Last week in the rains, a frog leaped out from a row of yellow beans I was harvesting and landed directly in my bucket about three feet away. As the bucket was almost full, and as I was on my knees, the frog and I were instantly eye-to-eye and intimate, his eyes showing greenish-yellow, mine maybe grayish-blue. I didn’t say anything, the frog didn’t say anything. And so we became studies for each other, two strangers trying on their Taoist way.
But before too long, I reached for a bean and tossed it, a long yellow bean in short flight across the divide to land perfectly perpendicular across the frog’s back and balancing there like a see-saw. The frog, greenish all over and web-footed, bumpy, squat and handsome. Yet not moving. Not flinching. Not twitching or pooping. All the frog could muster, it seemed, was to double down.
So I did likewise. I doubled down. There in the mud holding steady and watching the frog, the balancing yellow bean. His skin my skin. His feet my feet. His heart my heart. Our shared equilibrium, our shared jostle of bones, grievances, sunsets, our in-creeping earthly disappearance. Man and frog maybe not so dissimilar after all.
And then the frog jumped and disappeared into the same row of beans he had emerged from.
That’s how it ended.
When I looked in the bucket for the perpendicular bean, it was all just yellow.
From where I live on Saddleback Mountain the sky is blue as purest love just now. From west across to east, from north across to south, it’s the blue original, the blue Eve knew, the blue you wish of your friends, of your lover, of your song, this rarest of blue in perfect certainty.
OR THIS ONE Continue reading
Today in Steubenville, OH, a man shot and wounded the judge who was overseeing a wrongful death lawsuit again him. The shooter, who was killed, was the father of a Steubenville High School football player who, when he was 16, was convicted of raping a 16 year-old girl.
James Wright, a poet whose work was well known in the 1960’s and 70’s, was born in Martin’s Ferry, WV. Martins Ferry is next door to Steubenville, OH. It is (and was) coal country, and both towns and the area generally have always been stressed economically. Continue reading
I’m back with a photo. I went looking for something, and here’s what I found: This man leaping. It’s by Andre Kertesz. Who I had never heard of. But then there’s lots and lots of photographers, of course. But you dig and dig and sometimes you find something. A photo worth spending time with. Why? Because you can look at it and look at it. Like you can read a book and reread the book. Or listen to a song and re-listen to the song. Dylan, Monk, Monroe, Bach, Continue reading
For the last five minutes or so, six wild turkeys have been reaching for the last of last year’s fruit from one of our dwarf crab apple trees. Back-to-back snowstorms have elevated the birds such that with heavy hops up they can occasionally score fruit.
But mostly they miss. Mostly the turkeys have been going slowly around the tree, necks up-stretched, only to plunge time and again through snow up to their bellies. That and in-fighting, shoo-shooing each other away from the tree. Continue reading