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Apple Cider


(Poetry Journal – Volume One)

[* *]

by Cathy Smith



copyright © 2016

[_ _]




All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any matter whatsoever, including Internet usage, without written permission from the author, except in the form of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


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 [* *]

There is a little biographical information which would paint this poetry with a brush that I really think would be interesting to my readers. Green rain was written in one of my many favorite places, Harvard Yard. The fingers of a baby toad were viewed in Kent’s Store, Virginia. Baby toads used to crawl inside my wash water bucket at a campground I was staying in there.


I have lived near many beautiful forests and even owned two small ones.  A word about the beauty of Harvard Yard: the trees there are the largest I have ever seen throughout the entire country -- some of them, it is said, are over 300 years old...  I really fell in love with them,  sitting underneath them frequently in the rain to relax after work -- and also to wait for the bus. The bus stop was nearby, in front of George Washington's yellow house (his regional headquarters during the Revolutionary war) which is now a Harvard administration building.


Other favorite places include the Florida Everglades, the Mojave desert in California  and the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica and, of course, Venice Beach. To this I would add Provincetown on Cape Cod -- and, also, two communes that I lived on in Virginia and Tecumseh, Missouri -- Twin Oaks and East Wind. There are poems written about each of these places in my work.


And know, there is a little Zen in this book as well.


One last thing -- I have some instructions on how to read this.  See it as a ‘Book of Days’ -- like a calendar. It was my journal and my diary, yes even the photos,  so it was meant to be read aloud to one’s self or to someone else…one poem at a time, like a good pastry. So enjoy a taste here…




[_ (Photograph -- n. Maine, my back yard) _]

[* *]



Green rain

[* *]

*One raindrop at a time *

began to fall on

*a leaf bouncing it up *

and down.

[* *]

I was sitting underneath

the foliage in the rain

watching the rivulets

trace new streams down

through the moss and

small plants and

green ferns.

I shivered

from the cold rain.

The arms of the forest

[* *]

formed a secret

umbrella dancing

like leafy

piano keys playing


and also

bowing singly

over my head.

[* *]


wet, green fingers

the lush downfall became


in its connection with

the player piano

leaves, which

[* appeared above -- *]

[* all at once -- high across *]

the upper boughs

of the waving branches

of a large pine tree.

[* *]

*Leaves fell in the wind *

and stuck on

the tree trunk above me like

the little green


of a toad.

[* *]








(Bank of the Charles River in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts)



Unspun wool

[* *]

After the rain

I wandered

from hill to

*hill there was *

no one there.

[* *]

Every flower was

fresh, strong and

milky, as if the stems

were drinking from the moist

green earth.

[* *]

The grass sprang up

behind my footsteps

undamaged by the

slight pressure of

my passage. I walked

until I could see

nothing but the cloudy,

stretching, bathed,

naked and blue



The clouds had

wrung themselves


of moisture

and were


together into

*silky spools as if they *

*had just been spun *

on a spinning



The stretching azure

was vast and empty


for some sparsely scattered

[* unspun bunches of vapor -- *]

soon being wheeled

across the wild air

into thin, wispy


[* *]

[* *]

[* *]

[* *]


[[*                              *]

[_ _]






[_ _]







fresh green apples


(Or What To Do With Too Many Apples & Blueberries)

[_ _]

Fresh green apples and blueberries,

[_ sweet and tart -- _]

[_ _]

My gingerbread


[_ _]

Any kind of wild


[_ _]

(especially wild raspberries,

[_sweet and tart) combined with _]

whole wheat and ginger.

[_ _]

Also consider adding:


sweet and tart, and

tart green apples

[_ _]

for pies

with criss-crossed crust,

too bubbly,

stickily bubbly

[_ _]

when they are hot …

[_ _]

cooking in the oven.

[_ _]

Apple syrup with crisped

apple peel edges.

[_ _]

Burning my fingers

_right through _

the thick patterned

mitten-shaped pot holders

in my full-length

[_ruffled apron with the pocket.                                                   _]

[_ _]

Served up hot

[_ _]

on the kitchen table

[_ _]

with the smooth white

linen table cloth ironed into

_exactly eight _

sharp-creased squares:

[_ _]

four on one

side four on

the other.

[_ _]

Fresh milk with

apple cookies,

[_ _]

apple sauce,

wild cranberry sauce,

blackberry jam,

[_ _]

apple butter,

[_ _]

baked green apples and

apple pancakes.

[_ _]

Dried apples carved

into wooden faces,

[_ _]

strings of cranberry necklaces,

(pearly cranberry necklaces) with berries like

[_ _]

red diver’s pearls tied

with cotton string ties

for springtime, fall and

summer time gatherings hidden in

[_flowering tree groves,                                                                     _]

[_ _]

in blueberry patches,

[_ _]

[_ in mossy bogs -- _]

looking for

[_ the empty shells of robin’s eggs -- _]

[_ _]

blue speckled

[_ robin’s eggs -- we put whatever _]

_broken shards we find _

(and sometimes

whole empty shells)

[_ _]

[_on the windowsill.                                                       _]

[_ _]

Next to a candle is

a falcon’s feather

and carved wrinkled

apples with

scrap-cloth dresses and

gingerbread-style faces,

spiced apple faces with

raisin-button eyes,

raisin-button smiles,

paper hats,

[_ _]

painted noses

and homemade dimples.

[_ _]


_dumplings tonight. The _

dried apple dolls keep

on smiling with their

honey drop eyes,

yarn hair and

peppermint red


[_ _]


gum-wrapper arms


for a big baby-hug,

_with big fake red _

lips puckered up

saying “kiss me”.

[_                          _]

[_That night ‘round nine or _]

nine-thirty we ate

juicy slices of dumpling with

our fingers, sucking

out the boiling juice

when it cooled,

_wearing cranberry necklaces _

_and showing them _

[_ off -- using every single _]

cotton ruffled apron

that we had.

[_                          _]


[_ _]

porcelain-enameled metal tables

and checked

table clothes filled with

[_ _]

[_ four hot apple and blueberry pies -- _]

[_                          _]

three big ones

[_ _]

and a smaller one

thick covered wide-brimmed

crust and toothpick marks.

[_ _]

“A” for apple.

“B” for blueberry. I like my slice

[_ _]

a la mode with heavy

_whipped cream. Making my _

own whipped cream while I cook,

I slide it along the side of

_a heavy crock bowl, _

taking lazy peeks

into the oven.

[_ _]

Too soon.

Just in time,

before it got burnt.

[_ _]

Burnt my fingers again. The

_lazy whipped cream peaks _

as I am dreaming about

marshmallow clouds over the

minty lemon sunshine.

[_ _]

The whipped cream

should not be allowed

to turn into butter.

[_ _]




[_ _]

[hot apple cider.                                                                                                                                      *]             [                                                                                                                                              *]

[_                          _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ ][[* *]_]


[_  _]

[_  (photograph -- n. Maine, my back yard) _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

In the forest

[_ _]



forest in a field

staring wide-eyed still


deer, sshhh.

[_ _]

I stand next to the river.

[_ _]

The water is a window. I can

_see the fish _

all the way to the

_bottom of any of the streams _

that run off down into

_the hills. Throughout the _

[_ _]

summer growing season

the Ginkgo, Oak, Elm, Spruce

[_ and Cedar -- Chestnuts and _]

_Persimmon start to spread. And the _

strange Sycamore trees.

[_ _]

Needles and leaves are scattered

_upon the ground thick as a _

_carpet. _

[_ _]

[_There is the heavy smell of pine gum.                                                      _]

[_ _]

The pine trees themselves touch

across the forest floor with a


fish bone, spiny-cone, clove-smelling

paint brush hand.

[_ _]

A green paint brush for a hand.

[_ _]

In the winter, the snow is

cut sharply by thirsty ice on

a knife-like bank. The edge of the

_river slices against _

my bare raw exposed ankles

_trembling, moving quickly _

in the cold running

pebble-bottomed brook.

[_ _]

Can’t forget to wear your

socks in the winter.

[_ _]

Like, I always try to get away

_with it anyway. Better _

than getting my socks

_wet when I break _

the ice with my feet like

_I usually do. The cold _

feels good though.

_At least, at first, until I _

get home into the warmth

_and then my toes start to _

sting. Better luck next

_time. Next time the crack _

from the crashing ice

[_won’t send the deer _]

running for the next county.

[_ _]

_Near the forest in a field _

staring wide-eyed, large

[_eared, white-tailed, the _]

color of wood and dry grass,

_inside the sounds, underneath _

the sounds I make with

[_my wide-track feet are _]

_the deer again, sshhh. A bird _

[_I hadn’t heard before _]

sings under the whisper of a

[_deer’s breath. Sounds a lot _]

_closer than I thought. _

_I turn slowly and back down _

_in my mind, you know. Deer _

[_can kick. They aren’t really _]

[_that small when you are                  _]

_practically standing right _

next to them.

[_ _]

[_ ][                                                                                                                                              _]


[_ _]

(Bench near the Charles River, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA)

[_ _]

[_ _]

Candy faces

[_ _]

The grass

[_ _]

was as soft




[_ _]






[_ _]







[_ _]







[_ _]

[_ _]


and white



[_ _]






_blossoms _

_strung _

on a string




[_ _]




[_ _]








[_ _]



[_ _]

candy faces


candy lips.

[_ _]

Sandy beaches,

[_ _]

park benches,

enameled green

wrought iron


[_ _]

Hot sun-warmed sand.

The tongues of the ocean

forming white maps,

teary inches

where I might have

been before.

[_ _]

I walked

as deeply as I could

up to my chin,


[_ _]

underneath the


There were rushing

shells swimming

back to shore,

[_ _]

candy hearts.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_                                      _]

[_ _]

[_ _]


[_          (Photograph -- n. Maine, my living room window) _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

My large window

[_ _]

My large window

overlooks a meadow,

_looking out over _

a field of sheep

and nine little lambs.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

And rainbows

[_ _]

and rainbows

and rainbows

and rainbows

and diamonds

and rainbows

and pearls

and butterflies

and diamonds

and diamonds

and butterflies

and rainbows

[_ _]

strings of pearls

and gold and silver

_the teardrops _

of the morning on

the edges of flowers

rose petals


[_ _]

the golden sun

[_             _]

[_ _]

[_ ][      _]


[_[*  *] (Photograph -- Florida Everglades on the Tamiami Trail) _]

[_ _]

The center of the earth

[_ _]

The center of the earth

was a steamy veil

with muffled voices

behind it.

[_ _]

The trees

(with some of

their roots

_exposed _

hundred of years

ago) dug deep into

different strata

of clay;

_underneath _

the water tables

[_ and rock tables -- _]


to the liquid fire

at the center

of the earth.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

The green grass

[_ _]

The green grass

sticking to my leg



prints of four fingers.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

Big yellow


[_ _]




with lazy brown eyes.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ ][      [* *]_]



[_ (Photograph -- southern Canada on the Yellow Hair Highway, near Skeena River.) _]

[_ _]

The wide blue sky

[_ _]

After the rain

the earth was fresh and green.

The swallows came up to me with

their small beaks and ate the bread

from my hand.

[_ _]

The soft tall stalks of grains in the fields




[_ _]

waved back and forth together

at the same time, moved by the wind,

like flowing hair made of wheat.

[_                          _]

I always lay down here,

my bare toes stuck between

[_ the stalks -- _]

staring up at the wide blue sky.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

Green shoots

[_ _]

The dull backsides

of knee-high grass sit in

[_ _]

the valley, which is filled with

plain brown earth.

[_ _]

Once in a while, the

stalks of the

_grass stems dry out and _

edge the fields with a tan


[_ _]

I usually peel the grass back and

chew on the green shoots.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

We drank tea from

wooden cups covered

in birch bark

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

I made a pillow

from cut grass,

a blanket from the

peeled-smooth branches of

the willow tree, pounding

the naked willow wands

into fabric.

[_ _]

I made

a river from small


[_ _]

and tiny chairs from twigs.

A line of ants

were my guests.

[_ _]

We drank lake water tea

from wooden cups that I carved

_myself and covered with birch _


[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]



[_ (Photograph -- n. Maine, my back yard. Summer is an explosion of many different kinds of wild daisies.) _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

The crown of a hat

[_ _]


a straw hat with

[_ a cloth band. -- _]

[_ _]

I plucked

one yellow daisy and

_stuck it in _

the band of the hat.

[_ _]


[* *]


[_ _]

(Photograph – a cat in Brighton, MA. This cat sat on this stoop every day, just about.)

[_ _]

[_ _]

The cat

[_ _]

The cat that decided to chase the

raindrops splattering underneath

the porch

[_leaped about like she  _]

was scattering the threads

[_ of tangled puddles -- scary _]

_mirrors. Toweling _

herself dry, the cat

smoothed her velvet fur

_with a scratchy _

small-tongued comb.

[_ _]

_The other cat ran _

underneath the house, as well,

and was

quiet, watching

_the rain, sitting and _

lying in the curly shell

_of an old cushion inside _

of a woven straw basket

[_ we use to pick strawberries with -- _]

_protected by the eaves of the _

house. The house was an

[_over-sized hat with wings, _]

purple-y wooden knobs

and gingery-gray jigsawed

_scalloped shingles _

on orange siding.

[_ _]

The basket was woven into

_square straw sections _

[_ and was a little torn -- _]

_so that the top of it looked _

like splinters of wood

or grain straws,

or something to press into

the clay on the bank of a river

and decorate with

small pieces of colored glass and

silvered wire.

[_ _]



[_ _]

[_ _]


[_ _]

[_ (Photograph -- N. Florida or Georgia, campground.) _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

It is towards evening

[_ _]

[_ _]

It is towards evening

when I finally realize

_that the day is like the _

evergreen: dark and light

growth in its fullness.

[_ _]

The final cool end of the day

comes high on top of the trees,

as if the heating and cooling

of the earth is threatening the broad

starry sky to not

_reappear past the darkening clouds, _

[_ _]

as the light through

the woods flickers out like a match.

Never mind,

[_ _]

even though they say that the stars

are not permanent, but have been

burning relentlessly for billions

of years and, just now (and when

[_ _]

we can see their

light in the rising darkness

of the sky far away),

they, of course, burn again

underneath a wash of clouds

over the continuous sound of

[_ the ocean -- _]

all night long

until the morning

[_ and on towards evening again -- _]

when the dark evergreen

in its fullness reaches

for the coolness

in the deeper tides

[_ _]

of indigo.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[*                        *]


[_ _]

[_ _]









A grizzly bear day

[_ _]

[_ _]

A grizzly bear day:

its rainy teeth stuck

in the hollow of a tree.

A squirrel hung upside down

out of the hollow

_of a Sycamore tree _

back east.

[_ _]

She was eating and staring at me,

[_ still upside down -- _]

[_ _]

looking at me

sitting below

at the bottom of

_the _


[_ _]

A grizzly bear day.

I can still see that squirrel’s

pretty dark eyes.


she ate

her small ears

twitched. She

held a bitter green


[_ _]

A grizzly bear day.

An owl sat way up high

in a spruce tree,

way up high…




The ground is thick with leaves

[_ _]


ground is thick

with papery brown leaf


[_ _]

thick with

cookie-cutter maple mulch


scratchy elm bark.


[_ _]

half-trunks of dry

wood trail


sharp valleys





[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_  _]



[_ (Photograph -- Fishing boat at dock in Ketchikan, Alaska) _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

At the beach

[_ _]

At the beach,

the seagulls cried

_sounding like the cutting of a thick cloth _

with a pair of dull rusty scissors.

[_ _]

The sand was hot

on the palms of my feet;

the salt water washed

against the shore. I sat

[_ _]

[_ _]

on the sand

with fragments of shells,

dead crustaceans,

sea sponges,

dried starfish, the

jaws of small sharks and

barnacles attached like buttons to

broken, bundled, stranded and tattered

baskets of seaweed.

[_ _]

Terns cried on the dock.

The timber

stuck in the sandy bottom of the ocean

forced boats to grind against their chains,

[_ singing a song with percussion and brass bells -- _]

[_             _]

calling across the sea

like the sound of a tinny

[_ accordion. -- _]

[_ _]

A concertina of noise played loudly against

the long low moan of

a far-away boat.

[_ _]

_A piece of driftwood, a soda straw _

and a piece of

[_ paper make a sailboat. -- _]

With a paperclip to fasten

_the sail, we can send it _

rolling up and down like

_four thousand ton passenger _

[_ ships -- sailing far above _]

everything that quietly swims


[_ _]

the silent ocean surface,

underneath my driftwood boat,

[_[*sent with a message.                                                                    *]                                       _]

[_                          _]

[_ _]



[* *]


[_ (Photograph -- La Jolla, California) _]

[_ _]

I  found a beach in France

[_ _]

I bask in the sun.

I found a beach in France

(on the Riviera)

and slept alone in a rented room on the

beach there. I looked

in wonder

upon the difference in the ocean water

here and the ocean water overseas,

on the American beaches.

[_ _]

[_ It is sweeter here only sometimes -- _]

like when I found gardenia growing

hidden in an alcove (slightly

to the right)

underneath an arch.

[_ _]

The gardenia were

_tucked into a corner _

along with baggy canvas gloves,

torn straw hats, rotting leaves and

an old pinking shears rusting away to

orange crusts.

[_ _]

_No one would ever _

think of finding gardenia there.

_Except for my own _

searching hands, they

_would have been _

[_ lost forever -- falling _]

underneath sharp-tongued bushes,

_planted with foreboding thorns, _

[_ leaving me with welts -- _]

red marks proclaiming an acquisition,

_warning me with their wagging _

_tongues, moving from side _

to side like women with

wide hips, scratching

[_ with too thin fingers -- flowers _]

blooming near their legs.

[_ _]

I must have looked at the tiled drain

in the center of the patio too long

and sat on the empty oil can

_overcome by wonder _

at that calling fragrance.

[_ _]

So much so that I had forgotten

why I sat there at all.

[_                          _]

[_ _]

[_ _]


[_ _]


[_ _]

[_ (Photograph -- My neighbor's laundry, n. Maine.) _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

Still asleep

(still asleep in bed)

[_ _]

Peaceful, just like real soft light

right before the full sunrise.

Like a slow touching warmth

on my bared shoulder

[_ underneath the sun -- _]

the heat of the morning

warming the roundness in

the curve of my arm.

[_ _]

You were there,

breathing slowly,

asleep. Your

[_ _]

butterfly eyelashes

fluttered at the

[_ window of your dreams -- _]

your thoughts humming

in some unknown sequence. I saw

[_ _]

you reach out to the warmth

with both arms

in a stretch towards

_the new light, your _

eyes still closed. But you


and rolled over

underneath a

mountainous snow-capped sheet.

[_ _]

The sun at your back

seems as if it should have

_convinced you _

(like a heated argument)

to rise and get busy.

[_ _]

The sun touched you

only once

before you tried

to awaken.

[_ _]

But you,




closed your eyes


[_ _]

Closed your eyes again, as if the light

had not bidden you,

[_ _]

had not begged

or beckoned

[_ your gentle attention -- _]

even hours ago

when you asked

the beginnings of the

daylight to let you go,

to let you go,

not to tempt your

[_ dreams -- _]

[_ _]

fluttering until

it had hopefully captured

_the cocoon of _

your sleep, wrapped

[_ tightly around you -- _]

and raised you up

[_for the tide of the day . . .                                       _]

[_ _]

like the thousands

of things you

might have wanted to do.

[_ _]

_You would not _

_wake up, no, not _

for a song from me,

_nor for the stark _

light of the afternoon.

[_ _]

[_                                                                                                                     [*                      *]_]

[_                                                                                                                                               _]

[_                                       _]

This same old fence

[_ _]

[_I saw a wheel turning             _]

endlessly on the front lawn,

first to the right and then

to the left. then all the

way around to the north,

south, east and west,

in an indication of

which way

the wind was blowing.

[_ _]

[_ Far away -- over some _]

fields covered with old

barbed wire coiled near

[_ the ground -- _]

_I stepped over and _

past this same old

fence every day

on my way down to

the cold river with

the stones on the bottom.

[_                          _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]


Constantly reminding me

[_ _]

I miss the ocean.

Some sound constantly

reminds me in my sleep

(somehow I still fall asleep)

[_ _]

of the beach right across the road

from where I used to live.

_The houses looked plain. _

They were made of

white stucco with

rusty old scythe blades on the

_porches to cut away the _

[_ high grass -- which _]

hid sneaky cats

and mice

[_out in the front.                                                      _]

[_ _]

_But right now _

I was just thinking

that I would like

_a long walk _

past the high grass

onto that beach

across the road.

[_ _]

_The moon will _

be full tonight.

_Perhaps I could _

watch the waves wash

its lazy image up from the water,

to the sand and back again.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

Dried paint

[_ _]

Chips of dried paint fell when a stiff frozen

brush slid off from the roof shingles.

There, among the knee-high weeds

was a nest on the ground made of

thread, cloth and twigs.

A starling splashed with

[_ gold ink was there also -- _]

looking like the dark-feathered

night sky as described in someone’s letter.

A corner of one of the pages lifted

by the strong wind coming

in from the sill fluttered. She

(the starling) often lands there on the sill to

look for the seed we put out for her.

_We lock the cats up _


I can smell

breakfast in the kitchen:

homemade bread baking

[_ at nine am -- somebody _]

put some hot tea


[_                                                    _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

The bathhouse

[_ _]

I went to the beach today.

It was rather cold,

since it is close to winter

and summer is beginning

to travel through the shivering

ladies in bathing suits

on its way

[_ out, with no comfort -- _]

_making their bare feet _

shake on the icy sand,

walking on their way back

into the bathhouse.

[_ _]

The sandy shore feels like there must be

a wood infrastructure

[_ (like a frame or something) underneath it -- _]

constructed like the hull

of a boat.

[_ _]

There must be

underpinnings that are

hollow, holding up our

squeamish legs, the

chill of the changeling weather

hidden in the deep green

of the seas.

[_ _]

The water makes the

sound of a wish,

like the sound of a

weeping willow tree with

full brushing skirts

and long butter-knife leaves.



[* *]


[_ _]

[_ (Photograph -- Santa Monica, California beach.) _]

[_ _]

Every little grain of sand

[_ _]

Every little grain

of sand on the dunes seemed as if it

[_ had been counted by me in passing -- _]

[_ so many times over -- that I can almost see time move _]

with the water, deeply underneath

the vast floor of the sea,

as if the ocean

was holding the seconds and the minutes

like an hourglass.

[_ _]

More than any other element

or mineral, the sea seems to

embrace the slow moving body

of the earth (how it moves, why it moves)

more slowly,

more tightly,

than even the stars and planets.

[_ _]

We might be carried along with the stars

like passengers in a donkey cart,

not believing in astrology, all waggling

[_ our heads in one big no -- but _]

getting to our destinations within

some notion of Orion, Leo,

Libra or Taurus.

[_ _]

[_ But it always seems as if time moves -- _]

only then,

only when the

ocean itself


[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]


The flowers in the dark

[_ _]

_The flowers in the dark _

and watching the shadows

over them.

[_ _]

It was warm that night.

We were going to walk over

to the park and share

a bottle of apple wine just

maybe to be alone the two of us watching

the flowers in the dark and the

shadows over them

at night drinking right

from the bottle.

The air seemed bright

and the park was

almost empty.

[_ _]

Getting drunk

underneath the moon.

[_ _]

Apple cider,

bells and acorn squash,

yellow underneath a yellow moon,

a watery yellow moon.

A yellow sunset,

pumpkins and copper bells

and acorn squash,

[_ _]

watching the drunken moon.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_  ][[* *]_]


[_ _]

[_ (Photograph -- bank of the Charles River, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA.) _]

[_ _]

Shirayama (white mountain)

[_ _]

The weather is clear and

the sky clean like a

transparent blue mind that

intends something good for

[_ _]

the day.

[_ _]

Something good for the daily plan,

for the use of sunlight.

[_ _]

For the use of the daylight hours,

for the release of warmth or

the gathering coolness

in the clouding-over

of the evening.

[_ _]

What was intended

for the day is being released slowly

like the rising of the warmth

of the earth

into the cold



[_ _]

[_ _]

releasing the day,


the night realms

[_into the clear clean                                         _]

transparent mind

[_             _]

that intends something good

for the daily plan uncharted

for the next


and releasing that

like the rising coolness of the next day,

and the next.

[_ _]

All of it, everything,

releases itself like

the clear clean transparent

mind that rises forever

into something that leaves no

[_                          _]

trace. This is the thing

[_                          _]

that washed out the idea that everything was

[_ gained, recorded or abandoned -- that nothing except sitting _]

here, still, in a new daylight hour

makes any sense of any time lost.

[_ _]

_All of this _

happens without a past tense,

without a memory,

wiping off everything from that

blue-slate sky, washing it clean so that it

is an uncharted vision removing the sense

of any time at all, any time except that which

is constantly released, escaping before my eyes, up

out of my inner being, leaving only the stationary

reassurance that the transparent

[_ _]

clear clean mind of the sky is moving forward,

moving forward

in my mind.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

The ocean

[_ _]

The ocean curled up

like a cat on a blanket.

The water was warm and salty.

It tasted like seaweed,

pushing my diving body

up to the surface like

[_ _]

a sailing ship.

[_ _]

I swam to the next

_shore and ran up on the _


[_ _]

wondering how to

climb to the top of the

lighthouse and look

_out over _

the sea.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

We went sailing

[_ _]

We went sailing,

chasing after the sunrise

in a small boat.

After a while we reached a shore.

The wind blew us

[_ _]

far away again later.

We went sailing

into the afternoon sun

and landed upon

a pink and white shore.

[_ _]

We rested,

sailed back a ways,

docked the boat

and swam home from there.

[_ _]

[_ _]


The shadows on the beach

[_ _]

The shadows on the beach

that summer cast


over the lap of the sand.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ ][[* *]_]


[_ _]

[_ (Photograph -- n. Maine, one wild daisy bush in my back yard) _]

[_ _]

The flowers that were set on the table

[_ _]

The flowers that were set on the table

sat next to a glass.

I looked out the window and saw

the day

float by as if

it was not real,

as if you could not tell

the difference between clouds or air or water.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ ][[* *]_]


[_ _]

[_ (Photograph -- creek in my town in n. Maine.) _]

[_ _]

A river: the story of the Buddha

[_ _]

_Underneath the ground _

there was a river flowing,

flowing to where I did not know.

I could feel it rumbling

_as I sat there. The earth _

moved, almost parted.

_It shook the rocks loose _

from where they lodged.

_It awoke me with the _

sound of rushing water.

_It forced its way above _

ground gushing into the clearing.

_It overflowed and _

created a lake. I could see

[_ _]

_trees in full bloom _

at the bottom of the lake. The

_birds flew up above _

the rising water. The animals:

_raccoon, fox, rabbits, _

bear and deer all ran safely to

_the higher ground around _

me. The rabbits and deer

_trembled. I trembled _

and held them as they came

_close to me. Sparrows _

and squirrel sat on my

_shoulders as we _

_watched the rushing waters. _

[You could see the *]                                                    [                        *]

paths that were worn by others

_all the way down to the _

lower reaches of the woods underneath

the new water.

_These paths and trees were submerged, _

but I could see through the

_window of the lake _

clear to the bottom. The minks

_and wolverines hissed _

past us chasing field mice.

[_ _]

_I laid down again, sure _

that we were on high

_enough ground. The _

squirrels curled up on my

_stomach. I watched _

them rise and fall with each

_breath that I took. A _

river was created that ran

above ground crashing

[_over the rocks in its path.                                                      _]

[_ _]

_I was sitting quietly on _

top of a hill at the time.

_At the end of that summer, _

I climbed down from the hill.

_I ran to a stream to drink _

some water and looked

_at myself. I was thin and _

my shirt was in shreds.

_I could see the bones of _

my chest sticking out. I had

_felt no hunger, but the coming _

of the winter and

_the passing of summer _

made my lungs want to fill with

the last of the warm air and the

[_ _]

scent of growing things.

[_ _]

_Perhaps I had been _

asleep, but I know for sure

_that I had not moved _

from my seat underneath

_the tree where I had _

sat in repose for so many


[_ _]

What had happened?

I do not know.

[_ _]

_Maybe I thought _

that the summer

_would last all year _

‘round. That it would be

warm until next year.

_I really did feel that _

I dreamed that I just

sat there all year.

That I didn’t want to move.

That I just wanted to stare at the sky.

[_ _]

_Oh, I know there _

was some reason,

_some reason for all _

of this to occur the way

[_that it did. I don’t know _]

maybe this continuous

flat inexpressible portrayal constructs the

_frame of some naked _

idea of beauty.

[_ _]

_Maybe beauty builds itself in nature _

like the two by fours

(four-cornered square windows)

_nailed into _

_the siding of the _

cabin that I wanted

to sustain me through the winter,

_just a chunk of carefully _

troweled cement

right now, really.

[_ _]

_My house now is still _

a bare tree that has begun to

_strip its leaves _

since the earlier seasons.

_My house is just an idea _

and a torn flannel shirt,

my bare shoulders

poking through.

[_ _]

_The snowing sky, _

the coming of

_winter _

over the valley

[_warns me.          _]

[_ _]

Since the

underground river overflowed

onto the valley and

_flooded into the upper reaches _

of the woods creating

_a river, I have found some food and _

replenished myself.

[_ _]

I must have swam that lake

one million times through

the succeeding seasons

until my body became sleek

and taut.

[_ _]

I ran and found some discarded

clothing and put it on, and ran

further into and through the woods

until i came to a small town.

[_ _]

_I wandered around _

the main street

_of the town until _

I found a bench

_and sat down. Everyone _

knew of the flooded

_valley and asked me _

why I had stayed

there so long.

[_ _]

They offered me a job and

I accepted it. I was supposed

to use a two-wheeled truck

_and put merchandise _

on the shelves

of a department store. I said that

I had no clothes other than the ones

that I had on my back. They said that

that was all right and gave me some new ones.

_They also gave me a room. _

_They said I could come to work right _

away. I worked there during the winter, and left

saying that I would be back.

[_ _]

_I ran up to the woods _

and the lake and sat down

_underneath the tree _

that I had found before.

_I forgot about my job, _

my cash stuffed into

_my pocket and _

sat there for a few days.

Running down to the town,

[_ _]

_I worked again until _

_I could buy some land and _

build a house, a

_cabin really. It was near _

the lake which now

had fish in it.

_I grew vegetables in _

the back of the cabin:

_corn, squash, beans, greens, _

[_tomatoes and potatoes.  _]

[_                                       _]

_I planted apples, _

plums and cherries.

_I would sit on the _

front porch I had built

_with the front door _

open and lean my chair

_back against _

the house, sitting around

not doing anything.

[_ _]

The lake was still there.                                       [*                *]

The squirrels, deer, mink

and fox

were still friendly.

[_ _]

_The squirrels would _

run into the house

_at night and sleep _

on my blanket, waking

_early in the morning _

and begging for food.

_They would curl _

up next to me and the deer

would approach the house too.

[_ _]

I went down to the lake again.

[_ _]

I watched the flooded valley

in the space between my feet.

I did not move.

The water was crystal clear.

[_ _]

The house/cabin was finished.

It had a wood stove for the colder weather.

I sat there for a very long time.

Suddenly I shivered, my shirt had torn

beyond recognition again. My collar

and a small patch of cloth

still hung over my shoulders.

How long had I sat there this time?

I sighed, oh well.

I stared at the water,

it was so beautiful

that I decided to take

a swim. I  took off the remnants

of my shirt

and discarded them.

I jumped in the lake.

[_ _]

The water was icy cold.

My limbs were frozen.

I swam quickly to the other side

_of what used to be _

the edge of the valley

_and crawled out of _

the newly created lake

on my hands and knees.

[_ _]

The house I had built was

very close by, somewhere near the

edge of the new lake, but set back in

a clearing near the woods.

[_                                                                                                                                               _]

I slept by the side

[_of the lake naked,                                                                              _]

letting the sun warm my back,

my unclothed shoulders

relaxed as I smiled

in my sleep.

[_ _]

_The seasons passed this way. _

When it grew cold, I went inside

my cabin.

[_ _]

The light of

_every season scorched me _

until my clothes again and again

_shredded in the rotting _

heat of the sun and my body felt

like the shards of a broken gourd,

a varnished broken gourd.

[_ _]

As I said, I walked back to

my usual tree from my new

cabin, which I had built myself,

with my own hands and sat down.

The lake was abundant for some reason,

even the forest had become

prolific. The wildlife fed from the

thickening of the trees. New thin trees

rooted reaching upward with large

heavy leaves, maybe only two or

three branches on the

saplings. There were more bear, but

they didn’t move me from where I sat.

_There the woods grew _

even thicker and cooler. I

sat until my hair grew long and

tangled, until I thought the

silence was all there was left of me,

until the surface of the water

had no reflection when I gazed into

its inner depths.

[_ _]

I ran, I swam, I could not remember

how long I sat there. My eyes would

wander, but my mind would form no

question. Sometimes I would look around me,


_I sat until I forgot _

about the new cabin which I had

bought with my job.

[_ _]

[_How that underground river had                                       _]

_broken through _

the surface of the earth

to form a lake flooding the valley                                                    [* *]

_with water, I do not know. Where _

the fish and frogs and

turtles had come from, I do not

_know. Why I sat _

there for so long, I do not

_know. I became _

old and thin, but I was as

_strong as I was _

before I had begun to sit there, but I

did not understand why I did.

Why I sat there.

[_ _]

The underground river still flowed full

and relentless, refreshing…

[_ _]

[_ _]




[_ (Photograph -- someone's feet, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA.) _]

[_ _]

Three wishes

[_ _]

[_Three wishes: one _]

for September, one for

[_October. And then? _]

_Too cold in December for a wish. _

Then again,

If I had a wish I would fly to Los Angeles.

_I stayed here instead _

sliding on the ice

_like an empty toboggan, _

_watching _

[_slick-shoed businessmen _]

land bottom-side down.

[_ _]

I stood

_there panhandling, suggesting _

good restaurants, getting

_friendly towards the _

[*night café crowd at the *]

_Zen bookstore, _

_and telling stories _

[_ _]

[_and jokes to strangers. Thinking                                  _]

_late at night, I said _

[_(enigmatically to myself _]

loving the late hour)

_as it started to snow again, _

“Once upon a time…”

(Like instead of a nightmare,

perhaps this was the beginning of

a fairy tale).

I sat down abruptly

_on the curb to rest _

before catching the bus.

[_ _]

_the snow turned into a blizzard and _

_I thought about the _

two hundred and

[_thirty some-odd _]

pages of stories I had

_written that were sitting _

[_in my locker at the shelter.  _]

I wondered when the

_laundry would get done, _

how I would buy some

[_food, the whole thing.  _]

I sat on the curb in

_the heavy snow for _

_just that exquisite _

_moment of not caring, _

_knowing that I would _

accomplish all of this,

_eventually. _

_For the freedom of _

[_ _]

just getting covered in snow, I

_raised my hands to feel _

_the snowy air in luxury, _

got up and walked home.

[_                                                    _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_                                                                                                                                  _]

Once I wondered

[_ _]

[_ _]

Once I wondered,

a long time ago

about something very important:

I used to attract a wild bird to my hand.

[_ _]

I loved this wild swallow-tailed bird so dearly

that I called to it very often.

I cared for it and admired the

beauty it possessed.

[_ _]

I sat day after day and

wished that it would

come close to me again.

[_ _]

It always looked so soft, so gentle, that

when I was alone I would dream

of it. When I was asleep, I would

dream of it.

[_ _]

I would wander around

alone looking for it

every day.

[_ _]

At first my hand trembled as I would reach

towards it, and shook when I touched

its soft body.

It would flutter.

My heart would pound

violently in the apprehension

of sudden movement.

The wild bird was so gentle

that the both of us

had to wait until

I was without any nervousness at all,

until I was calm.

I remembered

the pain of my past,

it flew before my eyes until I perspired,

until my palms were

wet with sweat,

until beads of perspiration

and fear made my hands jerk

and my eyes tear.

[_ _]

I used to wish

that she would

be brave enough to

land in my hand despite

my uncertainty.

She began to land

on me in my sleep, and then

in my waking hours.

[_Gradually, my lack of self-assurance _]


I also began to trust her,

to trust her deeply.

She also obviously trusted me.

She would fly

up to a branch and

sing over my head

so sweetly that I could

not possibly recognize the melody.

I could not find the repetition

or remember the intricacies

of the songs.

[_ _]

When I spoke to someone, she would

fly to my shoulder

and put her soft feathers

underneath my chin.

[_ _]

The winter was mild.

She remained outside

in the largest pine

and flew into my kitchen until the summer, when

she lead me down into the fields

filled with wheat berries

and rye grains.

[_ _]

She would swoop and dive

_among the waving swells of _

_bending, yielding stalks _

shaking the plump grains to the ground.

[_ _]


The beauty she possessed.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_                                                                                                                     [*                *]_]


(Photo: buttercups in someone’s garden, Brighton, MA.)

[_ _]

Right around the corner

[_ _]

Right around the corner from where

you lived I saw a house with a lot of flowers in front.

I stopped and picked out one blossom

near the side of a pot,

although I shouldn’t have

and broke it off right down

towards the bottom of the stem.

Putting it up to my nose,

I smelled its fragrance as I walked away.



[_ _]

[_ _]


[_ _]

(Photograph – House of Blues, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA)

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]


[_ _]

[_ _]

I.  The Letter

[_ _]

I always wanted to write you a letter.

At least, one that might be answered in

the affirmative … with some information:

[_ the usual, etc. -- maybe with some pressed _]

_flowers in between the pages. _

Pages containing stories

of lives, paragraphs filled with enticing

imagery, sentences defining centuries or eons … just to

see the time line, the time pass and a more far-

_reaching perspective on _

what my vision of meaning

or essentiality might be in terms of waiting for

an answer. Yeah, whatever might exist

beyond my memories of that small town


[_ _]

I always wanted to say certain things

in a letter like this. Of course, with

the rapid pace of my life I never do. But,

seeing you was fun.

And, of course, I could not go beyond

[_ what I have always been used to -- _]

to tell you that what I wanted from

your writing me was something I missed from,

_maybe, years ago. _

I was delighted to be back in town

again, but it seems I see too much in

small insignificant descriptions of

that one little place where I hide myself.

_And sometimes, I seem _

to write endlessly as if it was

_a form of travel, as if _

my hum-drum life could

hold a rationale that certainly could

explain the same old street, the same

old store fronts …

[_ _]

and the way you go to work

every morning.

[_ _]

You must still see me sitting there, laughing

_to myself, as I drink my _

chamomile tea, sneaking a

[_ glance like a cat half asleep -- _]

curled into itself,

used to that one warm contented spot on

the broken cane chair in your apartment.

[_ _]

_I sat at the place where you _

work in the mornings,

[_ waiting -- really, just daydreaming, _]

[_ humming to myself -- _]

indolent or having only half the


_you did … being employed there. _

[_I wasn’t buying anything _]

_much. You waited on tables _

and at the counter …

used to my presence by the window.

[_ _]

A placemat, the crockery on my table, silverware,

woven like the painting that you said

you liked … me married to a scenery three

thousand miles away on a flat-topped


near the grand canyon.

[_ _]

I thought I heard you whistle

and turned around the

[_ other day. You were not there -- _]

leaving me to stare blankly at my tea,

the road waving in a liquid blue line

on the inside of the cup.

Tomorrow you promised to

come back, filling your

work hours behind the

[_ counter -- where you laughed _]

_with your other friends, _

planning dinners and

holidays off at home:

_sleeping, reading your books _

and you still see things

as if they are not the

dull flow of whatever you must have

planned for the week.

[_ _]

Nice to hear from you.

Write when you can.

I might drop by again when I’m in town

and see if you’re still there.

here is my address …


if you can.

[_ _]

[_ _]

II.  Coming Home

[_ _]

The last letter was sent from             [* *]

Quebec, before that Fairbanks,

I wandered even further, coming

[_ back home later -- _]

in my passion to see

what had happened

since I had left.

[_ _]

The next day was Thursday,

and I arrived on the train at

_three pm. _

_In town for a while, _

_I walked over to the restaurant _

saying, “Hi!” with a smile.

Remembering something that I had

_left at your house _

six months ago I sent

_a friend to go and pick it up. _

Then changed my

_mind, running down _

the street after him.

[_ _]

“Never mind, I’ll get it tomorrow …

or whenever Sandy works again,” I said.

“I was thinking of moving back here

for a while …

I missed it.”

[_ _]

*The radio blasted Sheri Baby as *

I went over the

last letter.

“sweet dreams”

I wrote in the margin.

[_                                                                                                                     [*                      *]_]

[_                          _]

[_ ][[* *]_]


[_ (Photograph -- motorcycle on Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA.) _]

[_ _]

Waiting for the afternoon

[_ _]

[_ _]

It was

raining. It looked

like teardrops were

running down the windowpane

from the second floor,

like someone must have

[_ peered out -- pushing _]

their head past the

_sash and the windowsill _

in the middle of

_the day leaning over _

[_ the ledge -- watching _]

[_the sand-colored _]

sidewalk with intensity …

_Maybe they are forlorn, _

perhaps listening for

_someone to walk up _

to their door. It sure is

_raining again there is _

really no lonesome person

_upstairs, drenched with _

noontime, summertime

_wishes. It is just my friend _

Ellen who lives up there

_and she _

is already walking down the


ready to go shopping

_with an empty laminated _

bag on two

string handles

folded underneath her arm.

_A kid slams the front _

door to the building.

The rain stops.

[_ _]

[_ My radio droned on -- _]

_slipping and drying _

on the hoarse

_cry of a song about _

wandering roads like the

dusty flight of the

[_cycle-club routes _]

through Arizona,

[_high-riding through _]

to the dried paint

_curling up on the siding _

of my apartment building.

[_ _]

I spilled my tea this

_morning my elbow _

[_slipped, and now   _]

the brown-edged stains hold

_rain in them. _

I had been chatting

and hanging on my

[_wide screen-less _]

ledge … half-sitting

[_ _]

on my chair, resting on one

leg folded up underneath

_my other leg, talking _

to a friend standing down

_on the sidewalk _

for a few seconds.

[_ _]

_I ran for the toast as _

she left and accidentally

_flung my cup _

splattering the tea down

the side of the house.

[_ _]

Ellen from upstairs must

_have come back. She _

_slammed the door _

too loud again. The

_rain has stopped for _

about twenty minutes now and

[_the sand-colored cement _]

has dry edges receding

like parchment. The water marks on

the windowpane got dusty

_as the sidewalk _

turned sun-colored

[_and mirage-like, _]

reflecting the heat

_like a mirror. _

[_                          _]

[_ _]

[_ ][[* *]_]


(Photograph – Santa Monica beach, California.)



[_ _]

That same day I thought

I caught you hanging up on

the telephone, I bought you

_some flowers to tell you that I knew _

that that was you on the phone.

I didn’t want to be too subtle, or

too bold, but

_the flowers should _

have been larger better

prettier for you.

There wasn’t any letter in my box.

Today beyond dreaming I reached in

_and felt around the _

metal sides. The box

was empty except for a

few letters informing me of

_forthcoming sales. God _

[_I hope I’m not being a _]

_fool you know that probably _

wasn’t even you on the phone.

[_ _]

_My existence here in this _

town was also not too subtle

or too bold.

_I thought about my present _

life as if it was a small town

_ride down Sunset Boulevard, _

the Strip, or Melrose

Avenue: a frying

_hotplate along the sidewalk _

during the day in

_one hundred degree _

_temperatures, try starting _

at one hundred

and counting upwards.

[_ _]

_The sign for this _

_township used to look _

like it had two teeth missing

_and nothing to _

replace them with:

Hol ywo d.

Now they’ve fixed

_it. At least now it looks _

like somebody in this town had

[_some money. You’d think _]

they didn’t have the cash to

get the damn sign fixed.

[_ _]

_Smackdab in the middle of _

dreamland: Hollywood,

_California, movie capital of _

[_ the USA. -- Motown, _]

[_Capital records, everything – _]

I heard a knock

on my door. I ran in my slip

_scratching at my _

knees. I threw a robe

_over my shoulders _

reaching in the sleeves.

No one was there shit.

[_ _]

_That same day, that _

very same day I caught

[_you (or whoever it was) _]

hanging up on the telephone

[_and I bought you                                                                           _]

_some flowers, embarrassing _

[myself enough to tell you                                                  *]                          [           *]

that I really could have

_used that call, I knew also _

[_that waiting for a friend                               _]

_to get in touch with me made _

me feel more positive than negative.

_Why would anyone call _

_anyone, even by accident, and not _

[_say anything?                                            _]

[_Well, it didn’t matter _]

if that was you or not. Guess

_anyone could have used _

those flowers. I wouldn’t

_have minded keeping them _

for myself come to think of it.

[_ _]

I knew that I would eventually search

_my mailbox again and again, _

[_my telephone messages.                    _]

[_Nope, another day, nothing.                                                                   _]

[_                          _]

[_ Sunset Boulevard -- Motown, Capital records, _]

Paramount pictures

[_ -- everything. _]

[_                          [* *]_]

*And here I am waiting *

around, all alone,

not too worried,

_dressed only in my _

slip in this infernal heat

[_ _]

_smackdab in the middle of dreamland … _

[_ _]

_Drives me nuts when people _

call on the phone and

_hang up without _

saying anything. That was

_probably UPS at my door _

too. Lucky me. Happens

_one more time and I think _

I’ll treat myself to a movie.

[_ _]

Think I deserve it after I

spent all that money on those

_flowers and went and embarrassed _

[myself all over the place.          *]                                       [ *]

[_Because now I don’t even think _]

_it was who I thought it was _

on the phone.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

Two rooms

[_ _]

Two rooms,


[_ _]



[_ _]

A supper.

[_ _]

Life alone usually.

[_ _]

Staring out the

curtained window.

[_ _]

Going for a walk,

a long walk.

[_ _]

Not knowing where I

was going, just taking

a different way through

the woods and brushing

unfamiliar trees.

[_ _]

(from an ad in The Boston Herald:

20 acres. cabin. $30,000.

Access to brook.

Forested land.

Immed. sale/occupancy.)

[_ _]


5 acres. $60 down. $60 mo.

$5,995 total price. Riverside County,

Los Angeles, California.

Must sell.)

[_                                                                                                        _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

Visible underground

[_ _]

[_ _]

_Visible underground was a _

passageway that I often

_took when I needed the _

unknown source of

_the air there. Bats whistled _

through the endless

_caverns, hanging upside _

down in cocoons above

the dripping floor to ceiling stalactites

_making quartz from water _

and silica for a billion years in the past

_and into the future. Albino _

spiders crawled on the

_calcified walls. Blind _

albino fish swam in the

[_glass-like pools and lakes _]

in that country

_underneath the world above. _

There was a small

_hole in the ground that _

opened into the cavern.

_I stayed in there and _

tried to guess where the

air came from. No one knew.



[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]



[_ _]

The hill was fresh and

green in the springtime.

Covered with snow in the

winter time, and falling

leaves in the autumn.

[_ _]

It made us think of

what might be beyond

the sudden sliding wedges of sand.

[_ _]

We walked further and found out

that beyond that were

more sand dunes

sliced by hollow reeds.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[* *]

_                                       _]

(Vintage car in San Diego, California.)

[_ _]

A long cold night

[_ _]

_A quiet ride in my old used Ford across the _

country: Louisiana bayous on the raised

[_ highway. Texas, Arizona near the border -- _]

pavement waving in the heat of the desert sun.

Losing a tire to the safety ruts on Interstate 10.

Sleeping in the cold at night in the back of the car.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]


[_ _]

[_ _]

[_  (Photograph -- my forest in Oakfield, Maine, winter.) _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

It was a dry winter

[_ _]

It was a dry winter.

It was not very cold either.

There had not been much rain that summer.

Even when

the night settled into a lazy dawn

sparkling in the sky with pink clouds

the weather remained warm enough

to run outside without a coat.

I looked at the pear tree we had planted

last summer. It still had the tag on it

from the store,

and was still too small.

[_ _]

Outside we could see the fog on our breath

in the very early morning.

I could see beyond this present time

to a time that might be a little easier

more …

how would you say?

[_ able to manage the elements -- an early California _]

winter morning could make up for a lot of things.

[_                                       _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]


[_ (Photograph -- The vineyard in someone's front yard in Brighton, MA.) _]

[_ _]

Sweet corn

[_ _]

I sat there watching the

sunlight flicker in and out

of the window. The man

across the street grows a large

_vineyard with blue grapes. _

It takes up his whole entire front yard.

He has these huge (like really

gigantic) tomatoes the size of small cantaloupes

and a six foot sign that says:


The cat from our house

sneaks into his garden.

This cat

destroyed all of our sweet corn

much to the consternation of a

lady in the house.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]


[_ _]

I slept almost all day until

four in the afternoon in the Laz-E-Boy

chair in the so-called “music room”

in a friend’s apartment feeling the

soft fabric with the underside of my toes.

I went grocery shopping and put the

produce in a used Rodier Paris bag.

Nice, huh?

[_ _]

I made corn bread with

fresh strawberry juice mashed

with a fork.

[_ _]

Tomorrow I will make corn

bread with overripe bananas.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

We have two plants in the house

[_ _]

We have two plants in the house.

One of them is a jade plant

and the other one is some kind of

ivy. The ivy plant looked

sort of wilted. That is, in need of some water.

I watered it and it perked up


I put it in a prominent place in the

living room near a decorative tray

on an oblong table

underneath a print (a painting) of

two people dancing with each other

it looked much better there.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_  _]


[_ _]

[_ (Photograph -- guitar on East Wind Commune, Missouri in front of kitchen building.) _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

There’s someone downstairs playing a guitar

[_ _]

[_ _]

There’s someone downstairs playing

a guitar and singing.

Over my head I can feel the rustle of a

very tall tree. The sky looks like it should be

in Holland, the colors are that rare,

like Van Gogh has shoved a flat brush against

the pigments meant for a stovepipe or

the worn shape of some plaster

wall in his abode.

[_ _]

The singing has stopped.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

India tea

[_ _]

[_ _]

It rained when I was asleep.

I didn’t notice.

We scratched the newly sanded and varnished

floors and I searched for more wood finishing

materials to cover it up.

[_ _]

We made some India tea

and I hummed to myself,

When Sunny Gets Blue

just wondering about the

ferocious rain coming in all the windows

splattering on the floor.

[_ _]

Shut some of the windows and

mopped up the floor. I looked

at the puddles and the

gullies forming off the gutters.

[_ _]

The tea was a little too hot

to drink

so I let it cool.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

I heard a blue jay call

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

I heard a blue jay call

from a tree, as if the houses did

not come between us, as if she

was calling across some corn

[_ fields -- looking for her _]


[_ _]

I hope she found it.

I sure hope she found it.

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_ _]

[_                                                                                                                                  [*          *]_]

[_ _]

[_                          _]

Apple Cider

Apple Cider is a poetry book of 48 poems & many original photographs. It is plain nature poetry & easy to read. It goes well with morning pastry and can be seen as a "Book of Days" or a journal, meant to be read slowly, one poem at a time, to taste. This book is a chronicle of the author's favorite things and places. Places such as: Santa Monica, California; the Florida Everglades; The Grand Canyon; Venice Beach, California; Hollywood and Harvard Yard. Come with her on her journey homeward. The Second Volume of Cathy Smith's Poetry Journal is "Wishes on the Edge of Time" and can be procured through Kindle. Many illustrative, original photographs...

  • Author: Cathy Smith aka Sophia Watson aka Zara Brooks-Watson
  • Published: 2016-05-01 23:20:24
  • Words: 9760
Apple Cider Apple Cider