Sunday Walk at Dusk
I walk back from the asphalt of the school playground
where I picked up a piece of wood
a tree thought
in the wind of two nights ago.
along the sidewalk home
someone might mistake this branch for a gun
in the headlight glare.
I carry it loosely swinging by two fingers
pointing the delicate web of lichen into the headlight
to reflect pale green above the gray silver bark.
maybe they see me and think
about the darkness that I am not.
maybe they only see me vaguely with no comprehension
simply a blank silhouette against the dark shadow trees
the sky holding the last of the day’s blue around
the edges of oncoming clouds.
Maybe they see me and think.
Walk on a Winter Night
I walk back from the corner store,
my foggy breaths lead me up the hill.
Orion in the southern sky, so clear,
the crescent silver just over his outstretched arm.
all against the indigo sky dome.
My face, upturned, stinging, shining moonlight back up.
streams of water on the driveway
frozen into low slick speed bumps,
shattering the moonlight on glass curved surfaces.
I place one foot on an ice stream,
feel it start to slide so easily, no friction.
I stand just a little longer, face growing numb,
warily placing feet down the driveway,
careful, watch for ice glimmers
up the steps. open the door.
the warm inside leaps out, pulls me in
pats me on the back with a jolly, “Here you are again!”
I am surrounded in a warm island
afloat on a tranquil sea of a winter’s night.
Sunday Walk with the Dog
We reach the top of the little hill
through the muddy forest
suddenly noticing the heron
by the green-brown pool reflecting the sun
the “croaaak” of a frog echoes.
At my intake of breath
shadow wings spread pushing up
out onto the sky and stroking away
receding to the horizon.
On the way back down
We pass a pile of rocks gleaming in the afternoon sun
As we continue past, my mind is on
happy beaches of polished and dull stones
hours just scooping wet holes
down through the layers
of finer pebbles just big enough
to see a bit of color
thinking maybe I could dig
down to the place where the rock
cradles the beach to the ocean’s breast
that pure touch of water
that grinds the mountains into sand.
The dog did not say much only walked and peed
happy to have walked and come home.
When I am on the beach
will I think of the heron?
or the pile of rocks by the road to my house?
or tiny pieces of mountains?
A Cold Walk at the Lake
The Air is dry and no white condensation
billows out of our mouths as we talk
Hunched in our layers
trudging at first
then as we find the warm place
in our stride
we able to almost ignore
the numbness of our extremities
At the end of the circle
around the darkening water
two owls speak
gentle penetrating questions
as the shadows fill up
the empty spaces in what is
left of the day.