Scott County Fair

I sneak in while everyone is still asleep. The midway is small—a few games of chance in the middle with low-lying rides to each side. At the end, though, by the barns, is the prize—the tall and graceful Ferris wheel with colored cages for seats. I walk around it as the sky lightens, looking up…

Summer Pond 1

A few people sit in shady spots fishing, but other than that, Hector and I have the hot afternoon and the pond to ourselves. Hector has his nose to the ground, weaving it back and forth with intense seriousness, like a cartoon dog. We circle the pond, me trying to get the light as it…

Summer Storm

When it’s hot like this a storm can blow in just like that, thunder and all, changing the whole look of things around here. The steady trees sway and dance as if explaining themselves, finally. The harsh light mellows through the dark clouds, and the little forest turns magnificent shades of blues and yellows and…

Young Birch

The young birch is the odd man in the patch of pines we’ve planted—slender, somewhat delicate, with heart-shaped leaves that reflect light as they twirl. I like to watch the young birch when the sun is low in the sky. The thin trunks reach up. The tilting leaves drink in the gold light, then disappear…

Wild Rainbow

“You have to come see this,” John said. He stood at the open sliding door to the deck, looking up. “All the colors bright as can be.” The sky was wild, blue and orange, with a beautiful eerie light that felt significant. The rainbow shot through it all as if it belonged there, even lighting…

Bouquet

I was sitting at home not feeling well, so John brought me a wonderful, strange bouquet – a couple tiger lilies, three pink carnations, two small sunflowers, a dozen yellow daisies, and five miniature orange roses. In my woozy state, I watched the colors whirl together, and I remembered science class in some elementary grade…

Forest

The slim forest feels like my link to the earth. Sometimes I stand on a stump and pretend I’m Emerson, a little teary-eyed. I stretch my arms out, lift my chin, close my eyes and imagine I am a transparent eyeball through which the force and knowledge of the universe flow unchanged. I am part…

Op

John got me two Vasarely paperweights for Christmas, and I spend too much time watching them. Occasionally, I take one in each hand and fly them through the air as I zoom around the room. There’s no way to stop them, even when they’re sitting on the worktable in front of me. They’re not alive,…

Splash

After a good rain, the little falls at Yuko En will splash right up on you if you get down close. Closer, and you’re sliding toward the blue and gold light, the rising mist, the planes of crystal glare. From the edge of the sidewall your feet hit the falling water, the force pushing against…

Kleenex

There’s an apple on the table, and papers, and as I’m trying to work I notice that the box of Kleenex is beautiful. The proportions, height to width. The crispness of the edges, the swirl of colors, the strength of the thin, airy tissue reaching up. I notice how the light gathers and fades, soft…