By Brian Michael Barbeito

The sky there and all around was blue as the dense and opaque cloud covering finally left after overstaying its welcome. Man, it had been around for weeks it seemed. One starts to wonder if there is a sky up there after all. I was so quietly content that the blue blue blue blue blue still existed. And there were not many people in the places I ventured to the past days. Lots of walking and wandering and photo taking, though not too much writing afterward for some reason. In the grand fields, a rabbit ran for cover under some faded logs, flaxen and smooth from the sun. There were also some berries, against reason I say, - waiting as if they were in the summer sun or some robust August afternoon! I went down to a small frozen over pond, - and thought I was far enough on the sides, - but the ice broke and I was in to the knees. At that point some mud or vacuum of nature (both actually), - plus gravity and the dynamic fall, - seemed to really grab the right foot and keep a hold of it. If I didn’t know better, I would think there is such a thing as a swamp monster. However, I remained calm amidst my minor calamity, - and got out of there. The walking was wet, to say the least, - and it’s no fun driving home in soaked muddy dirty shoes, socks, and pants. Yet, - for all that, - the reeds and sky and few clouds, - the air and the spaciousness were worth it.

The second day I went to a different place, an old stomping grounds, - and stayed clear of water save for the smallest little river bed (hardly noticeable) - that we passed in order that the canines might get a nice fresh drink. What was around there? Some black birds, - the sounds of nature- spring trying to break through, - but again- the word is for certain ‘spaciousness.’ The wind came and when it did it was loquacious and fresh and interested in the wide spaces and the bush both. Ground, - hardly any more ice, - actual footing, - sturdy and terrene and earthy. There is some scat and prints from the nocturnal wildlife that inhabits the world of moon, dark, mystery. I think perhaps coyotes or maybe even just raccoons or something. In the distance is a farm, - and after the farm a feed corn field. Surrounding there are some more berry trees, many Birch trees. If one field is so different than the next (which it is when you get to know them), - imagine the difference between Mississippi and Missouri, between North Bay and Northern California, between different parts of the East Coast, or Africa, China, Russia, the rest,- the millions and trillions of places. There would not be enough lifetimes! So,- we go on our little sojourns or adventures to local green lands and woodlands and are happy in that, searching for the cosmic in the local, the sacred in the silly, the grand in the giddy, the gem in the bushes, the golden secreted gnosis amidst the old leaves brown and deceased that I saw bouncing along in the wind,- not happy in death,- no,- but not sad either,- just contented,- or Zen like- bouncing bouncing twirling travelling there over pebble and under blue sky right in the middle of the afternoon for the wind that visits the earth.


Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian writer, poet and photographer. Recent work appears at Fiction International from San Diego State University, CV2 The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, and at Catch and Release-The Columbia Journal of Arts and Literature. Brian is the author of Chalk Lines (Fowl Pox Press, 2013, cover art by Virgil Kay). He is currently at work on the written and visual nature narrative titled Pastoral Mosaics, Journeys through Landscapes Rural.