[lit-ideas] Hereabouts

  • From: david ritchie <profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 8 Nov 2015 11:37:22 -0800

An odd week. Memories of the trip to New York bubbled up in conversations: the
taxi driver who didn’t seem to know how to drive, the Hemingway exbibit’s
interest, a fifteen year-old whisky from a distillery that started up about
seven years ago. And then there was Mac’s downward spiral which, like a plane
in a movie, altered at the very last minute. Up he came again into sunshine
and fall color. Then, Saturday, which was one of those days where you go, “Why
bother?” Dismal, wet, cold, the sort of day that makes you think they could do
daylight savings by a simple ectomy. Cheddar was of the same view. I let the
girls out. They ran to the other side of the house, apparently reasoning that
the weather might be better there. Then from underneath the large hydrangea,
at regular intervals, came, “Cease and desist.” Didn’t make a jot of
difference. I threw them some stale crackers with elderberries and figs in, or
some such la-de-dah mix. They were most reluctant to risk the downpour.
“Could you not toss them a little closer?”
“Pax vobiscitum,” I said, just to give them something to puzzle over. There
was a good deal of “oooooohing” and “whaaaaaating” in the moments that followed.
“Crackers,” said Cheddar, possibly alluding to the food.

We snick our lap belts.
In a neighborly way some of us attend to steward voices,
which tell us how to do
all that we’ve just done.

To some it may be news there’s a life jacket under the seat
or that the bum sponge itself may float.
One never knows.
Doors we’re told are clearly marked
and in the unlikely event of an emergency happening,
masks will descend.
We should try to breathe.

As we rise through light cloud
we are a belief community,
urging the plane on until we
emerge into the realm
of gods and soul.

Far below
midgets in their midget cars bellow,
when guiding voices,

I have but one thought:
keep my dog in comfort and drugs
till we reach home.

David Ritchie,
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