Friday, June 17, 2011

Birthday time

I've said it before: Somehow my even numbered years make me feel younger. Maybe it is the roundness of it, the ability to cleanly split my age in half and think about where I was half a lifetime ago.

As of Friday I shall be thirty-eight. I recall my nineteen-year-old self trying to sort things out and not doing a very good job of it. This is not to say that I magically came up with all the answers since then. My desire to tell stories remains strong as ever though and I finally have my work in front of book publishers (still no word yet but these things take time).

Next month is also my twenty year high school reunion. Should be interesting to see what folks are up to. I am a little concerned that social networks such as Facebook have, for some, trumped the experience of really connecting with people you have not seen in years. Status updates and tweets are okay but are not tangible.

I know some folks hate reunions; they don't want to be bothered with people not in their current circle. But what does it hurt to spend some time with folks who were part of your community? Maybe you are at opposite ends of the world these days but at one time you borrowed a pencil or they copied your history notes.

That is next month. My birthday is all about ME. Once in a while you have to remind yourself of your importance. So yeah, today is for me.

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away