Braving the Wilds

Field Notes from the Suburban Jungle

Tag: Solitude

Dominion

A true dilemma exists for this conflicted hound

in a world beyond his stove-warmed paws:

to follow his nose, to thee, unbound!

Our joints ache while the storm rages on,

forced to sing in domestic round, yet

a singular dilemma exists for this conflicted hound.

Soup simmers in a drafty house, the radio murmurs

of life in milder climes: where he might

follow his nose, to thee, unbound?

To sleep, once more, after injected pause

welcomed first for novelty, a break from the norm

he dreams of a dilemma, this conflicted hound.

To wake, once more, squinting in the sun

tethered and tripping through drifts of snow, he’d prefer

to follow his nose, unbound.

Strains for freedom, tugs at the leash

reminding sore shoulders of old injury

a true dilemma exists for the conflicted hound

to follow his nose, or to thee, be bound.

Genesis

Birds singing an incessantly hopeful
Dawn chorus, a springtime declaration
Of their collective intentions
To live, to thrive, to endure, or,
Scavenging cawing crows,
Ominously cleaning up after those
That could not: this was my
Vernal alarm clock, deafeningly
Absent on this drenched morning,
When the downpours whispered
In my ear, a white noise, a snow
Following a late night TV test pattern,
A gentler, wiser reveille
Less frantic than adolescent
Birds, raging in their desperation
For aviary love.
Beyond the fogged window pane
A torrent, a rambling street river flowed
Over parked tires like wakes
Washing away the sins of
The neighborhood: streaks of
Color, plastic, scrapped paper
With its faded words.
Still rumpled and stale
With sleep, I remained in my
House, my ark, on my horse
Swimming against the tide,
Therapeutically working an
Injured hock. Welcome,
Solitude, allow me to travel in
The company of no one to the
Love of my life. My leaves,
Wet and waxy and
Impossibly green,
Are thriving with the life blood that
Is your water. Protected from
The burning rays of a fickle sun,
My creamy threadlike roots,
Stretch in the damp soil
That surrounds them,
And keeps them free from harm.

images

Blink

A decade of experience
Descending the same staircase
Maneuvering toddlers, laundry baskets,
The intention of manually
Juicing a growling boiler
To chase a bitter winter
From children’s bedrooms
Created permanent motor sensory memory,
Imbedded in the muscles
That made electric illumination
A superfluous luxury.

The feet, alone, a podiatric machine
Attached independently to the cerebral cortex
Unaided by the eye. They functioned on
Auto pilot, allowing the remaining
Grey matter to wander to
Unfinished projects, gaining weight
As they approached deadline,
Market lists and their
Corresponding lentil soup recipe,
An impossible holiday in
Reykjavik to see the
Aurora Borealis.

Step six of the twelve,
Assigned to remove deficits
Of character by Higher Power
Showcased, undetected,
A make-your-own destruction
Of sadistic plastic toy bricks.
Cutting into the tender flesh of the arch,
Making it first bloodied,
Later scarred, always proud
The Lego throws the gait to flail,
Steals heels from the going,
Knocks knuckles on the riser
Twists arms, tears intact tricep fibers.

The overridden consciousness
Replaces assignments, supper and
Iceland with a sudden reorganization,
Interruption of a long-welded neuro-pathway
With pain stimuli and solitude and grief.
With as much vulnerability
As any undomesticated animal
Performing rudimentary tasks
Of survival, automatic as any
Human charge of the vie quotidien:
Great risk is taken by making the most
Inconsequential of choices.

Jarred awake on the concrete floor,
Thankful for another chance,
We shake self-pity, loneliness
And with throbbing limbs gratefully rise
Leaving a trail of lopsided bloody footprints
From the stair to boiler.
One trembling hand turns the knob,
Releases the water
And revels in the resulting warmth of
A blue flame.