What to say?
I used to think my writing would foster and help preserve meaningful life events. I further expected that these recorded experiences and discoveries would later prove helpful to people in some way. But what generally happens is this: During key times of intense exploration and insight, the writing evaporates almost entirely.
Winter, evening—same thing, that late phase of life. It’s a good time and I’m in it. I walk outdoors often, listening outward and inward. Sometimes a poem comes.
LIFE, LIBERTY, HAPPINESS
I’d stopped by the evening tree
(or else was stopped below it)
when there arose in me
this deep-felt certainty:
It’s one thing to be free,
but a better thing to know it.
Hickory Creek is a quiet place. Our doings don’t get much notice, except for an occasional drowning or meth lab bust. So I doubt this week’s rail car rescue made the news, except among neighbors and the contractors involved.
It’s three weeks into official winter and we’ve experienced highly fluctuating weather here in Arkansas. An early snow-and-ice storm blew through in early December. Another arrived in early January, dropping the overnight temperature to -12 degrees. Directly after that, a warm rain washed away the icy remnants and sunned the landscape with afternoon temperatures approaching the 60’s. Today’s wind—thankfully from the south—continues the recent refreshing blow-dry.
These are some of my favorite poems this month. (They are still drafts, not final versions, and may not be shared outside this website without permission. Thank you.)
* * *
It was this kind of a day…
Except for mesh-top athletic shoes, I’d bundled up warm under a green umbrella. The cold front’s wind had passed earlier, but drizzle and low temperatures remained.
Too late! I already took my photo.
This sign exemplifies the many “Don’t Do” warnings I encounter on my daily walks. Together, they signify that this residential area contains many undeveloped, languishing, or otherwise private properties. By “private” I mean they support a person’s being comfortably alone. Even the locale’s public areas—such as the nearby boat ramp and state park—are often unoccupied or almost so… especially in winter.
On this windy but mellow afternoon, I walked the extra distance to Hickory Creek Park and was rewarded with beautiful scenes and intriguing finds. For example, a certain type of tree caught my eye because it had retained most of its blade-shaped leaves, which were still green shifting to yellow. Upon investigation, I found a profusion of large, unusually-capped acorns on the ground beneath the tree. Many had fallen to some nearby pavement or among the rocks and gravel that edge it.
The more I try to avoid my neighbor, the more often we seem to cross paths—literally. This woman is older than I and smaller. Her two terriers are about the size of my cats. Twice a day or so, she walks the dogs along the road by her house—the same road I walk at least three times a week. If the dogs catch sight of me, it’s all she can do to restrain them on their leashes, so, naturally, we try to avoid each other. Trouble is, neither of us has a set schedule of when we do our walking.
Halloween gets quite a build-up these days. But afterwards, many of the skeletons, ghosts, and witches vanish. Even the scarecrows fade and slump.
My neighbor’s lady scarecrow has actually been crying, judging by appearances today.