Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Contemplating Periwinkles

The path bends just here
Where a man stands ankle deep
In periwinkles

In a space sweetly shaded by
Cherry blossoms and
Warming green leaves
Small, spry, undefiled;
In greening grass, edging beds of
Buttered daffodils and brave tulips,
Blue periwinkles peek through
Dark green foliage and deep brown earth;
Their small white centers
Twinkling stars
Fading into a morning sky

The apple in his hand; half-eaten,
Now forgotten
In the simple sunny ecstasy
Of purple periwinkles

There is stillness born of sweltering sun;
Equally of frozen hills
A still sigh at argument’s end
Forsaking resolution;
In the peace of decisive amends

There is the stillness of the wait;
For a bus
A child
A rare bird
For trust
A friend
A doctor’s word

There is stillness in the final rubble
Of great towers;
In earth which ceases to quake;
In bold flowers, which take
What bleeding sun and soil
Can give
And make it
With their benediction

There is stillness in the tight round belly
And rested eyelids
Of a baby at breast
At rest,
Sweet milk dried like sugar
On his parted lips

There is stillness in bereavement
When everyone is gone
And has forgotten
The Mother
Combing carefully
The stale terrain of sheets and pillow
For proof that he was there
A scent
A stain
A hair
Brushed loose from his head
Which smelled of Grace
And warm sand
And baking bread
And everything contained
In the very best dream
Stillness in that pull
Toward Tangibility,
For Physicality
To know that he is gone
And not merely hypothetical

And there is a singular stillness
In this man
Standing to the side of the path
Head down,
Arm bent and raised just so
The stillness of the half-eaten apple in his hand
The stillness of marble
Contemplating Periwinkles

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Rain or Shine

Today is all blue skies and sunshine. Yesterday was grey and rainy and exactly the way I remember fall in England. My son, Marshall can't stand dark days; he says they make him want to do nothing. "Days like this are depressing," he said. Marshall has not been depressed a day in his life and I doubt he has it in him. But gloomy days make him less active and more prone to grumbling, as if the sky is a too-low ceiling and he has to duck his head.

Scott called me from his cell phone on his way home from work and I suggested we all go for a walk before a late dinner. He said, "Tomorrow is supposed to be sixty and sunny, much better walking weather. Today is so wet and cold."

I admit that I've enjoyed the blocks and slivers of sunlight playing on the living room floor and stretching across the walls these past few weeks, as we move into spring. But there's nothing like a steady drizzle and an unremitting blanket of grey pulled over the earth to draw me in; I yearn for long solitary walks along winding country roads and through soggy fields, my face growing dewy and my hair springing obediently into tight, frizzy curls.

Overcast days suit me. I'm low-keyed, easy-going, melancholic; not loud, flashy or manic like sunny days. Sunshine is wonderful and warm, and when I see it, unexpected, I feel a small jump of life inside my chest. But rain is the thing that feeds me; rain feels like coming home.