Inner vision takes such priority in my life that I willingly sacrifice outer vision for it. Or I would. Who can say why my eyesight deteriorated so much between my last two eye exams? Too much time at the computer? My optometrist was surprised and concerned when he took measurements a few weeks ago. “You’re borderline for driving now,” he said, “even with your glasses on.” “Oh! Is it okay for me to drive home?” I asked. He sort of winced.
When you blink your eyes, you never know what you’ll see next. I can attest. Once I was with friends, driving to see the spring jonquils at Wye Mountain. Margery was the driver and I sat beside her in the front seat. The whole group of us had stayed up late the night before, visiting, and I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open. In fact, I let my eyelids fall… and close… for a second… or two. When I opened them, the road had shifted—astounding!—and we were driving down the wrong side of it! Margery’s eyes had closed in tandem with mine; we had both blinked. And the world could have changed much more dramatically than it did. I’ve told you that story as a lead-in to sharing what just happened at the local boat ramp. Don’t worry, nobody got hurt..
Like Fair Ophelia, the daisies are drowning. Daisies! —the very symbol of freshness and life. Recent rains here transformed a patch of daisies into something more like a lily pond. The daisies are valiantly trying to survive—some managing to hold their heads above water; others standing no chance at all. In the nearby lake as the waters rise, fish are investigating newly expanded territories… splash, splash! … and herons are investigating the fish. Question…
So does he. I take this to be a bull, anyway, grazing at some distance from the cows in the background. This charming scene was one of many I encountered on my walk this morning. And that walk may have been the longest I’ve ever made from my home here in Lowell.
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.
“How do poems come to be?”
I was invited to answer that question recently. After a decade of writing poems, I could honestly answer, “Any which-way.” Today’s “Trading Partners” is a good example. It derived from the crow tracks pictured above. Other influences can be tracked as well…
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.
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.