Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Lupert to Rubert
Brooke, the rain
falls alike on the almost
there and on the just
barely. Said Rupert Brooke to
Rick, It
rains a lot in England.

5:19 In The Ante

Meridian and I am waiting for light or for
more sleep, either one would be good; I consider
taking another walk around these gray-carpeted
long halls but it's really kind of cold out there and I'd have to
take my oxygen off and would get
short of breath again. Look around here: Is there
nothing to look at? Nothing to do? Well there's the
greenery Maw brought me, starting two
blooms; I wonder what they
will look like. I could
bring it over here and take my sketch pad and
crayons out and render it as it is - as well as I can - today,
then wait and do the same again tomorrow when
five a.m. rolls around; I'd have a nice
record of all its bloom and decay to
remind me
when it's gone. But wouldn't I
remember? I remember
my father; I
remember my mother too and I
remember my sister and I remember
Skye and
want to see her so much it hurts; i think though
that she does not want me
to join her yet; there must be some advantage
to living that I am not noticing right now. Perhaps when the
Tylenol kicks in that I took for my arthritic left
pinkie, then maybe I'll notice the
pleasure of breathing again. Meanwhile if I take another
walk in the hall I'll go
clockwise this time. Variety is the spice, the
pepper perhaps and I am supposed to be the
salt so better try and
keep my savor. Here's what
pleases me: I drew a picture of a thistle and it
actually reminds me of the thistle when I
look at it. Thistles abloom are prettier than
roses but though roses have thorns thistles are
harder to hold so that's why we cultivate
roses and not

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I was going to sleep hoping
not to wake up. Now a few days ago I began
instead to drop off thinking of a banana with my
three bowls of oatmeal in the morning, or
hoping instead for Cream of Wheat, but now in
addition I look forward to a walk around the
facility with my brand-new classy Costco
walker with its big wheels and two
handles. I like my
cane, I won't
discard it but won't be
using it much any more, just
now and then for forays into the garden or
to bring along if riding in a car. Wasn't
long ago I spurned
walkers, even
gave one away just like the new one I have now
but now after weeks of the cane this is like
a dream come true: risk-free mobility. So
tomorrow even before the oatmeal I'll be
cruising the gray-carpeted halls with my
walker, lording it now over my former
peers the poor
cane-travelers. Then after breakfast maybe I'll go
out around the building to check on the big
thistle I want to sketch. When you want to draw
(or photograph) something alive it is well to do so
now, not tomorrow: tomorrow came and the
bloom had curled up to cuddle its
seed so now I'm waiting for the
next one. And I will be able to
sketch it sitting down - in the new
walker - not standing up as I
would have had to before. Life is so
full of riches when you're
getting enough oatmeal.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Here it is 10:30 at night and I haven't done anything all
day except stay alive, you might say. I guess I have
stayed alive, or at least refrained from dying; I've
got the nasal cannula stuck in my nose giving me
oxygen to breathe, or that is air to breathe that is
richer in oxygen than what is around me. I breathe it.
Also I eat, though not
with the gusto Rowena's yams and greens
prompted earlier this week. Bring me more
yams and greens, world, and I will stop
complaining about the weather. Somehow
cottage cheese and canned pineapple just doesn't
do it for me. It was fun though this morning to watch
high-school students plant flowers for us all around the
acacia tree and in the border beside the building. Another patient
predicted Bambi and Ena would eat them all in short order but
it is my hope that impatiens will prove not to their
liking, even though I know their hill is too small to
support them and there are no wildcats up there (or down here
either). Hard to imagine where
Bambi will go when the time comes; still I don't
know where they came from, either; I do see
hills from my window some of which are not
covered with subdivisions yet. I suppose that the
hills are draped in highways with those "deer crossing"
signs here and there. Funny to think that when I was born here
88 years ago now, there were cats in the woods to take care of
population control for the deer; now it's cars. Cars are
definitely less effective and they don't
eat their kill either. Anyway I will be watching the
impatiens with eager interest. Even when
no longer in the raw, nature's
not mild.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


There is no one walking around outside but something has alarmed us,
three of us - me, a patient, and
two night workers, a
nurse and an aide. We are all
jumpy and listening
intently to the silence, but the
birds aren't, the two little budgies dead to the
world in their cage. I have decided to
trust the birds and am
going to go back to sleep. I think what put us
on edge is a change in the wind; it's no longer
filled with smoke - either the fires have died down or
more likely the air is moving the smoke in a
different direction. Other people now will reach for their
tubes of oxygen and I will catch my naked breath for a bit.
There is something very pleasing about fire, even as it
scares and harms us - I guess because it's another form of
what keeps us alive. I want to
toast a marshmallow, burn the outside black and
eat it and repeat until it's gone - eat it between two bits of
milk chocolate between graham crackers, that's the way,
constantly moving around to get out
of the smoke. And maybe sing
"Tell me why."