Oddments

In search of story


9 Comments

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.

 

 


11 Comments

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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April 17.22: Coping, but barely

Old ways,

fragile shell,

human spirit

indomitable.

In tiny line

a testament,

promissory

document.

 

I believe these eggs are Ukrainian pysanky; they were a gift back around 1980 and have moved a lot with me. I am in awe of them and I unpack them every year hoping it won’t be the year I break one. This year more than ever.

Whatever your traditions, dear reader, may there be signs of new life for you, and may your traditions preserve your story. May our species one day prefer peace.

 

 


15 Comments

March 13.22: Coping, but barely

A robin skims the frosty grass,

stopping, starting, stopping;

the housefinch goes a-nesting,

pecking, pulling, hopping.

The chickadee, bright eye on me,

zigzags in spritely play;

the sun, at rise and setting,

is chirped along its way.

As winter’s bony grip

reluctantly lets go,

songbirds return a-twitter

in growing crescendo.

Far away in birddom

the elders meet en masse,

solemn, introspective,

with all due gravitas.

Somber-visaged sages,

exchanging thought and word,

they ponder and deliberate

what it means to be a bird.

The enigma of horizon,

the mystery of skies

inform their academia

as they Socratize.

Music quite eludes them

but they don’t think it wrong

that others ponder being

in transiency of song.

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

And, of course, to the pelicans.


14 Comments

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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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?

 

 


7 Comments

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!