Saturday, March 28, 2009

Space I

Cool woodstone steps circle crisply, descending into shady boundless bole.                          

This hidden open space houses seekers in thought, singly joined in contemplation's continuum.

Rings ripple outward marking stationary time.

Leafwinds breeze overhead, showering assurance of shelter.

Mind-motes mill and meander, circling pools of warm woodlight, growing small and expansive.

Some shiver and still, bewildered and chill, overwhelmed from within, febrile gyre-spin, until;

Inhalation; fir tree pincushions color aroma with spiced forest floor. Focus.

Tracing out the grain eases knots smooth, finds oblivion-balm in awareness of awareness.

Lost and found, all tread their way to a simpler place.

Glitters of fresh-faceted reflections gather;

Here is a moving stillness, bustling tranquility, rich void; the foot of the staircase unwinding into the world.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Equinox Ladies

[Late evening commute]

Loose black corduroys, not flared, a rain jacket, not bright, large leather purse, functional, brown pastie shoes, sensible. Smooth straight chestnut hair cut to the same length all around. Neat and constrained. She is reading Middlesex, the book in her right hand. Her left hand rests on her knee. Gold wedding band and a large sparkling diamond set in another. Her lips are set in concentration, she has a delicate face with downy pink skin. Blue eyes with pretty lashes. A good wife. She lifts her free hand to her hair as the other hand turns the book so she can read the next page. With large movements she twirls her hair around and around, pausing to reread a sentence. Spun into a glistening rope she holds her hair and runs her thumbnail across the taught strands, making a surprisingly loud skritching sound. She stops twirling and makes an 'o' with her mouth. Frowning slightly she resumes with a slower twirling, making sense of the event she is reading. She brushes the frayed end of her looped hair against her cheek. Pause, a brief nibble, she drop the coil, turns the page, and begins again.

Full moon over the Charles. A young woman slumps in her seat, shortish skirt, stripy tights, she clutches at her green vinyl purse staring listlessly at the ceiling for a few moments. The train rocks her gently over the bridge, hugs her to the steel bar as we pull in to the next station. Her hair is a tousled bleach blonde, held back from her face and large hoop earrings by a pair of large sunglasses worn like a headband. Hints of blue eye shadow, red lipstick. She straightens in her seat as we pull out again. More alert now, she opens her vivid verdant purse and pulls out a pale pink compact. Unconcernedly she unzips it, counts along a strip of bubble foil, presses out a small white pill, and pops it into her mouth. Everything back into the purse she slumps again, resuming her contemplation of the ceiling, gently rocking.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Ladies

[Early morning commute]

Windswept, red-brown wavy hair falling just below her shoulders. Tousled tresses frame hazel eyes. She is wearing brown cords and a green waterproof coat. Merrels make her look ready for an adventure. Talking on a cell phone she sweetly signs off, "Happy Valentine's day darling". After a contented pause the romance is tied up with her long wavy hair, twisted and piled into a clasp high on the back of her head. She covers her eyes with shrewd reading glasses, takes out newspaper and pen for the crossword. Her lips purse in concentration, her legs cross. The only remaining sign of passion is the green-russet twinkling promise of her earrings, uncovered when she tied back her lustrous hair.

Tall blonde waiting at the door. High cheek-boned model-pretty face with wide full lips. Long black and white wool dress coat. Listening to music. She sits opposite me. Black slipper shoes, patterned tights on slender shapely calves, graceful knees just visible at the hem of her coat. The coat parts here and her lap is covered by a short black pleated skirt. A red scarf accent at the throat. She soundlessly sings along to her music unselfconsciously, shaking her hair, happy smile on her lips.

Breathless red curls bounce. Pink fluffy sweater matching pink cheeks. She is late. Heels click fast, hips sway.

Friday, December 21, 2007


How can people not love every scrap of Stata? Before the first winter snow storm I took a meandering route from the lab to Kendall. As you look at Stata from the back you see a bright pile of spiral towers and craggy turrets, brushed steel, orange brick, enameled yellow. A sweep of steps lifts above the nearest entrance. I took the steps. They are half in shadow - bright dappled light through trees on the left cuts them in two. The shadow is punctuated by soft glows from lights set in the left wall. At the flight's crest you reach a hidden valley. Liquid light ripples on the path, reflected there by a central structure. Its curved hull is quilted with mirror-shined plates. The brick path winds between the lake-shine and a small cluster of conifers. Beyond the tarn the view opens onto a grassy area dotted with silver birch. The path tumbles over an unprotected precipice marking valley's end - it is a stepped semi-circular amphitheatre. Descending from the elevated space my footsteps echo on the curved walls. Looking back I see the varied peaks containing their secret tranquility - unknown to the hubbub inside the massif. I pass the main entrance - the path leads away through a copse in the foothills, a risen hillock with a heath-land mix of pine and birch. I take a little fantasy magic with me on my journey to the T.

Monday, October 1, 2007


First day in October and all is well. The temperature has finally dropped and the world looks so different. Everyone is cosily wrapped against the bright leaves, scuffed into their shins by the cool breeze. No more dresses, shorts or skirts, except for the brave few. Goose bumps and cocoa on the way to Halloween.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Eric and Caroline eagerly weaved their way through tables of dining couples to the dance floor. I followed, curious, apprehensive. They spilled into a vacant spot just a new song began, I paused at the precipice. Eric nodded to the music, took Caroline's hands. And moved. They flowed and swayed, hips tilting in time. Caroline waited for Eric's lead attentively, and then they span and whirled in comfortable coordination. I watched from the edge, a smile widening on my face. There is something immeasurably pleasing about seeing good friends out of context. Different skills, new graces, more places to attach hooks of affection.

My reverie was disturbed by another side-liner asking me to dance. "Oh, but I don't know how!" A gentle tug on my arm, a reassuring grimace, and I was out among the pool of revelers. I watched our feet - mine moving awkwardly, his stepping neatly in scuffed brown shoes. Finally I listened to the music and had a figuring epiphany. We whorled and eddied in the currents of dancers and gradually I could afford to look elsewhere. Over his shoulder I could see that Dave and Lea had joined us and I laughed happily. Lea seemed content and Dave was relaxed, smiling cheerfully as he confidently turned Lea without missing a step. I kept a little distance from my partner, not entirely sure where to rest my arm or how much contact I was okay with. He was very patient but did not utter a sound and looked very somber. At the end of the interminable song I leaned in and spoke a loud "Thankyou!" into his ear before taking my leave. I must have been a terrible disappointment to him but I'd had a wonderful time, not quite dancing with my friends.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Dim Sum

With the invaluable assistance of Jade we ventured into Chinatown once more. Dim sum is fabulous. At this particular restaurant the vittles were pushed on carts weaving around the tables. Each vendor seemed keen to hand over his or her specific wares - we weren't sure if they got some kind of commission for emptying their carts and they certainly looked forlorn if we took nothing. Until Jade arrived with her friends Dave, being in the best position, waved the carts over and we pointed to various bamboo baskets. The selection grew and we struggled with our chopsticks to divide the spoils. Okay, so Lea didn't struggle what with being Indonesian and all, but I certainly did - chuckling at my inept handling of slippery dumplings.

When Jade finally arrived we were almost done and mostly confined ourselves to jasmine tea. My belly was comfortably full and I had taken the precaution of foregoing a belt in my jeans. The food was too tempting though and I couldn't resist extra helpings as a second wave of baskets arrived. I would groan, "My belly is so full!" and help myself to one more. I had already had a lotus-seed bun or two but then a big bowl of sweet tofu arrived. The 'ice-cream stomach' phenomenon began to work its magic. No matter how filling the main course is, there is always room for dessert. The tofu comes with a strong gingery syrup. "Mmmm..." I couldn't resist. The others gave up one by one leaving a great pile of tofu to be eaten. I took bowl after bowl, "Groo, I'm sooo full, but it's soooo good!" Lea laughed and laughed.