Posts Tagged 'farm'

Fields

 

Me and my downward dog have some serious stretching to do before the market wakes. Before the market wakes, we open our eyes and stare out the window, where morning has not occurred to the mammals but the fowl are restive already. Craking, clicking, clacking, honking, chittering; beating sounds rise from the morning twilight and hang in the air, clack, click, honk, chitter. A bitter cold hovers above the warmth of sound, pressing down, cold ground, old ground, rolling over in the comforter, covering the mountain shoulders, shuddering back into the warm down spread. The warm dawn spreads slowly at first, after the snow showers, after the winds, and rises like a surprise resurrection, like an unexpected birthday party, and there the show of hands, of delphiniums, of daffodils, rise up again, tentatively answers a question that has not yet been asked.

Downward dog and me stretch and roll through the belly, the spine, on the gritty floor in front of the fire and then lie flat, staring at the ceiling with arms held out, ready for crucifixion or the shining oil of loss on a puddle in the middle of some pitted street. Downward dog and me stretch and sigh and rise up into the future with cobra, hang silently in trees, unseen. The weather waits, coiled, until we forget, then brings us down again, too soon warm, too late to hibernate. There is a bell that rings in the changing woods, a deep bell that rings, calling the birds, the seedlings, the writhing pink worm to keep moving; athetoid, it turns in upon itself until suddenly a reaching branch turns white, blush, and bleeding green. Time for market, time to pull on socks and drink tea, time to watch the spring birds rise up and leave the wintering fields.

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Uncle Pig

 

In the spring, Uncle Pig burned leaves, while the ground was still damp and fire was relatively safe. Never in the fall, when the autumn leaves would burn crisp and fast, like when he was a boy and he and his cousins experimented with a soft dry patch out back that rose on a light breeze like a breath from a dying man, up and out into some destination that they hoped would remain unknown. It became known altogether too fast, a short jump from their own 5 acres to the center of town and then down to the river, where thank god it put itself out. That incident was long out of public memory until it happened again, some 50 years later.

Uncle Pig did not get re-elected to village council that year, on account of the fire, and in fact his picture was eventually removed from the Town Hall offices, where every elected official was hanging, except for the dog catcher who was found to have sold many missing dogs to a cosmetics research lab, and now Uncle Pig, who tried not once but repeatedly to burn the village down to the ground. This burning desire was eventually found to be related to a small but powerful tumor in the right temporal lobe that convinced Uncle Pig that the only truly cleansing substance on earth is fire. Fire leaves nothing but sterile ash in its wake, he told his attorney, at the trial where he was not allowed to testify. For his entire 73 years, he woke every morning, lit the fire, made the coffee, and got to work. Every spring, he burned leaves in the recommended manner, until the year when he lit the fire in October, to purify, to sanctify, to leave a pile of ashes where everything he used to know could be carried away, lightly, on the wind.


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