Sunday, April 30, 2006


The picture was taken today, through my windshield. The poem was already on my laptop.


Out for a drive,
for April's last flowers,
the neighborhood
drops petals
through my windshield.

The nameless Asian lady,
I've watched for years,
walking in rain and heat
and cold,
strides past
on spindly legs.

A white-haired man
stiffly pitches a ball
and as the throw ends,
I see a pain
and a question on his pale face.

Half a block farther,
a woman leads an old
white dog out into the street.
It lags behind on legs too small
where winter mats have been
cut away to let the spring air in.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Dog's Fancy . . .

On our drive to Dennison last weekend we swung into McDonalds and observed these pups frolicking beside the parking lot. What are the chances? Another Ivan! (Blue, the other) Scroll down to my post about toads. Really? What are the chances? A dachshund named Ivan celebrating spring, green and the joy of being alive.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Kristen, my niece, is a diva. We wept during her senior vocal recital at Dennison University. How does a knobby-kneeed little girl grow up so fast? Where was I when she turned from duckling to swan? Keith captured a happy moment mother and I shared after the recital. It's my favorite picture, ever - of the two of us. I felt a twinge of guilt as my kind brother-in-law, Phil, offered a toast in celebration of my award in the poetry contest. Kristen was sweet and said she was happy to share the limelight with her Aunt Cathy. Color me happy :0)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Get Over Yourself

To achieve a little balance I walked in the botanic gardens today. This robin was seriously distracted by his reflection in the window pane. All this self-regard was giving him a serious case of nerves. He finally tired of it and flew away to find a worm amidst the compost piles. ( I missed the certified letter from the poetry contest while catching these pixes :0D

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Who? Me?!

I almost deleted the message on the answering machine as I didn't recognize the caller's name at the beginning of the call. Incredulity followed as someone from the Heritage House Museum in Key West, Florida informed me that my poem, "Pruning", was being awarded 3rd prize in the 2006 Robert Frost Poetry Contest. Please indulge my public exaltation. For this small-town kid, one of seven children and a lackluster student - this is a rather big day.


Pruning is such a delicate matter,
as we choose what must relinquish the right
to remain aloft and cling to the ladder
of the arbor where the squabbling jays natter,
about their perches for the night.

It’s the space you cleave between the branch
and the trellised bark - you know will bleed.
You watch your questioning knuckles blanch
with the hope you’ve measured beyond mere chance
as required by the gardener’s creed
in the dog-eared books which try to say
about the choices a man must make,
as to what must go and what may stay,
to love the light for another day.

The pruner knows his hands’ mistake
will leave the roots beneath his job,
making their peace with the fool in the air,
judging his work while his temples throb,
as he stifles regret with a tight-throated sob,
about the error for the things in his care.

Catherine Wilson


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Double Bloodroot

I've had this puddle of Double Bloodroot for years and having read this great article I'm determined to do my duty and get out there and dig and divide! I bought a tiny container years ago at a rather precious price from an older gentleman who sold plants out of his backyard on a busy street in Toledo. He's gone now, but the lovely harbinger of spring blooms on in my backyard. I've promised a couple people to give them a bit of rhizome in order to spread the magic.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Toad Soup

The American toad is celebrating spring in the pond at TBC. Busy trying to capture toad anatomy, I almost missed the picture of another spring phenomenon - a youngster's curiosity. I later learned this young man's name - Ivan. I suppose the toad was afraid he might get 'terrible' treatment, but they parted company as friends. Ivan clambored back into spring exploration and the toad hopped back into a soup of trilling DNA.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Magnolias and Bees

The Toledo Botanic Gardens are lovely any time of year. After a long winter they are particularly welcoming as the daffodils turn their dazzled faces into sunny skies. Magnolia blossoms open on breezy days with clouds scudding ahead of promised rain. My photo records such a day. The poem emerged when I later spotted the enterprising bee doing what bees do after months of waiting. (I had to enhance him a bit in 'Paint' :0)

Watching 1940s Movies

Film Noirs have gravity,
so we hold ourselves at some remove.
Hepburn and Tracy inspire awe.
They are Mount Rushmore titans who
permit our voyeur's pleasure at arm's length.

But the light-hearted musical
invites you in and says
that nothing's really changed. Relax.
So you drop your guard and smile along
with the smooth skin and agile moves
of Ann Miller and Lucille Ball.

Then, a silly thing - Frances Langford singing
about a cakewalk dance,
her shoulders gently wagging
to the melody . . .

Her confident smile is sweet
and timeless like your mother's voice
calling from the back stoop,
to come in and wash for supper.
It reminds you of her graduation picture.

Langford's delicate waist,
clasped in a bracelet of belt,
recalls a sixty-year old photograph
taken outside Blessing, Texas
by a smitten GI newly-wed.

Mother poses smiling
in the bright morning sun.
Her first anniversary still months ahead,
she is three months pregnant and casting
a sliver of shadow
as vibrant and new and tiny-waisted as she.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ahhhhh . . . . . More Spring

Bloodroot opening for its brief bloom. The petals are so delicately attached that a soaking rain, too much breeze or warmth and theylie beneath the palm-shaped leaves like preened goose down. Addendum: 4/16/06 - Ah! After they're pollinated they lose their petals.

Chiondoxia tumbling over weathered railroad ties.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

More Spring!

I heard my first backyard Northern Flicker today. For his "wik-a-wik-a-wik-a" scroll down.The sun shone splendidly on the frontyard daffodils. Energy levels are up, but ablitiy to focus on mundane necessities - way down. Ah, spring fever, at last.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Mischief In The Spring Garden

The Garden Fairy missed this time, but now the squirrel is wary and keeps an eye out for sneak attacks . Perhaps the fairies didn't want Mr. Squirrel to tip my niece's flower pot onto their picnic lunch. We humans can't see the Giggle Jam sandwiches.