A Day of Tripled Importance

Not only is it a glorious day of fall


As well as Day of the Dead celebrating those who left before us.


It’s the titan in my life’s birthday: Ron Canal.


Over years of shoes on Ron’s feet,


In locales all over the world,


I have photographed them in action, in pose, in passing,


Always in the back of my mind his burial instructions.


When the crushing day comes, for Ron is loved fiercely by many, including me, he says he wants an open casket.  But not open at the head: it’s to be open at the feet where he intends to sport a pair of clown shoes.

   I can only hope I don’t live to see this, that I might humbly go before him, hopefully with language as my legacy.  Language and laughs, which is much of what has kept Ron and I bound for all these many years.                                                                                                                                                                                Ron, may your feet and the rest of you be healthy for many years to come, your life be spent feeling loved, and may your birthday be all you imagined.  Even better than your planned last laugh from the other side.

The Long Shadows

There is a sweet sadness at this time of year,


Fractured signs of it everywhere.


Illustrating that fall gets woven from threads of late summer,


A time of covered legs and long shadows,


A footprint of summer passing by.


Cooler nights, shorter days, feathery gold and crisp blue,


Ominous big bird skies.

We, the creatures, prepare to hunker down.  But first, like most New Yorker’s, I’m very busy in the Fall, like going back to school with great enthusiasm, goals of many to be accomplished.                                                                          As we wind toward the reality of darkness and the cold, I gravitate to the shelter of lovers of life, men and women for all seasons, good books in front of fireplaces, delicious theater, heavier food and cashmere clothing, the tools that say to Old Man Winter, ‘Bring it on, it’s all good to me.  I’m just grateful to be here.’