Oddments

In search of story


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November 23.20: Coping

Fear is served,

heaped, cold, on unseen platter

where empty table

speaks to us.

There was picnic once,

soda fizz

and bright mustard,

where now only air

teasing whispers from

dry grass.

In barren quiet

the words come:

what if I’m the only one?

 

 

In this country, dear reader, we enter Thanksgiving week torn. No: shredded. How do we celebrate isolation and dread? If we try to “count our blessings,” how are we not trivializing the losses among us?

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg for this poignant image.

 


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November 14.20: Coping

The fireworks of fall

though silent be their boom

revel in explosion

of pyrotechnic bloom.

 

 

 

Today is my mom’s birthday, a gardener down to her toes.

She’s long gone to God, but I know she’d love these mums.

She’d also tell me to wipe my feet, the official Mom Greeting.

So happy 102nd birthday, Evelyn Mauck O’Hern!


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November 7.20: Coping

As I clutched my morning coffee

and sought some inspiration,

I searched election-day sky

in vacuous contemplation.

And there it was, the message

amid chaotic fall:

there’s always more than one way

to rise above it all.

 

 

To be sure, dear reader, I have not risen above it all; I’m loony and weary and full of opinions. When I try to rise above it all, I just thud down. And so it was that I watched these hardy folks float over my head and accused them of taking the easy way. Which is definitely not to say that I wanted to be up there with them! Mocking gravity while dangling in a basket is not my idea of rising above.

 


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November 3.20: Coping

Beset by inane logorrhea,

I turn to time-honored idea:

when the world goes askew,

make you some goo,

the original holistic panacea.

 

Here we are, dear reader, in this country, in desperate need of goo. “From sea to shining sea” used to refer to the beauty of the land; now it refers to angst, despair, fear, rage, frustration, isolation, loneliness, and profound exhaustion. And it is likely true that wherever you live it is the same. You might not have an election to deal with, but you likely have illness and death and uncertainty and loneliness stalking you. I offer you this goo by way of saying I wish I could make things better for all of us.

 

 


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October 31.20: Coping

All Hallows’ Eve,

and my muse has gone astray.

When last seen, a bluebird,

most likely bat today.

I’ve written and deleted

a tome or two of late;

nothing’s any good —

I’ve just an addled pate.

Where are those perfect words

that say just what I mean?

Have they been scared away

by this looming Halloween?

I think it’s much more likely

my muse is somewhere stuck

among the fangs and broomsticks

of politics run amuck.

 

Thanks to photographer D.J. Berg,

and a salute to her complimentary Halloween bar.