Wednesday, August 17, 2011

present tense life sentences

The great tree on the corner of the front yard stretches, back cracking, sending a shower of dead bark and limbs to scitter-skat among the mulch at its base. An old crow laughs from its perch in a not too distant neighbor.

It is cooler here at the edge of autumn's dress. It slips over her head and descends now over her brittleness. Still the day will be hot and we'll look back on this moment, of a vapor mouthed cup of coffee to our lip, and wish for it to return.

The new kitten, still fresh from her mom, chases after her sister, elder by twelve years, dogging her steps. Swatting its nose in annoyance, she cries to the young kit, "Don't rush."

Crickets chirrup. Soft clouds troll the blue sky, mighty white whales breaching for breathe. Sun drips its slow ascent, up the hour glass. Grass needs cut, but that can wait. An ant builds its kingdom, one bit of dirt at a time.

Skin firm, flesh crisp, I eat my breakfast, apple, one small bite at a time, though I know it already browns.

Today is a Present, I'd rather unwrap with gentle touches.

written for Imperfect Prose.

OpenLinkNight remains open all day at dVerse Poets Pub, where I am hosting, so if you have not joined in with your own poetic notions, stop on by.

93 comments:

David Allen Waters said...

you paint such a picture. Time is such a gift, and you know just how to cherish it.

Bravo

Ruthiey said...

Loved the first bit about the tree stretching. Ah, morning. Always love to come to your blog, Brian.

becky said...

The descriptive phrasing of the earth lets me ride along on words...splendid writing.

Heaven said...

What a beautiful morning it is...
rich with images, and capturing that golden time.

lovely words:
"Today is a Present, I'd rather unwrap with gentle touches"

Sue said...

Lots of ambience here.

I particularly liked this line:

"Sun drips its slow ascent, up the hour glass."

=)

Fred said...

Brian, some really nice phrases and imagery in this piece. The trees and the gardeners and ants really bring the nature element into a continuity and focus. Nice write

Pat said...

So many beautiful sentences here......love the imagery!

PattiKen said...

This reads like a bit of time-stop photography, frame by frame detailing the new day. Lovely.

Pat Hatt said...

Yes time is always on the run
And we'll never get everything done
So should just remain in the present whenever possible
descriptive as ever, getting wrapped up in it is impossible

Daniel said...

You have written on this theme before. This one is another take on that theme of appreciation of being still and taking time to enjoy the here and now. Good work.

Monkey Man said...

Stay in the moment.

Betsy said...

Your day is exactly like mine...from coffee to coolness to clouds...even cats. :) Enjoy...these are the wonderful, simple things of life.

Bonnie said...

So Thoreau-esque ... aware, still, present, appreciative ...

Thanks Brian.

drybottomgirl said...

This is fantastic. The imagery of the dress slipping over her head, the changing of the seasons, where you inside my head today?! I printed this one out, I will read it over and over. It's the exclamation point to my own "revelation"! :)

Eva Gallant said...

Beautiful stuff, but I think I love the last line best of all.

kaykuala said...

What pleasure, what bliss! Coffee by the garden with birds and cats playfully nearby.Beautiful writing!

AmyLK said...

taking time to start each day gently is something that a lot of people do not do. and today was a lovely day for a slow, gentle start!

Tara Miller said...

I love this peacefulness...of life...our life. Your last lines are perfect and help me to remember today...to slow down. Thanks love.

Today is a Present, I'd rather unwrap with gentle touches

li said...

Love the ants building their kingdom. i used to watch them for hours as a kid. (And played god by alternately blessing them with cookie crumbs and plugging their entrances with grass blades.)

Jinksy said...

And savour every sip of each new day...

Valerie said...

I was swept away, enjoying a new favourite. Terrific imagery, Brian.

happygirl said...

I love how you made your day slow today and I made the year fly by. :)

Captain Dumbass said...

Oh, that was good

J said...

It is cooler here at the edge of autumn's dress....soft clouds troll the blue sky....

Your personification is brilliant! And it makes me want to grab an iced coffee and sit on down by the river to notice nature a bit more. Except my two year old would be in the river in 2 seconds flat! ha. A girl can dream, though, right?

Jen said...

Wishing for some coolness here and yet, when winter appears, I will be wishing back for her summer's majesty to reappear. Wishing for some quiet, and yet, when school begins anew, perhaps I will be wishing for more noise.

I will take hold of what I have and cherish it.

Claudia said...

this reminds me...our grass needs cut as well..but who would destroy such a beautiful and peaceful morning mood with a lawn mower..i love the bit with the ant..one step after the other...this is how kingdoms are built..

Help! Mama Remote... said...

Sounds like summer is.winding down. Thanks for the visual escape.

hedgewitch said...

There's more poetry in this little gem than in many many pages out there. You have a knack with phrase, turning a few words into a very living picture, then another and another. You fill the piece with a sense of autumn impending--'at the edge of her dress' is just a great line-- but summer still holding her own, every moment savored. Excellent writing, brian.

Baino said...

Hmm longing for days like that. Spring is on it's way

Titanium said...

Autumn's dress has a sopping wet hem, here, drenched from her splashing through puddles and wreaking havoc with leaf-color. It's so good to see the season change through your words and eyes; tranquility is personified, peace prevails.

Cinner said...

You know you really do paint a visual picture...you could be in my yard because that is whats going on here today, your words just make it seem that much more perfect. thank you.

natalee said...

What a vivid pictureyou painted..I missed your writing while I was MIA my friend

Natasha said...

Easy does it...nothing worse than ruining the beautiful packaging with impatient fingers (there's a life lesson in that statement!) Thanks for the stolen moment, the cause to pause and make me realize that for the past 8hours I've been a zombie! I'm going to open my present now, thanks for reminding me I had one! ;)

Betty said...

Beautiful day. I'd like to be there.

Bethany Ann said...

six times i wished i'd written that!

Pastor Sharon said...

This is lovely! So, Autumn is calling your name to huh?

That little kitty needs to come this way to my house. It just sounded so sweet.

But, when you write, even the apple sounds lovely for breakfast and that is one fruit I'm not fond of.

rosaria said...

Ah,savor each bite.

Magpie said...

"It is cooler here at the edge of autumn's dress."
OMG, Brian. What a line!
Autumn is my favorite time of year. We need it here in Arizona so badly.

ayala said...

A beautiful morning...and you have to savor it with small bites...because this moment is all we have.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

"Today is a present"...tomorrow is a gift. Beautifully done as usual...

Pheromone Girl said...

Understanding that each day is a gift is quite an accomplish. Go off and enjoy while the sun shines!

Vodka Mom said...

you have an incredible talent- and we are all so lucky to wrap ourselves in it.


xx

blueviolet said...

You need to take bigger bites of that apple, then maybe it wouldn't turn brown!

Lisa notes... said...

There are always multiple things in your writings that catch my ear. Tonight it is "to scitter-skat". Your words make me feel. Tonight it is joy.

Mama Zen said...

Nice! Beautiful imagery.

lori said...

I'm loving that last line as well as all your present-tense sentences :) it's a wonderful gift to be able to live in the moment. I am thankful when I am able to, but it's not always easy.

KB said...

Love the last line. Life is a gift.

adeeyoyo said...

Savour the new day, Brian, quickly before the apple turns brown... I love the way you see things!

adeeyoyo said...

Sorry, that comment was an oxymoron, haha!

Tracy said...

it's nice when things are not hurried. details are kept on spot. loved being in the present, too.

gayle said...

You are such a wonderful writer!

Ed Pilolla said...

it is cooler here at the edge of autumn's dress is quite lovely, but of course i'm partial to season speak these days:) at the edge of that dress is exactly where i feel here in august, with a shadowy, cool evening like right now.

Old Ollie said...

Like this - great style.

Margie said...

This one is one of my most favorites!
So much beauty in it!

The present is all we have and it's such a gift!
Your appreciation of the present moment comes through loud and clear in this writing!
Loved this!
Thank you!

Margie :)

Cindy said...

mmmmmmmmm - it was a little like sitting out on our breezeway, sipping a morning shot of caffeine...I especially liked the final line:
"Today is a Present...unwrap with gentle touches"

I think it might find its way into some art...

Cloudia said...

painstaking capture of natures quietude!


Aloha from Waikiki;


Comfort Spiral
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Jyoti Mishra said...

Best thing about this post is the simple n subtle way u have woven the situation in your words.
Loved it.

owlmeetsfairy said...

moments in time, I always enjoy your writing so much, glad I stopped by from emily's

elizabeth said...

This one is my favorite...how many of yours have I said that about?

G-Man said...

Son...
You can be as poetic as you like.
It's what you do!

ladyfi said...

Oh, this is so beautifully lyrical and captures the moment perfectly.

pandamoniumcat said...

Oh this is just beautiful, I loved every moment you unwrapped...

Lorraine said...

a delight to savour slowly, you are so awesome

Just Be Real said...

I am so amazed of the gift of words that you can string along in a sentence and make it so powerful. thank you Brian.

Dave King said...

All excellent, but the first two para's really exceptional.

Heather said...

oooh, i am with you on this...what's the rush? I love this one....so many beautiufl lines - enjoy your day -

ells said...

Today is a Present...I'd rather unwrap it with gentle touches...just a beautiful reminder to drink in each moment.
Thanks for stopping by my place..
Blessings~

Syd said...

Such a great way to start the day. Thanks, Brian. Autumn in Virginia brings back wonderful memories. Indian summer, school starting, new books, fall leaves.

annell said...

The last line wraps it up your poem as it speaks of gentle unwrapping.

TALON said...

It's wonderful when a day is allowed to unwrap itself rather than to be forcefully unfolded.

Mona said...

I like the attention to the detail here :)

Life with Kaishon said...

Truly beautiful Brian.
You always write so powerfully.
Thank you for sharing.

Cheryl said...

I feel this deeply in my bones. They ache.

Lolamouse said...

beautiful description. live in the moment.

Sheila Moore said...

ha - we are thinking along the same lines today (wrote mine before I came here to read yours even :) today is a present indeed. "edge of autumn's dress" - love that!

Someone is Special said...

very beautiful Brian. Loved it..

Someone is Special

Whosyergurl said...

Brian,
Beautiful words, strung together perfectly. Feed my soul.
Cheryl

Daydreamertoo said...

What a wonderful wake up, to a morning so perfectly painted.
Your writing at times is just... wow~!
Lovely Brian.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"Today is a Present, I'd rather unwrap with gentle touches."
Hi! Brian...
Once again,
What a very well-written and descriptive poem.
Sweet, simple, pure, I *smiled* after reading your words and warmth permeated within...Mood: I'm happy!

Thanks, for sharing!
deedee ;-D

Connie@raise your eyes said...

Late to this gathering at the bard's, but wanted to say that I catch a whiff of autumn as I read "at the edge of autumn's dress"...

sharmishtha said...

lovely story brian, your stories are grasping and amazingly vivid.

Scott said...

I'm catching up on my blog reading. Um, imperfect prose? Looked pretty perfect to me! I really liked how you painted a picture of autumn in the second stanza. And you wrapped it all up nicely with that last line. Delish!

william said...

great imagery in this one mate, well written :)

secret agent woman said...

Lovely. But I'm not ready to be at the edge of autumn.

Hilary said...

Absolutely beautiful, Brian. I love summer but you make this end of season sound so perfect.

emily wierenga said...

It is cooler here at the edge of autumn's dress.

there are so many lines i love in this, but this is perhaps my favorite. i also love the reminder to not rush... this is brilliant writing, brian. your prose just keeps getting better (as if that's possible!).

riverurkepoetry said...

The wonders of a day. Nice :)

Goofball said...

what a beautiful moment, thanks for sharing it with us

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Beautiful. Congrats on your POTW.

missing moments said...

This is beautiful! Found you at Hilary's. Congrats on your POTW! I'll be stopping by much more often!

Stafford Ray said...

One of your best. Loved the idea of unpacking the day gently, savouring each unfolding moment.

Barb said...

I liked every last bite of this, Brian. Visiting from Hilary's place. Congrats on POTW.

Bethany Ann said...

i linked to this one today.