gooseThis morning the face of the sky is bruised by mottled gray clouds and resembles the face of a woman after a long night with a rough lover.

The steady overnight rain has tripled the size of the stream at the park and the ducks skim across its quickly flowing surface like ice skaters. While its companions skitter back and forth, one duck bobs three times into the stream, then flaps its wings, shaking the water off its oil slicked feathers before waddling up a low bank to preen in the cool watery sun.

A honking breaks the silence of the morning, the cry both a protest and a challenge to a convoy of ducks who are ignoring the boundaries set a goose along the stream’s concourse. Darting out from its feeding among the reeds, the goose flaps its giant wings and the ducks scatter like ten pins.

Long necked, black billed, brown winged, the goose commands the water, its delta white tail set high and proud like a sail against the brown water and dark green grasses. Beside it a small gosling vigorously paddles to keep pace.

Three other geese, two white and one black, pull their bottom heavy bodies out of the current and struggle up the bank. With heads down and beaks busily gobbling up drenched earth worms, they waddle their way stolidly down the path towards the small lake that is ringed by trees.

A film of gray moss coats the tops of the heavy black limbs of the oaks and accents the light green of the new leaves that are emerging. The spent blossoms of the pink and white flowering trees cling damply to the thin branches and sag like crepe paper the morning after a spring dance.

A lone walker jogs by, head bare, scarf whipping in the spring wind while high above the path a telephone lineman wearing a heavy leather belt dangling with tools leans out of a small metal basket and scatters a flock of birds.

(new post on art site at )


6 thoughts on “AFTER THE RAINS

  1. Oh you make me the miss mountains with this piece! it’s beautiful. The little house in the mountains sits on a lake that is inhabited by geese. They are so territorial and afraid of nothing. Wonderfully written!


      1. Well my next trip is going to be out where you live. I’m going to see my son at the end of April. Do you have any suggestions for a tourist that only has a couple of days? I’m sure i’ll get the urban tour from my son but is there something close by like along the coast?


      2. Southern and Northern CA are like two different states in their look and culture. And it’s a really big state so if you only have a couple days, it’s probably best to stay in the south. One trip is to take Pacific Coast Highway #1 from LA to San Diego. You’ll drive through a lot of beach towns that are really beautiful and have the real S CA vibe. April is a great month to travel towards Palm Springs also and see the desert in the spring. Very stark and beautiful – architectural – and you might get the spring wild flowers. Or, take PCH north from LA and go towards Cambria for a look at some different beaches. I’m not so good at regular destinations – I’m a ‘driver around’ and like to see the scenery and small towns. anyway, the state is so beautiful and so varied. I wouldn’t bother with the southern Mts. – they are nothing. You have to come north to the Sierra Nevadas to see real mts. Marie 🙂


  2. *Steals the words…

    “This morning the face of the sky is bruised by mottled gray clouds and resembles the face of a woman after a long night with a rough lover.”

    … and runs away.


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