The temperature prepares to depart the station
At the aforementioned time, but akin to nothing
It never does.
The man invented time for himself
So that at least he had some company
As he studied cows
And the glint of light cresting hillsides in the afternoon,
How it operated on everything he could see.
His observations went wild awhile,
Most of his early forties spent condensing time
Into solitary comments on nature.
His mind ranged;
“This range is thousands of years old,
It has the run of the place. Uplift.
Hay was born here, it fills the place, uplift.
Field after field of grass, neatly mowed or bestraggled,
As you cut through them, you start to get a sense of the place,
This isn’t town, it’s country and county, you’re in it now.”
The afternoon haze pours over the mountains,
This is a landscape like no other.
It’s simplicity a contrivance. A simulacrum.
An alternate reality mirror of parallel natures;
This exact scene I’ve seen before.
Like memory doubling itself to momentarily mask
A more direct question.
A thought you wanted back, a voice you no longer hear,
The sonority of it lost to the passing,
Each day a little softer version of it plays,
Streaming down towards this lane, this bend in the road,
This valley, this county, this air.
Beyond, the stark whiteness of paddock fencing, then
A pond, bridge and barn rising into the earth behind it.
The turn in the road--41st Street, in Boulder County,
Seemed like it would capture any season
In its prime.
For now it was heavy with the debts of fall,
Broken leaves, dying moss, the silhouetting of itself.
A body picks leaves of skin off itself
And leaves nothing for winter to harvest.
So when time was invented you could now count,
Seconds, minutes, days, weeks, years even.
You could count, you had something to do
And the boredom would pass
Shading itself from future harassment.
Still, the cows could not know.
Not what we do.
The season passes before you without much bother.
You capture certain days wholly,
While others are missed entirely.
There’s a presence about you,
But only sometimes does it shimmer.
Is this on the way to the regular spot?
Frosted, the light angles everywhere
Shouting at you in its way.
The demand of looking constantly,
Being asked always to translate, and always
Letters to write
And always dead friends and people having hardships
All around you. Do you endure?
I’ve been lucky in that regard but then there’s a sense of distance
To brothers and mothers and other extended family members,
A sort of avowed hush,
We both know there’s nothing really to say
Tea for two, cake for nine, take your time,
Disappear down a country road in the Autumn.
Suddenly you’re in the past haunting ghosts you exiled yourself from,
Secretly you knew you’d have to reckon with them
At one point or another.
Capture the grass as it silks through your fingers
Dusting the skin with mustard dirt. The postcards
Write themselves into the earthen memory,
Sketching messages like boots in mud,
They cake the floors with remnants of soil.
Rubbing it all over
You catch a hint of something familiar,
An odor of caramelization that lingers
Fresh in the mind, deep in the nose,
Right behind the eyes.
It’s evening now, the people are settling in for the night,
Into their routines, pastimes, habits and rituals;
These things we do to fill up the time.
To really engorge the time with so much life,
We did this, we did that, “here!
This is my record of it, I insist that you attend to it,
Give it your all,
Validate my offering as worthy and enviable, of driving a sort of jealousy
Into your heart,
Where it shall remain.”
Was I successful in this endeavor? Was there ever a reason to begin?
Sometimes we just do things; we just end up doing them.
In the race to discover just what it is about ourselves
We find so fascinating,
We pause at the very same bend in the road,
And consider if there’s some motivating agent.
Writing in the afternoon as the sun flows
Can give one a sense of calm that permeates
For awhile. And that calm is natural
While the skin breathes again through fresh pores
Scrubbed of obsolescence.
There is newness awake in you
Like grass preening towards the setting sun
Galloping for one last drink of warmth, stretching itself for it,
And laying back drunk with satisfaction
Steels itself against the oncoming moon and its winter affectations.
October, 2017 Boulder