All Posts Tagged ‘poems

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Barney the Bullheaded Bullfrog

14 comments

When Barney, the bulky, bullheaded Bullfrog
decided to take up residence under my car tire,
i told him politely, “Barney, that is quite a perilous spot
at which you can — most definitely — easily expire.”

Barney just sat there without a trembling twitch
and said, “You sure are a very worrisome bloke;
i can assure you, most greenheartedly,
that we brave Bullfrogs are, indubitably, not afraid to croak.”

Then i realized that all of my careful cautions and
pale-lectures would not cause Barney to fearfully quiver,
so i grabbed his humongous, bullheaded, brown-old butt
and — despite his slimy objections — threw him into the river.

Barney the Bullheaded Bullfrog by my car tire. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Can Couldn’t

8 comments

can couldn’t
and did didn’t
but nice knew
quaintness quickened

“be”s beckoned
while “wouldn’t”s were
“me”s mingled
“haven’t”s heard

steps stood
and said sermoned
cruel counted
must might

having had
tried thought
cricket chirped
but will won’t

_______________________________________________________________

[Note: Tree Crickets are very elusive; if they see (or hear) you coming, they hide on the opposite side of the bush or foliage that they are on. Please note the tympanal membrane on the front leg of this specimen; it is used as a hearing mechanism… an ear.]

Tree Cricket with Tympanal Membrane on front leg … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Third Time’s a Charm… (i.e., further adventures of our very diligent Ant friend)

9 comments

With this third time of me bringing fresh meat to
the Colony,
i am sure to finally get the recognition that
i deserve.
Hopefully, i will be promoted up the ranks
and will be remembered as “The Great Provider” by
the Colony.
(All of this voluminous Beetle Meat is tough to
move, by the way!)
I will persevere and
will get this wonderful bounty to
the Colony.

Goodness! I keep hearing the huge, bipedal ape up above,
with his camera, singing the following song to me:

“Getting to know you
Getting to know all about you
Getting to like you
Getting to hope you like me…”





Hauling Beetle Meat to the Colony. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Humanity

6 comments

They scramble and they gamble
and they weep and they run
They wiggle and giggle
and they tan toast in sun

They piddle and paddle… 
pull dandelions from fresh grass
and waddle and dawdle 
and fish for striped bass

They fumble and they tumble
and they struggle in time
They chisel and they grizzle
and they wrote this short rhyme

Emerging Cone-flower … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Halloween Praying Mantis

11 comments

She prayed,
and when she prayed,
the whole world prayed with her.

Her eyes, those large bulbous eyes,
saw everything worth praying for,
and everything needed preying.

She preyed on butterflies, bees, moths,
and on a number of other things.  It was what she preyed
that mattered, and it was the way she preyed.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

[Note:   This is a very unusual (very rare) Praying Mantis for our north-central Illinois area.  It is probably a Carolina Mantis.  These are southern mantids but, due to global warming, are moving more north. This one has wonderful chameleonic abilities.  Note how it amazingly blends in with the different color tones of the park bench.  It is a female and seems to be loaded with fertile eggs.  It may not have mated with a male at any time whatsoever.  Female mantises can lay many completely fertile eggs without a male.   When this happens, the offspring are perfect clones of the mother.]

Chameleonic Praying Mantis. … Photo by Thomas Peace c.2019
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Halloween Time

20 comments

Houses running to adjacent houses
bags opening smiles rustling
spooky sounds from darkness growling

Halloween Time
comes laughinglyscreaming down the giggling sidewalks
of candydropping thankyous

Don’t look behind you
Something’s there twistinglyclutching
Shadowysoon under your midnight bed

Something’s staring from that web. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019


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Wordless Wednesday … Not! … (pre-Halloween hors d’oeuvres)

28 comments

 

We see you clearly
and we have a wonderful treat coming for you
on Halloween

coming for you!

__________________________________________________________________________

And here is an excerpt from the Monster in the Mirror song sung by Grover… (not that i ever watch Sesame Street with my big bird friends).

 

If your mirror has a monster in it, do not shout
This kind of situation does not call for freaking out
And do nothing that you would not like to see him do
‘Cause that monster in the mirror he just might be you
 
Singing “Wubba wubba wubba wubba woo woo woo”
Wubba wubba wubba and a doodly do
Wubba wubba wubba you can join in too

 

Halloween Delight … Note the series of long, fine hairs on this spider’s hind legs; they are likely used for web construction. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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one budding diminutive why

17 comments

 

one budding diminutive why
staring at the sky
in that beautiful youthful wonderment of innocence
beyond piggish power
and far from cultivated fear
so beyond the grip of authority
beyond stuffy temples
and stale priests and gurus
beyond tests
and drunken parties

sweet sky staring
further than thought’s weary boredom
and so far away from cold shoulds and musts

alive
whole
and unprogrammed

also looking down
of course
at tiny grasshoppers and katydids

 

Sweet little Katydid … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Fourteen Steps Climbed to the Top

26 comments

Fourteen steps climbed to the top
from the bottom
An hour and fifteen minutes moved a short hand
and a long hand
One fishing line ignorantly reeled in
what it thought it wasn’t
Three opinions typed what
was surely right
Seven sayings scanned the screen
in a zigzag fashion
Thirty-seven pieces of candy
looked forward to Halloween
Twenty-five Black-Eyed Susans were arrested
for trespassing

A breach on humanity. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Carnivorous Capers… (i.e., our Ant friend is still at it!)

22 comments

 

It takes a lot of hard work to keep the colony healthy and thriving but i
realize that the colony and i are one.  We are each other.  What each of us does is done for all.  (Unlike those ruthless, competitive, bipedal apes, we are 100% cooperative and act for all.)

So here i am,
hauling another large bounty of meat for the colony to feast upon.
Maybe now i will finally get the recognition that i deserve.
Maybe now i will be the great worker-ant that all of the
other ants will aspire to be like.

But first, i must get this great bounty to the anthill.
While they are feasting, they will be thinking of me.
Oh lucky me for finding this treasure of voluminous, wonderful meat!

P.S. —  Don’t cringe!  (I know that you bipedal apes are watching… and judging.)  You bipedal apes eat hairy cattle and pigs and unquestioningly think and feel that it isn’t gross in the least. 
So don’t judge! 

 

Wonderful Meat-find #2 … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Clock of Prejudice and Non-

30 comments

There was a clock
      with many hands

And the space between a certain hand
      at a specific area of the face
      (i.e., that limited space between the hand and the face)
      constituted a certain consciousness

Now each of the hands had different lengths and colors
      and different numerals and experiences upon the face
      to go through

There were black hands with long lengths
      there were white hands with short lengths
      there were wide little yellow hands
      there were thin long red hands

For one space of a hand to hate another space of a distant hand
      was insanity
      since each hand was a part of the same one clock

For one space of a hand 
      at four
      to want to eventually be wiser at eight
      was foolish
      since the space at four 
      could never really be the space at eight

Unless the space at four
      could fully realize that
      it was the space of all of the other hands

There is the limited little dull space of the segregated self
      and there is the not-so-limited timeless space of vast intelligence
      vast compassion

Which would you rather be?

One takes no time whatsoever to get to

Timely Droplets within Spiderweb … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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An Ant’s Perspective of Bigness

28 comments

It was such tremendous luck finding this big green meal for the colony

It is very difficult to move all of this fine meat toward our anthill but
when I get it to the colony I will become a 
great heroine

I will be known as the one who courageously 
brought a lot of protein for the many larvae
all the while risking being stepped on by
those giant frightening bipedal apes

I will be revered and may even be promoted to

the job of attending to the Queen

Oh I am so very excited and happy

On the way to the colony … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Winged and Ready

18 comments

Winged and ready
         to softly swirl
a long way off from
         man’s sad sordid fabrications and smoggy surgings

Bright eyes see
         beyond miserable madness(musts and can’ts)
and will fly
         beyond stale circumscriptions

Will we succumb to whirlwinds of hard
         indifference?
Will they plant their deadness into
         our innocent minds?

That is up to you

Winged and Ready (Painted Lady) … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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We were Educated Wrongly

36 comments

We
             (too many of us)
have treated nature as
             a thing to be used
to be exploited

and not as a living beautiful delicate
             extension of ourselves

to be guarded cherished protected
            respected
loved

           and cared for

 

Cardinal Wildflower — Lobelia cardinalis … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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His inquietude made him what he was…

18 comments

 

 

His inquietude made him what he was…
     a repetitive jumble of endlessly clamoring
     mental symbols that were not realities
     (i.e., they were the typical unreal, fabricated images of the mind).

Her quietude was the immense beauty that she was…
     a comprehensive wholeness of undivided reality,
     actualities of timeless life movement beyond the known
     (i.e., beyond mere superficial symbols of thought).

 

 

Neural Networks Personified … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

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A Story-Poem (or Two)…

31 comments

 

Marla, my wife, said that my poems occasionally need to be more uplifting, so the first poem (here) is meant to fulfill that end.  The second poem is what was written before her comment.

Poem #1

 

Here in his hands
is a flowery treasure
with sweet petals and leaves
much joy beyond measure

He is of hopes and images where
as he ascends up in the elevator
flowing fields of smiling imaginary angels
open doors that were dreamt of later 

Can we lift a luminous whole
and bring new minds out of below
rise to the top ever so mindfully
in a towering highrise deep in the heart of Chicago?

 

(Well, elevators are uplifting, aren’t they?)

Poem # 2

 

There was a pond
and every time a frog jumped into the pond
the pond became a little froggier 
a little splashier

There was a grasshopper
and every time he landed upon a weed
the weed became a little leggier
a little jumpier

There was a propagandizing political news-channel
and every time a person watched it
the television became a little duller
and a lot more dim-witted

 

 

Leopard Frog, a species that will not survive long in a world filled with crass people who do not act diligently to prevent global warming and who think that “Windmills cause cancer.”. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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They called her Little Icky Vicky(and she

17 comments

 

(Based on a true story…)

 

 

They called her Little Icky Vicky(and she
cried a lot in pain)today
because of her distorted facial features
many people stared then quickly looked away

I called her Victoria & amiably sat next to her in grade school(&
always with her was very very kind)
There’s a lot of cold(cruel kids who name-call
with dark dead hearts)and blind

 

 


[Side Note:  We saw the movie The Peanut Butter Falcon over the weekend.  It is highly recommended.  It contains scenes involving both bullying and compassion.]

 

Not Mere Facial Beauty but Beauty Deep Within … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Wordless Wednesday… Not!

27 comments

 

 

Resting on a leaf
                                   this Wordful Wednesday
and
                         being wordless doesn’t matter one damn bit if

           you don’t do very compassionate things

                                                                                           for people and for animals and plants

 

 

 

Damselfly Resting ..,. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Where when doesn’t matter…

9 comments

 

 

Here is a place
           where everything is not
           so everything is never here
           where delusive selfishness reigns in its spot

And timelessness an eternally sweet wholeness
           where when doesn’t matter
           while “getting to heaven” is foolish
           like tissue paper in busy rainfall clatter

 

 

Diminutive Leafhopper Nymph (just 2 or 3mm long) … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Wishy-Washy

18 comments

 

 

Wishy and Washy were fun-loving gals
     and many folks knew that both were loyal (trueblue) pals

Washy (without Wishy) went to the laundromat (with a basket that she had her clothes in);
     later, the clothes were all swishy and went into full-spin

Wishy, however, was sitting in her comfortable, convenient chair
     pining for great nature photos at which she could stare

So, instead of viewing blog photos of nature (which you often appreciate)
     get over to the clothes-washer and put your laundry in (because it’s getting late)

 

 

Purple Wildflowers … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Trying to Get to the Top

25 comments

 

 

                                                                 O
                                                                 h $

                                                               that
                                                           top that
                                                       so many are
                                                   struggling to get to

                               Is it worth all of the time & competition?
      Is surpassing and suppressing those below and impressing those above worth it?
When you finally get to the top, is there really genuine happiness there or is it an empty lie?!

 

 

Getting to the Top … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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So here we are, Master FourEyes

17 comments

 

 

So here we are, Master FourEyes,
and i don’t think that what i write
will change things enough

and i don’t think that what you
nibble on will change things enough
… and that’s OK; it’s OK

And when we look at each other
each other we are
And when each other
we together look at oneself

Our unbelievable now is more timeless 
than any dead(stone-cold temple that replaced the prairies)
while Mr. Death — whom so many fear — has nothing on us

because we livingly understand him(and smile with and beyond him)
more than teardrops grow upwards
and flowers flow down

 

 

Master FourEyes… who happens to be a Milkweed Beetle on, of all places, a Milkweed Plant … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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There is the isn’t

25 comments

 

 

There is the isn’t 
which every couldn’t lost for                   
Its unquietness is what we were
and its non-absence steals our wonder

This is the joy(quite possible
that)every sorrow would ignore
Its murmuring is beyond our getting
and its thunder beyond your clapping

 

 

Tiny White-Striped Katydid on a Clover Leaf … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Finally meeting your Long Lost Auntie

5 comments

 

 

Yes, dears, I am your long lost auntie.
We finally get to meet, my sweet loved ones!
Life’s been tough, as you can see by all of the 
many timeworn scratches on my aged back.  
Come, come, I have some sweet, fresh salad for you to enjoy!
You had better eat it while it’s fresh…
that way, you will get all of the best vitamins that will help you grow.
Eat plenty, eat!

After we eat, that is when
your loving auntie will hug you dearly.
We’ll hug and hug to make up for all of the lost time that
has befallen us.
Now, let’s eat, dearies, let’s eat!  

 

 

Photo of Your Long Lost Auntie … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

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I Had a Pet Frog (named Infinitum) but He Croaked… This Poem is Dedicated to Him…

24 comments

 

AD INFINITUM                                                        😦

 

My wonderful, magnificent
pet frog croaked, and i was very sad.
The next day, he was quite alive,
and i was very happy.
But then, my wonderful, magnificent 
pet frog croaked, and i was very sad.
The next day, he was quite alive,
and i was very happy.  
But then, my wonderful, magnificent 
pet frog croaked, and i was very sad.
The next day, he was quite alive,
and i was very happy.  
But then, my wonderful, magnificent 
pet frog croaked, and i was very sad.
The next day, he was quite alive,
and i was very happy.  
But then, my wonderful, magnificent 
pet frog croaked, and i was very sad.
The next day, he was quite alive,
and i was very happy.
But then, my wonderful, magnificent
pet frog croaked, and i was very sad.
The next day, he was quite alive,
and i was very happy.
But then, my wonderful, magnificent
pet frog croaked, and i was very sad.
The next day, he was quite alive,
and i was very happy.
But then, my wonderful, magnificent
pet frog croaked, and i was very sad.
The next day, he was quite alive,
and i was very happy.
But then, my wonderful, magnificent
pet frog croaked, and i was very sad.
The next day, he was quite alive,
and i was very happy.  

Ad Infinitum…                                                                🙂 

 

 

My Eastern Gray Tree Frog named Infinitum … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

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Pseudo-alive

23 comments

 

 

A kind of postmortem examination
was done on him
long before his actual physical death

because unfortunately,
his brain became quite un-alive
after the innocent age of childhood.

Miseducation, brainwashing commercials,
propaganda-oriented news networks,
and being satisfied with remaining
in one dull routine after another

all contributed to his cadaverous pseudo-existence.
He often watches television and, of course, likes sports.
However, the little birds who nest in his yard
have far more compassion and life than he ever did.

 

 

Red House Finch Eggs … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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On the Precocious Mantis and the Ominous, Hideous Creature…

30 comments

 

 

Walking just walking along 
gingerly and slowly swaying 
waltzing alien-like from leaf to leaf

Stalking just stalking along
stick-like & Oh so lean
happily wondering whom next i can eat

Suddenly out of nowhere
a huge ominous creature appears
thrusting a blackish lens-thing right up to me

In a flash, I quickly leap away
and am so very glad
that the huge hideous creature didn’t eat me

 

 


[Note:  This photo was taken about a month ago.   This was the first  Praying Mantis that i’ve seen this summer; it was young, just around 3cm long.  And, yes — with blackish lens-thing macro camera in hand —  i am the ominous, hideous creature.  (You must admit, we ominous, hideous creatures are pretty huge.)]

 

 

Young Praying Mantis (praying that I don’t eat him) … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

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The Ecstasy in the Green Luscious Garden

18 comments

 

 

The ecstasy in the green luscious garden
flaps its wings in harmony
pert antennae sensing all the smells
in the rapture beyond the kitchen window

Lovely colors moving all around
flower to flower endlessly
cares not a bit about the past
or what the future might just be

Rubbing stamen amongst the stigma
in a style Oh so clean
purity in every blossom
here between the trees and golden honeybees

Collecting nectar sweet and no antiques
living fresh in every moment
time’s illusion not for me
beyond the world’s vast confusion

 

 

Ecstasy in the Green Luscious Garden … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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May I Understand Why People Don’t Understand

17 comments

 

 

May i understand why people don’t understand.
And why is there such a disconnect in people’s minds
betweenthings,
between them and all other things?
They look with (and “as”) sep
             ar
    ­A
tion,
each from a center that never was a true center
and that never will be a true center…
like bubbles floating in a glass of milk
each thinking that they are separate from
the milkiness.  

 

 

Beyond Separation … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

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The Sunset Stared

9 comments

 

Part 1

The sunset stared at separate birds
as he pendulously walked into what he thought he wasn’t.
His disconnection with everything  — like the day — was ironically complete:
A separate “me” scratching an arm that was “his” and
there to use from a “distance.”

Part 2

She was the blossoms that she helped grow.
Their colors were colors that were of purplish her.
She was that towering Oak Tree
but to her, it wasn’t an Oak Tree;
it simply was what it was (beyond labels)
and was not separate from any “me” within her,
for she was beyond all “me”s.
She was the beautiful blossoming of wholeness.

 

 

a little bit of her … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

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So while looking into the mirror…

38 comments

 

 

So while looking into the mir-
ror at one
self,
one asks, “Did
I re-
member
to brush my
teeth this morning?”

Well then, “Oh, that’s 
right!  I don’t have any
teeth; I have a proboscis.”
Proboscises suck,
and it’s not that you “have them”;
they are merely part of what you are…

as are butterflies
and things to reflect on.

 

 


[Note: Butterflies use their long tube-like proboscises to suck nutritious nectar out of flowers.  They have a symbiotic relationship with flowers in that they help pollinate them by going from one flower to another.  Note the yellow pollen sticking to the “face” of this Painted Lady Butterfly.]

In the Mirror … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Not too many tears, dear

20 comments

 

 

Not too many tears
dear
be ever shed for Nature
that dies

Not too many tears
dear
trickle down from faces
not sky

Not too many tears
ever flood away
from smiling faces
in stores shopping

Not too many dry eyes see
there be fewer bees and
honey
in the ending of the begin

They say not enough concrete
to cover all da prairie fields
but Mr.
Progress be working on it

 

 

Prairie Trillium Wildflower, Illinois. These low-ground plants grow very slowly and they take around 10 years to mature enough to flower. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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The Stuffy Politicians…

21 comments

 

 

Many stuffy politicians can pull many
into their stupefaction
pull many into their (paid-for-by-
the-fossil-fuel-industries)
raisons d’etre
(which include bona fide lies)
but as for a rogue like me,
well, the cheese in their trap 
is made of distorted
­(though expensive and smelly)
­cardboard

 

 

Apolitical photo … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Winged Purity

14 comments

 

 

Makes a living by searching for nectar
Sleeps where it eats
Doesn’t have to pay taxes
Doesn’t have to worship at stone temples that replaced nature 
Doesn’t need to propound fancy opinions
Doesn’t ruin the environment by traveling in fossil fuel vehicles
Is a pacifist and has no crazy leaders

 

 

Common Blue / Spring Azure Butterfly and a scrawny caterpillar … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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We need to change our ways but many won’t… and the weather is getting more and more erratic…

17 comments

 

 

It’s a shame that 
others species also
have to suffer
the dire consequences
of global warming and man’s pollution.

When i was a kid,
i realized that, in the future,
we would — in ignorance — 
be fueling our own hell.

 

Tiny Jewelweed Wildflower … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Three Beautiful Blue Wishes

24 comments

 

 

Three beautiful blue wishes,
circumscribed by a rigid limitation.
Soon they will emerge beyond
weakness and constraint
and will fly free enchantingly.

Do you think that you are beyond your
enclosing limitation?
Most are circumscribed by more
rigidity than these three ever were.
Most will never break free
but
because of blind beliefs
darkly will remain
bound in rigidity forever.

 

 

Three Beautiful Eggs from Mother Robin … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

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Miss Snakey

31 comments

 

 

Slithering in this oscillating domain
Feeling it
Breathing it
Loving it
Being an important part of it

 

 


[Note:  This is an innocent, non-poisonous Garter Snake.  I am delighted that she has emerged from our sandy soil to spend time around our house!  Such snakes eat mice, rats, and other such vermin.  Too many people foolishly kill snakes whenever snakes are seen.  Snakes are an important part of the beautiful balance of nature.]

 

Emergent Spring visitor; she must have just come out of the sands after winter dormancy. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Two Buttons

22 comments

 

 

Two buttons, at the beginning of life,
to select from:
One, if pressed, makes you (for the rest of your life) an
extremely rich person (monetarily) with not much
wisdom and compassion.
The other, if pressed, makes you
a not so rich person with
much wisdom and compassion.
Which would you press?
Which would you be?
You can’t press both;
you can never press both.

 

Button Mushrooms with Dew … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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A this and that must wear its hat

22 comments

 

 

A this and that must wear its hat
while hoping for balmy weather
The meaning of life is to give life meaning
us on this ship together

This hole of fate in a piece of cake
in a jumble of rhyme and reason
A warm cup of Joe for Larry and Moe
while Curley’s out of doors just freezin’

A sitting duck amongst the muck
as the hunter takes keenly careful aim
It’s like shooting fish in a barrel for him
he’s happy as a clam but it’s himself he’ll maim

We all run the tough gauntlet in this crazy rat race world
many down in the dumps without a clue
The smoke and mirrors gunshots and tears
must do an about turn and fathom out what is true

 

 

Upcloseandpersonal … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee

36 comments

 

 

Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee
walked through some woods, but one had to pee.
Said Tweedle-dum to Tweedle-dee,
“I need to pee, but so you 
can’t see.”
“But I don’t want to go blind,”
said Tweedle-dee.
So Tweedle-dum did
not pee,
and remained good friends
with Tweedle-dee.

So the next time you are
walking deep in the observative woods,
hold it all in
as Tweddle-dum knows you should.

 

 

Spotted Green Tiger Beetle crossing the Urinary River … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

Post

I am a kid!

44 comments

 

 

I am a kid
trapped in an old man’s body
i fly kites
i perpetually chase insects and frogs
i still often gaze in wonder through a magnifying glass
i still think that grown-ups are yucky
i love watching toads in the woods
i keep fish and shrimp as pets and stare at them for hours
i hunt fossils and love everything about dinosaurs and prehistoric life
i unendingly question
and i still learn best away from
boring school

 

 

Mr. Toadster … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

Post

My Visit with T.S.Eliot

21 comments

 

 

 

Let us go then, you and I,
Eliot said, and so we went,
After the cups, the marmalade, and tea,
Beyond the porcelain, beyond the talk of you and me,
When the evening was spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table;
We went, we went through certain half-deserted streets.
We went to the bright retreats that muttered endlessly.

Some overwhelming question always had to ask,
Though it didn’t have to ask, “What is it?”
We went along and made our visit.

And at the first turning of the second stair
We turned and saw below, not far from the rose garden,
A familiar shape twisted on the banister
Under the vapor in the fetid air
Struggling with the business fool of the stairs who ascends
The deceitful steps of hope and despair.

At the second turning of the second stair,
We left them twisting, turning below;
At the third turning of the third stair
We finally went past all of the melodious distraction,
Music of the flute, stops and steps
Of the mind over the third stair,
Fading, fading; wisdom beyond hope and despair
Climbing and being the third stair.

We were the stairs,
We were the shapes and distractions,
And at half-past one,
The street-lamp sputtered
The street-lamp muttered,
The street-lamp said, “Regard that woman
Who hesitates toward you in the light of the door
Which opens on her like a grin.”
My visit with Tom in the rose garden never came to an end.

 

 

Jumping Spider in the rose garden, near the door we never opened. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019