Like Fair Ophelia, the daisies are drowning. Daisies! —the very symbol of freshness and life. Recent rains here transformed a patch of daisies into something more like a lily pond. The daisies are valiantly trying to survive—some managing to hold their heads above water; others standing no chance at all. In the nearby lake as the waters rise, fish are investigating newly expanded territories… splash, splash! … and herons are investigating the fish. Question…
It’s three weeks into official winter and we’ve experienced highly fluctuating weather here in Arkansas. An early snow-and-ice storm blew through in early December. Another arrived in early January, dropping the overnight temperature to -12 degrees. Directly after that, a warm rain washed away the icy remnants and sunned the landscape with afternoon temperatures approaching the 60’s. Today’s wind—thankfully from the south—continues the recent refreshing blow-dry.
“How do poems come to be?”
I was invited to answer that question recently. After a decade of writing poems, I could honestly answer, “Any which-way.” Today’s “Trading Partners” is a good example. It derived from the crow tracks pictured above. Other influences can be tracked as well…
It was this kind of a day…
Except for mesh-top athletic shoes, I’d bundled up warm under a green umbrella. The cold front’s wind had passed earlier, but drizzle and low temperatures remained.
FUTZING? A Facebook Post…
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Compelled by blue skies and still-green foliage, I took my own advice yesterday and went walking. Continue reading
Pert as Pixies
Brown ones, tan ones, white, gray, orange … mushrooms sprouted all over the landscape after early August rains. Some were seen playing “king of the mountain” on a neighbor’s mulch pile.
One particular mushroom displayed exuberance at simply being alive by breaking into a dance, although a fairly static one.
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GILL’S NIGHT OUT
Jaunts and Haunts
This August, walking was pleasant at almost any time of day. Near one of my routes and tucked away beneath overhanging tree branches is an abandoned cul de sac that affords some wonderful shade and privacy. (Truth be told, it is not abandoned at all; the privacy is shared.)
I went today
where dead children play
and grownups seldom venture.
trees decay, vines ascend,
shadows shift and blend,
and a forsaken roadbed crumbles.
it’s quite a pleasant place
where wild weeds jumble …
and where bees, birds, light,
dark, bugs, toads, mice,
and other beloveds
of nature and children interplay.
The street curves and is about half a block long, including the turnaround. A stairway leads from the sidewalk to nowhere in particular, but a mimosa tree on the higher ground indicates that a house was once nearby—inhabited of course, as the place still seems to be. ~ ♥Jo
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Rain and More Rain
Rain repeatedly overflowed my flower pots these last few days. One night’s accumulation was over five inches. An ice chest beside the deck has completely filled too. What a lush and beautiful Arkansas August we are having!
My daily walks lapsed this week, due partly to the thunderstorms, drizzles, and downpours. This morning was different though, because I headed out with umbrella and camera … to see what Nature was newly up to.
Buzzards in Snags
Along the route to the lake, I encountered storm debris, burgeoning weeds, deer, and buzzards. Also, a man appeared, walking out of the bushes and waving arms overhead as if to signal for help. Turns out, he was just doing arm exercises with weights. We teamed up for part of our walk and had a good conversation. He walks almost daily too, mostly on the lake shore instead of the lake road. He was very knowledgeable about habitat and critters, and I liked that.
In the grass alongside the white-edged asphalt, I caught the impression of a large feather that turned out to be fast-food packaging. I laughed to think how bird- and buzzard-oriented I’ve become. Then, wow, about two feet further ahead there was a buzzard feather. I don’t normally rearrange found objects—though that would be an art option for the future—but, in this case, I did bring the two “feathers” together for one vignette.
More Rain Effects
At another location, crabgrass was encroaching on the asphalt. Arkansas is beginning to morph into jungle.
Rainstorm results also prompted the poem below:
SPRINGING A SURPRISE
who do you think had the brass
to lay green summer eggs
in green summer grass?
The Easter Funny? It could be.
Or—perhaps?—the Hickory Tree.
Rain is predicted for the next two or three days … I haven’t investigated beyond that. And, of course, there is major flooding nationwide. This will certainly be a summer to remember. ~ ♥Jo
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The Poet Writes Large
For over a week, the weather here has been extra cool and wet. Today started off rainy and the high was in the mid-90’s. That worked in my favor as I labored outdoors applying vinyl letters and graphics to a storefront. I don’t have photos of the process but can share the proposed design I gave to the owner:
My husband’s mechanic friend is starting a shop of his own. When I first visited, the only signage was a small banner, barely visible from the highway. I expressed concern about James’s business being overlooked for that reason, and Ethan said, “If you can come up with something better, why don’t you make a proposal.” Long story short, James agreed to my design suggestion and even invited me to do the work.
I wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity like that, even though I’m not a professional signmaker. I bought the vinyl, made the patterns, cut the letters, and planned the installation. Today the installation took almost six hours. I was learning on the job … and I loved every minute.
Solving craftsmanship issues was the most satisfying … how best to clean glass, make measurements, position graphics, use tools, etc. After a few ruined letters, I learned to wet the surfaces and properly use a squeegee. Another important lesson was that the orange vinyl, being translucent, lost brightness when removed from its white backing and placed on a dark window. Also, letters that looked enormous at close range seemed smaller than expected at a distance.
How appreciative I am to James for entrusting me with the work and for showing his delight when it was done. I got a big thumbs up … and a big hug too.
If I had my druthers,
I’d play at work all day,
designing entertaining things,
for those who’d want to pay.
And, to find these others,
I wouldn’t have to shout,
or pay for ads, or dance and sing,
for they would seek me out.
I had a red-letter day awhile back when I started this blog. Today was an orange-letter day. I took advantage of fun opportunities to write both large (the signage) and small (this blog). Very satisfying. ♥~Jo
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