She rakes leaves as if she’s in a battle with fall
With those pranksters of maple, oak, alder, and all
Who best be off elsewhere, staying clear from her home
Or sticking fast by autumn’s mist to the garden gnome
Better not sneak under her feet, returning to haunt the grass
I swear she’ll burn them like witches if they reappear in mass
I think her lawn looks nice, with a little extra spice
But I wouldn’t dare give her any advice
You see, I’m only her 8-year-old son
I just want to play in the leaves for fun
Memories from the Ancient Vacation
Memories from the New Vacation
‘Twas the vinegar that tippeth
Toward the leftover quiche
Oh, lonely empty bottle, recycler boon
When sun meets to kiss moon—
And mustard, your yellows bold
A bit old, but still at play—
Mummified lime, plastic lined
Awaits blessed water of the fizzy kind—
Four salad dressings,
Daughters of the virgin oil—
Bright Wednesday’s sauce
Must find solace at all cost
Before the scourge of poisoned moss—
A couple of red jellies
To keep a merry belly
Harvested during the sweetness
Of His grand spring—
A dire few leaves of spinach
Must be eaten in a pinch
Or thrown into a stew anew
Cat food can, oh my love be content
Yet, small miracles abound
In these cool vestiges—for—
Behind the onion skins
And forgotten slice of apple
My hand moves with assured fate—
Look at what Providence hath left!
A cold beer is found no less!
O, wonderous workings, I’m blessed.
He’s moving to a song he knows and it’s a song we’ve heard before but can’t place.
As he moves, the sweat, sores, and scratches stay in place. What’s inside him is externalized.
He doesn’t care about our inner secrets, our inner fears, our hates, our loves that set us howling upon each other. It’s out/in him.
He’s howling, loudly, to someone that isn’t there, but we recognize his attempt to get through. At times, we think he’s trying to get our attention. We hear, but don’t want to hear. We shake it off, thinking he’s outside us.
His voice seems primal, an odd sort of desire. We recognize its motions.
Shirtless, he scares us. He slams the metal lid of a garbage can on the sidewalk, a sidewalk he will sleep on, a sidewalk we walk upon…every day.
We don’t help him.
We expect someone else to talk to him, clean his face, recognize the song and put it in a playlist, so when it plays, text pops up, telling us what it is.
We must move to a song we know. It’s a song he’s heard before but can’t place.
She’s a ghost. I know that. She brushes her fingers along my shoulders and I will look up to find her playing among the trees, pretending to be the wind. She’ll drop a pinecone or a small branch as a reminder. Then, off she goes to the deeper part of the forest where I can’t follow. She laughs. I can’t hear it, but I know she’s laughing.
This spirit of hers doesn’t frighten me. But there are times when the forest is as still as death. It’s upon these moments, in silent life, when I look behind me on the trail and shudder in my aloneness.
She returns, that’s what ghosts do, with her sound, a rustling, a stirring, a theme she buries deep inside me. Its tune reminds me that I’m also a ghost. At times, this makes me sad, to know I’m as invisible as her, but it’s her way of empowering me, to haunt. I can’t help but to be…a ghost.
I can tell you this one thing. It’s the only thing I really, really know. If you listen, you will also know you’re a ghost. Even when you’re in the middle of nowhere, look up, and see a jet leaving contrails high in the sky, above the wilderness, without making a sound.
I wish I could dance in this wind. But its heat wilts me, keeps a dull, slight fever about my skin. I feel it drags everything into a blur, the flora, the fauna, the restless water, the dry grass. There’s so many separate lawns being watered in the midst of this drought.
I await the first flirt of coolness, a gift from the ocean, when the wind tugs at my hand and compassion soothes the baked streets, the overdone frenzy.