life, non-fiction, personal writing

her smile

August 25, 2019

I was busy with myself, getting settled. Thinking about this and that. I don’t really like the hand-shaking. Seems unnecessary, but it’s what you do. So I turned to the left. To a young girl, around ten. A tender age. And a face looking up to me with sweetness and a ready smile. Then the mom. Like her daughter, a smile full of joy. A smile that went all the way to her eyes and to the far reaches of her face. Yes, some faces wear a smile end to end, and that was hers. No averted eyes, no reticence. A full smile, eyeball to eyeball. And her face was radiant, beautiful in the most natural way. She wore a black wrap on her head.

I turned back to myself. Who knows what I was thinking.

Time passed and it was time for our row to get up. The father, dark hair, maybe in his 40s. The girl. And then the mother, using a cane. Her pants, khaki slacks, the kind with a gathered waist, were easily three sizes too big. Like she’d lost 30 or 40 pounds. She didn’t look strong, as if walking was a struggle. There are times in life when reality smacks you in a flash, straight to your core. I don’t know what we’re supposed to feel, I’m not sure I could describe what I did feel. It felt numbing, and stunning, overwhelming, sad, desperate.

We made our way back. I think her face wasn’t smiling anymore. But it was beautiful in the most natural way.

essay, life, nature, writing

dormancy

photographed january 21, 2020

Winter’s not the favorite, is it? It’s a cold, bleak, spartan reality.

But some of us, a lot of us, we need these winter months. Like bulbs, or trees, we need a bit of cold. We need a dormant period. We need the winter.

I do a lot of fall photos. Changing leaves, pretty scenes, all the colors. Lovely.

But honestly, I don’t like fall.

9/11.

Other painful stuff.

Fall leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Like I’m trying my best to hold on to summer, and it’s hopeless. Like I’m not ready, I’m stubborn. Refusing. Refusing to turn my head. To what? To what lies ahead, I guess. Like a little kid who won’t take the medicine. Mouth shut tight. The head jerks left, then right.

That’s fall.

But winter to me is fresh. It’s snowed in and pulling on a heavy blanket. It’s sloppy clothes and old movies. It’s night-time, and it’s dark, and it’s sledding down a hill with nothing but worn-out bell-bottom jeans and a floppy piece of card-board between your butt and that cold frozen ground.

It’s necessary.

green, life, nature, photo, prose, woods, writing

Jumanji

Random, careless. Trunks scattered helter skelter. You can’t help but wonder how it felt here when these tall trees came down. The ground shook, for sure. But look around. Saplings sprouting from felled logs. Leafy vines winding a tangled trail over it all. A beautiful, wild, living, thriving, Jumanji-style, bright green mess.

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etikser

life, personal writing, photo, photography, poem, prose, summer, writing

morning coffee on the back porch

your bothered sigh 
another day

a squeak 
a bang

sliding doors

nearby voices fading far
muffled jumble
meaningless words

engines and brakes 
thumps and car doors
invisible airplane overhead purr

a singular 
dispirited 
gnarling bark 

hums
buzz
someone’s busy outdoor chores

then

quiet
nothing
but wind and birds and bugs silence

til

a swishing  swirl
swiftly spinning  
bicycle wheels

one more sip, your final gulp
sun up sounds
summer’s day waking up

nature, personal writing, photo, prose, writing

day dreaming

So picture this….

Button down shirt, white jeans, bare feet. Surrounded by trees, the sound of birds and trickling water. Looking into Patrick Swayze’s eyes. His voice explaining how he got into dancing. 

He motions to you. Motions for you to join him. Out there, on the limb, over the creek. You think. No…. No…. No way…

Next thing you know, he pulls you up into in his arms. 

Perfect posture, your chin up, elbows raised, toes clinging to the scratchy bark. And then…you’re both smiling. Giggling. Doing goofy, silly, 60’s style dance moves. Forward and then backward. Along that log, over the creek.

baseball, green, memories, personal writing, photo, prose, summer

batta, batta, batta

You stand at the rail and see lots of open field. Grass and dirt and weeds and clover, all the way to the outfield, and the fence.

Then, you hear it, the crack of the bat. Somebody got a hit. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s the shrill whistle of metal.

Right in front of you, a big clay area, the baseball diamond, a pitcher’s mound, and those weird pillows to mark bases. Those bags must have been around since Babe Ruth.

But we’re here in the dugout, and there’s the old dirty bench. How many butts sat on this bench? It’s where you wait your turn to bat, or go out in the field.

So you sit, swing your feet, and take up the chant. It helps your teammates hit better, I guess. Maybe it keeps you from getting in trouble with other fun stuff, like tossing water around, or telling stupid jokes. Saying words like fart, that make your friends laugh. Could be chanting is supposed to help you forget you need to go to the bathroom.

You punch your glove for awhile, play with the strings. It kinda smells. Pretend you’re catching a fly, then a grounder. Nothing feels like a baseball, does it? Smooth, dirty, matte, hard.

It’s all part of the game.

What?

Gotta go. They’re handing me a helmet. What inning did you say it is?

____________________________
etikser

memories

on the go

not far from home
five miles or so

suddenly the car’s hotter
sky’s whiter,
brighter, hazier
like a different kind of summer
a long time ago

like I was ridin’ to work
to my first real job 

like I was in the middle of endin’ somethin’
that ended a long,
long while ago

funny the thoughts that pop in your head
when you’re out there
on the go

on that old familiar 
stretch of road

memories, summer

all in the smell of just cut grass

A sensory rush stocked with the stuff of long-forgotten whims
A second to pause and hold onto the smell of summer and innocence
Rolling down grassy hills
Laying at the bottom, a jumble of limbs
And stupid silly giggles
Dress up play and make believe
Bicycles, grass stains, and skinned knees
Long warm days, staying out til dark
Hide-n-seek and Capture-the-flag
All in the smell of just cut grass