Maple Sap

 

Maple Sap

Something Discovered I Thought I Had Forgotten

We took turns gathering sap
from the big maple trees

along the street
perpendicular to my house

before sunrise/during late winter and
early spring.

What’s the world like at 4 a.m.?

Not a sound
in the world

but for my felt lined boots,
scrunching over school kids foot prints

quick frozen in slush during
a brief span

winter allowed spring to
show itself before

pulling us back into
the deep freeze

one more time.

Three street lamps
at each end and middle of

the block threw yellow halos
onto the snow; sparking

frozen crystals flashing
bright from cold moon’s

night time light echoing

points of light shimmering
bright against

the clear blue-black
sky.

Between each light
shadows momentarily

snuffed me into darkness,then
back into the halo three times

in succession to
the end of the block where

turning, with brief visit

with each tree began the

one block journey home but for

brief visits
at the trunk of each tree

collecting drops of sap
slowly collected in

little tin pails from copper tubing

tapped

into each tree.

It’s early Spring/the trees still half asleep/these early spring time nights with winter’s lingering cold,
some beating heart within/in tune with spring time light pumping upward /sap from fingers reaching deep.

Synthesized energy!

stored in caskets of root below ground
aged five months the finest wine.

The taste?

Clean and cold,

faintly sweet, maple wood flavored,
the perfect essence of each tree,

as refreshingly cool to drink
on coldest mornings

as cold water is
on a hot summer

day.

 

Serenity

 

I told you yesterday
that spring had sprung

and i knew because
i saw a fly and a bull ant

on the floor by the fireplace,
a tickling on my arm as i wrote this piece

not fifteen minutes ago
a tiny spider had invaded my space!

There are gnats and mosquitos
and other tiny things

i can’t imagine
sharing air that a week ago

floated crystals of lace like wings
each a drifting masterpiece

floating down or streaming sidewise
with crystal clarity seen

within air that was
mine to breathe

while witnessing the beauty of
each and every living thing

stripped bare of
all distractions;

Air that I’ve shared
with no one

now,

that I share with all
the little things

that come alive each spring.

My life more complicated now
no longer distraction free

avoiding their lines of intersection
between the search for

whatever it is they’re searching for
inside purest air I’ve been breathing,

air i’ve shared with no one.

The soil fecund now … i do not use that word lightly!

Stored snow or frost grown permanent
five or six ‘moon go ’rounds’ ago

where all these beings waited within
their clear winter amber

quick frozen in gathered humus
or crystalline within the muck,

the eggs of their existence
captured when sun’s light slowed

to dim orange

when trees released
their bed covers

to darker still intensity
captured by cold stillness

within their sleeping spaces
during gestation’s time

to lie in wait, for
warmer sun’s return

to free the life within
those amber spaces

not sleeping
having never been alive (as such)

waiting to emerge
from broken water,

released by whiter light!
These creatures that

surround me now
within my sight!

that feed upon my light!
that touch my flesh!

that share with me my breath!
my choice bereft!

the world no longer stripped bare
of all confusion and complexity

black and white and
clean and fresh!

They’ve STOLEN my

SERENITY! !c

I told you yesterday
that spring had sprung

and i knew because
i saw a fly and a bull ant

on the floor by the fireplace,
a tickling on my arm as i wrote this piece

not fifteen minutes ago
a tiny spider had invaded my space!

There are gnats and mosquitos
and other tiny things

i can’t imagine
sharing air that a week ago

floated crystals of lace like wings
each a drifting masterpiece

floating down or streaming sidewise
with crystal clarity seen

within air that was
mine to breathe

while witnessing the beauty of
each and every living thing

stripped bare of
all distractions;

Air that I’ve shared
with no one

now,

that I share with all
the little things

that come alive each spring.

My life more complicated now
no longer distraction free

avoiding their lines of intersection
between the search for

whatever it is they’re searching for
inside purest air I’ve been breathing,

air i’ve shared with no one.

The soil fecund now … i do not use that word lightly!

Stored snow or frost grown permanent
five or six ‘moon go ’rounds’ ago

where all these beings waited within
their clear winter amber

quick frozen in gathered humus
or crystalline within the muck,

the eggs of their existence
captured when sun’s light slowed

to dim orange

when trees released
their bed covers

to darker still intensity
captured by cold stillness

within their sleeping spaces
during gestation’s time

to lie in wait, for
warmer sun’s return

to free the life within
those amber spaces

not sleeping
having never been alive (as such)

waiting to emerge
from broken water,

released by whiter light!
These creatures that

surround me now
within my sight!

that feed upon my light!
that touch my flesh!

that share with me my breath!
my choice bereft!

the world no longer stripped bare
of all confusion and complexity

black and white and
clean and fresh!

They’ve STOLEN my

SERENITY! !

I told you yesterday
that spring had sprung

and i knew because
i saw a fly and a bull ant

on the floor by the fireplace,
a tickling on my arm as i wrote this piece

not fifteen minutes ago
a tiny spider had invaded my space!

There are gnats and mosquitos
and other tiny things

i can’t imagine
sharing air that a week ago

floated crystals of lace like wings
each a drifting masterpiece

floating down or streaming sidewise
with crystal clarity seen

within air that was
mine to breathe

while witnessing the beauty of
each and every living thing

stripped bare of
all distractions;

Air that I’ve shared
with no one

now,

that I share with all
the little things

that come alive each spring.

My life more complicated now
no longer distraction free

avoiding their lines of intersection
between the search for

whatever it is they’re searching for
inside purest air I’ve been breathing,

air i’ve shared with no one.

The soil fecund now … i do not use that word lightly!

Stored snow or frost grown permanent
five or six ‘moon go ’rounds’ ago

where all these beings waited within
their clear winter amber

quick frozen in gathered humus
or crystalline within the muck,

the eggs of their existence
captured when sun’s light slowed

to dim orange

when trees released
their bed covers

to darker still intensity
captured by cold stillness

within their sleeping spaces
during gestation’s time

to lie in wait, for
warmer sun’s return

to free the life within
those amber spaces

not sleeping
having never been alive (as such)

waiting to emerge
from broken water,

released by whiter light!
These creatures that

surround me now
within my sight!

that feed upon my light!
that touch my flesh!

that share with me my breath!
my choice bereft!

the world no longer stripped bare
of all confusion and complexity

black and white and
clean and fresh!

They’ve STOLEN my

SERENITY! !

Bluegills

Bluegills

We bought two cardboard containers packed with 15 or 20 corn bores covered in loose black muck, at a farm five miles from town before turning off the black top then, another three miles along a gravel road, snow plowed high on both sides, past farmers fields barely visible stretched white to the gray horizon, snow tornados rising and falling then rising and falling again and again.

We parked next to a mountain of snow plowed higher than the car. Hidden from sight, a frozen desert of ice where we fished on an inland lake the shoreline a hundred yards from where we parked.

Through knee deep snow the Arctic wind gusting 25-30 mph against our backs we dragged our plywood ‘fish boxes’ to the shoreline then another quarter mile across the slippery surface.

Dad chopped five holes through the two foot thick ice using a heavy iron spud rounded at one end, a leather strap at the other wrapped around his wrist so as to keep it from slipping into the black water when punched through the the last few inches of ice.

We spent the rest of the day fishing for bluegills or pike watching for the slightest movement of our bobbers, scooping films of ice that formed over the exposed water every few minutes, moving from hole to hole, watching for the red flags of our ‘tip ups’, sitting on our ‘fish boxes’, staring downward, hunched aerodynamically against the icy cold wind flowing over our backs.

You could hear the ice thunder and moan menacingly like an angry bear, as it grew thicker; ripping sounds heard in the distance or nearby, crackling for seconds at a time; jagged points of iced lightening suddenly etching close to where we sat, sending shivers of fear through me that the ice would open its jaws swallowing us into the inky black depths below, where not even the slightest ray of light could escape.

Toward the end of day, the sun a vague halo of yellowish white against a dreary gray sky, we packed the poles and tip ups into our fish boxes, 20 or 30 bluegills frozen stiff at the bottom.

Faced downward, pushing against the north wind, my toes and the tips of my fingers frozen numb, my face burning, we trekked toward the shoreline, through thigh deep powdered snow, over the mountain, returning to the warmth of the car.

We drove through the dimming light of late afternoon into the dark sky of mid winter’s early evening night, arriving home just in time for dinner.

Savoring the Melt

Snow covering the ground at 8 by 1 had

disappeared.

By 5 newly formed powder flakes/bigger than cotton balls/floated downward, /so light they rose and fell a second time/as I passed /turning my world white

once again

crystal flakes given form/from clouds high above/each its own and unique world/alive within the tiny gales/and silent currents forming/atmospheres above, 

given

gentle revolution, softest landing covering ground/like thin gauze stretched/within minutes inches deep/earth tones and/ green luminescence vaguely visible

beneath.

Above, afternoon sky darkening /moves toward night time light.  

Already giving their precious gift, the gauze stretched thinner/

shadows of color emerging from the

melt.

 

 

Three Musets

Three Quarter Seasons

spring time
trees grow green leaves
new life

bright sun
great days to swim
much fun !

snow days
light wings falling
skies gray

Winter’s Warmth

great lake
frozen water
skating

fire warm
skaters gathered
popcorn!

days end
hands held walking
best friends

Trout Stream Camp

cool stream
flowing gently
light dreams

shadows
sun dapples leaves
wind blows

sunlight
slowly falling
star shine …

 

Stolen Serenity

I told you yesterday
that spring had sprung
and i knew because

i saw a fly and a bull ant
on the floor by the fireplace
and a tickling on my arm as i wrote this piece

not fifteen minutes ago
a tiny spider had invaded my space!

There are gnats and mosquitos
and other tiny things
i can’t imagine

sharing air that a week ago
floated crystals of lace like wings
each a drifting masterpiece

floating down or streaming sidewise
with crystal clarity;

between the flakes
air that was mine to breathe
while witnessing the beauty

of each and every living thing
stripped bare of all distractions that

Now …

I share with all the little things
that come alive each spring.

My life more complicated now
no longer distraction free

avoiding lines of intersection
between their search for

whatever it is they’re searching for
inside air i’ve been breathing

ALONE

i’ve shared with no one.

The soil fecund now
i do not use that word lightly

stored snow or frost grown permanent
five or six ‘moon go ’rounds’ ago

where all these beings lived within
their clear winter amber

quick frozen in gathered humus
or crystalline within the muck,

the eggs of their existence
captured when sun’s light slowed

to dim orange
when trees released

their bed covers
to darker still intensity

captured by cold stillness
within their sleeping spaces

during gestation’s time
to lie in wait, for

warmer sun’s returns
to free the life within

those amber spaces.

Not sleeping
having never been alive (as such)

waiting to emerge
from broken water

Released by whiter light!

These creatures that

surround me now!

within my sight!

that feed upon my light!

that touch my flesh!

that share with me my breath!

my choice bereft!

the world no longer stripped bare
of all confusion!

black and white and
clean and fresh!

They’ve STOLEN my SERENITY! !

Renewal

Driving out endless possibilities/
skating over ice too thin/

holes chopped through frozen reality/
broken dreams .. in the hospital/
waiting for repair
…..
Unknown encounters passing by/
sparks of visions wondering why/
lives joined in sequence/
the river meandering by/
sweet and terrible waters …
.,….
Birth spring summer fall reliving/
gifts supreme/
singularity seen with double meaning/
sun’s heavenly face moving/
fresh air beyond belief/
worlds asunder/
rising swells /moving sands/deadheads floating by …

imagination

captured by wandering sea …

renewing  itself

endlessly …

Bluegills

We bought two cardboard containers packed with 15 or 20 corn bores covered in loose black muck, at a farm five miles from where we turned off the black top, then another three miles along a gravel road, snow plowed high on both sides, past farmers fields barely visible stretched white to the gray horizon line, snow tornados rising and falling then rising and falling again and again.

We parked next to a mountain of snow plowed higher than the car. Hidden from sight a frozen desert of ice where, we fished on an inland lake the shoreline a hundred yards from where we parked.

Through knee deep snow the Arctic wind gusting 25-30 mph against our backs we dragged our plywood ‘fish boxes’ to the shoreline then another quarter mile across the slippery surface.

He chopped five holes through the two foot thick ice (careful to angle each larger at the bottom so as not to be funnel shaped, impossible to pull a fish through) using a heavy iron spud rounded at one end, a leather strap at the other wrapped around his wrist to keep it from slipping into the black water when punched through the the last few inches of ice.

We spent the rest of the day fishing for bluegills, watching for the slightest movement of our bobbers, scooping films of ice that formed over the exposed water every few minutes, moving from hole to hole, watching for the red flags of our ‘tip ups’, sitting on our ‘fish boxes’, staring downward, hunched aerodynamically against the icy cold wind flowing over our backs.

You could hear the ice thunder and moan menacingly like an angry bear, as it grew thicker, ripping sounds heard in the distance or nearby, crackling for seconds at a time, jagged points of iced lightening suddenly etched close to where we sat, sending shivers of fear through me that the ice would open its jaws and swallow us into the inky black depths where not even the slightest ray of light could possibly exist.

Toward the end of day, the sun a vague halo of yellowish white against a dreary gray sky, we packed the poles and tip ups into our fish boxes, 20 or 30 bluegills frozen stiff at the bottom.

Faced downward, pushing against the north wind my toes and the tips of my fingers frozen numb, my face burning we trekked toward the shoreline, through thigh deep powdered snow, over the mountain, returning to the warmth of the car.

We drove through the dimming light of late afternoon into the dark sky of mid winter’s early evening night, arriving home just in time for dinner.

A Time For Sleeping

DSC_1443

Saturday was a cold, gray day.

I lit the fireplace for a quick warm up …

Before leaving the warmth of the cottage

I wrote a little more,
donned my hoody and coat
turned off the gas
grabbed my camera and
entered the cold but
beautifully pure refreshing

air …

I walked …

… I walked up the hill
along 23 to the
alabaster pipeline then
backtracked toward
where I began my journey.

At the base of the hill
frozen water looked like a small stream
or a miniature river system or
what a large river basin would look like
from high above …

Two sets of raccoon tracks walked to
a fork along their frozen highway
where they went their separate

ways …

This world I was in had become
suspended in time …

Fully asleep within the ground of shadows
all things living framed in
shades of gray,
naked, dead or alive and

waiting …

For what?

For warmth to come once more
a time to grow

from liquid water sugar fed
the leaves and buds of trees absorbed

from sunlight stored
leaves giving back after

taking in …

From full sun’s invisible light
a hundred shades of differing green
sun’s light returning
life’s burning

ember …

Roots reaching deeper
seeking … seeking …

Seeking to remember …

But for now …
a time for

sleeping .,..

With Thanks To Emily Dickinson

 

0224161649a

I told you yesterday that spring had sprung – and i knew because – i saw a fly and a bull ant on the floor by the fireplace – and a tickling on my arm as i wrote this piece – not fifteen minutes ago – a tiny spider had invaded my space.

There were gnats and mosquitos and other tiny things – i can’t imagine – sharing the same air that a week ago – floated crystals of lace like water – light wings – each a drifting masterpiece – floating down or streaming sidewise – within crystal clarity – between the flakes – air that was mine to breathe while witnessing – the beauty of each and every living thing stripped bare of all distractions –

Now – shared with all the little things – that come alive in spring –

My life more complicated now – no longer distraction free – avoiding their lines of intersection – between the search for whatever they’re searching for – inside the air i’ve been breathing in – i’ve shared with no one –

The soil fecund now … i do not use that word lightly … stored snow or frost grown permanent – five or six ‘moon go ’rounds’ ago –  where all these beings lived within – their clear winter amber – quick frozen within gathered humus or crystalline within the muck, the eggs of their existence – captured when sun’s light slowed to dim orange – when trees released their bed covers – to darker still intensity – holding captured cold stillness within their sleeping spaces – during gestation’s time to lie in wait – released when warm sun returns to free the life within those spaces –

Not sleeping having never been alive (as such) – waiting to emerge from broken water – released by whiter light – these creatures that surround me now – within my sight – that feed upon my light – that touch my flesh – that share with me my breath – my choice bereft – the world no longer stripped bare of all confusion -black and white and clean and fresh – they’ve stolen my serenity !

Whispered Sounds of Sweetest Accord

From the waining days of summer 

through the golden days, 

pushing toward the cold nap of time,

seasons change with precise apogee

…..

Leaves change  color: shades of red, orange and yellow, 

float from cathedral height,

burn in curbside fire,  turn ash white, 

drift through chilly evening air 

bringing sweet nostalgia 

to all who breathe 

the smoky mist.  

…..


Within the room of lives 

bodies dance with warm affection 

in softest shadows sharing with sweet accord

the eternal dream;  cherished touch,

new born love, 

the harmony of a song not yet heard.  

…..

Wrapped in midnight darkness

eyes closed in wonder and delight, 

within the whispered sounds of 

softest accord 

the harmony of the song

begins.  

Something Discovered That I Thought I Had Forgotten … For Deanne

We took turns gathering maple sap before sunrise

during late winter, the world still but for my 

felt lined rubber boots scrunching over frozen snow … ice with

school kid’s boot indentations quick frozen slush

during the brief span winter allowed spring

to show itself … then back into

the deep freeze …

…..

i passed four residential homes their windows

black and vacant inside … a world with no sound not a

car door slam the whish of four wheels plowing through

slush arcing in their wake .,.. 

…..

three street lamps

at both ends and middle of the block threw

yellow halos onto the snow

sparkling frozen crystals echoing

points of light shimmering bright against the clear

navy blue sky …

…..

between each light

… slow shadow approaching brief darkness …

 snuffed back into night then out of the

cold dark into the halo three times in

succession to the end of the block where i

turned facing north beginning the journey home but

for brief visits at the trunk of each tree

spilling tiny bits of sap into my white jug

dripped more slowly into our

tin pails the trees half asleep 

some heart pumping sap upward

from earth gathered by

fingers reaching downward …

…..

their sap water clear and cold

delicious to taste, faintly sweet 

wood maple flavored, the essence of each tree

synthesized energy stored in caskets of root

below ground aged five months

the finest wine refreshing and cold to sip

sun’s energy given back thirst slaked

oddly as  refreshing during

the coldest mornings as cold water

on a hot summer day a gift to

the leaves giving life back

taken during bright summer 

fueling the furnace creating new life’s essence 

given to dormant buds waiting to

come alive in perpetual motion …

images

Boasting Resentment

… Had he known of the terrible accident that would befall him …

( … she harbored deep resentment toward him for something he had done six months prior, so she drove the car dangerously fast over the ice covered gravel road,  taking careful aim to hit every spot of exposed gravel that she knew would separate him from skis and rope.  She cackled knowing that nothing would impede his bruised and broken body from tumbling down the road like a drunken rolling pin while she sped further and further away  … )

HE would not have announced so boldly … to our utter surprise … one Sunday while lounging around reading the Sunday ‘funnies’  on a bitterly cold winter day … 

“I can ski behind the car…. .”  

images

Crossroad … The Journey South

… I had arrived at the first crossroad of my life where my dreams of the straight and narrow were instantly transformed like some strange algorithm; the plus signs suddenly replaced by unknowns …

images copy 24

The Journey South

After the crossroad, I became a half assed

‘’grad’’  …

…..

I lived in the

haze between night and day with

blues and jazz music, in

smoke filled rooms and minds,

freaks of the

night; drunks, misfits,

thieves who lived in the

underworld where i had taken up

residence …..

…..

I had become part of

a  crowd who, with single minded intent,

killed themselves from the medicine in their

needles …

…..

…..

I searched for a road away from

that life when

one night in

frustration and despair I gave up

fight …

…..

Determined to break away from my self

imposed bonds I donned my army coat, grabbed my

scarf, threw away those god awful

cowboy boots … scraped together a

couple of hundred

dollars and

ran away into a night of

bitter cold determined to

hitch 1,200 miles away from that

cold winter bitch to another place where

maybe I’d find the warm nurturing wind I

felt before the roadblock I encountered at the …

crossroad …

continued …

The Crossroad

images-2

The Crossroad

Hope set off a spark and a tiny 

flame began to burn

within …

…..

Of course there were a few 

setbacks … 

…..

First, the Oldsmobile I 

bought, (when I was 

respectable) …

died …

….. 

so I had to hitch a 

ride to work every night during the 

cold, dark dead of winter … 

(that cold winter bitch!  I hated her as she  relentlessly tried to

embrace me with her icy,  frigid, killing fingers.) 

… so that by eleven o’clock I could 

walk into the jaws of that 

doped up idiot beast where i worked

that dead end job in that 

ugly parallel universe where only freaks and 

weirdos lived … .

*****

What kept me going was 

the test … !

Everything will be ok if I can just

take the test … !

…..

I’ll pass it and be  

warm … 

i’ll be able to 

move around the

planet  …  

I’ll have 

respectability ….

…..

I’ll have a reason to 

live …. !

continued …

 

The Crossroad

waterwinter2

….. To make matters 

worse, i lived in a shitty one 

room apartment attached to an old 

house over by 

Ypsilanti High 

School where 

I was cold all the 

time,  my couch 

reeked,  the bath tub gave 

me the 

creeps and 

I wouldn’t even think of 

walking around with bare 

feet …

…..

my stereo was in a tiny 

closet behind my third hand 

couch … 

everything else i owned …

paper and hard back literature and psychology 

textbooks from my years at 

Eastern …  was 

crammed into five or six 

wooden 

Canada Dry or Pepsi

crates artfully 

(looking anything but artful) arranged around a small 

black and white 

t.v. along one 

wall … 

continued …..

 

Song For Jodi .. The World Beyond My Curtain Soft White, A Sight To See

DSC_0124

The air is white outside my curtain

dime sized light wings, drift down

land softly on crystalline water.

Another new world has emerged today

a black and white dichotomy

a world easier to see;

the truth of pure beauty …

the only thoughts available are words i cannot speak …

it can be like that sometimes on a soft, white snowy day … if only You could see …..

Summer Breeze On A Winters Day (A Reflection On Alzheimer’s Disease)

DSC_0727

Summer Breeze On A Winters Day

I walk among lost souls who /live in a land of despair and confusion/ spending their time adrift on dark seas or /pitching through the gales of their personal storms.

Their eyes stare out from darkened rooms at /a world that’s only vaguely familiar;/a place they may have visited once upon a time/ in a dream.

To them, I’m a moving object/ uttering a strange language in an /unfamiliar world. / I can’t touch them because time gone by is their only refuge and /I don’t live among the ghosts of their past.

Their light is an infrequent moon glow,/an occasional blaze of lightening, or/a meager sunrise.

Bright sunlight is as infrequent to them as /a summer breeze on a winters day is,/to you and me.