The Course


The Course 

All life falls
to the
forest floor,
or to
weighted down
by stones
rolled by the current,
daily farther

Thus is life
from one form 
to another,
feeding the earth
or worms
or trees
or insects,
burrowing through
the richness
of decay.

no matter
how we fight it.
Botox and fine needles
cannot stop it,
only cushion
its footsteps.

As we are
like all life,
around the course
we can
           off of
but never

Prompt words for the day are flush, putrid, crucial.

23 thoughts on “The Course

      1. lifelessons Post author

        Interestingly, “off of” can be found in the works of early English writers going back to the 16th century, e.g., Shakespeare’s play Henry VI. In speaking, “off of” is considered an Americanism. The Brits and Canadians more commonly use off by itself.
        Note: Nowadays, a preposition can also be the last word in a sentence whether you are writing or speaking. Ha! bet you can’t tell that I, too, am a reformed English teacher.


            1. lifelessons Post author

              My big rave is the “Me and him” usage in the nominative! Drives me crazy. Even my English-major nieces do it. Seems to be a modern usage that just showed up in the past ten years or so.

              Liked by 1 person


    Oh !, oh ! if only those “(live-?) oak” leaves could be “flushed from one form
    to another, feeding the earth or worms” in my Koi pond, instead of my needing to clean the dirty, smelly, things (off of) the bottom once a year~! I have considered those “poop and algae eating” Trapdoor Pond Snails, and other such creatures, but I am afraid they may be invasive and while the pollywogs help, they also eat the fish food and too quickly turn into big noisy bull frogs and hop away~! Thanks for the “memories” though~!

    My fish are now in their semi-hibernation state under a huge rock until it gets warmer, and only come out on the days when the water temperature gets above 70 degrees. Somehow the fish multiply under there~!

    One thing that works great is that I have little bales of Barley Straw which I place on the water fall, and it, with the help of filters, keeps the water very nice and clear. It is just the putrid, smelly leaves that bother me. Maybe I should not have put the pond under several large Live Oak Trees, (I am sure you will say~!)

    For your edification, Live Oak Trees are deciduous too, though people consider them evergreen. They change leaves in the spring, dropping the leaves of the previous year while the new leaves are coming in, thus looking always green. And those leaves fall to the bottom of my pond, and if not netted out, produce smelly muck that must be dealt with about once a year.

    Loved your poem though, and it is really completely true down along my creek and lakes, where nature does take care of feeding the fish, birds, bugs, and beautiful plants along my riparian zone….Though it is just turning cold here, I am already looking forward to the wood ducks nesting, bog plants blooming etc. in the spring.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Just hard to keep things in balance with all our intervention. I try to let everything live but draw the line at leafcutter ants, cockroaches and termites. Although I did save a cockroach from drowning in my pool the other day. I figure outside is their domain, so long as they stay out of my house. Spiders I do not interfere with unless poisonous. I like snakes but the two rattlesnakes they caught across the street I draw the line at. I would, as they did, call someone to catch and release. That’s what I do with my hungry Hornworm caterpillars. And I love possums…just fear their putting themselves in the way of the dogs. They mainly stick to the front yard where they make nightly forays down to eat the leftover catfood. Fine with me. They are loud munchers. I also don’t mind wasps and bees so long as they build their nests in unbusy places. We keep having to relocate them from over doors or across from my neighbors’ kitchen window.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SAM VOELKER

        Well I really like, and try to help practice the allegory of your beautiful poem, but as you can see it sometime brings out unrelated thoughts in opposite directions from us all. At the same time we all fail to completely follow it in real life, so would you say that saving the life of a cockroach would, or would not be upsetting that balance~? It could be either~!

        Often we do not realize how a bug may be part of to the cycle of life but in one way or another, everywhere around us it is. Even a Scarab rolling a poop ball backwards in the desert is keeping the life cycle going. As the priest says at the grave: “dirt to dirt and dust to dust~!”.

        When I was young I wanted a pecan tree planted above my grave so I could come back giving shade, beauty and nuts~! But now I am thinking that cremation may be the better answer because we are overcrowding nature with graves, just as we bodily did while alive.

        So for the most part I agree that my life is an encroachment to all living things and their habitat, which I am selfishly enjoying, even if I try not to, because it is all part of the cycle of rain, rocks, plants, life and that stream you speak of..

        But then there are some things where I must draw the line. I had one dog die from a rattlesnake bite and another bitten and was weak thereafter and did not live a full happy life. But they were not bothering the snake, it only happened that they occupied the same territory. I do leave them alone when they are away from my house and even relocate them to a better place if I can, along with all the animals who do not co-exist well, as you may have seen from many of my post.

        I will try to write a post explaining this more clearly in the next day or two. It will be called “The Brown Headed Cowbird”, which you may know about, as they also live are South Dakota and did not start out as “cow” birds at all. It involves our upsetting the balance of nature the same as we have done with so many species of living things. It also explains what I have done to try to bring that balance back close to what it should be.


          1. SAM VOELKER

            Oh we had those when I was growing up, in the wet areas of Louisiana and Texas. We called them “piss ants”, I really do not know why. I got some of my hate out by using a magnafining glass out no not to look at them so much as to focas a hot sun beam on them. (confesson) But those were kind little things compaired to the fire ants. I must say, for some reason they were not too bad this year but I really would rather meet a scorpion in the shower, which crawl up the drain. So I do have only one ant poem.


  2. Mason Bushell

    A beautifully written poem Judy. The last stanza is so true. Fate chooses our path and we stuck with it whether we like it or not. Mine is a path of failure and having fought it for years I’m resigned to it now.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      The only thing I can think to do with a declaration as sad as your last one is to write, sing or create art about it. That is the salvation of many of the sad themes of our lives.


          1. Mason Bushell

            No cant self publish. I havent money to get them ready or promote them. Id need about 40k to get them out and more to make any money back. Itll never be worth it even if i somehow make money.

            Wriring for publication is utterly worthless unless a person is rich or famous sadly.


            1. Mason Bushell

              Yup at least I can write and get a few liles this way.

              Sleuth Holly’s mysteries will just be for me to read. Anyone who doesn’t like that can blane the theiving publisher who screwed the world out of a new soecial sleuth.

              Liked by 1 person

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