A Cold Bridge

On freezing nights when the river settles, the reflection of city lights is clearer than the real lights. She views this better on the bridge, her winter pilgrimage.

Colder than the air, she grips its handrail. Her hands pull away only at the moment she can’t feel them. It’s that pain she’s after, of her hands warming up after they’ve become numb, filled with little sparkles, needles, the slow throb back to movement.

But the lights found on the river’s surface hold a deeper meaning than pain for her.

She trusts the reflections more than real lights. They have a glimmer that’s missing from the real thing. She knows this not to be true. She knows the side of reflection is fiction, but, in a way, she believes that her wishing, a wishing so deep, so intense, begins to create an alternate reality.

She thinks… No. She knows there are millions of others just like her, wishing as she does. And with that power, alternative realities are coming into being, piece by piece, wish by wish.

Someday she’ll attempt to reach the reflections.

For now, she will settle for a hand on the railing, looking…looking…until she’s numb…again.

She’s on her tiptoes.

 

 

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Soul Fire

Image taken at Mt. Tabor, January 2019

More images here.

 

 

Scattered Town

One can hear the electrical wires in the rain near the scattered towns.

Your voice is still under those lines, in one town or another, poking around old man bars.

You wanted to see where the forest ditched the highway, where the grid no longer gripped feral ferns and moss.

We picnicked next to the river, sandwiches and wine. The rain had stopped, left to playing only with leaves.

You were scared of the forest, its sounds. The very thing you thought you protected.

I never told you, the road is hidden on the other side underneath the trees, behind the wild rhododendron.

Traffic is far and few between, a crawl, especially after winter’s scarring of pavement.

 

I can see you, running for the parking lot, back to the towns, the wires, fear in your eyes.

 

Sometimes, to be honest, I wish I could be as scared as you.

 

Above Multnomah Falls

This warm winter makes the creek scream like spring.

I dip my hand in, as far in as my long sleeves let me

Smooth stones, slick, cold life, years in my hands.

My fragile blood beats, knows the water by heart.

 

It’s good to be wary of the speed of the current

where it licks up upon the shore, sure feet are never a given.

It can bite you, gently, or with unforgiving teeth.

Its noise covers all voices, who’ve come beyond the falls

 

I head for snow level, it’s high for this time of the year.

Pine needles dot its surface like a mild sprinkling of spice.

Towhees, ravens, and buntings call with haunting songs

An echo between their voices, moves with the forest, downhill.

 

There, below, near the river and I-84, the creek is a maiden jumping.

Thousands of selfies, one tripod, a few point and shoots

attempt to catch her in the act of hitting the ground.

She refuses to pose.

 

 

 

 

 

Leaves

  1. Starbucks banana nut bread
  2. Grande Pike, medium roast
  3. Trailhead, outhouse, no toilet paper
  4. A cluster of campsites within a mile
  5. Driving, slightly faster than normal between campsites
  6. All other outhouses, no toilet paper
  7. Hillbillies with dogs at one campsite give me the evil eye
  8. Back to trailhead, outhouse, no toilet paper
  9. Deciduous trees

 

 

Moon Machine

(Click on image to enlarge)

The Wind Bends the Flower

It’s easy for her to get lost in stillness, before light sneaks between curtain and window, playing shapes on her bedroom walls.
The softness of night can’t hold back day. She knows that. She hears the east wind pick up, as the sun spreads it over the city, where it curls around signposts, dips below fences.

 

Her ride in is easy, with the wind, a powerful glide, her body in tune with all traffic. On her way back home, she fights. The wind brushes her ears, a reminder of how life is scheduled, one comes, one goes.
Lives take the shape of schedules. She begins to see the shape of it on her face, that ease of following the flow, the chatter of her job, people’s energies intermingle, clash, flitter about. Then, the struggle to find herself on her own time, left to an inner dialogue that sometimes slips into the air, out loud, like crazy talk, wind and ground.
She prays to the stillness, after that same sneaky morning light dims, wishing to hear something break into sound, tearing into her null, an abstract of stillness.
She decides to attack the quiet, quietly. She believes her insides, once let loose, will bleed like a blooming flower.
The east wind dies down, occasionally rattling the metal of her bathroom exhaust fan.
She falls asleep and dreams of noise but can’t remember what they sounded like when the light wakes her up…again.
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