The Garden Wars (part 2)


English: A rabbit (A cottontail, I think) posi...
English: A rabbit (A cottontail, I think) posing on the grounds of Pompeys Pillar National Monument. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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.

 

 

 

A Special Man


A Letter to Three Wives
A Letter to Three Wives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

A Special Man


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.

by Dan Roberson

The Visit


Remember Me, My Love
Remember Me, My Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Visit

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Garden of Eaten


Illustration of Peter Rabbit escaping and leav...
Illustration of Peter Rabbit escaping and leaving his jacket behind, from The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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.

 

 

 

Me, My Wife, and the Other Guy


My Wife
My Wife (Photo credit: Abulic Monkey)

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She Sang


self portrait of sadness
self portrait of sadness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

 

She Sang

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.

Poor Charlee


English: Solid black, 1-year-old German Shephe...
English: Solid black, 1-year-old German Shepherd Dog. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Poor Charlee

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Gentle Giants


Rider's view in Avenue of the Giants, California.
Rider’s view in Avenue of the Giants, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gentle  Giants

 

Packed together shoulder to shoulder,

 

Stretching higher than a rainbow’s sigh,

 

The redwoods reach up and scrape the sky.

 

No wider than a river’s grin,

 

No longer than a cloud can cry.

 

What majesty these giants portray,

 

As they reign from day to day.

 

Their subjects are content

 

For gentle do the scepters sway.

 

Only the wind can make them smile

 

As they share wisdom for awhile.

 

Tall and proud they guard the land

 

Gentle giants mile after mile.

 

 

 

The River’s Heart Is Cold


River Seridó
River Seridó (Photo credit: grungepunk2010)

 

The River’s Heart Is Cold

 

The river whispers to me as I walk along her banks,

 

She welcomes me into her depths but I stop and say, “No, thanks.”

 

She tells me she loves me and I almost believe it’s true,

 

Yet I know she’ll be fickle always and someday we’ll be through.

 

She shares the latest gossip she heard in meadows upstream,

 

I say the rumors aren’t the truth and they’re not as they seem.

 

She runs along beside me and her excitement she can’t conceal,

 

And she makes me vow secrecy for reasons she doesn’t reveal.

 

Her playful moods change rapidly especially after a pouring rain,

 

Angrily she gouges out channels when her banks don’t contain.

 

I would claim her as my own but her spirit runs wild and free,

 

She murmurs she loves me too but she’ll never belong to me.

 

I’ll be there to clean up her debris when clearly she’s to blame,

 

The river‘s heart is too cold to trust but I love her just the same.

 

 

 

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