169 tagged with #daily

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on today's hike

hello, woodpecker.

i cannot help but stay impressed at the diligence with which you smash your face repeatedly into that tree remnant. out of the corner of my eye, i was startled by the motion; the way the dark, rotten splotch wrapped around the stump looked like a small bear, your ratcheting head a potential paw clawing through the bark. to be honest, the coloring reminded me of a red panda, and it was only after reminding myself that those don't roam western pennsylvania that i realized it was just a bird.

wood chips scatter into the snow below you; you look like you're having a good day. i passed a sign on my way to your realm, warning hikers of heavy machinery harvesting wood from trees that died of insect disease. this is good news for you, woodpecker, if you can eat your fill before we take all the logs away.

24 March 2018 21:20


it's okay to be cold, it's okay to be cold, it's okay to be cold.

i chant this under my breath, my cadence high because i think it'll move my blood around faster. the wind demoralizes me quickly, but i'll be warm before it cuts all the way through.

i do this on faith that the last time i did this, nothing bad happened. i do this knowing that i'm not far from my own home, or countless other buildings that would let me in if i knocked on a door. i can think about those things because there have been times that i've been cold, or scared, or scared because i was cold, and i was hours of walking away from the nearest road.

it's okay to be cold, sometimes.

23 March 2018 22:13

train your feet

i don't have to ask my ankles to respond; i trust that they will, on their own. by the time my shoes have lost traction on a tiny patch of ice, it's too late for me to think about it, anyway.

i do have control over my general trajectory, though. i know that i can typically get better traction on snow, punching past the surface and landing in slush below. where it's not icy, it's muddy. dark pavement is hard to judge this close to sunset; i can't tell for sure if it's wet or frozen.

even the dogs are slowly picking their way through.

22 March 2018 22:53


i woke to a strange silence.

last night, the sky glowed dusty pink, the color of a snowstorm at night.

each tree branch sprawls black against a blank sky, building a stack of snow that mirrors its shape. each tree is a double-tree; one of wet wood and a second of supported ice.

the snow muffles movement.

21 March 2018 22:08


a slow, pouring rain begins to drown out the ceiling fans. the vanguard spritzed me on my way down; i parked my bicycle at the innermost rack, almost completely covered by the awning. this is the benefit of arriving early: knowing that i can at least place my seat under cover.

there's a short window ledge in the widely spiraling staircase, facing a direction that brought in a serviceable amount of grey light. during the sunnier months, i can barely stand to walk through the glare, but today, it's the right amount for reading. i sit with my back to the window, legs crossed in front of me.

i'd overlooked the fact that everyone whose office is in the suite at the top of the stairs would walk past me, and almost felt embarrassed about my highly public choice of reading light.

'no one reads in a bar unless they're looking for attention,' a young lawyer in town for a conference once said to me at my regular watering hole, where i was churning through texts for a class on american political humor. 'besides, aren't you too young to know who lenny bruce is?'

i used to get in trouble at school for sneaking books under my shirt to recess. i used to get in trouble for checking out books from the sections marked for older grades. i used to get in trouble for doing my assigned summer reading while inclined on the couch.

i've read eighteen books this year, so far.

20 March 2018 21:24

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