Gulf

gulf

Gulf
for M.V.

Which looms wider, its sky or water? The birds, here, too,
reconvene in greater streaks. This morning I stomped around
Paisano, examining the grasses and soil, the rocks and various
configurations of clouds, and listened to experts discuss
prescribed burns and how the land’s contours can determine
sequence and efficacy. The mockingbird whose territory
we occupy has disappeared. Perhaps he’s just moved on.
I heard a red-bellied woodpecker yesterday, but never saw it,
and of course the rattlers at the ranch are still underfoot, just
less apparent this time of year. I looked closely, as always,
but never spied one. What else did I miss? The rich people
on the bluffs bulldoze habitat, poison creeks and erect their
Italianate villas, caring not a whit for the breeding warblers
or the landscape, although they might pony up a few bucks
for an environmental charity if sucked-up to properly. Given
a choice between the two, I’d pick the snakes every time;
they don’t smile or offer spiked drinks and stories of their
conquests, and usually warn before striking. Even a minor
deity might take offense and crack open a new fault in the
earth between this place and theirs, widening it by inches
with each presumption, every falsehood, whether shaded
in unrelated facts or illogic, until that shifting space could
be spanned solely by a bridge planked with truth and good
manners, and, yes, by mutual consent. Looking back, I
find many examples of these bridges collapsing in utero,
but we keep trying. Your story of the gulf coast storm
reminded me of weeks spent on calm water, and seeing,
no matter where I turned, blue meeting blue, from horizon
to horizon, the sky never broken by bird or cloud, born
anew each day, always looking between, never down.

“Gulf” was published in West Texas Literary Review in March 2017.

23 thoughts on “Gulf

  1. Not a day goes by when i don’t wish for a world where the behavioural system is not so clogged with coagulated fat that stops us doing the right thing. i do believe, people generally want to do the right thing but simply don’t know how because they haven’t been conditioned correctly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I dunno. I’ve run into too many people who do what they want simply because they have the means. They want something. They do (or take) it. And screw the rest of the world. Don’t know if it’s conditioning or if they’re just self-centered assholes. But their worlds definitely center around them. How do they get that way?

      Like

      • That’s what i mean by conditioning. It perhaps starts from childhood or just some fork in they road & they take a wrong turn then all experiences during a formative time heap up & then as independence dawns they only think of number 1. Rich & poor alike. The poor in England think they should have access to what the rich have because democracy teaches us to all aim high. So during the London Riots, the poor were looting X boxes & Adidas gear not food supplies & essentials for living.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The rich people
on the bluffs bulldoze habitat, poison creeks and erect their
Italianate villas, caring not a whit for the breeding warblers
or the landscape, although they might pony up a few bucks
for an environmental charity if sucked-up to properly.- like a hot knife through butter. Oooh! MV; there are parallels here to Martha’s Vineyard but I’m guessing it’s someplace south?

    Liked by 1 person

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