yesterday i walked for two and a half hours and was baptized in the spirit Mar 12, 2024

do you know what it's like to walk without pain?
how could you, if you never walk with pain?

the sky is always changing
black and blue and white and gray
the clouds have so many textures
and their edges different colors

water flows along the side of the road
washing dirt into miniature banks
sitting slick by the sewer grate
or running clear, down eroded ledges into the river
which runs under driveways and the road
off behind the houses, fenced away
later surfacing again
as an afterthought beside the pavement
you know, the roads really change the way you see
they change what 'terrain' means
no longer hills and forests and valleys
but streets and curves and guard rails
i try to train myself
to see the hills underneath the houses
the spaces between as open
and the forests waiting to spring up

certain birds you only hear in the swamp
certain thoughts you only think
when you're not thinking

i find myself beside the river
settling into a bench like a skunk cabbage
blooming to the sparkling water
and the leaves slinking by underneath
hiding brown suits, businesslike in the current
places to be
i think about calling my mom
saying can't you hear the river
but i can't bring myself
to speak

there is a voice inside of me and a voice outside of me
one speaks english and the other temperature, light,
motion, stasis, and growth. the trees sit so comfortably
reaching up at the sky like that.
they have grown hard in tiny ways, to sit so comfortably
their bodies the record of their journey
splitting the sky for a meal of the sun

yes, i am judging you
for how far over into the other lane you get as you pass me
on these back forest roads without a sidewalk
you in your thousand pounds of metal and here i am
with a woven hat and a few bones
do you try to squeak past
if someone else is coming the other way?
or do you stop?
how valuable is your time
and what will you risk
for a few seconds?
do you put things back where you found them?
do you smile at others?

i pass the schools i went to as a child
different and the same, my favorite teacher is gone
but she gave me her copy of the little prince
and a part of her spirit, like a flame
which doesn't diminish when it gives of itself
there are some things that die and some things that don't
two boys playing basketball on the court
and i can't tell what they're saying
through the wind and the blinding rays
of the sun


yesterday i walked for two and a half hours and was baptized in the spirit

all writing, chronological
previous: when the sky breaks, and the raw power of the universe roars in every direction