some nights

each night i walk the dogs sometime between 9 pm & 10 pm (their internal clocks were made by the swiss, they’re so accurate) & i take the 1/2 hour as it comes–listening to the noises of the night in our almost exurban community/with the occasional flutter & whoosh of an owl’s wings/followed by the squeal of its prey (or not)

although there are sodium vapor street lights every 100 yards or so (at every driveway) we’re high enough up & close enough to the ocean to have a darker night sky than most in southern california & when you do catch glimpses of the coast or the valley below, the lights seem remote & otherworldly (having nothing to do with my ‘now’) & it’s fairly easy to drift away with the snuffling our scent-hounds (dachshund & terrier)

one night not too long ago (perhaps last night) there was birdsong, which is completely out of the ordinary, it even stopped the dogs, both of them cocking their heads in unison to listen more closely to the trilling call & response (a gospel, amen) all of which was enveloped in a satin-y mantle of fog/coating my glasses in a light sprinkle of mist which further acted as a filter/gauze over the lens/a scrim behind which the unlit actors prepared for the next scene

what i notice on these walks/the play of shadow & light/leaves & tree branches against metal electrical boxes & the unusual color of shadows from taupe/mauve/teal, never really black, not at least the harsh blackness of a country night where the stark reality of starlight etches harsh, clear shapes that melt into dark chocolate holes, filled but empty, empty

& yet i’m startled by the sudden beauty of a plant/bush/tree that i walk past all the time & how it glows in the reflective creamy light of a pedestrian lamp — that final lap to the house with dog 1 straining at his leash to get there first & dog 2 cradled in my arms, a gentle lick on my neck as encouragement to hurry hurry home for a treat


2 Responses to “some nights”

  1. February 26, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Makes me feel like I took the walk with you and “the kids.” By the way, I enjoyed the journey.

  2. 2 Robert Patrick
    February 26, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    thanks, judith; I’m glad you enjoyed the walk.

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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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