It was one of those warm and humid days.
When it’s like that in LA, it is
miserably smoggy, but here
it is just moody and gloomy—no rain—
in the mid-seventies, like me.
Drove and hour to Temple, Texas,
for tests (the answers to which I thought I knew)
and to see a new PA-doc
and then to get gas
and drive another hour back home.
It’s boring sitting and waiting,
but since this is a hospital, boring and routine are good.
No, “I’m sorry, Mister Bill, but … ‘oh, no’.”
I saw nicely dressed police or correctional officers escorting
a mildly overweight bald man in an orange jump suit
and fake shoes
with handcuffs in the front,
all making it hard for others to not stare and wonder.
It was not so boring thinking about that.
Got an obit email that morning.
Another high school classmate had died
(they say he passed to be euphemistic
as though he just kept driving).
Patrick Murphy (Murph)
was an artist and philosopher
of Irish descent, and a Vietnam War vet.
His obituary was more interesting than most.
Anyway, I shall not be
characteristically pointing out problems or deficiencies today
because Murph is dead, and I am not. It’s all good, thanks.
So, I’ll just sit here trying to remember him
from art class, I think,
and be happily bored on a gloomy day
in a hospital clinic waiting area
in Temple, fucking, Texas.
Looking both ways at the days of gloom and doom. Mind the gaps in loose cuffs and I wonder who wipes his butt.
Click the photo of Robin Williams and Matt Damon to watch this scene from the movie, Good Will Hunting.
Thanks to Rochelle @Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for another Friday Fictioneers inspirational photo, promulgated on Wednesday. Her weekly challenge is to write a story of 100 words or less based on the photo prompt, provided this week by J Hardy Carroll.
Title: Big Bend Kill Me, Save Me
Genre: Fiction (Texas Outdoors)
Word Count: 100
I was lost at night in the Chihuahuan Desert of southwest Texas. Thunderstorms flooded arroyos with torrents leading to the Rio Grande. Without overnight gear, rain soaked me. I couldn’t see as storms raged and lightning flashed.
A bolt struck near me. I felt an electrical burn run through my body. I was going to die. A nearby cactus caught fire and burned despite the rain. I crawled under a rock outcropping.
Park Rangers rescued me in the morning. Someone had seen my signal. I asked, What signal? They said, a tall pillar of yellow light pointed the way. Strange.
Look both ways and carry the ten essentials of survival.
Mind the gaps for flash floods.
I was, just now, sleepily standing safe in our kitchen
at oh five dark-thirty, Saturday, Texas morning time,
making number-one coffee, pondering plans,
rethinking walking rain-soaked muddy trails across flooded washes and creeks,
sudden total darkness ripped me,
chased by thunderous, deafening shooting blinding
white flashes of lightening impacted and replaced,
my life’s early morning tranquility,
unwelcomely scalding my serenity,
Look both ways when meteorologists warn of Nature’s hazards.
Mind the gaps for disruptions to the darkened peace of early mornings on the prairie.
The day 26 NaPoWriMo prompt encourages me to write a poem that includes images that engage all five senses (touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste). I’ve reached for this kind of writing in the past because I enjoy it. This is one I wish I had more time to work, but the deal is a poem a day, finished or not.
The Big Bike Ride
Special pants and socks and ankle-high boots,
jacket, sunglasses, and ear-plugs too.
Put on the gloves and crank her on up,
listen to the purr of ma sweet little pup.
Map and cell phone, no room for ma cup.
Turn her handgrip and feel her pull forward,
tap on her brakes, then turn on her blinker,
it’s left then right, to a big road we’re headin’ toward.
Feel as one this man and machine, search for a groove
as together we skate, and down the road, so swiftly we move.
Feel the freedom and the touch of the wind,
see other traffic and hope they see you.
Mowers ahead, oh yes, that smell of fresh-cut grass.
Getting hard, this seat could be a pain in my ass.
Onto that big road where the traffic will pass.
So many cars and big trucks run in this hot Texas sun.
Crank hard on her handgrip to push her big run,
zip into the traffic and all of its dangers, we are not
to this wind some unknown strangers. Cars and trucks,
unaware of chaos they cause, pushing air all around.
Racked by turbulent wind, we lean left then right,
be in control no matter the fight. Look all around
and hope they see us. Damn these trucks make a terrible sound.
Truck’s got some cooking hot tires and stinking back brakes,
add to this big deal, the unwanted odor of burning black diesel.
First thunder, then lightning, we tighten our grip.
The smell of the rain gives up its first tip.
No longer we see them, they cannot see us.
The downpour continues and collects in our saddle.
Up this creek, we need a boat and some paddles.
See the sign, take the next exit. Slow to be sure we find the road safe.
What if this, what if that? And the now to the rain – slowly it stops.
Soaked to our bones, with the taste of rain fresh in my mouth.
Together we dried, so onto the little farm road, we’re ready to ride.
Smell the clean air and sweet wild flowers, all country scents.
The danger is gone, the road is now ours,
lean into the turns and feel the fresh start.
Now it’s a good day to go on for hours.
See colorful flowers born in the fields,
and the green trees. Look at the streams, now running so free.
Look and lean into each turn, she feels the road and my soft touch.
See the cows looking at us. Behold the ride, feels so right.
Not too fast nor too slow, see horses and sheep as along we go.
As we smell mom’s apple pie, roll-on, smooth curvy road.
Now it’s all worth it that danger and fear are in the past.
Let’s pull on over, Honda my dear. This is Cow Creek,
and here we can rest. I will can eat lunch and read you this book,
sitting just there while you cool off your heat.
Maybe you’ll soften that firm and hot seat,
as I write this here poem and have something to eat.
(Bill Reynolds, 4/26/2018)
Rider? Look all ways. Mind the gaps. Mind everything. See, be seen!
My love, my Rain.
I pine to feel your life-giving touch,
Your cool caressing embrace; ah, and this –
to hear those rippling and rapping sounds of your rhythmic voice.
I want those old feelings you once brought to me,
that I may again enjoy your aqueous presence. Indeed, to rejoice.
I miss familiar coolness, that softness you bring to the heat of the day,
as you contrast sky with clouds, and you paint the blue away,
I miss feeling peaceful and calm as my senses delight
when you gently fall over a long summer’s night –
I excite in anticipation of your first drop, with your sweet dripping touch;
shower me, Miss, in the pleasures of your cool moist mist,
no less than my heavenly reward, is when you’re ever-so saucy,
and you graze on my skin as it covers my body.
Please drip me with precip, wonderful Rain. My friend, my lover;
bring into my thoughts your kiss from above,
be in my dreams. Sing your sweet soaked song to me.
You, the essence of life, as you always will be,
preciously close, come here with me, this life is ours.
Bring me your gifts of awareness and pleasure,
of consciousness, gratitude, and love me forever.
Where are you Rain? I miss you too much!
Playfully poke me with your pluvio-pleasures.
Show me your ways with nature’s wet treasures.
Sprinkle your affection all over this heart you bless;
Taste me. I’ll feel you near. I yearn for your watery caress,
glide across my eyes and down on my face, go hide
under my clothes, cover my body as you slide.
Touch me, dear Rain, where no one else can.
Where are you now? Fall here on your man.
Sing me your songs; play me your drum!
Match to my heartbeat, your musical rhythm
and the welcome-home tapping of your wet little dance.
Tell me with distant rumblings, per chance
how you save the world, how you knew
the first life. You created all that is true.
Sing softly as you send water over me
as you finally wash my misery to sea.
From clouds you descend, mixing torrent with nature,
as I take into my body your mischievous essence.
Allow me a smile as I acknowledge your substance,
into my heart, I take your sensuous vapor.
Into you, I ply my being, stroking romance with your scent.
Cascade over me. Where are you falling?
My lovely, loving Rain? You are heaven-sent.
Plunge decadent raindrops to wash and to ease
my dry scorched body to ebb away my gloom.
With dew-moist feet, we dance into the night. We breeze
through those puddles of love that share our delights.
Happily we move with bushes and leaves of the trees.
We delightfully smile at all the night lights,
seeing your wondrous mysterious intrigue.
Invitingly, I see in the distant dark sky,
your distinct flickering lightning, drawing me nigh.
Come closer to me, be with me Rain, rain and rain.
Mix with these gentle breezes again.
My Love, My Rain…I miss you. Come, wash away this bane.
Bill Reynolds 8/10/2017
Look both ways for the rain, rain, to come and play.
We’ll find the sun another day.
Mind the dry gap and wear sunscreen.
Footnote: I really do miss the rain. I moved to the PNA (partly) because it rains often. We have now officially shattered the old days-without-rain record (51), now at 55 days with no rain, and counting. If I wanted this shit, I would have moved to freaking Arizona.