My poem “How Many Cats?” was published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul’s newest edition, “The Magic of Cats” The book is available online , on Kindle and in bookstores.
The gleam of ruby slippers, the taste of Jujy Fruit—
sensations of our youth that aging can’t refute.
Obliged to eat our green beans, jelly-roll came after.
Midnight loneliness gave way to breakfast table laughter.
Good and bad mixed up in each. The freedom of old age
compared to flexibility of youth? It’s hard to gauge.
Red wine or hot cocoa, a warm cat on your lap,
nodding off in hammocks versus a daily nap
prescribed by Mom no matter how unsleepy you might be.
Whether you sit under or climb the cherry tree.
All your life lived here in this same small town,
morphing from baptismal to your wedding gown.
Eight years old or eighty, good times follow strife.
All of them together making up a life.
Blackberry Balsam, the scourge of my youth.
It was repulsive, my father uncouth
for presenting this mucous-like liquid most vile,
insisting I swallow the ghastly brown bile.
I gritted my teeth and went sullen and wild,
but how could I refuse? I was only a child.
Gagging and choking, I chased it with Coke,
expecting another dose when I awoke.
All these years later, its flavor unfaded,
its vomitous odor my memory invaded.
Blackberry Balsam? No taste could be worse,
proving sometimes the cure is worse than the curse.
For Cee’s FOTD
Some call us impetuous, but we suspect they’re jealous.
Others say we’re over-eager when we’re merely zealous.
Our acts are not illegal, though I admit we use
a thousand bits of trivia that all together fuse
to give us an advantage over what may be the norm.
In our minds they come together and we give them form.
Call it a theorem, a proof or an invention.
Such ends are never gotten to by following convention.
As athletes run the marathon and banners are unfurled,
we exercise within our minds and thereby change the world.
Also known as the Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas.
For Cee’s FOTD
Worth seeing again! Oh, if only. . . .
An idyllic excursion to the isle of Bora Bora
reveals a bit of trivia about the native flora.
If you like vanilla ices or crave a bit of flan,
choose a certain orchid to train attention on.
Hummingbirds that glide from flower to new flower
fertilize the orchids that cling to forest bower,
and the end result of these journeys here and there
is a wrinkled seed pod, hanging in the air.
All these fragile flowers, gorgeous to the eye,
give birth to vanilla pods and then proceed to die.
The triumph of their being revealed here in this seed
that mankind in its questing, mankind in its need
collects to sell as flavoring whose savor is so nice
that only golden saffron exceeds it in its price.
What triumph of nature—bounty that is hung,
as pleasant to the eye as it is to the tongue.
The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is GLIDE, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) is IDYLLIC, Your Daily Word is EXCURSION, Word of the Day is TRIVA and Spur is TRIUMPH. Vanilla Planifolia Orchid, image from Wikipedia.Image of vanilla ice cream cone by Marie Dehayes on Unsplash, used with permission.
At the end of Cee’s Friday Funny Finds is the most hilarious video of an ingenious obstacle course for squirrels. Don’t miss it.
Click on the red link below to see it.