At the Backyard Atrium/Arboretum Seed n’ Feed Store

Tufted titmice, black-capped
chickadees and cardinals galore
head for the Backyard
Atrium/Arboretum Seed n’ Feed Store.
Today is Monday.
They don’t have to wait till payday
to fill up on oiled black seed
and such.
Today they make a rush
because Monday is always free seed
for breakfast and lunch.
Wait, what just happened — a hush?
All the birds are gone in a rush.
Then, my wife and I spy
a big, old blue jay on a birch’s limb.
It’s a he, because his blue is so bright,
and now he thinks the goodies at the
store are just for him
morning and night.
but he’s a frightening sight
to all the other birds.
“Sorry, Charlie, no free lunch today.
The free lunch was yesterday
and, for you,
it will be tomorrow, too,
but not today — never today.
For all your beauty, you are a nasty jay
and right this moment, I’m heading
outside to chase you away
and hear your terrible blue jay cry
as I wave good, good, good, good-bye.
I head back to the house
and I think I hear the sweet tweet of a tiny titmouse.
I think he’s saying thank you so very much more
for Monday, the free day
at the Backyard Atrium/Arboretum Seed n’
Feed Store.



The Fear Under the Conviviality

A cable news network Sunday morning talk
show was filled with
jocularity and conviviality
concerning the presidency
and apparent growing White House lunacy,
but under all the fun
fear and darkness lurked
at how hard the GOP Congress
(retreating representatives and supine senators)
has worked
to grovel and flatter
what some would describe as the Mad Hatter —
an omen,
a worry
of little fingers on a big, red button?
One journalist proffered
that all Republicans may be disturbed
at potential, presidential chaotic combustion
if he is not kept calm (a calm before the storm?)
— the new norm —
like a family drawing near, ever so near
to the one family member they truly fear,
in this case
the Abuser/Belittler-In-Chief,
our growing national disgrace.

All’s Fair

With the (p)-resident’s ratings
hovering near the red zone, the
sycophants must be feeling a

bit sick knowing the ratings are
not quite low enough for mutiny.
They cower, they grovel, they

stick ever so close, crawling
near the throne of the Abuser-
in-Chief hoping to kiss a royal

foot before running to the near-
est toilet to vomit. They seek
not service to the country;

really they don’t even seek
service to the (p)-resident
of the casa negra ahora; they

seek only service to the donor
class and re-election with all
the perks so they hope that

the ratings will make it into
their end zone at which time
they will take the head of the

(p)-resident (now severed from
his fast-food filled body) hold-
ing it by the ever coiffed straw

and spiking it like an NFL foot-
ball following the playing of
the national anthem during

which knees thunderously hit
the turf and neo-Nazi, white
supremacists take to the

streets while “Sloppy Steve”
slips onto the throne asking
where is the big, red button,

and they all gather around
the (p)-resident and
cannibalize his remains.

In the Eye of the Beholder

The man hadn’t used the snow
blower in eight years because
he and his wife had always gone
southwest for the winter since

he retired, his wife having retired
two years earlier than he even
though she is four years younger.
He wasn’t sure the blower could

even be put in working order,
it was so old. So, he got out the
snow shovel and started in on the
driveway when his neighbor

darted over with his brand new
snow blower and offered to
clean the driveway. The man
shouted “no” over the roar of the

blower saying that he needed the
exercise. The neighbor was
tenacious. He said, “My wife
sent me out here. She doesn’t

want to see a heart attack in
the driveway.” The man looked
at the neighbor in incredulity
through his thirty-five-year-old

eyes. The neighbor looked back
at a seventy-three-year-old face.
The man wanted to say, “Hey,
my primary thinks this seventy-

three-year-old is in such great
shape he’s really only thirty-five,”
but the neighbor would only think,
“He doth protest too much.”


The Administration seems to be
crumbling with infighting no one
ever imagined and the pundits are
going crazy as I look out and see
a thick curtain of snow falling so
that I can barely see the Christmas
lights on the house across the street
while inside, the fireplace blazes
and the candles flicker. I read two
indecipherable poems today and
for the first time in, oh, say, a
year, I’m thinking I am enjoying
the news out of the White House
more than poetry.

Doing What We Can

I see the wrens, sparrows, black-capped
chickadees, cardinals, a tufted titmouse.

They sing and tweet. I can’t hear them.
I’m in the house and they are black dots

darting in and out of the pines knocking
the winter white off the branches, snow

falling onto the frozen pond. I turn on
the computer and read the headlines.

They are about maniacal tweets concern-
ing little hands on a big nuclear button.

I imagine the carrot-top madman running
around yelling, “Mine is bigger than

yours.” It is snowing hard. The birds fly.
I will imagine their sweet tweets. Then

I will go out with birdseed and then I
will break the ice on the pond allowing

gasses to escape and giving the fish a
chance to stay alive in this incredibly

cold weather. The bubbler works but, in
this weather, it can’t keep the pond from

icing over. We have to do what we can
to help ensure survival.

To the Marrow

How do I love thee?
I’m sorry; I get teary
just thinking about it
and am rendered
basically pretty mute,
so, forgive me for not
having flowery words
in sonnet form to share,
but know this, dear, I
love you to the marrow
of my bones and that’s
about as deep as it gets.