Marching Forward

I used to dream about being an ant.

I spent hours as a kid trying to follow a single ant through the yard, tracing its haphazard path with my eyes as I crawled along behind it.

It always struck me when I lay down on the ground and stared up through the timothy, through the lazy dandelion parachutes, that every trip an ant made was a terrifying quest.

When you put your head next to the ground, there are so many rocks, so many dead pieces of plants and animals.

Invisible.

Unless you are down there, breathing in the scent of loam and rotting mulch.

I learned later about chemical trails and pathways, but the ants were always so fast as I watched.

Crawling above and around, the eerie canopy of grass and logs concealing their adventures.

I wondered, from an ant’s eye,  what the sun was, whether trees were anything more than the corners of their known universe.

There are different words when you lie down on the ground and stare up.

I like to watch them march across the page, their pathway determined by the scent of cut timothy and dirt under my fingers.

IMG_0003Chaos on the surface, order underneath


If you would like to follow more of my march through perilous terrain, I have also written a fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It is available here.

What Stands Between

There is nothing like walking down a de-commissioned highway.

In a place where it rains, life aggressively over-runs the concrete.

Every crack from erosion is filled with moss or weeds.

They increase those cracks, spreading outwards like the green arms of a slow motion supernova.

Still, my eyes are always drawn to the concrete barriers on either side.

They have often been knocked about, slightly off-kilter.

Yet, even years after they served a purpose, they still mark the boundaries of wholly different worlds.

On one side, the remnants of failed empire, on the other, expansion so thick and tall that it blocks out the sun.

These barriers are dramatic, but they exist every where.

Sometimes physical, sometimes not.

When I write, I think of the things that separate.

I think of the things that scrabble on the concrete.

I think of the things that grow madly, wildly towards the sun.

IMG_0640A joining and a separation