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.

Music & Rain

The ascending music of Beethoven’s piano sonata number 21

Reaches the height of your admiration

Like driving alone at night in the rain

As if the sky opens up for you to be happy

All the hidden stars twinkling for you

Happy New Year’s Eve

Note: The rain came last night. Today is New Year’s Eve

Musings on Sunday After Christmas

Hide in a shelter of trees in the woods and listen to avian conversations, sweet songs and chatter

Serenades in chants of love songs, birds flirting, time phrases

Simultaneous displays of affection

When evening comes, lie down on the meadow to ease you muscle aches and back discomfort

Watch the stars appear ten by ten until you can’t count them anymore

Your brain nudges the hammock of neural synapses connecting lifelines of attention and comfort

The fragrance of grass, beauty of flower garlands open your senses to a new chemistry

The body is intelligent in an unknown way and know what to subtract and add in wholesome well being before you yourself knows what’s happening.

Open space embrace with soothing air and mountain views like a sanctuary as if nature is speaking to you. And understand emotionally what the birds are singing. The secret is not what you imagine but what you feel.

You know you will need tremendous courage to follow your own rules.

Some songs and calls are fading

The birds are facing extinction

Encroachment in their habitats or human neglect

The birds chant offers a sense of place and time and peace

We are losing the outdoors richness when our winged friends leave or die.

Don’t abandon the birds, they are helpless pretty creatures and friends

If you don’t answer your questions you have to find one who can. Don’t presume you are the first one to ask.

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.

Musing over a cup of coffee

Have you seen a cat weeping?

Or a thirsty squirrel?

A pause, practice deep involvement

From a splendid height

A kestrel watches

Graceful speed, finesse.

Lots of letters to answer

Diminish the clutter

Walk softly on the circled path

You live, find meaning

Practice virtues

Not incomprehensible

Even if you live in Istanbul or Damascus

Or in time of pandemic

Each day can be of gratitude.

Art does not explain

You experience beauty or riddle 

Or something significant.

Bye

I look up the sky and predict how my day will be

Glorious if blue, deluge if black

If the monarch butterflies are migrating

The sky may be dark

Or white with all the beautiful cloud formations

I can get my camera and take photos

And make an album

I learn that I have to know more than the sky color to survive

Life is tough and dangerous and fun

Or I may end up in Hollywood

And become rich or an addict

Preferably I should learn how to negotiate a roundabout

It could mean life or death

Well I have to go

My partner is waiting

We have to go to the forest to pick mushrooms

Bye.

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.

Once

We meet once in a farmer’s market

You are selecting a peach, I’m buying okra

Talk and walk and laugh

You spin a loom, I wield an ax

Gather, break, understand

Happy when together

A long beautiful day we wish each other

Before we wave goodbye

Cups of coffee and talks

Walks along the river

What is abstract 

A question of enchantment 

How do we measure 

Content or duration

And weight 

Are dimensions important?