Friday, May 28, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

Sitting in a rocking chair, unobtrusive, conservatively-stained wood. Not enough padding to make you feel sinful. Not enough rock to make anybody roll. Just a good old wholesome American rocking chair. The kind your grandpa sat in when he was ready for his nap. Every day, same spot, watch in hand, but no alarm, and his head would drop, and he would snooze. For exactly fifteen minutes and then wake up, look at his watch, and return to his usual hell raising. 

It was a neat trick, one that always filled me with a sense of envy and sadness. I mean, I was sort of jealous, but, really, what kind of freak superpower is that, to be able to sleep, instantly, every day, for fifteen minutes? 

Ass in a goddamn chair.

Or, your grandma sat in that old, wooden rocker - crocheted or knitted or did crossword puzzles or pretended to read a book. Something manic in the the metronomic rocking, the controlled fury. 

Ain’t no slouching in a chair like that. It ain’t made for loving or for video games. It’s made for sitting, focused on the task at hand, and getting lost in the rhythm laid down by generations of sore and tired backs, moving with a head on the bob, afraid to be still, because still things die. 


  1. There's a lot to be said about a humble chair. You can see it and the two characters. The old man sleeps in a pattern, a rhythm, and it seems to match the rhythm of the rocking. It brought back a memory of my grandad having naps after Sunday dinner. There was no rocking chair, but he'd nap for a half-hour, I think, or it might have been 20 minutes. A full-up power nap. Thanks for the memory.

    1. I love this. It's a great image, simple yet complicated. I agree with Vickie, the rhythm feels like rocking. And boy do I want to sit my ass down.

  2. Some little haiku.

    The mind here, unspun,
    leaves fall on a spirited
    path. There are no eyes.

    Light curves, moonlight hears.
    A bat flits in the silence
    of dusk. Unheard. Still.

    The sea flickers out,
    collects silver light and ebbs,
    clear fingers glitter.

    Thin black cat slinks out,
    makes a space on highest wall,
    surveys his kingdom.

    The old man searches
    for something lost, something found.
    All the same these days.

    We recollect our
    barefoot wand’rings in the park,
    dew cool on dawn grass.

    A meditation.
    We are silence. We are still.
    Our bodies at rest.

    1. These are great. I don't Write haiku on my own. I love doing it with students. I should do it on my own too!

  3. Tree

    It boughs over peacefulness,
    water caught without a drift.
    No ripples disturb the surface,
    only sound without movement.

    Songs of birds spill over boughs
    curling in a half-circle arch;
    they cast reflections in the scope,
    sketches of wings and feathers.

    This tree stretches due north.
    It moves like a dancer, poised,
    almost skeletal black against light,
    its fingers twisting the chill air.

    Beyond, the white clouds pirouette,
    drawing lines before dusk blows in.

  4. A Letter to my Older Self

    You were right.
    That I should have appreciated the wholeness of my body.
    That certain things wouldn’t matter in a year, in five years, in ten.
    Because they didn’t.

    You were right.
    There, I said it. Are you satisfied now?
    I presume you aren’t. You rarely are, always chewing on something.
    But I’m not trying to make you feel guilty.

    (Is it working, though?)

    I hope you still take pleasure in small, private things.
    When the farmers nail their sap buckets to the maple trees.
    When the first crocus muscles through the still-hard earth.
    When the newly minted leaves unfurl, so green.

    I hope you’re still writing.
    Whether that’s to pay the bills or to pay it forward or just to pay attention.
    And if you haven’t started that book you’ve been putting off (you know the one)
    I hope you do it now.

    And, dear gods, I hope there are cats.

  5. I hope for god's sake there are cats too! I think you should write more poems: my note to your older self. I love this one. Full of easy-to-connect with ideas. I like the taking pleasure in small, private things and the unfurling leaves and always chewing... in particular.

    1. I concur. You guys are inspiring me and I'm gonna have to try doing some poetry next week


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