I've been all over the place recently, authorially speaking, and I don't know when I'll get a chance to focus again my new New Orleans experience. With that in mind, here's the results of a commission about pipe smoking. If you don't know, and there's no reason you should, I smoke a pipe. It's not an affectation but something I've come to enjoy more and more every day. I'm not really a poet, as you can see below, but I tend to get lumped in with the poets whenever I'm classified as a writer. Either a poet or a reporter. I don't think of myself as either, but that is a story for another day. Material for tomorrow, perhaps....
Dusk settles across the sky and lawn.
A match catches spark that flares then fades, echoing the setting sun’s smolder.
The rough edges of packed tobacco glow in a bowl.
The colors the pipe holds mirror the clouds’ undersides from here to horizon.
Another day is done with dignity.
Time again for repose, contentment and contemplation.
Time again for steam and smoke to silently rise.
Time again for combustion, respiration, condensation, inspiration.
The land exhales dew, the river exhales fog, the air is still and alive with implication.
One moment leads to the next, one breath leads to the next.
Time again to smoke a pipe and take the measure of a day.
In the dark, the end of a pipe is a beacon within reach.
Its bowl warms the hand, its contents warm the soul.
In the dark, in the end, a pipe focuses attention.
Its bowl holds potential pleasure and displeasure in equal measure.
It’s stem, like life, delivers both to savor.
A pipe at day’s end is the sum of experience.
Handle it as best you can.
Dusk settles so another dawn can break tomorrow.
Another day, another morning, another evening to follow.
There will always be another pipe to savor.
There will always be time again to speculate, gesticulate, articulate, enunciate.
A person with pipe clenched or cradled knows what reward a day’s work earns.
A person with a pipe knows what spark brings dignity and contentment.
A spark catches.
July 6, 2010. Finished on St. Charles Avenue watching the streetcar rumble by through the dark.