The darkening afternoon sky

Arbroath, Scotland October '15

Arbroath, Scotland October ’15

The sound of my kids upstairs in the morning singing, getting ready for school, the same nonsensical sound as birds in spring, makes you wonder why they really sing, if it’s to sooth themselves.

I get to fix them toast and have a moment with them, to bookend the days. And then sitting at the light getting off the freeway going in to work: how fast the clouds move, like we’re on some other planet, a frame of a character in silhouette with clouds whipping by overhead like bits of cotton or real, living things, the clouds.

How fast they move, like our perception of time: our time on the road last year in the UK this month: Dawn and I try to remember where we were, our impression of it, how it slowed to a dense, timeless pace, our senses full—and yet as we move through the days now so similar to one another they seem, how indistinct, how fast the weeks go, they just drop off. I want to pledge to make each one unique, the days make a life.

Categories: musings, travel

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24 replies

  1. Hello William, this is an amazing piece!

    I would also like to pledge to make each of my days unique and exciting. Thank you for sharing this message, have a great day! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the way this kind of proses out the poetry. I’ve written a couple of first drafts of poems recently that I decided weren’t working as poems, or maybe just weren’t very good poems, and re-wrote them as prose, and ended up happy with them. Maybe it’s a new thing, the prose poem. Although if I were to Google it, I’m sure I’d find someone else did it like, way a long time ago. Probably Keats, or Yeats. Neither of them were ever on my side, I don’t think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get your reference there mister. Where the love of Wilde is on mine. No, I hear that poem/prose thought. Your last piece “sang,” I think. It read rhythmically and had a lilt I think. So whatever witchcraft you’re up to is coming through. Me, I’m browning a mirepoix now for a black bean soup and warming the hot tub and on a double IPA with Brian Eno.


  3. The sound of one hand clapping. Some people don’t get there until very late in life. Too late. Some people never get there at all. Nice work.


  4. My girls are songbirds too. My youngest has been going through a nonsense phase and her songs feel very Cocteau Twins. I should play some for her, think I will. How to vary up the days so they don’t all bleed into one another. That is a challenge when we’re in the same place, doing the same things. Getting outdoors helps because of the break and natural progression of seasons, and I know you do that already. I liked your description of clouds whipping by.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, get her going on the Cocteau Twins, though I’m not sure what that will do for the overall mood of the house. Could be a bit maddening you know? Those clouds were a bit nuts yesterday, good inspiration.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Time is a strange bastard. When I was young it couldn’t move fast enough, now I want to hang on to it as it races like a river out of town. I read a book about the brain a few years ago (I’ve forgotten most of it) but the brain mileposts new experiences which makes time go my more slowly, and then we get into routines and time screams by since there isn’t anything to milepost. Time for me to do something new or I’ll end up in a box soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah the mileposts, I like that. Yes, there’s definitely something about being on vacation , or traveling, and how our perception of it changes based on sensory input and like you say, routine.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My youngest daughter doesn’t have time for me these days. Shut me out. Attempts to open have been rebuked. So we’re both shut down. I should probably try harder.
    Speaking of birds, I read this last night, thought it was something you might have written, from Haruki Murakmi: “The human heart is like a night bird. Silently waiting for something, and when the time comes, it flies straight toward it.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Murakami and his birds. I’m sorry to hear about that, with your daughter. She’ll come around, but that must be hard. I’ll be coming to you for advice on the same in a few years. For now I have no advice that’s based on anything other than empathy! Or cat analogies.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is interesting how fast moving clouds imply time lapse, that somehow time is moving faster than it really is. But memories, especially as you get older and have more across time to press into a thought, can do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

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