Saturday, June 20, 2009

mission to the moon

as in the Wizard of Oz,
pay no attention to the man
behind the curtain,
no need disturb the flow of thought

the U. S. government announces
returning to the moon
to look for water
a space craft is going there,
up and away

in no unfamiliar logic
the best minds available in government
boasting the world's most sophisticated technology
have decided this scientific endeavor,
so we'll be bombing for water

Friday, June 19, 2009

squirrel feeding

started feeding the squirrel
the mother mostly
M. was first to hold a peanut
in her hand as Mother Squirrel took it
two younger squirrels are in the nest
but come down only occasionally

then I fed Mother Squirrel, hand to mouth
now a hundred peanuts and a few days later
Mother Squirrel is just as jumpy and quick
as the first day,
does no good to tell a wild animal to calm down

it comes around when we are out, to get us moving
then proceeds with extreme caution
every time, it moves backward and forward lightening fast
unsure where to go, as if half blind
M. says it is because the eyes are the side of it’s head
good point, but i think it doesn’t see well

bit my finger once, and oh so gently
not like crunching something
i felt the teeth rubbing my finger
she was looking for peanut
and got it the second try,
so who’s learning what here?
i guess we're both learning the other's ways

Thursday, June 18, 2009

aviary action

all packed with baby birds
here and there are the nests
up and down in trees, on low hanging eaves
then when mostly empty of the first brood
all over the ground the parents guide the newbies

hawks and the occasional eagle are overhead
along with seagulls, egrets, herons, geese, ducks,
swans, robins, doves, black birds, sparrows
wrens, hummingbirds, orioles, woodpeckers
and the lesser known in these parts, unidentifiables on migration,

fluttering aviary teams in lines, flocks or mismanaged irregular bunches
twisting in air, turning, soaring and dashing
a natural world of allusion and distraction,
color, movement, flight, flutter and action,
i imagine, also involved is a bit of birdly satisfaction

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

in the beginning

how frogs got to our pond in the first place
is an imponderable
the fenced in backyard pond is remote for a frog
a block from the river
a large cove is a block to the north
another cove is a few blocks west
they aren’t taking taxis to get here
no blinking signs written in Frog advertise room and board

a year ago four came late one eve
Herb, our second season frog, called them, I know,
on rainy nights they move,
sought his alluring voice
it was the season of hot frog love

their voices are all alike to me
but it was three girl frogs that showed up, triplets no doubt,
maybe girl frogs croak also, sing that is. or whatever,
that male frog noise to them must sound like a siren to Ulysses,
or Sinatra at the Copacabana, cause they came

now they’re all gone
we’re starting from scratch
so when it rains
who is going to call them?
do they just stumble around the neighborhood,
after a rowdy night on the prowl
until they find the place?
heaven only knows

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

already mid june

a last look from the porch before bed
a robin, born a few weeks ago, loudly chirps
alone, perhaps unsure of his new life
has returned to spend the night
in his now abandoned home nest

a harmless insect, junebugs, from the lake
Canadians call them Yankee soldiers
on this side Ohioans call them Canadian solders
swarm in from for two weeks each June,
food for the birds, annoying everyone else, they come to die
their corpses make a mess, litter everywhere

today’s the day, the very day the last of them,
they are through living
as I close the screen door to enter the house
a flash of yellow light catches my eye,
it is first firefly,
now it is their time,
my California wife thought they were a Walt Disney invention
never saw a real one until we moved to Ohio
the arrival of lightening bugs is a changing of the guard,
a turning of the key,
like a winding of the clock
summer moves in

south africa

one point four kilometers down
61 dead in an abandoned gold mine
illegal workers
in a part of the mine that was closed
because it was too dangerous

children have been orphaned
and women have been widowed
they weren’t looking to get wealthy
but to eat, care for their families
and perhaps get away
to where they could live