Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Scar

My joyful friend,
What have you done?

You were my Pinocchio,
Wanting to be a real little boy,
Thinking you were my brother,
That fighting was ok.

They should have told you
You were our dog.

Sometimes I wonder
How life was
Through your expressive
French bulldog eyes.
You seemed trapped
In your small furry body.

I can not forget you
Because every day
I look at what you left me.
A little λ shaped scar
On my upper lip.

It was a sunny day
At the country house.
A cow had stepped
On your little paw.
I didn't know it,
Sat down next you
On the warm stone steps,
And stroke you.
You tried to kiss me
Is what I told my friends
That year.
What were you doing
Chasing cows

The scarred memory

Fifteen years later
I still remember you
With love
And hope you're in a place
Where you can
Eat comic books
Without consequences.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Mother

She is resting on my sofa.
I turn the music down a little.
She thinks I'm working,
But I'm writing about her.
She closes her eyes.
I look at her.
Every inch of her is a fractal
Of who she is to me.
Her nose is my Mother,
Her ears are my Mother,
The wrinkle around her eye is my Mother,
The apparent and elegant veins on her hands are my Mother.

But I also know
The woman she is,
The human she is,
And that makes me love
Even more deeply
The mother she is.
Not because she's flawless,
But because of her vulnerability,
Her mistakes,
Her profoundly human qualities,
Her reflection on life,
Her addiction to words.

I treasure when
She doesn't know
And ask.
When she imitates Woody Allen,
When she kisses my Father,
Dances with me,
Quotes Groundhog Day,
Cries when I tell her
About something that moves me,

Expresses her love
For the woman I am,
Tells me that the day she dies,
She just asks that Céleste and I
Watch a Marx Brothers movie,

And laugh.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Bike

Early Sunday morning,
The weather hesitates.
So do I.

I stand in the empty street.
There's a fine rain.
The bike ride home takes half an hour.
Twenty minutes if I go fast.
I rarely do.

Will the rain stop?
Grow heavier?
Does it matter?

I look at the bike station.
There's only one bike left.
I slowly walk towards it,
Still thinking about the rain,
Staring at the sky,
Using my non-existent knowledge of meteorology
To evaluate the probability of the rain stopping.

I do my usual bike check.
The brakes,
The tires,
The gears,
The seat.
This bike is perfect.
I don't even have to adjust the seat's height.
This probably influences my decision to take it.
It's almost waving at me.

Ten minutes later
On the Saint-Germain boulevard,
The rain is heavy,
My hair is damp,
The wet pavement reflects the street lights,
My glasses are covered in raindrops.

I feel tired,
Slowed down,
My legs start to hurt.
A strong wind plays against me
And I forgot to change the gear.
I notice it
And don't change it.

I smile at my inability to predict the weather,
At my ability to be surprised,
At the physical effort I have to make.
This awareness
Along with the elements around me
Make me feel very much alive.
Streets are empty and mine.
I drive where it's not allowed.

I cross a third bridge and hear seagulls.
I close my eyes for a handful of seconds,
First making sure that the road is straight and clear.
I see and remember Bréhat,
This small island off the coast of Brittany
Where there were more seagulls than people
And cars were forbidden.
Everytime I hear seagulls I go back there
For an instant.

I'm almost home.
I hum Summertime...

"Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high"
...and feel grateful.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Duck

I am waiting for the train.
Three more minutes says the arrival board.
It says two now.
I must have looked at it at the end of the first minute.
Or the board and I don't have the same perception of time.
I look outside.
The gray canal and gray boats.
An empathetic gray sky.
Gray humans.

On the water, three black ducks.
My seconds are numbered.
I focus my thoughts on a duck,
The one on the right.

The duck is alive.
No one seems to care.
It is alive!
Its body moves and breathes in and out.
It has a beating heart like mine.
A liver and lungs.
And feathers it carefully waterproofs with oil,
Webbed feet that propel it in water.
It does not reason.
It knows.

Whose personal mythology
Does such a perfect creature come from?

The duck does not need me.
I need it.
The duck does not even notice me.
It lives in a perpetual present time
Without having to look at its reflection
In another being
And ponder life and nature
To reach that state.
It's already there.

I'm in awe before the duck's effortless existence.
It is grand.
Its divine essence is palpable.
It already possesses the abilities I seek,
And teaches me.

We are as blind as angry children.
We need simpler and windier lives.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Kettle

The iron kettle is bigger than me.
It boils water and sings, shakes, lives, does not get hurt.
It can burn my skin.
I look at it from every angle,
Open it,
Touch the bottom of it,
The inside of it.
I knock on it,
Fill it with sounds.
It has a strong simplicity.
It is clear, brilliant and deep.
It will survive me and my daughter and my daughter's daughter and her dog.
It will contain more water than our bodies put together.
I, am opaque, vulnerable, full, changing, soft, breakable, unopened.
I want to be the kettle,
See my skin turn into an iron armor,
My inside boiling,
Steam suddenly and loudly coming out of my teethless and gaping mouth
Before someone empties me and fills me again,
Leaving me warm and shaken.
And there.

[Show French Version]