Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Song A Robin Sings Through Years Of Endless Springs

The sumac has gone golden and crimson already. There was no summer. There was a hint of June in August, smothered in its cradle. The tree swallows have come and gone a second year. They set up housekeeping again in the birdhouse the experts say won't work. It is funny to never be the expert. Everything I say has to be true or else. An expert can say what he pleases.

The weather came weeks ago with Sturm und Drang like I've never seen and tore the landscape to bits. The hair on my arms stood at attention when the bolts landed, and there was a misdirected freight train outside the kitchen window. It blew out the windows and it rained indoors until we sat the little fellow on a chair in the center of the house, the last redoubt. We watched trees like battleship masts give up their ghosts and fly by the window like Dorothy's relatives. I went from place to place in my house like a captain in a sub beset by depth charges, wondering if it could hold. It couldn't. The next day I found window glass forty-five feet from where it belonged, returned to its long-lost brethren among the sand. The place I work was made a shambles while the very walls of the house inhaled and exhaled like a bellows.

I wondered for a moment about a dread God that would take everything, even from those who have nothing, then snapped out of it immediately when I saw the little face in the chair in the center of the house, reading a book with a flashlight.


Roy Lofquist said...


I have been reading you for many years. If you never grace us with your thoughts again this is what I will remember.

Leslie said...

“Flee luxury, flee enfeebling good fortune, from which men’s minds grow sodden, and if nothing intervenes to remind them of the common lot, they sink, as it were, into the stupor of unending drunkenness. The man who has always had glazed windows to shield him from a drought, whose feet have been kept warm by hot applications renewed from time to time, whose dining halls have been tempered by hot air passing beneath the floor and circulating round the walls — this man will run great risk if he is brushed by a gentle breeze…The staunchest member of the body is the one that is kept in constant use…So the bodies of sailors are hardy from buffeting the sea, the hands of farmers are callous, the soldier’s muscles have the strength to hurl weapons, and the legs of a runner are nimble. In each, his staunchest member is the one that he has exercised.”
He has His reasons.

julie said...

I thought things had been awfully quiet around here, assuming this happened this year. I hope, as always, that things are looking up.

Anonymous said...

Fantastically evocative. What an oeuvre in a few short paragraphs. I admire your writing and envy your prowess to the point of obsequious and servile worship. Every word struck a consonant chord in my foundering hope that somewhere someone is thinking about more than sports and gossip. You're good. Thank you.

Bob in Manassas, Virginia, USA