Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tender Feet; Bright Moon

Isn't it lame that I limp and pick my steps gingerly as I take a few bottles out to the recycle bin by the curb, so tender are my feet.

But how cool is it that I can take the laundry off the line in a hidden corner of the yard in the dead of night, so bright is the almost-full moon.

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 Sunday, April 22, 2007

Only Sometimes Looking Back

I walked to the patio door and looked out on the green yard, the growing grass, the grey sky and the gentle drizzle coming down.

A Wren hopped onto the patio table and looked back at me. He bounced from one side to the other, periodically turning his back to me, only sometimes looking back at me.

I stood there still so that I might not scare him away. I stood there and watched, and he sat there with his back mostly turned to me but sometimes looking back at this man standing at the glass.

I stood still, and he didn't fly off. But then I moved and he didn't fly off. I rocked back and forth and he didn't fly off. He continued looking away, only sometimes looking back.

Then a second Wren darted out from under a low table in the corner of the patio. She flew over to the other side and hopped under the grill where I couldn't see her anymore. He, on the other hand kept up his evident indifference to my presence, his back carelessly turned to me almost inviting me to come out. And then he flew to the ground, his back still to me, picking at leaves, making like he didn't know I was there, only sometimes looking back.

Meanwhile, she flew out from under the grill and up onto a branch of an Althea while he in his nonchalance threw old fallen leaves over his shoulder in my general direction.

Then she flew off. And just then so did he.

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The Backyard Fence

We were talking about the fence in the backyard. It won't be long before it begins to fall down -- indeed in places the pickets are holding on by a thread. Something has to be done.

I like more open yards, he said. Chain link yards. (Anything you can see thru qualifies as open by our standards here.)

Then he was silent for a moment.

But then I wouldn't be able to chase Guinness[*].

He paused for a moment.

...in my underwear.

[*] our dog

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 Friday, April 20, 2007

That Old Time Magic

He's on the hot seat before a hostile committee, being grilled by a Senator who in better times would have rallied to his cause. He doesn't seem to realize how far the tides have turned.

He thinks this is just like the heady days of years before. He thinks that amidst this grilling for potentially perjurious statements he might throw in a bit of good ol' boy humor. He thinks he'll get a laugh.

So in the midst of a catastrophically poor performance before the committee, after weeks of preparation to get his various stories straight, in reaction to the Senator's comment, I know you've been preparing for this hearing, with that trademark smirk on his face, he leans into the microphone shaking his head mockingly and quips, I prepare for every hearing, Senator.

He sits back and takes a drink of water. There is no laughter. The hearing room is absolutely silent. The Senator struggles to control his fury and then launches into the Attorney General who now finds himself in a game of his own making that he cannot win.

No, the time for smirks and jokes and professions of being out of the loop and attempts to wave the flag and change the subject has past.

The old magic doesn't work anymore. And the audience is not impressed.

Hat tip: Thinkprogress

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 Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ash and Oak

That Ash is about to go. A few more branches failed to leaf out this year, leaving the tree looking altogether very Dr. Seuss-ish. Yet what's left will throw down shade, allowing us to sit out front even in the afternoon of some of the hottest days to come. So even though its days are numbered and even though the drive-by tree guys make us offers on cutting it down, the Ash tree stays.

In the meantime, there's a hole in the canopy that the Ash tree's leaves used to fill. Look up, waaay up. There's a blue hole up there between the spring green of the trees.

There's a blue hole up there and a patch of sunlight streaming down. And this tree, right here, this Monterey Oak which only a short time ago was shorter than I am sees the sky and is sprinting for it.

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 Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Sleet Didn't Bother Them

I want to talk about Gwen Ifill's words about Imus's racial slurs. I want to talk about Richard Holbrook's slam of the mainstream media's pathetic parroting of White House talking points. I want to talk about MoveOn's virtual town hall today and the talk in the room afterwards.

I want to, but I can't. We've been thru this before.

I stood outside for a little while this afternoon. Gone was the sleet and record low temperatures that days ago interrupted the advance of spring. A warm breeze blew in my face as I looked to the south. The ground was soft under my feet. I squinted at the brightness of the sun.

The Mealy Blue Sage are spiking. The Wright's Skullcap blossoms are multiplying. The Monterey Oak is growing toward the circle of open sky between the Ashes. The Four Nerve Daisies are celebrating the sun at the passing of the rain.

If the sleet didn't bother them, I guess I can get past what it was I wanted to talk about.

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 Friday, April 6, 2007

Even The Pecans

The window's still raised from yesterday and the day before, and the breeze continues to blow the shade, but the heat of the last several days is gone, and the cool air is getting colder: I can feel it on my arms.

So I sit here getting cold, in spite of the vest that I've worn all day -- a vest, where just a few days ago we were walking among the wildflowers desperately seeking shade. I sit here in a different season than just those few days ago, thinking that the window needs to be shut.

Having waited for the Redbuds to come and go and the Mountain Laurels and the Plums along the lake, the Pecans began to leaf out this week: a sure sign that cold nights are gone for good. But that breeze on my arms and the weather report say that it will be very cold tonight, and I wonder if sometimes even the pecans can get it wrong.

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Clouds Passing

I hope the clouds pass soon, she said. And I couldn't help but think of Portland or Seattle. Still, they did pass for a time, as I suppose they do from time to time even in the Pacific Northwest.

So the sky was blue, and the sun did shine. The air was cool and blew in thru the window to knock the shade against my desk and pass a breeze over my arms as I sat at the desk.

In the distance, a Wren sang. In the yard, the Four Nerve Daisies stood brightly yellow in the sun. Beside the curb, a Trap Door Spider dug another hole in the crushed granite path.

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 Wednesday, April 4, 2007

It's Spring

It's spring, with blue sky, sun, wildflowers blossoming, birds singing. It's spring, I tell myself. Get that in your head. There was a time, not so long ago, when that alone was enough to banish the demons from my head, those negative thoughts, those cynical whinings, those things that made me scowl.

There was a time. A year ago, I guess. And it must be time again.

King George's lectures about Democrats in Syria, while Republicans make the same trips. Recess appointments of non-starter nominees who would not have gained the consent of the Senate. A lying Attorney General desperately trying to find a rock to slide under, or at least waiting until the anemic press forgets what it was they wanted to ask but didn't. That maverick McCain pronouncing the streets safe as 100 soldiers and a handful of helicopter gunships circle. Mortgage defaults extending well into the middle class. Sub-prime mortgage underwriters going bankrupt, revealing the faultlines in our shining economy. Smokey white skies on cloudless days. Traffic lined up for miles with imprisoned commuters wondering what has happened to their lives. ... Things that make me scowl.

But it's spring. After all, there's the sky and the sun and the flowers. And there's that egg from California Condor #217 in the wild in a nest in Mexico.

It's spring. So for a little while, let's at least pretend there's hope.

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