The Homeowner and the Crow ~ A Georgic Fable

The Man stood ready, his lawn to spray
In order to kill off or at least chase away
Those bugs and such turning his green grass to hay
“I’d reconsider that, if I was you,” he heard a voice say.

And, looking up, in the maple he spied a crow
Staring down at him and speaking, for a crow, quite low.
“Why should a bird of the air care what I sow?”
The Man said, knowing t’was poison, not seed, he’d throw.

“I see on that bag the sign of the skull and bones,”
Crow squawked down disapprovingly to Homeowner Jones
“And that won’t work on all the bugs in certain zones.”
The Man did pause, wondered what else he could use to end his lawn’s moans.

“What other remedy is there that will rid us of the bugs
Turning our lawns into naught but scratchy yellow rugs?”
He asked crow. “You leave this to me and not those jugs
Of drugs or whatever. Go back inside for more coffee mugs.”

Crow said, and Man for once listened and decided to agree
With crow, not knowing if this junk might even kill friendly bee.
“Okay, Crow, you go ahead. I’ll accede to your plea.
I’ll be back tomorrow,” he said, as Crow alit from the tree.

And when he returned, Man found Crow was gone
As well as great patches of what once was his lawn.
From above he heard a cackling black bird laugh on and on,
And he knew he’d been bamboozled from yesterday to dawn.

The moral of our Georgic fable, one you might find on Pinterest,
Is if you’re looking for a natural remedy to bugs big, bigger or biggerest,
Check with a human expert in agricultural entomology, I insist
And never some clever bug or grub-eating bird with a vested interest.

For Day 22 of NaPoWriMo, I once again combined prompts, one calling for a Virgilian Georgic and the other for a poetic fable. Considering I cranked this out in about twenty minutes, I’ll take what I got, though as an agriculturally instructional Georgic poem, as well as providing a moral, old Virgil and Aesop are no doubt spinning like tops in their final rests somewhere above or sub rosa. (Photo copyright 2016 Joseph Hesch.)

Same As They Always Have

Spring Shoreline

On the creeks and rivers,
most of the ice has broken up
and moved idly downstream
like a weekend sailor floating
without care as it appears
the homes along the banks
are the moving ones. Sometimes,
the broken pieces will collect
in the narrows. But the waters
never stop, and will push against
the ice dams and bulge backward
over the banks, flooding the same
as they always have.
The pulsing Saranac or Mohawk,
the Black or Schoharie will
hemorrhage their riparian blood
over farm and field until the dams
break and the waters recede to
their courses. I’d walk the banks
then, observing how upriver
shore flotsam have run aground
and woven baskets of natural hand work.
That’s the rivers’ art, never stopping
to admire or regret what they’ve
crafted for good or ill. They’ll
slap their waves upon the shore
and move on, same as they always have.

Like a Lion

March Winds, by Graham Clilverd FRSA - 1949

March Winds, by Graham Clilverd FRSA – 1949

March’s winds bend back
the trees, only to fling
them away to swing back for more
bullying shoves, while whistles
and cracks fly like birds
from maple to spruce and back.
Aloft, freezing winds plait
cloud strata into ropes
of black and white, then
knot them into gray snarls
to toss across the blue
like cat toys. Below,
I sway like the trees,
my old joints cracking,
while I whistle and ponder if
this will be the March I’ll
finally untangle myself
from the snarling, the knotty
thoughts of you that roar
in chilling leonine echo
across my ever-blue memory.

Just because…

Scraping Toward Vernality

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The maples stretch for
aging daubs of Winter,
these gray clouds grimly
clinging to want-to-be
Spring sky. Red-bud nails
on their fingertips claw
to snatch what lies
just out of reach,
like an escape tunnel beneath
fickle March to April,
the hope of this dreamer
captured in endless February.
Today, robins delivered
prospects for escape
from this steely season
hidden in their songs
like files within King Cakes.
Sun sinks out there,
later each day, while
shadow maples stretch
across this field
pulling back Winter’s
flimsy blankets, clinging
to a want-to-be Spring…
Just Spring.

Seasons Weren’t the Only Things That Changed

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I recall the days snowless Spring returned to the old neighborhood. We’d bring out our bats and rubber balls and pace off baselines in my grandfather’s vacant lot. First base would be the red and amber back-up light on Julian’s new Buick, the one whose tail fin I crashed with my knee legging out a slow roller to third. It caved in. I was out. Such Springs disappeared once the sproing of ball hit by a wooden bat birthed the plonk of a well-hit drive bouncing high off the Giso’s once-unreachable wall cleared the shattered glass-sparkled field rather than just the bases. Our games became shortened not by rain, but by Miss Mary’s threats of calling the cops for the offense of hitting liners that shook her knickknacks off perfect shelves above plastic-covered furniture. Baseball Spring’s noises disappeared when we discovered the bounce and bump of three-on-three basketball. We shot from April to September at the bulb-less fixture hanging over the abandoned parking attendant’s shack. My dad eventually hung a real hoop, though. I think it was right after we learned Presidents could die, and die of something other than natural causes.

A sunshine Spring day memory free write. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not so old to have played baseball in knickers (and a freaking tie!) like I believe one of the kids up there is. However, we did occasionally roll up the cuffs of our jeans to Major League height….just because.

Like Robins’ Songs

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That herd of robins is back,
grazing on what passes
for open plains in the suburbs.
Today, they fill the big circle
of dormant grass
in the middle of the cul-de-sac.
The March sun catches
their orangey red just-so,
making their breasts look like
they’re afire.
Spring used to touch off the tinder
in my heart, spawning fire to a desire
I never fed with the kindling
of heroic feelings.
Those days are over,
only recalled when I read
the charcoal sketches you left
upon my heart’s stone walls
that whistle in spring wind
like robins’ songs.

I Was

 

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Like this mid-February snow
on the bristled fields,
I’ve been scoured
by winter winds from the peaks
of their memories’ topographies.
I am the enigma, the shadow
from the periphery of potential
Once-was, destined to become
the ultimate question of Who-was.

To all the ones I thought I loved,
and no doubt to the few who
could love me, I am the paradox,
the deep wellspring who could never
spill the feelings they sought
in comprehensible thoughts
or deeds, let alone
words.

But the singing winds will blow,
and the springing hope always
returns, until, for me,
one day it won’t.
Maybe that will be my time
to step from these shadowy places
to dawn as a memory that will bring
you smiles, the answer
to that final question.
I was.