Rain – part V (day 2265)

(part IV)

I felt good beating away my irrational fear
That this hungry stranger was wild man
He did have some unkempt parts about him
But nothing more than your average man.
He said he’d been working on a pig farm
Just inside the Ontario border
For the last four years
A smell I had keenly detected
When I first met him.
He warmed over as he drank the tea
And soon he was calmer
As the dog stopped growling at the stranger
The fire I kept going I’m sure
Also brought up his spirits.
I fed him toasted bread, jam, and eggs
And sent him off to the barn
Before darkness set in.

Rain – part IV (day 2264)

(part III)

I told the hungry stranger
That he could spend the night
In the hay barn, where I pointed
He said he’d hoped as much
As I gave him the eggs
And a warm cup of tea.
He asked if I had a cigarette
But I hadn’t one to my name
“Thought I’d try,” he said
“You don’t look like much of a smoker.”
Living as a bachelor
I kept a pretty clean house
The dog kept me in order
If ever I let things slip too much
My father had made sure that I understood
What it meant to have gravitas
As a man, the responsibility
Of keeping my ethics strong
And my morals rich,
A keen sense of duty to myself
My community, and to do the right thing.

part V

Tea (day 2204)

Make me reel in your sweetest tea
I hear scarlet raindrops
Opening every door so tenderly
Saturate my safely laid plans
With incandescent luminosity
Breaking my lucid dreaming
With delicate fingerprints
Dancing faster then I had imagined
In a gallery of ancient symbols.

Far Away (day 2089)

Walking past a darkened window
About my business of the day
I caught a glimpse deep inside
That sent me far away.

I shuddered at the thought upon
My furrowed brow, so cold
A memory of a locked trunk
I had believed far away.

Oh torment, why thou doth attack me
In my daily sugared tea
Leaves me holding secateurs
A photograph from far away.

There then rests thy saving grace
A cutout tacked to thee wall
A guillotine for my dancing fingers
Upon darkness far away.

Far Away by Ned Tobin

Moon at Midnight – Part VII (day 1981)

(part VI)

When I started to see evidence of inhabitants
I kept myself at alert
But didn’t bring myself to alarm
For such an action could spook many a hermit
Approaching with hands showing and a smile
Is the smartest thing for a lone traveler to do
Perhaps even a little hop in ones gait
Would also go a long way.

No matter how far into a forest one is
It always seems like you’re trespassing
When you come upon another’s stacks of wood
Or a half empty can of something useful
Signs of a job half finished
My orderly mind always puts things in rows,
Stacks necessities where they should be,
And generally avoids losing tools to the seasons
So rather forgetful humans
Always give me confused thoughts
On the one hand they could be so clumsy
They have not a care in the world
But chances are out here
Such an action would lead a man to sure death
Starving a winter away
Without a care in the world
So my senses tell me to be wary
Of a man and his crooked smile

Much to my surprise
A woman was the first one to see me walking up
She stood from the porch and yelled:
“Hello there friend,
What brings you this way?”
No more kind words could a human expect
When they’ve seen nothing but squirrels
And bluejays for ten days
And just as I was about to answer
A man of about fourty two emerged
From the side of the house
Carrying a shovel in his hand
He stopped a few paces from the steps
And rested his arm on his shovel
As the two of them watched me walk up
“Amy, can you put a cup of tea on to boil?”

When I walked up to him
I could hear inside Amy talking to a child
Telling it to be kind to the stranger
“Frank,” he said, holding his hand out to me
“Joe McDunn,” I replied loud enough so Amy could hear
Getting shook so thoroughly
I was happy to get my hand back
Still connected to my arm
He slapped me on the back with a big smile
And invited me up to his balcony
Where he had a cluster of chairs
For watching the field I had just come through.

“I saw your smoke from the crest
On the far side of the valley
And just moments later I was face to face
With a moose twice the size of your house here!
Can you imagine that
I bet you’ve got a full salt barrel or two
Don’t you Frank?”

It surprised me how much Frank was smiling
I had clearly found some hospitable hosts for the night
The tea Amy brought out to us
Which she sat and drank, too
Was flavored much better then
Any cup I had found in any town I’d been
I noticed their garden
Which I could only guess was what
Frank had been minding when I walked up
And as I sat in one of their rocking chairs
Also smiling away to myself
I began to learn about Amy & Frank.

day VIII

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My Sweet Game (day 1950)

Remind me of the garden I’ve floated in
Tea you used to share
Your laugh to my sweet game

With history on our steppe
I could mark every book full of stars
And still your voice through halls of love

Let me lose years since it’s been
So much to wish and to share
Let us find two handsome garden chairs

As dead leaves fall Autumn around
My heart pulls home warm cups of tea
And family speaks free in your hair

My Sweet Game by Ned Tobin

Foreign Tongue on the Rise (day 1949)

My horse is a stallion
That I ride into fields afar
Sasanian teas on my tongue,
And a giant sun in the sky
Leans in to tell me secrets
Of land my mind runs to
Where family awaits
No word of my pursuits.
I am their father
Fierce as a tiger
Our manes running free
And my horse is a stallion
Decorated with all I am able,
A powerful warrior and me
And a foreign tongue on the rise
With a sword at my side
Thundering ten thousand hooves riding
In dust through the sky
And my mind runs wild
Like silk floating
Through this twilight, afar.

Sweat Tea (day 1840)

Into my sweet tea
I felt there was an empty spoon
And you came along so soft
To help me with my sugar,
And here your golden laughter
Took a shining to my smile –
A power I was helpless to,
A Queen in a beggars hand.
And if my sorrow had a strength
It would be a sweetened song,
It would be so round it had no edge
And sugar would be my pun
For my sweet tea is clearly running low
And my spoon has turned to fun.

Sweet Tea by Ned Tobin

Crow’s Eyes (day 1718)

I remember when a crow flew
Into my eyes of fear
Leaving behind a little ghost
Who spoke words I did not want to hear.

But as I sat and steeped my tea
I could not gain my truth,
So little by little
An angry cry
Was heard above the rumble.

A cry that was not for pure peace,
A cry not from a babe,
My cry was loud and deliberate
My beak’d been getting black.

For when the grace of tempest’s blast
Ceased all ’round my hearth,
I whipped into such fury as
A devil burning brightly at my feet
Two eyes locked on mine, forevermore.