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Archive for the ‘seasons’ Category

She’s been coming around most nights, a little after dark…and a bit earlier as each day  passes…teasing me and taunting me and flashing her cool and beautiful ways. And I’ll leave my window open and allow her to hover softly over my blankets all night until well after dawn. But I know that sadly, she’s here to chase my lady away…to slowly erode her resolve till her plumage is tattered and torn, faded and fallen and lost to the long nights.

But I refuse to toss my lady to the elements…and though our time together seems to dwindle and grow shorter with each passing day, I still roll over to greet her at sunrise, and have coffee with her on the porch. I love seeing her in red, in pink, and always; orange…She dresses for me come dusk and then dawn…

I admit to be fickle, to loving more than one…to seeing one, then the other…sometimes on the same day. Let’s admit, they tend to be irresistible, and once their mind is made up…exits and debuts are an unerring eventuality. And what one makes up in longevity and warmth, the other overcomes with an unbelievable array of colors and a crisp presentation…As much as there might be a slight rivalry between the two, except for a long moment when one comes a lightly knocking and hanging around after sunset at first. And the other lingers and loiters out of fondness on one hand, and spite on the other…but for a little less time each day…God knows there’s room in this heart for both of them.

So far this year, I’ve loved my pair of lovely ladies…and without fail I’ll be smitten again when their distant relation Autumn shows up with her palette and brushes and long cool evenings and soon to be frosty dawns…She sings low to the birds that south will soon be calling them away, and rose petals will tighten and hang on with desperation…and shadows grow longer earlier each day.

And Autumn will linger as did Summer…till my blue Mistress Winter blows into town and chases her way…Welcome to you Autumn…with your cool breezes and warm colors…later dawns and earlier evenings…welcome…where have you been? MLL

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Late Thursday night…a day wanting to be Friday. Even days have to wait for the passing of time, of long moments and thinking that is wishful.

My old cat is more awake than he has been all day…feeding in the other room. My younger cat…she is likely hidden in plain sight, watching me with her beautiful eyes…the same eyes that prompted me to adopt her from a shelter before I had even stroked her fur or heard her purr. God knows who belongs together…and it takes little or no convincing when it’s right.

I will be awake for a while…in the dog days of summer here in the desert, late afternoon will bring heat near or over a hundred degrees come the dinner hour. And when nature wants to strut her stuff, it will stay nearly as warm till after midnight. I will wait till the cooler time of the tiny hours to open my house to the night, and place fans in doorways and my window above the bed to draw the kinder air into my hamlet beneath the sycamores and desert stars.

Just a few more minutes of my late Momma’s birthday to mark and reflect on her being, her passing, and her being again…in my waking thoughts and very best dreams…

My Dad was very quiet today…I can’t imagine the marking of their anniversary and her birthday one day following the other. He has earned the right to a moment of silence, even if it lasts all day. It’s good too, just to sit with your dad…for the sake of a few days a year, enough has been said for one to know that silence speaks, and sings. And silence recalls, remembers, and celebrates not only what has been…but too what could have been, and what certainly will come at their reunion and the walking away of those two…hand in hand as their two silenced hearts still beat as one.

For now, in the lingered heat of a night late in July, I will consider the cooler hours at hand, the approaching yawn of pale light that is dawn and a day that will soon tire and whither in the heat that will surely bring the eager intentions of many to a place of resignation. And of shade being sought…and quiet reflective laughter at the recollection of bitter cold winter days that were cursed as we lived them…a distant and scorched memory.

Tis a late Thursday night, aspiring to be an early Friday morn, and I will bid adieu to one and embrace the other…as I hear the silence of my thoughtful dad, and strain hard to hear the echoes of laughter from the always near and caring soul of our much missed Mother…

Matthew Lyle Landsman

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frosty panes

And should this day extends its hand, I will take it into mine…and hope it leads me where I hadn’t planned…I will forget the winds and cold and headlines…and escape to a memory, a moment I’d misplaced…and the warmth of a friend…Cling to the reassuring sanctuary in the breeze of a familiar song…and forget how winter nights can be so long.
And should a stranger’s smile make my heart skip a beat, and remind me that happy hours are often made up of memorable seconds here and there…I will be grateful and glad to have collected enough of them to make for a happy day…Remember too that this spring’s roses are huddled in slumber neath the snow and spent leaves of fall…
I’m gonna run off with the offerings of this day, and hope you’ll do the same…Matthew

porch snow
Matthew Landsman 01/08/2011

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Nearly summer. We had the first dose of heat in the last couple of days. I see the entire community is in full blossom and pristine new leaves. I see bare feet and bicycles and open windows and doors. I feel the kids anticipating the end of school year and that old restless feeling of springtime and being cooped up inside.
I was reminded of things I miss, people I miss, places I thought I’d forgotten, and songs I couldn’t get enough of…
And suddenly it dawned on me; I want to run through sprinklers again.
I want to wake up a few minutes after dawn, and pull yesterday’s tee shirt over my head. Before anyone else is awake, I want to turn the TV on and have the volume way down low, I want to watch Aquaman, and the Monkees in black and white, all while eating cinnamon toast and a bowl of cereal with farm fresh milk. The kind we got in the glass gallon jar with a few inches of thick cream on the top.
I rarely wore shoes, and could run on cement. Once I learned how to ride a bicycle, I was all over our little town. Tragedy was a flat tire, darkness and still a ways to get home. I was scared of the dark…not like today because I KNOW what is out there, but simply because I didn’t. Dark was dark, and that was all.
I want to go barefoot all day again, over gravel and hot blacktop, and cool grass and through warm mud puddles. I even want to stub my toe the old fashioned way and walk home on my heel and bleed like a nine year old tough guy.

I want to eat my grandma’s apple pie, and have her ask me to go pick out a cucumber and a head of lettuce from the garden in her back yard. And I want her and my Momma to be having coffee together, and wondering if I’m ever going to grow? (I was a pretty small kiddo.)

sprinkler

Back when being 60 was real old, and the guy at the gas station actually came outside, and worked for a living and checked under the hood. And when the pump dial stopped turning, he “topped it off”. I want to marvel at muscle cars again…when they were brand new and only worth $3000…not $50,000.
I want to ride in the way back of our 1966 Chevy Belair station wagon and lay on a blanket…watching the stars out the back windows till I fell asleep before we got home…after a long day at the farm. I want a grandpa again. I want to explore his farm again…and smell the smells, and see dust floating in sunbeams. I want to ride on the back of his tractor and watch him roll a cigarette with one hand. I want to watch my uncles stack hay and feed cattle. I want all the adults to talk for an hour between the back porch and pulling away in the car.
I want to have a day with no plan, no goal, leave the house with sleep in my eyes, flyaway hair, seventeen whole cents and a Hot Wheels dragster in my pocket, a Band-Aid on my stubbed toe (for the first half hour), eat a chic-o-stick for lunch, hang out with my friends from dawn to way after dusk…and I want to run through sprinklers again. Oh how I want to run through sprinklers again.
Matthew Landsman, circa 1965 to 1971

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glenda12

This is my time. The trees that blossom are in full plumage, and those with green or deep red leaves are unfurling like a sail being raised and filled with air, propelling, compelling, and telling of the season, of this moment in time.

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She called me weeks ago, did mother earth. I was drawn to that place where last fall I solemnly stowed away the gloves that know the curves of my hands, the curls of my fingers. I had wound up hoses, said adieu to tools that work the soil, with handles both short and long. It is as much of a ritual to admit the end of a growing season as it is to anticipate the approach of the new.

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There is a marriage between the beds where late fall and winter brought succulent greens to wither and fade into winter slumber. For the time where I lean on the bouquets I hung to dry and display in the harsh throes of winter…to sustain me and remind me of the coming of an end to longer nights and shorter days.

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And recently I renewed my vows and dedications to the place where shrub and bush, tall trees and evening scents beckon me, sooth and caress me in return for the touch of my hands, the straining of hoe and assertion of spade and gentle rains from both clouds above and rhythmic sprinklers urged to life thru an ancient pump.

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She gives to me more than I to her, but there is an understanding, an oath unspoken that I will return when the stranglehold of winter is broken. It is life in a state of slumber, brought back thru the stripping away of last year’s foliage that didn’t quite have time to decay and rejoin the earth that sustained it all those months ago.

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Each flat from the nursery, and packet of seed that are emptied, made to new homes and tamped to a perfect depth give to me a promise of returned pleasure and nurturing of my very soul, as the days grow longer then shorter after the solstice has come and gone.

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I love the efforts she matches me with the responding to my urges, the hours spent and her return of sight and scent and sounds from the winged friends that feed and nest in the mantle and bush there.

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There is no debate, no drama, only the well earned sleep and nature’s reward. I ask only for the same ancient ritual to recur, and am in turn rewarded for my faith, my bended knees and love instilled…and as always…she and I celebrate night and day with filled vases and scent filled breezes as I sleep under an open window when warmer nights return.

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The cycle and reassuring return of life to my winter ravaged and weary soul is all I ask…but she gives me so, so much more…

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Matthew Landsman 04-22-2012

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In the final throes of winter, especially this year when the infant spring is rather meek to emerge and take on the starkness of the naked branches, dormant fields and garden plots…The bulbs of fall and volunteer annuals are still evading the frost, and buds are hesitant and not about to swell as naive fools to fall victim to a killing frost.

But then and now I have had my own constant gardener, Glenda, to remind me that warmer dawns and greener views are but a Chinook breeze away. She’ll prepare to soften stiffened gloves and winter born visions of her patch of heaven on God’s green earth. And that dark earth waits with eager anticipation the attentions and loving intentions from her knowing hands.

There will be dirtied knees, hoses unfurled, spots of shade for those things that thrive in darkened corners, heartier varieties for the blossoms that can weather the midday sun. She knows these things, how to create a place of refuge and retreat there on that plot of earth bordering the canal that brings life to the desert.

No matter where I’ve roamed on this continent, I have passed nurseries and flower beds, trees for privacy and trees for shade. And for over two decades, the petals, freshly nurtured earth and shades of blue have always brought a glad feeling and reassurance that she remains. That spring will always closely follow the barren months. That hope is rarely lost even when the night is far longer than the day…

I seek shelter in the knowing that if I chance to pass her way there even just in my mind, there will be a potential for glimpses of April blossoms, hints of summer evening scents, and the essence of cool grass between toes, even in the dead of January when life has ebbed nearly into only memory. I’ll always find my gardener, and I hope when she is in need of love of a friend and words from her personal writer, that she’ll always find me…Matthew Landsman

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She won’t arrive on a bus, for that would require a schedule and a sense of time. She can’t be bothered with expectations nor does she have a need for personal validation. She knows she is anticipated, is prayed for, celebrated, and that life really does evolve around her. She shows up in whatever she’s wearing, and regardless of weather, she’ll have you step outside, and then make you wait for her. And though she runs both hot and cold…she is worth the wait and moody ways.

This lady will take your breath away, make your eyes tear up, she’ll melt even the coldest of the cold. She is a shady lady, but after she shows up late she will bring you roses, songs and cause the heart to stir to life…

After my mother, I have loved her most and longest…even though we meet but once a year…I’ll even shed some clothes for her when she does finally arrive. And she always follows a dark time and makes the recent memories seem like an endless nightmare. For her, I will cease the stoking of the fire, leave my door open wide, and even clean up the place and venture out into the light…

I do love her shamelessly and without fail. …Hello Spring, let us renew our annual tryst until your sister we call Solstice comes around and takes me in her arms, and keeps me awake till all balmy and lazy hours. Although you will abandon me once again, I will scarcely notice. You will be forgiven as always…and I will welcome you again in a few months short of a year…Adieu my fair weathered lady friend…My favorite lady, Spring.

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