Oddments

In search of story


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December 6.22: Coping, but barely

An ordinary window,

an ordinary day,

an ordinary glimpse,

then mental tour jeté.

A camera must be had!

Indecorous dash ensued,

then, breathless, stealthy, sly,

I engaged in conduct crude.

In blushless want of manners,

intrusive imposition,

brutally dismissive

of my need to get permission,

I zoomed in on his person,

with brain and camera focus

on this feathered fisherman

and his wintry bare-branched locus.

He appeared a bit put out

at what the flower said,

which made his handsome feathers

stand up atop his head.

I wish I could have heard

but this is all I got;

I could sneak clandestine photo,

but eavesdrop I could not.

And thus the common day,

as if by magic word,

was instantly transformed

by a Merlin of a bird.

It was because of Walt Kelly’s brilliant Pogo illustrations that I knew this was a kingfisher. It was the Internet that told me it was a Belted Kingfisher. Why it isn’t a Collared Kingfisher I do not know. The Internet also told me that it is common in central Indiana. I think not. This little guy was a first for me.

I stood in the middle of my living room, far back from the window. This fine specimen was on a tree across the pond. All hail the power of the zoom!


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October 30.22: Coping, but barely

With enigmatic aspect

of jarring puce-y pinks,

they gaze into unseens,

each vacant penguin sphinx.

Contemplative and placid,

in ignoble habitat,

I seem to hear their mantra:

My kingdom for a hat!

One may quibble about puce and maintain reasonably that puce is in the eye of the beholder; however, puce is also a reference to the Puce Stamps in Walt Kelly’s Pogo. Our intrepid photographer, Bill, named the color.

Many years ago, in the times of antiquity known as The Fifties, Bill and his wife Donna were high school debate partners, and one of their warmest debates was Pogo (Bill) vs Peanuts (Donna). Rowrbazzle! vs Good Grief! I should know: I was there.

Ergo, puce penguins.

I have written before about ancient friendships, and no doubt I will again. They rule!

With thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

and apologies to Shakespeare.


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May 7.22: Coping, but barely

This was me

and this was you,

our wings be-fuzzed,

mysterious, new.

Tipping, toppling,

learning where

we stopped and started,

unaware

of cliffs and quicksand,

Pandora’s box,

we braved the world

of thorns and rocks.

Or so we thought. The really brave

were those close by

who hovered and watched

with wary eye,

letting us learn

from life’s tough classes

even if we fell

on our little

ummm

grasses.

 

Tomorrow is Mothers’ Day here; I am not a fan. I think it’s become a national day of panic. But that does not mean I don’t value mothering. I absolutely do. There are many who mother even if they’ve never given birth, and I salute every one.

Please pardon the quality of the photo, dear reader. You probably, and rightly, guessed that I was hunched down behind Venetian blinds muttering to that baby to HOLD STILL. He didn’t. Mother Goose (so to speak) did not cast a benign eye on me.

 

 


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April 30.22: Coping, but barely

Where are the toes

with which we hold

when we reach, teetering,

for the tender goaled?

When life twangs

our bearings like rubber band

and we, poor spitballs,

clawless in foot and hand,

hover on the verge of shot

yet, refusing to be denied,

become the squirrel,

wind and gravity defied,

and clutch that feeble twig,

how do we dare?

Does the soul have claws

that hold us there?

 

 

It seems appropriate, dear reader, to end Poetry Month with a question since I always start it with a question: what is poetry? Still scratching my head on that one.


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April 22.22: Coping, but barely

The pensive dog,

drowsed by talk,

took her thoughts

on wooded walk,

contemplative

and solitary,

past springtime’s

ruffled luminary.

The daffodils sighed

as she passed by,

looked after her

with solicitous eye.

 

This, dear reader, is Miss Janey Pickles. I’m told she is named for a literary figure beloved by my daughter-in-law. Some people speak of their grand-dogs; I am not one of those people. Janey Pickles is not my grand-dog even though she belongs to my daughter-in-law and my son. Or they belong to her. Whichever. The amazing thing about Janey Pickles is that sometimes she’s awake.

 

 


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April 9.22: Coping, but barely

 

“Hello! I must be going!”

a tune too rarely heard,

wafted through the air

from waddling squatty bird.

Crestfallen and bewildered,

the pup, his tail a-droop,

wondered if he’d erred

in mention of “Duck Soup.”

The huffy Madame Mallard,

like all good critic quackers,

made it known that she prefers

the classic “Animal Crackers.”

 

With a salute to Marx Brothers movies:

“Animal Crackers” (1930)

“Duck Soup” (1933)

(What else would a dog and duck talk about?)