I know hate is unreasonable,
a waste of energy and emotion,
especially when directed against
a thing which has no emotion.
Knowing the truth of this, however,
does not prevent the rise of ire and irritation
for I do well and truly despise the river birch
which resides in my front yard.
It is an ugly thing; thin, spindly branches
which droop and hang low,
falling to the lawn more often than
a disillusioned wife drops condescending criticisms.
It exhibits no pride of appearance,
none of the majesty or mystery of its
white barked cousin, its peeling and shedding
more like a quarantined severe eczema test case.
I cuss the thing daily, scowling at the scattered
twigs and branches on the lawn,
a spiteful replenishment of what I picked up
the day before. I really hate that tree.
Why do you run
you fingers through
Because to know pain
than to feel
within the shadow
the master of patience
indifferent to your plight
he offers peace to the sleepless
a welcome choice when her joy no longer
brings you joy, but only lesser misery
It is an ugly time of the year
brown is the prevailing color.
The brown of dead Bermuda on the lawns,
the brown of trees stripped of all
but crisp, brown straggler leaves refusing to fall.
It is the brown of dried mud tracked into every home
and left on every carpet,
the clearly marked pathway of repetitive lives.
The clouds are low, soiling themselves
as they drag through the dirt,
tomorrow the dirt will return to mud
for it will surely rain,
rarely cold enough for the fleeting joy of snow,
just cold rain and mud,
always, there is mud,
and tracks on the carpet.
January brown is the brown of wet wood
and pine straw littering a forest floor,
it is the rusted out carcass of an old car,
it colors the mood and dampens the soul
like a shallow mud puddle
laid across your path.
I am remiss in not posting something earlier in observance of Veteran’s Day.
deserving of all praise.
They face the things you will not —
do not belittle, nor forget —
for security, freedom, and peace.
The leaves swirl and prance,
moved by the force of the wind;
no will of their own.
Each summer I fight the continued attack
of kudza on the edges of our backyard,
the creep and climb of the intrusive vines,
tendrils of new advances appearing daily.
It is a strong, stubborn invader,
ropy and stringy, it insinuates itself into
the metal grid of the fence, twists around
trunks and branches, reaching for any opening
to infiltrate and establish a hold.
There is a feeling of sententious resistance,
a will opposing my attempts to remove
the encompassing presence from my property.
There are occasional small victories,
a growth perverted, an encroachment stalled.
More often it is a false triumph, the last bit
of growth out of reach, half of a root left
in the ground to grow another day.
I can see it happening, watch the unwelcome
intrusion of the green wisps as they infringe
upon the ability of other plants to freely grow.
Lean in close —
against your better judgement,
of course — listen to the talk
of wild nights,
justifications and temporal promises.
Try to back away —
after all, this is really
beneath you — but linger
wait for the balance
of the tale,
where doubt met pain,
disillusionment begat heartbreak,
and love was never
a variable in the equation.