keeping time. in keeping with time. a kept woman. shackled by circumstance. the evidence? circumstantial. as was her birth? No. her birth was planned. but the planners based their plan on circumstances beyond their control. but that was then. when she was on a leash. and now, she is kept. shackled. customary? yes. the links of the binding chains: usual and customary. she roams in her mind, less shackled. still not free. think you she misses the taut flesh of her youth; those masques? her roles in them. shackled then to lush form. as it always has been; so it continues to be. nymph shackled to tree; mermaid to sea. unrestrained women, bound. yet sub rosa unruly free. lush beneath the corset stays plush beneath the lacings. rogue and tongue-in-cheek unchecked; behind the rouge a loosened widow piqued.
when I was a kid like most kids I thought I’d live forever (though I also knew this was my last time ‘round) and I certainly thought 70 was nigh near ancient and yet here I am as of two days ago 70 ! and gleeful to report almost all the things I gathered, was told, or learned indirectly from listening to old folks speak about themselves are absent from my life no stiffening of my limbs nor any other of the common debilitations of ageing physical or mental and those of my ideas which are “set” have been so since I was that kid are about the importance of love and the Connectedness of all things and those things most important to me then reading writing the Outback cats other Beloveds of all stripes the work of hands words unruliness speaking my mind remain my passions as intensely today as they were all those years ago I could not wish for more personally and for the world I continue to wish for what has eluded we, the species: peace plenty and that blend of reason and emotion that invigorates the spirit and which would make us truly sane
there are kisses and kisses here I mean the ones shattering perspectives of loneliness and I am overcome by fleeting visions of lips speaking the body language of the ur-tongue here is the autumnal morning mist hiding the frosted kiss upon the leaf fall the good night sleep tight kiss of growing season’s end grace note to beckon winter sleep here is the kiss lips and tongue forming words silently offered up in sing-song praise of the gem before your eyes its many facets reflecting all the true you’s brought together in burning focus of brilliantine mineral kisses here are star kisses traveling for eons to cool kiss your night body into fire after a day of bright solar kisses and clouded rain kisses here are my kisses traveling the length of your person word kisses wandering into your ear whispering lip kisses into the shallow at your throat, into the nock of your elbow into the navel sump left after your fall into the grace of life here is the intimate kiss of acceptance your body projecting into mine to be rapt and wrapt in the wellspring well sprung kiss of slick interior walls here are the kisses you have bestowed on me over all this distance from the back side of the moon from lover’s tombs from the spoken words echoing out of the ink long dried on the page from the tales you told peeking in at the kitchen window under the willow from under the mushroom’s gills from out the hazelnut’s shell from the taste of salmon on my thumb kiss me again, my loves, as I lay my lips on you
fingers talk the voices in my head thought stalking fingers voices captured linger in the eye let entrance into other heads and there is singing wood metal string sing along smack the drum tenderly tap tap pat it song of the skin skin drives the mindsong out of brain out of skull throat opens sings its song
directions at random feet tempted to take a flying leap found one fly agaric a temptation of visions half mad truths mundane in some elsewhere here the local talents assemble their wares: the silkworm spins a tapestry in languid dream of bat flickers across the backyard sky guided by his inaudible song cloven prints by the creek all that remains of a satyr passing through this woman seated among mayapple parasols needles her canvas with silken threads stories the tracks and trackbacks of all that passes
currently I sit in the midst of a Nor’easter though I’d prefer more snow than is forecast the wind roars and at the head of my bed the window has a missing piece about the size of a quarter the storm window does not keep the wind out baby gusts swirl around my head as the roar lifts and falls it’s almost too exciting to sleep through I revert or progress depending upon your perspective to the sleep pattern of the cats: sleep whenever you’re sleepy; otherwise be awake through the day/night cycle any hour might find me awake or asleep I coil up and huddle under covers available in the three rooms where I spend major time excepting the kitchen where I stay warm being active one of my favorite seasons THE favorite when it is newly upon us and unveiling its unruliest face drawing up and into my head (and my knitting) I amuse myself with fancies which involve more activity than the season encourages in me it is a hunkering down that pleases me though I have resolved to go Out more rather than use the Wonder of the Out to enhance the Wonder of the In/n and to take my camera though my camera does not care for the cold necessitating the use of body heat to warm it between shutterings. . . frost and froth simmer and stew winter words of power the stark of it all enchants me
it happens every time before the event I already know just how it will unfold in me I’ll watch the snippets of welcoming in parties starting with Auckland and moving through the time zones one by one and every celebration I watch has the same effect: almost immediately I begin to tear up and as the countdown proceeds and the camera pans between the descenting or ascending ball and the crowd between the kissing and the fireworks between the strains of auld ange syne or whatever else they may all be singing and the shouts of excitement it becomes difficult to fight back the urge to let my tears become weeping and inside it is as if my heart somersaults with feeling all this over a date designating the beginning of a new year the precise day for which has varied over time and place generally between January 1st (after January was added to the calendar around 700BCE) and March 1st (a nod to the newness coming with the vernal equinox) until Pope Gregory XIII more or less fix’t January 1st as the beginning and eventually decades centuries pass here it became THE New Year’s Day you see how arbitrary it all is and yet there I am year after year my heart somersaulting my eyes full of tears I think I figured it out last night in the midst of the experience my reaction is to optimism a perceptual attitude toward the universe which is to my mind too little on display but on New Year’s Eve it makes a boffo annual appearance the memes of fear the doom and gloom about the state of the world especially the state of human affairs always on gnerous display and yammering in our ears are shut in the closet and everyone who comes out comes out without them lest you feel badly for these abandoned memes do not worry yourself as they are on the playground most every other day of the year and while the revelers let out their optimism they are being attended behind closed doors by the depressed the curmudgeonly the terrified the joy slayers I am a year round optimist as far as my own perceptual attitude goes and so frequently I am a minority of one among moaners groaners and whingers I try to avoid being with them en masse en messe and it happens less and less often as time goes by but to see it in full bloom as people cheer and hope for a better time in the immediate upcoming future well it moves my heart to somersaulting and my spirit to joyous weeping I nurture the wish that the feel of optimism and its consequent effects could be realized by/for these crowds all the other days of the year