Top of Piedmont: To Watch, Listen and Ponder — Then Write!

October 2014Monthly Archives


Cool wind sighs blue sky
Naked birches lose their leaves
Pine embarrassment


Oban –
uttered on the bay – cast to the cresting tidal swell.

The ferry rests,
snug against the seawall,
moored lines lashed – unmoving.

A draught from the hills pours over the rocks and ruffles the sea’s belly.
Kelp waves ascendant, rise under the emerald veneer, a maiden beckoning.

Water holds sway, an ocean of air rises and falls, wearing mountains to hills, to rock –
washed and cleansed.

Along the esplanade, hotels.
Roses nod under bay windows over slate walls that address the cove.
They give voice to a time when southerly breezes
urged ships across the firth, progress subject to nature’s way.

Clouds shuttle overhead and whisper of a bright day foretold
by the quartered moon cradled in the west.

Coffee in a porcelain cup halts its journey lipward,
interrupted by the eye caught in the flash of gull wings that wheel and soar over sparkled water.

An old couple greet one another on the quay.
She sits on a bench, her gray coat matches the color of her wispy hair.
Cane in hand, the old man steps, stumbles, and sits. He leans forward and gently kisses her forehead.
They rise unsteadily, caressed by one another’s attentions,
hold hands and walk toward the pub.

And when the moon returns in autumn,
in fullness days hence, it illuminates a new path dimly trodden by gentle white light.

As always – the moment is savored, quickened by time’s flight.


Pull the covers up grandma. Fall is here. Temperatures are topping out at 50 in the middle of the week and the chimney needs cleaning. Time in the Miata is in short supply. Dairy Queen trips come to an end shortly.

This spring I was hot to get the little red car out of storage. It winters in a horse barn north of town. The horses, always curious and ever present, were displaced and moved to different quarters, but usually hung around in the pasture, munching morosely on last year’s hay, waiting for fresh green shoots to emerge from spring’s mud. Therein lies the tale. After a three week escape to southern climes, we were back, tired of a long winter and ready to rock and roll down the road; ZZ Top no stranger to the tape player (this is a 1992 model – who heard of CDs or Blue Tooth back then? If you had a blue tooth it was yanked!

Getting in to the barn is never a problem, getting out the challenge. My friend stores a lot of boats, pontoons, RVs and vintage cars in the space. He graciously allows me easy access to the big overhead door that leads to the pasture so I can be the first one out when the snow leaves.

After taking the cover off the car, hooking up the battery and pulling the steel wool mouse barrier out of the air cleaner intake and tailpipe, we were ready to go. Just one problem, soft, very soft ground. The space between the door frame and a parked pontoon was tight, but I figured I could make it, if I gunned the car and built up a little momentum to make it to higher, drier ground. Didn’t work; made it 50 feet and the wheels spun – and spun – and spun, mired to the hubs.

That wasn’t so bad – kinda – except when the roommate (aka spouse) tried to assist the process, the vehicle sashayed a little and instead of throwing mud, started flinging horse manure. We quit.

What to do. Wait till the ground refroze overnight and get there early before things softened in the morning. It didn’t freeze that night. We drove the four wheel drive pickup out to the barn with a tow strap. After some missteps, got it pulled out. No more flying manure.

It’s fall. We’ve had one light dusting of snow and while the little red car is fun in the sun, it don’t work in the snow. Time for a visit to the horses.

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