Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Unasked Question (with Tania P)

Perhaps like light itself – now particle, now wave – the unasked question lives in between, just out of reach, leading us both out into the world and back into the depth of ourselves. Like Parsifal we ride forth, throats dry, with bugs whirring about our heads. We are deeply touched by all we behold, yet unable to say so.

Maybe like a fish in a bowl in a house of cats, we find the roof drops daily incrementally and the world outside the one we know looms closer under the thirst of what drinks from above. No matter how many times we circle the borders, something we hadn’t seen before appears, peers in, disappears.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Spell (with Tania P)

Perhaps to assemble the letters that make up the name of a thing, in the correct order, is to effect a magic. The land speaks through us as we travel across it – the rustle of grasses, the mystery of a paw print in damp soil, the whisper of trees, water, moths and mud. But be careful: there’s a cipher attached to that string.

Maybe letters, like ladders, give rooftop transport, the means to change out a lightbulb on a darkening porch, attic access to trunks full of envelopes stamped with the o's of foreign postmarks. Best gripped by a pair of hands at the base, bearing without comment the weight of thieves and lovers alike on their way to the unlocked window behind which, each is convinced, rests the holy grail in the shape of a thing to pawn, or a girl.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Aperture (with Tania P)

Perhaps dead in the yard: this swollen thumbs-width olive trunk, scabbed and knobbed at multiple pruned junctures. Waist high, antlered, waiting for the end. Faithless gardener, look again: branch tips host waxen stems, green-rimmed scarlet spears that secret concentric butter hearts girls of earth will later pluck and slip behind their ears.

Maybe every flower that exists first opens in the mind of the dreamer of that flower. In the deepest hour of the night the sleeping buds begin to stir, slowly unfolding their translucent petals, one by one, giving off a faint scent that draws the night moth out of darkness.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lesser Shorebirds (with Tania P)

Perhaps my love for the namers rivals my love for you: be you godwit, whimbrel, or dowitcher, your tan vault of a self ends in a v and nothing interrupts the fuchsia stem of your bill, tipped black, from its ravaged drilling and suckling for what the retreating waves stir loose below sand's horizon. I want to sift, like you, amid the dark stars of heaven for what god made just for me.

Maybe as a line of pelicans flows low across the water, only a wingbeat from the waves, I set out walking along the shoreline to follow. As ear and eye compete I look to the left, listen to the right; my attention sliding between drifting blankets of birds and the fluttering heartbeat of the sea.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Mild Enchantment

Perhaps in a country in which people’s eyes water from their habit of looking both ways before crossing the street, the scent from a common flower is measured to be swifter than thought. 

Maybe in another part of the world, a man reaching his right hand into the pocket of a new coat will find a cold, shiny coin that he will toss to settle an issue of the heart. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Hummingbird's Complaint (with Tania P)

Perhaps the hummingbird, when still, juices the morning complaint. Once airborne he snips his phrase in four. When he lands he barely bends the bough. Whatever the source of his methodical mincing, he repeats himself and I listen again for the triplet trills of silver which come, when they come, towards the middle and cap the end of his arc.

Maybe in the cool mornings of fall when the brightest jewels of the hummingbird’s garden fan out from twining vines, sky blue and fuchsia before a violet sky, each tubular bloom that later curls closed in the heat of the day curls slowly, in its own way – for there is no end that does not end by degree –  as the flower’s secret diary reads: now shuttered closed, I let the room grow dark around me.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Moving Portraits (with Tess P)

Perhaps Leonardo Di Vinci described clouds as bodies without surface that never sit still for a portrait. And much as Mondrian painted tree trunks that rise from the ground into which their roots have penetrated only to disappear into panels of bright color and brushstroke – today I am moved by the sight of faces caught in the windows of speeding trains going the other way. Half-smile, glazed eyes, I stop what I am saying in mid-sentence.

Maybe part star and stargazer, dumbfounded to find the relative racing past us in that distant glitter that spilled over holidays, we open our mouths to the scintillating snow falling onto our faces as if to speak.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall Mystery (guest blogger Julian M)

Perhaps the field that was once green is now golden and tan; the tree has no leaves on its branches but a blanket for its feet, preparing itself for the long winter ahead.

Maybe my eyes search for light - dwindling, fading - until something is visible in the distance. A ray of reflection from a glittering source. What could it be?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Red Rose (with Tania P)

Perhaps we see a rose as red, yet the one color in which the eye sees it dressed is the very color the rose rejects – and much remains hidden in the solitude of each silken pinwheel grown thick with fragrance where unseen colors continue to dwell.

Maybe that is best, to allow the center its private inward furl--a destination navigated most unbiased by child, dreamer, painter before assuming palette.  How tightly each petal grips the common stem. How equally pleasing: plucked petal and its perfect swath around three sides of human thumb.  

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Light (with Tania P)

Perhaps light is the opposite of entropy, travelling at a speed hummingbirds match in nectared dreams of planets without kestrels.

And maybe as this thin purple visitor pushes its way into the darkness it streaks right to left before disappearing; traveling toward some unreachable point well past the Milky Way after emptying the menace of our minds onto the still wet grass – after brightening fallen fruit and illuminating the rotting boards behind the barn.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Last Question (with Tania P)

Perhaps while we can’t yet turn smoke and ash back into a tree, we can train impossibly shattered things to mend themselves: a crushed hope, a fractured trust – an anguish suspended in a dream.

Or maybe stepping foot on the train, we are meant to notice the girl to our right, her red hat, her brown eyes eclipsing the pall of methodical predictions of heat death—oh imminent end—in favor of her shoulder against yours, the driverless hours in which to ask her which of the poems in the book in her lap she loves best.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hair (with Tess P)

Perhaps having lived more that half a life, when I lose my hair I should stand on the steps out back by the dogwood and sassafras, letting the silver strands slip through my fingers to be taken by a breeze; hair that once was glossed like a newly combed chestnut mare, now hair that I hate I even hate to lose but let the birds make nests of it, the hatchlings dry and kept by a few strands.

Maybe the neatly woven cup that cradles a clutch of small white eggs sprinkled with brown so near to where I stand, well apart from the urban pulse, lends me improbable comfort, a reason to pause, as I scan the landscape of tree and sky searching for a flash of wing, a cinnamon colored breast striped with rose, waiting for the evening's quiet to be gently filled with an elegant assembly of silvery notes.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Metaphors (with Tania P)

Perhaps when my daughter orders me to stop using metaphors (You're not off the hook. Don't ride me. Give up the goat) she secretly likes it. I can't stop anyway, these birds of paradise tight green canoes holding decks of tufted cards in their rims fanning melon to cobalt to absurd summer popsicle pink. Or this set of chestnut black hinged halves of fallen palm trunk against the fence; wooden fins for a mahogany boy just now reaching for her hand before I can intercede.

And maybe while sitting deep and idle as a cat I feel at my fingertips a little eternity, smell in my breath clouds of steam rising from a warm cup - hear voices and listen so intently that my body, nothing more than a chiffon shawl tossed over the back of a chair, rises up to inhabit a face that emerges from the fragrant flesh of a sweet apple that has fallen into a pasture mirroring a still twilight sky brimming with a tightening circle of stars that solicit my seeing if only for the fact that the beauty of the evening is as wild as the roses are. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

All This is That (with Tess P)

Perhaps you are a taxi driver and in your hurry to find one final fare you ignore your instinct to slow down and instead accelerate. In your rush you accidentally hit a shadowy figure who, looking in the wrong direction, steps in your way. The man is carrying a mirror and at the moment you hit him you see reflected back to you a clear image of your mother’s face on the day she saw your father alive for the very last time.

Maybe long ago, somewhere in her past, the sleeping mother hadn't noticed the few strands that had strayed from her careful part, nor had she felt the blue, kaleidoscope of Xerces that had escaped her slumber to gently pull the lock to one side before returning to the dream, as easily as one enters a mirror, as simple as the moon accepting light from the sun. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lost and Found

Perhaps it is good to stand beneath a thing that means to take words away. You may be shocked to find out that there are such things. That’s because the closer you get to them, the further away they really are. 

Maybe once you get close enough to escape within a melancholy charm, you begin to feel comfortable, and hang there free against its sides. But then, just as your breath catches up, you suddenly feel uprooted. It is as if it was there, just a moment ago, but now it is gone. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Goodbye, the light

The sunshine of poetry casts shadows 
                             - Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Perhaps it is quiet in the pine woods. All the trees are misted with the day’s last light. A small, dark bug turns on the lip of a green leaf where tiny white flowers are growing out of a damp log.

Maybe as you stop at a rock by the water to watch the sun set, the evening breeze carries an aromatic elixir of pine needle, waterfall, and mossy trunk. The horizon holds open the landscape to an enveloping cloud of darkness, the precise shape and contour of the granite boulder that you are sitting on. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Vanishing Point (with Tess P)

Perhaps you are a bird pulling out your tail feathers, passing each day making light, opening spaces; cleaning closets, painting the air, the walls the color of the center of the sun –white, white –as if you could chase suffering from your planet; and there, at the vanishing point, you see them, holier than anything these elephants in the summer haze.

Maybe in reverse perspective, your line of vision diverges against the horizon. Such a wide vista provides the elephants the necessary space to recede from your sight. Only then, as white fades to black, are you able to stand far enough outside yourself to notice a pair of singing birds with moons in their feathers perched at the edge of a leafy branch or, as seen under a microscope, nesting deep within the bright room of your heart.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chalk (with Tess P)

Perhaps as you were falling asleep, the image arose in your mind of white path meeting white path. Upon the paths was a webworth of deer tracks that ran to the shores of the land gleaming gold with the day’s last light.

Maybe like a fish you suddenly shatter the water, leaping toward the dazzling golden light. Then return, meeting your shadow, sealing the wetness of your world as if a black table cloth were thrown across the lake; and as you drift in the dark, you can still see flecks of light and small creatures with wings that dart at the water's edge.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Translation (with Tania P)

Perhaps translation can be likened to traversing the Grand Canyon by mule-back instead of on foot, gauging how far the gut of the hooved can permissibly swing over trail's edge and back while keeping its rider.

And maybe translation is a way to think in a way we never dreamed we could think as we travel to a place not easily reached in a climate which forces solitude even on its atmosphere. Upon reaching our destination we find ourselves engulfed in a landscape rich and various because its messages can be received; personal prayers that invite us to travel further across a ravine through the city that surrounds us and down to a tiny town in the palm of our hand that our children call home.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Without Change

Perhaps without change, one could argue, there would be no butterflies. Their lives are so brief, what can it matter? They are like leaves that painlessly drop from trees. Plenty of nets to go around, with scarcely any turf left; as it is, they have hung on many decades longer than expected.

Or maybe the butterfly, as if in flight from itself, zigzags through the air as it senses, everywhere it flies, the ultimate difference.  Yet change remains, and our tender attention to it need not be narrowed by the broader world contained within the innocent, unguarded space of the one great sadness obstructing our view of it.

The Eighth Elegy by Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Simply Poems (with Tania P)

Perhaps until a spot more fertile for the flower is found, its pale shade stands as a reminder of what must come. Because leaves understand the inevitable, do we need to be told?  Little losses everywhere.  These are simply….simply poems. 

Maybe poems, like tiny losses, hide miles of roots sheathing a core light we long to hold, like the diver catching underwater a blackening orb of falling lava, a geode he fails to fully open, but in trying--and before its heat forces him to drop it to the ocean floor where once hardened it will increase the island's girth--its two halves in his palms circle one another like a pliable hourglass, orange tendrils splitting their casing while refusing to separate.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Your Child (with Tania P)

Perhaps your child meant at first to come through my body. But in the final recalibration and preparation for the roundhouses and last minute swervings a child must learn to endure on earth, came instead through yours, explaining the tenderness I feel watching him cross the room towards us with your eyes, his father’s open-shouldered command. Perhaps he’d chosen you all along, and it is the you I see in his eyes that explains the lotus-petaled serenity, affinity, that blooms in my heart in your company, the infinite’s gift of the thousand forms.

Maybe as your child approaches us with his energetic lift and swing, I am momentarily freed from every undoing, for contained within the depth and breadth of his smile – stolen from a sailor, an artist, a storyteller, a poet – is a delight that transfigures all without his knowing. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Revision (with Tania P)

Perhaps as a writer the desire to tell the truth haunts you, as it should, yet at the same time all past events over which you previously had no control are at last subject to your decisions, your revisions - as creating patterns or finding form in any life, or mind, or world contains the promise of a worthy goal.

Or maybe, like the birds, destined to the confines of one humble repertoire, we stand little to gain by striving to rearrange the order of insight, the sound of the sounds themselves transportive as is. Just as listening to a foreign language--adagio, andante, poco a poco--elicits a response devoid of reason, like the inner harmonic struck when spotting the color spectrum feathering red to indigo to violet across a sky silvered with recent rain.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Oblique Strategies #2 (with Tess P)

Perhaps you are an engineer, and your life is simply a matter of work. What to increase? What to decrease? Do nothing for as long as possible, then go outside, shut the door and incorporate. Once the search is in progress, something will be found.

Maybe in observation of the clouds’ supply and demand, you search for a ratio that will fix those long broken, and deliver bridges to greener pastures, your true project being a physics of the heart, a law of multiplication in which love drifts and settles everywhere like the rebellious hairs of a cat.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Guest (with Tania P)

Perhaps the body in sleep unburdens its flock of questions, like so many winged sirens, into the sky of dream. As varied as the spectrum of birds from sparrow to phoenix and the unsplit spheres of velvet wrapped geodes, the potentials respond: suitors, thieves, inquisitors, friends. Choose a kettle. Fill it with water. Over the communion of tea, pray for the words to settle your debt.

Or maybe the body in sleep is a wind that knows everything we've never realized, yet any explanation is a confusion of words, for no matter how hard we try to recall what was floating to the surface while the dream was a tight knot inside of us – sentences lose their shape upon our awakening.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Forever New (with Tania Pryputniewicz)

Perhaps nothing is worth as much as what may replace it, when any given thing is only the first in a series of increasingly better things.  Tonight’s sunset changes as I watch – fiery oranges fade to soft pinks and purples; finally to black, with the first glittering hints of starlight shining through.

Or maybe what comes before haunts the now: great grandma’s in the nursing home tracing her great grandson’s palm with her good hand. You’ll have a long life, someday a wife. He’s nine, laughs, pulls his arm away. At visit’s end, she grips her chair to rise on legs she’s forgotten can no longer bear her weight, says she’d like to learn French, asks for sweet peas for her bedside vase. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Color of Lightning, a reading

Since Tania Pryputniewicz left the redwoods and vineyards of Sonoma County for the sunny beaches of San Diego, we have been at a loss to record our Perhaps, Maybe collaborative posts together such as Three starsThe End and Beauty to Memory. Here is our first attempt to bridge that distance.

Eureka - A Prose Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Eros (a collaboration with Tess P)

Perhaps as you enter the penumbral shadow of yearning, thinner than light, fleeter than flame, a vein in the rock - and stand poised to retrace your steps, carrying the fragrance of earth and rose across time – you remember those quiet evenings of visiting your younger self walking alone beneath a dazzling moon on the brink of a new desire, folding and unfolding the possibilities over and over again in your mind while a white boat waits, tied among the reeds where water lilies rise.

Maybe your yearning was pulled from the fabric of the night sky when bright needles of light punctured the black canvas and a brilliant liquid of light fell quickly toward you like a shining bead of mercury from a broken thermometer that your mother had shaken and together on your knees you rolled the darting beads onto paper that she folded like a luminescent, white boat on the water.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring (guest blogger Julian M. age 12)

Perhaps as I watch a cloud look at me with deep blue night eyes, I see the world pass by and I wonder if everything comes and goes as it seems.

Maybe the sunshine shines on through perilous storm and rain with heart filled soul and love.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Beginnings (inspired by H. Murakami)

Perhaps there are ways of telling stories that don’t always take off with assuredness, types of stories you can never tell - tracks with trains passing over them that have a mysterious silence all their own.

Maybe the point at which you begin to tell a story is not always the same point at which the story begins, since beginnings are always like this: one minute everything exists – the next minute everything is lost. Yet this may be the beginning you were waiting for, as you watch it swell and grow from nothingness to excess, from dreamy glimpse to solid afterthought, and although you have no idea what is going to happen next, another part of you knows exactly what’s coming as rhythms, words and thinking fall neatly into the arms of a tale so vast, so wide, so alive you immediately run to the window and stick your head out. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Emptiness as Canvas (with Tania P)

Perhaps the world is a chaos of aches and pains wandering around without knees to inflict; smells that have never known noses; sours apart from their fruits; adjectives bereft of nouns – unattached, adrift, waiting to modify – while within this infinite ceiling of sky with all its stars we huddle within one of eternity’s countless furrows and live like microscopic mites, mostly ignored.

Maybe in the failure of others to notice us, whether omniscient angels we so wish exist or the ordinaries of incarnates, the desire to be seen burgeons the heart past its former borders so its light mingles and ripples along the celestial hem of the Aurora Borealis, no less luminary than the yoni of the candle’s flame in the bedroom defining itself against the diffuse and deepening blues of night.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Growth

Perhaps while on the outside your daily life appears consistent and secure – a thick, branching angled stem held rigid and upright against the frosty sparkle of a new snow, another life is going on inside you. A longing that shines from the slanting rays of a cold sun invades your tidy routines as desire sprouts up in crevices of memory long since abandoned by your cultivated outlook.

Maybe as each encased, spiraling tuft of what lies dormant is invited to sprout, triggered by an undetectable clock, the twining stems of its foliage gives you a clue; and while cutting back the roots may temporarily weaken the impulse, it may also promote new shoots. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Compositionally Driven

Perhaps it is because clouds are camels one minute, streaming hair the next, that we gather like sea birds come to rest upon the ocean’s churning waves while making our way to the pebbled shore. Water kept on the move is made to do things; when static is as wasted and provoking as a buried talent.

Maybe this natural flow of creative spontaneity restores buoyancy to our ancient conversation between the sea and the seashore.

Dedicated to the memory of Karl Fisher: Feb. 20, 1960 - Feb. 20, 2013.  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Perhaps, Maybe, Because (with JHG)

Perhaps pheromones are maybes, physical maybes. Perhaps maybe is a language, a requiem for all the dead languages we have spoken, all the blue notes we have ever proposed with no room for because, because because is a dolt with big feet who is not your friend and will only leave you hanging, sticking to what and how and when. But perhaps, maybe now there's your best friend at the open door of language.

And maybe if you were to write a sentence with the word sentence in it not once but twice or even three times, you might shape the items that sentence gathered in with a tender touch, tinker with the fit, tether each green garden, moonlit pool, lemon, lover, and starry night before dissolving them (along with all the radiance of an opal sky) in an unbreakable bond between hand and eye that sets the stage for the actor who becomes her role, as we sometimes say, if for no other reason than to savor the sweet taste of the line.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Color of Lightning (a collaboration with Tania Pryputniewicz)

Perhaps lightning has a color all its own – like the bright flash at the bottom of a pan that prompts the eager prospector to cry out, “Eureka!” He has captured a bit of lightning, if only a speck, signaling that the rugged morning hike to this secluded spot has really been worth it after all.

And maybe, all the darkening trail home, like Poe and his trick of titling a treatise a prose poem, the prospector dedicates his find to the left, right symmetry of boot fall and fading tines of adrenaline along edges of spine, throat and heart, placing mindless sifting and coincident grace above any rational method of explanation for his luck.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

From a Mage's Staff (guest bloggers Tess P and Tania Pryputniewicz)

Perhaps you were intentional when you dove into the cold blueness of the pool and submerged yourself dolphin-like, staying beneath for a brief eternity, your blood knocking in the private chambers until you rose out of the water primeval; and laid your body upon the sun stricken cement to leave behind a silhouette of water that you might rise from and look back upon, softly chanting -- so that none can hear you: leave it, leave that sliver of being behind you.
Maybe that sliver of being with its shadow longing and love rises later towards what it perceives as the distance the body must cross to find home. Fractionally hesitant yet responsive as the were-light from a mage's staff is to the magician's need for light, the body turns back for each silver sliver, soothed like a child by the promise of grasping again the string tied to the balloon rising to the ceiling. Someone taller and kinder inevitably returns to the room.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Sound So Private (a collaboration with JHG)

Perhaps if you could find a place where satellites and airplanes could never spot you, and where a drop of water fell every few seconds tapping the surface of a pond, it would be quiet enough for you to hear a sound so private from within you emerging in tiny ripples radiating outward toward blue distances of sea and sky and grassy fields of wandering green tendrils grown from a seed so small a single thought contains them all.

Maybe memory is a lap in a rainy pool, a lapse, an orbit of wobbly jewels, et le bon mot, per chance de lysees, peut-etre, may actually be a dance of elegant lawn turkeys, that elusive bird that's a combination of: hey what's it to you, and here, I dare you, strutting along the edge of the open field. The closer you try to get, the further they remove into the thicket, into the bruise of thorn and hairy ruse. In fact they hate to fly at all, flying downward is preferred, but can, when necessary, by a series of hops from limb to limb, get way up high in the trees, where the fox cannot, and to be out on one can bird-word winter, tuck in.