• wind to memory •

Was talking’ to a friend,
just yesterday,
about what it might be like,
to be a tree.
Then, thinking myself,
a long residing plant,
with far reaching roots,
and leaves, as individualized as snowflakes
(in fact,
just my opinion,
but, in my opinion,
should be jealous),
and with
bark for skin –
an ancient oak,
or a robust redwood, perhaps,
(a.k.a., a ‘tree’),
I felt
a peace beyond understanding,
and a certain certainty.
And then,
unbidden, it came to me,
as unadorned,
and in as clear a language as can be
(tsk! So like a tree…), the words,
“I prefer the wind…
… to memory.”
~ Tim Burchfield



• in the general direction of you •

It’s so nice to wake up in a world, where I know you are out there,
sharing yourself,
with the rest of us,
like an overflowing stream
of conscientiousness.
The knowledge of you
inspires me to,
give the world out there
the best of my
efforts, and affection,
and wonder, and
and gratitude:
toward your streams
and slopes
and life-sustaining, wetlands,
I filter my longing,
and rejuvenate my joyfulness;
my love pours forth
in the general direction of you.
~ Tim Burchfield


• pugly point of view •

Humans are clumsy beasts.
They say they won’t step on you.
They’ll even make a big fuss about it,
when you get up (just in case),
to move out of their way, with,
“Hey, I wasn’t gonna step on ya,
little fella, wha’d ya think,
I was gonna step on ya?
I wouldn’t do that, not to you.”
They say they won’t step on you,
and, more often than not,
they don’t even mean to,
but then,
every once in a blue moon,
out of the blue, they do.
~ Trevor the Dog (aka: ‘Tim Burchfield’)


• fish tale •

Dropped by the Credit Union to pick up some cash for the girl before the weekend, and Heather, the staff ‘Super’, in front of God, the entire staff, and everybody waiting in line, thanked me for the little fish poem I left for her, in an envelope, the last time I dropped by to make a deposit, and all the ‘girls’, oh, okay, women, well they ooooohed and agreed with Heather (their ‘Boss-lady), that it almost made ’em cry, and was sweet, and funny, and just the sweetest thing! Heather, et all., had had this goldfish, you see, in a bowl, there, on the counter, a gold one, for as long as I could remember: it turns out that goldfish had been with Heather, et al, ‘since the beginning’, or something, something like, well I can’t recall, exactly, but for years and years, and years: decades, maybe, which had died, and they had got a replacement fish, a black one, with buggy eyes, but it hadn’t lasted long, and when I asked about it, and the other one, all the ladies behind the counter had got real quiet-like, and Heather had told me the tale of her little fish, and how she had loved it so, and, yes, they had got a replacement fish, right away, from the gold one, which must have been, like a hundred-ten (in fish years), but that it had been “too soon,” and she was done with fish, for a while, she guessed, because it just hurt too much, to see that empty bowl, on the counter, like that (which she had subsequently removed).
And Heather, I surmise, had been really touched by my little fish poem, which I had left her, and it went very much something like this:
• can’t love a fish •

What’s ‘a matter, love,
Can’t love a fish?
That you can’t love a fish,
Is obvious.

I worry for my dear Silver Dollar,
Mister Silver Dollar, to you, Jim.
I worry, that if anything should,
‘Happen’, to me, (God forbid),
That it’d be,
‘The Big Flush’, for him.

Don’t you dare!
Anyway, I’m not worried:
You haven’t got the nerve,
To flush my Beta, too,
That’s Mister Beta Fish, Jim,
To you.

Anywhoo, that was my day, yesterday.
The power of words! I love ’em, and give more love, and get more love back from these, than from ‘most anything.
Carry on friends. Have a nice swim, on me.
~ Tim Burchfield


• writers block •

• writers block •
I’m not convinced about writer’s block. Which may sound strange, when put like that.
I don’t believe in believe, as a believable means of conveying belief, or unbelief, any longer, either, as it happens.
Somebody expropriated that word, and turned it into a monster, a chameleon, a forger, a con man. But, what is the word? I am thinking of a word, but chameleon isn’t it. A ch word that means monster, or changeling, which, at present, I can’t think of. A real Dean Koontz word. A freak of nature. A slathering, self-loathing, many-fanged, hairy, smelly, murderous, hateful creature, a nameless one, that hurts everything it touches. It will come to me.
Does that happen to you? You know the word, but it is held back by that uncomely Librarian (how I love ’em) in your brain, who remembers you owe a ten-cent fine for a book you returned ‘late’, back in ’73?
Conundrum? No. Carbuncle? Nuh-uh. Though I do like that one. Putrescent. Oily. Juicy, thickly, darkly, explosive with disgusting potentiality.
What does it sound like? You ask yourself. Why does cabbage and sour kraut come to mind? No idea. Still, you feel it coming, the word. It’s sliding forward, relenting, self-revealing, or at least, leaning that way. It tickles. You can feel it.
Ki-mera! Of course, it’s not spelled that way, and so, you either, “look it up” (as if) in the dictionary, or you Google it.
Chimera. chi·me·ra
1. (in Greek mythology) a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail.
2. a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve.
“the economic sovereignty you claim to defend is a chimera”
synonyms: illusion, fantasy, delusion, dream, daydream, pipe dream, figment of the/one’s imagination, castle in the air, mirage
“is this great love of hers merely a chimera?”
But I digress. Belief is the word. It used to mean something wholesome, something real, something good, but now, it is the carbuncle on the chimera of society, for me.
Used to be, if Jeff Strom, a kid I knew in scouts, said he was born with six toes on each foot, you either believed, or you didn’t believe him, until he took off his shoes and socks. And then, your belief or unbelief became moot. You see? That was real.
Then, there was belief in honesty as the best policy, which turned out to be dependent upon circumstance, whether or not it would turn out to be. The best policy, that is. But that kind of use of the word, believe, was at least, honest.
But, this other thing: “Do you believe?” In, fill in the blank. Becomes something other, when the blank becomes attached at the hip to, “if not, then you will burn!” Or, “you can’t hang with us, you can’t be a member, you can’t live here, you can’t be a part of our family.”
I patently refuse to use that word, anymore. Too much associated with fears, and tears, and consequence.
So, now, I am convinced, or not, by a thing, which is subtler, and still has the ring of honest inquiry, and willingness to say what you see, rather than what is expected.
And still, I digress.
I don’t believe in writer’s block, but I am convinced by it. You see, for me, my lovely, that means it’s only temporary. And so, can’t really get a hold on me. In any case, I breathe better, just knowing this.
As to writer’s block, though, I have found a sure fire way of ridding myself of it, and it’s this:
Confess something so horrifying, in writing, that nothing that follows can possibly be worse. Something that makes you sweat. That makes you burn behind your ears, that makes your hair stand on end. That makes your heart pound, fight or flight time, for real. For me, it’s admissions of affection, that do the deal.
“Hey, Karin. Welcome back to the Big Apple. I’d like nothing more than to meet with you, but I’m four hours drive North, and I don’t get any days off, except Christmas.
And you know what? You might not believe this, but my memory of you is so distinctly clear, that I can remember trying to keep each other warm on the subway platform, walking with you on Jane Street, you filing my nails in your apartment, the photo shoot where the guy told me holding a cigarette was cliché, eating souvlaki at the diner at Astor Place, you holding your lips in a lovely “oooo”, when showing me how Germans say “sweet”…”suus!…suuuuuus…”, and on and on, not just as if it were yesterday, but as if it were still happening. And sweet and wonderful are my many recollections – so much so, that I never miss you, plus, the fact that you are so very happy and fulfilled makes me the happiest man ever. So, enjoy, my dear friend, and think of me, for a minute, and I shall be satisfied.”
“Heh, don’t get too creeped out. It’s not as if I sit around doing ‘sense memory’ all of the time, thinking of you. I’m just saying I can, and do, from time to time, of a time when I was truly happy, (and stupidly, didn’t realize). I only mentioned it because you are still real to me. I also know I never could have made you happy, so I celebrate your happiness in the life you have, which is an example and inspiration to me of what happiness looks like. I think we Americans sometimes have no clue. Heh. Still, I am satisfied that I have been perfectly happy, and so, now know what it feels like. I don’t need it all of the time, happiness, I mean, but it’s wonderful that I have known that, because I carry that good feeling with me through my life, and so, can be content, and focus on making those around me happy, as I am always full of good feeling.
Anyway, again, I hope I didn’t creep you out. I just wanted you to understand how enriched I have been from having known you, once upon a time, in New York City.
Welcome back, my friend. Have a wonderful time here with your lovely family. Take care.”
As a result, two things happened.
1. The dam’s burst, on my writer’s block. I am now free to write anything at all.
2. I never want to write again.
But, I digress.
~ Tim Burchfield


• doggie detritus •

• doggie detritus •
I wouldn’t say ‘neat freak’, exactly. As applies to me, I mean. I’ve had kids for far too long to have that appellation applied to me and to still have remained relatively sane, considering the vortex of entropy that having said kids generally precipitates: not that I wouldn’t prefer a tidy abode, it’s just not feasible, as long as they draw breath within my vicinity (what I like to think of, as the ‘kid event horizon’), or at least, such has been my experience. Oh, and dogs. Yes, we have dogs, too. Two of the loveliest little shedders in the world. And shed, they do, continually. So no, not a ‘neat-freak’, me – no – more of an ‘order-preferist’, if you will. Or, if you like, a ‘tidy idealist’: perhaps at a stretch — an ‘anti-Second Law of Thermodynamics apologist’. Or so, would I be, in a perfect world, which, as it turns out, it isn’t.
So, when, to pick a time at random, oh, any old time would do, but say, for instance, NOW, as I look down at my clothes and find them virtually covered with doggie hairs, I will admit, with a ‘blush’, to a bit of a pang, along the lines of a ‘cringe’ — not a ‘panic’, exactly, mind you, and wouldn’t do, unless I were to happen to be, say, in a receiving line to meet the President (or doing an improv with Sarah Silverman, or (I wish) at a book-signing with Sarah Vowel), and were to, say, in checking my fly at the last second, have discovered this, on me, which is usual: enough doggie hair to choke an aardvark, or a jackalope!
No. God, no. No panic here: just a kind of inward appreciation that I am alone, sleepy, and too complacent to be starting at minor provocations, with, it goes without saying, an audible sigh of relief that – at present, there lurk no smart aleck teenagers about to say something cute, along the lines of, “Nice hair shirt. When do you go back to the monastery, and by the way, you left your flail in the bathroom, again.”
No, no need to panic, no need to scrabble for the sticky tape, clawing feebly at myself, screaming teeny epithets: just a mild, subvocalized, “Geeze, Louise! Again?”
Maybe, something like that.
And then, I’ll remember the shining eyes of my lovable pups, and, earlier, all the fun we had, and all the love and affection, and wagglety-butt enthusiasms, and rompings, and doggie kisses that made the static that made them, these here hairs, in their hundreds, this here doggie detritus, cling to me like Johnny Lennon to Yoko Ono, and I’ll think: “Me bothered? Not a bit of it.”
~ Tim Burchfield