“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


soul food, baby

she usually kept butterfingers, 
those little 8 to a pack ones,
but sometimes it was baby ruths,
and sometimes chocolate so expensive we were afraid to take a bite,
but always there were butterfingers in a bowl
and she would insist you have one or two.

her house is off to your left in this image,
and i am dangling late october toes over her part of the creek,
suspended between it and the golden catawba overhead,
dropping leaves everywhere,
each leaf counting down the afternoons of autumn.

today was sitting on my shoulders as i left work.
i needed cokes, cat food, bread, yogurt,
and i also needed chocolate, 
but i didn't know that until i passed an 8 pack of baby ruths
hanging out on an aisle.
a little something for my soul.
taking me back to evenings spent in her house,
a friend always there.
at the end i'd go over to check on her,
making sure she was okay;
saying it was for her,
but doing it for me also.

baby ruths.
i hadn't had one since she died.
they tasted of our friendship,
and i felt the weight of the day move away.



october lace

this day cannot decide whether it is blue or gray or white clouds or rain clouds and they all roll overhead together switching places with sunshine and shadow.  leaves are falling and the empty in between spots are lace against the sky, now white, now gray, and the shadows so faint they disappear into color, flat yellow catawba leaves against flat pale-green ginkgo against shadowless houses.  suddenly the sun and there are reflections in the windows, the leaves drawing checkered quilt patterns across the glass, then gone again with the softest of breezes. shimmering ginkgo leaves spin themselves into gold.

across the street still hang icicle christmas lights from last year, white blossoms of a leftover season, another piece of lace against the graying of the day.

sunday.  late october.  



i am not this or that. i am all.

i am not defined by the color of my skin.
i am not defined by my sexuality.
i am not defined by the car i drive.
i am not defined by those 15 extra pounds.
i am not defined by that messy house behind me.
i am not defined by ailments or illnesses, 
broken fingernails or anger.
i am not defined by the computer i use.
i am not defined by the thinness of my bank account.
i am not defined by wrinkles or lines or acne scars.
i am not defined by cellulite or bone density,
or that bra strap showing.
i am not defined by what the lines in my palm say.
i am not defined by the price i pay for shoes
or haircuts
or chocolate.
i am not defined by the books i read.
i am not defined by no-children.
i am not defined by my politics.
i am not defined by an unplucked eyebrow or unshaven leg.
i am not defined.

on the nearing of my 58th birthday;
yes, 58 - i am saying it out loud - 
half a month away,
it is the only wisdom i know.  



my soul does not wear serious shoes

these bows called me.
all lopsided and minnie-mouse-eared.
goodness, oh me oh my, how fun they felt when i put them on,
how fun they made me feel,
how girly,
how it-doesn't-matter-that-they-are-topped-by-a-tshirt-and-jeans.
just look at those silly bows.
they made me root around in the closet this morning,
made me find a ruffled sweater to toss over that tshirt;
they refused to take no for an answer,
although to be honest i never actually said a no,
i was in agreement from the moment i slipped my too cold toes inside.

my soul is happy dancing in these shoes.
it is twirling and swinging and cotton eyed joe-ing.


i am honored to be a part of the new e-course offered by maddie of persisting stars fame.
it begins sunday, october 23rd & there are a few openings left.
please join her (and the rest of us) as we travel the streets of soul.
you will be more than happy you did.
you will be changed.


dappled afternoon

the road rolls by like a river.


i posted this a bit ago, just the image and the one line,
skye cat against the rolling road,
posted it twice, in fact, and took it down each time, unsure why.
it just felt wrong.
it felt too red.

today it feels right.
october blew in last night.

the afternoons are still quite dappled, and mornings also; the shadows just change sides.  i drive to work each morning knowing where they fall, watching especially for that yellow house on my left, laced with images of the leaves across the street, their patterns playing across the hood of my jeep.  i pass the still blooming pinks of crepe myrtles and mounds of flowers here and there, dark pinks, baby-girl pinks, yellows, purple, orange.  it is officially autumn, but we are always slow to get there, slow like this river of a road, still warm, still usually in bare feet and short sleeves.

but this morning has a chill and a wind and my toes are covered with socks and the cat is asleep on a chair, instead of outside chasing lizards.  october blew in last night, leaving limbs in the yards, broken power lines, bringing rain, lightning and thunder, and dropping the temperature 20 degrees. in the mail yesterday, i received a halloween party invitation.

it is yellow out there beyond the windows and door, the bright sun overpowering the fading green of the hackberry tree, but it feels like red is coming.  the year is rolling by.



there was a parade yesterday

there was booty shakin'

and a tractor breakin'. down.

there were tubas and top hats and too-tired twirlers,
jumpers and yawners and mis-marching marchers,
babies on shoulders,
and boy scouts and horses,
paper rose dragonflies,
and a princess (of courses!).


there were marching songs
and cymbals clashed backwards,
and that gary glitter song from all the football games,
(baseball too),
and once when a float stopped in front of us,
its speakers were blasting the talking heads'
wild wild life;
it felt like a seventh inning stretch but i only danced a little.



she don't drive 55

cat in the grass
long shutter speed hand held camera
van gogh streaks of green and fading summer.
all the street signs say 30 mph;
she is at least that and then sleeping.



the looseness of night

after the pink, the sky looked like storms,
and i was with it,
i was with it,
driving through the almost darkness into night be here now,
baseball on the radio,
bone tired from a day that fit too tight,
the leftover noise still loud 
and beating hard against the moon.

but even such days as these hold gifts.

at last home, i unlocked the door
and the waiting cat was off into the night,
under the trees, stalking the finally silent moon;
the shadow of an owl flew out from the corner magnolia,
crossing the street, then back.
i followed its sound from tree to tree
until it settled at last in the hackberry.

the night fits so much better than the day,
just skimming my skin, a barely there touch.
i slipped into it without even noticing.



because i am confused & antsy

feeling new pulls,
new directions,
feeling like i am not following the right arrows,
but feeling okay to be headed against the traffic,
traffic covered with bumperstickers and slogans
and too loud horns for no good reasons.

because of that.

that's why changes,
why less facebook and more pinterest,
telling stories with other people's pictures,
why the thief is disappeared for a bit,
ditto the gallery.
because my hip has been hurt, my right side, my back,
my computer.
the woman at the crystal store 
told me to stop dithering about whatever i was,
and i would feel better.

because of that

because i lately looked at my photographs
and knew where i was headed,
knew where the words fit.
because of all of that.

because the world moves on
with you or without you.

because nothing is permanent.
because silence is golden.
because i want to twirl through these october nights.
because there is laughter in the middle of tears.



october always starts with magic

october came in with cool,
with a tickle and small kisses
and short afternoons billowing before warming breezes,
the sun beaming brighter before dropping against the trees,
before welcoming the stars,
before hello-ing the slice of moon floating toward the night sky.
it came in with unexpected blossoms,
smiling dots of coral against the still dry grass of summer,
cartwheeling joy down the neighborhood streets.
it came in with still bare feet,
toenails painted to match those blooms,
robert earl keen and keb mo on the stereo,
and looka there,
how the mo of keb nestles up against that on and makes a moon.
it came in with magic.