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FLEDGLINGS

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?

Hmm?

Emil Catt, was it you?

SATURDAY, EARLY

This morning,

early,

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…

6/3/17

CHILLY

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.

4/26/17

EXPLOOOOSION

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.

UP THE STREET

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.

NEWS ANGST

 

April 2, 2017  upon watching Martha Radditz on a Sunday morning show

Oh, dear Martha Radditz, you always look so pained. The world weighs ever so heavily on you; your angst is surely not feigned.
 
But darling, darling lady, you have brought this on yourself. Somewhere along your path of choice, from Zanzibar to Quelph,
 
you’ve studied, worried, fretted, wailed from every single rooftop, until your voice, and loud concerns have led us to shout, “Stop!”
 
Stop your constant warnings! Your unfounded great concern that the rest of the world is unable to listen, unable to discern
 
just what we need to worry ’bout, just what we need to think. You’re making yourself quite ill, my dear, predicting all will sink.
 
Find some good antacid, sip a little soda. Get some rest, put up your feet. Read a little Yoda.
 
Ask your massage therapist to smooth your furrowed brow, un-hunch your thin, stooped shoulders. Find a comfy hammock upon a tropical bough.
 
Put all away, Dearheart. Take a long vacation. Please leave it to someone else to report upon our nation.
 
We shall be fine. We shall survive. The USA is strong. All will be well, my anxious gal, not every pol is wrong.
 
Not every story needs your twist, nor does your stomach need it. Chill out, Miss Martha, chill out, retire. Let someone other anxious, talking head tell us how to heed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AHHH

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!

rJo  2/4/17

DEAD

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.

CHOICE

I spent a few hours, actually only minutes, remembering and reliving things that crushed my heart these past few years…the tears flowed, the breath caught in my chest…BUT I just cannot do it for long…I cannot dwell on loss and betrayal, sickness and what follows…I cannot do it and still see the sun, catch the humor in an oft repeated knock-knock joke, taste the salt in the caramel…so much is lost reliving the past…so I pulled them out, but very soon put them back in their respective boxes and will now shower, dress and attack the blessed puzzle on my coffee table before lunch with good friends. Let your hearts be glad, m’dears…it’s easier and sweeter that way…

GREAT COURSES DAY ONE

So, rather than listen to the shrieking voices of callers and hosts on the radio talk shows I listen to while reviewing loan files (the sky is not falling, my darlings, unless you let it), today I decided to listen to the first of twelve CDs accompanying my ‘Becoming a Great Essayist” class from The Great Courses. Professor Jennifer Cognard-Black grabbed me in the introduction by suggesting that a recipe could be the basis for a food essay…immediately my mind started wandering between the loan I was approving, and the old recipes I have on hand, and I became bored with the effort of the good professor to present an interesting lecture. I am not saying she does a bad job, but I realized she was reading her lecture, as in dramatic reading, with sighs and pregnant pauses designed to grab your interest and transfer the emotion of Virginia Wolff haunting London, or clarify her own emotion in writing an essay about her unfashionable, but wonderful, brilliant and scholarly mother. I realized that, like my grandchildren, when someone reads to me, I want to grab the page and read it for myself, putting my own intonations where/if necessary. I wondered what listening to the good professor in a classroom would be like. Would she speak more naturally? Does she speak this way normally? Does her whole family measure their words so carefully? How many times did she re-record this, making certain her voice was smooth and pleasant? I must say, she is certainly more interesting to listen to than Barbara Kingsolver droning through one of her books on tape.
 
It shall be a good course. I’m already wrestling with the professor, HA. And now to find those recipes.