~~ a quindecim ~~
Rays of light beam down; a moon in full bloom
is a nocturnal flower on a high
traverse removing the doldrums and gloom
with its bright round light emitting a sigh.
The brightest bloom on terrestrial earth
soars eloquently protected 'midst clouds
drifting, fore and aft, a royal sheathe--
steadfast, migrating shields and shrouds.
Any flower on earth could ne'er compare
with the yen to reach up and pluck it down,
put it in a vase filled with baby's breath
with a white diamond encircling crown--
a luminescent, winking, twinkling wreath:
breathtaking, romantic embodiment
of an everlasting promise to vent
angelic purity of loving scent.
Orbiting the earth, seemingly so close,
lighting the world with poetic diffuse
bursting from within, an enraptured dose
with the power to soften old man Zeus--
or the wise old God watching from on high.
Gifting us unrivaled, rapturous views
enriched with delight dispensed from the sky,
orchestrating romance--old Cupid's ruse.
Both the young and the old can appreciate
the memo encased within such vision--
that meteor shower for which we wait,
composing its meter with such precision.
Oh, beautiful sight, the moon in full bloom,
a romantic touch to lighten the gloom
adds a bit of stardust sheen to the room.
Even the farmer reaps much benefit;
with the heavenly light perched on high
some bring in the harvest by night with it
then rake in the profits with a sigh.
A dance on the beach, with its ebb and flow
causing waters to bunch 'neath strength of pull,
moving away releases, lets them go
as slow, smooth waltz invites a soaring gull.
Even humans exhibit changes of mood;
as its face shines bigger and brighter still
heaviness causes some to droop and brood,
and nothing seems enough to fill the bill.
Take care not to let it become your god
or dictate the paths your feet may have trod;
let it serve as a guide for tilling sod.
The Man in the Moon watches all we do
with his face quite clear on the brightest nights
but hardly seen when obscured from our view
by the waning mode or storms in our sights.
As it waxes luminescent--moves close,
full and bright, visibility improves--
and hidden angles bid all adios,
while sharp, concise outlines of surface grooves
are revealed for those needing to know when
to plant crops producing above the ground
or best times to start those root crops again--
when to lay fallow, when to switch crops 'round.
The moon blooms for us up high in the sky
to give a growth guide for planting, and why
some days produce better roots to live by.
Photo Above: Posted by permission granted from Silas Jackson South.
~~ a calendar quindecim ~~
The trees are leafing, spring is in the air,
but its mood is sour and has not been fair
in weather put forth for all to enjoy
active involvement of an outside toy.
Instead, weekly thunderstorms are brewing,
along tornadic funnel path strewing
debris consisting of homes and huge trees
ripped up by the roots, carried by the breeze
on a not so fun ride to where 'twill abide--
forty or fifty feet laid on its side.
The storms set down. They travel on the ground
for miles while local warning sirens sound.
Otherwise, the days present as a mix--
some sunny and mild, providing a fix
for wintertime blahs we may need to nix.
Limbs are bursting with new life at each bud,
flowers peek through in their beds filled with mud.
Yellow-green clouds billow upper reaches,
against superior backdrop fetches
passersby attention, birds on the fly
seek rest from journeys soaring through blue sky.
The sun shines brightly, gardens are planted,
lakes and rivers call to souls needing soothed,
and hiking trails beckon fitness imbued
to engage in the life so long now queued--
waiting for the day living would return
with loads of energy begging to burn.
Actions the virus held in abeyance
now returning 'midst movement and cadence
high in the mountains and low in the fens.
Springtime seems to be calling out this year
to the souls and spirits of all who hear
her luscious promise so precious and clear.
Pain in our hearts for the victims of war.
Such an odyssey--fallacies afar--
blaming the innocent for their own fear.
How to learn from the daily wear and tear,
decrease the valence? With good intent we share
and attend the pain and suffering they bear.
It nay alleviates hate in the air
nor shields from the agony wrought anywhere
when the world looks on, tells them of our care.
No matter what we say as war instills pain,
hearts will ne'er reclaim the old peace again.
Remembrance o'er-shadows all occasion.
Photo Above: by Yoksel Zok @Unsplash.com.
. . . is on the way
Just when it looks like summer
has settled in to stay,
sunshine follows days of wet
with a teeny bit less heat
during mid-day sun
and some temperature drops
as nighttime turns to dawn.
Cooler temps have been knocking
for a few days now,
patiently awaiting just the right time
to make a grand entrance
and take Mother Nature's bow.
Highs in the seventies
and lows in the sixties--
then suddenly lows drop
into the upper forties.
Knock, Knock, Knock:
Fall pleading to be let in
to meet the schedule
beginning an end to life's cycle
currently at hand
as the never-ending circle
inches forward in the sand.
As time and warmth fall back,
colors explode along scenic drives
to ease the pain when mostly black
with touches of grays, browns,
and splotches of green
from which Mother Nature
slowly awakens the Southern Hemisphere
where leaves and buds begin to appear
in varying shades of yellow green
and the most beautiful flowers
a body has seen
poke their heads out to welcome the sun
as we flip earth's annual cycle
of fertility and recline.
The fall equinox
with it's Harvest Moon
is knocking quite loudly
on summer's tune
as Mother Nature's produce
is reaped and stored while Earth's
lower half is tilling and sowing
for the abundance provided
by summer's noon.
With a knock, knock, knock,
cooler temperatures arrived--
just a wee bit cooler,
from those storm clouds derived.
When the sunshine returns
with an inviting hue,
heads swivel about to view
the blinding sheen.
Then suddenly, a warning
of a cold night to be--
during Harvest's Jubilee.
As it slowly returns to normal
over nightfall--two or three--
we will see the colors blossom--
yellow, orange, sienna, and red
will be ushered in for free.
God will be busy painting hillsides
as He beckons days of gold
followed by the nighttime
filled with shivers from the cold.
It is time to pick the pumpkins,
acorn squash, and butternut--
put them in the freezer
for the goodness they impart.
Apples, pears, and walnuts
are being harvested as well
to create delicious treasures
for a healthy winter shell.
Cooler days just seem to call
for something cooking on the stove:
time for Shrimp and Pumpkin Curry,
a pot of aromatic Red Beans,
Sage and Walnut Pumpkin Butter
spread upon a wholegrain bread
or saucing tortellini
for a filling winter spread.
It's time to create
a healthy formula
where spices explicate the flavor--
taking sugar down to size--
in recipes far better
for the heart, and health, and eyes.
These pursuits decrease the half-life
of the wither doldrums when
idleness is created
by the binds of winter strife.
The harvest--then in storage--
promotes artistic flair
just to see the results,
small the aromatic air,
and exhilarate the taste buds
from the harvest reaped in fall.
≥∑ tkbrown 25 September 2021
~~ a calendar quindecim
Transition to Fall . . .
As the hot summer days are winding down,
schools returning for the yearly session
are faced with the delta variant surge--
most virulent COVID yet to emerge:
wearing masks, for some virtual learning,
keeping social distance while returning
to classrooms for in person instruction.
Those who succumb go into quarantine
logging in from home to the classroom scene
where some locales have rebelled--banned the mask--
saying it subjugates the students' task.
Some instructors opt to protect themselves--
wearing the masks, getting virus vaccines--
while the opposed spread vile, poisonous germs.
The world looks forward to a fall cool-down,
experts predict twin pandemic to drown
all hopes of relief from the COVID heat
as second strain moves in and takes a seat.
Inter-country travel sets new limits
on those allowed entry--and on exits.
The twenty-year war in Afghanistan
ended, victory flagged the Taliban:
U.S. citizens, fearfully stranded,
call for their transport to be commanded.
The U.S Embassy stands empty now,
and Taliban says diplomats can't go.
Between the war and coronavirus,
the toll has been large on American lives
with experts reporting new mutations.
The fall equinox takes its place on stage
with promise of change whatever your age.
Cooler temps touting a view in the hills
where potent colors laud sensory thrills.
Beautiful photos to brighten the mood
when placed upon walls where atmosphere broods.
Such a gift God provides a dying world
to ease the deep umbrage at times unfurled.
Yellows, reds, various shades of orange
provide quite a lift in visual range
and stir a desire to actively merge
in ritual dance 'midst surrounding dirge.
Fall festivals, hayrides, pumpkin patch tours
celebrate life which is patently yours
and abate sadness with merriment cures.
Photo Above: Pumpkin Patch in Autumn @depositphotos.com.
I was born to be wild . . .
not penned up in a zoo,
not meant to be cooped up
to fuel the pleasure of you.
I was born to roam free
with my babes and friends,
exploring the world
until my life bends or ends.
I was born to attack
when the need doth arise--
protecting my own
under wide open skies.
My name is Zambia,
I was meant to be free--
not in a concrete jungle
for your sickening glee.
I am the "King" of my kind
with the need to stalk prey,
need to challenge the mind--
teach the Pride to sashay.
I protect the Pride's young,
sacrifice self when I must,
overlooking our freedom
midst the just and the unjust.
We need plenty of cover
and much space for the chase;
keeping preying skills shining
helps the "King" to save face.
We need dedicated parkland
away from people and towns
to preserve our heritage
and prevent dying down.
People are impeding
all the places we have lived,
making them uninhabitable--
many Prides are deprived.
Our prey must be large
and live where we live,
so hunting skills can excel
as our cubs learn and thrive.
Preservation is the need,
hunting is the skill,
teaching craft to our cubs
is our protection still.
When humans move in,
settling within our homeland,
they take away our freedom--
bidding extinction take its stand.
I cannot be a "King"
midst my homeland and Pride
if we are dying out
'cause there is no place to hide.
There is very little thought
given to our lifestyle
and what it takes to survive
for e'en a little while.
When we have no place to go
to live the life we must,
the old life we must retain--
or we will all return to dust.
This is my heartfelt plea
to all of you who care,
"Please return our homeland
undisturbed by human fare!"
Photo Above: by mojoeks @depositphotos.com
~~ a calendar quindecim
Cooking, Canning, and Freezing
Summer gardens: a season to reason
all the unlimited health benefits
of choosing this fruit--or maybe that one.
Some folk are 'hip' to the pre-prepped meal kits.
Me? I like fresh, homecooked recipes best--
to mingle flavors of fresh fruit salad
top with cream, a drop of honey--let rest,
then serve and enjoy, jolting those taste buds
with a pleasure never known anywhere
except right here in the heart of my home.
Creating recipes for health to share
with those stopping by while out on a 'roam.'
Improving my health is ever the goal,
the purpose of chosen nutrient' role
while pouring enrichment upon my soul.
The freezing, the canning, the cooking too
pleasantly providing a stock of food--
colorful and tasty in varied hue--
antioxidants known to boost the mood.
Fruit butters, jams, preserves, and pie filling
in pretty jars with labels to be viewed--
just the item for homemaker billing--
show the little lady to be quite shrewd.
Pickled okra, beans, cucumbers, and spiced pears
give 'tang' to salads, make sandwiches sing,
sauté corn, sprouts, and asparagus spears
can 'grace' any table with special zing.
Fritters of fruit and vegetables too,
multigrain breads of the homemade venue--
stretching the budget with flavor to view.
The bliss of fruit butter or jam on bread
makes breaking the fast such a special fare,
casts festive glow upon a morning spread,
can be a unique gift to those held dear.
Frozen peppers, tomatoes, onions, herbs,
and mushrooms forging umami cuisine,
making taste buds sing: "oooh, la, la--superb,
this is far better than e'er has been seen."
Foods out of season cancel-out cravings,
providing nutrition throughout the year
to meet needs and curb unhealthy ravings
and fuel 'a body' in active gear.
Eating colors of the rainbow each day
can rev your system and reduce the fray--
reducing medical costs 'down the way.'
Photo Above: by Nadine Primeau @Unsplash.com.
~~ a calendar quindecim
The Heat of July
July arrives with a sweltering heat,
bringing depressions, storms, torrential rains
to southern states--historical repeat
of bygone seasons with their hurricanes.
The Pacific northwest with record highs
installs rolling outages in Spokane;
while California's veins are parched and dry,
volcanic lava is Hawaii's bane.
Will the northeastern states escape the wrath
being spewed midst July's incoming days,
or will birds there need water in each bath
just to survive heated summertime rays?
We can hope the burn of the scorching sun
by end of month will be seen on the run
as the virus and it leave room for fun.
The new virus variant taking hold
is putting a chill on planned summer fun.
The worldwide spike is becoming quite bold
but not cooling us down via "chill" pun.
The play on words is easier to take
than the virus or heat of July days
typically graced with vacation break
which may slip past us due to viral frays.
While choosing to break with normal routine,
keep a thought to health for others and you;
use sense and caution, keep enjoyment clean
to prevent a new surge when summer's through.
Don't forget the healthy ways you have learned,
practice safe sunning so you don't get burned,
and you'll enjoy home more when you've returned.
Predictions border on dire once again
from many health pros for the months ahead.
Each new variant sets off a new spin
as the vaccines work to capture the spread.
As return to work seeks to create new norms
of work from home and higher rates of pay
we will surely see new variant swarms
in spite of cares we take along the way.
With schools restarting in-person classes,
students will be busy with music, sports,
and studies galore requiring passes
for halls and busses engaged for transports.
Don't store safety precautions on a shelf,
actions are not protected by an elf
negating practicing safety yourself.
~~ a seasonal quindecim
Summer, in all its splendor, ushered in--
crowning the longest day just 'ere mid-year--
with promises to warm the soul within
and the body without as days grow shorter
bit by bit with warmer days yet to be.
Gardens are bursting with good food to eat
fresh--raw or cooked, flavors only set free
when plucked from the stalk in the summer heat
of early morn--cooled by lingering night.
Refreshing dips in a freshwater pool
during the heat of day are such delight
to the body, render balm to the soul.
Memories built with family and friends
o'er barbeque or picnic fare attends
to those leaving as summers fun time ends.
The longer days and shorter nights will blend
some of the best daytime activities
to be carried in thought as life doth send
loved ones to local schools or overseas,
beginning new chapters in books mostly
yet to be written as steps lead away
from home fires. Embracing new life boldly,
with surety closely akin to the sway
of limbs on a tree waving in the breeze--
ruminations of failure never piqued
by fear, remorse, or guilt provoking pleas
through rife cajoling whether squawked or shrieked.
Emboldened by new friends in new places
standing out 'midst a sea of new faces
where past life is leaving no bold traces.
Graduations, weddings and moving top
summer lists for vacation reflection.
Those completed, checked-of, doing the flip
as packing moves to a higher section
amid lives taking a new direction.
Not seeing the void in lives of others
who must now find some substitute function
to insert where newly loosened tethers
flutter freely, blown hither and thither,
refashioning purpose at each new whim--
until satisfied with some new dither
utilizing free flowing excess vim.
Activities of summer dawn an ardor
determined by planned point of departure
and designed to nurture exit fervor.
~~ a holiday quindecim
Memorial Day was set aside
to honor our family's dead.
Those who in uniform died
honored for the soil they tread,
given a bit more recognition
because they defended us too.
If they were fallen in combat,
talk of ways they served true
was joined and tucked in a bonnet
for remembrance again a year hence.
Others, remembered for who they were--
a good word said that did not mince
the contributions one did confer.
The family plot was decorated
with flowers, artificial and planted--
and flags for special honor granted.
Now the day is thought special
as the first summer get-away for fun.
No thought is given to things stressful,
and no history of family is spun.
Persons in our past are mostly forgotten
and no day is set aside to remember
special service or skills they were totin'.
Many get away in a fifth-wheel camper;
while others prefer to pitch a tent
and build a campfire for their supper.
Yet others prefer a more modern bent
with room to let and meals served proper.
The day is now a summer holiday
with a forward view far and away
from the memory of our yesterday.
As a kid, I remember an early rising
with a picnic to pack for the family,
visiting graveyard plots of those resting
and decorating each resting spot nicely.
The noon-time meal was specially planned
with contributions by a multitude of kin.
The spread of food was home-cooked or -canned
with favorites and new fare thrown in.
Before the meal a short service was given
to give thanks and mention those sleeping
in this beautiful spot 'specially chosen
for those awaiting Jesus' coming.
The day was complete after noontide fare
and visiting had finished with those there
for the remembrance and annual prayer.
Photo Above: by Kacper Lawiński @pixabay.com.
~~ a calendar quindecim
‘May Breezing into June . . . ‘
The nights fast are casting a daytime heat
like the spring-time days being left behind,
and the forecast days with sweltering beat
move in as the approaching corner-wind
breezes us around from May into June.
The world sizzles with ill-will and tension
of the pandemic, racist words, the clutch
of its bowels, and regurgitates much
as musings of impending peril loom.
Politics and religion do not mix,
and world-wide pain may not leave any room
for giving "home-need" the generous fix
being planned and debated turn-by-turn,
eliminating clauses--pages burn.
Can edges of words be softened a bit?
Can words of care be increased just a whit?
Can the world respect each living "on" it.
Rumors of wars and murders in the news
abide in half of that printed to ruse.
Pacts and treaties with the courtroom tableau
side-by-side--striving to be "in the know."
Reporters writing words of a new shade
describing a world with a dull old blade
being brandished about as "sharp and new;"
but "shiny" is not what comes into view.
History is known to repeat itself
because it ne'er sees its past on the shelf.
Words, looking back to one century ago,
describe kindred winds blowing 'neath the bough.
Ne'er, in this hundred years, would we dare dream
of a rerun betide, but it doth seem
self-same ugliness abounds--eyes agleam.
It seems most have left the premise of faith--
trust, hope, and love at the center of it.
Some rounded its edges with human lathe,
clearing Creation away from the midst
as Creator sits alone up on high,
blinking back tears from the edge of His eye.
If we want to be filled with peace and joy
it may be time to renew an old ploy.
Man is not resolving old doubts this time--
just as hopes launched on that long ago road
were mere mortal attempts at latitude hold.
Most hold the belief of eternal freedom
marching to the beat of a distant drum.
Man thinks he knows best how to deal with pain,
the best way to yield both profit and gain--
I ask for faith, hope, and love to sustain.