The Angels Were Angry

And the angels were angry
At the crispness of the cake
“HOW DARE YOU,” they bellowed,
“MAKE SUCH A MISTAKE?!”

They brandished flaming swords
To bar me from my kitchen —
I felt like such a failure;
I knew they were itchin’

To use their blazing rapiers
Against the likes of me
Because I multitasked disaster
Where disaster oughtn’t be

Oh, the angels were furious
While smoke rose from the range
So I pondered how to soothe them
Then I spotted something strange —

A hero in a paper bag!
He boldly stood between
Me and my catastrophe
Better sight ne’er seen

“Begone!” I think he shouted —
Or maybe it was “Gwam!”
giggle-giggle “Wook! Wook!
Here I am!”

So the knight-in-paper-bag
Took my mind off of burnt cake
And I played with little Henry
Before I cleaned up my mistake.

Three Turkey Vultures

Three turkey vultures alit on the roof
Because they have no voice organs,
I really have no proof
That there was any conversation
Between them at all
Maybe a guttural hiss
Instead of other call

This imaginary dialogue then
Really didn’t occur
But for the sake of storytelling
I hope you won’t demur.

Three turkey vultures sat on the barn
One gave a sniff
“Is that carrion?”
And off that vulture flew
But he went the wrong way.
The other two just shrugged and said,
“I. D. K.”

Two turkey vultures sitting in the sun
Basking in the warmth,
Resting…
Then they heard a gun
“Is someone after us?”
One asked the other.
“I’m not taking any chances.”
And he flew off in a bother.

One lone turkey vulture slowly looked around
He was a long way up
It was a long way down
He felt a little woozy
And his head began to spin
He tipped off the roof
Then his wings kicked in

And he felt a thermal lift
Higher, higher, higher
Sitting can be fun, he thought
But I’d rather be a flier.

Stress Relief

This is for all my fellow game-players.


The more I stress, the more I play
Like games can wash my stress away

The more I play and squander time
The more I feel that it’s a crime

And so I leave to get stuff done
But, then, I also need some fun

Such a dilemma, such a quandary
Play a game, or do the laundry

Play a game, or clean the floor
Play a game, or go to the store

Play a game, or walk the dog
Play a game, or write this blog

Play a game, or pay some bills
One depletes, the other refills

The more that I pursue distraction
The less gets done, the more inaction

The more I stomp distraction down
The less I smile, the more I frown

The more I frown, the more I stress
I need an exit from this mess

I know — I think I’ll play a game
To clear my mind, to keep me sane

And so I’ll play and then I’ll stress
Get something done and then regress

The Moon

I watch you shine a light that’s not your own
It’s nothing that you’ve mustered from within
The sun but shares its brilliance with you
And you, in turn, reflect a light that’s been

I watch you pausing, caught up in the tree
Peeking in and out of clouds and mist
In and of yourself you have no light
Fraudulant brightness daring to exist

I watch you bring some beauty to this earth
Reflecting, e’er reflecting our great sun
A picture of the way we should reflect
Our mighty God from whom all blessings come

If there’s one thing I love to photograph, it’s the moon. All my pictures are taken on my phone, so they may not be great, but the moon is so beautiful that I just want to capture it.

“What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary. ”

It’s a Wonderful Life

U is for Unknown

Sometimes I wish I knew what lay ahead —
What will each new tomorrow bring my way?
Why must I always feel so in the dark?
Or, at the very least, so in the gray?

But, if, one day walking, I should chance
To find a crystal ball that could reveal
My future with one touch, one glance –
Would I dare to look, its prophesies unseal?

Indeed my trembling hand would rise, extend —
Heart-pounding in my breast – loud, hard, fast —
And yet a greater force would apprehend
And stop me seeking this, my own forecast.

For the newness of each day and its unknowns
Are gifts. Yes, they are treasures, don’t you see?
Every day is its own celebration
Full of presents* to be unwrapped by me.

*presence?


Man is from Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

Crystal ball from The Mapmaker’s Daughter by M. C. Helldorfer, illustrated by Jonathan Hunt

Background from The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda William, illustrated by Megan Lloyd

Not sure where the building is from

S is for Surprise

Uh-oh

Oh, no!

Surprise!


(1)Boy is from My Dad’s Job by Peter Glassman, illustrated by Timothy Bush

(2)Girl is from Misty: The Whirlpool (from Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry) excerpted and adapted by Joan Nichols, illustrated by Stephen Moore

(3)Rabbits are from The Bunny Book by Richard Scarry


“Rabbits have large families” (3)
“Maureen felt a stab of fear” (2)
“Dad talked about buying futures” (1)
In rabbits? That wasn’t clear…

Can three divergent books
Be joined in harmony?
Each must accept the others
— And a little absurdity.


Above is a partially “found” poem using lines from the pages from which I borrowed the pictures. Wikipedia says, “Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry (a literary equivalent of a collage)…

So two collages today!

M is for Moo

To laugh is human — but to moo bovine.

I had such big plans at Christmas. I was going to make teeny collages for all my friends.

Anna loves cows so I made her a cow collage (a cow-lage?). It ended up being one of only two that I mailed out.

She sent me a picture of it on her refrigerator.

I love that it’s right beneath the note telling her that she is an amazing student teacher. I bet she is.


A while ago, while trying to work on using metaphor, I wrote a poem about cows, using Billy Collins’ poem, Litany, as a model.

Bovine

You are the map and the Atlas,
the Big Mac and the shake.
You are a javelin held aloft by a strong arm,
and a smooth wet stone in the hand of a little boy.
You are the fresh-mown grass after summer rain,
and the thunder that preceded the shower.

However, you are not the purr of a kitten,
the wag of a dog’s tail,
or kraa-coo-coo-coo of a mourning dove.
And you are certainly not the whisper of butterfly wings.
There is just no way that you are butterfly wings.

It is possible that you are the flock of sheep,
maybe even the laying hen,
but you are not even close
to being the eagle hang-gliding overhead.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the towering pine
nor the creeping myrtle.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the garbled voice in the drive-through speaker.

I also happen to be the blistered toe in a new shoe,
the frayed pink leash on the dog,
and the unmailed letter waiting for a stamp.

I am also the fuzzy blanket tucked around a child
and the hand-thrown mug filled with coffee.
But don’t worry, I’m not the map and the Atlas.
You are still the map and the Atlas.
You will always be the map and the Atlas,
not to mention the Big Mac and–somehow–the shake.


I felt the need to apologize.


Dear Billy Collins,

I’m sorry that I ripped off your poem. It’s just that I don’t put enough metaphor into my poems and this little exercise is such good practice.

I was thinking about the cows down the road. Cows that aren’t cows because I know cows are female and I’m pretty sure these are male, although I haven’t ventured in to confirm my suspicions.

The chief “cow”, a cranky fellow, comes to the fence and shakes his horns at me when I pass. He wants me to know that he’s tough and armed and that I shouldn’t mess with him.

Years ago, when cows complete with udders grazed in that field, they would nibble grass out of my hand and I loved to feel their smooth wet noses.

So I was thinking about cows (that aren’t cows), and the things they are and aren’t, and wrote this.

I hope you don’t mind.