Posts Tagged ‘dark’

“Without Fear”

There was a little boy who walked across the road

He wanted to see where the wolves had gone

His mother warned him not to wander

Nature is dangerous and needs to be feared

Still, he only looked back once, then sprinted

Between the trees into the darkened corners

Leaves formed a canopy over his head

He delighted in that secret place, and ran on

He saw a flash of grey fur and a shimmer

As the sun flashed off the wolves’ laughing eyes

Without fear he stepped into a clearing

An upsweep of flowers white and yellow and blue and red

A place where cinnamon perfumed plants grew

The boy stopped, his mother’s warning echoed

And fear grew, and he picked up a stick

A wolf cub ran up to him and pulled on his pant leg

Fear had him raise the stick above his head

       Fear had him swing the stick at the pup

Its mother looked up, when she heard the yelp

The eyes of its mother showed fear

             Fear that had shown in his own mother’s eyes

                   Fear that that placed that stick in his hand

                         Fear that now mirrored in the pup’s eyes

The boy dropped to his knees and cried

             He cried for seeing a threat that wasn’t there

                   He cried for what he lost by allowing fear, control

                         He cried for the pup he had hurt

The mother wolf trotted over to her pup

She licked his wounds until he wiggled happily

Then she turned to the boy and licked his tears away

When the sun touched the edge of the earth

And the sky turned pink, then red, then purple, then black

The boy came out of the trees

His mother was waiting, tortured, with fear

He raced to her and tired to explain what he saw

                     She did not hear him

                          She clung to him in a panic

He patted her back and hugged her shaking shoulders

Then he pulled away, and looked back towards the trees

             …without fear




Remember, June 21st World Peace and Prayer Day. I posted a poem on June 4th.  Take a minute and send out a prayer for the earth, a prayer to stop the oil spilling in to the Gulf and our oceans and all our lives.

 Take a moment, one second, to pray. Pray for the earth to sustain.

Picture is from, Word Clipart

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This morning the snow was gone. Not totally! There are still patches sitting in the shadows, under a bush or tree, and along the shaded area on the deck. For the most part, the snow melted as the warmer air and sunshine moved in.

Barely a breeze this morning, I stepped outside ready for my morning walk. I called to Uriah and headed along the path. Birds were fluttering from tree to tree, and screaming at my intrusion into their lives. How dare I!

This morning my walk was uneventful, or was it? Did I miss the rodents scurrying under the evergreens? Or the red-winged black birds flying over head then stopping to watch me as they perched on the highest point of the tallest tree..

I saw them all. A powdery blue sky, void of clouds, crowned above me as the beautiful green scent of spring drifted along my walking path. I was very relaxed and at peace with the day.

Uriah ran up to me, wagged his tail and ran to the tree line. He gave me a backwards glance and disappeared. I wasn’t concerned until I was back at the house, then I wondered where he was. I whistled! I called out! I walked next to the Bog Willows and tried to peek inside. I couldn’t find Uriah anywhere. I headed towards the barn and kept walking towards the north until I hit the empty field. Carefully maneuvering myself over the thick brown, flatten grass; I glanced to the east taking in the rolling waves of black dirt, empty of movement. I had thought, just maybe, Uriah was taking a stroll in the field looking for something repugnant to roll in. He wasn’t there…

I walked back south, turned and headed once more to path towards the east. I walked to the far back.  Carefully I avoided holes and barbed wire and stared along the farmer’s air field, first towards the red barn, then to the grove of trees, south.  

By this time anger was being replaced by fear. The farmer is known for shooting dogs.

I started to walk back towards the house.

 Suddenly, Uriah appeared, his tongue hanging out; tired he flopped at my feet and looked up as if he wanted me to give him a few minutes to recover from his run.

“Where did you go?”  I rubbed his face checking his fur for animal dung.

Uriah hung his head and stared at the ground.

With a heavy sigh, I started walking back to the house. A Blue Jay appeared and screamed at us. Uriah jumped up and walked along side me…

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This happened two nights ago…

It was only eight o’clock at night. I needed to bring Uriah inside. He was still outside in his kennel.  

A couple hours earlier I tried to coax Uriah in the house. But he wanted to sit outside. With the sun setting, coyotes would be coming closer to the house, so I locked him inside his kennel.

It was time to bring him inside. I flicked on the outside light and without waiting for the light to come on I stepped out the garage door.  I was met by a wall of darkness. I looked down at my hands and could barely see them. A heavy fog had settled in close to the ground, which caused a curtain of blackness to fall over everything. Silence assaulted my senses. For a second I contemplated going back into he house until the lights came on.  I shook off the uneasy feeling and clutched my ski pole.  

I walked forward, then turned to the right and headed around the back of the house towards the dog kennel. I hesitated again! The silence was over powering! I called to Uriah. He didn’t answer.  I looked up at the light; it was taking its time turning on. Maybe the dampness or the cold air was the reason.  Or maybe I was being paranoid!  It takes time for that light to heat up.  I couldn’t hear anything moving around out there in the dark. But something felt wrong.

I laughed off a trickle of fear and called to Uriah. He didn’t make a sound. Something else did in that heavy darkness! An odd, growl and movement, then the sound of a branch breaking came from the direction of the apple trees.

I stopped and peered into the foggy blackness. Silence! A deep heavy silence!  

I told myself, if there was something out there I should be able to hear it again and there wasn’t a sound anywhere around me.

“Hey Uriah! I really think I should have waited for the light to come on.”  He didn’t answer me.  I knew he was alright, I was talking to him through the window earlier; as it got colder I closed the window and watched him as he stared out into the yard.

I shuffled to the kennel door, opened it. Uriah stood there watching me but didn’t make a move to leave.

I stood at the open door and waved at him to leave.  “Come on! You have to come inside!” 

Uriah turned away from me and stared out into the yard towards the apple trees. He was pacing in place.

I turned and looked out over the wall of blackness. A chill ran up my spine and I fought the urge to step into the kennel with Uriah and close the door. Not a smart move! I would be locked outside, not inside the house.

Then I just made a bad mistake!  I allowed fear to creep around me…

Animals can smell fear. Uriah came up to me and leaned against my leg. Great! He was nervous too…

“Ok, here’s the plan. We walk out of here. You pee! We get into the house fast! Just pretend we don’t think anyone is watching us.”

Brave Uriah whimpered and looked out towards the apple trees, again..

I muttered. “That’s not helping!”

 I coaxed Uriah out of the kennel. He stayed as close  to me as he could get -behind me and under my coat.  I didn’t like this situation…

Then I got mad…

“Alright! Whoever is out there, get the hell out of my yard!”  Uriah perked up immediately and walked in front of me and wagged his tail.

Then I heard a clinking sound, similar to tags on a dog collar. I thought I was imagining that sound.  But Uriah’s head turned to the sound as fast as I had. It came from the apple trees…

I yelled out into the darkness and stepped forward. “Uriah are you going to pee now?”  Then I turned towards the driveway and started to walk.

Uriah followed. I stopped, he urinated and we slowly waked back to the garage.

I kept thinking. “I am not afraid!” Still, I could feel that tickle of fear creep up again. Fear is one scent I really didn’t want to send that out into the yard.  Once an animal catches a whiff of fear, he will attack. I was so glad there wasn’t a wind and we were nearly in the house. And I wasn’t sure what type of animal was out there watching..

Uriah pushed past me and was inside before I had the door fully open.

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Why do we think birds have it so good
Because they don’t have credit cards
and electric bills
That they can fly
when and where they want to
without worry..
Maybe they think what we have is great
Living inside structures
that don’t fall down in heavy winds
and we aren’t someone’s food, or play toy…
Seems we have more in common than not
I just wish I had wings…

The rain poured down this morning, an attempt by Mother Nature to clean off the winters sludge from the roads, buildings and ground. Most of the snow surrounding the house melted off this morning. Before this winter will be official over it will take a few heavy rains, then some sunny days to bake everything clean.

I walked over to the Bog Willows and peered inside their tangled branches, I saw where the snow was hiding. Every bit of ground in the shadows was snow covered. White and icy, refusing to let go of winters bite.

Uriah was very disappointed when I refused to walk in the cold water, which covered the low end of the path. He carefully inched along the un-melted ice and drank from the water.

The skies above us were heavy with moisture. The clouds were a deep soft grey, they moved quickly overhead. I looked up at the motionless tree tops. All the wind was high up in the clouds, the winds pushed them into rolling mountains that swiftly changed shape every second.

With our walking path blocked I turned my attention to the vegetable garden. This past October I had covered it with a tarp and wooden fencing, and an occasional pizza box. I had stuffed a large plastic garbage bag full of autumn leaves and set it in the garden. My intention was to dig those leaves into the newly turned soil and pile them around tomato plants. Right now that bag sat, bloated, in the middle of the garden waiting for me, and spring.

 I walked around the covered area. Stopped and called for Uriah.  

Uriah came over and sat next to me and stared at the garbage bag like I had commanded him to, and then looked up at me waiting for a biscuit.

I pointed to one of the tarps. “You think we can uncover one part and set up a cold frame?”

Uriah actually looked as though he were thinking. He stood up and stepped into a section that was not covered and slowly tried to dig in the dirt. Then he looked up at me with mud stuck to his paws.

“Okay! I get it too mushy to play in, maybe next week!”

Uriah looked at me, sighed, then walked over to a hole and stuck his nose in it, and then he stood back and sneezed. 

“Right! That last rat has to go!” I backed away. I am not crazy about rodents!  “You get right on that!” I raised my eyebrows and kept inching backwards.

Uriah isn’t fond of rats! This rat has taken his biscuits, food and chew toys over the past few months. Whenever I mention that fact, I am told rats bite, hard!  Uriah gave me a look and went into the kennel and slipped into his dog igloo and left me standing there, alone.

 I looked up into the sky, I could hear the high pitch scream of the Red Tail Hawk.  

“Hey, Uriah maybe the hawk will get that last rat for us!”

I turned my attention to the birds. I could hear Blue Jays screaming. The Black birds were congregating in the tree tops and a Robin chattered angrily at me from a Mulberry tree.   Cardinals flitted in and out the branches of the leafless Crab Apple trees.  Somewhere on top of the barn, Doves cooed in a rolling Scottish accent:-)

I pulled my camera out, fully intent on capturing a picture of that Robin. I haven’t seen one since December. I started snapping pictures of the clouds and the lack of snow.

Uriah decided he was bored and followed me to find that Robin. Except every time I pointed the camera he decided to bark at the birds. I gave him a biscuit, or three.  He was trying to protect me from the, big mean Robins. How dare they chatter at me…

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It was close to eight o’clock when I stood outside in the drive way, waiting for my dog to do his business.

I looked up into the beautiful night sky. Smiled at the full moon and the sprinkling of stars- then I remembered my camera. I ran in the house, and ran back outside.

I clicked and adjusted the specs. The pictures looked like a big white fuzzy spot on black.

I turned off the camera and called to Uriah. I was standing at the door, when behind me the howling started. A stray sound that echoed across the snow covered fields. The coyotes were singing to the moon.

I hit the video button and crossed my fingers this works. Uriah complained a little. I thought I heard a train. Suddenly, one of the coyotes howled very close by, somewhere in the trees to the east of us.  The fur on Uriah’s neck stood up and he made a movement towards the sound.

A few seconds later everything was very still.

It was very dark outside! This video is very hard to see! Please, turn your sound up.


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Most of the snow ,that was on the ground yesterday, is gone today.  It has been raining, making everything wet, dreary and muddy. I was a little disappointed when I saw the view was so blah!

Kenshin is a ham when it comes to pictures.

Uriah hates the camera! Every time I pointed it at him he turned  away, or just  sat down with his back to me.  He wanted to take a walk.  I told him to smile for William, only then did he face the camera.

I gave up and came back in the house, where Kenshin started making a heavy sighing sound at me and turning in circles. I asked him, what was wrong? He took me to my computer, and then looked out the window at the outside kennel.

It took me some time to capture what was out there, between Uriah outside the window and Kenshin inside, I wasn’t catching anything.  Can you see what I finally saw?

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I stepped outside on the deck and watched the snow gently float to the ground; everything was covered with a wispy cloud of white.

 Perception and location is everything when snow gazing. Mere inches in front of my face, gigantic flakes drifted quickly down to earth. There were hand sized spaces between each one.

 Farther out in the yard the snow came down smaller, compact and fast, with hardly enough room for the tip of a pencil to fit between each flake.  The Bog Willows and apple trees looked as though they were caught in a snow globe snowstorm.

I stared upwards into the fast, falling snow.  I watched large flakes rapidly falling towards me, looking like bright stars as they fell from the grey-white sky. They touched my face with a stinging cold, and held onto my eyelashes and hair.

Before I stepped back into the house, I stomped my feet on the outside welcome mat.  Kenshin, our two year old Siamese mix, rushed up to the door as I entered.  I pushed him back and stepped into the kitchen.  He stared up at me with his blue eyes. Then he turned and rubbed against my leg, the wall, the door, and the kitchen table leg.

I reached down and scooped him up.  “What’s up, Kenshin? You want to see outside?”  I asked, then reopened the inside glass door, but not the outside screen.

He was quiet in my arms, as we stood there watching the snowflakes drifting to the ground.

There wasn’t a wind.  Each flake drifted slowly on a downward path, one after another. Hundreds of puffy crystalline flakes piled up on the wooden deck.

With one paw, Kenshin reached out and touched the screen. He loves snow.  I slipped my shoes back on, held him tightly and opened the screen door, then stepped outside.

Kenshin immediately started to thunder purr, vibrating my arms as I held him tight.   Carefully, I walked over to the garden table, which sat outside year-round. 

 Kenshin rolled over in my arms so he faced the sky.  When he realized I was near the table, he twisted and leaped from my arms, landing in the center of the snow covered table.  Instantly, he rolled over and over covering himself with snow.  Then laid quietly on his back and watched the snow drift down on him. 

Being a very active cat, that immobility lasted a whole-one-minute.  Then he began batting at the flakes and purred even louder.

I laughed!  His cheeks puffed up in a grin.

The snow was falling faster.  Kenshin got some in his eyes, and on his nose.  He was not happy with that! Within a split second, he leapt upwards, turned his feet towards the ground and landed in the middle of the table.  Within that same moment, he slid to the floor and scampered under the table.  From there, he batted at the clumps of snow left behind from my shoes.

Deep into his insane mode, Kenshin slid around the deck like a hockey player chasing a puck.

Quickly, I moved over to the stairs and sat on the top step.  I waited for him to make a break. I would never be able to catch him if he got down the steps.

He can leap straight up in the air nearly five feet, when he gets crazed. Like he was now!   He moves at lightning speeds.  He also loves dogs. And with the overcast sky, I can bet we were being watched from the trees.  I wasn’t going to give him a chance at getting passed me, and into the yard.

Suddenly, Kenshin jumped up and twisted in mid-air, then slid in my direction.   He wasn’t happy when I grabbed him in mid-slide. 

Holding onto the railings, I moved slowly back into the house. Kenshin decided to lie in my arms upside down so he could bat at a few more flakes.

I put him down on the rug next to the door, and he took off fast. He slid on his hind quarters through the living room, then down the hall and back again. He was jumping and flipping crazily from the snow melting on his back.

I brought him a hard packed snowball and rolled across the floor.  He grabbed it with his paws and took off for the goal line…

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The vibrations from the snowblower moved up my arms into my neck. Then crawled down my back and settled in my feet, Pushing the sound and movement back into the ground so it could make its rounds again. Sputtering and choking the machine moved slowly, with me at the helm, though the slush and snow towards the front of the driveway.

I stopped and looked around for my dog; he was off near the pond his head buried in a snowbank as he tried to flush out a rabbit.

 “Hey stupid,” I pulled off my right glove and placed it in my left hand. Then I tried to straighten my knit hat, which sat crooked on my head and covered my eyes and not my ears. 

Uriah looked up.

“Go kill a rat!”  I ordered, and pointed to the left, towards his kennel.

Instead he grinned, a wide doggie grin and started madly digging.

I put back on my glove and held onto the right handgrip, which rotated the auger. My left hand controlled the self-propulsion controls.

Once more, I started the snowblower on its slow tedious path towards the road. The auger pulled in chunks of slush and ice, then pushed it though the impeller up and out of the discharge chute. It should have been thrown out wide onto the side of the driveway. Instead it sort of ‘crapped’ it out, which is what will happen to the blower if I overtax the motor.  

My hat slipped back over my eyes, and my feet slid on the icy slush, still I followed what I thought was the line of the drive.  But, when I looked up, then back.  I saw my path was a drunken line. 

At least it was warmer outside than I thought, just on the other side of thirty degrees. A heat wave!

Uriah came up next to me and sat his butt on the cleared section of blacktop. I stopped walking.  

“What?” I smiled at him, “Oh!  I see you came by to take over for me, right?”

He wiggled and barked at me, then looked directly at my pocket.

I took off my right glove and put my hand in my pocket.  I pulled out the small square-ish stone I had placed in there yesterday.

“You don’t want this.” I held out the rock so Uriah could sniff it.  

He sneezed and looked disappointed.

I slipped the rock back in my pocket and pulled out a milk bone, he jumped up and barked.  I tossed the biscuit towards the pond. Slipped back on my glove, and started the slow, walk with, Chopin’s Funeral March Sonata, stuck in my head.  I didn’t turn around to see if Uriah found the biscuit.

I was forty feet from the road when the winds hit.  A blast of cold air pushed me slightly backwards. I steadied the blower and moved forward.

The farm field across the road looked white and grey. Winds whipped up the fallen and falling snow and threw it at me. 

 Dark brown tree branches were coated white with the frozen snow.  As the winds moved around the trees, they sounded like a thick glass full of marbles being shaken. 

I pulled my scarf around my face and over my nose.  

Patiently, I waited until the cars on the road had passed by.  Then I stepped out onto the edge of the driveway.   I tried to clear the  mound of packed snow that the snow plow had dumped on the end of the drive. I glanced at my black mail box it was covered half way in ice, and slush. It was standing! It was a good day! 

Every time I spotted a car, I pulled back and waited. The drivers in this area seem to think bad weather means drive faster and pass everyone, even in the no passing zone.   

That’s the reason my mailbox ended up in the ditch -multiple times last winter!

 I took off my right glove again, and straightened my hat, yet again.  I watched as the winds pick up more force and shove the snow into drifts on and across the road.

I live on a stretch of road called, tornado alley. I can literally watch the winds as they gust across the road. Right now, that heavy wind was near the northern section of that road. It moved like a horizontal tornado.

I could see the line of winds pushing across the fields; Old Man Winter with his cheeks puffed out, a twinkle in his eye laughed like a madman. 

The cars passed.  I started my slow walk back down the drive, as my face froze, and the winds played tag with the blowing snow…

Picture from:

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After midnight on December 6, 2009, I couldn’t help myself. I had the lights out in the kitchen and I stared out onto the dark moonlit lawn. I felt a need to stand outside, in the dark, in the cold, alone.

The deck held that silvery glow that lit up the yard, and ironically darkened the shadows even more.  Ice glittered, scattered around the deck, haphazardly, always with one of the floor boards frosted with snow, seemly standing guard over the shimmering silver.  The railings on the north side were frosted white, while the east balustrade bathed in light as the wood showed through.

Wrapping my robe tighter around my waist I slipped outside. I should go in and grab my coat, but I had the feeling if I did I would miss out.  The moon would disappear behind a cloud and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this second.

 So I stayed.  Shivering I walked to the edge of the deck.  I looked upward, at the waning gibbous moon sitting in that hypnotic sky glowing white.  The sky around it was a dark, dark blue grey.  Farther east, the skyline glowed into a whitish, grayish, and peach, with streaks of grey cloud rising above the horizon everything was standing still. The sky was dotted with stars, only the brightest competed with the moon light.  

The constellation Cassiopeia, was sitting brightly in the west earlier tonight. Somewhere around seven PM,  I had been standing out in the driveway, staring at the sky, as I waited for my dog.  At that time, I couldn’t even see the moon, it rose late.  Now, I’m facing east and the stars and the moon are above me, bathing everything in silver light.

I heard a large animal moving around inside the trees. The wood of the Bog Willows snapped, as it moved none too gently though them. I told myself it was a deer, and continued to stand on the deck.  

The white snow glowed on the lower deck, in the grass, the burn pile, and painted patches skimmed in and out of the shadows throughout the yard. Slipping under the trees and crossing the fence line into the plowed fields.

The trees were black marks in the shadows. Beyond them I could see the glow of farm houses, crossing acres of farm fields.  The closest farm to the northeast had a blinking red light, a warning beacon for the farmer, for when he flew his Cessna in the dark. The further away the farms were, the less bright the lights.  Most only had on their outside night lights to keep away the wild animals.

The faint smell of manure and hay, wafted around the cold, still air. Night air has a different scent, at least for me, so completely different than the daylight hours. The night holds excitement, adventure! A need to explore! Possibilities move in-between the shadows. My wander lust kicks in…

I shivered. I didn’t want to step back in the house; this was too beautiful to turn away from. I told myself, just a few more minutes.  I looked back up into the sky, I got lost, as the ground disappeared and the stars pulled me upward…

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Early yesterday morning, I glanced out the window to check on Uriah. He was sitting in the bright morning sunshine; his head cocked to one side his ears up and forwards watching something near the line of trees.

Blinking I tried to focus on what caught his attention.  I looked at the burn pile where green and beige grass stood up in uneven tuffs, dried branches and a pile of cuttings from the vegetable garden flopped over haphazardly.

I could see nothing out of the ordinary.

I looked back at Uriah. He was still staring; his head at a tilted angle, with his left ear pointing at the ground.

I tried again to focus, again. This time past the burn pile along the tree line. Fifty feet away there was a fuzzy grey squirrel, he was laying along the ground with his front paws on an acorn squash. I could see bright yellow splotches on the dark, dark green squash.

 I blinked, then rubbed my eyes as the squirrel stood up off the ground, stood on the squash and jumped up, his downward pounce had the acorn squash roll slightly and he fell off.

The squirrel stood for a moment, staring at the squash.  Positioned himself on the side towards the house, reached out slowly and put his front paws on the squash and pushed. 

The squash rolled forward. He fell on his face, prone on the ground, back legs stretched out behind him front paws still touching the vegetable.  Then, that squirrel jumped up, landed on top the squash and held on with his nails, as it rolled, very slowly, away from the burn pile, with the squirrel attached so he fell on the opposite side.

At this point I noticed I had tilted my head like Uriah, in a, what the..!!, stance.

I watched for a few more moments as that fuzzy grey squirrel circled the squash, with his tail flipping, analyzing the situation.

I called Uriah, he looked up at me, then back at the squirrel. He eyes rolled up towards me, then back at the squirrel. Like he was saying, “Can you believe this? 

I decided I needed coffee I was hallucinating.

Photograph and upload by John Delano, of Hammond, Indiana

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