Monday, 6 June 2022


That Powdery Midas Touch

My eyes are not limpid pools. They are choppy lakes. My nose is blocked yet it runs like rainwater through a downsnout. My right ear is blocked. All I can hear is the odd teasing pop of a canal trying to dredge itself. I’m inhaling a steroid that used to be only available by prescription. I’ve a hunch its benefits are somewhat offset by my 25 Player’s smokes per day habit. My head is heavy though I’ve experienced no recent personal sorrow.

Ann’s seasonal suffering has been slighter; her blue eyes sting from time to time.

The pollen is the colour of the yolk of a hard boiled egg. When the breeze is up great evil looking clouds of it drift off the evergreens; I imagine mustard gas wafting over no man’s land. The expansion grooves in the city sidewalks are caked with collected pollen, precise markings of surveyors’ spray paint indicating underground gas lines. The entire neighbourhood seems as jaundiced as my worldview. Our blue Honda evokes Tom Wolfe, a kandy-kolored sulphur-flake boxy Japanese import baby. The tongue on our Rolling Stones “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” doormat needs scraping; naturally I recall an obscure Some Girls B-side: “Everything’s Turning to Gold.”

For five months every year our front porch is the busiest “room” in the Crooked 9. The kitchen regains its rightful place once I commence marking up the wall calendar with reminders to change the furnace filter. Ann and I have been alternating turns sweeping off the front porch; it feels like a quick puff on a cigarette winter ritual. I insist I’ve not been shirking: “I did it 15 minutes ago, I swear. Honest.” 

Ann’s figured out a more efficient method while she waters the front garden beds and pots. She sets the garden hose water wand on fan and rides herd over the yellow powder. Ann drives the pollen across the charcoal slate tiles and underneath the black wrought iron railings and over the edge onto the brown dirt or grey cement.

The pollen has not been this prevalent, for better or worse, since 2017. Maybe, 2018? We cannot remember that particular lusty month of May. Was that particular summer short or long, wet or dry? Did we have a Richard Harris “Camelot” autumn? Was the ensuing winter harsh or mild? We don’t know. The mystery is what the plants and trees know. We’ve received some sort of message that neither one of us possess the expertise nor memory to interpret. Anyway, I’m half deaf and Ann blinked; I think we missed it. Meanwhile, we will wait and wonder.          

meGeoff has been your most unreliable, unbalanced and inaccurate alternative source of health, wellness and botany since 2013. My novella Of Course You Did is my latest book. Visit to find your preferred format and retailer. 

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