Tag Archives: animal poem

Ode to a Spider, Best Spinner of All, and to a Mosquito, Caught in its Thrall

 

To the Spider

Insatiable monster, you spin your fine strands,
creating your trap with abdominal glands.
You then cast your nets out into the breeze
that carries them off to the bushes and trees.
With anticipation, you wait in the center
for mosquitos or flies—whatever may enter
your gossamer trap. Then, their prospects are dire,
for one tremor of contact is all you require
to be off in a flash to put them to bed
with  a cocoon of silk wrapped from bottom to head.

To the Mosquito

“I am” says the spider, as she sips out your sap,
“going to have a light lunch, and then take a nap!”

 

The spider pulls the silk created from liquid in its body through its spinnnerets – silk-secreting organs on its abdomen. Once the thread is started, the spider lifts its spinnerets into the breeze. It’s the breeze that is the secret to the spider’s ability to spin a web from one tree to another.

 

Prompt words today are anticipation, insatiable, monster, require, I am and spider.

Morrie’s Ball: NaPoWriMo–last day for 2020!

 


Morrie’s Ball

I throw the ball and throw the ball,
over my head in an arc to the garden downhill from the pool
where every midnight I do aerobic exercises and yoga,
trying to stem the freezing-up of joints,
the spreading of spare tires around the waist.

I am allergic to the sun,
and so these sometime-between-midnight-
and-3 a.m.-sessions in the pool

have come to be habit,
with both me and the small black shaggy dog
who leaves his bed in the doggie domain,
no matter how late I make the trip to the pool,
carrying his green tennis ball.

It is the latest in a long progression of balls
chewed to tatters until they are incapable of buoyancy
that sink to the pool bottom to be picked up by toes,
toed to hand, and thrown down again.
When they are replaced in the morning with a fresh ball,
he still searches for the old one,
like a child’s nigh nigh, grown valuable through use.

Again and again he drops the ball in the pool
and I interrupt every fifth repetition to throw the ball.
Like an automaton, he returns with precision,
then is off like a flash so fast
that sometimes he catches the ball I throw before it hits the ground.
This little dog, faithful in his returns,
sometimes jumps up on the grassy mound
I’ve made for him in a big flower pot by the pool,
chews the ball,
drops and catches it before it falls to the water,
drops and catches,
as though teasing me
the way houseguests might have teased him in the past with a false throw.

Or, sometimes he drops it on the grass,
noses it to the edge and then catches it before it falls.
Over and over, constructing his own games.
Then, bored or rested up from his countless runs,
he lofts the ball into the water precisely in front of me
and I pause in my front leg kicks
to resume my obligation.

But this night, he returns listless after the third throw.

“Go get the ball, Morrie,” I command, and he runs with less speed and vigor down the hill to the garden. I hear him checking out his favorite places,  but he does not return, and when I call him, finally, he returns, ball-less, jumps up on his mound and falls asleep.

He’s getting old, I think.
Hard to imagine this little ball of energy
as being anything but a pup.
He’ll bring it to me tomorrow, I think.
But tomorrow
and tomorrow
and tomorrow
brings no Morrie with a ball.

When I go down to the hammock the next day,
his enthusiastic leap up onto my stomach
is the same, his same insistence
that I rub his ears, his belly, his back.
But no ball proffered for a throw.
No Morrie returning again and again for more.

I am feeling the older for it,
like a mother who sees her last child
off to University or down the aisle, fully grown,
but I am reassured three days later,
when I arise from the hammock
to climb the incline up to the house
and see lodged firmly in the crotch of the plumeria tree
five feet off the ground: Morrie’s ball.

He sees me retrieve it
and runs enthusiastically up to the pool with me,
where I peel off my clothes
and descend like Venus into the pool,
arc my arm over,
and throw the ball.
He is back with it
before I get to the other end of the pool.
If they could see
through the dense foliage
that surrounds the pool,
what would the neighbors think
of this 72-year-old skinny dipping,
lofting a ball over her head
for her little dog
in broad daylight?

Morrie and I don’t care.

Happy Ending

The final NaPoWriMo challenge for 2020 is to write a poem about something that always returns.

 

Overdue

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 10.23.47 AM

Overdue

My Auntie tends to use me for
those sorts of tasks she must abhor.
Thus was it yesterday that she
sent me to the library.

Just the name of the last book
she’d borrowed was all I took.
This is the message I relayed:
“This book return will be delayed.

I finished it in record time,
and yes, I found the book sublime,
but then I fear it made a hit
with another who’s not through with it.

He found my Inside Daisy Clover
and found the need to chew it over.
I know that it’s a red hot seller.
All the reviews find it stellar.

I know that countless folks have read it,
the borrower’s sheet in front has said it.
In fact, I find the cover worn,
the binding weak, the pages torn.

And so I’d like to buy a new
copy to return to you.
So, just renew the book once more
’til I can get out to the store.

My family member must finish it,
but I fear he’ll diminish it
until it is unheedable.
Already, it’s barely readable.!

The library was most compliant,
and once again, my aunt reliant
on my finding a new book
to replace the one our puppy took!

 

The poem is fiction, but the photos depict a true story of when Morrie was a new puppy  a couple of years ago.

The prompt words today are book, extra, renew and delayed. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/rdp-wednesday-book/
FOWC with Fandango — Extra
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/your-daily-word-prompt-renew-april-24-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/delayed/

New Foal

IMG_9512 (1)jdbphoto 2016

New Foal

From his mother’s teat, the new-born colt
raised his head with a sudden jolt,
his new world noisier than before
as the truck drove up with its engine roar.
A small boy sat with his window down,
surveying the scene with a subtle frown
as the older man jumped out to walk
slowly toward him, lest he balk,
and reached a hand to touch his coat,
fingers exploring, as though by rote,
feeling bones, sinew and muscle.

“This one here will have some hustle,”
he said to the boy who stood beside,
thinking of his horse who’d died.
“You want to name him?” his father said.
The boy’s toe shuffled. He hung his head.
The tiny colt looked up and snorted—
edgy now, but well-deported.
He moved to the boy to butt his arm.
His nose was soft and smooth and warm
as it nudged the small boy’s skin.
His father watched the pact begin.

 

I saw this unusual colt alongside the road almost a year ago.  I pulled off as soon as possible to snap a few shots and have been waiting for a chance to use them  Not exactly a new-born colt, but close.  I’ve been waiting long enough!

The prompt today is “jolt.”