Archive for the 'writing' Category

Perseids

I live in the city now, where street lights,
House lights, glowing red then green then amber lights
Block the stars from the world.
Even though I knew there was too much light noise
Friday
I walked into the yard to squint with hands up
To block security’s glare from the next house, and wondered

Was that one?

Was that?

And doubted my own eyes…

Memory conjured up cool meadows by forests
Where we used to camp….When woken by parents, I
Struggled out of my cocooned sleep,
Eyes not quite awake,
To look at the sky. I sat and watched stars dash across my limits
Until I reluctantly looked away, and walked back from a dream.

Clouds crossed the skies on Friday, but still I waited,
Knowing if I turned away, a meteor would streak the sky
Like a fingernail thru frost.

— rjn, 13 August 2016

Vantage points

In life, there are different perspectives…
Hearts beat to different times,
Memories are caught in grand moments
— or small —
That we cannot explain to others, as though trapped
In a Faulkner novel that repeats

That repeats
That re-beats

Until it falls out of memory and skips back to
Moving forward.
With just one timeline to light our steps.

 ©rjn, 13 April 2016

It was the end of summer

With dried roses on the arbor, and Indian summer a month away, Lina paused in the garden to feel the coolness of grass and trees before stepping out onto hot pavement. Early mornings were the time to linger outside, enjoy the flight of songbirds, spy on the rabbits in the backyard. By noon, the neighborhood would be deserted by Lina and all the other commuters.  The rabbits and songbirds would be staying under the deep shadows of the mulberry trees. Only the crows would walk down the center of the street, picking at grass mulch and the Queen Anne’s lace that had pushed up through cracks in the tarred surface. Down the street, Lina heard the hiss of the northbound bus’s brakes. She stooped to pick up her backpack and bottled water, walked out the garden gate, and let it shut behind her without looking. Tuesday was waiting, and the next bus south into the city would arrive in 5 minutes.

–Not quite sure it’s a story yet, or even a decent paragraph. But if this turns into something, I’ll start a separate section for it. rj

Small town America and Easter

There’s something about small town America that I’m not sure exists in other countries (but I could be wrong). My Mom grew up in a small town in the Midwest, moved 580 miles or so to a small city on the East coast, and then I moved south to the big city for college. While at college, I became homesick at Easter, and couldn’t find a church from my home denomination, so I went to the closest denomination I knew (Methodist, which had been my Mom’s church). I was 69 further miles away from where my Mom had started (close t0 700 miles) and someone greeted me with, “Aren’t you –‘s daughter?” When I think back on that woman (who was possibly only 10 years older than I am now), I smile. She gave me a small shock, but she may have known my mother.

The Methodist denomination is not small. At the time, it felt like there was an unseen pathway of information, almost like ants carrying wild ginger seeds underground to eat, and starting a colony in a place you don’t expect. There is a strong tug underneath the whole story — the triumph of small town America, where we tell family members back home about a visit to Central Park in New York City, and they ask “did you see the Jones boy? I hear he’s in the Bronx now.” There’s an eternal optimism that people don’t get lost, they just turn up… and coincidences are amazing but not as unusual as you think. Sometimes, to those of us who feel like we’ve escaped the small town, it feels like ghost tracks in our hearts, like we’re not as anonymous as we think. But other times, it’s incredibly reassuring even if we are hardworking college students and not prodigal sons.

A slice of light lingering

A sharp slice of paper

Or a too wide Cheshire Cat grin —

Tonight’s half moon shines bright

Cutting through the dark, while its fading face,

Lingers behind the night.

© rjn, November 30, 2011

Beachcombers from Kansas, Friendship, ME

Their car plate was from Kansas. But what would inspire a couple from Kansas to drive across the plains and up to Maine, other than tempting tales of lobster?

Perhaps they wanted to look at the pewter-mirror sea, balance on the rocks, gaze at a windblown sunset, and dig for clams. Or perhaps they were driven by hot, sultry, summer days to dream of cool pine breezes, and they wound up at sunset on a public landing in Friendship, Maine.

Summers’ night sounds

Finally, tonight, it was cool enough to linger outdoors,

Breathing in the rain-soaked scent of grass, dirt, mint,

And the alley’s pavement, and listening as the church bell

Tolled 11 and then was silenced for the night, to be replaced

By a serenade of crickets, playing for the full, silver moon.

© rjn, 2010


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