Sunday, October 4, 2015

such a sky!: a pea picklin’ diary

Sunday Last
Such a blue sky so broad, so expansive, and I lie down on the porch to soak in the sun, the sun now, with the season, a bit lower in the sky, so its light and its warmth angle deep onto the porch. I lie down in a stream of sunshine, looking out, feeling much the ham in the sandwich between blue sky, green earth. I close my eyes. Beneath my right cheek and the palms of my hands I feel the soft, worn boards of the porch, boards so old with stories of having been shipping crates and Oh! the places they went, the items they held, and the people who tore them apart.

A light breeze rustles the leaves in the trees and it sounds like rain. Then, fwip-fwip-fwip. My eyes open. A trio of crows heads to the river. All day bald eagles and vultures have been soaring, circling, and I get up now to watch four eagles glide low in circles directly overhead. A vulture joins them, then another. They float and circle, move gently up and down. All day I see them, now and again, gliding in circles, high or low, off one way or another, and occasionally one spirals downward, and all day the crows caw in one thousand languages.

At sunset, bands of crows or maybe other birds scribble across the horizon, black against the red and orange and golden sky. Later, a Blood Moon rises over shaggy fields of dried up goldenrod, and later still a lunar eclipse begins. But, in the southwest, a speckled sheet of clouds takes shape, drifts, expands, obscures.

The geese are heading back across the sky
in jagged lines like ant trails and slippery snakes
like raisin crumbs and cryptic letters
like geese, always honking, outta my way!,
always saying “Look up! Look up! It’s me! It’s we!”
heading back across the sky
as so am I
as so am I.

The Orange Moon rises. Coyotes yip and howl.

I am shedding skin
layer after layer
and I don’t care
how naked I become
because everyone knows

The sun coming up behind golden-streaked clouds
and the moon beaming a lop-sided grin.
What a morning!
Fifty crows shift across the southern sky,
a sky dappled with clouds like puffs of damp smoke,
the crows like airborne checkmarks made by a spidery old hand,
coming to roost in treetops, discussing the weather.
Who knows what these crows talk about?

These crows that speak in tongues.

Stepping out on a frosted lawn—every morning with the frost!—and the air is blue and an eagle draws a slow smooth line between the moon—that misshapen glob, yet high in the western sky—and treetops lit by a rising sun.

Often, after the farmers market, gulls sweep in to help clean up our mess. Today they fly low over where the taco truck has just been. The market is just a couple blocks off Lake Superior. Her breezes kept us chilled all day.

Home is slightly warmer, and the clouds are breaking up, and Elliott and Josie and I go down to the river. I lie on a log to watch the sky. Drifting by is a cloud in the shape of a large bat with tiny ears and little feet and outstretched wings, a perfect, white, fluffy bat set against baby blue with a jagged frame of autumn leaves that quiver ever so slightly. Josie and Elliott play along the bank, back up among the trees, the lordly cedars, and Elliott enjoys running, leaping, glomming onto a broad tree trunk, hanging there for a bit, three or four feet above ground, and Josie seems to find this pretty exciting. He bounces about, makes boof noises, and when Elliott falls off the tree Josie chases him.

Sometimes Josie, Elliott, and I sit on the porch, looking out, and I wonder what they see.