Listening

I sit there

listening to a bable of people and traffic

loud and busy.

I sit here

listening to a single dog bark

far off and away.

And I am me

alone inside myself

in both places.

 

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Flutterby

alien butterfly

Autumn

autumn (2)

The Blackberry redux

The wild vine binds and twines

scrambling here, rambling there

exuberantly

burying hills

surrounding trees

proliferating

upon some gating

like porcupine quills

 

Cat Fur

My trouser cuffs are vaugely blurry

perhaps because they are so furry

my shoes are looking rather shaggy

and so much fluff makes my sweaters baggy

my hat it seems is all abristle

resembling a battered thistle

the sofas are all quite hirsute

never mind my beleagured suit

all this hair is not from me

my cat is shedding don’t you see

 

Night Gathers

Night slips in on soft feet, but not silently. You can hear the jays arguing over the best bedding spots and a few determined frogs still laying claim to their territory before it gets too cold. The insects have largely abandoned the autumn woods but one can hear a gaggle of geese gabbling their way to the ground just beyond the brow of the hill. The yellow leaves of the cherry stand out against the gathering dusk while the brown leaves of the oak blend in. In a week or two there won’t be enough leaves on either to amount to a good fire. Traffic has begun to make that low, slow, going home purr, it’s lights becoming brighter with each passing moment as the grey skies fades quietly into black. A slight mist begins to fall and for an instant all of the trees on the horizon stand out in stark relief before the gloom swallows them utterly. An owl hoots and the jays cease their squabbles abruptly. Somehow it has segued into full dark without my noticing. The mist is making my sweatshirt heavy and turning my once cheerful fire into a smoking heap. I think I shall retreat indoors and allow the autumn night to claim this hill.

Yellow Dahlia

Yellow

Silenced

All the tears that I shed

I shed inside

keeping them lodged in my throat

until they steal my voice.

the caged bird does not sing

not because she is too sad

although she is

but because

she has no voice

all the bars of my cage

are self constructed

and yet

I still cannot escape

                                                                                   

Possibilities

 Today I accompanied my mother to a meeting of her old lady beneficent society. It seems that I have reached an age that now qualifies me as eligible for membership in old lady clubs. Today was not the first time I had been dragged off to one of these meeting, but today was different. Today a gal I went to highschool with was also there We were in the same class, Adeline and I. Friends even, in that desultory fashion of people whose common bond is mostly the fact that they don;t fit into any of the other groups. She was my superior in the constant class war that is highschool. She always looked a bit more put together than I did, projected a more collected demeanor, came off as just a bit more polished. She was a better athlete and usually managed to blend into the background better than I. She came just a bit closer to fitting in and by senior year had carved herself a nitch of mild acceptance in our small school. This had required her to distance herself from me, but I don’t think that bothered her much. It really didn’t bother me that much, by then I had bigger things to occupy me.

After highschool she went to work in the office of the local mill and a year or two later married the owner’s son. They are still married to this day and have the requisite 2.5 children, house, dog, etc. She now lives in a house that is not more than a mile from the house she grew up in. I ran about the earth, lived in 7 or 8 different states, married and divorced 3 times, had 5 kids, worked a couple of dozen different jobs, own nothing and am living in my parent’s house again with no visible means of support. We have had very different lives. So when I saw her at this meeting, I rather impulsively said, “we should get together, have coffee or something. I would like to see you again and maybe chat awhile.” She looked taken aback and immediately distanced herself saying, “well….you can see me at next months meeting.” In a tone that suggested that might be too much contact and that I was a needy, whining person clutching at her skirts.

What I would really like to tell her at this point is that my interest in her is not so much in her personally, but in the circumstances of her life. I have a story in the back of my mind who’s centeral character is a woman who still lives in the town she was raised in and has always done the expected and predictable thing. Since I never did I am having trouble imagining it. Do you feel deprived? resentful? Do you feel like you missed something or do you not know that there was anything to miss? Is it a case of not missing what you never had? Or was it a conscious choice, rejecting all those possibilities for a safe life? A steady, even existence? I guess I am not going to find out from her. Part of me, the resentful, mildly rejected part, would very much like to tell her that my interest in her was more intellectual than personal (ie I wasn’t trying to be “friends”).

The larger part of me just feels ever so slightly sad. I’m really not sure why. Nothing about her life (about which I know nothing, but surmise much) is overtly pitiable. She has kids. A husband. I assume she has known, knows, will know, many joys and sorrows. Love, agony and suspense. All the biggies. Perhaps she has never had any curiosity as to what lies out there, beyond the bend in the river. I cannot imagine that, but I can admit that it may be And yet I am sad. Perhaps because I, having known more about possibilities and risk, realize more sharply what it is to pass one up.

 

Ghosts of Clam Chowder

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