Wednesday, September 30, 2009

look down

The other day I was getting close to the end of The Dharma Bums (audio book - with a reader whose voice is too polished to play beat poet), and Japhy Ryder suggests to the narrator, “Try the meditation of the trail, just walk along looking at the trail at your feet and don’t look about and just fall into a trance as the ground zips by.”

You shouldn't put yourself into a trance walking down city sidewalks to work in the morning, but you can certainly watch your feet as you walk to see what you can see. And what I saw:



Brick sidewalk raised in gentle waves by underneath tree roots

Pavement with a scatter of yellow leaves

Blond cat and one meow

Small flat metal discs in the pavement that hide pipes that lead down to secret places

[OK, passing a bar - look up or you'll probably see something gross]

Pavement that's a smooth almost-white

Pavement that's a spread of tiny pebbles

Asphalt the color of campfire ash, painted white lines, painted yellow lines

Pavement in a long, clean ribbon but broken by one square with names carved in by stick or finger

Wet shoe prints walking

Moss growing up through cracks in pavement

Hopscotch chalk lines in faded colors

Pavement painted with the brown-gray imprints of old leaves

Manhole covers embossed with roses

A small, perfect heart drawn with blue crayon

One tiny feather-shaped leaf up on its end and twirling in the wind against the pavement.


  1. Lovely. So many things, but especially the "asphalt the color of campfire ash" line. And the final image.

    And I know you looked up before you crossed the streets, right? Right?

  2. oh g. how lovely.

    - la dame Sérieuse.

  3. Mmmm, want to be walking there too...