the summer has given way
already the silent stalk of winter
inhabits the shadows
the rain, once soothing, once relief
now speaks of longer nights
and trades in the rumors of the coming cold
fall it seems is just a balance beam
between, walking along artfully to an inevitable end
the cycle which began will but start again
as is all things
but this is a different matter
to try and capture the unfolding
to observe the obvious march
towards winter’s holding
do I delight? or mourn?
but as yet I know reborn
but there must be, that firstlast kiss of death –
the step that must come before the stairs
before we can resurrect.
so here I am once again
the hour is late august
no, early september
(although they speak a version of the same language)
are now beginning to fall
either precocious –
or tired of the season summer
and her beating heat,
I find myself staring
at the leaves of my japanese maple
knowing, but yet wondering
if they are even alive
in this still non breeze
this quiet of not quite night
I don’t even see any tremble,
trees barely seem alive
unless they are pushed and persuaded
their growth, seems to happen
in a different time
quit different, than the flow of mine,
hard to comprehend, understand
or wrap around my head, my mind,
I try to think of some clever metaphor
my roots welling up, bolstering the pillar, of my trunk
the leaves, how ever do they fulfill
the sun, driving the hunger
burning the oil of chlorophyll,
but I wonder, what are my leaves?
obviously I am the core, the tree itself
trunk and branch
always there, in all seasons, even winter bare,
so what are my leaves?
are they feelings? people?
but what in my life do I have all
and then – none more,
so I suppose this is a failed metaphor,
failure, we’ve all worn the shawl
failure, even in words sounds so dire
but yet, should be as natural as the breathing air,
all the many species
that have come to past
and those that survived
not by a straight line
with a dollop of luck
or just a plain old long shot,
so flip failure on heads
you might just find
hope, even on summer’s end.
“on the eve of labor day” 9.2.2018
I witness the world sleep walking
even the clouds seem crawling across skyward dreams
only one cricket seems to care with lonely declare
the once raging blaze of the fireflies in peak – is dying out
only a few embers remain here and about
the temperature has not yet quite broken
but soon enough will
yet in a way I still mourn
yet knowing you will return once more
but for me, this means one less,
a few leaves have already leapt to begin their slumber
once high above, now they are grounded
and I know it is more than mere gravity –
Newton my friend
who can think of the “g” word
without picturing an apple striking your head,
just a month ago
a rumor of snow would smack absurd
but now –
an inevitable sound
the rusty old plows
scraping down the street,
as our hemisphere
tilts from the sun
good bye my summer
may I be here for your return.
I look up at the sky tonight
not sure if I want to scream
or just sigh
sort of in-between
I wouldn’t much mind the rain
but it seems, late for that
as those clouds, earlier there, have left the scene
gone to else
where, I wonder
I guess it does not matter,
summer is fading
as soon the waking
for another turn
around the track of seasons
we churn along
over and over this sameness
has this what has become?
of my days
I strain to see each filament in the spectrum of light,
I imagine every drop of moisture that collects
and defines the clouds I observe,
this night, all days, all times.
where is my place in all this?
do the clouds look down and ask questions –
or are they just clouds
as is what I am?
struggle, as I may never know the right questions to ask,
or to whom,
or am I not to understand
but not in this stubborn grinding mind
of mine, drives this vessel
for all I know,
I wish I could stop the clouds,
but of course they pay me no mind –
a photograph (you ask) ?
just a reflection of the past
something I can collate and collect
but never really capture
every moment I would like to remember
maybe my mind is just a common squirrel
hiding these acorns of warming
for what is known to surely come,
I can feel a chill – already.
so I thought I might sit awhile in this night, I much usually prefer the setting sun (for obvious reasons), so another heat wave passed, and is truly like a wave, this swath of grappling, stifling heat creeps over the entire state, or coast, and bakes, for a little while of time all amplified by the mighty all-encompassing grip of our tiny lenses, but not tonight, the temperature has dropped to her knees, perhaps dipping twenty or more degrees, still – the chorus of insects is in midsummer’s form, loud, not raucous, all the clicks and songs of the chorus we know and can almost sing along (were we just crickets among the thickets), the mosquitoes are not quite biting as night’s before (was it something I ate, or are they just being polite?) cars are just two still beams gliding up the street, I can not tell who they are, just cars, vague vehicles of light, two beams and a set of reds on the back, a train calls in the distance, imagine that, such an ancient beast, how so far advanced we are although we are not, after all we still measure in horsepower, I observe some cars, with their manners, seem like they are looking for something, someone, certainly not me, no one has come looking in quite some time, what is there to see anyway? the same, just the same, maybe I need a break… no. maybe I need TO break – all this, all this familiarity I wear like a cloak, this safety, this hiding, all easier said, especially in my head – and with this pen, is it such sweet addiction of fear that is holding the key from turning or just something simpler, the ravaging comfort of complacency? from the outside, this must seem like prime real estate, but on the inside, looking out, I can see the walls for what they aren’t, so, if I can see it, why not just change, rearrange, start over – ah, but that is just the thing, that requires a first step, in an unknown direction, and then another – and a destination, and of course here I am, sitting, thinking, instead, instead of…
7.31.2018 (porch series)
a july breeze, warm and inviting
darkly clouds wavering, breaking – heading north
framed in against the tones of the setting sun
reflecting onto their cousins
illusion drawn on a cloud pallet
as the minutes draw the light, dimmer
I try to perceive the breeze, as an image
as it casually weaves through the leaves
all the life, in this little window frame
this tiny capture of my eyes
this valley of my perception
all struggles to survive
the trees, the flowers,
the mosquitoes having at my legs
but our minds, our mind’s reason
we know, like seasons – there is an end
to what end – ?
I do not know
I inhale the breeze
I absorb the gasp of the sun
to inform me
to give me answers, for I have none.
the world is spinning, in complete control
clouds moving, sliding on, the lake the sky
while others seem still
but yet we are perpetual motion, unaware spinning
ever held, down, by gravity
this, our normality.
if I were to describe this to a stranger,
not of this place
they might think me mad, or just perhaps
of great imagination
a story teller for the ages
but these are our facts, we accept
we are born bound, by this, gravity
feet firmly, on this ground
for so few of us, will ever know space
or anything that lies beyond.
an older couple walking down the street
speaking in a foreign language
(russian I think)
they seem content
as much as body language presents
reflections on the side of my car
as they pass
might I know their story
and be distracted from my own
and there they are again
I suspect they are doing laps
“coming of the rain” 7.4.2018
among all this bounty
how can I feel such sorrow
the coming of the rain
far off rumbling
tremors in the air
the birds feel cautious
not the usual songs of summer
perhaps it is the fireworks
non rhythmic throngs
of bursts of bombs
leaves, here and there, begin to twitch
seem to have met their marks
as my country celebrates
I sit here
for the coming of the rain
sitting on my porch alone
neighbors all around
bustling in and out
of noisy cars and busy homes
sitting on my porch alone
listening to birds they sing
in foreign languages
foreign tongues, to me
a rabbit pays me no mind
a robin retreats
the wind bends and sweeps
sliding waves of leaves, calm
I want to leave, and go back
correct the mistakes, of my past
I sit on my porch alone
there are people inside
I surely know
Comments are always appreciated, unless they suck, I mean, really, why should I have to put up with that?