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 reseeded for great June poses.
Even my tree, my poor suffering ash
grows against 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 a couple hundred growing 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 an 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.
on looking out back at my two Adirondack chairs…
There is a famed poet named Billy
who writes lovely poems, some quite silly.
But silly or not,
He gives them much thought.
No word is writ willy-nilly
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.
Six years they lived next door
with Jack, their magnificent, soft spoken husky,
and Crosby, their loppy eared, amalgamated barker.
Six years they hung shining Christmas balls on the lowest branches of their front ash.
Just last year they saved their three, blooming cherries out back from heavy, wet snows,
about which I was delighted, since those blossoms fill my windows each Spring.
They fixed the back fence each time Jack chewed through it to visit.
We worked to keep each other’s sidewalks clear of the annual ice dams.
And each and every night, they turned on their bright, annoying porch light.
Every, single night that blessed light lit up my living room and kitchen like day.
For six years.
I covered my windows with dark curtains and thick blinds at first.
For at least three years, I cursed them softly under my breath,
plotted to unscrew the bulb.
I huffed around complaining to myself, growling at my cat.
I learned to shut my bedroom door, eventually, which blocked the light quite well,
and then I found it actually helpful
when I found myself wandering ’round the house at midnight.
No need to turn on my own lights. The rooms were well lit.
So it became less annoying, more a beacon of friendship and safety in the neighborhood.
I came to like it, to depend on it.
It became the norm,
Until three nights ago
when I could not sleep,
and stumbled to the kitchen
in pitch blackness.
and a wee bit frightened.
The light was out.
My rooms were very dark.
All was weirdly quiet.
Was something awry in the neighborhood?
Then, on Tuesday, the sign went up!
They sold their house!
They moved away!
Without a word!
Without a wave, a smile, or snarled farewell.
Jack and Crosby, my furry buddies,
have a new yard to romp and bark in.
Their mom and dad have new rooms to fill,
and no doubt a new light lit on their front porch,
to shine in some new neighbor’s windows;
And I am left to curse the darkness I learned to live without
these last six years.
Spam! Spam! Spam for lunch!
If you try it, I have a hunch
you will love it a whole bunch!
You can fry it for some crunch!
You can eat it with pink punch!
Smoke some weed with canned Spam munch!
Tie your hair back with a scrunch,
then fix yourself some Spam for lunch!
Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
How I love my Spam for lunch!
April 2, 2017 upon watching Martha Radditz on a Sunday morning show
Another month of poetry
Another month of fun,
or sorrow, and/or make believe,
as we await long days with sun.
Ever the returning challenge
to choose the words to say
with precision and great poignancy
events’ effects each day.
Not only great catastrophes,
but tiny baby toes.
Everything that strikes me
as influencing smiles, or woes.
I hope to see more joy, than pain,
as these thirty days pass by;
once all is said and all is done
to sigh a pleasant sigh.
April 2, 2017
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.