Monday, May 23, 2011

Drifting Judgementally

The poplar seeds, airborne fluff
Descend from an unidentified source
Intermittent fuzz, blowing on eddies and streams of air
Drop down loosely and then lift again briefly
As if they were destined both to procreate and predisposed to amuse.
In the near distance a four-cycle engine snarls to life, interrupting the sanctuary of my reverie.
A friend of my neighbor drives the mowing machine through the backyard.
Moments before I saw him unload it off the trailer hooked to his truck. I think he is a fire department buddy. A younger guy, he has stopped by on colder occasions to help move snow.
A nice guy. A nice gesture. A nice narrative.
I wondered if he gets paid, allowing myself snooping privileges. A beer, a twenty?
His first pass around the yard yields mixed results: The dandelions are downed but only “a bit off the top” for the rest.
“Lower your blade,” I hear myself mumble, critically.
It will be my turn to mow soon enough and I want him to cut deep to delay my need to mow.
My mower is an electric push device, and it is not much fun to run. That’s the push part.
Dragging long snakes of extension cord. That’s the pull part.
Good for the environment, no exhaust fume, I thought, back-patting.
Get a bit of exercise; I rationalized, belly-patting.
Gad! I realize, pity-patting.
Nothing much good will come of all this, I thought, again waxing judgmentally,
Beginning to feel the drawdown of this familiar process
Fraught with self-criticism and burdened with the irony of drifting once again into
The oncoming lane of judgment. Here comes the judge! Here comes the judge!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Damn It, I Was Led to Believe

I seek certain wisdom, solace, direction, refuge
From the ancient knowledge of nature
Scientific, spiritual, mystical yet practical,
But it is changing/rearranging
Too fast damn it,
“The new normal is constantly evolving”-she said.
Maybe this is not necessarily new,
(How we so easily forget or deny or ignore)
But there is an imperative to it, this new:
New seasons, drier and wetter
Things seen out our doors and
Moments thus far unimaginable
Colder and hotter, all clamoring about me at
A new speed, histories re-written
And complicit
I now need,
It necessitates a new discovery by me
Of the old wisdom
That has always been obtainable:
Of how to evolve and change
“So this is how it is now…”-she says.
There is hardly a moment
To catch your breath
On this new day.
I say.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Conventional Wisdom

Since it will rain
The conventional wisdom is
To respond in green frogs.
Frogs and their fish friends
Know what a pond means
And demonstrate, free of charge
To those who care to look and learn
How exactly one goes about making the best
Of a wet situation.
Lemons to lemonade, sure
But there is nothing sweeter
Than water.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On the Verge

I was on the verge of a nap
(Can one be next to a verge, behind one, or under it?)
Drifting in thought, eyes closed,
Caught somewhere between a semblance of conscious-control
And the more gentle autocracy of the mind,
Where tales are loosely spun and
Things whimsically come undone
As reality slips through the fingers,
Nearly sleeping.
Such safe keeping.
Been there,
Done that?
It’s not so bad,
A refuge from the harsh tyranny of reality,
Which flaunts with its beauty
And taunts with its pains.
Why then is it so hard to do, give it up these realities
And retreat into the convoluted creases of my mind bearing brain?
Is there some agenda that needs attention
Some soup to stir
Some consequential conquest?
I think I need to inquire of a child:
What is the real difference between math class
(Do the even questions on page 189)
And recess?
Perhaps I am on the verge of a discovery?
Or at least the first step to recovery?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It Was Mono

It was mono.
For a while they trifled with the idea
Of something more deadly,
Played with it really.
(What a sadly beautiful thing
He was so young
He had his life ahead of him
But no)
But no, just dog sick, a kiss of near death,
Sent to my room, shades drawn, to sweat it out in
A delirium of fever.
Time passed, days blinked into lifetimes
And all that was reality in its previous manifestation
Faded, dissipated, disassociated
Old school, like the last shrinking light of a switched off TV.
And at the next opening of my eyes
The sun seemed to have found
A new position in the sky, beyond the window
A new light, silent,
Spotlighting motes, drifting defiantly, galactically.
That light signaled some new season
It taunted more than illuminated
Aching with the long yellow rays of
Marigolds and beams of golden umber.
A path was set alight, cleared
So that I could rise and walk weakly
Some 20 steps
Into the light and the future of that moment
And finally
Into the presence of this one
Where my certain time
My life after my averted death
Had stone-skipped forward
Through the past of many possible moments
In which I lay half awake, still feverish
Into this instant
So clearly unfamiliar even
To its creator.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

When Good Enough Was Good

When I first heard the term
“Renaissance man” I exhaled
A long muffled sigh,
For I then had a life destination
A rationale
A fraternity that I might join.
The son of a semi-illiterate gifted mechanic
I had failed in the world of trade talent
I had failed at age 14 to turn a screw to affix
A wire to a lamp.
Was so foreign
To a lefty in a
Righty-tighty world.
Yes, a dabble of mechanics
A bar of music
Or an inning on the sandlot
I could do passably,
Enough to not draw unwanted attention.
I could hold the flashlight,
Find the 5/8s box wrench.
No real definable talent, yet
No real gift, then
But not being the last picked for dodge ball
Was good enough.
I wonder sometimes if
Young DaVinci felt the same?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I know where to find you,
Or at least,
I know where to look.
I reach towards my dreams
But that secret realm is a dry
No roiling clouds redden the sky
No blossoms springing from their nests of thorns, no.
I search for the juices
Don’t you?
Rich, sticky
The sap of bent stem
The hope of amber and secret treasures
Oozing and acrid
That tang the tongue?
Dowsers we are
With crooked sticks we seek the spot where we dig
Hoping for gushers
But still satisfied with cool moss-backed seeps.