Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Comfort Food

"Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each." 
~Henry David Thoreau


Friable vermillion, mocha and pumpkin scraped into piles and bagged. Grass crew cut for the cold that would set in. Silver shears buzzed the holly and fire bush. Wood piled in a hollow. The little brown bat tightened in the soffit. Soil turned to clunch.

All readied for winter's diet. 

But the season failed to season. It was as bland as young bananas and white rice. 

Then. The shaker's salt clotted. Scraped peppercorn clogged in the blades. The frother jammed. The iron grew tired of steaming--just as the milky billows above rebuked soft and airy deliverance. The humidifier clattered. Alarms screeched randomly. 

Except for the ransacked house. Inside, they took what they could fit in their duffle bags. Outside, silence.
Police notified neighbors. The immediate ward abuzz with concern. 

Footprints cannot be detected in clunch.

A little girl backed up a chair under the doorknob.

Had the odds changed?

Have a piece of chocolate cake, her mother said. We are as safe today as we were yesterday. No more, no less.

In the distance, a dog barked. Geese honked overhead. 

They're back. You know where they're headed, right?

Every year, same spot, the girl said.

Actually, I'm not so sure they ever left.

The girl smiled.  Mama, that cake's the best I've ever had. I'm gonna run out and see if I can find them.

She watched her round the corner, up to Ryan's plat where the pond water swept over the fall and the birds gathered at the edge of the brook, daring each other to jump in. This is the way it was. Clouds giving or not. Clunch. Seasons lapsing. 

24 comments:

  1. Jayne, This is such a beautiful post about our dance with normalcy.
    I loved the adventure of reading this, picking up clues and moving on to the next scene, and then, finally, eating cake with mother and resuming that life. This was AMAZING!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leah- I wondered about those clues. This poem? branched off in so many directions, I really had to work to wrangle it in. A feisty guy he was.

      Doesn't cake make everything better? ;)

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Oh, Dale, so happy to see your smiling mug. Thank you. :)

      Delete
  3. Not even sure why, but this is perfect for me today and perfectly beautiful. The inexorability of life.

    And I'd never heard the word clunch until this week; Farrow and Ball make a paint by that name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nance- I just took a look at F&B's clunch. My color scheme, the one in my head anyway, is much darker. (Seems that's the case lately). More like the clay on the shores of Cape Cod. Isn't that interesting though, that clunch should come to you twice in one week. And for the very first time. It's calling you!

      Hope you are having a marvelous time in sunny CA. Well, how could you not w/the High and Exalted and all?! ;)

      Delete
  4. Let me second the above bon mots and say that was one beautiful tapestry of words....the seasons may not herald themselves as much anymore (hey in oz we have only had a few real stinker summerdays...unlike two years ago) but your writing is unfolding brilliantly...more more say i

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'd be happy in Oz with only a few stinker summer days. I like summer, but not extreme heat or humidity. Much happier in the mountains (as if you don't already know that!). Thanks for your encouragement, Dan. Unfolding is what we do each day. :)

      Delete
  5. I like the mother's answer, as safe today as yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ain't she a smart mama, right? Or is that she's a right smart mama? ;)

      Delete
  6. Jayne, this is beautifully sensual writing. It's early, before the sun has risen, and I'm trying to get my head together to say something more appropriate and all I can come up with at the moment is that these words remind me of sticking a spoon in creme brulee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "[...] sticking a spoon in creme brûlée." To me, pre-sun rising thought is of a higher order. Creme brûlée just happens to be my very favorite desert. Merci beaucoup, Suze!

      Delete
  7. My first thought with "They're back" was that those with the duffel bags were back. As though, once the crime, or darkness happens, a shadow of it always is there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joanne- Yes, the dogs barking might lead you there, eh? I was deliberately ambiguous? with those few lines. I wanted the shadow there, the shadows are always there, but the light is what shines through. The light, always, in my mind. :)

      Delete
  8. I love your images - "But the season failed to season. It was as bland as young bananas and white rice." - and I liked the whole story. Your texts make me stop - read carefully - and that is good! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stopping and "reading carefully" had me concerned at first--but I'm glad to hear it's a good sign, Britta! Is it too obvious that this is the winter of my discontent? Of course it is. It's just boggling my mind is all! Give me pepper! ;)

      Delete
  9. Your words are so much like a satisfying and delicious meal, rich, complex and sweet....Like chocolate cake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can one ever have too much chocolate cake? Bill--confession--I keep shaving off little slices late afternoon for a jolt. The only problem is that I'm working it off at the swivel chair. And all because there's NO snow! ;)

      Delete
  10. So sweet, the dialogue between mother and daughter. I hope she finds the geese. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, Elizabeth, she find the geese! :)

      Delete
  11. Not a fan, but winter sounds so delightful, not so serious as it is usually cast. I like the economy and echoes of footfalls. You got to pay attention or be left behind on this bicycle ride. michael paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is this what this is, Michael, a bicycle ride? But of course! We hit a rock sometimes and get thrown off course, and even, tumble and get scraped, but we must always hop back on the bike. Paying close attention. ;)

      Delete
  12. Winter didn't materialize, but this piece did. Well done, enjoyed it.
    Is chocolate cake as good without snow and a warm drink? I hesitate to put up my climate change post, the seasons are changing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Antares- Ha! Chcocolate cake is always good but snow and a warm drink certainly enhances the gastronomic experience. :)

    They are changing alright. Go for it. ;)

    ReplyDelete