Come Out into the Brainstorm!

The old hands are immensely practical when it comes to the brainstorm.  That man sets out his barrels.  Everything that falls will be caught, examined, measured, and either retained forever or thrown ruthlessly away.  When he is well-prepared, the barrels fill quickly and all within it poured, neatly, tidily, no drops wasted, into a series of jars and pipes and other useful apparatus.  He is practiced at plodding steadily onward in dry seasons, making the most of what he has preserved.  Some of it is years, decades, threescore-and-ten years old; if time hasn’t dried it up, then the interval has probably rendered it sweet and strong: a sensible spirit, distilled by seasons.

Others wrap up tightly and keep safe beneath an umbrella.  They are on a schedule and have no time for any diversion from it.  The sensation of hair wet with forms and cold, clinging clothing disgusts them.  Only the concepts they desire in their heads will be there, only those they select.  Who knows what will happen, if one allows any old idea in one’s head?  A mind full of illusions, that’s what, one that needs to be wrung out (or, perhaps, direr means still)!


But we – we like to take our chances.

Come with me!

We dash through (catching a drop here, a drop there), jumping over a puddle that will take us a bit too deep, but not troubling to cover our heads or duck against the downpour.

Clasp my hand, and we will spin about in it.

Laughing, we will look out on those who, like us, know how to enjoy this most delightful of tempests: they splash in a collection of notions.  They stomp concepts into a muddy puddle that clings to their boots and hems when, eventually, they go indoors.  They lift their faces up to the sky, pleased that images land on their tongue, eager for drips and drops of essence and illusion to fill their mouths like wine.

Watching, we do likewise.  Before the cloudburst ends, we cup our hands to receive one shining vision, clutching it carefully to keep.


A Glorious Cooking of Onions

A variety of things (onions, and a new poetry writing group,) have set in course a poem.

The challenge issued was to write sestina, which is a 39 line poem that varies six words as line endings in a specific pattern. It seemed like a highly difficult task to me, so I chose the coward’s way out. I chose to be facetious and focus on one simple, ordinary and pleasant experience: sauteing onions on a rainy day with the doors open.

I am not sure why the mingling smells remained with me so strongly, but I wanted to try to capture them, in words if not a bottle. Which, again, set the thing into a position of higher challenge than I intended. Smells are so hard to describe! Can you even recall a smell after it is gone? Is there such a thing as smell-memory?

Somehow, the thing did not end up being as silly and tongue in cheek as I had planned. I do like it, in general. But it needs to be distilled – a sestina is not quite the right form. What other form should I try?

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