Saturday, August 28, 2010

Old journal yields unrecorded poems

In searching for something else, I found several poems written in August 2008 but not transcribed to 3 by 5 cards as has always been my habit. (When I transcribe, I put a check mark thru them in the journal.) Here are the five I found. The others are current.

green beautyberries
turn purple

A piece
of mail for each:
college boy gone two days
and Mother, who died two short years

cat in the dry leaves~
low-flying helicopter
usurps thunder's noise

butterfly bush blooms
the same day I see
a hummingbird

cat risking wet paws
searches in the unmown grass
for whatever moves
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

coffee tastes better
when sipping from Wedgwood~
a hot wind blows

The night
of the second
day of school, a fight breaks
out involving guns, teens, several

retired director-
cum-choir member forgets
hides gum in her jaw

roadside grass crispy
a vine completely covers
the YIELD sign

c August 2010
Pat Laster, lovepat press

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The August heat wave

Three Heat Haiku

chrysanthemum buds
brown before opening
in the prolonged heat

three cups of coffee
I still nod off mid-morning
in this year's heat wave

cats sleep in the shade
on the concrete window sill
is it cooler there?


out the purple
beautyberries, a small
woodpecker. Then, a hummingbird

(my concoction: part haiku, part senryu, part news)

storm-damaged, empty
the cypress-plank home
an egret rest stop

c 2010 August, lovepat press
Pat Laster, Benton AR USA

Saturday, August 14, 2010

John Wells*

They called him "the hunter"; his name was John Wells.
The long, black, straight hair was bast-tied.*
His hunting shirts, leggings and shoes were all
fashioned of brains-watered, smoky tanned hide.*

One day while the family was working inside,
a strange voice called, "Hello the house!"
They welcomed their guest, for to do any less,
the wilderness code disallowed.

The men talked of redskins and cowbells and fences,
and government land that was free.
"I see you're a hunter; you'd find work in Texas,
though you'd have to watch for Pawnee."

A day or two later, John came in to eat.
"I'm going to Texas," said he.
"A long time I've wanted to see for myself
what others 'been sayin' they see."
* * * *
The winter was lonesome, eternity-long,
then dogwood and overcup bloomed.
Corn planting and harvesting time came and went.
Had John Wells got caught in a flume?*

Meanwhile, Mister Mawler, the stranger, became
a neighbor along Fourche La Fave.*
"I reckon John's coming back's possible still,"
he told Betsy, John's wife, who'd been brave.

Year after year went by, four and a half.
Resigned that John surely was dead,
the woman--with blessings of her teenaged sons--
and Mawler decided to wed.

Bill Mawler commenced fixing up his new farm.
One fall day, a stranger stopped by.
"Whose farm is this?" "Mine." Is your ol' lady dead?"
She's helpin' the neighbors nearby."

"I'm John Wells from Texas." Bill's carving knife fell
to the floor as the door opened wide,
as wide as the eyes of the woman who spied
her long-dead-and-gone husband alive!
Old habits kicked in as though John never left,
but settlement fences were jammed.
When neighbors suggested they move Texas-way,
John answered them, "Texas be damned!"
*from a story by Friedrich Gerstacker, In the Arkansas Backwoods: James Miller, translator, editor

bast -long strips of hickory bark used for cords and ropes
brains-watered - tanners used deer brains mixed with water as an early step in tanning. Smoking the skin at the end of the process guaranteed softness no matter how many soakings they got
flume - a deep, narrow valley containing a stream or torrent
Fourche La Fave - now simplified to Clear Fork creek, a stream flowing into the Arkansas River around Perryville AR

~~~~~by Pat Laster

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Nice long post about pears that vanished before saving

The last time this happened, I was able to find it, but this one must be somewhere in the ether. It's not in my trash basket. Where do blogs go when they disappear, I wonder.
I'm also wondering if these things happen for my good: was the blog too wordy? Is there a blogmaster somewhere that I don't know about?
Let's see if I can condense the lost piece into a tanka: "summer wind/a loaded branch of green pears/ wrenched to the ground/ shall I try to salvage them/ cook them down into pear sauce?//
That's what I'm doing as I write. Later, pl