It was the first flower I knew.

And when it went to seed
I blew it – EVERYWHERE

I knew nothing about its disdain –
how our neighbors tried to stop me.

And to this day
do not know where the “lion” part
comes from.

Nor do I know how “tiger lilies”
(much more acceptable
than the yellow flower’s lion)
got their name.

It must be that some botanist
who has the naming power over flowers
was a wild animal man.

Of course, there is tame “dogwood”
and catnip.

Maybe the botanist cared for all animals.

Even a porcupine has some affinity
to pine trees.

I thought by now I’d know more than I do.

I still like dandelions
and I would want them on my casket
were I to have on —
but I’ve decided not to.

Russ Peery —-June 2018

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With but a little light tug on a string
and thirty slats of a blind are maneuvered
to determines how the sun will shine here
behind a great bay window –
our bay window that actually faces a bay.

All this power within a modest hand
that requires no electronics to affect the changes.

It just needs a little pull.

The only problem is that:
so often when you wish to make the changes
you are comfortably held by a recliner
that resents intrusions.

I am confident that some genius
has already solved or will soon solve
this serious situation.

That I will come into this power
before my long life ends
remains to be seen.

But surely there will be beneficiaries
before this century passes on.

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I do not see the moon any more –
or hardly ever.

It had become something special to me
shining in my life from time to time
with its unique light
that not only compelled my eyes to pay attention
but asked my soul for consideration.
I did not miss the moon at first, after moving
for our new agenda stole my time
and I did not seem to mind.

Now I fully grasp
that portions of my sky have disappeared
forever and forever.

I have delayed my feelings of withdrawal.

And now I am coping with this unusual mourning.

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The bright yellow banana
lay cradled in a bowl of beauty —
all by itself.

I walked by, resisting
the first motions of saliva on my tongue
that introduced temptation.

But that ended with some hesitation
and soon I found myself
peeling the disposable skin
that offered easy access
to the soft taste of its unusual blessings.

Soon I began to think of those people
who harvested this fruit –
people far away
and likely not as fortunate as I.

Their lives will always be deprived of my scrutiny
but I will still give them mild recognition
for their aiding and abetting my digestion.

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The old days
(way back when I had a previous life)
my friends and I used to wonder why
the sun behaved in a way that scared us.

In the middle of summer
when we thought we all might melt
the sun stopped creeping north
and we were again saved from catastrophe.

And in the middle of winter
when the cold seemed relentless
we eventually saw signs that the sun
would expand its light
and the dark forces
soon would be smitten.

We don’t worry about those things any more
but we have enough to worry about.

And, we’re pretty good at worrying.

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Our large dinning hall that faces the Bay
with windows almost everywhere
has, at its back, two revolving doors –
each which seems with appropriate markings:

IN for one and OUT for the other.

One of the things I do on occasion
when sitting in that room while feast-waiting
and I have good eye contact with those doors
is to note that the waiters and waitresses
pay little heed to IN and OUT.

They often go IN the OUT door
and out the IN door.

And they do so without collisions
and I can’t fathom how they do it.

Sometimes it’s the most impressive phenomenon
I see in all my wakeful hours.

When I exit that dining hall at the end of my meal
I may go perilously close to those swinging doors
but somehow I take on a waiter’s karma
and avoid these particular dangers of our existence.

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How do I decide what to remember –
what to forget?

I don’t spend much time pondering this phenomenon –
it just happens somewhere in my mind
where selections are taking place
with, and sometimes without my choosing.

If I did have more authority in these matters
I might decide quite differently
than I do by my remaining silent.

This process which I don’t especially understand
is, nevertheless one that I admire.

Were it different then I would be, too.

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When Mae West said:
“Too much of a good thing is wonderful” —
what did she have in mind?

I know that the 129 year old woman
who lives in Russia
and was recently brought into fame
because of her amazing longevity
did not say or even think that.

She said “Every day’s a drag!

It may be that there are “drag days”.

It must be so
because of the increasing suicide rate.

But most of the people I know
would prefer to be with Mae West.

I wonder what happened to her?
Truth is I don’t remember
or perhaps I just don’t know.

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When our father
didn’t want to answer questions
put to him by his pestering children
he would often say “We’ll see”.

That’s the way much of our future
has to be looked at.

Those of us who are impatient
can’t to anything about it.

News casters sometimes thrive
because their educated guessing
is fodder for the curious.

They can’t just say “We’ll see”.

They go on about it
and make their living
if their guessing
is compelling for the ear.

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Fame flirted with me
hoping I might resist, I think.

I didn’t.

Fame then backed away
and I was left
standing alone.

But I can still feel the feeling
of being more than I am.

It’s something I remember
and it’s ok.

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