Stormcloudsdropwisdomonearthsday’s Childe

The sound. A bubbling over, as if millions of child-blown bubbles are popping all at once, small ones running here and there to explode them. Triptaptriptrap. The loneliest time of night is 3am and the lit moon slanting in the dusted-over window. Dog shifts; a snort, a rumble of dissatisfaction.

Across the world my mother wakes from unremembered dreams. Everything she does these days is without memory.

“Thank you” and “Thank you,” the chorus of voices. Scoliosis. Backs bearing weight today will be irredeemably arched like the bow of a harp some thirty years from now. Then it will be me unable to bear witness to the unfolding day and the small events that make up life in a small place.

There are times I keep good company in my writing life. Between the pages of a journal. Sandwiched between stories of apocalypse and flight. These days the words are petulant; not wanting to emerge from the dark. Meditation might open roadways to progress. Not enough hours in the day.

Clock.

Cart.

Fence.

Bully.

Tinsel.

Death on the never never. Bass baritone spine tingling chill of the Irish Sea. Walls sheathed in snow like frosted cake on the dining room table at Christmas. The decorations of childhood are now no more. The sled. I remember the sled, and Santa urging the reindeer onwards, the back packed with parcels and bows.

A glass bead sits on the desk. The future reflected in its glow can’t quite make me understand. A list of sorts. Payment for services rendered. Boxes without packing slips. Meetings to discuss trivial things. Worry too much about checking off standards and measures, and not enough about impassioning the young students who want to be thralled.

Thanks.

Chicken.

Tape.

Heart.

A slow falling rain. The gauge ticks steadily to three. The downcast eyes of a stained glass Jesus. Before my time. Giant clips constrain the pages of disappointed manuscripts. Energy and effort are lacking. The writing must wait. There’s not enough time in the given day for all to be addressed.

Meat dried on a prairie. The lone coyote at the far end of the box canyon waits for the dim light of night. Men on horseback click tongues and move through the grey slush. Acres. Thousands. Widgets create wealth. A line item on an agenda goes unseen. The pastel painted card askew on the desk is a reminder of what’s left to accomplish.

Every falling drop is hungrily absorbed by the dried earth as it flexes its girth and welcomes renewal.

Sometimes I wake in the night and stare at the beams and their painted weight. Dreams remain forgotten. A hint here of what makes one anxious, a taste there of what engenders fear. A grave holds five coffins. There’s plenty of room for more beneath the frost-rimed surface. Don’t fool yourself to the ache of impermanence.

 

Halfpastdecembersday’s Childe

  • Complete messes on desk: 2
  • Christmas cards on desk: 4
  • Books in mail today: 1
  • Train journeys this week: 2
  • Broken pieces of wooden antlers on desk: 2
  • Pages written this week: 3
  • Phones confiscated today: 3
  • Property tax bills paid: 1
  • Books to read on shelf: 6

 

Cityofangelsnight’s Childe

  • Druid’s Theatre plays seen: 1
  • Vegan bhan mi’s eaten: 1
  • Homeless encampments seen: 10+
  • Post-play conversations with audience members: 1
  • Cups of Complan: 0
  • Kimberley biscuits eaten: 0
  • Pages written: 0
  • AAA Batteries on desk: 8
  • Bins of fruit picked: 6
  • Pages left to read in book: 120

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Sundaysadsday’s Childe

(things to do when you are feeling the Sunday Blues)

  • Write prose poems
  • Count the coyotes in the distance
  • Draw the anchor from the seabed
  • Take photos of plants in evening light
  • Arrange the books on the shelf by color
  • Practice writing with a fountain pen
  • Make deep footprints in the sand
  • Rewrite the often repeated words in earlier drafts
  • Count the change in your pocket and buy coffee or chai
  • Plant seeds in a hanging planter
  • Look up at the night sky
  • Make a small mound of owl bones in the clearing

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Itsalongwayfromtheretoheresday’s Childe

“Every kind of poem shines with its own beauty.” Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux.

Dead snakes and fallen fruit are augurs of unknown events, and true to form, the retrograde nature of Mercury has stymied several areas of my life of late. Stumped trees make way for vibrant banana plants. Organic processes bring forth big emotions, or something of that nature, so Wordsworth said someplace I cannot recall. Once, I was knee-deep in criticism and theory, highlighting this passage, underscoring words in that passage, scratching my head at Hegel’s articulation of the third sphere. Now, the stories are slipshod, the currents of narrative coming in and going out again, familiar patterns, written tics that betray my limited view. Too many stories end in the falling, sinking, and dropping of things. I am a symbol. In pace with the diminishing laws that dictate there are less days left than lived, I find comfort in a shadowed deer on an evening hillside, pain in the last song of a once vibrant man, hope in the possibility of a forgotten god caught in a stained glass window in some church adjacent to a ruined cemetery. In language there are only lies. Cold tea and cracked panes. Ingots. Burnished lamps cast soft glow on secretive doings. The snapped-off wing of a moth is trapped in the cobweb above the desk—a stark thing, this disembodied part—the spider long since disappeared down the funnel of the vacuum cleaner. I find some redemption in the daydream, in the rippled puddle and its blurred story, in the painful truth of a total stranger. Passencore. All sales are final.

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Inside

the wall, behind the plasterboard, a small Clark’s Mary Jane shoe box, size 12D. The box holds three objects; a brownish, desiccated piece of umbilical, a clear-glass Rosary beads, and a lock of dark, curly hair, tied with a piece of string.

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Skywritingfarplanetsday’s Childe

A broken slingshot. No bird struck, no stone in flight. Only the snapped arm thwarting any perceived damage. Behind a screen the shadow of a dead woman washes dishes at a sink. A curious paw print causes me to stop in my tracks and examine my surroundings for a small predator. Crickets stir and ask impossibly complex questions. Overhead, a distant plane writes letters in the sky. A pointless exercise as the sun goes down and wipes any understanding from view. Payment is due. I need help expressing my emotions. Funny, I always thought my maternal grandfather had a decent head of hair on him. Turns out he was balding from his mid-twenties. Can you see where this is going? A red light blinks, announcement of some intent. It goes unanswered. Sometimes, it’s better to turn the page and find out what happens next, and sometimes it’s best to place the bookmark in between those pages and run through some forgotten dance moves, unpracticed since childhood.

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