Oddments

In search of story


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December 6.22: Coping, but barely

An ordinary window,

an ordinary day,

an ordinary glimpse,

then mental tour jeté.

A camera must be had!

Indecorous dash ensued,

then, breathless, stealthy, sly,

I engaged in conduct crude.

In blushless want of manners,

intrusive imposition,

brutally dismissive

of my need to get permission,

I zoomed in on his person,

with brain and camera focus

on this feathered fisherman

and his wintry bare-branched locus.

He appeared a bit put out

at what the flower said,

which made his handsome feathers

stand up atop his head.

I wish I could have heard

but this is all I got;

I could sneak clandestine photo,

but eavesdrop I could not.

And thus the common day,

as if by magic word,

was instantly transformed

by a Merlin of a bird.

It was because of Walt Kelly’s brilliant Pogo illustrations that I knew this was a kingfisher. It was the Internet that told me it was a Belted Kingfisher. Why it isn’t a Collared Kingfisher I do not know. The Internet also told me that it is common in central Indiana. I think not. This little guy was a first for me.

I stood in the middle of my living room, far back from the window. This fine specimen was on a tree across the pond. All hail the power of the zoom!


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November 13.22: Coping, but barely

“The Last Rose of Summer,”

that plaintive Irish keen,

sang itself inside me,

soaring yet terrene.

This brilliant ruby voice

of color ‘mid the browned

insisted that its smallness

was yet a mighty sound.

November madrigal,

enrobed in regal satins,

sleeps now in quiet earth

awaiting springtime matins.

 

 

Some will tsk and say that a moss rose is not a rose, that Portulaca and Rosa have nary a botanical thing in common. But you know what Shakespeare said, dear reader: “a rose by any other name.” If my grandma called it a moss rose, then it’s a rose. Grandmas rule.

 

With thanks to Irish poet Thomas Moore.


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November 7.22: Coping, but barely

Brown birds,

brown leaves,

crackles, crumbles,

webs in eaves.

The glossy crow

in polished black

perpetual

melancholiac.

Pallid sky,

 sunlight void,

droops a greyness

ichthyoid.

Pond of slate,

grass turned rubble,

wind that moans

of toil and trouble.

The year grows weary,

needs to sleep,

gardens snuggle

in winter’s keep.

Beshawled and flanneled,

I watch the earth

beshawl itself

with color dearth.

 

 

With apologies to Shakespeare.

 


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March 26.22: Coping, but barely

You think you’re funny, don’t you,

oh, gods of endless snows?

Your humor leaves me cold (haha)

with frostbite on my nose.

Of this white stuff

I’ve had enough,

Begone! And go away!

It’s time for spring —

quit dawdling!

But come back on Christmas Day.

 

 

Yes, dear reader, on this late March morning,

it’s a white, white world out my window.

Part of me says it’s pretty.

The rest of me has a different opinion.

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

 


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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.


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February 13.22: Coping

Late winter’s aspect,

dispirited, bland,

and the song of the pothole

is heard through the land.

Hungry holes

salivating

for tasty hubcap,

serenading

with siren song

that calls to tire,

come-hither croon

sweetly dire.

Like magnets do they

pull cars in,

dine on axles

with demonic grin.

Their song grows louder

the wider they,

the better to swallow

a whole Chevrolet.

Fanged predator,

your tentacles reach me;

I sing back in words

my mom didn’t teach me.

 

Dear reader, it is my opinion (I have many) that there is more than one kind of pothole in life. I seem to be dealing with a blog pothole. For the last couple days, whenever I try to write a comment in one blog, I suddenly find myself in a different blog. Blam! Just like that! So far as I can tell, I’m doing nothing but typing my comment in Dan’s blog, and suddenly I’m in Susan’s. I’m typing a comment in Susan’s blog and suddenly I’m in Dan’s. And so on.

It’s the case of the hopping blogs. Whether this is a WordPress pothole or my computer’s or my brain’s, I know not. Meanwhile, I will be gone from comment sections but not because I don’t have something to say!

 

 


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February 4.22: Coping

This bossy bird

with sword-like cry

stabbed my head

though pleased my eye.

My shovel rang out

through the snow;

he seemed to think me

slothful though.

He barked his mind

in notes of steel

that I had

insufficient zeal.

Bossy bird!

Why don’t you fly

somewhere that wants you

not nearby?

But then an echo

sliced the air —

his ladylove?

OK! Go there!

She and he,

buzz-saw duet,

each one playing

hard to get.

But still I heard

him like drill master

prodding me

to shovel faster.

Though lovely in his

lofty venue,

blue jay pie

was on my menu.

 

 


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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.