CHOICES

“Joy like a river in her soul”, words of a young boy

Sharing his mother’s state of being. 

A town nestled next to a river

How does one tear down and build anew?

River dredging begins Flood Control Master Plan.

Town awakens, sounds of bulldozers and cranes, 

People wearing helmets working

Design to demolish, preserve, develop, convert

Empty complexes, aging structures, dormant land 

Long deliberations in what the town needs:

Hotels, shops, restaurants, or something abstract

Community park in summer turns flood diversion space in winter.

Building a promenade on riverfront, 

Passageway along railroad tracks,

Connecting Vine Trail, continuity without impediments

Collaboration with artists and role of the arts,

A time for coffee and twisted cinnamon rolls.

One accent, the Passages, a segment of passageway 

Once a haven for graffiti’s passion and restlessness

Now a channel for artistic expressions,

Vivid, vibrant, living project

Come, look, linger, get involve.

Walking home I hum a Dave Brubeck’s tune

I prepare smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich, 

A bowl of peach yogurt and blackberries for lunch.

I take my time. I do not eat with haste.

Like town dreamers, like my friends

I, too, have choices and concerns

Should I join the frenzy of high technology

Pulsing reminders of “constantly possible productive moments”

Or walk with artists and pilgrims in shared humanity

Learn value of life, bear the task, persevere?

In my solitary walk, my mind can’t remain still

How will the young boy paint the river?

Let image follow imagination like spells of delight

Art’s idea whispers, shouts, bends then leaps to clarity

A journey of praise of what one truly loves.

In art and life, one will leave one day, the other stays.

I will write my praise.

Wet and Dry

Today was a very sad for our country. An “insurrection” breached the U.S. Capitol which was eventually repulsed.

We had a very good rain On Monday. Yesterday I walked to the river. It rained again today.

Last few weeks I watched chess tournaments on line. During the last a few days I started to play chess with a friend. 

I have a hard time writing poetry recently.

A Day in the Life of

Though I will miss my lunch

I am not hungry to eat yet

I am exuberantly eager to walk to the river

I don’t want to confess I want to see her again 

A woman who walks with a yellow parasol

I do not feel embarrassed I do not speak her language

I feel sad for not learning the language when I was young.

Today is a different day

Everyone wishes “a somewhere to be”

The day when the lockdown begins

The day that nobody wants.

I want focus my attention to the pathway

Lined by sycamore, birch, maple and other trees I can not name

I am still astonished by soft touches of leaves falling on my head

And hearing crackling sound of leaves that I walk on 

A day of circumstances

One blue heron and 4 egrets gathered on the riverbank

All looking at the river

Two sea otters playing diverts also my attention 

Their heads bobbing up and under the water surface

I change my attention to the birds

They also sense my new interest

I experience the birds play of teasing

Two egrets fly away chasing each other.

Then comes a paddle boarder in the river

He bends down pulling back his paddle

Propelling himself down the river

Stands up, bends and paddles on the left

Propels himself forward again

Downstream he will turn around before he is swallowed by the sea

Paddles back to where he starts his day

Robust and happy for his accomplishment

The day may not be of bewilderment

But it is a day of sun but without rain

I’m happy to take photographs and write a poem

About how we live in a worried world

A reality we can change with our untapped power.

note: The book I just finished reading: Dirt by William Buford. Entertaining, funny, French way of cooking. Wonderful.

A Letter

Avoidance of annoyances repeatedly

Life remains in narrowed preferences

I know some words to add, some experiences 

To relate, must not let them fade away

I open my eyes in the morning

Utter my first intelligent thought

A praise may be or a prayer

To see, not necessarily to understand

Not inquisitive but to experience

Is it too late now to find the reason

For not knowing?

My relationship ends unexpectedly

Without any arguments or strained voices

A decent separation, not devoting time

To keep each other’s attention

The dinner loses the delicious taste

We become monuments to each other.

Sometimes one has to cross a perilous river

To deliver a letter of forgiveness.

note: I finished reading Piranesi by Susanna Clarke and Kant’s Little Prussian Head & Other Reasons Why I Write, an autobiography in essays by Claire Messud.

I’m reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke which I started reading a long time ago but never finished and For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. All these long reads in the time of Covid.

Promenade

It’s Friday and a very warm day. At the moment it’s 100 F degrees. I went to our county library to pick up a book this morning when it was only 85 degrees. 

Afterwards I went to the promenade along the riverfront. On my return walk I passed through the hotel corridor leading to the 2 restaurants in the hotel complex.

I took a few photos of fresh and dried hydrangeas and few other things.

Surprise

A bird flies inside a house then struggles to get out

Open the door, open the windows

Sounds like a flag in the pole snapping with the wind

Frantic almost insane then the bird finds the open window

A young boy looks, follows the bird’s flight

Happens so quickly like lightning on a summer afternoon

He sits down and thinks:

How should I welcome the unexpected?

Could life be different or better?

Orange Moon

Years of drought

the hills are tinder-dry

wild fires start as if spontaneously

all so near us and moving

Evacuation warnings, be ready

I wake this morning

with one wish

from a constellation of wishes

spare us

of more fires

I will keep praying

Orange moon looks on us

I have faith

I’m afraid.

note: The photos are from my walk to the river this morning before the air quality became unhealthy. The photo of the moon was taken this evening.

Book I finished reading: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Books I’m reading: The Sea by John Banville for my Book Club. I’m re-reading the English Patient.