Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bowl 18: Michael

There's a pile of stuff on the sidewalk,
interesting stuff.
And being someone who likes to find treasures
in someone else's trash
I begin to look through it.

Someone else joins me and we look together . . .
78 records, an "original authentic desk blotter", empty violin cases.

The person responsible for the pile emerges from the brick-front town house.
He carries a Russian poster of Lenin, clearly old, clearly original,
and offers it to my comrade.
I am chagrined . . . I want it!

But he invites me inside and says I can choose anything I want,
there is nothing I need, but I am intrigued by the decrepit beauty of the building.
"It was my father's he tells me . . . he was born in 1920"
the same year as mine, I note.
And he shows me photos of four generations . . .
his father,
his grandfather,
and his daughters.

And now he is leaving it all behind.
Clearing out the remains of lives lived here.
Leaving it on the street
for others to find and recycle into their lives.

Later I pass by again.
Almost nothing remains
but some very old books, pre- and early 20th century
I pick them up and bring them home.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bowl 17: Angela

July at the farmer's market.
bursting with energy.

Vegetables, flowers, cheeses, baked goods.
Tables overflowing.
People overflowing.
Long lines, 
arms heaped with produce.

But her space is quiet.
Monastic even.

A few beautifully packaged raw food offerings.
Crackers, pâté, spreads, nut/fruit goodies.
She offers a taste. 
The kind of sweet that satisfies with a single, small bite.

She's turned her passion into her business over the past year
and seems really content.
Though I can't help but wonder how it feels
to be in her island of peace,
in the midst of the chaotic energy of the summer market.
. . . and I forgot to ask.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bowl 16: Joan

"My name is Joan," I say.
"So is mine," she laughs.

It's noon.
Sun beating down, relentless.
But her lunch bench is perfect.
water view.

I remark on a bright red bird flashing by.
She says she comes often.
Sees rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels
the ubiquitous geese,
pairs of swans.

She knows Olmsted and his parks.
Here, and in New York and Buffalo
where she lived as a girl.

"Not so many Joans," she says.
"It's so bland."
"Plain," I agree.

But what's in a name?
I google it.
so many Joans! 

Joan of Arc
Joan Baez
Joan Halifax
Joan Jett
Joan Cusak
Joan Miro
Joan Rivers, to name a few.

and even,
Jo-an (teahouse), a National Treasure in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.