Oddments

In search of story


15 Comments

July 7.21: Coping

Street art has found a place

in cultural domain;

the spider looks upon it

with the master’s cold disdain.

His webby muse inspires

despite the hours of tedium

to pattern and to form

with gossamer as medium.

In gallery of flowerpots

the moon and sun elide,

performatively joined

on thinnest thready slide.

By night the moon plucks lightly

each string in placid rondo;

by day a somersaulting sun

cavorts in bright glissando.

Known only to the artist

where spinnings stir and start,

sufficient to the self

is ephemera of the art.

So the noiseless patient spider,

in retreat of sweet alyssum,

abjures the common cult

of crass commercialism.

 

With apologies and thanks to Walt Whitman’s

“A Noiseless Patient Spider.”

 

 


8 Comments

June 23.21: Coping

Life always was a head-scratcher, but recently more than usual.

For one thing, WordPress got all weird on my computer. No way could I get into it last week.  Eventually it came back but my security program blasted bright red warnings about dangerous and suspicious connections. On WordPress?

I got a new phone from AT&T. Free. Sorry, folks, but I don’t believe anything is free. It’s a flip-top to replace the one that they’re making obsolete. I still haven’t found the strings but I know they’re attached. I took the plunge and started to read the blurbs that came with it. Chapter One: Safety.

OK, so my Mensa invitation didn’t really get lost in the mail, but still I’m smart enough to know that if you’re going to write instructional materials you should tell your reader what your abbreviations mean before page 20. That aside, I learned that I shouldn’t paint or bend my phone, and that no part of the human body should come too close to the antenna, which is inside. Do I put the phone in the kitchen and then go to the living room and yell at it?

You know the rabbits have destroyed most of my flowers. Now I’ve lost the tomatoes. I looked at the poor tomato plants and just shook my head. Since when do rabbits eat tomato plants?

I stood in the vast echo chamber of Lowe’s lumber department asking myself the eternal question: where’s the person who can tell me the difference between quarter-round and shoe molding?

I think there are times in life when we don’t even want the answers any more. A rocking chair and glass of wine will do. Rocking chair optional.

 

 


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June 15.21: Coping

The eye of the hare,

what jaundice hue,

therein hinted

a whole world view,

carrot-tinted,

gluttonous gleam,

taking measure

in pound and ream,

spying greens

and petals fair —

what was planted

no longer there.

A lesson life

has clearly taught:

know when your efforts

come to naught;

to try again is

laudable habit,

but not when competing

with the rabbit.

Let it go,

it wasn’t to be;

the garden this year

is plant cemetery.

 

Alas, dear reader, it seems not to be a year for a garden. Moss roses, daisies, marigolds, gauras, zinnias, lantana, even spiny rudbeckia — chomped. Dill? Parsley? In my dreams! What with the rabbits devouring my flowers and the cicadas dive-bombing me, I think this might be the summer I stay inside and clean my house. OK, you’re right: that’s not likely. But still I’m steamed.

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg and to sculptor Jürgen Goetz, and to the rabbit that posed for Dürer’s drawing, thereby giving Goetz inspiration for his sculpture, glowering near Dürer’s house in Nürnberg. The gnarled hand under the hare is obviously the defeated gardener.

 


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June 12.21: Coping

What count today?

How many swings and swerves?

Is her language getting colorful?

Are we getting on her nerves?

Did you see my body slam?

Mid-forehead, perfect aim!

Well, I got her on her ear —

I love this summer game!

What sport her dodge and dip,

her crazed and darting eyes,

her twitch at our chorale

of razors in the skies.

I’ll race you to her head!

Come on! I double-dare!

The winner is the one

who gets tangled in her hair!

 

 


15 Comments

June 4.21: Coping

Bassoonist in the pond,

tireless serenade,

accompanies the hours

from dawn through midnight shade.

In sunshine, gruff continuo

beneath the madrigal

of chirp and honk and buzz

in summer’s concert hall.

By moonlight, Shostakovich

in solo lullaby,

sandpaper to the ear,

yet weighty to the eye.

The fish in slow ballet,

the heron straight and still

attune themselves to tuneless

amphibian leaden trill.

Redundant though its song,

endless though it seems,

its hopeful constancy

all monotony redeems.

 

As you may recall, dear reader, frog song used to keep me awake,

and now it seems like an old comforter.

 

 


6 Comments

June 2.21: Coping

I’m so little I can hide me

among the garden rocks,

I’m as welcome as a locust

and cute as chickenpox.

I wear a soft and furry coat

with cottontail behind,

but my heart is solid porcine

my ancestors all swine.

Chorus: Oh, engorgement!

I’m happy to my toes!

I’m coming for your garden

with a clover on my nose!

 

To be sung to the tune of “Oh, Susannah.”

With apologies for the foggy look:

I had to finagle a shot through the Venetian blinds again.

 


7 Comments

May 31.21: Coping

I was born during World War II and do not pretend to remember the horrors. I do vaguely remember Tip Top.

My dad had a critical skills deferment because he worked for American Steel Foundries, which manufactured train parts, essential to the war effort. Those men worked long, long hours. With a purpose. He had two sisters, one in the Marines, the other in the WAVES; they had the same purpose.

Mom and Dad spoke of the get-togethers for friends who were on their way to serve, and who never came home. No one who remained home would pretend to be in the same situation as those in combat, but the ration books tell of shared purpose, which meant in some cases making meat loaf for six with Knox gelatin and a cup of chopped meat.

There has been copious bloodshed before and since, and it would seem our species is hell-bent on extinguishing itself. So we might grow numb to the dying. Maybe we already are numb.

Therefore, it’s wise to have a day to not be numb and to think deliberately of those who died to protect a way of governing that theoretically we value, and to ask if, here and now, in shared purpose, we would be willing to eat Knox Meat Loaf.