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Bob Ayres

(1953 ~ 1999)

"Time is not my friend
It moves me closer to the end
Of my sweet warm blue season of desire."



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All Saints' Day
In a Pool of Light
Merrit Island 8:00pm
A Rose From Afar
Autumn Story
History and Virginity Lost

All Saints Day

I walk the ridge these darker days.
A yellow sun sets in the gray.
All Hallow’s eve the kids held sway.
All’s quiet now on All Saints Day
for me and memories of recent years.
The nothing month gives pause to think.
The trees a sketch in pen and ink.
The smell of smoke a wood fire burns.

Towards winter now the autumn turns
and early season snowflakes melt in tears.
The garden dormant where flowers grew.
A pumpkin with a note to you.
I leave it here and walk away
And bide my time on All Saints Day.

(Author's note: In memory of my dear friend Meredith Moody.)


In A Pool Of Light

We sit alone in a pool of light.
The studio dark very late at night.
Phones for you and Phones for me
I plug us into patch bay three
and then...
not taking my eyes from yours
I push the playback button
and the rythm track kicks in.
Holding my guitar
I get the feel
of the chords bass and drums.
Draw inspiration from your eyes
and improvise.
Tickling strings at first
Bending in the long sustains.
Pick slides thrown in subtle
like clever foreplay.
I sense your pleasure and soon
a melody begins to form.
Easy at first
in half time with the beat.
Then building,
faster and more complex.
Screaming highs underscored
by brutal power chords.
I play you high.
I play you low.
Play you fast
and play you slow.
Play it ways we've never known,
in a world that's ours
and ours alone.
The melody subsides
to its easy simple form
then under and out.
Catching your breath
you smile back at me with far away eyes.
So tired and yet wanting more.
Somewhere I find the strength
and push the playback button one more time.
once again the music
loud in our ears
in the silence that surounds us
sitting alone
in a pool of light.

~ May 04, 1998


Merrit Island 8:00 PM

The hood of my rented car
gobbles up the pavement.
speeding across the causeway
in this place of modern history.
Engulfed in the ruby hues
of early spring Florida sunset.
Exotic critters watch me
from their hiding place nearby
as down the empty road
at seventy I fly.
They add to the air of mystery
here where the secrets of nature
and the secrets of technology
make strange bed fellows.
Headlights on as darkness decends.
Merrit Island 8:00 PM.

~ April 20, 1998


Rose From Afar

Drab colors give way to a bloom.
A rose the likes of which I've never seen.
All pinkish yellow. A color of the south.
As if to suggest a teasing coolness of early morning
soon con sumed by the scorching heat of mid day.
Gracefully she sheds her peach colored petals
and blooming full opens wide
revealing the endless beauty she is inside.
Her subtle sweet perfume recalls
a gushing taste of honey nectar on my tongue.
Of entry through her every door.
Of trash and virtue to explore.
A rose will bloom for only days
but in my heart a smile stays
for a flower cherished from afar.
Ever only from afar. 

~ July 10, 1998


Autumn Story


The car passed by at an alarming rate of speed. I was out running up the long hill on East Mill Road, the one that led up and out of the valley. The car was a Cadillac Eldorado. One of those fancy new ones. It was dark metallic green and shined with that never been off the lot kind of shine. Still, it had a generic look about it and I guessed that it was a rental. It passed me by so fast that I felt swept away in it's slip stream and I estimated that it was doing about seventy.

The East Mill Road hill was my regular running route in those days. I usually run a circuitous route but Linda and I had rented the little house in long Valley when we were married the previous year and I found that I enjoyed the straight out and back run up the long hill best, especially in Autumn when the top of the hill commanded an awesome view of the farmland rolling away into the valley and the vermilion spectacle of Schooley’s Mountain beyond . It was up hill for the first half. Then down hill all the way home. I was about three quarters of the way up when the Caddy ground to a stop.

The car had pulled over about a hundred yards farther up the hill ahead of me and I stopped, not sure of what was going on. The driver’s side door swung open and a man got out. He was about my age and was dressed in expensive trendy looking clothes, like a rock star. He stood by the side of the car looking my way but not at me. It seemed that he ignored me completely, if indeed he saw me at all.

I knew almost immediately what he was looking at and turned around to have a look myself. The valley was a bowl of majestic autumnal splendor under a flawless blue sky. It was a view I’ve seen countless times in the fall but I still never tire of it. Not just the sight of it, but the whole feeling of it. The total environment of it. The feel of the crisp cool air. The aromatic scent of the fallen leaves. I relished the sensation of it and realized, at the same time, that I had something in common with this total stranger. I turned back and watched him gazing, entranced into the valley below.

The passenger side door swung open and a woman got out. She was dressed like him. She was very beautiful, petite and blonde. The two of them looked oddly out of place with their Cadillac in the rustic setting. She walked to the back of the car in long exasperated strides and confronted him.

I couldn’t hear what they were saying but I could hear their voices. She sounded intense, indicating the car with short pointing motions. He sounded weary, gesturing broadly at the expanse below. They had words for a minute or two. Then she stormed back to the Caddy got in and slammed the door.

He continued to look at the view for a while but kept glancing back over his shoulder. Finally he turned and headed back to the car, taking one last look as he got in. They took off like a shot, throwing dust and gravel as they peeled out onto the road and disappeared over the hill. When the dust settled it was as though they were never there.

I looked back at the view, realizing that it was mine for as long as I wanted it and felt sorry for the stranger in the Cadillac. His appreciation of the moment was identifiable to me but there was something more. I knew nothing of the details of this stranger’s life and yet I could sense the frustration he seemed to feel with the circumstances that rushed him on his way. I remembered the times of my own life when it seemed like I was riding on a non-stop train and all of the good stuff just passed by my window.

I thought about the value I had attached to certain things in my past and what the pursuit of those things had cost me. And I knew that later I’d put on a pot of coffee or mull some cider, make love with my wife and savor the luxury of time. I took the run back down at a leisurely pace taking in the view all the way home.

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Writing on this page Copyright © Bob Ayres 1988

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