Tracking

I can see your damp body print in silhouette on the bath towel,
and the tooth marks you left on the tight cap of the new 
toothpaste tube.
     A couple of loose hairs lie tangled in the hairbrush.
     Damp feet mopped up the light rain of last night’s dust 
     on the wood floors and apparently navigated 
     around littered baby toys 
     before turning left towards the what appears to be 
a nesting area...  

On hands and knees now, the light just right
     I see the subtle depressions of your feet on the carpet,
          the fibers slowly standing back 
          to their usual upright position.
Here, the tracks meet those of a much smaller creature.
I see ghosts of small lips and handprints 
     on the sliding glass mirror
     and in it’s reflection, 
          a stuffed white rabbit,
          over-loved and re-restitched, 
     wrapped in a blanket by small, uncoordinated fingers.

Drips of drying milk lead back to a feeding area 
and the scattered remains of finger-painted oatmeal...
          still luke-warm.
     I trail the crumbs of cold pumpkin pie on the counter
     to the well-worn “one minute” button on the microwave
     which begins your morning ritual 
     with a digital “beep.”
I smell fresh coffee on a breeze from the west.

Hot on the trail, 
     I follow my intuition through a slightly swaying side door. 
No less conspicuous than a stick snapped in the wilderness 
silencing sparrows,
     I hear the hum of a clothes dryer stop 
     with the creaking of its door.
Slowly I stalk,
          fox walking, 
          hawk-eyed, 
          ears perked up like a deer,
          into the garage and-
                 There I find you...
                 throwing a warm soft towel, 
                 hot and fluffy from the dryer 
                 over our daughter’s head... 
          our hysterically laughing coyote pup 
     with those five-toed muddy tracks that grow too quickly.  
Funny that you should think it’s time for us to clean the house.
Advertisements

Sketching up Rattlesnake Canyon

IMG_1738

I have recently discovered a new painting media that I am really enjoying: gouache and casein tempera.   I find it a lot more portable than my oil paints, but it handles in a similar opaque way.  I can fit tubes of paint and my sketchbook in a small daypack and go somewhere remote to do some painting without having to heave the french easel and oil stuff around.  Here are some recent paintings up Rattlesnake Canyon…

IMG_1737

Setting Traps

Setting Traps

What do the string around my finger,
     the note in permanent ink fading on my hand,
     the time-capsule buried in damp mulch 
          beneath the oak tree eight years ago,
     the post it on my steering wheel,
     and the alarm clock set to detonate at 5:30 am 
have in common?

Why did I hide my car keys again?
     ...and where?

There is a freedom in forgetting
     and a pirate thrill in digging up lost memories.
But most reminders tend to make me think,
                                   remember,
                                   plan,
     in the everbusy buzzing of my mind.
More than ever, I need DE-minders, for when I’m lost up here 
     replanning and premembering 
     in nowhere land.
Do they sell daydream alarm clocks or watches that lie?

Sometimes I can be nothing but grateful
                    for bee stings,
                    stubbed toes,
                    seagulls with good aim,
                    and cold shivers: 
things that wake me, unaware, from the cavern of routine.
Thank you, headache, for reminding me I have a head.

Tired of waiting for grace or luck 
     to bring me to the present,
     I’ve mapped out my Monday blind spots,
     hidden along my well-worn game trails
                     between the bathroom, 
                     the computer, 
                     the teapot...

And here I am setting traps for myself, 
     camouflaged in regularity and custom
     to catch me in oblivion.
     Won’t I be surprised 
     to find this bucket of ice water 
     suspended from the doorway 
as I come into work tomorrow morning?