February 10, 2015

Yesterday dawn the eagles took showers in swirling mist.

Yesterday dawn I walked through the brown woods, my face beaded with mist and even the stillness was wet. Three pairs of cardinals settled in my yard and foraged, the females tweeting eighth notes and the males long glissandos, these dancing valentines.

Yesterday morning late the air turned to cold stone.

Yesterday morning late the wind meditated with deep breaths, in and out, making the arthritic trees bend and moan. I touched my tongue to the breeze and it stuck and I tugged away and my tongue tasted coal and fish and juniper and black-capped sparrow and clay.

Yesterday afternoon a kestrel hovered midair, flapping its fast wings.

Yesterday afternoon a rabbit screamed and leapt into a brush pile, clumps of its fur impaled on the bramble bushes. I watched the kestrel rise straight up and drop again, and field mice scurried to the brush fort, and the predator moved on—food was everywhere.

Yesterday sunset the clouds were Swiss cheese.

Yesterday sunset stars and planets filled the holes, Orion stretching his belt and limbering up for the voyage south. I leaned against the spruce tree and watched deer shadows and heard wild violets crying to get out of bed and tree frogs sighed and rolled over.

Yesterday night, a barred owl posed the question: Who?

Yesterday night there were no answers but there was music of maracas of budding trees and chattering teeth of feral cats. I saw the river’s reflection flow across the meadow and fall into the black sinkhole and sate the thirst of the dreamers, of the dreamstate.

This morning I lay in bed and felt for scars and lumps.

This morning I saw my ravaged face its eyes swollen its teeth translucent the skin all redness and greenness and yellowness—a man of color, I—and thought of yesterday’s landscape paintings, of the Painter, of how painting is alienism:

Of how dreams drown in sleeping pill puddles.


About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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