low tide and sunset skies
da da dum
The air’s breathless, the space…motionless. Sun, pavement, and distant drums. Full-voiced percussion, like a jacked up truck, radio blasting. It’s a summer parade and the pressing crowd around me surrounds me. Would it look silly if I turn and run?
The drums. Yes…the drums. That joke about clowns? Okay, we get it. But who’s freaked out by drums?
They advance now…the drums…and the resonance closes in. Uneasiness ricochets about the hollow of my chest. Anomalous somatic energy, and a spastic, weirdly thready, response. Distressing spectrotemporal interdiction, riveting normal precious regulated cardiac rhythms.
Dissonance. Internal physical dissonance.
The sun’s beating down, and the drums…they’ve only arrived. It’s not déjà vu. But it’s happened before.
No one else feels that? Apparently not.
A discernable commanding hum echoes discomfort within me. A tug of war. A battle of nerves. A competition as old as humans…fight and flight or rest and digest. Or just some acoustic oddity, in which the encompassing rhythms of those pounding drums drown out the life-sustaining silent pulse of my seemingly absent heartbeat. I’m standing. The system must be working, right? It’s a minute, scarcely a minute. Can’t I stand and breathe, hold fast and breathe, one short minute, or can’t I hold my breath, and wait, patient, wait for them to pass?
The sun’s beating down, the clamor of flashy color surrounds me, and columns of noise and noise and noise approach, now, right in front of me.
The distressing crescendo. The tipping point. And then.
Then, the dazzling procession moves along, and a restorative transition falls into place, as it should, in a quiet, effortless, intuitive pattern.
Like the waning end of a thundering storm, the metrics of summer, a day in the sun, and the vanishing hum of distant drums.
Da da dum da dum da dum. Da da dum.
This is an odd piece I drafted a few years ago. I pull it out from time to time and play at it. It sounds fictional, but it describes a physical reaction I’ve experienced, yes, to drums.
sun light and seasons,
sunrise beginnings, stars, and stormy evenings,
breathing and sleeping fall in line,
steps set in endless rhythms,
white pines & music
Tall white pines and a path that takes you. It doesn’t lead you, it takes you.
Do you know the long soft needles of a tall white pine? A pine tall enough to meet the sunny sky in the last moments of a December day. North Country meets Norwegian Wood meets what? I don’t know. It’s gentle. Or it’s pain, or it’s a place to leave behind.
When you choose your favorite lyrics to a Dylan song, it’s hard to find THE lines. I have this thing – sort of a pretty unimportant guiding principle. If I single out the same musical lyrics more than once, if it’s a sequence of lines or a few words, if those are the words I remember or I want to remember after I hear a song, then I guess I love those words.
In the darkness of my night
In the brightness of my day
Bob Dylan works a magic with images nobody else can do. And in the middle of all that you find words you plainly love.
faded dreams ….
faded scenes and sinking dreams,
and narrow streets in all directions,
dizzying stairs in random rooms,
that lead to rooms,
ahhh, yes … awake … yes … awake.
Do we all have pieces like this? Words we write, and we re-write, and re-write. It never feels complete or just right. I have at least five versions of this one. I’m not comfortable with this style of writing, but the words don’t fit well in sentences and paragraphs. Just maybe … it’s the sort of thing that should take me out of my comfort zone.
I just completed a small collection of written pieces and photos to give as presents this holiday. I did this last year too, and although the project is always surprisingly time-consuming, the end results are gratifying. This time, I tried to bring in plenty of bold colors and some of the dreamier layers of life. This piece is probably atypical, in terms of style, but it was one of the bits I included.
The air’s not still, but it’s slow motion. Like colors in a dream. The sun’s still warm, and flowers still bloom, and a season’s worth of foliage sways overhead, in a hazy lingering-summer’s lazy way.
You Say It’s Your Birthday – John Lennon
Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes
John Lennon, of course. Lucy in the Sky.
Meter to me is unattainable. I can hear it, I’m sure I like it, I just can’t grasp it. It would take a whole lot of focus and concentration for me to get it. Hence, I leave it to the professionals.
John Lennon would have been 81 tomorrow, and Lucy in the Sky begins with one of my favorite lines of all time.
Photo from wallpapercave.
the end of your rainbow
I caught a ride on the dreamland express last night.
I was sailing on an ocean of blue.
And right there by my side,
Much to my surprise,
You said, let me be the end of your rainbow.
Let me be the stars up above.
Let me be the one that you long for, darlin’.
Let me be the one that you love.
Oh, let me be the one that you love.
The words are John Denver’s, from Dreamland Express. A sweet romantic old song.
The photo’s mine. One of my all-time favorites, from 2019, and the best rainbow I’ve ever seen. It stretched out across the big sky in front of me and came to rest in the trees, a couple hundred feet away. I wanted to run over to the trees just to find out what I’d find, you know, whatever it is you find, at the end of a rainbow.
This afternoon, heading out to the plant nursery, I reached for the dashboard and popped the Sirius button. The radio came on with a voice that was distinctly Dylan. It was The Beatles Channel, but Dylan’s song was a nice change of pace. Sometimes they play recordings by artists who inspired The Beatles. The program was Dark Horse Radio, a show Laura Cantrell hosts, which features George Harrison’s music. As they describe it, all things George. Minutes later, waiting at the light, I realized they were playing Dylan again. Both were songs I didn’t know.
The host spoke after the second song, noting that both recordings featured George in the instrumentation. She continued, as I turned into the parking lot, to say Dark Horse Radio was playing Dylan music in celebration of Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday. Whoah! Bob Dylan is 80 years old?
His birthday was on the 24th, and maybe I’ll spend the evening playing some Dylan tunes.
Bob Dylan. Surely one of the best songwriting talents of his generation.