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Unglooming the Gloam

Apr 1, 2013

Where did my resolve go?
I was a helium balloon
Aiming for the stratosphere
Now, I'm filled with faded hot air
A string walks me like a dog along the earth's surface
Languidly bumping over every clod.

My tether to the earth
Fades as noon approaches,
I wobble toward the Gardens
To find myself.

Leaden sky
Absorbs the light.
Wambling through the bamboo grove
I enter into the gloaming.

Still
Grey
Fog
Imprisons the light
Calms the air
In muffled mystery
Shadows muted anticipate
Yielding to light
Irrational faith
Irrepressible living memory
Of a long ago eclipse.

Emerging from bamboo to still pond
A flea from furry forest finds a dog's nose

At the water's edge,
I bobble over the Chinese red bridge.
 


Raindrops fracture and shatter white
Before disappearing into a steel water sky
Under my big pink umbrella
Tears splatter and merge into drizzle
Until a Black-necked Swan glides toward me.
Silent paddling feet carry him with imperial grace
Snow-white breast cuts a V through the water
He motors straight toward me
Tilting his head to the side
Slant eye meets mine
His royal airs disintegrate
Into a chortle.
The chaotic mass of his right red schnoz
Makes me giggle
Pompous composure
Shattered by a clown nose.

He paddles on
With regal satisfaction
I lose my string
Regain my feet upon the earth.
 


Crossing a meadow
Clogs smack and pull to
Resist the suction
Mud tows me deep into wet grass
Torso, arms and neck
 Sway to counterbalance
Lurching swamp thing
Beneath a pink umbrella.
My eyes troll across the landscape
They latch onto
My favorite little bridge
An upside down parabola
A magnet that draws me toward the rivulet
Where a Great Blue
Tiptoes upstream
Dressed to the nines
A suave beau in tails
He sports a dagger bill
And Salvador Dali's moustache slicked over his head
In a Manchu queue
Diaphanous white trim overlays blue slate
Casually fishing to pass the time
One eye out for milady
At the ballroom entrance.

Behind a golden-brown tangle of Viburnum,
I squat,
A pink mushroom,
Ready to enjoy the spectacle
When
A fluttering beckons
just this side of the Doghobble
Blowing a farewell kiss
To the stealthy blue suitor,

 

 I peer through interwoven brambles,
Past cross critch hatching hooligans
Thorns and bluster
Smooth arching bark and gentle curves
No sparrow, but a warbler,
Olive green
A flit flutter deft dodger
Playing in the tangled maze of branches
Onto one, bowed to the ground
In sleepy winter repose,
She hops
And looks at me
From sideways silhouette
With a playful turn of head:
A cheeky echo of the swan.

Mirth
Brightens the gloam to silver mist
Lowering my umbrella
I head for home.

Past apricots in pink-tuft flower as
Fuzzy witch hazel buds unsheathe and
Edgeworthia
Silver button heads curl down
In prayer
Seething to burst into blossom.
Augurs of Spring
All on a January afternoon.

 


You can read more of Ms. Moffatt's work on her website at pcmoffatt.com.
Black-headed swan, Great Blue Heron, Prothonotary Warbler

Image(s) from Wikimedia Commons

Pamela Claxton Moffatt is a freelance writer living in North Carolina

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