• a humdinger •

You might find it ironic
for me to describe Chronic,
a story about death and dying,
as ‘a slice of life’.
In fact, throughout,
the question of ‘why?’,
and ‘why me?’,
seems pervasive,
and unanswerable,
which it is, except, for me,
‘and why not?’,
‘and why not (me)?’,
keeps rolling through my head,
Is it just me, I wonder,
or do others see this life
as an equal opportunity
or journey,
or what have you,
and that moral judgements
as to good or bad outcomes,
or of success or happiness,
and whatnot, cannot
truly be assessed
until after the final curtain falls,
so you’ll never know it yourself,
truth be told, friend,
being dead and all?
So, it’s a question for family,
and society,
and friends,
and ‘former friends’,
and what have you,
to make the call.
And honestly, who cares
what other people think, anywhoo?
So, don’t complain;
choose to be happy,
or fulfilled, or engaged,
or grateful, or enthralled,
or stoic, or philosophical,
or selfless, or starry-eyed,
or evangelical, or ‘evolved’ –
just between we two,
it’s up to you –
whatever floats your boat.
It’s a one way ride,
and frequently fabulous.
Enjoy the view.
Oh, and on a final note,
the movie (with Tim Roth),
is a humdinger, too.
~ Tim Burchfield


• a mutually agreeable relationship •

In the Amazon rain forest there is a living tree; within its bark lives a parasitic plant which needs no sun – it draws its nourishment from its host, and is not visible, or even evident, but for a short time, once a year, when thousands of tiny yellow ball-shaped ‘flowers’ appear on the trunk of the host tree. On the nights when the yellow ‘buds’ are flourishing, tiny caterpillars come and eat the tasty buds. Each caterpillar has an accompanying ant who, when she gently taps on the caterpillar’s back with her antennae, the caterpillar produces a drop of sweet elixir, which the ant slurps greedily. They have a mutually agreeable relationship. The caterpillar, in turn, derives protection from predators, and the ant, a veritable moveable feast.
And then, betimes, along comes a butterfly. It’s wings are gray, but for a single brightly colored yellow ‘dot’, toward the back – a convincing ‘match’ to the yellow ‘flowers’ on the tree: as ‘camouflage’, apparently.
An entire ecosystem, within one tree. That’s what I learned, yesterday.
Oh, and, one other thing: if you are walking your dogs with the girl, and you see a big bug in her hair, politely pick the bug out before she knows what you are about, rather than pointing and shouting, “Bug! Bug!! BUG!!” (Three times fast.)
Yes, I learned that, too, alas.
~ Tim Burchfield


• to be realistic •

I keep trying to be ‘realistic’,
but it’s just not in me.
Hell, I’ve made it this far
being a ‘fluke of Nature’,
why change horses midstream?
Nay, I say! Naaaaaaaay!
Let’s play, shall we?
Self-determination has for so long been my mainstay,
that I am convinced it is the way,
at least, for me.
Ever onward, friend,
that enviable, ever-elusive,
‘happy day’,
that elegant country.
~ 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


• hurricane •

Feeling a nameless, helpless compassion, for millions of human beings, today. In my little corner of Texas, on August 3, 1970 came hurricane Celia, to the area of Corpus Christi. I remember it very well. I was, what, twelve, and it was, ‘memorable’, shall we say. Oh, okay, it was scary as shit, (as we say,) ‘there’s no two ways, about it’.
I saw things you would not believe: roofs being torn from houses, crashing into the roofs of my friend’s houses, and whipped-to-bits, in mid-air.
When the ‘eye’, passed over our house, we all came outside, the neighbors, all around us, even those we never talked to. “Are you okay?” was the most of it, everything was bent, none of us could fathom it. Believe me, we were talking, then. And then, the ‘eye’, moved away, and, with a fury, the horror came back. (Imagine having a 747 with it’s engines at full, blowing over your house.) Shrieks, framework bending, racking, shifting, seemingly, deciding your fate, second by second, and that second, seemed to last forever. Things broke, with a BANG!! but you couldn’t tell, from where. If you looked out your window, things that could not possibly fly, were flying out there.
(I’ll spare you the blood, and near-death, as things, as normal, can be trying enough, but, there was that, and heroism, and tragedy.) Let’s just say, it finally ended. With no water, or electricity, or passable roads, and salt-water, dripping from everywhere. Our house remained, but next street over, all over, were former addresses, where neighbors once lived, with nothing to show but a flat concrete slab, and here and there, astonishingly, something like, untouched, a phone on a chair. Spooky. Inconceivable. Incomprehensible, and yet, undeniable, as I was there.
I can feel them, today, millions of people whose lives have been changed, forever, out there. If you were to see them on the street, years from now, you’d never know what they carry inside of themselves: something of what Nature can be, (as well as beautiful,) and a not-conveyable knowledge – of scale. I’ve tried to tell people, believe me, in writer’s workshops, and in ‘acting class’, and they just shake their heads, and laugh.
“That boy, I swear.” Yeah.
But those who were there, well. We see each other in the store, and say, “hello”, and without a word, we know, that, both he, she, and me – we’ll never, can’t ever, feel big again.
Have a thought for those millions, today, if you will. Beyond that, I don’t know what to say, except that, for the survivors, I hope they’re okay.
~ Tim Burchfield

• it’s just nine the phone rings •

• it’s just nine the phone rings •
it’s the boy, he’s forgot his book
by his bedside can i bring it to’m
bone it’s called it opens to what
looks to be a map of middle Earth

walking it over to his school
it’s cool and shiny puddles reflect
the birds burble and brightening
in subdued quadraphonic apoplexy

rounding the corner there’s the door
signing in the happy grinning matron
the office where i spent my time
in two shakes i am out again

back ’round the corner drummers
military beat the marching band
trumpets and trombones twittle midrange the tune which ‘comes

familiar to the ear my steps match
the grin comes the words rise up
• get back • get back • get back
to where you once belong’ •

~ Tim Burchfield