soft light thru the dark wood-
sound of music fills the hollows-
Ozarks night at Copper Run
fast running creek -
tumbles to the tune of the Ozarks hills-
liquid night in the Ozarks -
moonshine flows -
sweet as spring water
Naiad of Table Rock
grazing in the shallows of the rocky cove
wreathed by dragonfly wings
wide mouth filled with silvery minnows
with a flip of her tail
she is gone
the Riverman’s eldest Daughter
sleek as an old catfish
glistening in the milky light of the sun
makes her way to deepest pools
waiting for the chance
to knot fishing lines of the unwary angler
and tangle treasured lures
in hidden brush under the surface
of the cold fresh water lake
some think her a mermaid
but many scoff at the tales
until when out casting
late at night
in the dark of the moon
they see a vision
too large to be a common fish
her back scaled and iridescent
trailing bright phosphorescence
in the murky water
silvered hair floats above her
to the surface
as she takes their bait
and runs deep and fast-
another one that got away.
*** for dVerse prompt to write of mythological creatures – thought I would include our local naiad – pretty sure I have almost caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye – what was that big splash?
I was looking back at last years pictures and posts of the garden in April. And with the understanding that last year was unusual, by this time, all the trees were completely leafed out and my daylilies were in full bloom. Not this year!
This spring has brought us more seasonable April weather for the Ozarks – a coolish and rainy month with a few warm and perfect days. We can get glorious Mays, filled with lovely sunshine and warm days and I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will be fortunate to have one of those months.
My columbines have surprised us again this year. These are the progeny of just 4 or 5 plants we put in the garden about 10 years ago. They have reseeded like mad and we never know what colors or forms they will take when they grace our garden with blooms.
They seem this year to have gone to a mauvey purpley color. Our big Colorado blue has turned dark maroon, though it has kept its size. We still have quite a few pale pink and bicolored, and one or two terrific grape purple. No doubles this year to my surprise. I had thought they would continue since they seemed to have established their own side of the garden-but not this year – they are all single blossoms.
I love this garden. It delights me every season with its beauty and its charm. One never knows what surprises it has in store – must be the fairies that live there!
take my hand and we will take this path
covering states and miles and hours
days of sunshine and mountain air
smoky pool halls and small rooms
warm against the winters ice
lets wander to the cities bright
with green lights and red
eyes of sorrow
entering small towns and villages
changing the view of rolling hills
to the pigtrails with deer
wallows hidden in the deep green
ferned hollows far below the rocky ledges
hold on tight as we move together
across time and space
skin yielding to years
trailed behind, left salted and sated
on this path we take, take my hand
It has been a while since we talked about the shack. But it’s spring cleaning time around here and it reminded me of the springtimes we enjoyed in our little piece of Ozarks paradise.
I would want to start my spring cleaning in early April but always waited until most of the pollen had let loose from our old white oaks. They were huge and really just about the last to flower, tassel and then pour out all that gritty green goodness that covered every possible inch of everything. My car and Bob’s truck would change colors to this dusty yellow green – thick as West Texas dust. It would make you sneeze just to look at it. And you know, the owners of every car wash for miles would be grinning from ear to ear and taking wheelbarrows full of rolled quarters to the bank every night.
Anyway, after the worst was over, I would scrub every inch of my house, washing walls and scrubbing floors, changing the linens from the warm woolens of the winter to the light cottons of spring. Furniture would be cleaned, rugs taken up and stored and light curtains hung in all the windows. Even the scented candles would be changed from sandalwood to lavender. And after all the inside of the house was fresh and airy, perfumned with the scent of Murphy’s Oil Soap and bleach, we would start working on the outside.
Now as you remember, our front porch was humongous – 10 foot wide and 35 feet long, covered with a tin metal roof and furnished with the rattan furniture given to us by Mom when she moved to the townhouse.
For the first couple of years, the spring cleaning would begin with shucking the slip covers off to wash, scrubbing the furniture and floor with Murphy’s (just love that stuff) washing all the decorative things that were left out to get covered in the oak pollen. And then after washing the railings and front of the house, the windows would be washed. Then the newly laundered slip covers were shimmied back onto the cushions, spring pillows plumped and arranged, newly washed accessories returned to their places, well shaken rugs laid back in their place and we were done!
In the third spring of the porch, a little more elbow grease was called for. We re-stained the floor and the railings and paint the trim. We used a transparent gray stain for the flooring and the bottom rails and stiles. Then the trim and top rails were painted a wonderful shade of burgundy called merlot. These colors just sang against the white siding. And in an area that believed in earth tones only – seriously every house and building was painted in shades of brown and beige – yikes – well, our color choices stood out.
After the porch was done, the rattan furniture was carried out to the side yard, scrubbed with bleach water and painted with a couple of coats of clear satin poly. Then all the other spring cleaning rituals insued with the slip covers etc etc.
And I loved my slipcovers! My mom helped me make them. We picked out gray and white striped pillow ticking and made big huge envelopes to tuck the cushions into. I found colorful flowered pillows to add to the comfort and locally made rag rugs on the floor. Now remember, this was the early 90s, and country was a very ‘in vogue’ look and we DID live in a country house in the country. So no snickers.
It was a comfortable porch, where we would eat as many meals as possible, sit and read or just while away the day. If family was visiting, there were always bubbles to blow, games to play and stories to tell. A magical perch to watch the seasons move across the ridge, be delighted by evenings illuminated by fireflies, and to watch comets in the starry night sky.
I will close for now but will write again soon about the spring visitors we would see each season.
How do I explain the rupture
between Then and Now.
When no Safe was Unsafe
and a September morning wasn’t filled with
Cremains and loose paper,
when only Bird Wings fluttered in the blue sky.
How do I tell you of the Fear and Grief,
Personal and Communal,
of people spirited away in dust falling from the sky
mixing with Tears that streaked on all our faces.
I wish I could explain how
our Country’s shifted Foundation
was filled with that Ash and then with desert Sand.
How we were all struck mute
as Doves became hawkish
and Hawks became harsh Patriots.
We all averted our eyes and covered our ears
as Rendition and Enhanced Interrogation
and Warrantless Wiretaps
were wrapped in Patriotic bunting.
I wish I could understand how the new normal
is now just NORMAL -
the shoeless shuffle in airports,
the suspicion of brown skin,
the lilting accents that are now ominous.
And how that September morning,
‘The War against Terror’-
(And it was our TERROR)
is now just another chapter
in high school History books,
dry as Ash and hot desert Sand.
*** I am posting this again for the dVerse prompt-it was posted last September.
In the Pond, I Saw
ribbons glisten with fragile
black polka dots of life
as though a special present
was joyfully torn into
and the wrappings left
to fend for themselves
lovely elegant skeins
filled with the future
summers evening music