Oddments

In search of story


2 Comments

Chantey

Sing a summer song
and you can’t go wrong,
a little rhythm and blues,
and a few other hues,
with a hum,
buzz,
flap.

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A coneflower snack
a jeweled backpack,
nectar to go,
and a do-si-do,
with a hum,
buzz,
flap.

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A poke and a sip,
a birdbath dip,
hangin’ with the dill
near the zinnia frill
with a hum,
buzz,
flap.

The air of the phlox,
a quick detox,
hummingbird sage
in its airy cage,
with a hum,
buzz,
flap.

A swoop and a swerve
it’s all self-serve
you can’t miss a beat
or you won’t get to eat,
with a hum,
buzz,
flap.

It won’t do to mope
on the heliotrope
or shilly-shally
down pansy alley,
with a hum,
buzz,
flap.

Gotta beat those wings
and slurp those things,
you gotta fly spry
or you’ll come up dry,
with a hum,
buzz,
flap.

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It’s not just fun
in the summer sun
but serious biz —
that’s the way it is —
when you’re on the wing,
can’t chirp or sing,
but hum,
buzz,
flap.

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Sotted and swollen
with socks of pollen
in frenzied note
from wing and throat
with their own bugspeak
and hummingbird squeak,
mostly
hum,
buzz,
flap.

Gentle percussion
over balm and nasturtium
pulse of the garden
cause of my bardin’
soft sound splinter,
I miss you in winter,
with a hum,
buzz
flap,
oh, flap!

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4 Comments

Postcard from the doldrums

It is mid-July and there is no cloud of lavender-blue over the lavender. It struggles to grow, let alone bloom. The geranium, though bravely deep ruby, teeters on rickety stem. The bright white vinca remains modestly single-bloomed and close to the earth. They want sun.

There is only rain.

Leaves and flowers sag under waterweight, stoop-shouldered, hollow-backed. People bowed now too, eyes listlessly downward with no horizon to look toward, neither sunset nor sunrise.

There is only rain.

Gardening feeds my spirit, and, just as surely as the squirrels, I store acorns of sunlit troweled moments to sustain me in the winter ahead. But not this year. How is a gardener to make sense of life without a gardening season? Gardeners need sun.

There is only rain.

Fields turned to swamps, the corn, beggarlike, stands suppliant in murk and muck, helpless, roots melting into slime. It wants light.

There is only rain.

We know Indiana weather is imperfect. We know tornadoes dwell in our skies. We know that the writer of Genesis was describing certain months in Indiana when he wrote “darkness covered the earth.” We don’t expect much here, but this sunless summer would send even Job into a grumbly opprobrium.

Ponds of clay soup, downspout gushers, rushing curbside streams, pooling in tire prints, rot in our fences, knots in our lungs,

there is only rain.

 

Noon, 13 July

Noon, 13 July