The Garden of Diminishing Returns
There were cantaloupes, squash, tomatoes galore,
Green beans, watermelons, green peppers and more,
Growing fast, trying to crawl out of sight,
I swear I could hear the garden growing at night,
But in the mornings when I checked the plants,
The vegetables were half eaten and covered with ants,
No matter what I tried or wherever I turned,
The results were the same—-diminishing returns!
I sat out in my chair with my dog on the lawn,
Hoping to see some critters, I’d wait until dawn,
Ground squirrels were scurrying, rabbits came dancing,
Cicadas were chirping, deer were prancing,
Everywhere I looked there was some kind of motion,
The garden was alive with activity and commotion,
Chomping new flowers and munching new shoots,
The animals were all dressed in their evening suits,
There was a call to order and they all sat down,
The biggest rabbit was worried, I could tell by his frown,
“We’ve got to control the rabbits at school,
There’s been multiplication against the rule,
Not everyone stays seated until a lesson is through,
This is outrageous! What shall we do?
Deer have been entering and then going out,
I’m not sure what’s that all about,
And the squirrels have been going nuts,
So there you have it, no ifs, ands, or buts,
We’ll have to move on and find new grounds,
This garden will be tagged as “out of bounds”,
But if we destroy too much we’ll soon learn,
One small garden yields diminishing returns,”
They thumped out a vote and gave him a hand,
It was clear they agreed with his conservative stand,
The majority was liberal enough to see,
If they harvested carefully enough there’d be,
If each did his share, working part of each day,
There would also be time to sleep and play,
He explained if they wanted, they could help him with stuff,
So they planted, watered, and did more than enough.
He told them that they still had lots to learn,
Because no one wins with diminishing returns.
That old rabbit spoke with authority before he disappeared underground,
I’m glad I stayed alert and wrote it all down.
That garden was a life source to all, including me,
It brought a new way of thinking for us to get along,
And I really like those critters, don’t get me wrong.
But if someone thinks I’m feeding that complete herd,
That’s way out of line, kind of crazy, absurd!
Okay, just a nibble. I grew tons of stuff.
If all of you are careful there’s more than enough!
The sprinklers went off and woke me from a dream,
I can’t quite remember what made me want to scream.
But now I have a peaceful feeling way deep inside,
And when I look at my garden I have a sense of pride.
Every row is trimmed, organized, and neat,
But I could almost swear I see some little feet.
My garden is growing right up to the sky,
And on my doorstep this morning was a strawberry pie.
I always thought gardening would be hard to learn,
I knew there was a problem with diminishing returns.
You Took My Breath Away
You were not the most beautiful girl there,
But your eyes were expressive and deep.
I did not hang on every word you spoke,
But inside I made promises to keep.
Somehow in those first magic moments
My world stopped and you took my breath away.
Your eyes, your hair, your sparkling smile,
Each silently dared me to dance and stay.
In your presence the crowd no longer existed.
You had changed my point of view.
I turned around and blinked my eyes
But all I could see was you.
No longer alone even in my dreams
You were always by my side.
Together we shared our new world
Your love filled me with pride.
Your mind was on something else,
But not on our love each day.
I thought we’d love forever,
Long after we turned old and gray.
You smiled and said you felt great,
And you insisted you always will,
You looked so serene and so sure,
It’s strange your heart stopped still.
Each day you took my breath away,
But you never shared your pain.
And I still love you with all I have,
But I may never breathe again.
- Sparkle. (happykind.wordpress.com)
- Their Last First Kiss (lawrencepearce.wordpress.com)
- This moment had come.. (itbeginswithaverse.wordpress.com)
- miles for the passion of a smile (writingsingray.wordpress.com)
- My love you are my destiny (anasahmed.wordpress.com)
- And breathe……. (yogalurve.wordpress.com)
- Angelicus Vigilem (opusangelicus.com)
- Loved (mlbk7.wordpress.com)
- You are a Child Of the Kingdom of Love (illuminations2012.wordpress.com)
The Negotiated Settlement (part three)
I leaned on my hoe and thought about all that had transpired this summer and last. I was losing the garden war. My vegetables were disappearing at an increasing rate under the onslaught of the critters, especially by the attacks of the rabbits. In reality I had already given up. They were simply too much for me.
I toyed with the ideas of putting poison in each rabbit and ground squirrel hole, or sitting outside with my shotgun and trying to shoot just one. I finally decided both of those plans had flaws. I could be fined or arrested for shooting a firearm too close to residences, disturbing my neighbors with the noise, or worse, accidently shooting myself in all of the excitement.
As for the poison, it could have been long slow deaths for the rabbits and squirrels, and possibly for dogs or cats which happened upon a weakened rodent and decided it was a snack. I couldn’t take a chance.
I sat down and leaned against a tree as I pondered the ultimate demise of the pesky critters. My eyelids were heavy and I closed them just for a moment. I was so tired and I needed to rest. It seemed that I was floating, but the tree hadn’t moved. I hadn’t moved either but now I could see and hear things I had missed before.
Off in the distance a strange cadence broke the silence. The noise grew louder and I decided that the noisemaker was getting closer. I finally recognized the sound, just as a line of rabbits came thumping and hopping into view. It was a parade.
Each rabbit carried a musical instrument. I counted twenty trombones, twenty trumpets, fifteen snare drums, ten clarinets, and ten saxophones. At first, only the drummers were producing music, but the other musicians soon combined and began playing a Souza march.
Behind the musical marchers were three rows of suited rabbits. Each rabbit had two tall ears and a button nose. They wore crisp pin-striped suits and looked like they were fresh out of Entrepreneur or Playboy. The marching rabbits stopped and marched in place before separating and forming a path to let one of the suited rabbits through.
The rabbit was grizzled and old. He stepped forward and leaned on his polished cane. “Son,” he muttered, “we’re here to negotiate a truce. The vegetables are going to be gone soon if nothing is done. I’m here to help you!”
This was a surprise. Why did the rabbits want to help me? I was the enemy.
Two rabbits handed some papers to the old rabbit. He glanced at the papers before clearing his throat and saying, “We think all could benefit from our proposal.”
I thought t over quickly. “It’s my garden so I’m willing to give the rabbits and squirrels ten percent. No, make it twenty percent.” I was feeling generous and happy my ordeal was over.
The rabbit chuckled and then thumped the ground, howling with laughter. Other rabbits joined in and continued to laugh until he raised his paw and bade them to stop.
“There are so many more of us and we need more just because of our sheer numbers. We think the split should be ninety percent for us and ten percent for you. In addition, we also expect you to maintain the garden in order to earn your ten percent. To be fair, for our part we’ll eat the grass and thin the vegetables, leaving you ten percent.”
“That’s not fair!” I fumed. “That’s robbery!”
The old rabbit frowned at his assistants. All were solemn without any changes of expression, except for an occasional nose twitch. “You have no choice. Take it or leave it. We might decide to take it all!”
He stomped out of the garden, stopping only for a moment while he whispered to his assistants. They hopped about nervously, occasionally frowning at me, before proceeding out the gate.
While I considered his offer, a young rabbit pushed against the garden fence, looking for a place to enter. “This is ridiculous,” I said. “They’ve gotten so fat they can’t even get in.”
What could I do? I had nothing to bargain with. It was either lose everything, or get ten percent, if I worked hard to keep the garden up. Unless I acted quickly I would lose my garden entirely. I decided to agree with terms even though the settlement was not right. This year I was beaten.
I shook myself. I must have been dreaming. An idea began to form and I smiled. “Next year,” I said quietly. “Next year I will win. I will thwart all attacks because I won’t care. I will plant weeds!”
I smiled again at my devilish plan. I’d win by losing. I wouldn’t have a garden but the critters and lawyers would get nothing! It was brilliant!
The Garden Wars (part 2)
The garden war intensified. The rabbits responded to my attempts to drive them away. No longer did they simply hide behind plants and run. Despite my border control, the attacks on the garden increased on all fronts. The cute little bunnies enlisted the help of gophers to assist the ground squirrels. Instead of holes here and there that the rabbits and squirrels could dive into, I discovered an intricate underground tunnel system that allowed the critters to appear or disappear at will. Under all the stress my mind began creating little rhymes. I went around muttering, “Hop, hop, hop. They keep on munching and never stop.”
An aerial attack was also underway. Doves, pigeons, and blue jays swooped down on my strawberries and sampled them, selecting only the ripest and plumpest, disdainfully rejecting the green ones. I tied colorful streamers to poles, hoping that the motions of the aluminum strips fluttering in the wind would keep the birds away. However, the multi-colored strips attracted larger flocks of birds, which I think reminded them of parties held in my neighborhood. Or perhaps the streamers served as wind socks, letting the incoming traffic land without mishap. In any case, the combined forces presented a front that was overwhelming.
For awhile I hated all the critters because they had taken charge and eliminated any chance of a successful harvest. I yelled at them frequently. “You’re greedy and selfish. You’re destroying everything. Have you no decency?”
I needed to be patient. Everything had its season and the garden’s season had brought its bounty. Maybe all of the critters would overeat and pop. I could see the chubby rabbits hopping between the rows without regard for my needs. I still couldn’t catch them but if I had patience I might catch one off guard.
I waited my chance but my heart softened as I began observing their traits and habits. I decided all rabbit families were not the same. Some families turned the little rabbits loose as soon as they entered the garden. The wee ones scampered about wildly, disregarding all danger and became a distraction to the other rabbits. Other rabbit families kept their offspring under control, keeping them nearby until their shopping was completed. But whether the families allowed wild hares or not, I began realizing rabbit families were similar in many ways to humans. I could not harm them after that.
- Garden of Eaten (poetsenvy.wordpress.com)
- Hippity-Hoppity… (serenityspell.com)
- Photos: Famous Rabbits We All ‘Wuved’ (abcnews.go.com)
- Rabbits (maxinedevillefranche.com)
- Garden of Eaten (danroberson.wordpress.com)
- Don’t tell the rabbits! (positivewordsmagazine.wordpress.com)
A Special Man
None of his wives
Could live with him
But they couldn’t live without.
After work he would
Sit in his chair
Like a king on his throne
And his current wife would scurry about
Taking care of his needs.
Each claimed he was a special man,
But they weren’t slaves.
At his funeral his four ex-wives
(And his widow)
Showed up broken-hearted.
All loved and spoke highly of him.
But, if their words were true,
Which one poisoned him?
Which one loved him so much
She couldn’t share?
Who felt pain enough to break free?
One of them broke the spell
Because none of them
Could live with him
But they couldn’t live without.
- The Women In My Life… (awomaninherownright.wordpress.com)
- A Man’s Inner Loneliness and His Heart – For Wives (cnhfaith.me)
- Special Guest Invites – “Lives of the Wives of Morticians (themorticianswivesclub.com)
- Muslim weights in on “A Husbands Rights In Islam” (themuslimissue.wordpress.com)
- What Happened to the Military Spouse? (lifehappensinablink.wordpress.com)
- I’ll Never Badmouth My Wife (foxnews.com)
Let’s talk about how we feel
Because life is very real.
One day things will change,
And I’ll visit no more.
Remember the early years
When you came home and
Wanted to talk about your day?
I just wanted to sit and be quiet.
We compromised and I listened.
You cooked and I washed dishes.
I worked on the house and built a barn.
You took care of our household needs.
We were early to bed and early to rise.
Remember the years we shared,
The children we raised,
As time flashed by
And the home that was blessed?
Remember how we cherished each day
As we fought our diseases alone and together,
Sharing our pain and our love?
Do you remember all that, love?
I really miss you.
I’ve learned to talk while you listen.
Time passes slowly
And I wait patiently
For the moment
When we’re together again.
- Why won’t you talk to me? (sheilacioustreehouse.wordpress.com)
- World happiness, anyone? (blowingoutthecandles.wordpress.com)
- Caring Is Sharing – Repost – Time Traveler (sheilamariegrimes.com)
The Garden of Eaten
After last year’s dismal attempts at growing a garden I should have known better and just bought produce at the local store. It was a conspiracy right from the beginning and I didn’t anticipate the craftiness and tenacity of rabbits and ground squirrels.
I labored in the sun, lovingly and carefully placing the seeds in meticulous rows or circular formations. I did not pay close attention to the eyes that watched hungrily. I was in charge and I would maintain order as the tomatoes and cantaloupes, the beans and watermelons, and the other assorted vegetables grew in regulated patterns. In theory everything would be perfect.
At first the plants themselves did not cooperate. They grew rapidly, sprawling over cages and netting. I adjusted my watering and feeding schedules. Yes, there were timelines and soil and fertilizer mixtures prepared for each type of plant. I worked the garden methodically, expecting everything to grow exactly as I wanted. But one morning I noticed that the cantaloupe vines were lying in new directions.
I scratched my head and studied them. As I pondered, one vine stretched taut and then suddenly went limp. I walked over and examined the end of the vine. It had been sliced cleanly. Something had happened and I had missed it. I focused on a small hill and was rewarded when a pair of ears emerged, followed by a pair of dark eyes. A rabbit stared at me, apparently waiting for my next move. I could have sworn it was smiling as it casually munched on cantaloupe vines. The rabbit was either really brave or it realized I had no chance of catching it. Like a soldier preparing to march off to war, I swung my hoe up and against my shoulder. I muttered angrily, “Mister Rabbit, this means war!”
I strode purposefully towards the rabbit, but it waited until I was close. Then with three short hops it disappeared under the fence. I was fuming because the rabbit had violated my Garden of Eden, my model of perfection.
Once safe on the other side, the rabbit turned and winked. It was deliberate and mean spirited. I knew this rabbit was taunting me. He waved, but not at me. I turned around slowly. Behind me, little rabbits were munching on cantaloupe flowers and new growth. I lifted my hoe and the rabbits scattered in all directions. I was like the legendary Mr. McGregor chasing Peter Rabbit. I gave chase but I was too slow and the little rabbit wriggled under the gate and escaped.
The next few days I fixed the fence, set traps, and even put out repellent. I was determined to keep the rabbits away. Throughout the summer I waged war but it became clear I was on the losing side. With the exception of the tomatoes my garden shrank under the attack of the hungry hordes.
Each night I had nightmares about animated rabbits and ground squirrels. In these dreams rabbits and squirrels sat at a huge banquet table eating their fill while I hurried to grow more to satisfy their needs. Each rabbit and squirrel told others and soon cousins and uncles arrived from distant climes to share this feast. Rabbits appeared everywhere and thrived in spite of me. I finally capitulated and left the rabbits and squirrels alone. My dream convinced me they were the chosen ones.
This year I’m doing things differently but that’s another story.
- Chasing Rabbits… (totellyouthetruthfolks.wordpress.com)
- Rabbit Destruction Council (behance.net)
- Don’t tell the rabbits! (positivewordsmagazine.wordpress.com)
- Rabbit stew (longoio.wordpress.com)
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall serves up squirrel in Devon (telegraph.co.uk)
- Amazon – The Peter Rabbit Stories Kindle Download $1.00 (forthemommas.com)
Me, My Wife, and the Other Guy
We sat at a table, the three of us,
Me, my wife, and the other guy,
Conversation flowed for awhile,
But neither could look me in the eye.
The place I sat was bypassed,
As words zipped and darted,
Like little birds flying to nests.
From time to time they would
Stop to consider and take a rest.
Both were annoyed that I remained,
And could find nothing else to do.
Joining in was out of the question,
Therefore I could do nothing but stew.
Her eyes bubbled over with images of him,
While his eyes were hooded and cold.
He wanted to do more than talk,
He waited to be reckless and bold.
Calmly I lifted my empty glass
And pretended to take a sip of my juice.
One false word, one slight misstep,
And surely all hell would break loose.
I studied the two in their interlocking worlds,
And decided I didn’t want to be there.
Fifteen years of married bliss,
And now she no longer cared.
Out the door and into the night,
Although I had no real place to go,
My heart was aching, my marriage breaking,
Life had dealt me a terrible blow.
With each heavy step from my house,
I reassured my shredded heart.
The future was cloudy and unknown,
But it was time for a brand new start.
I contained my anger and let it go
Without even raising my voice,
They had each other and I walked away.
For me it was the wisest choice.
- Love Changed Me (danroberson.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Cupid’s Arrow (theevolvingdad.wordpress.com)
- My Wife, My Friend, My Help Mate…My Love | What Men Tend To Forget… (davidboozer.com)
- A Love Letter to My Children (thedailysisterhood.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss (jlroeder.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Scripture – Kiss (katharinetrauger.wordpress.com)
We were sitting at a table waiting for our food, bored with each other, wishing time would go faster and we could each go our own way. That’s when the singer appeared. I didn’t get her name nor do I remember the song. Later I asked about her but everyone claimed she was a stranger and they had never seen her before.
Her song was one of happiness.
She sang and my eyes filled with tears.
Memories came flooding back,
Forgotten after all these years.
She sang of love’s precious moments,
She was grateful for all that were shared.
Her music was filled with laughter,
Like our lives when we both still cared.
From the first date our relationship,
Was built on friendship and trust,
Communication, mutual attraction,
And, of course, a little bit of lust.
The first years were celebrations,
Encouraged by relatives and friends,
Our love was pure and magical,
We were sure it would never end.
The singer’s song changed to what was lost,
And I was filled with sadness again,
The feelings we had were gone for good,
There were too many wounds to mend.
Love might have been an overrated emotion,
But the singer said love was still worth giving.
It hurt when a relationship was torn apart,
But without love, life was not worth living.
Although I felt a sadness deep inside,
I would celebrate those years we began as one,
For those experiences were rich with love,
When our lives together had just begun.
Happiness and sadness blended as she sang,
And created a new song to heal our hearts.
All we had loved and our lessons learned,
Became the beginnings of a brand new start.
- Tom Fletcher Sang Wedding Speech (contactmusic.com)
- Rafi sang great songs without technological support, says Big B (vancouverdesi.com)
- Christina Aguilera: Trevin Hunte Sang It Better Than Me! (justjared.com)
Where is the dog that played all day?
She’s lying stiff and silent in my doorway.
Just a few weeks ago she had life and fire,
A special kind of spirit that was hard to acquire.
Who poisoned this dog I want to know?
She was a puppy and starting to grow.
Friendly and inquisitive, everyone was a friend.
Did someone really want her life to end?
What percentage of lives lost is considered okay?
How many pets have to suffer and pass away?
I thought I would love her until her dying breath.
What could I have done to prevent her death?
Since 2007 the AVMA has issued alerts regarding Fanconi syndrome-like disease in dogs. The problem appeared to be connected to the consumption of chicken jerky treats made in China. Only occasional reports have been received since that time. The FDA was alerted but the levels of toxins and contaminants was not considered high enough to take action.
Over the last 8 years I’ve given chicken jerky treats to 6 dogs as rewards. The dogs responded well and I thought the quality of the chicken treats was exceptional. However, over the past six months I was beginning to see differences in packages. Some of the treats were dry and others seemed to be slightly moist. But I continued to purchase the treats simply because the dogs liked them.
In late November, Charlee, an 8 month old German Shepherd, began showing strange symptoms. After eating she would throw up. Then came excessive drooling, lethargy, and a refusal to eat. In my own ignorance I gave her more chicken strips to keep her from starving. She would eat those but little else. Finally she was taken to the veterinarian. On December 6, 2012, only problems concerning her digestive system were noted and her general condition was considered good. Charlee continued to suffer and on December 8, 2012, she was dead.
On January 8, 2013, I was in a store looking for dog food and dog treats. I noticed an employee busily taking packages of chicken strips off the shelves. A recall was in progress. Poor Charlee. The recall came too late to save her life.
- Firms withdraw chicken jerky pet treats over antibiotics (vitals.nbcnews.com)
- Two firms withdraw chicken jerky pet treats (vitals.nbcnews.com)
- Purina taking some jerky dog treats off market (wfaa.com)
- For All Dog Owners: China Refuses To Halt Production Of Chicken Jerky Dog Treats (preciousjules1985.wordpress.com)
- Purina taking some jerky dog treats off market (seattlepi.com)
- Purina taking some jerky dog treats off market (kfwbam.com)