Hello Yellow Brick Road

I walk the path through the little forest all the time. The dogs criss-cross, proudly treeing squirrels. Cows graze just over the ridge. I am so close to this place I can change it with my mind, round bends to walnuts and elms lit up with blues from my eyes. Some days, when the wind…

Backyard/Autumn

The dogs like the chill but suspect the leaves hide everything. The squirrels run from tree to tree. Even the hawk, circling low, scans with severer intensity. Here is the cool site of dissolution—the fertile warmth breaking down, growth going to dust. I think the autumn wind is ominous, swirling its way around the sad…

White Flower: Minimalist

I should pity the white flower. Even a pansy adds color to the world. The common mugwort, too. The bittersweet nightshade. What life does the giraffe with a short neck live? The whippoorwill with a soft voice? I suppose the white flower is a flower in this minimal way, a subtle presence in the whoosh…

Niagara: Refraction

Wind blows the mist halfway up Murray Street, and I’m wet with the falls before I see them. People line the railing to see the fast water crash continuously, loudly, mist flying into the bent light. Colors hover over the scene. Colors rush from the water dropping through the sunlight. A boat drives plastic-covered tourists…

Blaze

“Get the furniture!” Chris says. The bonfire is wide and tall. Two guys head over to the side of the carriage house and grab the two-seated rocker, rustic, mountain made. It starts to twist apart as they carry it. “You sure?” “Don’t ask her!” The two swing the rocker back and then up over the…

Rain

The storm cloud moves in so fast that the sun is still bright to the west. When the rain starts, I head out to the deck and stand under the eave. The drops are huge, flashing light against the heavy leaves of the black walnuts. The big cloud is dramatic. Then the rainbow, faint at…

Gardens at Casa Loma: Toronto

The September gardens are lusty with oranges and reds, the burning bush, the amur maple. There—the brilliant yellow of the Katsura tree. Hydrangea tall as a man—blue, purple, white. Behind me, swaths of boltonia floating like a veil on deep green foliage. Asters, berries, mums. Great grasses everywhere—striped and spotted. I am lost on the…

Room/ View/ Delphi

“The Sea of Olives,” Bettina says as we drive through a forest of olive trees that spreads from the water right and left across the flat land and up the mountains to their tops. We ascend precariously to Delphi, and I understand what a mountain town is. My room overlooks the deep valley, the infinity…

Harbor Lights: Rafina

At dusk the hillsides that surround the harbor fade into background. I walk along the water as lights come on down the long piers and around the crescent of shops and stands. The reflections go deep into the sea, maybe deeper than the water, dissipating, finally, in some darkness. Up here, though, light everywhere, playing…

Just in Time

It’s not easy to tell how cloudy it is fifteen minutes before sunrise. “Let’s give it a shot,” I say to Gina, and we’re off in her Element to catch the sun coming up over the pastures at Graham’s, where she keeps Maddie. I watch the sky the whole drive. Even before the top edge…