no. 111

pulled from a delicious lethargy

(that of course can only be found in this microcosm)

a blanket burrow, fibrous with polyamide and cotton

swaddled until that moment

when, marshaling all the breath of patience that abides,

bhudda-like, within that bubble

of stale but comforting air

a sweet but mewling timbre

that at first calmly coaxes, but quickly becomes

more and more urgent

when, with the demands of morning just below the slip of sunrise

(that orb also struggling to heft itself from soft but heavy restraints)

a hand, small fingers curled, stealth-be-damned-now, brazenly yanks

oh, the sear upon skin liberated to the gray of pre-dawn light!

that is when defeat becomes precursor to movement

wood meets toes with icy welcome

hands greet eyes with increasing vigor

hope fills nose and belly with the promise of that which occupies

kitchen cabinets and soon sizzling pans

(that those thoughts trump all else, now, is paramount)

when, legs scrambling for purchase on the counter-top

suddenly find place around hips and arms around neck

that no-longer tiny body, all limbs and curls,

plasters itself unabashedly to the form which birthed it

too long ago for comfort, but not long enough for the space of maturity

when, nestling a lanky head between the crook of chin and neck

(that last bastion of sleep’s warmth and afterglow)

mouth receives the repast from mother’s feeding fingers

(written 2 january 2019)

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mundane musing the thirty-seventh

partner-less

i am the finder of lost socks

when you live in a country this far north

hand-knit socks, lonely or in pairs

 

abandoned

 

are uncovered when the last of the snow has melted

they reappear in bushes and on roadsides

i wonder how their owners parted with them

they remind me that

winter always hides under spring

 

once, i picked up a discovered sock

(it was fashioned in my favorite colorway)

and against my better judgement

washed it and imagined turning it

into something useful, more beautiful:

 

a hobby horse

a cellphone holder

a sock monkey

 

much as winter snow

gives way to spring flowers

(written 30 april 2018)

mundane musing the thirty-sixth

my skin

 

is not something to be eaten or drunk

like cocoa or café au lait.

it is not like the brown bark or nuts of a tree.

my hair is not woolly, not frizzy,

not nappy-like-less-than-good.

 

sure, you may call her

peaches and cream,

his hair is carroty,

or strawberry blonde, or corn silk,

possessed of apple-red cheeks.

 

not me.

you may address me in a manner

unfit for consumption

but full of reverence.

(written 13 april 2016)

mundane musing the thirty-fifth

circus

why can’t we go to a media circus, my son quipped

he wanted to see how they swarm and peck

so i told him it wasn’t worth his time

let’s watch the contortionists instead, i countered

there will be aerial ballet and acrobats and pantomime

let’s be entertained by something innocently sparkly

like the clown who throws tinsel from a bucket

and sprays water at children from his backpack

let’s feel the shock-and-awe induced adrenaline

at the sight of a man balancing a woman balancing

a child on a fifteen-foot-long metal pole

barely a hands-breadth for purchase

let’s get queasy on candy and popcorn and vichy water

but let’s have fun doing it

we don’t need the media to have a perfectly good circus

(written 19 may 2018)

mundane musing the thirty-fourth

cleaning day

never thought my domestic life would be

like an old hollywood musical

(a lot less sparkle, a lot more dusty-dingy)

not entirely devoid of self-made melodrama

i find myself strangely breaking into song

a fugue state in which i dance an 8-beat phrase

to the pop-hits of the day

shuffle-hop-step

to fill the space between loads of laundry

and emptying the dishwasher

insert jazz hands and fosse-esque hip roll

reorganizing our props for the millionth time

setting the stage for reality

(written 8 may 2018)

 

mundane musing the thirty-third

and here, dear readers, you may see that i dig deep during droughts; this truly is mundane…

iron

doesn’t weigh much, but that means

i must exert more force

the lever of my arm is challenged

shoulder girdle overworked

i wipe the sweat from my brow

for it is hot in the crucible of this kitchen

why must all things summery

require the use of this ill-named device

for it is no longer made of iron

i know my grandmother’s grandmother

wielded a much more apt iteration

on others’ garments

for pittance and long hours

caution needs exercise at any rate

i gingerly press creases, smooth wrinkles

just so that the sweat of my body

may later melt them into more pleasing

shapes, more human and less box

and in spite of the heat

i love the feel of

freshly pressed cotton or linen warm

resting against my washed skin

(written 8 may 2018)

mundane musing the thirty-second

cemetery

there are thousands of us

living wraiths who

wrapped in shrouds of oblivion

walk through the cemetery each day

these old grounds, so common

that most don’t notice that the air

is somehow thicker here

the spirits of the long-deceased have

already passed on, there are no ghosts

but still i feel the heaviness of time

it presses upon me with each blithe step

it prevents me from running

and i hold my breath, hoping for a white house

to release me my aching lungs from the bond

of a child’s superstition

it makes no difference but

sometimes i take my bicycle, and my legs

won’t pedal, they just lightly lock down

forcing the bicycle’s momentum to slow

the click of the spokes marks the seconds

it takes from one end to the other

and although the trees are ramrod straight

they close the space with their veiling leaves

i pretend to be oblivious

pushing my earbuds deeper

listening to songs of celebration

knowing i shouldn’t dance

(written 5 may 2018)