Thursday, January 05, 2006

Unguessed Seasons

A Haibun

Midwinter birds have grown loud and churlish in the bush behind the old man’s house, arguing in their way, aware that the chill is not what it should be, I think. A limb shakes just a little, this faded blue-green of a desert juniper somewhat beyond its prime and in need of a good shaving, but the birds are well hidden, warrens like holes in the earth somewhere below. It has been gray as slate and bleak, but today the sun has come, and it has gotten a bit colder, though still no frigid day as January might promise. The mountains, highlighted in an almost supernatural clarity, seem as if they are the holy icon in a picture from the Renaissance, they the haloed might of the world, and if I could paint them for you, you still would not believe, and I don’t have my camera with me, so I can’t prove any of this, standing in the shadow of the old man’s house with the lull in afternoon traffic letting me almost hear the sound of the slim breeze, almost hear things half forgotten.

I become distracted, concerning myself with snowfall levels and possible recursions into drought. Idle fingers probe my jacket pockets, finding the remnants of cough drops from years past, spare change, receipts for nothing that could be deducted on the tax forms. Across the street, a boy hoists up his kick-powered scooter and peers forlornly at the front wheel. He puts the device over his shoulder and walks around a corner, beyond my view. I consider an old bicycle in my own youth, how it would make pleasing skid marks when you backpedaled and engaged the rear brake at speed. I consider the names I would give to pet cats I wish I had. The day seems stopped, but I know that is a lie, for don’t all days seem stopped, and yet another birthday always seems to steam toward us out of the shroud at full throttle? This long weekend is soon to fade, and then there will be work, and meals and necessary sleeping, and all the little polyrhythms that keep us dancing down the line, ever further into these half examined lives.

Disagreeable
these birds of the midwinter
all squawk and chatter

White crested mountains
haloed majesty of earth
favorite of the sun

Cold brings remembrance
lives once lived, bicycles of
youth and other dreams

That which seems to stop
is yet hurdling outward
toward unguessed seasons.

10 comments:

MB said...

Happy New Year! Firehawk, this is really nice. The form, haibun, is new to me and I'm glad to be introduced. As usual, you've managed to paint a complex emotional portrait of a moment and by extension at least a glimpse of a person. Not enough snow around here either.

Mushster said...

Happy New Year Firehawk. Glad you're back :)

drthunder said...

Reading your work is a good way to begin the new year, Firehawk. Your thoughts on the human condition are at once succinct, yet, poignant.

Bill said...

Man I love the way you pull from such a commonality of experience to weave a story that any of could have lived, and most probably did, live.

No snow here this winter either... and I find myself missing the 'cleansing' however brief it provides.

Firehawk said...

MB,

Happy New Year to you! Thanks for coming over. I've been toying with the Haibun form here and there. I find it intriguing. One day, I'll get really ambitious and try to write an entire short story via the form. A lot of work, but it might be pretty.

Mush,

Glad to be back! I didn't seem to have anything interesting to say for a while. Too much food addled my brain, maybe?

Doc,

Glad to have something to post, really. I felt a little "empty" for a while...

Bill,

It's been a weird winter here. Some days really cold, but some hardly cold enough to think it's really winter. I have a few plants that have never really decided it's winter at all.

As for the commonality, I suppose I just try to know myself, and hopefully I'm a fairly average Joe.

Thanks for coming by. Thanks, everyone, for continuing to come over and say hello.

MB said...

I like the idea of a story done in this form. I imagine the haiku pieces almost as illustrations, or perhaps as commentary, or even as subplot! The possibilities are endless. What fun!

Firehawk said...

MB,

Perhaps I'll get 'round to it at some point in the next month or two...

Bill said...

Winter's been odd here too... temps in the upper 60's for a couple of weeks now... lows overnight in the mid 40's... 50's on a few nights... very strange indeed.

On one hand I 'miss' the winter... on the other I've been enjoying that the furnace runs rarely!!

Jackal said...

These parts really stood out -

'The mountains, highlighted in an almost supernatural clarity, seem as if they are the holy icon in a picture from the Renaissance, they the haloed might of the world,'

Stunning imagery conveyed.


'The day seems stopped, but I know that is a lie, for don’t all days seem stopped,'

Excellent and thought provoking!

Firehawk said...

Jakal,

Welcome! Thanks for coming by and making a comment. Thanks, also, for the kind things you say about the poetry. Many happy returns!

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