Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Rain in Las Marias

There are patterns and trends to these weather events. The rains roll in from roughly the same direction almost every day this time of the year, between the hours of 1 and 4pm. I'm better able to distinguish a shower from a deluge now as it is starting, though you can never know for sure. Often several pulses of showers signal; downpour imminent. Walk outside and you can feel the storm coming, see the sky darkening and the clouds seething, hear the thunder from afar, watch the lightning across the valleys.

We close the side door to keep water from pooling in the hallway, turn the knobs that tighten white metal hurricane-proof shutters, prepare for the water. Sometimes a false alarm, other times not; it is good to be prepared. You always know when a big one is underway, and there's not much to do but wait it out and enjoy. The heavy rains could last 5 minutes or 50, usually coming and going in spurts. Time slows down. I could be back in Ouagadougou.

Observe the movement of water over land: follow the splashes of individual drops into the cracks and tiny rivulets as they snake into channels with the others, and trace those to the main flood path that courses orange-brown, fast, ugly, down to the nearest creek and on, maybe to the Rio Guaba.

Large drops try in vain to pummel the banana leaves into submission but they persist, providing a bit of shelter to those who seek it. I heed the weather's pull, enjoy the refreshing mist pushed in under the porch roof, and relax. Tropical rain storms cleanse my soul.

Sunrise in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

The sun also rises over the intracoastal waterway in SC. The landscape slowly steadily emerging in this cool morning light. The sky was a rainbow near perfect progression of ROYGBIV from the clouds at the horizon and moving up.

Now everything is getting lighter and brighter, faint rays extend out from some yet-hidden point over the horizon. a few birds greet the morning, and the background insect hum never ceased from last evening's end. A bat flies overhead, and a dragonfly. A near clear blue sky is visible above the striking bands of gray-blue cloud, with red and orange and yellow light in narrow bands above that.

Look around, you realize day breaks in front of your eyes. Look back at the sky, the the light is brighter still. From my perch I can barely make out the teeming mass of life on the surface of the muck, now exposed at low tide, around the stream that winds along the left side of the house and out to the waterway LOOK TO THE SKY!

Great towering cartoonish shapes rise in that band of gray-blue clouds, abstract statues and players ushering in the day. Above them the sky keeps changing, some artist's palate progressing--more light, more faint butter yellow, more white. The deep red orange gone, replaced by softer pastels. Look around, note how much you can see now:

The squadron of dragonflies is evident now, swooping around overhead to eat up the small bugs. The marsh reeds now look green, the oak leaves all visible in the backyard. A big spindly-legged bird with skinny head and long beak stands next to the stream bed motionlessly stalking prey. Two large dark birds glide by silently overhead and pass beyond the tree island nearby.

The show is nearly over; my trip has been a pleasant one. The sun has not actually appeared, but its presence is felt. A fiery chromatic shape burns in the spot where I think she rests.

Here she comes. Streambed slowly fills up. The big stork bird continues its breakfast quest; the dragonflies push onward ever, tiny helicopters on patrol.

There she is! 'Okay, she's coming out now.' There she is, the bright beautiful sun blinding my eyes as she slides into view. Glorious glorious untouchable star that burns ever on for all to see if only they care to look.

The air will soon warm, and then get hot, but the present combination of cool morning air with bright low-on-the-horizon sunlight is exquisite.

Stretch, breathe deep, back to sleep.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tres Semanos en Puerto Rico

All of the coffee is espresso. I'm not sure if there is a word for decaf.

School buses are privately owned and generally tricked out with chrome, painted accents, and stylized scripts. I expect hydraulics and subwoofers in the near future.

Beer is mostly 'light;' cans and bottles range from 7-11.3 oz, and the standard beer can is 10 oz. The smaller units are apparently meant to account for the heat. American "college beers" (coors light, busch light) are widely available. The best local beer is Magna, made here in Mayaguez.

Traffic laws are casually observed by some, especially in the pre-dawn hours.

Talking with food in the mouth is more acceptable.

Police and ambulances always drive around with their lights flashing and use their sirens in emergencies.

The prohibition against drinking and driving is relatively recent, and the stigma against it is therefore less.

I am generally without a shirt around the house.

Traditional divisions of labor between the sexes exist. I am not surprised, though some are by my willingness to cook and clean.

Many households in this subdivision in Mayaguez, known as Sultana, have poorly trained dogs cooped up behind fences in driveways and patios and gardens. Try as they might, their yipping and enthusiasm will never get them through those bars. I have developed a special relationship with the dog here, Berra; she follows me around the house and she loves me. Give love and you shall receive. I enjoy taking her on walks through the neighborhood when she sets the pups a-yapping but does not rise to their bait. It's the kitties that get her going.

The disposable plastic culture is thoroughly entrenched here. There is no escape from the ubiquitous plastic bag; my laments are fruitless and my energy wasted on this subject. Letting go is not easy, but necessary; there are more important things to focus on.

If I am learning something, it is how little I actually know.

Friday, October 21, 2011


"Hey will you sing a song with me.

I'd be very pleased to sing a song with you.

You sure look nice.

Thank you, I'm glad to be back in Folsom.

Boy, I like, hah ha, I like to watch you talk.

I'm talkin' with my mouth, haha.

Heh, let's sing a song.

We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout..."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"In another time and place..."

I can tell that we are gonna stay friends.

- - - - -

This'll be the day that I live
This'll be the day that I thrive
This'll be the day that I sur-vive!
This'll be the day that I live.


'Fell in love with a reservation girl/at the time of the sugar beet harvest'

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Merry Fields Forever

She's got a secret surname that nobody knows, with the most gorgeous hyphen-you wouldn't believe the way it glows.

I was born into some factualization, suburbanization, edification, call it what you will.

There is a new light inside of me that feels right and good and natural.

Here's to old friends and new, and Friday night Hive dinners, and Saturday plans of composting, communicating, and DIYfesting.

Serve love, give love. You will get out what you put in, so don't be afraid to give.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

the Devil and God reside inside All

Reconsidering Handcuffs-
You're shouting so loud, you barely enjoy this broken thing.
You're a song that's never sung, is what I say.
You can only blame yourself.

It's hard to be the better man.

But should we stop, and take her with us, for all our time. Say hello to an old friend.
Not mine. She is sitting in the corner now, a little bleary with far away eyes.
Her ice cream cake lay discarded, an iceberg of cookie and cake
in a creamy oreo sea.

I thought about the weekend, and her slinky red dress, and the way she
flipped her bangs and
blinked her eyes and
I lit the bubbler, finished my Sierra Mist and ice hint of triple sec,
thanked my hospitable hosts,
and rode home with Derek.

Maeve is my girl still, and I love her and her new rack. 20 pound bucket of organic matter please.

How about a garden in a cargo bike? Main Street frame<-=->a Pedicab minus loveseat. That's heavy. How about worm delivery by bike? Complete with in-home worm (and/or garden) consultation and set-up, maintenance optional. Look for me out there.