I know a thing or two about dust
A Texas panhandle childhood taught me its sting on the playground
Grit-filled eyes and sandblasted legs
Days of dust
And tumbling weeds
When gray choked skies obscured and
Scouring winds grew teeth
I thought that was how the whole world worked
For our sins.
(I do not miss those days.)
Is there a better word than dappled
For the way the sunlight plays through the trees, speckling the road?
Variegated is all wrong; unless one is speaking of yarn,
And motley only makes me think of clowns or crews.
Discolored doesn’t work, suggesting there’s been a mistake, and make no mistake–
Dappling is perfection; poetry in shadowy motion.
Flecked? Checkered? Parti-colored? No!
Stippled? Perhaps. I could work with stippled.
Still, dappled comes to mind first, when I crest a hill and see the canopy of trees
Filtering the light on a sun-kissed day, painting abstract patterns on the pavement
And peace in my soul.
Yesterday I posted a link to my friend, Julie’s blog post that featured her photo (below). Just in case my readers didn’t click on the link, here’s the poem I wrote to accompany the photo.
“Hung Out to Dry”
Passion had its way with her
Swept her up
Cast her about
Until she was
Hung out to dry,
Swinging from tenterhooks
For all the world to see.
A lesser woman might’ve
Dried on the vine,
Not she, no for
She claimed her place,
Staked her bets and
Stood on her own two feet.
The work of my photographer friend, Julie Powell, whose blog can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org, inspires me. Her work is often playful, sometimes edgy, and always beautiful.
Occasionally my mind runs along similar paths as Julie’s, and I’m moved to write a piece in response to her art.
I hope you’ll click on the link to Julie’s post and my poem.
Places I’ve never been
Paris, England, Reykjavik
In my dreams I see the
Towers, Eiffel and London
And the stony crags of Iceland
Chances are I’ll never have the
Opportunity to cruise the
Seine or cross the Thames
Or ford the fjords
But they call to me
Just the same.
I’ve known some witches in my time
Not the cloistered crones of legends; although, they, too exist
Cackling over crackling cauldrons
Working at wickedness for fun and profit
No, those I’ve encountered don’t give a newt’s eye for sinister stews.
They are the progeny of those who could not be burned, who steadfastly refused to drown.
Is it any wonder, then, that men fear witches?
Happy Halloween, people.
The squirrels showed up first,
Chittering and bushy tailed
Scrambling for acorns they’d hide
But never find again.
A flash of red announced a cardinal
Who watched warily as one
Determined squirrel chose to dig
Too close for his comfort.
Another cardinal followed,
Then a blue jay asserted himself
Into the mix, loudly searching for tidbits
Among the oak leaves littering the yard.
Even a lizard crept along the red bricks
Hoping to go unnoticed,
But I spied him, as did the cat.
All while gentle ripples stirred the lake
Dry leaves rustled in the wind, and
An unseen songbird trilled an apology.
He must’ve been late to the party.
A glimpse of a smile
That same old familiar face
Fine lines, deep wrinkles
Spare the excuses
Hours of sunbathing glory
Long nights of excess
This map of the world
And all of her adventures
Plainly written here
Who am I to question the way a door is opened?
Push. Pull. Lift latch. Turn knob. “Abracadabra”
So what if I choose incorrectly at least half of the time?
Enter. Exit. Round and round.
When last we talked I caught a glimmer of remorse. Maybe you would choose a different door this time, or maybe find a new way to open it.
We were friends once. Invisible doors were slammed. I lost a figurative finger.
All I’m saying, is I’ll help you open that door again. We can lean against it together.
I spliced the scenes together
The early days of flickering frames in shades of black and white,
Three channels and Walter Cronkite’s signature sign-off, “And that’s the way it is.”
We begged for a color tv, if only for the Rose Bowl parade broadcast, but
I’d outgrown the delight of floats bedecked with hundreds of thousands of flowers by the time
The old RCA was replaced by a bigger, shinier new Zenith. Bonanza in color and Little Joe in
My dreams. Yeehaw.
(I owe the idea for this one, in part, to my friend LA at Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50.: