Eleven Eleven Ninety Nine,
the day this comfortable house became mine.
It matches, first glance, all others round the block
Same roof, same shutters, same initial plant stock.
I should be ashamed, as a child of sixties fame.
They ARE all made of ticky tacky, and they all DO look the same.
Tho’ they’ve changed o’er these years as we’ve lived, loved, and lost.
I’ve added, for instance, more flowers than most.
More daisies, more lilies, more iris, more roses.
Bright poppies seeded for great June poses.
Even my tree, my poor suffering ash
grows against all odds ’round its cruel looking gash
where we cut out the blight caused by dastardly bugs.
The pesticide worked, ‘long with frequent tree hugs.
Yes, the yard, front and back, is chaotic, small splendor,
Like the kind you would get putting all in a blender.
Not the neat, fine order of my neighbors’ straight bricks,
rather, here a plot, there a pot, grape ivy ’round sticks.
A prickly, old rose from the ancient prairie (I did not plant it)
crowds the bargain lilac near the Hansa quite hairy (I do like it).
I planted six strawberries, back in two thousand two,
which now reach the hundreds growing just where they want to.
Inside my small castle, things are not much finer
by the standards of any highly paid designer.
I know hardwood floors are the dream of most.
I chose commercial carpet; black and tan, the color of toast.
It’s dark like a floor, and comfy, and soft,
and though a bit tailored, would look great in a loft.
My walls? well they’re sad, with colors galore.
I paint was high as I can reach, then I am loath to do more.
It makes me tired, my arm hurt, that’s all I will say
It’ll all get done some fine day.
My furniture suits me…my long, green leather couch,
my Eastlake setee, where my Grands like to slouch.
The turntable ready to give the Allmans a spin.
The trolls, and the books, and the crucifix – thin.
From the cross hangs a dearskin medicine bag,
hand beaded for me, a gift from a dear hag.
(Forgive me, dear Margaret Forster, wherever you are,
it’s just that hag rhymed. YOU are truly a star).
I shall continue this analysis at a later date.
There’s work to be done that simply cannot wait.
Time to head to the front “office,” with its red IKEA chair
and the bed with the red quilt. Emil Catt is always there.
Great ball of fire
climbing to the East
with miles of enflamed
striated clouds embracing it.
What privileged robins live in my back yard…
racing through the sprinkler, barely giving me any notice…
but WHO, may I ask, tipped over the big blue pot under the umbrella?
Emil Catt, was it you?
before the traffic…
before even the neighborhood dogs were out snuffling in their yards,
I hit the open space…
all the birds were in diversionary action mode…
robins, running ahead of me, away from their nests…
red finches flitting from tall grass to tall grass…
no coyotes, though, too late in the morning for them, I imagine. The sun had been up at least half an hour.
The grass in the gulch is not yet high enough to mow;
the willows promise to be full and greedy all summer long…
cattails just greening up…
and Emil Catt has begun a new habit of slurping his morning drink of water from the day lilies, coming back into the house soaking wet, and leaving paw prints on the new wood floor in the kitchen…
and now it’s 8:15
so the day’s work must begin
the luxury of a slow morning
packed up until tomorrow…
The sun was such a tease
hanging just below the horizon
like it might decide to not come up this morning.
Regardless of that decision, the trail brightened the longer I walked,
my hands pulled into my sleeves,
my shoes crunching on iced gravel
following coyote tracks that veered off towards back yards
where Charlotte, Sue’s sweet cockapoo, and four chickens live.
They forecast snow today. Without clouds?
Prepare for cold and damp. With these rapidly bluing skies?
That blasted woodpecker annoyingly yaks from atop next door’s tallest willow.
Fat robins pull and pick apart fat worms.
My favorite mourning dove stares me down above the empty feeder,
and North Korea held its largest missile test yet last night.
Each morning this week,
with or without clouds to obscure it,
a huge, burning, orange sun rose in minutes, seconds, nano-seconds;
quickly enough to make you burst into applause on the trail in the open space
much to the startlement of the chickens three houses up from the corner.
Happy the tree with a swing in it!
A wide arching rope with a disc at the end.
The type at which a young kid takes a flying leap,
grabs with one hand, the other flung out like a wing.
The sort that invites loud shrieks and giggles,
pirate yells, or “bombs away, or a general “AUUUUGGHHH!”
The grass beneath it no longer exists.
The roots of the tree laid bare.
Mom’s good wicker chair from the front porch
is leaning against the trunk, ready to help the smallest flying monkey,
after grabbing the swing and climbing into the seat,
swing back and forth, head thrown back, eyes closed,
both hands ’round the rope in a death grip.
Even after Mom hollers, “Time to come in!”
the swing swings free in glee.
It waits this morning for not just the sun,
but the son and the daughter and neighbors,
to finish their breakfast, and brush their teeth,
then really start the day flying.
April 2, 2017 upon watching Martha Radditz on a Sunday morning show
oh, what of the clouds building over Mt. Evans…
here at the light on County Line at Quebec
the sky is clear
the sun is etching new lines ’round my eyes
and for this thirty seconds
nothing in the world is off kilter
…oh, quit your honking!
This is the truth I have come to know:
people are not dead until they are dead,
and maybe not then.
You cannot talk over them, pretend they are not there.
You cannot plan without them, assume they don’t care.
They are here! They are here, and fully aware.
So quiet the panic as best as you can,
sit down, shut up, take hold of their hand.
Just at this moment it is not about you.
Cry if you must, wail and weep,
but sit there, and listen, and live in the moment,
while they are here living with you.