Hugging the river
Water pipes and
In love with the
I have a bone to pick, but it sticks in my throat a fish rib I keep eating with no hope of digesting. There’s no point to the rant I offer you. That’s what makes me wring my hands with an emotional wash that still smells of fumes and rotted fish. I know the answers you’ll give me to every question I could ask. So why ask?
Knowledge is a devil if there ever was one. Gives you comfort while it steals your security in endless mind games you can’t stop tricking yourself with. I hate you for filling my head with the knowledge of who I am. Light and gold. Miracles and love. I look down at my costume and want to rip it till I’m naked. I can’t escape my frightened thoughts that burn me in a lava flow, erupting in my brain and filling my mouth with an eager malice. You could have told me in the beginning that ignorance was not only bliss, but a quaalude cocktail that would’ve left me sleeping; a contented mongrel, in a sewer heap that knows no better. Now a youthful, hungry anger boils in my belly and it’s more bitter than death no matter how many times I swallow it down. But there be the rub. Poison is best drawn out and all wounds must be opened to cleanse them of their infection. That is how I feel: raw, open, infected with my own awareness of thoughts that poison my spirit.
For the love of me, you say. It was my choice you announce and I could beat you within an inch of my own life if I weren’t plagued by the truth in it. It eats at my mind until I’m smashing the beds and tearing up my brakes in the car. You should’ve told me to leave when I came through the door. You should have said the price for awakening is sanity.
A work in progress from The Writer’s Church hosted by Marj Hahne. Piece Inspired by “Dear Corporation” by Adam Fell.
I waited in the early morning darkness
Breath billowing out in long streams
Finger tips wrapped tight in fisted hands
Dug deep in pockets
The shift in light was so subtle
Suddenly I could see the higher branches
Two crows peered at me as though I intruded
Naked feathers, naked sight
Then it licked the tops in fire and light
My heart beat faster than the shutter
The moment was brief to catch with camera
Yet as quickly as I began, my hand was stayed
Sunrise is a communion I often forget
A flicker of awakening to the earth and the mind
In activity I am artist but a bit asleep
In stillness I awaken as part of the art.
Cold and blustery, with dark clouds drifting down the Colorado hog backs in misty waterfalls is my day. With little resistance, my mind turns back to summer and the warm ocean breezes of July. Seashells and plastic pales full of crabs and snails and minnows whipping my ankles. Makeshift moats around lopsided sand castles built for love, not defense. I remember that hours of heat had left us all lazy, but for the surf and boogie boards with the kids. My father was not here, as he passed last year, but I am certain he would’ve liked to see us all together. Surely summer, more than any other season, moves with the speed of seagulls dashing for french fries on the wharf. I’d give anything to push my toes into that sand, rather than wrap this blanket about my shoulders. I suspect soon I will long for fall leaves as I put on my snow boots, scarf and hat. Ah, se la vie. Contentment, I guess, is as fickle as summer kites.
Vacant were the eyes that stared back at me from rotting sills. A wave of isolation and loneliness pervaded my thinking and I pulled back a bit from the train window. I felt the desertion like oil seeping from toxic barrels sinking into my chest. Small town death, I mused and the end of the family farm.
Then the briefest flutter of something at the top window of a grain elevator caught my eye and the thought of a barn owl nesting in the eaves came to mind. How easily this lead to the sound of mice squeaking below the warped floor boards and the pondering of a raccoon sleeping atop an air vent. Bees work to winter in a broken tractor engine, as geese munched on the grasses growing from past year’s feed. My inner vision shifted, just a hair, and I looked more closely as the peeling paint rusting pipes. Something about the decay creating a curious beauty that was consuming all that passed before me.
I see now it was my own isolation and loneliness that I saw in the darkened windows. It was my own decay that pervaded my thoughts. As the pigeons left the rooftop of the silo and squirrels darted along the fence of the abandoned feed lot, I saw it was not life that was missing from these places, it was fear of death that was haunting me.
Passing through the loading areas of train yards is a bit like passing through a graveyard. Stories that once were, now wrappers blowing between empty coal cars. I wonder who comes to work in these lonely spots? Who sponges the graffiti and loads the tankers? Nothing moves upon the gaveled lots and so much seems left in shadow.
We all travel in circles of others. People who are connected to us by locale, family, religion, and work. When I look out the window of the train I see many lives I have no association with. Hands covered in train grease and punch clocks that mark their hours. A hundred years ago we lived in towns where we knew everyone and what most people did. I look out at these yards of old train cars and filling stations and wonder are there really ghosts moving between the rails? Is there nothing in the shadows or do I simply lack the eyes to see?