i keep getting caught in the space between knowing a thing and understanding it. forests are full of reminders of the unseen. of distance between. reminders escaping meaning. like how that woodpecker eyed me before i, he. or how i heard him, before he, me. i drew to him as the echoes varied. high low high low fast slow fast slow. in alternating tones. the pound from his sounds was designed to save him from headaches. like this forest does for me. it separates the mind from the pain. the 'here we go' from the 'again'. but i just had to know more, so i googled for a bit. a woodpecker's skull sits on suspension, has seatbelts to hold its brain in place, and the pace never pecks in the exact same space. peckings had stopped, but were still chased around the green by echoes. and it seemed like the moment was here and everywhere. just like the unseen. suddenly i was two feet from his workspace. interrupting his meal, my eyes fell into his, mid grace. my meaning making started and i believed the bird wanted me closer. he chose here to stay and wait a bit longer. and the longer i stood the clearer it became that actually 'no sir' was his message as he flew off abandoning me there.


i have never left this place. 
sitting on the front stoop 
looking through 
grass and scrub 
out over escarpment 
framed by ashen skies
by a roiling lake ontario. 
i have never left this place. 
feeling the roughened 
cliff top grasses perched
imperiously over temperamental
i have never left this place. 
entreating the sparse
indifferent cirrus wisps 
passing over 
flitting cliff swallows- 
where do they go during dark seasons? 
i have never left this place. 
and i wonder when memories like this
fall away, where do they land? 
i have never left this place. 
from the person
i left behind 
float to shore.  


i noticed that the pain stops being
felt where the injury occurs. smash a
toe? the knee aches. or my back
flares. mebbe its bad messaging.
though, i have ignored all other good
senses so that betrayal is on me. what
choice then is left? i imagine the
body gives up on warnings. all that
remains is its power to remind you
that the injury is not the worst of
it. and, also, that i don't get to
vote. this is a brutal and skittish
fluency to learn. the effect and 
affect flip us in dislocated ways. a
nervous babel sets in while we are
trying to master a curriculum of safe
seeking a center, or shelter, a
mentor, some relief.