Thursday, September 18, 2008
You can’t be tying a string around your finger
Every time you have to remember
Why it is you went into the kitchen,
Or what is was you came into the garage for anyway.
You stand in front of the fridge,
In a room cluttered with thousands of memory joggers-
A block of carving knives, that lasting gift from your wedding,
The painted rose on a plate from a grateful patient,
A colonial tea canister from Williamsburg
With a key to stop its contents being purloined,
And the gallery of photographs held by magnets on the door,
And it is as if you were gazing at some rebuilt city,
Which has been completely redesigned
After an atomic bomb has wiped
All the definitive land marks off the map,
Wondering why you are there,
And what pressing task,
Which was screaming for attention,
Caused you to sleepwalk,
And if the tell tale signs of senility
Are already devastating your mind.
Then picking your way back to the bathroom
You peer into the mirror
Straining for the clue,
And with an Archimedean exaltation,
Discover the switch of memory
And reluctantly admitting your humanity,
Put your day back on track once more.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Just to the south of our port listing university town you come to San Jose’s seaside escape, Capitola. Not the brash broad walk on the surfers’ bay of Santa Cruz where foam clad Adonis’
sit splay-legged waiting to catch the next wave. Not the high-cliffed esplanade where dread-locked bongo-popping sixties throwbacks change their babies in the back of tired Volvos.
Not the city whose streets are strewn with gleaming handlebarred sturdy bikes ridden by stout broad armed women whose preferences and strength I would not question. No, but to the south, there is a charming almost Devonshiresque retreat, with Gayles’ Bakery to greet you as slip of the freeway, and where if you are lucky you may find a parking spot as you slip down the hill beside the creek which is overlooked by brightly colored resort homes.
The Capitola Creek is broad near the estuary and is crossed by a railroad trestle and a triple arched road bridge which join this beach town together. And each year on the Labor Day weekend a begonia festival is held, and decorated floats sail down the creek and around the lagoon for delightful entertainment and judging. Also being awarded prizes are the sand sculptures on the beach which by the next high tide will be all washed away.
The Family with Zoe Merrill on the bridge at Capitola
A Mayan Pyramid
A prize winning Octopus
Nessie all the way from Scotland
Buddy beating Phelps by a nose
A Sea lion
Away From The Page
For Christopher Covell who hintingly suggested I might be getting further along with my writing.
Three of my four primary distractions are seated above - my children
You might think that there is plenty of time
To trot out another chapter, and get that great work,
That opus magnum completed
And be off to the next inspirational flowering
That will dazzle your fans and bring elusive fame to your door.
For the washing up
And children’s homework are beckoning.
That broken toy, or the roses that need feeding,
The solution to a geometrical conundrum,
Or the value of X
Are all thrusting themselves forward
Demanding the last squirts of wakeful oxygenated blood
To be responsibly applied
To more pressing tasks.
Not more important,
But ahead in the line,
The litany of honey do’s
And unending parental duties
That keep me away from the page.
Neil Stewart McLeod 9/3/2008