I’m laying on the rooftop listening to the sun. I may appear to be idle but I assure you I’m anything but.

Along flies a fly. A huge black housefly. It lands on my bent knee. Starts all of it’s pestering fly action. Tickles the few fine hairs I’ve missed with the razor. I hear myself ask. How did I not hear it?

Listening to a light northwest breeze. That’s how. And the lighter green underside of maple leaves as it turns them downside-up.

I’m busy listening to garlic, onion, basil and something wonderful beyond words wafting from the restaurant kitchen next door. I hear the chef’s cleaver chop, chop across the grain.

The sound of my questions to myself. Is it chicken or veal that he’s preparing. Does it hurt still?

I’m listening to a cloud. A single serrated edge cirrus cloud. A remnant of Friday’s ascended fog. A magical shape shifter. An ascended ancestor? A passing jet plane high above flies straight into the center dividing it in two. Two ancestors!

Or a rabbit and a dove.

I’m listening to a solitary lawn mower in the distance.

Saturday labor. Sunday rest

Listening, I hear a hawk high above stalk his rodent prey. Gulls gather. Easy meals on this tourist day.

I hear a bird’s sing-song call. I hear your voice. “Territorial.” Bob was your name. 1982. Steel biceps, Garden City, nice family, Mom-liked you-Bob. “Darling, don’t be so naïve.” You said as we caressed in the upper room by the crab-apple tree.

A summer siren cuts deep into the wind. Slices through the sound of the sun then wanes. Muffler-less motorcycle engines roar as would be Kings of the Jungle. Paul’s red banner plane flies treetop low. I wave. Hear them wave back. Maybe the one finger. But still.

Sewing bees stitch and seam their airborne romance. Youthful music to the age old dance.

I listen to my left eye floaters drift upward and multiply. Or is it naiads in the distance?

Strawberry at Brickley’s two doors down. A child’s lips sloppily drips before Grandpa hurriedly catches up.

I’m listening to the obligatory neighbor dog bark from afar.

The sound of sweet peas snuggling in the pod

Native tomatoes tugging the vine

A rose crowning through thorns

Shade dappled across lush green lawn

The sound of tiger lilies laboring toward the sky

Freshly mowed grass gone to seed along the roadside

I’m listening to pedestrians a step at a time. On their footpaths. Off-the-beaten-path. I place them on their hard earned pedestals.

I hear the whistle of the wind through road bike wheels. Bicycle gears shift.

A single bead of sweat slithering it’s way toward earth between my scapulae.

I’m listening to summer life

a red sky sunset

folding into

a late June night

a three-quarter waxing giddying


the earth as it spins

the murmur of hush

I’m listening to you.

N.B. Wilde


Written to writing prompt, “I’m listening…”

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