Refrigerator Magnets 028 Seascape

The graceful lines of fluid-dynamic living beings and the media in which they live and breathe and move.
The graceful lines of fluid-dynamic lives;
The media in which they live and breathe;
The movements of their very bodies soar
and glide; So very little effort spent;

how does flying feel
machines do not impart it
only in our dreams
[blank renku] Paul Guernsey © 2020

[sonnet] Into the Dark

Into the dark I walk before the sun
has set her feet upon the coming day.
I am her progeny, her brightest son,
my head held level with each newborn ray.
Each rhythmic step extends a foot to span
an emptiness unseen, each step an act
of faith that solid Earth awaits, that Man
in time will once again confirm as fact
the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.
On muffled owlish wing a stream of thoughts,
as distant rumbling thunder, answer laud
to life's unending, questing astronauts.
Against the dark auroral lights are seen.
Against the silence ringing steps do glean.

Paul Guernsey, © 2020

Non-Social Distancing

What was it like before, a few short weeks ago when public contagion was not the only topic on the news? Were we a friendlier people then? No, but then our faces passed with sufficient closeness to discern the colors of each other’s eyes. We passed each other on the way with nods of recognition or the curls of smiles on our lips. Nothing more than civility and manners expressed in joint respect for those with whom we share a bit of space for just a breath of time.

We Are Here

We are here, both you and I,
and we shall pass in peace,
as busily we fill our separate days
with striding forward toward 
our not indifferent ends.

We have been emphatically and emperiously asked to maintain a six foot buffer between ourselves and others while in public. This is wise, good, and voluntarily we comply, but the act of walking out of our way to avoid a fellow human strikes a blow to civility. We cast a shaddow of shame or feel ashamed ourselves, or both. So, now the nod, the brightened lifted face are not enough to overcome the added distance we have put between our faces. Social Distancing requires now addition of a verbal cue, a crisp, “Hello!” “Good morning!” in addition to the smile.

I step around you now with widened berth, but not because I think you harbor any threat. Well, yes, I do, but know it isn’t you. So, trying to make up for less than social distancing, I say, “Hello!” to each and every one of you I skirt. I wear an even broader smile just let you know, “I see you and we’re all in this together aren’t we?” Gladly I extend these Collateral Benefits,* for just as good and wise it is to lift your heart, to sweep away the fear as ever it was to keep you at arms’ length.

Paul Guernsey, © 2020

*Collateral Benefits: a term coined by Hans Eisenman on his 2020/03/28 Facebook post [from @TheSconeAge]:
‘I’m officially coining a new (?) term: #ColateralBenefits thanks to the coronavirus.
Example: a lot of people we run into seem friendlier than usual right now. They make eye contact a bit more as if to say “I see you and we’re all in this together aren’t we?”
What collateral benefits have you noticed, if any?’
– Hans Eisenman

Come Ride with Me

Come ride with me. Come ride,
    and be my shotgun gal.
Come ride Chibola's hills,
    re-blaze the Beefsteak Trail*.

Come map with me the scrub-land,
    the ponderosa pine,
the juniper and pinyons,
    Apache plume come find.

Come ride the dirt and dust and stone
    where cattle guards still reign,
where "speed bump" means the washboard gravel
    on the road up from the Plain**.

Paul Guernsey, © 2020

*Beefsteak Trail – a “cattle trail in the United States, stretching 125 miles westward from Magdalena, NM.”

“While miners combed the mountains for mineral riches during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, stockmen drove tens of thousands of sheep and cattle to stockyards at the village of Magdalena, then linked by rail with Socorro.[14] In fact, the last regularly used cattle trail in the United States stretched 125 miles westward from Magdalena. The route was formally known as the Magdalena Livestock Driveway, but more popularly known to cowboys and cattlemen as the Beefsteak Trail. The trail began use in 1865 and its peak was in 1919. The trail was used continually until trailing gave way to trucking and the trail official closed in 1971.”
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**The Plains of San Agustine
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