Should go outside more

1 May 2018

should go outside more
to
watch the life cycle
of the camellia
triptych
of bud, bloom and half-buried in the dirt
painted every September afresh
and close-by
(to the pair of them, one with big floppy flowers
like coral
the other
with tight, streaky ones
finely detailed cameos)
the half-dead cherry blossom
whose limp rotten fingers drop and litter the ground
(or at least, did
until I swept them up yesterday)
(O, I see one I missed
nosing through the leaf-litter and low weeds
poking through
the gravel
like a cute little shark
come to suck in
air) knobs
of sap glistening darkly
towards the west (it’s afternoon)

looking up, a few clouds have wisped their way
into the window of sky above me,
previously solid blue
and a strange white aircraft is in motion,
must be far away because so small
but round? maybe a helicopter…
no,
a helium balloon (I can see its string
as it spins),
and, I realise,
not so far away; just small
then it’s out of sight
replaced
by a milling gang of gulls
who go the same way as the balloon
as do the clouds
solid blue again

I’ve been living here for four years,
why
haven’t I done this more
my housemate Leanne’s
plastic green recliner
called me today, in the sun
(though I moved it into the shade after a while, rather than find
my sunglasses, or risk sunburn,
tired
of shielding, obscuring
my sight with my arms)
Now,
I am in the shade
wondering how much longer
I will live here
whether
I will have a backyard
one that I don’t have to share
(with the rest of the building)
in the next
10 years
even though
this one is almost entirely concrete
and
not much bigger
than the kitchen

playing Grouper’s Ruins through a portable speaker
plugged into
my phone, Liz’s
utterances
via voice, via piano, via
recording of her space
weaving gently in
with the utterances of Seddon
on Sunday,
mainly
whistling, unseen birds
(small parrot-like things, probably)
cars pulling in and out of parking spots
and swishing by in the distance
(though quieter now—well past the brunching hour)

I’m enjoying my weekend
too much
soon, I will go inside
sit at the dining room table
and
mark assessment tasks
(“corrections”, as the older teachers still say)
(what’s better, the jargon or the euphemism?)
but first
I will move
into the sunlight
lie back,
suspended by a chair woven of green strings
and watch
what floats by
on a Sunday
in September

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