It is raining.
Outside everything is wet.
My long walk this morning
was in the rain. I wore
that red rain jacket,
got soaked only below my waist,
and I loved it.
Now it is afternoon
and the rain is still here,
and I should be reading,
drinking coffee, and
sitting on my back porch,
contemplating life and pondering
about what’s next.
But I’m having poetic thoughts
about rain (again), about
writing, and about Julie,
and I need to make some notes.
I’ll go sit on the porch now
where I can enjoy the rain more.
I hear distant thunder,
of rainy-day drama.
I can think about Zeus
or any one of dozens of other
gods of thunder and lightning.
I shall read, drink coffee,
and enjoy the rain, maybe
some thunder, if it’s not right
in my face. Maybe I’ll wonder.
We should wonder often, right?
I wonder what I’ll wonder about.
Look both ways for desire and disfavor.
Mind the gaps for indifference.
Today’s NaPo prompt is simply to write a poem in the form of a news article I wish would come out tomorrow.
Note: the following activity has been CDC approved.
According National and Local Weather Services,
today’s weather begins with morning mizzle
just before sunrise which will be hidden
by thin but pleasant cloud cover, shading away
ultraviolet rays throughout the day. The FBI reports
increased pluviophile online activity, anticipating
large crowds dancing in the streets. A blue-gray morning
fog is expected to precede any precipitation, which is
expected to last throughout the day. According to
biologists, environmentalists, and other health officials,
a noticeable petrichor will be olfactory possible early,
driving pollen counts to zero, extinguishing all house and forest fires,
and forcing plants and flowing shrubs into view
with leaves decorated by translucent pearly droplets.
A low temp of 74 will be followed a balmy 79 degrees.
Naked or lightly clothed people will likely be seen,
dancing on all roads and streets, like under a harvest moon.
According to law enforcement officials, no one will be
cited or arrested for lingering or loitering in the rain,
and wet citizens will be expected to dawdle in public.
As dusk approaches and all nearby deluge ceases,
the soft comforting rumble of distant thunder will be heard,
with the occasional lighting sightings to count until
telling, non-threatening bumps are heard. Local
businesses, libraries, and vendors will be moving outside
to serve refreshments while local bands are expected to play.
After midnight, as residents begin to sleep, the sounds
of distant thunder will turn to gentle lullabies
for a peaceful, uninterrupted night of rhythmic rains.
Look both ways for the finest of days.
Mind the gaps between drops and dance in the rain.
Day 19 prompt: write a poem based on a “walking archive.”
The Spring Draw
Spring replaces Winter’s browns and grays
with shades and hues of green, some pinks
and whites in the trees. And more rain,
and wind to help insects spread pollen,
the whole point being new life, hope,
and promises of Summer to come.
Even the trails lay a carpet of green grass,
soft to my steps, comforting. To the sides
more color and tones of red and blue,
orange and proud yellows mixed with white,
every color and shade seems bright.
Both quiet and loud, and deer appear,
rutting passed soon we’ll see fawns running.
I pause often to photograph or admire
this gallery of natural art, walking on my trail,
some path remains, limestone rock
for stepping or tripping as creeks and washes run
wet with rainwater, animal prints in mud,
views obstructed by leaves fresh and green.
There is beauty even in the old dead trunks
of former mighty oaks, with knots and holes,
still standing tall and proud, some down
yielding to stormy winds, the promise still
of awakening even the soil of the Earth.
I sit to rest and to ponder or brood,
to drink and to stare and admire,
and to pity many who have seen
neither tree nor forest, nor felt the happy
heart of a Spring calf.
I walk Texas trails in Spring before
Hell sends Summer to scorch, and it calls
for cream to screen the rays of sun. Before
wet clay turns to dust and water runs rare.
Before the prickly pear cactus turns
its brilliant yellow flower, then to an apple red
bulb, then to a new cactus head. So long
as I am, and I can, out I shall go to treat
my senses to the many glances of nature.
“Me imperturbe, standing at ease in nature.”
Or, at attention, as I want to miss none of it all.
(Quote: credit Walt Whitman)
Always look both ways and all around, up and down.
Mind gaps and ravines in natural beauty if you seek pleasure.
This past ten days was essentially a good week, plus three days. I am healed from the previous week when I had to deal with some of Texas’ smaller critters. I’ve written about them before, but I know more now.
Picture an orchestra or big band about to play. The conductor taps a stand a few times to get everyone’s attention and raises her or his arms and the musicians get ready. The audience quiets (or should) and everyone prepares for the first blast of music when virtually every musician simultaneously begins to play. Got it? I love it when they do it like that.
Now picture me stepping into my back yard to move some things out of the way. I knew there was a fire ant den over yonder. So, I didn’t go there. I did this, that, and the other thing. I then walked up the stairs to my porch and over to the door into the house. I did not hear the conductor do the tap, tap, tap with the baton.
When fire ants sting (and they do, like fire, thus the name) they play you like an orchestra. These little beasts run out of the den/nest/hiding place and climb onto your body, shoes, up your legs and arrange themselves just lickety-split. Tap, tap, tap, arms raised, then BLAM! Everyone of those little mother-fuckers stings in unison. That’s how it works. It hurts. I had reminders on my legs and ankles for days. Apparently, they release some sort of hormone, so they all get the ‘ready-aim-fire’ call in unison.
Last night I lay in bed thinking. Have you ever been to a place where some ass-hole or group of pains-in-the-ass people annoyed the hell out of you? The theater, a restaurant, some sporting event? There are lots of fire ants. Could we harvest a few hundred and put them in a little squeeze bottle thingy? Then, when we no longer can tolerate those people, spray about 20 of our little pissed-off fire ants into some strategic area of the offender’s person: hair, neck, feet, crotch…ideas? We’d get to play conductor. Stand, tap, tap, tap, raise our arms in the air. Let the music and dancing begin.
We’ve had a lot of rain for weeks in this part of (drought or flood) Texas. But it did not rain Thursday of that week. That was when I decided it was time to get back on the rough trails for my walk. I knew the grass was about knee-high tall everywhere they don’t mow. I did not realize how much grass grows on the trails! Since it has been so wet, fewer people have been walking the grass down and they have not mowed out there. I wore long pants tight at the ankle, socks, and a long sleeved shirt.
I showered afterwards, but I woke up Friday morning with a dozen chigger bites. I used to think chiggers burrowed into your skin and stayed there. They bite, move, and bite again. Literally they eat skin (me). But they soften you up for dinner with a chemical that causes irritation and itching and lasts about a week.
I have DEET bug spray, and I know how to keep them off, but I didn’t use it. It was a cold, wet morning. I was fresh raw meat strolling through high grass looking for snakes or whatever critters might be hiding in there (ya can’t see chiggers). The hungry bugs were glad to see me. I transported chiggers on my person to my home on my body. For a week the bites mixed well with the fire ant stings for leg and ankle decorations.
The nest is still there in my yard, even though it was recently treated specifically for fire ants. I’ve ordered another kind of treatment for my clothing (permethrin) to deter the chiggers and other bugs, like ticks. I will treat clothing for trails and will apply DEET to my legs, ankles, and exposed skin. Oh, they found a mosquito with West Nile Virus on the south side. I live on the northside, but this should help with that.
I still like the idea of spraying fire ants on annoying people. Just don’t get caught.
Look both ways. Watch out for snakes, scorpions, and tarantulas.
Mind the gaps where hide the chiggers and fire ants.