Poem and and reading and photographs By Dan Windisch 2018
For 69 years I grew up in, lived in, perceived in,
And will, in the not too distant future,
a land of mist,
shades of rain,
I grew up in lands of tall evergreen trees;
Spruce, Douglas fir, and Cedar.
Trees formed, from fog, and rain, and days of occasional sunshine.
I grew up surrounded by Mountains that exist only in days of
Even huge, magnificent, 14,408 foot, snow-covered, even in August,
She often disappears, stops existing,
between the mists and clouds that covers us all,
Then, surprising us all, bursts out glorious,
and brightly snow covered,
in sunshine; for a few days,
then disappears, again, As if, never having existed,
back into the mist.
Was she always there?
Are we always here?
I live in lands of rolling hills, covered by thick tall green trees,
and dense underbrush,
and wet dripping leaves,
and those marvelous Madrona (Mad Rona’s) trees
with their shining when wet, bright red skins,
and red berries,
and regally red peeling bark (do you see her face in the bark? I do).
I live in Western Washington; Puyallup, Olympia, Lacey,
Don’t ask me for exact descriptions of people, places, and things.
All adjectives and nouns slide into,
and out of
the fog, the mist, the varying shades of gray.
The joys of living in a land of mist, reflections, shades of rain, and fog?
The best aspect?
Sliding, mystical shape shifting Beauty, and a reality,
that slides from sunshine, to mist, to rain.
I hold, cherish, then let go, of everything,
back into the mist.
Yet, part of the my most beautiful, my most connected,
are the people, and moments of beauty and gratitude, that I so love,
They always remain in my soul,
even when I forget.
Even when they are hidden from memory by the fog, and the rain,
and the mist.
Like a dream, forgotten,
but still there,
Until I too slide back into the mist.
Currently, in this short moment in the long history of this land,
Currently in 2018, ours is a haunted land,
full of Walmarts, Costcos, strip malls, streets, freeways full of cars
and frustrated, frightened, angry, confused, lonely people,
glued to iphones, in hurried goings and doings,
and throw away, and hoard, more and more.
Yet also many kind, and good, and caring people.
Yet many of those that have more than their ancestors
could ever have imagined,
Are so full of fear of losing it all.
People unconsciously fearing Homelessness, which, realistically,
For most of them, is just a job loss,
and a few months away.
Scary thoughts, not thought about, but constantly there.
I live in a land of homeless people,
with cats and dogs,
And too many clothes on hot days,
and needles on the ground,
and murmurings, and shoutings,
No deep anything. Everything passes into, and out of, the mist.
Mist often leads me to,
and those with signs on too many street corners, ignored.
Veterans, beggars, Moms, down on their luck, or lazy?
“I need Help. Anything will do.”
“Why aren’t they working? Will they steal from me?”
Anger that they do nothing, while I work hard.
But do they need help? I’m sure some do. What do I do?
I’m both lucky and damned. If I lost my job I would not lose it all.
I’m retired, have Social Security.
Yet I suffer from back pain, am blind in one eye,
and hurt most of the time.
Yet I am so grateful.
I still have a time, Just a little, (we die too soon)
before I die,
To cherish the mist, reflections, occasional sunshine, and
I will dance (if only in my soul) in the rain, and sun,
Stomp in the mud puddles,
Slide into and out of the mist,
and shades of rain,
And cherish our grandbabies,
as they marvel in the growing glory of it all.