Friday, May 19, 2017

Be kind to a child


One hardly needs the “weather people” to tell him there’s a patch of warm, dry weather ahead. The sudden eruption of anthills tells the story. The sidewalk cracks are loaded with them, and their groundbreaking trails run off into the neighboring flowerbeds, as the cry goes up to get back to work after the long layoff brought on by over fifty-five inches of rain. Hard hats, jack hammers, ant railroads, “Tie up the boats,” I hear them cry, “we’re going ashore!” Naturally, I step over them. “Thanks, Bill. How are things up the street?” “Well,” I answer, “the neighbor was awfully hard on her son this morning as he was getting ready to peddle off to school. I felt terrible about it. The morning is so beautiful, you know, especially in this early hour. Her voice sounded like a sad trumpet, and the boy, who is about fourteen, was obviously embarrassed for her and ashamed when I happened by. I tried to make myself invisible. It worked for her, but not for him. The scent-laden hush of the atmosphere was lost to her. But let’s hope it’s temporary. And you? How’s the family?” “Hard to keep track of.” And so on. Now. Where were we? Oh, yes. Tomorrow is my birthday. We’ll be away forever or for a few hours, the computer will be off, the spirits will have full run of the house, and I will be even more out of touch than usual. In the meantime, think good thoughts, or, better yet, don’t think at all. Sing. Dig a hole. Be kind to a child. And remember, that child is yourself.



Canvas 905



Canvas 905

May 19, 2017




Thursday, May 18, 2017

In bloom


Iris, my love, if you’re willing to pretend,
the powder on your skin will be the way that I begin
the afterlife! Oh, foolish boy, if the fragrance
that I am persuades you to this end,
I bid you stay, and for today,
I will be your wife!

P.S. I find each color arrives with a different scent: one, of an almost soft-edible rubber; another, of a dear old piano teacher; a third is something innocently erotic, as if naked angels were attending one’s bath. What need have souls for clothes, and newborn babes for sighs? Ask the iris. Ask her with your nose. That is where the sweet-sky grows, and where her color goes at night. As for this silly poem, forgive a boy who’s not that bright!



My crooked mile


This world I see, feel, taste, touch, imagine, dream — is my consciousness. And so my early-morning walk, with its chimney smoke, irises, and crows, is my own private mirror. A quick glance, and I see what I think I see. But a deeper gaze reveals eternity, and thus the futility of all thoughts mercenary, by which to the loser goes the spoils. To hate someone is to hate myself. When I choose who and what I love, my choice is inevitably a selfish, petty one. I can divide, oh yes. But who is conquered?



Canvas 904



Canvas 904

May 18, 2017




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Canvas 902



Canvas 902

May 16, 2017




Irises and dreams


The tomato plants are growing like weeds in the rain. This morning I walked in a dense, heavy mist. The robins were out. Some starlings. A towhee. Silence emanated from coy-hidden crows. Crow silence. Black-ink silence. The atmosphere, it seemed, was deep into the process of paper-making. A calligrapher’s dream. A mark here, a mark there, and thus a new language is born, and is off to test its new wings. Redwoods make fine brushes, don’t you think? And irises? And dreams?



Canvas 901



Canvas 901

May 16, 2017