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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Names

Unopened boxes still piled in the dining room,
two of everything, at least,
from forty-plus years of marriage,
from  sixty-plus years of living,
twelve years at the last stop,
thirteen before that,
another twelve even earlier,
now in their Forever House, they laughed,
because the next one is the Old Folks’ Home.

Lots of work to do,
so much to give away,
find new homes for old favorites,
find the garbage can for lesser lights.
Some friends called them hoarders,
themselves, they thought romantics,
memories buried in those things of theirs,
a comfortable history, togetherness stuff.

The boxes could wait, though.
So much more important to do.
Barbers and dentists and grocers to find,
An honest mechanic, a hairdresser who’d listen.
A new vet, maybe top of the early list,
the pets as demanding as ever,
even with their new window spot, cat tv,
new birds to track, new names to give.

In Sedona, they’d had a hummingbird highway,
Palm Springs provided ducks and geese and egrets,
making their way south in winter,
Marin had, of all things, a few eagles, and many hawks.
What would the southland bring,
America’s Finest City, the signs said,
America’s Best Weather, the slogans rang.

So far, some overweight doves,
many finches and wrens,
ironically, an eagle-eyed cooper’s hawk,
and one mightily bossy and possessive hummingbird,
all feasting at the feeders,
all surely named by Max Cat,
though, so far, he’s keeping it to himself,
content with his avian cinemascope.

Wondering, do birds name themselves,
or one another?
Something’s going on between them,
chirping and peeping and singing all day,
some of it to let us know the feeder’s nearly empty,
a lot of it some form of tree-to-tree repartee,
still more a type of alert., that hawk being so near.
That bossy hummer’s words are clear – Mine! Get out!
The doves’ coos are less evident – sweet nothings?
(or are they simply simpletons?)
The wrens don’t have much to say. They come to eat.

Whatever the communication,
there’s some sort of community out there,
in the trees, on the fence, at the feeders.
They must be sending messages to other trees and rails,
new visitors approaching every day.
Remindful of distant friends,
a gentle jab- keep in touch, make that call, write that note.
New friends to make, of course, new names to learn,
but old ones to maintain, familiar names to cherish,
and maintenance it requires, surely worth the effort.

Unopened boxes still piled in the dining room,
Some containing photos,
others with cards and letters, mementos all.
A move every dozen or so years,
with history and friends trailing behind.
Always owning, since Barbara always says
she doesn’t rent, she nests.
This might be the last stop,
feathers grown thinner and grayer,
names getting harder to remember.
This might be the last stop.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The 17-Year Diet

And now, for the silliest of resolutions...

Having lost 1200 pounds
in his life, he was an expert,
50 each time, for 24 rounds,
in-between, a little growth spurt.
It’s quite easy, he would say,
a simple food vacation,
just a tiny price to pay,
a few months of moderation.
Avoid the butter, oils and fat,
keep the protein small and lean,
no white foods, none of that,
stick with yellows, reds and green.
Though some might yet resist,
not my friend so very wise,
he will tell you, yes insist
one must also exercise.
There’s a plan under the sun,
if you listen to this sage,
an approach for everyone,
every week an brand new rage.
Myself, I started dieting
back in 1995.
I’m still here, also healthy,
grateful just to be alive.
I haven’t lost much heft,
might have gained a pound or two,
but with what years are left,
no minor, minus resolutions will ensue.
I’ll stick to bigger goals,
positive, grand plans,
I’ll aim for lofty roles,
for the betterment of Man.

A Questionku

We must have peace,
it can bloom with us,
if not ourselves, then who?