* * *
I love it when he whistles and laughs
and jokes with the cats;
their ears swivel to tune him in;
they climb onto his lap if it’s available;
they gently paw his face, stroke his cheek,
then settle in to ride the warm rhythms
of his chest. "More," they say. "More!"
Deer braved the yard today,
where they cautiously fed.
Cats braved the snow for birds.
Birds braved the cats for bread.
You didn’t expect
more snow to fall?
rhapsodizing over sleet and ice.
Hmmph. That isn't nice; it's cold!
"Time flies," Eagle cries.
"Time flies," Frog sighs,
"snatchin’ you up like some bug
that its flickin’ tongue has tazed.
Oh. Time flays," croaks Frog, amazed.
"Time flays," Horse neighs.
"Time flows," Raven crows.
"Time flows," Bear knows,
"driftin’ us along with gentle dreams
of polar ice an’ siftin’ snow.
Ah. Time floes," sighs Bear, mid-doze.
"Time floes," Whale blows.
"Time flees," buzz Bees.
"Time flees," Dog breathes,
"bitin’ our hides to set us movin’,
then lightin’ out; that irritatin’ tease!
Ooh. Time fleas," Dog moans, aggrieved.
"Time fleas," Cat agrees.
[ASIDE: I wanted to leave out quotation marks because they
were so cumbersome and distracting, but that didn't work.]
“When you retire,” his buddies asked,
looking at him a bit askance,
“who, at your house, will wear the pants?”
“Myself,” he winked, with a cheerful glance.
“Of course, I’ll be wearing putter pants.”
Best gift so far,
I see again!
I missed a meeting
I meant to attend;
there’s no way to regroup,
recoup, or amend.
“Unclean!” they’re seen—
Gnarly-headed grotesques. Fearsome
Underlings. Awful offal-eaters.
Horrid things on wings!”
Of this, buzzards are oblivious—
as they are of praise from students
of their ways, who say, “It’s official.
Buzzards are good to us. Beneficial.”
They recycle and renew.
Like morticians, beauticians, mothers,
menials, and multitudes of others
(maintenance workers, trash collectors,
hazardous waste operators, plumbers,
and sanitation crews, to name a few)—
discretely and with daily diligence,
they efface life’s ugliness.
They lift in air like dreams.
For those with eyes to see—
such elegance, such grace!
At my north-sky facing view,
two trapezoidal windows
show through to a vast expanse
of icy blue; slightly smudged
with gray and white. But—
not a single buzzard in sight.
MEAT OR POISON
One man’s crumpet
is another man’s strumpet.
One woman’s jackpot
is another one’s crackpot.
[ASIDE: Just playing with words, which,
like old stereotypes and clichés, are also
one person’s meat and another’s poison.]
Like a midnight pounding at your door
in the secret-code cadence of a comrade.
First you have to make it okay
with yourself to think about
what you might possibly want.
Then you have to decide that,
yes, it’s okay to actually want.
Next you allow yourself to
wanted and waited-for things.
After that, permission to pursue
is a natural progression.
In fact, you stand self-revealed
as a natural progression.
It’s hard enough to
charm life into beneficence
when you’re an ingénue;
much less, a nongénue.
As if either is a place,
somewhere between seven and seventy,
I got used to living. I expected to expect
every day another day, and every day
three square meals, slow or quick,
and all my blessings double-dipped.
Little plain-old mortal me
aspired to immortality: unending life,
and not just that—ease, abundance, health,
pleasing occupation, and an inside track
to bliss. It hasn’t happened—yet
I’m caught by the idea. First, I’ve heard,
you go through death and back
near-endless times. Or not.
* * *