2432

I take my gunpowder far, far away and from indoors, thank you. Amateur Explosion Night holds little appeal for me. Perhaps a long telephoto lense shot of a by-then noise-innured three or four-year old agogging at the wonderment of colored spaces and silvery trails might entice, but for the nonce, no.

Cat Nap Revue

summer evening sky
blazing with fire flowers
wars past, wars present

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2433

“Skeeter” (i and II) never left a scratch if you did not move the “stuck” body part. And if it takes a claw to get served breakfast, I’m with The Cat! For Shame, you simonlegree! Beat feets first to the cat-buffet before even you pause to water. What a lovely little sentiment: and so polite, too!

Cat Nap Revue

what’s a bloody scratch
between friends
cat asks for breakfast

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2435

And, yes, we do have Florida Black Bear (but at 300 pounds of so the biggest. However, they’ve muchly gone trash-can and open-garage or -car diving vice berry picking, since even our severe winters give but brief naps and berry-ing time well past the Spring “Thaw.” What we watch wen we see ripe berries – blue or rabbit-eye blue and blackberries is rattlers twined amongst the lusciousness, awaiting the impudent bird. My non-smoker nose is most useful detecting the odor of reptile, even when perched just above the Florida HighBush blueberry – such a succulence! – waiting a short fall to take an impudent mocking bird or bluejay. But if you walk slowly and make lots of noise the snakes – and even a few rooting feral hots will fly and let you eat your way full in order to gather enough for an honest cobbler with a few pints for waffles or pancakes and suchlike. I like the idea of paintballing the bushes to draw the snakes to capture…but long ago I realized selling rattlers to venom-milkers to produce anti-venin (and, yes, the spelling IS different and annoying when media makes its usual mistakes) to let the critters continue off-season work as rat and mice control devices. I have yet to encounter a poisonous snake in the wild while working – but still I wear long, double-thick jeans and snakeboots, with gloves and a 6-foot plus former cypress sapling walking stick-tree. A nice bit of memory as our berry season done for the eyar. Now we have true wetseason to enjoy in which seeing snakes swimming away is fine, but the ones swimming toward you mostly are dangerous cotton-mouth Water Moccasins.

Cat Nap Revue

berries on the bush
means beware of bears
the old paintball gun

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“Diminishment”

(July 11, 2019)

may drape old ‘minish’

with both ‘ixes’ – pre- and suff- –

and wear word as new*

*(Archaic “minish” from Old – or is that Middle?, I ‘five’get – English is dressed with modern party-goers’ pantaloons, often saying much the same as the old saw sans suffix (or, yes, even prefix) as granpaw might devise. But add the prefix and you just know a new suffix like ‘ment’ would sweeten the pie with sparkled appeal. Thanks evermuchso Oxford American English Dictionary – OAED!)

“Second Handkerchief”

(July 11, 2019)

these the ‘snotty] days

which belong mostly august

but july invites*

*(Loratadine ‘ups’ my daily pillcount to three: the antihistamine to stop the athletic nose, aspirin to ease a familiar set of aches long-familiar and almost part of the family, and a multi-vitamin which one trusted doctor long ago told me mostly will show up in stool intact…so eat veg and fruits more than starch and meats and continue to send vitamin-makers’ kids to kollege on my dime is just fine with him.)

“Now, Where Is My Old Kite*?”

(July 11, 2019)

tease i thor’s workplace

again today or tempt not

ben franklin’s old pet

*(Strolling Through Thunderstorms – Proof of Primate Hubris! I wonder: Is a golf umbrella suitable to substitute fro a kite. I have the keys in a pocket and what I recalled of a lightning-struck fellow University of South Florida (Tampa-area) student the burns also included zipper-impression burns. In those days I still had button-fly (plastic buttons, not metal) Marine Corps dungaree trousers I cut off into shorts). I still enjoy a nice, peaceful walk amonghst the lightning strikes in a pounding rain. Restful.)

“Baked ‘Em Right Out”

(July 11, 2019)

heat-rash days are done

so prickly a thin tee hurt

baked* out in Viet Nam

*(From about age 13 to well into my early 20s, each mid-summer I’d enjoy a long visit with heat rash – some version of herpes simplex I now assume – to the point even a thin cotton tee shirt would be painful without a coating of Ammens Medicated Powder (Johnson&Johnson’s talc just would not do, sweat would sheet the coating right off moments after application: even Baking Soda was better). Funny, after Parris Island heat rash and I came to accommodation: I still would have the blessed annoyance – even pain sometimes – but rarely past a trifle. Then came Vietnam and post-monsoon baking 100-degree-plus Fahrenheit heat. Heat Rash came in waves from merely painful to excruciating. Even a green cotton tee ‘twixt me and my lowlanbds-mandated flak jacket often was too much. But three months into the trial, one fine blisteringly hot morning I found I could tolerate the tee-shirt just fine, thankee, ma’am. Even the purloined baking soda from the messhall back at division rear in DaNang was forgotten. From a back nothing but prickles to a smooth – no longer quite so hairy back because the oft-100-plus pound NVA-style haversack attached cleverly to an aluminum-exotic metal alloy frame’s straps wore-out the hair on those many blessed days up in The Que Son Mountains where we Marines were given dispensation not to have to hoist those dozen-plus pounds of fiberglass and kelvar plates called flak jacket. I rationalized the big pink terrycloth towel – vice the approved thinner green sweat towel – and the bush hat vice the helmet – because my self-anointed position as photographer as well as “writer,” made the jangle-jouncing of the helmet near impossible to get a decent sight picture through my Canon FTb camera: dang helmet kept bouncing off the camera and since no one sane ever attached the two chin straps – good way to snap a neck in a mortar barrage – I usually left my mandated tin pot on the helo I rode into sometimes hot but mostly cold landing zones where I and my photographer partner John Gentry would be first off ‘the bird’ so as to take pictures of heroic happy dead Marines eating all that .51-cal (12.7 mm to you purists) machine gun fire from Uncle Hoe’s favorite team. Either I just did not have time or temperament to deal with heat rash or the previous Spring’s soaring heat baked the capacity out of my tender lats, neck and lower back muscles. I further rationalized the big pink think bath towel to Le Cafard (French and horribly misspelled) along with the red, black and yellow Aztec-motifed headbanck I wove through the shotgun shell-loops of my bush hat to just shoot this here head and leave the more favored head alone, plese, Mister Charles. To this day I still have twin pack-strap highways worn through the covering pelt my putative Neanderthal relatives bequeathed my knuckle-dragging frame. Long lost – sometime after my medevac I suspect – the headband and pink towel were retired – sanity is a stubborn curse – so the two hairless stripes running semi-diagonal from shoulders to mid-back – and one suspicious welted patch just below my left shoulderblade where Mister B-40 took its biggest bite – remain my most visible mementos of those days. The left-over b-b racing languorously up my left forearm – it’s moved about one handspan of fingers in 50 years December after this’un – remains my personal treasure. A firefighter EMT associate of long ago offered to dig out the offending piece of North Vietnam but I demured. After all, I long ago lost the bush hat, the hatband, the towel and those treasured worn-white but still supple and sheathed in aluminum-alloy jungle boots. Still, I guess a good trade to have lost the heat rash pimples, no?)