Thunder rumbles in the distance
from the western horizon:
the promise of rain.

Good.

Body caked in sweat
baseball cap corralling
a Monday case of unruly hair.
Yet I resist a shower,
the groove of my day
doesn’t yet include
body wash and shampoo.

Not just yet anyway.

I’m enjoying this time alone
pretty much like every 24/7.
Why is that, I wonder?

Little plinks of rain,
staccato formation.
I sit under a shallow eave:
I’m protected enough.
Northwest sky is hazy,
the clouds heavy and full.

Bird feeders are still
just like the air.

Quiet envelops me
as it always does.
I don’t fear it.
I welcome the silence
and embrace it.
It fills me, somehow.

Butterfly high in the sky
against a backdrop
of encroaching cloud cover.
When the storm arrives
where will it fly?
Will it go wherever the elements take it?

Questions I’d not yet ever pondered.

I like it out here
surveying my world
my special place of retreat:
my sanctuary.

Clouds are moving northward
warm air from the south, then.
Atmospheric forces at play
for something spectacular, perhaps.
As with the silence,
I welcome this too.

There’s a throaty growl.
The storm is moving closer.

Mr. Monarch is flying lower now;
it glides and dips above the grass
unconcerned with wind speed,
precipitation,
temperature fluctuations.
I should be so nonchalant,
focusing solely on charting
my own travels and adventures.

My new winged friend
flits in and out of my line of sight
unwittingly imparting
new perspectives on how to live one’s life.

I shall remember this moment.

She leans into
his receptive body,
toggle set to INTEREST,
perhaps INTENT.

Other messages posted too,
aimed at all comers
male and female:
This is mine.
This is where I choose to be.

The boy stood still and smiled,
all warm inside.
He’d not ever known this.

And inside his eager brain,
a yellow neon light:
Proceed, but with caution.
Protect your heart.
Always.
Protect your heart.

Not friends. Not really.
Acquaintances with a common purpose.
Friendly enough but only to a point.
Don’t get too close.
That’s where the little black gadgets come in.
Sanctuaries.
Diversions.
Unflattering devices, however useful they may be.
However fun.

We no longer talk to one another.
We turn to our toys instead.
The divide deepens.

We’re losing ourselves, allowing it to happen.
The emperor has no clothes
yet we’re glued to five inch plates of aluminosilicate glass,
focused on nothing, really.

We’re trading our humanity
for screen time,
marching ourselves toward human obsolescence.

Here — take our souls too while you’re at it.
 

private places reside in the heart
— and in the soul

aren’t those the same thing
— she asked

hearts can be broken
— he told her

the soul lives on forever
— in the hearts of all that we cherish

Coco dreams of a mommy
with indestructible arms.
Legs immune to canine incisors,
hands slathered in creamy Jif,
her eyes blind to his sniffs and squats.

A mouth that never says NO.

But Coco needs love too.
Mommy’s gentle arms to hold him,
coaxing little puppy dreams:
Wild romps through fresh cut grass.
Good Boys! at every street crossing.
Her eyes wide open to his endearing ways.

Her heart forever taken,
their bond never to be broken.

I want.
What?

What’s that I crave?
What will content me?

The sun shines.
Pieces fall into place.

The world – my world – runs in an orderly fashion.
And I’m good.

It doesn’t
and I’m not.

Oh, little puppy.
Your boundless energy, those headlong rushes into joyous oblivion
both sustain and deplete me.
Every little thing is a wonder.
Every little thing a challenge, a toy,
a mystery.

You remind me how to live.

There’s me, playing Mike Mulligan
with ribbons of melted cheddar cheese
and crushed wheat crackers in a bowl of lukewarm chili,
excavating browned ground beef,
kidney beans swimming in cumin-tainted tomato sauce,
filling the waning gaps
of a once slender and youthful receptacle.
Then, Rocky Road for dessert. I deserve it.

Tomorrow, I’ll start eating better.