Soap Bubbles

The roads are covered in ice again this morning. Soap-slick the local news calls it. It’s minus four even though the moon is hidden behind clouds. Leonard does what he needs to in the yard and runs back into the house to flop on the floor of the library. It seems we’re up to doing what needs to be done and then giving in to the stillness of these days.

And for once, I’m not feeling guilty about it. There are moments where my body starts itching, and my mind begins racing a little and it’s more pleasant than annoying. It’s like the presence of a nudging puppy that I reach out to pet and put off for just a few more minutes. Just a minute. I’m coming.

For all that I haven’t done this month, for all the activities I’ve dropped, this month has rushed by like a freight train. The one I hear right now, actually, causing the tracks to moan. A snap. I can imagine the spark from the wires above. It is an almost painful understanding – we can slow down, but the world does keep rushing around and under us. 460 meters per second.

I suppose there is a finish line. Billions of years from now. I’ve nothing to do with that. I’m just along for the ride.

“Catching up”: I’m working on letting go of this particular metaphor. Of course there are things to be done, and very real deadlines that come on schedule with the sun’s rising and sinking, and rising and sinking. But I can’t possible run faster than 460 meters per second when I fall out of step – when I feel myself out of sync.

This morning I am remember the warmth of a summer day. The cold, cold of the North Sea along my back while I float just a moment – knowing the ocean is alive under me, the currents flowing, fish hunting, the anemones patiently catching what they need when it swirls by.

A fragile bubble of breath.
This is my time out
before I dive in again.
A temporary divide
A molecular arrangement

A rearrangement of self
and of other
the sea on the horizon
steams against the setting sun
wolves take shape, moving towards night

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4 Comments

  1. Ren. Your poem is simply – fantastic. And, may I say, I profoundly appreciate your providing the personal context and reflections that preceded it. So few people bother to do that – I really felt like you were letting me into your life just a little bit.

    Yours,
    David

    • Thank you, Ben. I’ve always liked haibun, but felt restricted. It’s very odd that I just stumbled on Tanka Prose as a form (seeing as how I have been studying formal poetry for years). This form feels like a natural extension of my writing practice.

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