What’s Up & A Poem

Out the windows, I can see a spider hanging on its web from a tree branch. It is a rather precarious place to hang with wind and rain forecast to arrive later. A large moon peeked through the tree limbs until it snuggled back into the flat gray clouds. I opened the window to take a picture with the halfway working camera. No luck with that. I was, however, greeted with a chorus of peeps and crickets. Have you noticed the change in Nature’s songs as the summer winds down into autumn? The locusts have made way for the crickets to chirp and frogs to loudly peep. The birds are quieter. The fields of beans and weeds have begun to turn a paler green and moving into autumnal yellow.

Plotting and plans have been tossed into the rubbish like yesterday’s newspaper. I re-injured my shoulder and neck muscles. That forced me to slow down… and I was on a roll! Then, as I was adding things to the day, I pulled it again. This required another visit to the doctor, a stronger prescription, physical therapy, and a week off of work. Physical therapy has helped better than I could have imagined. And, I needed to stop being stingy and buy new bras. That, and my bad posture, are two contributors to the shoulder problems. I never knew a bra could feel so good! I’m happy to sleep in the bed again. I had to sleep on the love seat, flat on my back with my legs hanging over the side. It was the only comfy position.

My faith in humanity was restored by local drag queens and a restaurant called Hamburger Mary’s. There were people from all walks. They made me, at least for a short time, forget all the ills of the world. Getting to see a drag show has been on my bucket list for years. I saw firsthand what true inclusiveness looks and feels like. There are no words to describe it.

I watched the movie Soul on Disney +. I cried. It was a good reminder that living is not about having a purpose. If you know what that is or have one, that is great. Living your life to the fullest is about being in the moment. I tend to go on auto-pilot. Living is in the noticing. Part of that is feeling it all and sorting through it. Living is noticing the coolness of the floor beneath bare feet. You find it in the soothing hot shower on sore muscles. You can smell and breathe it in with the change of the air. You can hear it within the sounds that surround you or the quiet between the noise. It is expressing oneself in a unique way that only you can do.

I had the sad news that one of my favorite artists and a fellow human named Tracey passed away on August 21st. I loved her humor. She and I had a running joke that the letter e in my name fell off somewhere. I became The E-Less One and, she was the E-ish One. I’m grateful our paths crossed. Her light in this world is missed.

Sometimes, I feel multiple people are living inside of me. One of them loves routine, comfort, and planning ahead. There is another who is spontaneous and on fire for life. She says hella no to routines and let us go do something fun. This one feels and sees the invisible pulse of magic and wonder that courses through the mundane. Then there’s the judgmental one. She doesn’t understand why people are selfish and individualistic or how one way is the only way. This one loves to ride the high horse and often falls off. There’s the serious one who ponders life’s big questions and loves thought-provoking things to noodle upon. Lastly, there’s the one who feels like their heart has been broken by life so many times that it’s impossible to tape the shards back together. The only thing left is a pile of sand.

Pondering hearts and sand led to writing the following poem.

hearts of stone will crumble
hearts of glass will shatter into sharp edges
hearts of wood will splinter and poke
hearts of sand will wash away with an ocean of tears
what if
that lump of sand
damp with tears
can be shaped anew
a new heart
a heart that knows
the tide of tears
what’s no longer
is it simply erosion
a re-shaping, remolding
to stay afloat
within the
ebb and flow
of life
a necessary
better version
of one’s self

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Time Management, Two Tanka Poems

a schedule was made
grains of time sorted in piles
guaranteeing space
for messy unruly art
with quirky muses

A Recipe for Time Management
one cup sifted time
stir in twelve cups of chunked blocks
add paper to taste
bake in computer for one hour
we’ll see how well this works out

©2021 Tracy Swartz

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Allergies – a Haiku

eyes are a’ itchin’
the noses are a’ twitchin’
allergy season

©2021 Tracy Swartz

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Billybob-Dave the Squirrel

I have a folder where I keep a collection of “Word of the Day” emails.  As a fun exercise to keep my writing skills and imagination supple and well-oiled,  I’m taking a word from that collection to use within a short story.  I haven’t decided on the frequency of writing yet. And,  It may be a daily thing or once a week. Can you guess what word I used?

Billybob-Dave, an ordinary squirrel, was uncommon indeed. Dave, as we shall call him, was unlike most of his kind. He could remember where his treasures were hidden.

Dave, a bit naive, did not notice that several of his brethren squirrels were whispering and watching him closely.

One fine midsummer’s day, he decided with the innate nature that tells a squirrel that it’s time to hoard your food, set off to go a’ gathering. He didn’t notice several squirrels following him like brown furry darts through the tree limbs.

After Dave collected all he could carry, he mosied about until he found the perfect spot to dig a hidey-hole. Once dug, he dropped his collection into it and covered it up. He ran off to go hunt for more edibles.

The squirrels watching from above were simply gruntled that they could raid Dave’s cache of goodies.

“Joe-Bob and you, Joe-Don, go follow Billybob-Dave.” ordered the leader of the dray. “Joe-Dan, Joe-Fabio, and I will stay here and dig up his goodies.”

Dear reader, instead of the last name, squirrels will start with the family name and then add the first name with a hyphen betwixt the two.

Off went Joe-Bob and Joe-Don to follow Dave. The three left behind scampered down the tree to dig up Dave’s treasures, chattering with squirrely glee.

Meanwhile, Joe-Bob and Joe-Don, noticed Dave was headed back to his hidey-hole to deposit more goodies. They flew from tree to tree, squirrels being the natural acrobats they are, and beat him back to the hidey-hole. There, the others who stayed behind were stuffing their faces with Dave’s hard work.

“He’s on his way back!” they clamored in unison.

The squirrels dropped Dave’s booty, scattered up into the tree branches, leaping from limb to limb and away out of sight.

Arriving at the hidey-hole, Dave was quite disgruntled at what he found. All his hard work eaten and spread willy-nilly about. Dave learned a valuable lesson this day. And, he remembered his wise mama squirrel’s words, pay attention to what and who is around you when storing your goodies. Dave had to admit, he wasn’t and didn’t pay attention to anything but the joy of collecting. Dave, an optimistic type of chap, went about his business of finding a new place to store his batch of goodies. This time, he kept a wary eye out for anyone or anything that might be spying on him.

©2021 Tracy Swartz

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