July 17, 2007

Summertime (And the livin' is easy)

I woke at five this morning to the rain on the skylights. The air was thick with the stink of water starved grass. There is that heavy ozone scent... I always mistake it for a type of electricity, the renewed potential.

When I was in Tennessee there were flash storms. Sudden and violent. A flurry of lightening and rain, rain like we only see in winter here. I had seen nothing like it, really. Streaming down the roads, washing the dust out of the trees and the cane sugar. Then just as sudden, the sky would clear and paint itself with fluffy white clouds. Passive and sweet again, the sun would drench you in that southern heat that only seems to happen there. One minute you were running for cover, the next you were looking for the gin.

We are going to drive down to Twisp Washington this August. I am looking forward to a landscape I have not seen, abandoned houses I have not photographed. I think it is just the thing I have been craving. That un-named sweet.


July 10, 2007

Summer Heat... Continued

Driving home tonight, I took the shortcut through farm country. It is astonishing to think that less than a hundred years ago the entire area that I passed through was under water. (They drained a large but shallow lake and created a canal to control the flow of one great river into another.)

It was incredibly hot today, further in the valley reaching close to 40~. Unusual in these here parts. We all were sweaty and irritated, the pavement of the city streets baking us despite the consumption of non fat, no whip, decaff mocha frappachinos. That pretty outfit you put on this morning looks less so as a dish rag. Some of us glow in this heat, savouring the depth of it. Others, admittedly I am in this group, go from one air conditioned building to another. I don’t mind the heat, but for fuck sakes... give me a cold stiff drink.

It was just dark on my voyage through the tall grass ditches and corn fields. The farmers were irrigating the crops, something I always find delight in. If you grew up in the country you may know what I mean... or if you had the luxury of a sprinkler to run through. The rooster tail sprinklers, you know the ones I mean. They make that Tsstk tsssk tsssk sound as they pivot, each beat of the guard mechanism causing a pause in the arc of water. My father used one to water our lawn and I liked to hear the sound as I fell asleep on hot summer nights. It’s sprinkler music enough to cool me off.

But the farmer and his sprinkler... is an entirely different experience.

Amplify the lawn sprinkler by ten thousand. This HUGE arc reaches out, fingers stroking the edges of the field, corn leaves glistening in the spray. Hundreds of litres of water, thrown out to sparkle against the sky... each pulse seemingly reaching out further than the last. And the sound... I wish I could capture that sound for you. It is more than a calm lawn experience. You feel wet just standing on the road near one, the mist drifting.

Sometimes the farmer misjudges the arc of water and it will fall on the road. I love to drive through these mistakes, a summer rain in the holocaust of summer light. The music of it raining down on the hood of the car.

Don’t get me started on the scent of the pavement... hot from the sun, touched by cool fingers. Such a simple girl...

I reached for the camera and nada. But I don’t think the camera would catch the feeling these beautiful dancers evoke. Most definitely, you could not taste the difference in the air....


July 07, 2007

Summer Heat

“When you see daddy comin’
You're licken' you lip
Nails bitten down
To the quick.”


Today, a tanned vixen in a black bathing suit, white convertible, tattooed boy. The grass is nipple high. Everything screams of sex. I was listening to Junior Kimbrough on the highway today, windows down. I had cravings of late night dancing in some blues club in Memphis. Past summers of working in the sweat. How quickly things evolve from a faint glow to that slick of burning.

There was once a boy I used to sleep with. Sleep... we did none of. When we make love it was always hot and sweaty, I remember a droplet running down his nose... tripping down between my breasts to rest in my belly button.

“A man makes a picture
A moving picture, in the projected light
He can see himself up close.”

Now, in retrospect, I think it was always hot when we were together. Summer or that early spring.

I often wonder what became of him, the graphic artist who fucked so passionately but married a prudish lawyer. Is he happy in his marriage bed? Does he dance in the sultry way with her, wetting her breasts with his enthusiasm? I somehow doubt it. How insatiable we are in our youth, that constant ember burning in us.

I must admit, this is my absolute favourite time of year. And although I am happily coupled there is this quickening that we both will enjoy. The automatic, primal swing of the hip in pace with the wavering grass. Last year we had some lovely adventures in the heat... I wonder what this summer will hold.

“It’s all right, it’s all right,
She moves in mysterious ways.”

The summer night sky is something beyond me, elegant and promising all at once. The construction paper cut outs of trees against the azure deepness of coming night. Streaks of purple clouds, the touch of pale softness on the horizon. Jesus. It makes my heart ache. Everything has potential under that sky. Everything is touched by magic.

There was a night when I was a teenager. A boy who I had a mad crush on (later to become my husband) and I were standing out under a streetlight. I was in my bare feet, walking on a crack in the hot asphalt. I can feel of the chalk they used on the patch, the heat and soft of the road. There was a shadow design from a tree crowding the lamplight. If I were to go stand there tonight, I imagine that there would be some of that magic still lingering. I remember how his skin tasted of salt and I had the faint recollection that all freckles must taste this way. His skin had that man feel, tougher than mine. I walked home that night high in the azure of sky.

“I am gonna run to you, run to you
Woman I will.”

The entire summer that J and I dated, feeling out the potential between us, there was the sleepless nights with the window open listening to the far off frogs and wind. My hungry exploration of what he could make my body do, the shaky feeling in the morning. Tired, but exhilarated.

We would go driving then, anywhere... aimless. The windows down and the music on. Of all the things I miss from prior living together, it is that. The random freedom. Oh yes, and the quiet basement sex. I slept so well in that cool darkness. A calm reprieve from the violent heat of the day.

I miss running on summer nights, just my breath to keep me company. Here I don’t have anywhere I feel safe to run... there are no hills and no streetlights. I liked lying on the lawn to cool off, looking at the sky. Midnight runs, the pristine quiet. My body my own, wondrously tired and sweaty.

“Don’t turn around, don’t turn around again
And don’t look back”

Tomorrow J and I are going to head out on one of those rambling drives. I hope to find some warm water and interesting photographs to take. Perhaps lunch in some small place... bliss, to spend the time with just he and I and an open day of surprises.


“Hey I lost you
When you took me in, my friend.”

March 06, 2007

Beauty in the Breakdown

Tonight... the first sign of spring. Soft, far off...

The music of frogs.

I have finally pushed up through the murky water to take my first breath of sweet air and found the sky full of magic.


February 27, 2007

Something Old, Something Blue


Rounding The Woman

We spoke of Oklahoma skies, blue
scribbled with children's clouds
and the Marlboro man that broke her tender
angel wings; his dusty boots under the edge
of his teen bride’s bed.

I was lost for the afternoon, dreaming
of the grass in waves, the ranch hands
dusted with sweat and the scent of horses.
Washboard roads, well traveled
by beat up red trucks and country tunes,
jangling the dog perched in back.
I can smell it there.
Hear the slow lazy dance of the land
that forms the men and women
into the stock they are.

I had said to you
I was raised around horses,
but I left out
the heartbeat that goes with
being a cowboy;
foaling time, breaking time.
The grass is thigh high
in the mountain meadows
when the stallions are rounded
and sired to the best, (only the best).
Your stallion was like that;
seeing you
(his blue eyes fringed with faded lashes)
standing by the ring, your hand
raised to ward of the sun.

Perhaps you wore that same expression
slipping it on over your disappointment
during his bootless sex making,
you listening for the sound of love
to walk in
across the wide plank floor.
He saw you like that and knew
you were something he needed to round
and break, greedy for your eagerness, the bit
(never metallic) in your mouth
reminding you he was master.

I was lost for that afternoon
(thank you)
in your graceful Oklahoma
thinking of all the beautiful poems
I would not write, but that you
will sing from your fingers

February 26, 2007

And I thought of you....

This Thing Not Mistaken For

Parting my lips (cherry
petals against the pale
of my eyes) you said

(pressing me down)
surrender to this open jaw
of lust, give in
(your sex so loud in my ears)

you hurt (you coaxed out
the mewing of sensation)
with your passion:
all bruises fade to this color,
the color of the suit you wear

(fuck you, I am not
your business
fuck the frost shell
from my skin instead

(your sex has no dominion
but the open maw of this
exchange does

In spent sheets we survey
the mess (not
love, this word
spoken, a
foreign country)

(you say
this as afterthought)
you have a pretty cunt.

(Lust spent, my eyes
no longer have any color
you care to name.)

February 25, 2007

To Blooming....

There are times when I feel guilty… not posting here. Times when I worry that each of you readers drifts away, leaves on an un-loyal breeze.

I do write though. Constantly. Sometimes only in my head… on scraps of paper, post it notes, in the car, here… in digital font.

The problem is this…

There are times in my life where I insulate myself, pulling into my internal world so sharply it seems sudden and foreign. I am sure that there are signs. A sign post we miss on the way. Usually it is this time of year when I stink of the indoors and crave the open fields of snowdrops and sunshine. I am sick of myself. Sick of the mediocrity of and hypocrisy of my work. The mundane to and fro of it all. The childish games my coworkers play. Tired of the road rage on the highway, the sheer panic people put themselves through, but for what?

It’s time for spring. And then we get snow this weekend. (What the hell?)

J. mentioned going away for the weekend to the Island. I had visions of the sand harsh wind of Tofino, cutting through the grime of my winter shell. Cutting down to skin, abrasive and alive. Revealing the fresh pink skin of promise. I almost could go swimming if it would steal my breath and make my skin tingle. You must know that feeling…

As a child I loved the water. Sneaking off on that first hot spring day to wade into the creek (against my mother’s warnings) coming home soaked and muddy. The cold was so deep it hurt to the bone. Then, numb, it would fade to an afterthought… if only until the walk home.

It is time to start running again. Time to find new paths, new inspiration. Time to climb out of the deep hole I have dug myself in. The insulation of love and domesticity… a false security.

This is what women forget when they couple. You cannot sleep, life does not allow for it. We must be a doe in the forest of our lives, constantly alert, smelling the breeze for change. If we sleep too long, life continues its evolution until we are slowly left behind. A relic of the vital we once were. Happiness makes us soft and forgettable. We even forget to remember ourselves.

Be a frozen lake, the dead lawn, the lilac tree stripped bare. Under that shell, there is life. Vital. Memorable.

It is time to unfurl..

It is time to feel the sting of living.


February 19, 2007

Beauty in the Breakdown

Each morning, something new.

It could be the force of the rain obliterating the view ahead of me, the mad rush of tires and brake lights… or the more mundane beauty of sunrise.

Gray clouds, orange sun.
Woman walking with an umbrella and green gumboots.
Children huddled under a tree almost as big as them.
The flashing ruby red of the train crossing.
New calves, shocking black and white against the drab grey of a barn.
Pink sky, blue mountains.
Streaming fog curling over a hip of mountain, a cigarette of smoke against a lovers skin.
Filtering light through the skeleton of a tree, casting beams of it’s branches on the morning commuters.
Red car, blue car, black car, silver car, navy and gray, tan and green. Each holding in it’s own story, encasing private thoughts and morning mayhem. I had cheerios. What did you have?
Fresh snow on the flanks of Mount Cheam.
Sweet, hot morning coffee. (Not too sweet, never too hot.)
Thirty minutes to observe the world, without it knowing.

As always, there is something beautiful.

I stepped out of my stuffy office building to discover a spring wind, warm and perfumed with danger. If I still had hair to let down, I would have. To whip around my face and flirt with the wind. This is running wind. Pushing you harder, further, faster. This is spring, daffodils are on the way… crocus… lake walks and summer plans.

We have survived the worst of it. Now only the rain to wash away the dull film of sleep from its eyes.

Crocuses. Snowdrops. Tulips.


God, I may burst.


February 14, 2007


"If you do not give the right attention to the one
you love, it is a kind of killing.
When you are in the car together, if you are lost
in your thoughts, assuming you already know everything about her,
she will slowly die."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

January 16, 2007

January 15, 2007

Something Blue


I have been dreaming
of oceans, the trees
sailing in the wind, leaves
flicking over to silver shimmers
in the August heat.

When I turn
to take in your eyes
I only see wild
fires, funeral pyres

there is no love there

and the wind speaks to me
(empty tender breeze)