By What Right

Photo: National Geographic

What Gives Humans the Right

Why do we want to go to Mars–

We haven’t proved we’re worthy of Earth

Maybe the plan is to ruin our home so it’s like Mars

Let’s first search for intelligent life here where we all live now

As we know, “There is no Planet B”

I hear regret, fear, and feeble numb helplessness

We need a focus you the pop-culture voices,

We need the will you citizens’ voices,

We need the marching feet to preserve our home.

We are the Change–

Plastic is a consumer problem;

We are guilty as if we feed plastic

To wildlife

And seal them in cellophane.


Slow down.

“We have too many people;

Wanting too much;

Way too fast.”

Be the Change.

c. Lemuel

03 June 2018

Follow the Swallow

Bird Swallow 2

I keep lawns. I’m a caretaker of the land. I use zero pesticides and no fertilizers. So, by default I help our native waterways and the air to boot. Let me introduce my friend and co-worker, the Swallow, who deserves most of the credit.

In these bespoke green zones myriad Swallows flex their superpower for finding bugs on-the-wing. Their clout is multiplied by hundreds of times. Swallows help keep the grass green by munching on bugs.

In a large gathering, Swallows are known as a flight or a gulp.  Both nouns seem fitting since Swallows are superb aerialists and they like nothing better than to gobble their lunches.

My arrangement with the swallows is not perfect; some bugs do their harm and then they leave their eggs to develop for future.

I know the swallows will be there.

If I am lucky, so will I.



Just Desserts

Brown Bags 2

“Are you making your lunches for the week?”

“Just the ones for Larry to steal out of the fridge at the office.”

“Why don’t you confront Larry? It’s not right to steal.”

“It’s okay. I take two lunches.”

“But he’s stealing your food.”

“Well it could be worse. He could offer to trade his lunches for mine.”


“Larry brings terrible lunches packed in neat little boxes.  Think Kindergarten.”

“So he steals lunches from colleagues?”

“Pigeons won’t eat that stuff Larry brings for lunch. And the first three letters in “pigeon” are P-I-G.”

“He’s that afraid of ….”

“Absolutely terrified.”

“Be a lamb, take extra chocolate biscuits.”





Foreign, Top Ten Definitions


Top ten entries or definitions of foreign if I were to write a dictionary entry:

1  To wander.

2  A sojourn.

3  A pilgrimage.

4  A voyage of discovery.

5  As a peregrine falcon flying wither she may.

6  Deliberately different. see (Fr) étrange, see (Sp) extranjero, see (Eng) strange.

7  Being unlike the mainstream or cut off from the continent. e.g. John Donne

8  Being a Stranger in a Strange land. e.g. Robert A. Heinlein

9  Not having a seat at the cool-table during dinner.

10 Not a citizen, an alien.



Of Sky, a Bird, and Art



In my county the cold clung to March with talons.

The sky was ice blue, more glacier blue, and ice crystal clouds played a game of crack-the-whip up next to space in the thin atmosphere.

I want to tear that picture from the sky, paste it in a scrapbook.

My paintings do no sky justice. The only hope I have is to rip the sky from the horizon and glue it on my canvas.

The air was cold but the sun was bright and made prisms dazzle.

A male Finch bumped my window a glancing blow. He was out cold, lying beak up, little feet curled as if perched.

I made a sick bed of a pasteboard box and a fresh warm towel.

I repeated, “You cannot keep a wild thing.”

Once warm and with no apparent damage the addled Finch stirred.

I placed the bird bed outside my window.

Soon the Finch flew—I almost missed its launch.

I knew that bird was back in the sky, part of a picture I had some small part in painting.



Suddenly Prose


Adverbs are one of the spices of life, a word like “suddenly” is so serviceable in prose.

Suddenly reminds me of a bird story that plays out regularly. I am a most irksome neighbor. Given the passel of dove that loves my yard I so often damage their calm and send them into full throttle emergency dove take off. The scene is a blur of color; they explode into the air, and make that tinkling bell sound as they gain altitude.  Off they roar into the protective branches of a pine tree still within sight of me, their heads bobbing, they eyeball me guardedly.

I have not become accustomed to their surprising aerial escapes nor have I stopped being amazed at how suddenly they forget all the bother from a few seconds ago. I hastily scatter some food and I disappear, then, they return, land, and un-scatter, perhaps still wary, and suddenly make the dove chow disappear from the grass.

pexels-photo-203088.jpegSuddenly tells how something is accomplished.  Suddenly soup is just not in my DNA. I admit one thing is better done quickly. Sticky bandages adhering to my mammalian skin I am looking at you.

I love slow brewed tea. I would be confused if sunsets were suddenly over. Floodwater suddenly receding from my door is fabulous.

Telling how something gets done is made suddenly easier by employing adverbs. Then, given a little time the other parts of speech can get to work and help the writer make something of meaning.