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Archive for November, 2007

Butterflies and BumbleBees

I had no idea before taking my leave of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and heading for Port St. Lucie, Florida, that I was walking away from a modest recognition as an artist. I missed my friends in the art world, but fortunately, I’ve always had a yearning to write and found another outlet for creativity here in Port St. Lucie, Florida. I’ve no more desire, or the need, to be famous with words than I had when painting and sculpturing. While still in hopes of self-publishing my book Butterflies and Bumblebees, I’ve decided to take another approach . . . put my poetry on my blog site. For better or for worse:

 

PREFACE

My thanks to all who have, over the years, encouraged me to put my poems into book form. A special word for my late husband who, from the first, urged me onward in my poetic endeavors but sometimes proved himself a bit too biased in my favor. To Florence Prusmack, creative writing teacher, my sincere gratitude and thanks for her never-ending faith in my ability to write poetry worth reading. To Dan Grant, former moderator of the Thursday Morningside Writer’s, who many times suggested a change or two in one of my poems, and every time proved to be right in his judgment, my thanks and gratitude for his help and for his alertness to details. My thanks to any and all who encouraged me to write to the best of my ability. This book of poetry is dedicated…

 

to my children, their spouses, their children, each friend:

to everything there comes an end.

I was not born a poet,

glib of tongue and ever able

to express myself with Shakespearean speech,

nor was I born with desires to reach

heights quite unattainable.

Throughout my life I’ve wished but this:

a home where love and laughter flowed

smooth as honey on fresh-baked bread.

I wished my table spread

with kindness and with gaiety:

with happiness, tranquillity

but sometimes, found instead,

bumblebees mixed in with butterflies:

all which I’ve put in poetry.

 

When I bid this life adieu

I trust my thoughts, put down in rhyme,

for the better or the worse,

will be the catalyst that I’m

hoping that this book of verse

will keep me ever close to you.

 

With Love To All, Mom, Grandmom,

Sister, Aunt Mary, Mary, Friend.

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VIXEN, A DOG TO REMEMBER

VIXEN, A DOG TO REMEMBER

She certainly wasn’t what I’d call beautiful, but neither was she in any sense of the word, ugly. The black, short-haired dog I came to know as Vixen was a medium-large mutt of non-descriptive lineage—a by-product of some owner’s unspayed bitch. I had not particularly liked the creature when I first laid eyes on her. My husband’s brother, his wife and two young children had recently moved onto a small farm some fifteen to twenty miles distance from ours.

Vixen had greeted me with what I took to be out-and-out hostility: snarling, snapping, growling, barking, frantically endeavoring to break the chain that kept her from taking a chunk out of my leg. Definitely not a dog I would have cared to own.

I like surprises, but not the kind I discovered one early morning. I went to the barn on an errand of some sort to find Vixen tied to a post. “I felt sorry for her,” Carl replied and continued attaching the milking machine cups to a cow’s teats. His set lips discouraged further questioning as to why his brother’s dog was now in our barn. I’d been married to the man for twenty-three years, give or take a year or two and had learned early on when to back off and give in—which was practically all the time. Defeated, I left the barn in a fit of rage and made my way up to the house and into the kitchen to prepare breakfast—wondering how I was going to tolerate a dog I did not like.

As I began to pour the first of several pancakes on a restaurant-size iron grill, Carl delivered the good news. While endeavoring to untangle his new acquisition from the rope tether, Vixen freed herself, ran out of the barn and across the lower meadow, apparently heading for home. Inwardly, I wished her well, turned back to the browning pancakes and smiled.

After breakfast, genuinely concerned for the animal’s safety, but at the same time grateful for being spared the noisy and possibly dangerous nuisance I imagined her to be, I accompanied my husband out to the front porch. Vainly, I tried to assure him that Vixen would surely find her way back home. Carl, probably feeling a bit guilty, gazed out over the meadow, then pointed to a black dog trotting its way through the meadow grass and toward the barn, its tongue dripping saliva and a gaily-raised tail thrashing the air. Carl joyfully whistled and Vixen came bounding up the stone steps leading to the porch and flopped at our feet.

Completely won over, I knew then and there she would never again experience the humiliating restraint of a chain—nor be ostracized from the companionship of humans. It took less than a week or two for her to become a valuable asset, keeping close watch over the cows and alerting us to anything amiss. Though she never became a house pet, our entire farm became hers to roam and the barn a warm shelter during cold winter months.

Three or four years later when our beloved Vixen came between a snow-covered roadside bank and the wheel of a moving tractor, I mourned her death with many a hot salty tear.

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