augury doggerel

Saturday, July 30, 2005


In the country, a girl and her father traveling share the room across from us. The man is fifty and horn-rimmed and vaguely comical. I can't see him in the girl.
Sparrows fly through, thirty in a spiral between the horses and the trees.

At the paddock, I read and watch the riders round and round. I take pictures and collect smiles.

The sparrows, one by one, bend stalks of wheat. At once, they let them go like springs and vault.

At dinner, the girl and I are first to the table. She lifts the lid and sniffs the pot and smiles at me and says "Mmm, fajna dupa!" then laughs out "zupa!" Soup and ass are perfect rhymes.

They appear and they disappear.

Horseplay and squeals from the room across the way, then, "Ow-wow! Daddy, that's too rough. Let go."

They chirketh.

The daughter is with another girl, talking in another room, when I walk through. One of them hums a tune I know from somewhere. When I hum it to myself later, I remember it's Love Story.

And they whirr.

I am upstairs reading with my back to the window and the door open to let the air blow through. The girl across the landing opens her door and stands in just a towel and smiles across at me. I smile back, she waits a beat, two beats, three beats, still smiling, wondering whether I'll breathe, and steps back. She leaves her door ajar.

A whorl of sparrows fruit a heap of brush saved for the fire and look me in the eye, bird, bird, and bird.

When the father and daughter leave at the end of the week, he follows her in the goodbye procession. She kisses the women first, then comes to me. Her father puts on shock and makes as if he might proceed to cancel of my days.

They grind their stolen ears of wheat and look me in the eye.

On the hill, no birds. I set out a silver thermos in the dirt and it exhales.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

He lifteth up, he singeth

From a taxi traveling across to town, I get a call to report that the silent cat, on his way to the vet for injections, has learned to meow. The phone is handed to the cat for proof.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pan Tones

The corrective of the wheat-green wheat, the bird-brown bird, the stone-gray stone, the air the sun the air. I am burned red.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

What I need is a bottle of Mulliner's Buck-U-Uppo. What I'll get is a week in the country, beginning tomorrow.