Monday, April 17, 2017

WASHTUB SPRING by Alan Casline.

In his later years and right before the cross-country trip he made, “destination” changed meaning so no longer were the mileposts counted off but instead “circle” replaced all the steps one in front of another in the way he used to carry maps and had to constantly check his pockets for the tickets he knew somewhere ahead he would need, not fresh and unfolded but crumbled and stuck with pocket debris, new dirt and fuzz of old laundry why he might be johnny appleseeding it with collected and broken flowerheads as old as just after the last time his jacket had been washed and time on from that, which he casually let fly from the pocket, he hoped held his ticket these seeds which as he plucked from where they were held in his palm pausing with a pinch between thumb and index finger and then brushing his hands together cleaning off all that were left and then taking the same two fingers and displaying to his eyes the ticket he was once again worried about missing his connection and it became time to speak about the silence even though to speak of silence was to end the silence he felt that yes it was time here at the beginning of the old path to a named spring to cycle the voice of his own silence to nature breathing as warm animals hid and his words were gone though you could say hid also and perhaps because there was no destination even his inner voice was silent and language in words was gone but there was the weak feeling of absence remembering words and unable to find even one just a nothing mind gone animal carcass dancing till he was there at the spring but couldn’t form his being just the black dark of silence which stirred a longing, a need which retrieved him except then his eyes blinked out and he could barely feel the wind as he fell into the mystery of time uncharted and so his hands reached out and moved in time indeterminate no longer were the breaths counted out how long unknown even the memory of movement had no word and he drank water from his cupped hands at that he again touched the world as if it were real.

He woke to the path which answered his riddle, saw middle clouds and heard Cloudpeople thrill-ride their soapbox derby cars made of tiny suspended water droplets straight into the green hillface, which called wind to wipe them off the hill’s forest chin like Shepard’s pie for lunch or vanilla ice cream on a hot day. Sheets, wisps & patches, rolls, ripples, heaps and tuffs, towers. Loggerhead came back with a new protest sign and the same hairy feet. Lumbering up and down a little switchback excuse me slipping by his rumble tale. What is the difference between memories and ghosts?  Everyone I knew walking with me on the trail again when I’m alone and want them all to shut-up. In a deep hole in the ground there is still snow, a last place to melt.

guess you don’t think the
world will end
  when you die
the little world
the perfect world
   with your life in it


© Alan Casline 2017


Alan Casline is the editor of Rootdrinker a long standing magazine of watershed poetics, art and nonfiction. He lives with his wife, Jennifer Pearce, in a suburban neighborhood outside of Albany, New York. 

You may order his most recent book here:

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