May 9th, 2004

munkacsy_parc_monceau

Shadowbox

Brief night is half gone when the moon rises and the house across the street is unveiled, the light sliding down its facade of gray and white boards, thin shadows edging its moldings, its windows still dark but for tiny gibbous reflections. How squat it looks! I imagine some Victorian gothic in its place, rising pale in the new light, gables and turrets pressing into the surrounding foliage, a breeze-blown white curtain rippling in some upper window, a glimpse of dim interior wall revealed by a passing candle that may or may not be carried by a ghost. But the real moon exposes only a mid-twentieth century blandness, a vacancy without grace, thin and flimsy, crushed by the low slopes of its own roof, and yet -- in the commonplace silence of it, I envision dreams in which the mute must scream.

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hopper_summer_evening

Quiet

Just watching the evening cloud up and the green deepen, and listening to the cricket who has taken up residence under the wild plum bush directly outside my south window. It's difficult to track down a cricket, as their chirps echo, making it sound as though they were everywhere. I only spotted this one because it made a leap when I happened to be standing nearby. I think it likes me.

A while ago I took a look at the back yard of the vacant house next door. The grass there which was so green a couple of days ago is already turning brown due to lack of either irrigation or the usual spring rain. When untended grass begins to turn brown in early May, it is a sign of a dangerous fire season ahead. Now I will worry.

The scent of jasmine grows stronger each night. Having it bloom so early in the season is a bit disorienting. The fragrance is there when I wake from a nap, and for a moment I think I've slept until June. But in June there will be cherries, should nothing untoward befall the crop. The air already smelling of June makes me desire them, and all the other summer fruits. I will content myself with juice.

Small puffs of light are drifting across my view as the last sunrays ride the clouds toward advancing night. I will go out and watch them fade.