chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

Monthly Archives: October 2013

old ghosts…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ old ghosts
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

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The earth…

a connoisseur…

the autumn garden…

stolen appleBehind a gentle afternoon breeze, a big wind — the first of the season — gusts in from the north. Unusually warm — what reaches us from that direction is typically well-chilled somewhere in the sub-Arctic plains of Canada — it scrubs and ruffles the clouds for a blazing sunset, brightens the eyes of the stars and calls due the maple leaves that have lingered extra long in their dazzle of red-orange.

This is a busy season for gardening, when depleted vegetables and spent vines and errant irises are tended with an eye toward barren winter and productive spring. The last broadcast of summer’s ambitious weed seeds has taken hold.

The squirrels are busy, too. They help themselves to apples, carry them away in their teeth and leave chewed cores scattered around the yard. Run off in mid-theft, a squirrel will usually keep hold of its treasure. But not always. The apple sat on the fence for most of the afternoon before it was reclaimed.

Tucked among the herbs and under yellowing hosta leaves are apples “buried” in holes that would do well for a peanut but leave the fruit half exposed. I throw them down the untamed slope behind the house, where some critter will find them, or perhaps they’ll sprout and join the feral grove.

Under a rain of leaves, I move through the garden pulling, trimming, clearing. Knowing that the real work is indoors: the poems that need pruning, or sit buried in files waiting to be reclaimed, or swirl in wind-ruffled eddies of words, teasing, just beyond reach. Seeds of the feral grove.

MOUNT…

IN FALL…

we heard…

write…

autumn at 9 a.m.

season-work

cotoneaster juniper fog
 
Unusual weather has settled upon us. After a run of perfect autumn days, fog crept in. First, just for a morning visit. Then morning and evening. Then just fog all fog.

As the maples blaze copper and red and the last of the green tomatoes ripen on the kitchen counter, fog glazes every surface with its speckled dampness. In the first days it seemed to hold warmth. But now it carries a deep chill, sends us searching for sweaters, resigns us to the tick and roar of the heater and infuses our conversations. Is summer, we sigh, really over?

And everywhere, spider webs. As if readying for Halloween, the slow, fat-bellied spiders of autumn have knitted up the garden, dropped their silken ropes from eaves and slung nets along fences. The morning’s lingering darkness reveals a pale patchwork of webs high on the telephone pole, caught in the street light’s wan pinkish glow.

The spiders instruct me with their industry.

his deft shape…

long…

SWAYING…

Waiting…

the season…

Northwind

growth…

tea leaves…

jik age 6 to DAK side 1

jik age 6 to DAK side 2

jik age 6 to DAK envelopeMuch has been thrown away, but over the years my father, my mother and I each made decisions about things that would be kept. This letter, which I wrote at age 6, was in a folder my father labeled “Treasures.”

I read it like tea leaves: the chaos of a rare rainy day in Los Angeles, the sudden rainbow, the two names with their inverted letters — Jan, the girl I envied, the girl I wanted to be, from earliest school days, and Julie, my best friend.

And the letter itself: the formality of Dear Mother (had her long absence when I was 3 and 4 changed her from Mommy and tucked a wedge of caution or suspicion into our relationship ever after?), the surprise of the quite-adult suppose, the unfinished because you, the picture of my red-headed mother in a fancy dress walking a green dog.

The letter covers both sides of a sheet of newsprint and another sheet has been folded in 6-year-old fashion into an envelope, with a liberal application of Scotch tape, and addressed in ballpoint pen, each letter carefully inscribed twice over.

So much is unknown. Sentences unfinished. Wrong-headed suppositions. But as my friends will attest, I still sign my letters xoxo and I can’t resist a green dog.

first blog

first blog by jik
I love this little newspaper,
with its headlines and columns
and captioned images of smiling people.
Was there ever such news, all smiles,
or is this the world seen only
through unclouded innocence?

. . . . .
undated art by jik

sand…

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