I look down from the roof
over Madison Ave and watch
people enter and emerge from yellow streetlights,
bobbing heads and umbrellas,
taxis speed near and far, the rain
softens the constant chatter and the voice
questioning and answering everything at once.

Through 10 to 20 story buildings I see the
reservoir a few blocks away and the cold dark
reflection of more city lights, the tall tree
shadows scatter with each rain drop
and I wonder the state of mind
of the nature within the city park, seemingly
caught in a vortex shielding the flora and fauna
from the towering skyscrapers and buildings,
the chaos that arises in the evening and after dark.

Where do the ravens hide?

This is not my home, these are not my roots.
Smells, sights and sounds do not illicit any memory or longing for something
else beyond here. I breath deep and slow, let the
scent simmer – nothing.

Even the touch of green leaves in my hand, with closed eyes,
does not momentarily bring me home.

What roots should I plant here? What lies within
to allow the cityscape a lighted path inside?

But I feel a bit at peace and home
as the nooks and crannies beneath the towering apartments
hidden mere blocks away from the BMWs and Bentleys
welcomes with open arms and cold beer.

The red painted steel rail is cold and wet
as I find balance looking over the ledge at the
street below.

Above me the moon struggles to overcome thick, heavy clouds,
a glimmer of light illuminates the water tower and I begin
to feel the attraction to this city always awake
always on the edge.

The corner of 92nd and Madison captured
fragments, scattered pieces, slowly
chipping away at thoughts and emotions
and without taking notice
peace sweeps over me and I look
down each street through the rain
falling harder and with more purpose
and I realize that I do not miss home,
no I do not miss where I flew from – what
I miss is blending and truly living
within something that does not judge.

Lights flicker from wind tossing
newspaper and discarded coffee cups
along Madison Ave.

Rooftop trees sway and their green leaves
dance in waves of reflected color.

I hear music. I see the city slowing down.
A chance to breath, a respite
from the hectic hours that pass and the energy
drained away into other things, other objects.

At the end of each day my body and mind
collapse in a lifeless lump
upon the rented queen bed
and thoughts of sleep pervade.

No dreams, the slate is cleared of the
previous days experiences and I awake
with a vigor and determination to live
the day as if tomorrow will not arrive.


Photos Copyright Twisted Root Photography

I imagine one his photographs might look like this:

Given the current conflicts across this land and the earth, this timeless poem from the late John Haines conveys the words I have no voice for.


How strange to think of those street
sand vacant lots, the sandhills
where we played and dug our trenches;
the forts we built, the enemies
we conjured to aim our stick-guns at,
and then went home at evening,
to victory, to safety and sleep.

And now the vast acres of rubble,
the pitched and roofless houses,
upended stonework and sunken bridges.
The dog-packs roaming, digging,
for the one still-unclaimed victim;
the stray sniper aiming at dusk,
and in the roadside fields,
flowers that explode when picked.

The children wandering from one
burned suburb to another,
seeking that which no longer exists:
a neighborhood, a playing field,
a wading pool or a standing swing;
for a kite to fly, a ball to throw,
or just one pigeon to stone.

And through all this haunted vacancy,
from cellars and pits of sand,
come and go as on a fitful wind
such whispers, taunts and pleadings:
the scolding voices of dead parents,
the lessons of teachers no longer
standing, whose classrooms
are blown to ash and smoky air.

And far-off, unheard beyond the drone
of a single hovering aircraft –
in Paris, Zurich, Prague, or London,
the murmur of convening statesmen.


From:
For the Century’s End
Poems 1990—1999
by John Haines
Seattle and London: University of Washington Press.

I imagine one his photographs might look like this:

 

 

I imagine one his photographs might look like this:

 

 

On 10-FEB-2018, Icelandic musician and film score composer Jóhann Jóhannsson passed away at the young age of 48.  Words are still failing to describe the atmospheres his music created and the depths in which I would be lost within them.  I was able to attend two concerts that came through MN over the years and must now be content with their lasting impressions.

  • 6/30/2009 at the Southern Theatre
  • 5/8/2010 at The Cedar

Of the 15 albums and musical scores I have had the privilege of listening to, these are my favorites and ones that provide inspiration when writing or putting an end to the day.

  • And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees
  • Arrival
  • Englaborn
  • Orphee
  • The Theory of Everything

More information and complete music catalog is on the official website at: http://www.johannjohannsson.com

I imagine one his photographs might look like this: