Sometimes, Silence is Reckless…

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(Some experimental refractions.  Thank you for drizzling by.)

MentalErosionThe clattering waves. The intractable sky. Mute again, with gloomy grey eyes. A bit of bone cuts into my thumb. A touch of wind whispers through decaying feathers. I do not remember the last thing I felt before the embalming.

AbandoningSometimes, Silence is reckless.

PurgatoryMy mind is fossilized. As lively as the oldest stone. I lean back on the retracting cushion of Entropy, and gaze blankly toward the heavens. How dazzling is this thatch of scattering sparrows; how enchanting their dance of dewdrop shadows.

RelapseThorny bliss is this mindlessness, oblique amongst the dried thistle and snapping bramble. I can vaguely hear it, somewhere wrapped in gauze; a little Life fizzing at the bottom of the quiet stream, beyond.

Like a mosquito, I insert a needle into it, now and then.

RecklessSilenceIt is easy to forget the threat of a wave’s smooth caress, that its languorous massage of oblivion is still a form of erosion.

Breathing2When I was a child, my favourite thing to draw was a noose.

TheMomentBeforetheFalterHe rang the other night. I could hear that his lips were cracked and bleeding. He wept and begged forgiveness, but I had never felt slighted to begin with. Yet, my response was blank-eyed silence. There was only the sound of the restive wind moaning through the eaves to answer for me.

PugnatiousSkiesHow stealthy a foe is this stifling captor; like a cashmere cloud, its downy coolness yawned over me. Its strangeness seemed safe, nestled inside its gossamer embrace, bound in a world without senses or thought. I am far too gone to feel alarm, now.

TheBreathofEntropySometimes, love is just impotent rage that is a little too tired to bear its bulbous face.

TenacityofGriefWhat an obdurate knot Shame so deftly creates, twisting away, as the years smoothly slip by, pressure mounting against my spine.

FlyingonaFeversBackRegaining a pulse requires resurfacing. To drag the bloated body from the turgid depths. To pry open its chalky eyes, exposing them to the bone light of the wild ocean sky, above. To kiss its mucid, slimy visage and blow through its cold stringy-white lips.

DejectionTo let the cherry rivulets of pus and water drain from the self-inflicted punctures.

HoldingOnI do not know if I will dry out, chafe these wrists, and feel again. I despise the sound of my own voice, the rattle and scrape of my defunct brain and the trepid rasp of my rusty breath.

LayDowntoCompostSometimes, though, Silence can be much deadlier than the noose.

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“Every Sin is an Attempt to Fly…”

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Night-0387“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always gotten there first, and is waiting for it.”
– Yousuf Karsh

Night-0450“Night does not show things, it suggests them.”
– Brassaï

Night-0393“Every sin is an attempt to fly from emptiness.”
– Simone Weil

Night-0457“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?”
– Rene Descartes

Night-0480“Very hopeful faces always seem on the edge of despair.”
– Alasdair Gray, 1982 Janine

“To The Artist There is Never Anything Ugly…”

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SkinnedElbow-BW“If reality fails to fill us with wonder, it is because we have fallen into the habit of seeing it as ordinary.”
– Brassaï

AnOldStare-BW-1179“Even the most miserable life is better than a sheltered existence in an organized society where everything is calculated and perfected.”
– Federico Fellini

Drowning-BW-5628“To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature.”
– Auguste Rodin

SilkenContemplation-BW-0674“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”
– Albert Einstein

How I Wish There Were No End to Rain

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Ocean-bw-8404-BIII loomed beneath a dark feathering of sea-oats, pointed tips glazed with recent rain. I listened to the subdued murmur of little waves. The fetid and russet beds of sea-wrack had been washed away, leaving the sand barren and strange. A forlorn gull loitered at the swash line, analyzing the crinkling water as it fizzed in and out.

Beach- bw-8456-BDistant lightning lazily branched from the moody-blue squall-lines and spidered across a sullen sea of herbal green. Coy ghost crabs emerged, removing dark masses of dripping sand from drowned burrows. They built little, lumpy mounds around the entrances to their small, black holes.

The storm was leaving me. How I longed for it to stay.

Beach- bw-8441-BI was tortured the other night, seized with the memory of my little Siamese cat squeezing her eyes tightly shut for the last time. How swiftly she was gone, her soft, cinnamon cheek resting upon a colorful, flowing blanket that masked the metal slab beneath. I had never seen an animal euthanized, before. I understood, logically, that it ended the physical misery of her little, bony body.

Yet, how troubled I am by that last image of peace…of life tenderly released.

Beach- bw-8742-BMy mum died of a similar ravenous kind of disease. I remember that final image. Her face waxen and unreal, her mouth a small, black hole. She did not tightly close her eyes. She was not escorted quietly, through a warm wash of sleep, into the darkness beyond. Yet, I was not so disturbed by her image in death. And how vividly there lacked any look of peace…

Beach- bw-8752-BI do not know what that reveals about me.

But I wish the storm would never leave. I want, forever, to hear its screams over this cold and fleeting sea of herbal green. How I wish there were no end to rain. Just as there seems to be no end to Grief.

Ocean-bw-8411-B“Darkness settles on the ground
Leaves the day stumbling blind,
Coming to a quiet close
And maybe just in time”
– From the song God Only Knows by Joe Henry

“As the wet surface extends its clear broth…”

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“Ah! the wet surface extends its clear broth!
The water fills the prepared beds with pale bottomless gold.
The green faded dresses of girls
make willows, out of which hop unbridled birds.”
– Arthur Rimbaud, from the poem Memory 06-19-15 Water-4861B”Clear water; like the salt of childhood tears”
– Arthur Rimbaud, from the poem Memory06-19-15 Water-5020B“Prairie roses, two of them, climb down the sides of a road ditch. In the clear pool they find their faces along stiff knives of grass, and cat-tails who speak and keep thoughts in beaver brown.”
– Carl Sandburg, from the poem Memoranda
06-19-15 Water-5068B“A lacrymal tincture washes
The cabbage-green skies:
Under the drooling tree with tender shoots”
– Arthur Rimbaud, My Little Lovers 06-19-15 Water-4841B“To-day, let me be monosyllabic….a crony of old men who wash sunlight in their fingers and enjoy slow-pacing clocks.”
– Carl Sandburg, from the poem Monosyllabic
06-19-15 Water-6532B“Life is like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”
– Carl Sandburg

Thank you for oozing by.

– Smiling Toad

The Swamp May Claim My Body One Day…

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00The Swamp may one day claim my body. This past weekend I was found sinking into the muck, yet again. I never mean to deviate out into those gurgling and gushing, reedy and thrillingly mucid marshlands but something always draws me in.

In this case, it was vultures…

A great cluster of black vultures descended right in the middle of the great sprawling mire below and I just had to go tumbling down after them.

They wheezed and grunted and hopped about in a frenzy as I sloshed near. Then in a great charcoal gust they fluttered up and adorned the palm trees above, their crinkled heads bent with sharp, bilge-water brown eyes studying me, looking like dark-frocked, feathered judges scowling down at me.

02I sifted about looking for a corpse. To no avail. Disappointed, I continued on. I was soon slopping along in happy oblivion until the mire became a river and the reeds turned into mangrove trees; and even then I ventured further. A tiny gator slipped away and a flurry of silver bodies slapped the surface of the water as they swam away in a fast flash. Little black minnows danced in the golden, tea-stained waters bathed in warm sunset.

04Suddenly I remembered that I do not live in the Swamp and that these ruddy parks always have a blasted time-limit. I turned and squished back toward the great sprawling knoll where the path was. I clambered and crawled up through an impenetrable green fog of knotted grass. A merry wind casually chucked vulture feathers, globs of yellow pollen, sticks and burrs into my wild, tangled mane as I clawed along like a blind bear.

At last I popped onto the trail, adorned in Swamp.

03I was surprised when I heard a squeak pierce through the meditative hum of honey bees that I had just walked through as they danced from flower to flower at my muculent feet.

I began to concoct a haphazard smile, realizing the squeak had issued forth from a wide-eyed dog-walking lady that had been startled by my sudden appearance. I guess she had no idea someone had been crawling around in the somnolent mire below all this time. She rapidly gathered up her canine companion and shielded the small and thoroughly fascinated terrier from my ghoulish and slovenly sight. The pair darted away as I said with a stumble, becoming entangled in some gigantic weed I hadn’t noticed, “Lovely time for swamping, eh?!” She didn’t reply…I don’t think she heard me…

01I immediately became distracted by the lake on the opposite side and soon found myself in the water, yet again, joyfully fiddling with the camera. Time was forgotten yet again as the sun was swiftly hoovered away and squeezed to rust. The phone deep in my pack tootled but I couldn’t be bothered with attempting to dig it out, so I continued to film as I slowly made my way back.

Then I heard a great booming cry warble across the glimmering waters glazed in purple dusk, “PARK CLOSING!”

05It seemed to be coming from a tiny dancing dot on the shore across the way…where the park entrance was…

Oh dear…THE TIME!

I tried to assure the little black dot (that was an irate ranger) that I was hurrying as I called out, “I AM COMING! DON’T WORRY! BE RIGHT THERE!”

He was miles away…well, perhaps just one mile.

I wasn’t very near and the wind was probably erasing my calls, so I gesticulated wildly in order to encourage the ranger that I was hurrying. He continued to hop up and down.

Then I started splashing back as quickly as possible.

And then I crouched down in the water to film a rock.

“PARK CLOSING!!!!! PARK CLOSING RIGHT NOW!!!” came a very jarring, caterwauling cry.

I decided I should put the camera away…this was a very difficult chore as my arms suddenly weighed about 18,000 lbs.

I managed to make it back and even avoided being pounded by the red-faced, snowy-mustached ranger as he crammed me into the car and Sir rapidly peeled away (well, rapidly for a tortoise, that is, as Sir is a very sedate, I mean careful, driver- to the outraged ranger’s dismay…). I was able to obtain enough footage for a few wee videos featuring some minute creatures. Here is one below, shot at Pine Island Conservation Area in Merritt Island, FL. Thanks for drizzling by,

Smiling Toad