He had always imagined covering his body in feathers. He knew it wouldn’t make him able to take flight, but it would, he was certain grant him a certain lightness that gravity and daily life denied him. And he knew that once covered in his dreams he could soar free of the restrictions that his conscious mind imposed on him, restrictions, he knew, that were the only reason he wasn’t even at that moment peering down at the world while moving across the sunlit sky of an autumn afternoon.
The hardest prison to escape is the one whose walls are built by the mind with fear and trepidation. It is like the open gate you dare not enter, fearing that you are leaving and will not be allowed to return. Atop a pole there are an infinite number of directions to go and only one is straight down, but you dread selecting any, for gravity is a fear as great his death yet you know you can feel neither. The prison of the mind is impregnable for there, fear and pain live in concert and you are a small boat on an angry sea, staring always at the roiling waves.
The perigee moon hangs heavily over the city clinging to the horizon as though it wishes to flee deep into the night turning away the attention in inevitably draws. We are pulled toward it by some deeply felt force that we know we dare not question, for we must honor the moon’s secrets as we hope she will honor ours.
She imagined what it must be like to have wings. She always wanted to be unmoored from the ground, to be free of its incessant pull, to look down on it from high above, and not with aid of contraption, just her, arms outstretched. The ground was a prison. She could move about, yes, but never really free, that sixth direction always denied to her. The sea was as close as she could come to true freedom, the sandy bottom dropping away, but the water was an imperfect atmosphere. She finally found the courage and stepped free of the cliff, felt the wind beneath her, the earth below falling away and coming up under her. She flew on until the alarm clock ended her flight.
The temperature falls, slowly at first but gaining speed, as though in the grip of winter’s gravity. Winter has the potential to be a black hole season into which we enter and imagine we will never reemerge into spring. The wind whispers stories to us of a time when this was all ice when no one complained of a chill for there was no one. We turn up our collars to remind the wind that we will remain here, for nature has given us an equal dose of stubbornness.
The hawk sits in one of the highest
branches of the tree, his red shoulders
blazing in the morning sun, both
staring down on those of us trapped
by gravity, by the weight of our thoughts,
as we pass by slowly below.
From time to time the hawk
will offer a short commentary, never
ceasing her stare, an amiable Goddess
who finds mere mortals pleasant
entertainment, but soon she
is more interested in a meal,
and as we depart, the squirrel
watching from the foot
of a nearby palm realizes
it is time to quickly practice
frolicking among the fronds.
It is Spring and I press my ear to still barren soil to hear the hypnotic thrum of sap reaching slowly skyward engine straining against gravity earthworms beginning their tunneling, marshaling armies for an exodus through ever night soil. I listen to the bud its velour face unfolding before the stillborn sky, a robin, breast unfurled stares at me in wonder.
The hardest prison to escape is the one whose walls are built by the mind in fear and trepidation. It is like the open gate you dare not enter fearing that you are leaving and will not be allowed to return. Atop a pole there are an infinite number of directions in which you can go and only one is straight down, but you fear selecting any, for gravity is a fear as great as death, yet you can feel neither. The prison of the mind is impregnable, for there fear and pain live in conflict and you are a small boat on an angry sea staring always at the roiling waves.