Oddments

In search of story


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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 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.

 


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May 22.21: Coping

Victor Herbert wrote songs for my parents’ generation, so I was raised with some of them. One, I think, he wrote especially for writers: “Ah, sweet mystery of life!”

Writers know the mystery of life is words. Mysteriously they come. Mysteriously they go. Who can understand?

I’ve been without words for a few weeks now. Total blank. Tabula rasa. Nada. Zip. I’ve started a few blog posts that were the undead of writing.

Meanwhile we’ve gone overnight from Too-Cold-To-Garden to Yikes-It’s-Suddenly-Summer-and-Get-Those-Plants-In-NOW! It’s been wonderful to take my dejected writer self to the dirt.

It used to be that digging in my dirt was about worms. Now it’s about cicadas. More, there’s a little bush in front festooned with their overcoats. Apparently a bunch of cicadas got together and decided to shed simultaneously, leaving their outsides dangling on my little shrub like so many crispy-looking ornaments. Ick.

That ghostly emptiness speaks to me. The writer is only an exoskeleton when she doesn’t have words, and the wind whistles through her as she dangles from some metaphorical shrub.

I know that my sadistic muse is nearby, smirking.

 


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April 22.21: Coping

The hydrangea and the crabapple tree

awoke in frozen state.

“Remind me,” said each to the other,

“what is the real date?”

They shivered and shrugged

and tried to remember

if they slept through the summer

and woke up in December.

 

Thus, below freezing, did yesterday begin. And thus did we shiver through the day. Blossoms on the trees held a hundred times their weight in heavy snow, and thus did pink and white branches lie broken on the ground. We had hail, snow, rain, bright sunshine, perfect calm, roaring winds and thunder in dizzying display, and thus did Nature growl at us to take nothing for granted.

 

Wishing you a good Earth Day, dear reader!


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April 14.21: Coping

I hate the isolation,

the sameness of the days,

the clouds of obfuscation

that politicians raise.

I hate the guns and beatings,

our bloody violent spate,

the toxic finger-pointing —

in sum, I hate the hate.

My scowl has been perfected,

my grumpiness assured,

my energy and spirit

effectively tonsured.

That is why the pansy

is at my closed front door,

hermetically sealed

against the global gore.

Such little flower that nods

congenial purple hope

can compensate for certain

resident misanthrope.

So if there’s a cheery face

as my homey welcome sign,

you know that it’s the pansy’s;

it most surely isn’t mine.

 

 


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December 2.20: Coping

The inquisitive vine

must find out

what each bottle

is all about.

It must in tendril’d

curl and twist

make sure that nothing

has been missed.

It knows the truth

herein applied:

nothing’s learned

if nothing’s tried.

 

Happy birthday to D.J. Berg, who can grow anything,

even bottles,

and whose inquisitive vine is a lot like her.

And thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.