Thursday, October 29, 2009

going home

Just to let everyone know I'm going home on Saturday.  For the next couple of months I will be sliding on a board and swivelling on my left heel, the only part of the lower me able to bear weight.  The plan is I shall become phenominally strongin my upper body, and my swivel movements will be of such grace that when I am repaired I will be a sensation on any dance floor.

But the house cleaning preparation that I talked about before got interrupted.  Alas poor Fred.  Lots of people I hope will be coming to see me, will notice - why  so many magazines?  I can't imagine why this is there - etc.    However, there is a good twist to everything.  My house when I get home will be filled with the wonderful cards and flowers I have received.  And there is hope - Claudia is coming Wednesday, ready  or not! 

And I have Blue to blame.  That cat!  When he isn't busy calling the SPCA because we've put him on an unwelcome diet, complaining about the neglect  since I broke my legs, he's been running around the house putting everything in the wrong place.  He has been opening drawers, spreading papers, hiding things.  We thought at least he could clean the kitchen, but no.  He didn't even do his own litter box!  Fred did that.  He offered to help with the laundry.  So Fred took it out of the dryer and Blue hopped right up and said he would do the folding later, but it was nap time.  Of course, because he'd been so busy messing things up.  That cat.  So how could Fred fold the warm laundry with a sleeping cat on top?  It is a good thing I'm coming home!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Walking down stones
Buried in cement
Wearing new rubber soled shoes
Walking down steps trod
Seven million
Six hundred sixty eight thousand
Nine hundred twenty four
Times before.
A slip, a slide, a twist
The rubber soled shoes held firm
On the hard concrete
When the feet
Inside the shoes
Did not.

Sirens alert the neighborhood
To tell the tale of feet that moved
When shoes did not
Two feet now encased in casts
No more shoes for the next two months
Shall I tell them when they ask -
I did it skateboarding?.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cleaning by Kay

I had two projects I meant to do this month. The first was to put the things I’ve written into a book and sell it as a fund raiser for the church. I had a deadline. October 17 there is an auction. Yesterday I picked up the book – 100 copies – illustrated! – from the printer. Tomorrow is the auction.

The other project I outlined is much more difficult than writing and putting together a book. I wanted to clean my house sufficient to hire a housecleaner. My progress here has not been so fast. My excuse, working on the book. So I’ve been putting together deadlines. I work much better with a deadline. And I’ve been moving that deadline up.

The first deadline I tied together with the auction (see above!) We’re auctioning a St. Pat’s dinner – March 17. Surely I can clean my house in time for that. The problem with that is it gives me much too much time in which to procrastinate.

February we are hosts to a dinner party for ten people, some of whom I don’t know well, again from the church. That set the cleaning deadline up, but still it leaves way too much time for us to mess things up before we clean them up.

Christmas – well that’s progress but my suspicion is that Christmas won’t be here.

So I invited the children and their families for Thanksgiving. Now I’m getting a little nervous because Thanksgiving is just a little over a month away, and when the family comes there’s not a room I can leave out.

I moved the deadline up again, and invited the children for our anniversary, November 8. I feel I’m getting realistic, now.

Today I invited the knitting group to meet here in two weeks. I have the deadline I have craved. Now that the book is done I can really get to work.

I walk around my house with an advertisement that tells me what a cleaning service would do in every room. I use it as a “to do” list. They talk of cleaning things like blinds, moving furniture, doing the whole job up right. This may get exciting. I wonder what I’ll find that I never knew I lost.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


A group of grown up, grey haired folk
Grizzled geezers, grandmoms and pops
Are gathered - grouped to cogitate –
They congregate to find a way
Of reaching modern youth.

These old folks sit in the youth group’s hall.
They read the writing on the walls.
Between the stenciled hands and feet
The kids have written names and dates:
“Karen, Class of Twenty Ten”
“Jethro, two thousand three.”

This room has odors all its own
Of sleeping bags, of old popped corn,
Honeysuckle by the door,
The summer scent of fresh cut grass.
The old folks, silent, contemplate
How their own youth had slipped away…

They seem to hear those drawn-on walls
Ghostlike, whisper whimsically –
“Your parents, too, despised your clothes,
Thought you outrageous, wild, and dumb –
Would not succeed in anything –
And look how far you’ve come!”

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fallen Deer

A deer fell in our yard the other day,
A doe, she tripped upon a rock,
She staggered down into the street
And fell, and then rose on wobbly legs
And crossed the street. The doe lay down
Beside the road, her head and ears were up
She listened, and she watched.

Raoul was working in a yard nearby.
He saw the doe fall, also saw her fawn
Who ran away.
My husband Fred came home,
The deer was still reclined
Beside the road. He called the vet who said
Call animal control. They’ll help the deer.
Raoul had called as well.

Fred stood and watched beside the road,
He set a barrier so cars would not speed by
And spook the resting deer.
The two men waited for the doe to rise
And disappear into the trees and lawns.
They waited for her fawn to reappear.

Animal control, it seems, knows only to destroy living things
That lay perhaps in pain beside the road.
They did not question how the doe was hurt
Or whether, given time, she might get up
And find her fleeing fawn.
Get out, he said, and I will put her down.
No argument would stay his course.
A single shot. The doe was gone.

We set out manna for the fawn
Food recommended for an orphaned deer
Three days gone by, the fawn appeared
Alone, with faded spots, it looked across the road
To where its mother died, and then it left.
The deer food stayed untouched.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Concrete Waterfall

The drowsy worker
By the concrete waterfall
Dreaming of rainbows

The man lies in the shadow of his truck
A yellow hard hat on the ground beside him,
His shirt hangs listless on a branch above,
He looks inside himself and sees
The waterfall to come.

He nearly feels the spray of splashing water
Sees it leaping down his unbuilt path
Sees it jumping over boulders, laughing
Crystal droplets singing as they fall.

He sees the water split by beams of sun
He imagines arcs of color through the mist.
He glories in the rainbow yet to be
Created by the waterfall he’s building.

In his mind he leans to catch the drops
Bathe his skin in the magic of the spray
He’d seize the rainbow, but as his hand shoots out
The rainbow isn’t there.

He wonders if he is himself a rainbow
Is his life an optical illusion?
Is he a glorious splash of color
That in time will simply disappear?

He stands, puts on his hat, spits out the grass.
He rises to complete his waterfall.

Monday, October 5, 2009


A stray cat wandered into our yard and was made unwelcome by our cat, Blue. Tattered and pathetic, we took her to the vet, hoping that she had been implanted with a chip. She was far too friendly for a feral cat, we thought. We’d tried a game of ping pong at our table on the patio, and this cat loved the game, hopping with the ball from side to side.  She was a cat who liked people in her life.

She was infested by fleas, her ribs clearly seen beneath her fur. So we treated the fleas, and treated the hunger and the thirst, and since the day was very hot, we let her sleep in our guest bath, away from our cat, Blue, who liked her not at all. We posted signs around the neighborhood – had any person lost a friendly yellow cat? No one called.

I talked to my friend, Jean. I told her if she took the cat we’d more than gladly help to pay for any alterations. Jean said no, she had friend who was a vet. She’d take care of that herself. I brought the yellow cat to Jean at a meeting, which the cat enjoyed. Not happy in her carrier, she befriended each one there, but seemed to know instinctively that Jean was hers. This cat was smart.

Jean has studied Buddhism, and taught herself Tibetan. She recognized at once that this stray cat was of a royal ancient god-like lineage, and named the cat Samsara, the Tibetan word for “restless spirit”, a name well suited to the orange cat.
At her initial pre-op visit to the vet, it was discovered Samsara was a he, who had been fixed before.

Samsara, Sammy now, had found himself the home and friend that suited him. He considers he and Jean have equal rights around his house. His food is carefully prepared for him and set out on demand. When Sam is good and well behaved, the cat belongs to Jean. But when he bites, wakes up at three, or brings her gifts of snakes or mice, she refers to him as Kay’s.

I don’t know how many lives he’s used, but the one he’s living now is fine with him, he says.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

L'Chayim: To Life

The small stream dances, winding through
And in and out between the rocks,
Catching sparkles from the sun,
Playing harmony to songs
Of bugs and birds along its banks -

It carries cold of melted snow
To nurseries of fish and frog.
It moves leaves and reeds along its banks.
It waters bushes, quenches thirsts
Of land-born life.

It meaders for a bit, and curves,
And then lays quietly in ponds
Before it leaps and dances out,
Cavoting around rocks and stumps
Continuing its journey to the sea.

Above the stream disaster crawls
Metal yellow dinosaurs
Rip up the soil, tear down the hills -
Each day they roar across the fields
Destroying what was always there.

Rock strewn meadows, oaks and grass
Will be replaced by velvet lawns
Fed food that's made by Dow, not deer,
Which washed into the brook will choke and
Kill the life that flowed below -
The water slows
The laughter