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

A quiet evening as the dust settles
and chaos is held at bay,
watching the sunset
with nature’s creatures.

Simple.

These moments defining a life
provide peace and a bit of
knowledge grounding our place
to and within the world.

“Which way home?”

She asked in child’s voice.

“This way, into the sun.”

I replied, pointing up the slope at the muted

late winter sun at the path’s end.

“We all come from the sun.”

That cabin in the woods,
nestled beneath second generation pine
planted after the last logging,
waits for our visit.

Snow caught in tree-tops
meanders through the winter sky
covering the green roof in a smooth
slope where acorns speed to the ground.

Ravens ever present toward the open fields,
near the old silo base, they rule the open sky
with acrobatics and voices blanketing
the otherwise quiet space.

The nest in the overhang now empty.
Somewhere deep in the woods they watch
with caution and curiosity as the dogs
run circles around that cabin in the woods.

When this life’s pace and chaos
become too much I know where I can turn.

I return to my roots,
I return to the empty fields.

Here is a clean slate waiting
for the mind to create.

They offer possibilities,
an endless space to chase and capture dreams.

This is where the mind can exist
without limitations or boundaries.

This is home.

The pine tree lined path
covered with early season snow
beckons for me to follow
and with eyes closed.

Shifting through photos
I feel no connection, no recognition
to the person with time and years
ahead of them, looking to the future.

Pausing at one in particular in the midst of summer,
oak leaves burning with white light,
the sun slowly fading into the horizon
behind the hill at the street’s end.

What was etched into the mind
when the image became a permanent
moment tossed into a shoe box?
What was the last thought defining that moment?

Years will pass and that young face
will undergo an outward expression
of the strife, agony, depression, and final transformation
built upon the experiences, cast from the struggle.

In time what we are in this life
circles back to the foundation,
the hands pushing up from the earth,
the roots feeding a child’s growth and imagination.