Ancient covered wooden bridge
spanning across running creek
flowing coolly over feet
Visited Niagara Falls on a Friday in July
Haven’t been able to write since the
primal power, colossal volume of water
horizontal speeding blues and greens to
gorgeous white rushing falls fogged the
mind leaving any other views dry in awe
Stood with open mouth wide eyes
deafened ears, smothered imagination
Still haven’t found my words for anything
else, and it’s August
This is from a diary note from June 7, 2014, while we were in Wichita, Kansas. I never published it because a lot of things were going on back then. I think I was waiting for a plane to California to see my Dad, who had been diagnosed with liver cancer, but has since been in un-looked for remission!
Boisterous country music,
rivers of voices bouncing off the walls,
around, back, forth, deafening,
murmuring, laughs, words,
conversations, peanut shells
cracking, dropping on the floor,
pans and dishes clanging, silver
ware clinking, cooking clatters,
strong scents of peanuts, hot
breads, grilled steaks, all
at the Texas Steakhouse in Wichita, Kansas
“Another pretty graveyard! And right next to the road!”
“It’s a cemetery.”
“It’s a graveyard. See the graves? I don’t see any cemets.”
“It’s a cemetery, people don’t like using the word graveyard anymore.”
“Well, la de da! Graveyard has been the word for eons, and who are these people anyway?”
He shakes his head.
“Well, I’m going to research this and show you!”
A day later.
“Okay, here’s the scoop. A graveyard is usually a burial section next to a church building. Cemetery comes from the Greek koimeterion and that means dormitory or resting place, and it’s usually a burial area located around the outskirts of town. Cemeteries happened when towns became populated and the graveyards got too full. Interesting.”
“So, I was right.”
“Okay, you were right about the cemetery business (gag) but not that people don’t like using the word graveyard anymore!”
He shakes his head, but with a triumphant, yet wisely invisible, smile.
“What’ the temp say?”
“One? You mean like one degree?”
“Well, the car must be off its rocker, ‘cuz it doesn’t feel like one!”
Just then we pass the United School sign, surrounded by snow, with its temperature discovery posted.
“That said three degrees!”
I contemplate the universe for a few seconds; the Husband keeps glancing blank-faced at the temperature gauge.
“Well, I guess I don’t know what one degree feels like, then, do I?”
“Me neither! It still says one!”
There exists the stray person among us who lives her whole life not knowing that she is actually a Barn Person, until one day she moves to a land loaded to the gills with new, old, colorful, sagging, huge, small, single-deckers up to quadruple-decker barns. Barns are on every hill, in every valley, climbing hillsides, or even existing as part of houses like in Europe. When this stray person among us gazes upon such story book barn scenery, she inexplicably wells up with tears, sensing overwhelming bliss from even the land, the trees, farm houses, fences, horses, and cattle that surround the barns; and she constantly whispers or chokes out, “It is so beautiful!” pronouncing every consonant slowly and clearly. This stray person’s spouse has to pat her on the hand and continue driving around more curves, each one creating new tearful, happy, emotional outbursts of “It is so beautiful!”
A long train, with empty freight car flats, hurdles off to the right
A long train, with fully loaded freight cars, hustles off to the left
We’re stuck in the car waiting
Eyes wide open, never having seen this sight before so close
Trying to focus on one train or the other or both
Husband says, “I’m getting dizzy! Are you?”
I just close my eyes and nod.