Saturday, 17 March 2018

new morning

this morning they are hoping for some change standing outside the seven elevens the circle k's the am pm's, shifting and huddled and made it through the night. maybe a coffee and a biscuit if you can.

a word or a sign or a forlorn face to get a couple quarters. sometimes a hard silence and barefoot says enough. a little kid who cares asks his mommy can we help that one over there?

some small gratitude, hot liquid behind paper, warms the hands and face, expressions melt into a blank stare. worries momentarily at bay. eyes open to the day.

Friday, 16 March 2018

the day I married an idea

I could not fall to sleep last night for some time. Someone was planning a wedding through my window. I wanted to keep the window open so i could listen to the rain. It doesn't rain much in the central valley and I grew up in New England where it rains all the time. A couple of the girls were mean, drunk and loud. Why would you want cousin Elle there? Cross her off the list, she's nobody to you. Tell her she can come to the reception if she wants to see you so badly! This is your day, not hers. It wasn't a stretch to believe that people could be so cruel in the service of loyalty to the bride. I thought it best to forego my future of sweet falling rain and shut the window. There would be no bells and confetti or Dionysian charm, still, you could say I got married to the idea.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

governor in a mansion

Today we went out for a walk and passed the governor's mansion which is not far from the state capitol and midtown, where I live. We looked up and into the highest windows to rooms visible in daylight and I fantasized aloud oh wouldn't it be lovely if we saw him there today? This routine I go through every time with you, I think, since I discovered last year that Jerry Brown would be reclaiming the mansion for a residence. No governor has lived there for decades, and Governor Brown is the only governor of California I have been fond of, since I moved here from Chicago fifteen years ago. He's probably out of town, fighting Trump over the sanctuary laws somewhere, you reasoned. That's when my wandering eyes caught movement down by the porch, and a figure was stepping down toward the drive, then concealed. I cried out there's someone there! What if it's...? We both followed the iron rail a few yards and saw the black SUV and the bodyguard and...and... by golly there he is! You said. I was spellbound and could not speak. You called out Mr. Brown! Hey Jerry! Down with Trump! A smile came over the bodyguards face, and the governor turned to greet us and waved an arm. Finally I found my tongue and hollered we love you Jerry Brown!

Saturday, 10 March 2018

apple core

this morning i awoke beside you and stretched and growled. you called me tiger and i showed you my claws. the sun was not up yet but we were. i took my meds and fed the cats. we went down the road to the we discovered the coffee there is first rate. you got some chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, and i didn't mind. i made a cadillac with half hot chocolate. we aren't that young anymore, but we love to be kids together. maybe that's the core of our apple?

Friday, 9 March 2018

half life of a city bird

I lived high up in a city beech tree in Boston I inherited from my parents. Mom was a red and dad was a black bird. I displayed her colors in tufts, and they say my song pitched like his. I carried her tonality.

I wanted my life to improve but i was scared.The cars and trucks made my home shiver, the city made me feel like mine was the only tree. The pollution and city rats were a real danger, and worms were scarce.

I was scared of change and scared not to change, flipping and ducking my head in my chest. I left early one morning when car alarms would not stop chirping.

 I was sure I was a goner.

I flapped my wings and flew for several suns and moons on end. I knew not where to. Or for. The currents unusual to a little bird like me. I broke and fell, rose and tumbled, and slanted across the sky. Nights I huddled helpless and cold in a rain gutter, dreaming.

When I could go no farther, I found a hollow to a little birdhouse. Abandoned it was. What luck! and a fertile ground below. My nest I created of all the diverse fabrics under the sky, in the moonlight, fortified with lead paint chips while humans slept.

If I may say, I was already a miracle when I learned to transcribe letters dipping my beak in berries.

I wanted to recount and record my travels and knew no other recourse. My beak has not the strength of the woodpecker, and our songs are taken by the wind, so soon they evaporate.

I found words the humans wrote
on bits of paper I made
my nest

I copied the many slender forms by my beak with the berry, and learned which forms coupled off with others and the when and how of it all. I already knew why.

I was already a miracle when I discovered your tongue.

Now half my life story
has been told and I
can rest

It's a lot
for a little bird
like me.

For a little bird
like me
it's a lot.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

peak experience for a turtle

Mile nineteen of my 50 kilometre ultra run. We had ascended the mountain on switchbacks, deep in the forest beside the American River Canyon on the Western States Trail. About 2,000 vertical feet on single track. Some of the steeper parts I had to hike, but it was no less strenuous than running on the flats or descending. My hands were freezing cold from the wind and rain earlier that morning, and I had brought arm sleeves (the cotton tops I cut from knee socks) which I repurposed for gloves. We had crossed the river a couple of times and the muddy trails were causing runners to slip and fall. Yet here upon the ridge at mile 19, above it all, the trail was paved in pine needles and the sun was beginning to shine. The scene opened up to a fantastic new world! The mountains lush and verdant on the far side of the canyon. A chorus of tree frogs opened up. Then the sky began to hail, and the raindrops froze and bounced off of my skin. I came into a narrow part of the trail ever so slightly ascending, with brush on either side, and I swear it was like a royal flush running through there! The hail had formed crystals all caught up in the treetops and the light was reflecting several ways, glancing  and shining upon us like a dream! I knew then that I had made it. I was not gonna hit the wall like last year, a painful and demoralizing affair. I found myself in the refuge of this peak experience, 5 hours or more into my endurance run. Lucky me. It gave my spirit a burst of feeling uplifted. Now, several days later, I wanted to write it down and share it with you, for it stands out like a gem in my mind.

success! heading home after the race

I learned by the race last year (when I hit a wall at mile 17) not to run the first half too quickly, keep a realistic pace and have patience. I also learned not to change my diet, despite all the yummy offerings at the way stations. These two major lessons, combined with my efforts to load on carbohydrates (90% of my intake) in the 72 hours leading up to the race, gave me ample strength to manage the ascent and finish the race strong. After mile 20 on the Wendell Robie Trail, many of my fellow runners were complaining of dead legs and fatigue and slowing down to walk and enjoy the scenic ridgeline over the canyon. I found myself feeling energized and running fast for a turtle, completing the last 10 miles without stopping, and running close to 10 minute miles on the flats. 

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

a little

a tuna sub
a paperback
a drawn tub

a little

what more 
can one