october musings

chilly, clear autumn mornings
tap me on the shoulder
press into my pillow
lead me to that timeless place
where age and years
are replaced by grace.

simple,
yet
the subtle heartbreak
of the Indian summer
that tricked
the cherry tree into bloom
is all I am aware of.

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Tragic Point of View

To watch your wife die on stage

can be a harrowing experience

where the suspension of disbelief

can be suspended in time.

“I’m dying”

She screamed

as I sat, wedged in between strangers,

no one to comfort my unreal sorrowful

inner-soliloquy

of what I would do if this were true.

She looks so real, so clear, so convincing

that I begin to feel the emptiness

of life without her,

looking at death

through the pit of my stomach,

through the eyes of our boys

through a lens with the cap on.

She dies and the lights go down.

 

Intermission (I go outside and breathe)

 

The lights come up,

her bed is empty.

I know she is sitting backstage somewhere

siting quietly

maybe eating

or drinking tea.

She can hear the dialogue just as I can,

but she has moved on

to her next lines, her next entrance.

I can only think of her exit in Act I

and how I don’t want to live without her,

how bright and beautiful she is.

How relieved I am when she bows to the audience.

AM radio

Listening to baseball
In the car
Cigar, searching for AM stations
South Carolina
Mile long
RollingHighway hills

In the kitchen
Windows open
Cold beer, hot chicken.

In bed, west coast trip
Half asleep
Awake with Headphones
Under my shoulder

Mowing the lawn
The proverbial lawn
Where 6-4-3
Cuts to the heart of the matter.

evening

i’m inside with the record player
“Nows the Time”
a Steve Allen hand-me-down

one child’s asleep,
i’m working as a short order cook
for the other.
i’m devouring a novel
while upstairs he chats.

i can relate to his desire.
talking to girls on the phone
late at night
was my specialty.
“get off the phone”
i yell anyway.

when the lights are out
i go to the garage,
turn on public radio
and now some eleventh hour
happenstance Shostakovich concerto
is the soundtrack
of my cigarette.

Tagged

elegy for a bed

tussled sheets
create their own wake
living underneath
i give more than I take

remember when
alone and still
remembering
running up that hill

all at once
your smile is where?
i want my fingers
running through your hair

tussled sheets
create their own wake
living underneath
hoping not to break

tussled sheets
create your own fate

remember when
sitting so alone
how i wish i knew
the way back home

Tagged

a slope

down the steps
to a place unknown
though the space above
was quite familiar.
crossing some horizontal plane
downward
falling, tumbling
toward some inner core
staring up through the water
at the shore.
internal combustion
no regrets on the steps
I mean every word I say

mementos of a summer heart

the lark subsides
and flies
out below
the grey ceiling
where she is kneeling
praying for grace
leaving in haste
though there is nowhere to go
she guards her heart
through overgrown paths

the summer rain
won’t stop
and somewhere the summer sun
is waiting
patiently i suppose

the folds of trees
pronounce their good deeds
to our silent ears
giving promise to autumn
and the pain of years

the sun will part the clouds somehow
but not today

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new year’s day

The house was clean and the table set with retro swirls. The french press was in high demand as soon as the Quaker and the Hawaiian arrived. They were in from D.C. and in their typical style, had their Cake and ate it too. On the way down, Q & H stopped in Asheville for a night and told us of vegetarian delicacies and hippies. They brought us a bag of coffee beans from the Early Girl Eatery, which have delighted our mugs since. In surprise attendance were the JBombs, with their new little guy, complete with his excellent indie-rock haircut.

Emerson was inscribed in chalk above the coffee station and black beans were simmering on the cooktop. I simply heated up some olive oil and  sauteed a 1/4 of an orange bell pepper, 1/2 an onion, and some garlic and then added some canned Goya black beans. Suddenly an idea lit and I heated up a pot of water to slow cook some grits. As I stirred and stirred, Eddie Harris pulsed through the kitchen, and I shredded colby-jack into the thick grits. The beans bubbled gently and Mrs. B cracked eggs and lowered them gentler still in to the pot for poaching. Sunny sides looking out into the new year.

Serving up bowls,                                                                                                                                                                           grits, then beans and eggs                                                                                                                                                                to the weary travelers of 2011.                                                                                                                                                          Red and green salsas                                                                                                                                                                        peppering the way of 2012.

All around the table, I realize that one resolution is already taking hold – Entertaining. Feeding the body, feeding the soul through creative fellowship.

Oscar Peterson serenades                                                                                                                                                              adults in mid-life, mid stride.                                                                                                                                                        different lives                                                                                                                                                                                     meeting, converging                                                                                                                                                                          asking, demanding                                                                                                                                                                     creativity, happiness                                                                                                                                                                           joy, abandon.                                                                                                                                                                                  eating huevos rancheros with poached eggs and grits                                                                                                             drinking coffee                                                                                                                                                                               wondering about the next time.

Everyone in my life is perfect.                                                                                                                                                           Perfectly themselves.

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clean slate

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson