Up here, the rain might not end. The mountains yank it down.
Leaves, thistles, and remnants of yarrow, who only months ago relinquished their hold on the land, now find themselves pummeled into a wet carpet.
You walk cautiously.
You think of snow.
A crazy thought but a real one, envisioning light flakes floating down, forming a subtle comfort, evenly spread.
It’s not a surprising thought, for all you see across the surface of the lake is rain…a driving rain, moving horizontally…as if it’s a mad ghost, curling up the mountains, whipping trees, challenging their stoicism, lifting you off your feet, slightly, with every surge.
It’s that small perceptible feeling of not being grounded that moves your imagination into other thoughts.
It envisions a fall, down the side of the mountains, the rain having swept you off your feet. Your stomach turns. Here, alone, you become afraid and when you see your fear, you laugh. A laugh different than the laughter you’re known for.
You walk cautiously.
You want to get angry
Angry back at the rain, for pulling you away…apart…unsettling your warmth down to a shiver.
You walk cautiously and look down while the rain hits the back of your coat’s hood.
The old leaves beneath your feet shimmer and you see your feet are planted firmly on the ground.
He wears rocker shirts. Wears one for a couple weeks straight. Mötley Crüe, Maiden, Def Leppard. After a while, they turn into a fuzzy beige, frayed, stretched, slept in. Matches his forehead above them, receding hairline, exposing a weathered field of grease and veins. The long hair is still there, a combed back frizz. It’s the kept memory of a youth who embraced worn Levi’s, cheap wine, water pipes snuck into arena shows. The hipsters copy his look. Except, they get mullets and paint their fingernails.
He keeps 66 compact discs under his bed. Aerosmith skips on Dream On. He looks for a replacement. It’s a desperate need easily solved, but for some unclear reason, doesn’t.
Outside his room the fall leaves scatter in confusion, caught inside an undetermined wind. Fall can’t decide what it wants to do. There are large algae blooms in lakes and ponds. Warmer days sneak in, sandwiched between dry, cold stretches. A haziness lingers about, resembles phosphorus.
He has lost the ability to stand without losing his balance. Somehow, his shirts steady him. Don’t ask me why.
Snippets of blue and clouds
Poke through rafters
That once held meaning.
Still, something walks
Within the ruins
Weathered old boots…and
Ashen hands, brushing
Stone, steel, and rust
Feeling along debris
As if it were night
In the summer shade.
Outside, where tourists
Muffle the sound of the falls.
Young summer types
Adorned in shimmering
Glacier melt, current dripping
From plump elbows
Dash about, in the radiance.
Look from the open air
Into worn out windows
Unaware of how much
Walking ghosts do.
Her eyes…opaque. If you look into them, she won’t return your greeting. Her sight fixes upon someone who’s not there, as if the air holds a face that no one can see except for her.
In words you don’t trust, she tells you what she sees…the symmetry of shapes, the mistakes of nature, the movement of lips when they sing, the spin of a record playing a song she wishes to forget but aches to listen to…the curl of a handwritten name.
She tells you these things…and when she speaks it’s lucid…as if she’s telling that person, who’s not there, the very thing they need to hear.
(Image entitled Blue Unravelled. Click on it)
Denny and I, with his Wasco legs, inside Gifford Pinchot…
Late, when the dust of the gravel road settles, fast, into black…
We cup our hands, to make an old whistle, like the hoot of an owl
To settle our minds, to settle our fears, of the directionless twirl of sky…
Upon hearing the tones from our small soft hands, deer stand still, freeze
Their black pool eyes, resolved, never leave our movements…
And the stars we see above the maze of Douglas Fir
Are old stories still being told anew…
Our voices, with purpose, retell them to each other.
We’re measuring distant planets
By the flutter of their stars
By the flicker of the light
Next to their circumference
Abstracting them down
Bringing them up to surface
Through <code> </code>
To words, pictures, and meanings
To read them aloud and aloof
To write them as extensible language
Copy and paste our findings
Upon the script
Of our own atmosphere
Marked up upon our own globe
Which sits conveniently
Within grasp for a spin
On the table in the study
Next to the books
Where blue whirls by
With a few rearranging squares
Rectangles, lakes and islands
Fighting for eye contact
We keep our fingertips, lightly
Upon the smooth cold metal surface
Enjoying the texture
As it twists
Through our touch
(image. An unfinished project)