Thursday, June 24, 2010
'Is that a mommy goat?' she asks.
Yes, Miss it is.
'Where's her baby?' and her concern shows.
She's there. Calling. They call for each other just as your mom calls for you.
We talk for a while of Billy Goats Gruff and Mommies and corn..
'I have to go now bye bye!' She dances away smiling. Her mom and dad also smile and begin to walk away down the street to a pretty little gray house on the corner that the platinum haired girl calls 'home.'
Bye Bye, little one.
I spend a while on my knees patching the hole in the fence with thin rusty wire and make my mental note to buy more wire next week.
The orange moon is almost completely full as I lock the pen gate behind me. The lunar eclipse comes in two nights.
'It'll be beautiful.' I think, as Regs and I begin to walk back to our small space in the corner of the farm. A baby bird emerges from the bushes at our feet and skims the ground.
I smile as Regs gives chase knowing the futility of this.. But the baby bird does not rise and stays low. I call Regs to break off. He does and turns to look at me with his yellow eyes..
The fledgeling crashes into the soft sand a few yards away and I smile slightly at the instability of newly feathered wings.
'It's hard at first young one. So much to learn..' and I take the frightened chick into my hands, intending to find a safer place.
Mother and Father chatter in the trees with concern as I walk.
'Don't worry. I'm not that animal'
The baby sits blinking slowly and looks at me.
I stare in wonder as she lays down in my callused hand and dies.
'Please don't go.... I'll find a safe place for you..'
She won't listen, and the narrow eyes and shrill calls of the birds in the trees, this bright orange moon are witnesses this night.
'I have to go now bye bye..'
I stand stroking her gently with the mountains at my back, crying as I always have, as I always will.
Very gently, I lay her under the tree that was her first image at the instant she opened her little eyes to the world.
No one will know. Just her Mother and Father who's duty is done and now take wing into the west. Regs sits at my feet staring intently with his yellow wolf eyes.
And the bright orange moon...
I am still here.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
An old quarter horse lays in a small corner of this cold arena looking at the first rays of light as they gently touch his ears, then his amber forelock, he narrows his eyes at the intensity of the sun and tries to stand and, can't.
I feel that familiar pull as I watch him struggle and fail to find his feet. With so many years behind him he carried an extra burden so that people like me could feel 'freedom' and smile as the wind rushes past. And now...
'Cmon boy.' and he settles himself down again to rest. Maybe not now. Maybe standing can wait.. I barely notice the others that are separated by a common fence. They're watching as well, quietly nibbling on green hay that waits just out of reach for the old horse. I have to and he has to.. We do what we are meant to do.
If we're lucky.
An old Chestnut Thoroughbred moves away from the bales and he and I meet at the side of the old man, still laying in the dust, legs curled uncomfortably under his still broad chest. Me with my human words and the Thoroughbred with his expressive almond eyes say the same.. 'No.. Not this day my friend... Get up.'
Nose brushes ear. Hand caresses wither. All eyes together with a mighty and stumbling effort the old horse rises... And.. They both slowly walk back to the hay.
And I find in the beauty that my eyes are wet with love, affection and the truth of life..
What will be.. With all our energy and effort we move onward. May we all see.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
It's comforting to know that if you wait long enough, and can survive long enough, the rains will finally come back. Its been dry for a very,
very long time. A contented sigh passes my lips, turning to steam as it passes through the old window screen and disappears in the wind. I
enjoy the feeling of the cold on my skin and shiver a little with a smile on my face, the same smile that arrived in the early hours of the morning
when I first heard the drops pattering against the heater vent up on the roof top.
I do enjoy the cold but, now it's a good excuse to wear the coat my Dad left to me a short 3 years ago. Opening the closet I search into
the very back with my fingers, pushing aside the old set of Army BDU's that hang ready and still starched. They signify quite a passing
of time now since the camo pattern has changed from this old style to the new ACU digital for our conflicts in the desert. They hang
ready and mostly able, like me... The Army doesn't really want either of us anymore it seems. The uniform has a few holes sewn shut and I
have too many screws and swollen joints now. I did what I could when I could, but it doesn't seem enough I guess.
My fingers brush softly against the familiar wool of my father's coat and I pull it out for the first time in a year. The bone, grey and green
striped tartan outside has seen it's share of use over the years but, despite a few tiny moth holes its held up well. The huge woolen lapel
and collar looks so out of place now and the green stripes and wooden buttons further date the coat. I'm proud to wear it out anyway
and I've worn it in several of my films. I wore it in Big Bear for my favorite birthday 2 years ago when I got drunk and restless at 1am and
decided that by God, I was going for a walk around the lake. Unfortunately, it was 28 degrees that night and the lake that I started to
stroll drunkenly around was in the neighborhood of 17 miles in circumference. Still, I estimate that I walked at least an hour under the bright
glow of the Milky Way before I got discouraged turned around, headed back to the cabin and promptly got lost. I splashed some of the
icy lake water on my face for sobriety's sake and took refuge on a metal park bench for a rest after a while. I didn't have a watch on that
night but when I woke up I noticed the stars had moved a bit from their original positions. I'm not sure if I've ever been colder and my feet
were completely numb inside my Roper's which, was at that point, a good thing though. A process of trial and error finally led me back to
the cabin and into the warm bed with my wife who, on initial contact with my blue skin, did let out a yelp and jumped away from me. But, love
overcame the day and she wrapped her little body around my frozen one, whispering sweet nothings of comfort until I, from the
disapproving look on her face the next morning, passed out.
My father wasn't much of a drinker and I write that off to his Southern Baptist tendencies. I for some odd reason picked up the drinking
gene. I'm not sure if anyone in my family really drank much except for a far removed Uncle who was in his day, not only a drunk but also the
Mayor of Carthage. My Dad's vice was smoking and that, in addition to poor diet and zero exercise eventually caused him 11 heart
attacks before the rest of his body gave out on him. He didn't leave much behind and what little he did have was loaded on to a U-Haul
and moved to his 80 year old Mother's house for her to sell off at her leisure... This coat though, is in fine shape. Better to have a coat
that kept me from killing myself in the cold than a few Jacksons in my wallet that would have just shrugged their collective paper shoulders at
me and continued a discourse on the state of the nation.
Yeah, I like this old coat. And I really like the rain that led me to pull it out today. Yeah... Another really nice day....
Original Writings by Jesse Holland Copyright 2007
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I dreamed of love. Complete, honest, selfless and whole. She stood before me in this dreamland with her dark hair, her green eyes and a laugh that is rapturous to me still.
The few precious hours of that dream lasted for months to my sleeping mind. My dream Lady and I walked hand in hand through the difficulties and humor that is a life entwined. She was everything to me and I smelled her, tasted her on my tongue and there was room for nothing else inside of me. I was a slave and a king.
And then came the dawn. Barely awake, her scent began to fade from my soft pillow and I realized the truth. She was gone forever and I would never share my life with her again. How I cried.... How deeply I mourned her loss.
Foolish feelings go hand in hand with a foolish heart. I mourned her through my classes and during my daily run in the pine forest. I mourned her in my bed alone at night where I could still imagine her caress. For months my broken heart ached at the loss of her...
Through all the years between then and now I've found vestiges of her. I've seen shadows in my lovers and I smile when they sing, dance, cry, laugh, sigh, speak and glance my way with... Everything that lies behind the eyes of a woman.
I've found her there.
But last night I had a dream. After all these years I had the same dream as I lay alone in my bed... A man now and not the boy who only thought of a lover and a safe haven from the world. A man with the burdens and responsibilities of life and, I dreamed again.
It was her but, not. Her raven hair was golden and her green eyes had turned to blue... The scent of her was the same as I picked her up and hugged as hard as I dared. Pure laughter in my ears and her skin so soft against my beard and cheek...
"Daddy" my lovely daughter said..
"I like my bicycle."
"I hoped you would."
My dream self set her down and watched her as she ran to the door, all smiles, joy and childhood innocence..
"I'll be back. I'm gonna ride my bike!"
"Alright Darlin. Be careful.. I'll be right here."
"I love you Daddy!"
All smiles and excitement she ran outside to play.
"I love you too little Darlin...."
And I woke this morning to the sunrise over my favorite mountain... Horses to train and stalls to clean and a fence that seems to need mending.
Changed by my life's desire..
Monday, March 15, 2010
My part in a brutal video game that glorifies our ongoing war, causing bold pen strokes from the new recruit years from now. For Mature players only....
My part in this small corner of a small farm, feeding old, tired horses at 2am with only a sliver of moonlight to see.. My penance for a broken heart. Loving more than I was asked and talking too much for too long.. I wonder with amusement. What will be said..
The yellow wolf eyes of the puppy at my feet gaze at me with such intensity and they wonder also but, I can't fathom the words and questions in his loving eyes...
Does he know I sold my honor for that video game, hoping to show my then wife that I would do what needed to be done no matter the personal cost? For my nieces and nephews so that they would know that possibilities are everywhere if they but believe in themselves and have the strength to try?
My misguided attempts it seems... Slippery and treacherous is reality and life when one seeks to achieve more than simply a bowl, a bed and a bone. Those things are necessities...
Fighting for an ideology will break a man if he isn't strong enough...
The burden feels heavier at times.
Friday, February 12, 2010
At the many times you asked me not leave
And I looked, saw and couldn't leave
Not even to save myself, my world, my dreams.
Thinking.. She'll return this kindness
And sitting here alone staring into my mind
At the edge of the Fall when I asked you to stay
And you looked, saw and couldn't stay
Not even to save us, our world, our dreams
Thinking.. I can do better than this
Sunday, January 24, 2010
The morning alarm rings so soon to wake me to the still dark day. It seems that I drifted off to sleep only moments ago with my ankle pressed against hers. It’s a constant contact that still allows freedom of movement but relays an enduring and comforting sense of presence and intimacy. She moans and roles over, checks the alarm to see if there is some silly mistake or, if she truly does need to ready herself for the coming day. It's true and to soon, far to soon. I see her silhouette in the dim light as she lowers her head again into the pillows and I hear her breath as she collects her thoughts. I love her. We lay there gently flirting with sleep and wakefulness as the morning sounds begin to encroach on our small private paradise. As she settles, I feel her searching under the cover with her leg to touch me and I move closer to her. Just a simple touch of skin. There are only a few moments left before "the others" require our time and attention and I bask in the feeling of warmth and stillness with my love by my side feeling the same.
With a sigh she rises, slowly, cautiously, gently brushing aside the warm covers and feeling her way on the creaky old wooden floor with her toes. The clothes dropped in haste last night are an obstacle to the shower that will push her into full consciousness this morning. I hear the warm water begin to flow and then the vibration of the 80 year old pipes tell me that she has turned on the cold water as well, the next sound will be the shower curtain being pulled closed. Now it's time for me to rise as well, though no work calls me today I still have responsibility.
I stumble into the small kitchen and realize that I left our dirty dishes in the sink last night but, no matter, there is time to do them today while she's gone. I fill the stainless kettle with water and turn on the old gas oven. She likes her coffee a certain way so I do my best to remember the exact sequence that brought a smile to her face last time. The milk should be poured into the porcelain mug which should then be place close enough to the burner to warm it, but not close enough to burn her when she closes her delicate hands around it a few minutes from now. 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of coffee are added. I adjust the amount of coffee knowing that she fell asleep a little early last night and she'll be fine without this being full strength.
I have a few minutes before the kettle begins it's insistent whistle and she turns off the shower so I turn on the computer and make our bed, all the while listening to her progress in the other room. Should I make her an omelet or a bowl of freshly cut fruit? I settle on the fruit since she has a limited amount of time before she leaves. Organic apples, bananas and grapes for this morning I decide though I hope they're sweet enough to compete with the sugar in her coffee... Maybe some honey and yogurt?
Oh, I can hear the shower curtain and she'll be drying off now. I stand watching the water and wishing it would boil quickly. I want the coffee to be waiting for her on the desk. As I hear her brushing her teeth the kettle begins to whistle I smile because I win again and she'll come out wrapped in her fluffy baby blue robe and I'll have the steaming cup of coffee ready for her as sure as clockwork. I pour the steaming water into the mug, stir it quickly then rush to get it onto the desk in time, and then rush back into the kitchen so she doesn't see how much I'm trying to be quick for her... The old floor creaks again as she walks to the computer and sits down to check her email. She lifts the cup to her lips and, from the kitchen I hear her quiet "Hmmmm" and I smile....
So many people lose their loved ones tragically every day. I at least know that I cared about every spoonful of sugar and every smile that it brought and, that she was loved by a man, with all his heart, mind and soul.... She would never ask me to care about a cup of her coffee as much as I do.... But I can't not care..... She is all I ever wanted and she makes me a better man every day I'm with her...
Friday, January 22, 2010
If I kiss you gently and whisper in your ear... "My love, come walk with me."
Would you rise to live this moment with me? To watch our breaths mingle, dissipating in the air and hear the sounds of each others footsteps on the icy ground? Would it seem romantic to make the sacrifice and bear the cold for a fleeting moment that would be lost eventually to time?
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Narrowed eyes against a slight misty breeze, the rain has stopped for a few grateful hours. The stalls are flooded and the horses stand shivering... I am.. Only passing through and this is a hard truth to bear. Looking out onto the valley there are a million lights gleaming in the distance like a moonlit ocean before me as my breath crystallizes in the cold mountain air. The dimly lit mast is empty.. Our tattered flag has been taken down now, due it's respect. The winds of the fall were as expected and too much for it.
This is a harder place.
Sand and rocks shift beneath me and the mountain water still drains as I stand in the cold night wondering... Soaking wet feet, mist on my face and neck and I watch my puppy play with an errant pine cone. He's followed me outside as I feed and tend tonight, just like the last night.. and the nights before.
I've been told that I'm wrong in thinking I'm in heaven. The smell of manure and the soft knicker of General.. He's not content tonight. I understand. The months and years ahead will bring better times but, for now.. We have this.
To wake you in the morning darkness with the aroma of coffee
To caress you until you rise sleepy from the bed
To enjoy every sunrise together we can
To form words that inspire you with hope for the coming day
To kiss you goodbye
To text you jokes to cheer you
To always be there to listen when you need me
To have the candles lit and door open for your arrival home
To ask about your day
To hold you when you cry
To kiss you where it hurts
To burn with passion for you
To make love to you as if it were the first time, the last time, everytime
To never be too tired to get up and make your tea
To put you before everything and everyone else
My Desire has always been thus,
And always will be.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Deep tone wind chimes sing with the slight breeze outside and an easy rain settles on my shelter. Not my home but, a roof, a sink and a dog bowl for my best friend who lies beside me under the warm gray cover sleeping and dreaming. It's been a long lovely day. The all too brief visit with an old friend was refreshing, and moving. He is a fine man and it's been a privilege to have known him.Then, a soft tender touch and warm gaze from someone so very special, so innocent will carry me for some time. At work the rains began and soaked everything but, we continued with passion and eagerness. After all, I love what I do, what I've become. Matching panting partners we move in this dance. Hair sticking heavily to my cheeks and brow and water dripping from my beard.. Riding the temperamental Andalusian 'Flamenco' and we move. Quickly with his discontent and nervous energy he bucks under me. "Paso" I whisper to him. "Paso, my friend." He won't. Too much energy and excitement and away we run again. The fence rushes at us but, I can feel his muscles under my left thigh tense and see just the slightest turn of ear. No fear, no worry. "No matter what you do, I will be right here Flamenco." I whisper as he turns to stop and my boot gently brushes the railing as he hesitates. "For now, you are my horse and I am your rider, this is our life.. Together." And so we danced in the rain and wind. In the sand of the arena we both learned patience. And this is the road less traveled...
I waited but, it is true... He is dead... Pavarotti, I can't speak Italian but I can sing it because of him. Your voice called to me for so many years. And now my candle burns into this night. I remember...
When I buried my hero, I sang your words. When in my darkest nights on the beach alone, you were with me, in my heart and on my lips. One of my life's goals was to sing your song, 'Nessun Dorma. But... It sounds a small and frail piece of itself with my breath and voice.
My guess is that Bocelli will pay tribute to you with renditions... Or will he leave well enough alone? For though his voice is fresh with youth, and his sound is so very clear... It can never be yours... Yours that called so sweet. I will tell my children when they are born "Aaahhh, but if you had been privileged, you would have seen Him... Pavarotti, standing like a ship before the dawn."
Those that slumber now, they will not know. But we knew... We around the globe. We who felt the vastness of our world, sigh.... In your passing.
On to your next journey my friend. God Speed and, all my good will...
"I sit alone at an airport watching through the thick glass, the sky and the horizon as the sun begins to make it’s presence known. I watch a flat landscape turning slowly from black ink to purple and now, a most lovely peach. The far distance is is squared with the tiny shadowed outlines of humanity’s encumberences and occupations. Pinpoints of light glitter and wink in the growing dawn. Peach turning to orange and magenta cascades off the edges of clouds though they are few and resting low in the sky. I feel the pull as an America West flight takes wing and disappears into the distance.
The sun blazes into sight and though I’m waiting for it, it’s power is difficult to fathom. So far away from us but still the reason that our life takes place this way. The sides of buildings and unidentified objects far away reflect the light, reminding me strongly of Monet’s painting of "The Cliffs". I’m swept away into the image and can almost see the brush strokes in my minds eye, the wind and the smell of the sea spray.
The speed of the sun is usually measured in hours but it’s birth and death can be measured in mere seconds. How familiar that seems. I watched my father lowered into the ground on Tuesday March 29, 2005. The pages of this small compilation of my thoughts do not reflect his importance in my life. Idon’t know how to express the lessons I learned from the past. The years of stone silence caused by a wall of pridefulness, the steel of his hand, the wetness of his tears on my small shoulder, the joy in his voice when we finally found the relationship that had elluded us for what seems a lifetime. The past and, unfortunately the last year of his life was filled with phone calls and talks of karaoke and cookies. Deep fried delicacies and dreams of the future.
I was told by others that he was proud of me.
Perhaps for now, we should leave off at that statement. for April 2, 2005