Oddments

In search of story


9 Comments

September 17.21: Coping

September stands tall

between spring’s childhood

and winter’s dotage,

a bit round perhaps

with pumpkin paunch,

its brow gold-speckled,

but vital still.

One leaf, two leaves,

abacus of mortality,

drop

in quiet obedience

to the authority of time.

A cicada sings of ennui,

its sleepy notes sticking to

wet morning air

where August lingers.

 

 


10 Comments

August 24.21: Coping

Aesop says be like the ant,

eschew grasshopper ways:

the ant puts by and plans ahead,

grasshoppers waste their days.

The ants in frantic harvest

prepare for winter’s grey.

The grasshopper, all moony,

ponders the green of today;

in foolery like writing

does he his muse pursue;

he yearns to be a poet

and use words like “eschew.”

 

Many more thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

I have no idea how he got the grasshopper to pose like this.


9 Comments

August 18.21: Coping

I’ve planted my person

on many a seat,

but the best was there

on Summer Street.

Grandma’s porch

with swing for two,

where summer breezes

lazied through,

was where I learned

what sages know:

if I want to be quick

I must first be slow.

Back and forth,

I moved unmoving,

Grandma too,

our own kind of grooving.

Words fell away,

we floated as one;

I can still feel her housedress

all cottony spun.

The cricket sang softly,

far ice cream bells jingled

a summon to vespers

with leaf whispers mingled.

So today a swing sighting

is potently rife

with certainties given

to last all my life.

A Coke for the world

was a once wishful sing,

but I’d write new words

and wish it a swing.

 

Yet more thanks to photographer S.W. Berg

for this wonderful portrait of invitation.

 

 


19 Comments

August 14.21: Coping

Does one zinnia a summer make?

This is my one and only zinnia flower. The seedlings that lived with me in the kitchen months ago, transplanted into the garden where they would be the yippee colors of summer, were almost all destroyed by the rabbits. Except for a few which I triaged into pots and then transplanted yet again, desperate for them to make a showing.

The results:

And one flower.

I plant tomatoes to remember Grandpa Mauck, moss roses to remember Grandma O’Hern, and marigolds to remember Dad. Mom is in the whole garden. So, as all gardeners know, the garden is not just expensive, it’s personal. The rabbits tried to take it all from me, and right now on this planet every loss is part of a huge rolling snowball of loss — and helplessness.

If there’s anything I hate, it’s feeling helpless. Life demands at times that we resign ourselves to it, but I can get pretty mad about that. I have lived to wage war this summer. I have potted and repotted and have fought the good fight with Irish Spring soap, rubbing it on flowerpots and shaving it around plants. And I have installed rose canes, which do seem to have some persuasive powers.

I have ultimately saved a small garden corner where my one surviving clump of gaura now thrives, the rabbit-scorned geraniums blaze away, and, in sheer defiance, some marigolds and salvia, once tattered, bloom insanely. Several of those triaged potted things have made a brilliant, if root-bound, showing.

I salute Farmer McGregor, the Grand Pooh-Bah of Rabbit Rage. I aspire to his greatness.

 


15 Comments

July 7.21: Coping

Street art has found a place

in cultural domain;

the spider looks upon it

with the master’s cold disdain.

His webby muse inspires

despite the hours of tedium

to pattern and to form

with gossamer as medium.

In gallery of flowerpots

the moon and sun elide,

performatively joined

on thinnest thready slide.

By night the moon plucks lightly

each string in placid rondo;

by day a somersaulting sun

cavorts in bright glissando.

Known only to the artist

where spinnings stir and start,

sufficient to the self

is ephemera of the art.

So the noiseless patient spider,

in retreat of sweet alyssum,

abjures the common cult

of crass commercialism.

 

With apologies and thanks to Walt Whitman’s

“A Noiseless Patient Spider.”