One Ticket

Is enough
Two too many
To find a date
To wait and wait
For him to state
His intentions

One lonely ticket
Two far gone
To hear a sound
Of my past life
With my old man
His favorite song

One is okay
Not two or three
Or even four
Just one
One lonely life
To hear the score

Of violins and
Saxophone dreams
A piano note or two
Blend the cacophony
Of life together
With a single tune

–Victoria Emmons, © 2013

Rhythms of Life on Foothill Road

From my house in the foothills, I can hear the Credence Clearwater Revisited Band jamming to the crowd. The sound floats out above the shopping centers and the speeding cars on the freeway, filling the length of Foothill Road. Every year in early summer, our town’s population swells to reflect the excitement of the County Fair. Businesses thrive and traffic is plentiful. And then, just as quickly as they arrived, fair goers and carnies all go home and summer continues its slow march into fall.

It reminds me of the moths that arrive at my front door every January. They appear just after New Year’s Day and flutter around my outdoor lights for two to three weeks. I have to open the door carefully or the winged creatures fly into my house. My cats often chase them around the living room. By the end of their visit, the moths just seem to disappear as quickly as they appeared. Where do they go?

Bats have their cycle, too. They descend in the dark of night, so are less obvious about making their nests under the shingles of my house. I can tell they’re back when their droppings become plentiful on my deck. They have lived there as long as I have. Well, probably longer. A friend suggested I relocate them to a bat house; but it doesn’t seem quite fair. They migrate annually and my place is just a summer cottage for them. Besides, they eat mosquitos and other pesky bugs. The bats and I made a truce long ago to peacefully coexist in our woodsy environment.

Like the moths and bats, the hikers have their patterns, too. In summer, they appear more frequently on that treacherous incline where I live. They huff and puff up the hill to reach the entrance to the Regional Park trails where they can enjoy the pleasure of nature at its best. Those who like real challenge ride mountain bikes up the steep hill and achieve the pleasure of a swift return going back downhill. The heartiest of hikers are there year round, but summer definitely swells the crowds.

Fair goers, moths, bats and hikers… all of them represent the rhythms of life on Foothill Road. It is what I love about living here.

Wente Concert Summer 2009

Palm trees wave at dusk
Blue backdrop to the stage
Backdrop to my memory
Of hits from the 70s

Graying heads bob
In rhythm to the music
Songs behind our minds
From a former time

A single lighter flame
Waves back and forth
Keeping time with
Familiar melodies

Others follow the lead
Of a digital flame
A sea of mechanical fire
Erupts in unison

Cheese on our knees
Share a Cabernet
Stars in the sky
Planes fly to SFO

The crowd is relaxed
So easy and free
Nothing less than
A three-song curtain call

Claps and whistles abound
An old man wearing a hat
Dances with a slender blond
The night’s still young

–Victoria Emmons, 2014