Thursday’s Rune: Letter to Grasshopper


Dear Grasshopper,

I’ve noticed that you seem busy doing nothing but lazily hopping about. You look brown. You were green. It’s past mid-October. I assume you’ll be leaving us soon if you’re not already gone. But why now? Your end nears, but y’all been jumping all around for months.

Alas, your hop seems to have lost a foot or two. And your wings look stiff. Summer’s done, and I’d say you may be too. Do you know that? Does it bother you? Any day now you’ll be sidewalk ant food.

Soon there will be none of you. Then, like magic, Spring will bring you back to life in swarms. Like hungry chewing herbivorous flying insects, you’ll eat and reproduce again as you’ve done for 250 million years, a perpetual plague.

And you’re not alone. Your eleven thousand brothers and sisters are your type. Let’s not forget your rude, thankless cousins from the cricket, katydid, and locust families. They are always coming around singing for a free dinner or a little play time.

The ants are busy. But you’ve laid your eggs. Winter comes. You couldn’t care less. You’ll just happily fiddle away your time until the quiet end. But is that really the end?

Sincerely,
Mockingbird McBeak


Look both ways, horizontally and vertically.
Observe life.
Mind gaps and notice change.

Thursday Rune: Today’s No Thing


For a moment,
I close my eyes
and the moment’s gone.
My memories rarely
remain for long.
Soon enough,
today’s moments
are done.

This is Thursday.
It can only be today,
whatever the name.

Today
will never be tomorrow.
Wait and see.

Sun’s third planet
spinning in artificial time,
a wee bit in vast nothingness,
at the whim of some god,
or controlled by
meaningless unmeasured chaos.

I can’t
taste or smell Thursday.
Today sounds are unheard,
there’s nothing to touch.
It’s another day.

And yet,
like a spirit,
unlike
physical, practical things,
each moment of every day
flashes by—
irreplaceable,
never lasting,
instantly
forever gone.

Today is
most valuable.
It’s now.
It’s all we have.
Why can’t it stay?


Look both ways, but all we have is today.
Mind the gaps.
Enjoy life.

Midweek Poetry: Thursday

Muhly grass in bloom (Fall)

It Feels Like Fall

Like a nearby preferred lover,
October with its distinct aromas,
ambiance of Autumn’s threshold,
sending forth changing vibrations,
moods, and patinas.

Animals know this is today,
deer bucks are seen rutting near does.
They feel cooling air, but with heat
in their blood, driving sex to their bones.

Say, mew-len-BERG-ee-ah kap-il-LAIR-iss,
or better pink, coastal, or gulf Muhly
saving face for fading summer annuals
promising striking purple haze seeds.

As plumes of flower panicles perch
above glossy green-leaf foliage
made permanent, a picture in a cloud
striking the gaze of poetic conceit.

Goodbye summer, Fall is here
to change aura and climate,
to soften and heal me, to remind me
pink is a color for comforting me too.


Look both ways in every season.
Both flora and fauna seek attention.
Mind the gaps so as to miss nothing of Mother’s beauty.

Sammi’s Weekender #227 (ramshackle)

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Revelation of Genesis

Deserted, dangerous
Ramshackle houses
Former family homes, once
Functional buildings,
Businesses, barns, refuge
From the hot Texas sun
Or driving storms of
Wind and rain.

Suppertimes, nights of dreams,
Homework, plans to plow
Cotton-farm acres.

Now it’s all abandoned, forgotten,
Seen but unnoticed or ignored
Peppered along the otherwise
Scenic road drives on, once dirt,
Now blacktop paved roads
Memories forgotten or
Buried in nearby family
Cemeteries. Unwanted,
Unloved by ungrateful
Outsiders who see
Only haunted eyesores, sadness.

A mess to be cleaned up
By the next generation.
Past lives carried into the
Graveyards of the forgotten.


Look both ways and wonder.
Who were they? What were they like? Where are they now?
Pay attention to the message and mind the gaps.

Poetry: Moving Forward


The boy hid quietly in the back,
never raised his hand, got low grades
for lack of class participation. A shy,
quiet, introverted mama’s boy—
a child, it was his nature.

Adults criticized that he cried too easily.
He cared too much.
Felt too deeply. For a boy.
They would not let him be.
His siblings knew
and encouraged another side.
He learned to deny
his own deep-felt emotions.
Authority ran his life,
maybe his spirit.

He listened, learned, observed,
and grew; first, into a troubled teen, then
he became a young man.
Gradually, he moved
closer to the front, like a warrior
toward danger. Down range.

Today, an old man walks in and sits
front and center. Sharp tongued,
the quick-witted septuagenarian,
with a grin of secret wisdom,
is ready to advise any damn fool
playing games of authority.


Look both ways in the spirit of the young
and the eyes of the old.
Be careful what you wish for,
watch your step, and mind the gaps.
Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

Poetry: It’s August Again


It’s August again. Just another
one of twelve named collections of days
to mark our planetary position
relative to our Sun, called sol, in our
solar system spinning reliably about
in some outer spiral arm
of our Milky Way galaxy. Our home.

August is supposed to mean something important,
like some Roman title signifying reverence;
to hold in high regard. I don’t do that for August.

As a child, school started next month,
I was often bored, sunburned, a year older.
Halloween and Christmas were far off.
I feared some raging red-faced nun’s pounding footsteps
and bone rattling beads storming my way,
with some weapon of horror in her hellish hand.
Hormones made me feel things I didn’t understand.
I still don’t get all that. Crazy life.

As an adult, August now means hot and dry. West coast
wildfires raging on while US Forest Service bureaucrats
either fight or fiddle for smarter management
policies for mother nature to ignore.

I try to be respectful of August.
It’s the end of summer, the gateway for September
as promised glories of Autumn soon fall upon us. Coolness.
And color. And feelings. October promises more.
My apologies to summer lovers, tanned bodies,
teacher’s times off, vacations (because kids), and to Caesar.
I say it every year. Only Christmas can save August.


Look both ways to seasons past and yet to come.
Mind the gaps in government policies.
They’re only human, even if they can’t admit it, until the mic is hot.

Sammi’s Weekender #121 (thwart)

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Of Gems or Germs

They number in trillions.
Too many to census tally,
on insides and outsides of every
human body, we each have
our own personal repertoire
of microbes keeping us alive.

In typical foolish human fashion
we’ve tried to kill them
with discovered miraculous medications,
intending genocide to thwart some few
deadly troublemakers by misusing
mass murder techniques, all
to our own peril and demise.


Look both ways for the connections of all life,
the great and the small.
Mind the gaps of gods and science and don’t be fooled by prophets or profits.


 

Poetry: Limestone Walker


That so-called stone surface facial of
sedimentary calcium composition
of old fossils, fragments, and ancient scree;
rocks of gray, white, yellow, or brown.

Ubiquitous to trails I hike,
fine for stepping over hazards
or tripping face-first onto hard rocks,
or into some mud puddle or other.

Soft and effervescent in any acid,
yet porous enough to spawn tree or shrub
growth or provide unlimited grot hiding places
for so many critters of the Texas wild.

In a metamorphism of glory,
stones ugly and pitted,
covered with algae, moss, and mold;
magically recrystallizing into fine marble,
given enough time.

Fittingly, oxymoronic as soft rock
used as stones for walls,
or as naturally difficult primitive paths,
or cliffs to climb,
or pathways to find,
so many new trails to blaze.

So much staining, like inked tattoos,
painted with organic rust;
constantly crumbling, chipping,
peeling, spalling, weathering,
and eroding away;
just like me.

A stone-cold darkness arising from dampness,
striving to save archaeological history,
the professional province of geoscience,
ignored by hikers and walkers, but not
missed by the conceit of poets.
We seem to see it all.


Look both ways and watch your step,
for real and with a metaphor.
Mind all the gaps. Trip at your own peril.

Sammi’s Weekender #216 (tether)

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Human Proclivity

Having descended recently
from progenitors, through
many millennia, I am tethered
to an inseverable past, a chain
of evolutionary becoming me;
this “I” is very much of that,
of then, literally of them.

Subject to the will of nature,
this intense soulful belonging,
universal humanity, who taught me
to walk, run, eat; to pee,
and to talk. Into the wonderous wild,
not benign, to risk danger, to
create art, to live as human
now, to feel art in my nature.


Look both ways and live for today.
But we are products of a past not our own.
Mind the gaps for more questions than there are answers.

The Greatest Gift

There’s joy,
in the smiles of others,
in visions of those we love,
people we care about,
that is where truest,
most honest, happiness thrives.

To see such dancing zest is to feel
the same in my bones, heart, and mind;
while tears of delight run down
my cheeks. When babies laugh.
Hope laden felicity. Even
an old man simply must smile.

To sing and dance
with those we love most,
to see and hear them rise
in rebirth to life’s glorious days,
to overcome fears and sadness
that come with what we call
our human condition.

How strange, that we may
give or receive no greater gift,
no higher prize,
no nourishing of the spirit,
no deeper love than to allow
others to be and to see us
high on being alive.
Even more, to here and now
let love swirl among us all. Hallelujah!


Look both ways for the joy of love.
Mind the gaps, but live and let live.