Nostalgia by the numbers

37.7104° N, 76.3797° W elevation 1,495’
Temp. 50°, 38% humidity

A jay streaked from a pine
this morning, like a blue ribbon
to festoon a skeletal tree,
here in the land of the crab
and peeper frog, the lightning
and the lighthouse, bone-
chilling winds whisking
our breaths from our mouths
on our morning walk.

33.4255° N, 111.9400° W elevation 89’
Temp. 62°, 24% humidity

Beyond the bougainvillea
at our far-off fountain
of youth, a grackle whistles
from blooming oleander
above sun-warmed walls,
shadow meandering
as it swoops, pouncing
like a panther on blossoms
or bugs by the backyard pool.

Distance: 2,311 miles

Is the slight degree of latitude
or the plus or minus altitude
affecting my attitude, the longing
for the desert heat merely due
to longitude? Is it subtraction,
abstraction, attraction or division?
Relocation, solastalgia, dis-
placement or revision?
Is all my malaise about …
just a position?


This poem inspired by a Paint Chip Prompt is all over the place as I try to capture the feeling of wanting to live in two locations but having to choose just one. On the plus side, I learned a new word, “solastalgia.”

The painting featured here is “The Border” by Alvaro Ibañez.


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