Oddments

In search of story


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May 1.22: Coping, but barely

Many the wonder of spring

but the jaw-dropping best of them all

is a flower that never had bloomed

until one redoubtable fall.

A lilac in fall?

What could it portend?

Why in that dismal

tormented year’s end?

Pandemic exhausted,

hostility worn,

with leaves curled in death,

dry and forlorn,

we slumped into autumn

weary of strife,

and here blooms a lilac

with anomalous life.

A lilac in fall —

a thing beyond reason —

would it come back again

in traditional season?

The purpling answer

no nose can resist

nods in affirmative

its resolve to exist.

As fancy a flora

as ever hoorayed

exalts this springtime

in new life arrayed.

 

In my years here, this lilac had never given the slightest indication that it knew how to make a flower. Then, in the last gasps of 2021, it bloomed! An autumn-blooming lilac seemed in keeping with the chaos of the times. But would it bloom in the spring? Now we know!

 

 


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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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February 2.22: Coping

February first,

a winter storm is lurking;

ice and snow and sleet —

is their inner clock not working?

What ever are they thinking,

popped up so green and straight?

Could it possibly be spring

they prognosticate?

 

Dear reader, if you live in this country, you know that winter is about to smite us again; snow and ice are roaring at us and the last couple days have seen people dashing about, not in the best of moods, trying to prepare. Yesterday it was 50. I took advantage of the anomaly and walked around the house. It was like taking that big breath before diving underwater again: one bit of fresh air before the next hunkering down.

I about fell over when I spotted these shoots. They must have sprouted in January! There was a strange sound: me, laughing out loud. I think I might even have talked to them: “Are you nuts?” (Gardeners are weird.)

We are about to get walloped, according to the weatherpeople. I prefer the forecast of the daffodils.

 


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November 10.21: Coping

How it sizzles,

this maple,

brazen in the sunset,

each blazing leaf

a crackle

like the fire in a hearth

spitting embers,

bodaciously sassing the sun.

 

 

A note, dear reader: many years ago, oh, so many, I was advised never to use a series of sibilant sounds. Which, as you can tell, is a rule that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I thought of it as I wrote that last line and reveled in my rebellion. It sounds like a leaky tire, but I like it.

 

 


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October 13.21: Coping

R-e-v-e-n-g-e!

This is gardener’s smuggery:

hoorah of zinnia frillery

despite cotton-tailed skullduggery.

 

(Apologies to Aretha.)

Yes, dear reader, this is that poor chomped zinnia that I mourned a while back. It recovered and set itself to showing those rabbits a thing or two about resolve. I might not have the zinnia patch I’d planned and dreamed of last March, but I sure got a brilliant pink sneer at the rabbits.


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October 11.21: Coping

In the worn path of the daily

I walked. Bedroom to kitchen,

like yesterday and the day before,

when,

in this moment of the ordinary,

something,

some clanging silence,

stopped me,

stopped my breath.

Under pallid sky

as tired leaves let go their holds

on life,

spring!

Four years have we lived together,

this lilac and I,

but never a flower

until now,

this discouraged, bleak Now.

What forced its bloom?

Anger? Fear? Despair?

Why spring

on the doorstep of winter?

Is this tender-petal’d spire

telling me that

maybe

I don’t know everything?