Mud, Straw, Sun

Adult friendships are built. Adobe houses.  

Brick by brick, Organic, imperfect. We are servants of each brick. Scatter the seed and cut the straw. Wait for rain to collect the clay at the outside bend of the creek

Form new bricks to repair the eroded corner… a neglected spot beneath a window.

What do I do now? 

When disease washes a life away like an out of season storm, I can’t even find the foundation, not even a mess of mud and straw.

My brain is silent. 


The thought of it brings the smell.

My lover is downstairs. I wonder if he’s looking for a sign. A trail of code that might comfort.

I hear beans tumbling into the grinder. The kettle whistle and coffee grinder signal the four minute mark

I wonder at the time.

December, just north of the snow line. My shoulder is tense from the cold and damp of this day.

My Lover brings up coffee.


He looks at the painting over the drafting table

“Don’t Ask Me Stupid F@#&ing Questions” speaks from the wall.


He drifts away down the hall.

Biding time, both of us. 

Outside the window it is snowing.

Moving slower than usual, I hear our Border Collie on the stairs. A syncopated, determined gate. I turn to see her navigate the doorway.

My slippers are saddled over her shoulders. Brimming with herd dog pride.

I realize my feet are still bare from my shower. The lining is warm. 

Aggro Zen

Aggro Zen,
a short story of pre-visualization.

According to the Urban Dictionary this is
a term that has been used for decades by surfers and other water-headed types to describe someone who is overly and unnecessarily aggressive, competitive, or asinine whilst in the water.

Prolonged exposure to the aggro can ruin even the best session, so “deal” with them immediately (read: choke with your leash then return to your state of zen-like calm once they are dead)

I like the image of chilled out surfers
choking aggressive surfers with their leash
and then

calmly going back to a zen state with the waves…
the breath of the planet…

a particular cat

I recall a childhood memory of Mr. Dooley,
our family protector,
a spirit animal of German Shepherd – Collie decent
always with us, watchful, in the yard.

It is summer.

Mr. Dooley, ever vigilant, resting in the shade,
brother in the sandbox, nation building.
Upside down, I rest in the tree above them.
a particular neighborhood cat

this cat
taunted us daily,
pacing and calling out from the fence top.
nameless, testing, marking, rattling its tail

several days passed in this way…

It was hot.
Texas Hot.

The particular cat sauntering along the fence line
marking the boundary.
Mounting the fence,
walking the usual path
calling out..

On the eighth day,
Mr. Dooley rose stretching his body…
he walked to the fence
In a singular, elegant gesture cleared the top
grabbing the cat by the head as he passed
one smooth motion of his head upon landing,
cat neck breaking,
head releasing;
cat body suspended weightless in backward rotation

and Mr. Dooley…

bouncing back up
over the fence

to lay down in the shade of his favorite tree
ever watchful
as if

and that
is how I remember the zen duet with a particular cat.