Saturday, February 24, 2007

They're Watching

I used to see them all the time.

I could hardly set foot out the door without encountering one ... dressed as Santa Claus ... as a witch ... a clown ... a cowboy ... as almost anything ... or anybody ... except what they really were: concrete geese.
I can't imagine where they've all gone ... flown south for the winter? Oh, I hope not. The very thought of them aloft scares me a bit.
Perhaps the fad is ebbing. But while it was here, almost everybody ... at least in my neighborhood ... had at least one ... sometimes more.
Understandable then, that I eventually gave in and wrote something about them ... and here it is:


Concrete geese!
Heads held high,
dots for eyes,
they guard
the porches, line
the lawns, ever alert
for the gawkers
wandering by.

They never move,
nor honk, nor
even threaten
hostile action,
but in their cold,
concrete hearts
seem to know
the intentions
of those
who dare even
steal a glance.

© 1998

(originally published in Capper's)


Today's word: gawkers

Afterthoughts ... in response to your comments:
It's just a wild goose - er, guess, Magran, but I would guess the reason that it's concrete rabbits there ... and concrete geese here ... is that the concrete rabbits have scared the concrete geese away ... and, here, vice versa. Seriously, the ones I've seen have displayed a high level of creativity on the part of the owners, and I always looked forward to seeing them ... the geese, that is ... on my walks. 
I know, Southernmush, how unpredictable geese can be. I'm always curious, too, about how suddenly, as if by a signal from one of their group, they lift off and are gone. Then, sometimes, they reappear, gliding gracefully onto the water again. I suppose we ... creatures which merely walk around, because we have no wings ... seem as mysterious to them.

Friday, February 23, 2007


It was like a haiku moment.

I was walking along, just letting my mind wander, when I noticed the young oak which had been planted near the sidewalk.

A winter breeze waggled the leaves, and it was almost like they were beckoning to me. I paused to watch them, then realized that they reminded me of a Georgia O'Keeffe painting I had seen at the Dayton Art Institute.

As soon as I got home, I sat at the kitchen table, as I often did then, and started writing ... so I could preserve my impressions ... and share them with Phyllis. Somewhat later, thanks to the folks at The Christian Science Monitor, those impressions found a larger audience.

And here they are again:


The oak

retains its leaves,

purple-palmed mittens

hanging out to dry,

waving in supplication,

inviting a closer look

that shuts out all

except those few

as painted

by Georgia O'Keeffe,

and then not purple,

exactly, but that

kind of purple

that was

her gift to us.



(originally published in The Christian Science Monitor)


Today's word: