Symphony in the Silence

The wind blew east down the
dune and through the pine grove,
across the waterfall and pond
and shook the Arborvitae like
his mother swatting the squeaky
clean sheets on the line on a
warm, sunny day in May.

He heard the roar of the waves
on the Big Lake and gave thanks
for the Sunday morning silence
in the neighborhood. He breathed
deeply and embraced the sun as
it flew through his arms toward
the water on its way west.

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What Took You Away?

What took you away
on that sunny day?
Now it rains, rains,
rains upon the clouds
while it is drought dry
on that desert highway
on which you drove away
that searingly, sunny day.
Are all my tears on the
other side of the clouds?
I can’t see them; I want
to feel them washing
me away.

Hanging With Harrison

Eighty-five degrees became fifty-five
when the cold rains came from the
North.

T-shirts and shorts
were turned
in for sweatshirts and blue jeans.
Windows were shut, water for tea

heated on the stove and the man,
cup in hand,

said to himself, it feels
like the U.P.

I think I’ll join Jim Harri-
son for a short story.

He fell asleep on the
couch just as B.D.

was going to jump Shelley’s bones
in the motel behind the knotty pine saloon.

Not even the thought of what was soon
as the next page could keep him awake.

The man knew Harrison would be around
with a cigarette dangling from
his lips and a
whiskey in his hand
when the he
would awake.

The Shadow on the Wall

They all sat around the table after
drinks and appetizers. They spoke
of the husband of a recently decease-
ed artist friend of several around the
table wondering how he was doing.
The husband was a small, quiet, ser-
ious man who spoke softly but with
the air of authority, which is often the
perception of the introverted. Out of
the blue, the host, an extroverted man
of substantial, physical presence and
a sharp, sometimes sarcastic wit, an-
nounced that he would really like
to be like that husband of the dead
artist. The table erupted with laughter.
His equally quick-witted wife with a
repertoire of repartee said nothing but
shot a look of incredulity his way. After
the laughter subsided, the plates were
passed. A guest, another jocular fellow,
understood. He, too, often wished to
be like the quiet, wise, knowing shadow
of himself on the wall across the dinner
table.

The Couple Sits in the Noon Hour

The couple sits in the noon hour
on the deck yearning to hear the
bubbling waterfall, the songs of
the wind chimes, the singing of
the birds, the rustling of the new,
bright, green leaves, and maybe
even the roar of the waves on
the Big Lake on a windy day,
but not even a protective row of
Arborvitae, the semi-circle of
birches around the pond, the
grove of red and white pines,
the phalanx of cedars, the
giant maples wrapping the
house, nor the choke cherry
can choke the sound of the
machines of the misplaced
suburbia down the dunes from
where quiet natives used to
live in harmony with sea, sun,
sand, shade. They roar and belch
in an unending attempt to keep
everything, absolutely every-
thing, postage-stamp-perfect in
Beaver Cleaver Land.

The Process Moves

The process moves from simple
to complex and along the way
superfluous gets tossed away.
Where does it go? asked the
student of the teacher.
The part is whole and part
of the whole and
nothing wastes away.
Is that where superfluous goes?
asked the teacher of the student.
I hope so, because I’m feeling very
superfluous, said the student
to the teacher,
and the teacher said, sometimes
I do, too. And in that moment,
they didn’t, and so it goes.

Meditating Before Life’s Source

Meditating before life’s source,
he gets down on his knees and
falls prostrate before the water

of life that trickles down the
wonderful waterfall toward him.
He reaches into the pond and

feels the aliveness flowing
round and through and beyond
his fingers. He becomes one

with the water, cupping and lift-
ing the energy and watching it
drop back to the mother source.

He rises to his knees, stands
and inhales deeply as the water
rushes in an ever-increasing

speed and flow from one pond to
the other. He is glad. Once a
week when the pump needs clean-

ing he does this imagining against
type that he’s a very holy man or,
even better, the Buddha.

Coming On Twenty Years

Coming on twenty years,
a blur, emerging from grief,
after twenty a sigh of relief,
two so different souls,
trying to remember events retold.
Did we do that? I don’t remember.
It will be twenty years in September.
We seemed so different from each other.
Could we ever move away from the lost lover?
Then when looking back on time well spent,
we realized we had become each other’s covariant.

The Brave, New Twilight Zone

Bradbury cautioned
about blue lights emanating
from front room bay windows
as a pedestrian walks by
before the police take him in
to the station because
he is out after curfew.
Now in evenings, the blue lights
emanate from bay windows
held in palms of hands; eyes
focused down reflect the light.
Einstein cautioned us
about all this.
Is this the brave, new,
twilight zone, Sir
Serling?

Memorial Day Weekend at the House

Anticipation, apprehension, guesswork
evolve into initial joy, fun,
observation, participation.
Energy flows in and out
and all about
on and on and on non-
stop. Stop is good — stop,
for awhile. Dishes, dishes,
dishes, food, food, food.
Hardly any quiet;
laughter turns to noise,
noise to cacophony,
three days of grand and simply children.
The baton signals the end of
the symphony.
Applause, appreciation, elation,
exhaustion.
Then a short course in death
before the resurrection.