A Year on the Loaf

As some of you well know, I like to wander.  When I wander, I usually bring a camera.  Since moving up to Sugarloaf last November, I've taken far too many time-lapses, all with the intent of of some vague, eventual something.  This is the first something.  The idea occurred to me this past Fall, while considering that we'd been up here for almost a year, "I'll put some of my favorites together and finish/upload it on the day we moved in."  It seemed a reasonable goal, but some Final Cut debacles, along with a case of extreme restlessness, proved otherwise.  But finally, a month and a half late, here it is!  All footage in the video was shot by myself, and all within 5 minutes of our home.  As always, click through to Vimeo to watch the video in 1080p high-definition.  The song is "Wildflower Honey" by Steep Ravine.  Enjoy!

Loons of the Square Table

We almost looked sane,
sitting two by two per side,
each reading
and writing,
hiding split personalities
and wacky
cigarettes behind our ears.

A waitress walked
by and smiled,
and I felt sorry
she did not know
who we really were,

or that the one
with purple flowers
on his socks could crack
at any second,

tearing out her pink
hair and running
through the streets
like Charlie Manson
on parole
at last.

Cheating

She caught me
just sitting there,
by the window,

looking out
at a couple
of chipmunks and

a pair of rosebushes,
wondering
about love,

why some
things never seem
to work out,

and others
happen
all too easily.

Cold Fact

I

It didn't really make
much sense,

but it was the 
kind of thing
you didn't question

like why is the sky
not green
and how did that Jesus guy
really walk on water?

II

I thought the
flies would prefer
it outside,
but I was wrong.

Even the days are
cold now, and
they like to stay inside
with me.

On Poetry

"We paint
with words,"
he proclaimed,

and I couldn't 
help but let
out a little chuckle.

He wasn't
a particularly
funny guy,
though I
found the idea

of dipping my brush
in a palette of adjectives
somewhat amusing.

I don't think he 
looked past his
metaphor or 
realized the impossibility
of mixing
nouns and verbs
like 
red and blue,

laying them
beautifully on paper
in one smooth stroke
of purple nerbs.

Baby Listening (Billy Collins)

According to the guest information directory, 
baby listening is a service offered by this seaside hotel.

Baby listening--not a baby who happens to be listening,
as I thought when I first checked in.

Leave the receiver off the hook,
the directory advises,
and your infant can be monitored by the staff,

though the staff, the entry continues,
cannot be held responsible for the well-being
of the baby in question .

Fair enough, someone to listen to the baby.

But the phrase did suggest a baby who is listening,
lying there in the room next to mine
listening to my pen scratching against the page,

or a more advanced baby who has crawled
down the hallway of the hotel
and is pressing its tiny, curious ear against my door.

Lucky for some of us,
poetry is a place where both are true at once,
where meaning only one thing at a time spells
    malfunction.

Poetry wants to have the baby who is listening at my
    door
as well as the baby who is being listened to,
quietly breathing by the nearby telephone.

And it also wants the baby
who is making sounds of distress
into the curved receiver lying in the crib

while the girl at reception has just stepped out
to have a smoke with her boyfriend
in the dark by the great sway and wash of the North
    Sea.

Poetry wants that baby, too,
even a little more than it wants the others.

 

© Billy Collins

 

 

 

 

Phonophobia

I could hear the
strangest
sounds when we turned
the wretched thing off:

a whole pen's worth of ink
scratched on paper,

and a pound's worth
of dogs
with their Friday night
whines,

a small TV
next door,

and the voice
of an old friend
asking me

if I ever drive
without listening
to music.

Another Reason Why I Don't Keep A Gun In The House (Billy Collins)

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.


© Billy Collins

 

Hungry

If you remember that
one time, when
we’d stripped the pantry of all
its infinite possibilities,
and decided
to drudge through the snow
to the grocery store,
when we smiled at
the melancholic melons and
grinned at the grapes,
when we overlooked the avocados,
when we staged
the great rhododendron heist,
but failed
to steal anything of value,
then please do tell me
all about it.
I hardly remember a thing.

I’ll be outside raking
at the snow
while you make me
chamomile tea.

"Current"

Hey folks!  If you've been on the site in the past day or two, you may have noticed a new section, aptly titled, "Current."   The idea is quite simple; this section will house a small selection of photographs from one of my recent adventures.  The photos do not represent finished products, collections, or portfolios, and are often not edited at all.  Instead, they provide an unfiltered look into my process and my eye. 

The first featured batch comes from the Denver Botanic Gardens.  Strangely, I've seen my fair share of lily pads, but their pond is one of the best in terms of quantity and quality.  It's a beautifully curated garden if there's such a thing.  Though I'd visited the gardens once before, I found myself utterly amazed by the deep, pure, clean black of the pond's water.  It provides perfect backdrop to photograph the incredible variety of shapes and colors.  You'll see what I mean.  Enjoy and keep posted for the next round!