“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


this week's tulip at the end of the week

she buys a bouquet every week.
last week the blossoms caught on fire but how that happened we will keep shushed.

on the calendar and outside the door, spring has arrived.  even if you wake too early, the birds will be a step ahead, already singing the day over the horizon; come early evening and the crickets announce the night.  i'd thought it would be winter forever.


photo: texture by kim klassen, mixed with a lot of me and photoshop.
inspired by the broken camera.


the stuff stories are made of

he's been saying sure for years when i ask to take my camera into his yard, sometimes just nodding his head when he sees me coming, so when another neighbor asked to take his portrait, he nodded to that, not expecting a big camera, not expecting art in the making.  he has no idea that i've written stories about him for years, made up of stuff i see in his eyes and his posture and the smoke from his cigarettes.  if you live in my neighborhood you are fair game.

i should probably warn whoever buys the house he is leaving behind.



the trying too hard of rule number two

everything is math and the price of tea in china and we count breaths steps heartbeats howlongwestandinline, years calories howmanyfacebookfriends thepriceofgas milespergallon and rainfallamounts, and we make grocerylists and listsofrulestomakeusfamouscreativecoolhipwild, at least some of us do, as if we needed to be told how to do that, and rule number two is be weird and rule number ten is see rainbows, neverminding that theremaynotberainbows because sometimes there aren't and neverminding that maybe we're notweird and that's okay for god's sake, conveniently forgetting we say all the time justbeyou.


it feels like the rain will never stop, though i know that to be untrue - even the ocean eventually crashes into unyielding shores.  it is lately this way, these first moments of spring, full of not knowing the days, full of blossoms falling out of rhythm.  i want to use the word cacophony, but it's not, not really; they fall silently, pushed by rain and wind and the songs of bewildered birds.  the hole in the tree that once housed screech owls is this year a nest for baby squirrels, a dry spot, warm against the night calls of bigger owls.  i walk wet sidewalks, sidestepping puddles and piles of leaves, and light candles against the gray days, and count hiddenstars and hoursofdarkness and daysuntilbaseballseason.  i remember the years when the trees bloomed in harmony with flowers and i remember the last time he said he loved me and how he said it without words, and also the time we begged the skies for rain and how it finally came, and how i sat on my mother's back porch with my uncle and we smiled at the sound of hard rain against the metal roof, and because it was summer, we also smiled at the taste of warm tomatoes fresh from the ground, and sprinkled them all over with salt.

the calendar counts those daysuntilsummer and shows me the full moons and new moons and holidays and last friday's equinox, but i am lost and on my own counting thedaysuntiltomatoes okra peaches fireworks warmlakes hotnights and the blooming of crepe myrtles, though yesterday i saw redbuds purple against the wetness and dogwoods beginning to sprout.  cacophony, i tell you.  maybe the right word after all.