Oddments

In search of story


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December 31.20: Coping

A wink, perhaps,

lightly nefarious:

above the noble

“Stradivarius”

the truth is stamped,

hidden slyly —

“Copy” — by luthier

deft and wily.

 

I think it was no coincidence that 2020 was the year I attended to my father’s violin, which I had allowed to fall into disreputable condition. I’d needed some sense of grounding, of continuity, in a year of such cataclysmic instability. I had it repaired and renewed for my grandson this Christmas, and there was indeed grounding. This was the instrument my father played in his grade school orchestra, circa 1925.

 

The one he played in our family Christmas concerts (a merry barnyard kind of sound) and introduced to his grandson circa 1977.

 

The one I rescued from my own shameful neglect and presented — in its well-worn KantKrack case, beribboned and (it seemed to me) proud — to his great-grandson this Christmas.

A violin doesn’t have to be a Stradivarius to be priceless. And 2020 has made us acutely more mindful of the priceless things that ground us.

Thank you, dear reader, for all your encouragement and insights this year. May the new year bring us all the repair, renewal, and tuning we need, may we be grounded in the priceless things of life, may we be mindful of those who grieve and who care for our sick, and may there one day again be real hugs!

 

 


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October 20.20

My house naps quiet

behind the tree;

the world passes by

obliviously.

The grandeur of

my life within,

curtained by

the daily din,

cannot be guessed

by passersby

who see my house

as small and shy.

My stemmed fine art

goes undetected,

like ruby rose window,

unexpected.

A splendid secret:

who could know

my little house

is Chenonceau?

 

 

 

 


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October 3.20: Coping

Like old sepia photo

inviting eye to linger

does sepia of wood

invite admiring finger.

Eminently touchable

in smooth and rounded form,

from chocolate to butterscotch

toasted, glazed, warm.

Like mystery in the photo

the mystery in the wood

makes us stop and ponder

exactly as we should.

 

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg

and to Traders Point Creamery, Zionsville, IN.

 

 


8 Comments

September 22:20: Coping

It seems to me

there’s an obvious plot

to get my goat

(which is got a lot).

How else explain

these mortal remains,

matted and framed,

among the day’s banes?

A villainous move,

a deliberate ploy,

to irritate, vex,

to taunt and annoy.

There was nothing to do

but take all apart

and grouse at the bug

who thought he was art.

 

 


6 Comments

September 21.20: Coping

Gather ye zinnias

while ye may,

and salute not much

with patchwork nosegay.

With spikes of cool lavender,

chrysanthemum puff,

in little glass pitchers

not much is enough.

It doesn’t take big

to bring joy to our eyes;

the palette of zinnias

is its own giant size.

 

 

With apologies to Robert Herrick,

and thanks to my dear friend Donna for the zinnia seeds!

 

 


4 Comments

September 10.20: Coping

The recipe,

that work of art,

bequeathed from bubbling

kitchen heart,

with stain and splot

of ancient dough,

bringing to Now

the Long-ago.

Penmanship of

floured hand,

preserved on paper

less than grand,

thus creating

choice giftwrap

of what was once

a lowly scrap.

 

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg,

and to Rose Schloot, owner of Cross River Lodge,

Grand Marais, Minnesota,

where this eloquent old piece of the past is displayed.