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It was back in…hell, must have been seventy-six?

Anyway, I was livin’ up around Bolton Landing

And doing some odd jobs (some very odd, indeed,

But that’s another story for another time)

At the Sagamore—big fancy hotel on Lake George—

When I started hearing people runnin’ their pie-holes

About this crazy-*** pigeon.  

Folks were saying the **** bird

Had somehow got ahold of the idea

That it was a ******* hawk or falcon,

Swooping down like it was after rabbits or field mice

Instead of bits of bread, and some of the old-timers

(Most likely addled by the years, or maybe having lived alone

For just a little too **** long)

Swore on the gravesof their dear sainted mothers

That they had seen it do full-out barrel rolls.



Well, little towns are all about big talk,

So naturally I wasn’t about to put much stock

In this particular rural legend—but one day

I’m walking around downtown,

And I see this chunky blue-gray blur tear-assing

Down around my pantleg for a bit before it leveled off

And started to climb, throwing in a couple of three-quarter turns

Just for ***** and giggles.



I saw that **** thing do its stunt flying

Several times after that:  loop-de-loops, death spirals

And a few more power dives, just to scare the women and children.

That old fool bird was pretty scuffed up and worse for wear

From its acrobatics—after all, it was just a pigeon

And it could daredevil from sunup to sundown,

But that didn’t mean it was likely to turn into no Blue Angel



The third, or maybe the fourth, time

I happened to catch the bird’s act

I caught a glimpse of its head, and I swear to you,

On all I hold true and holy, the bird was…grimacing,

Like it was just plain sick and tired of all the limitations

That nature had foisted off on fat, ungainly creatures like itself.  

Some days I would walk past the old McEachern place,

And I’d see that bird perched on an old, mostly-collapsed barn

Just staring at the cloud cover hiding Mount Marcy

(Where eagles lived in the crags,

Breathing the rarified air that pigeons,

Skimming the rooflines of strip malls, would never know.)



After a few months, folks stopped seeing the bird

And his wild-*** air show.  

Maybe it had been a bit slow

On the uptake while pulling out of a dive,

Or perhaps it finally came around to the notion

That a pigeon was, after all, just a pigeon, no more and no less.

Hell, maybe it set off for the High Peaks after all.

I’ve read that the ancients would read the entrails of birds

In order to tell the future, and maybe they could,

But in my book, ignoring the sweep and swoop of flight

And the mysteries of why-they-do-what

So you can ponder and mull over

The collection of bugs and gravel in its guts

Says about all I need to know about the notion of wisdom.








It was back in…hell, must have been seventy-six?

Anyway, I was livin’ up around Bolton Landing

And doing some odd jobs (some very odd, indeed,

But that’s another story for another time)

At the Sagamore—big fancy hotel on Lake George—

When I started hearing people runnin’ their pie-holes

About this crazy-*** pigeon.  Folks were saying

The **** bird had somehow got ahold of the idea

That it was a ******* hawk or falcon,

Swooping down like it was after rabbits or field mice

Instead of bits of bread, and some of the old-timers

(Most likely addled by the years, or maybe having lived alone

For a little too **** long) swore on the graves

Of their dear sainted mothers that they had seen it do full-out barrel rolls.



Well, little towns are all about big talk,

So naturally I wasn’t about to put much stock

In this particular rural legend—but one day I’m walking around downtown,

And I see this chunky blue-gray blur tear-assing

Down around my pantleg for a bit before it leveled off

And started to climb, throwing in a couple of three-quarter turns

Just for ***** and giggles.



I saw that **** thing do its stunt flying

Several times after that:  loop-de-loops, death spirals

And a few more power dives, just to scare the women and children.

That old fool bird was pretty scuffed up and worse for wear

From its acrobatics—after all, it was just a pigeon

And it could daredevil from sunup to sundown,

But that didn’t mean it was likely to turn into no Blue Angel



The third, or maybe the fourth, time I happened to catch the bird’s act

I caught a glimpse of its head, and I swear to you,

On all I hold true and holy, the bird was…grimacing,

Like it was just plain sick and tired of all the limitations

That nature had foisted off on fat, ungainly creatures

Like itself.  Some days I would walk past the old McEachern place,

And I’d see that bird perched on an old, mostly-collapsed barn

Just staring at the cloud cover hiding Mount Marcy

(Where eagles lived in the crags, breathing the rarified air

That pigeons, skimming the rooflines of strip malls, would never know.)



After a few months, folks stopped seeing the bird

And his wild-*** air show.  Maybe it had been a bit slow

On the uptake while pulling out of a dive,

Or perhaps it finally came around to the notion

That a pigeon was, after all, just a pigeon, no more and no less.

Hell, maybe it set off for the High Peaks after all.

I’ve read that the ancients would read the entrails of birds

In order to tell the future, and maybe they could,

But in my book, ignoring the sweep and swoop of flight

And the mysteries of why-they-do-what

So you can ponder and mull over

The collection of bugs and gravel in its guts

Says about all I need to know about the notion of wisdom.




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Wk kortas May 13
Consider, if you will, the fullness of all
Which Nature has made, seemingly infinite in variety
Its endless permutations randomly arrayed
In such a manner that science and piety
Would concur that its bounty is to be enjoyed
For nothing more than its boundless, lovely inscrutability
Yet its works exhibit a consistency
To be employed in the service of mankind,
A felicitous though unacknowledged design
Enabling the manufacture of such potions,
Such poultices designed to bend the wills of men
As they are, regrettably, such malleable, lightweight notions,
Not given to steadfastness or certainty of action
The upshot of which sadly proved beyond my ken,
A final, fatal blunder, a failing to sufficiently consider
That man lacks the stability of the simple hyacinth
And what he has created, God shall put asunder.
Wk kortas May 5
It is an undertaking to be done with some trepidation,
As the arrival of June-like warmth and sunshine
Can lead us to an unwise giddiness,
A disregard for what we instinctually know
Concerning the introduction of basil and succulents
While the spectre of an unwelcome late-season freeze
Lurks some days westward in Calgary or Winnipeg,
But this is mostly the grunt work
One puts in for preparation for summer's bounty,
The shoveling and hoeing and grunting
Which one performs with pro forma grunting and *******
There is a certain reflexive restoration in this task
Which belies our outward irritation
And though we cast the odd sideways glance
Toward the shadows at the back of the lot
Where rabbits and chipmunks
And other less tangible potential enemies lie in wait
There is a warmth which permeates marrow and memory,
A thing which recalls a child running
Through torrents of October leaves
Or sitting wordlessly with a loved one on the porch
Or any number of tableaus from this thing
Of worry and wonder.
Wk kortas Apr 27
It was a trip which was essential, one supposes,
Though the notion that one must parse
Which forays into the outdoors
Require self-justification
(If we are short on milk, can one linger on
To peruse beer or chips, or gaze longingly
At the ground beef and chicken *******
Priced into the lofty realm of the luxury item?)
In the midst of this reverie upon the new regimen,,
I turned onto a side street, where I happened to see
A young girl dipping a small wand
Into a non-descript bottle,
And as the implement came forth,
Great globular soap bubbles appeared
Huge unrestrained things,
Floating onward and upward without care nor restraint,
And though the child was suitably masked,
It took no more than the quickest glance into her eyes
To know her smile was every bit as beatific
As any enjoyed by our mothers or grandmothers
Or any such progeny as may come to be
In what one hopes will be better times.
Wk kortas Apr 22
It stood on a mound, prepossessing in its own right,
But the height of the grim, unadorned steeple
And the tableau it cast when storms would roll in
From the cold gray waters of Lake Erie
Was somewhat intimidating to small children
And others predisposed to being dominated,
Though what awaited one within
Could be equally intimidating, if no more so;
Oh, there was the nod to brotherly love
And coming to God with a joyful noise,
But the occupants of the pulpit
(Invariably square-jawed, gray-maned older men
Whose visages were brewing maelstroms,
Incipient cloudbursts on the very precipice
Of drenching the insufficiently pious)
Left no doubt as to the serious of their mission,
And were equally up front as to the cataclysm
Which would rain down on the congregation,
The mills, the town and all those
Who proved insufficient in their piety,
And while there were questions
Concerning prescience and cause-and-effect,
Most of what they threatened came to be
(The Montmorenci Company shuttered and silent,
A sad procession of U-Hauls, all on one-way rentals
Tottering out of town after the muted goodbyes)
Though, as an unintended and unforeseen consequence,
Taking the church as well, its grounds now only visited
By mothers and small children
Clambering upon the playground equipment
The church begrudgingly installed
Shortly before it closed its doors for good,
And when the gunboat-gray clouds
Rolled on down from up near Buffalo,
They would hurry on home
As the droplets, relative leviathans
Slapping on the pavement as they scurried home,
Came at increasingly frequent intervals,
And though they could hear the rumbles of thunder
Grumbling with a certain portent as the storm moved closer,
Their procession, though quite brisk,
Was more unless unworried,
The adults knowing full well the downpours
Were merely succor upon the carrots and gardenias.
Wk kortas Apr 17
In his reveries, there is no furtive glancing around corners,
No skulking and scraping to hide from scowling gendarmes.
He is huge, *******, a proto-Kong of the wrong side of the tracks,
(Indeed, more than that—beyond the corporeal,
Something elemental, Master of Nature’s laws
Yet subservient to none of them)
Strutting down the boulevards and byways,
Marching through the very midst of graveside services,
Feasting on the floral tributes,
Fornicating with the freshly dug earth.
And he races onward, unconstrained and uncontrollable,
Forcing himself upon matchstick girl and street urchin,
Misusing them in horrible, unspeakable ways,
(His appetites creatures unto themselves,
Not subject by the boundaries of propriety or biology)
Taking for himself their sad collections of pennies,
Tossing them heavenward to rain down in a copper cacophony
Before he steals upon an unsuspecting bobby,
Slitting his throat and setting the corpse afire,
Proceeding then to urinate upon the ashes.
As these tableaus unfold in the nickelodeon of his sleep
(Not accompanied by some tinkling version of Hurry No. 26
Jangling uncertainly on some hayseed the-ay-ter untuned upright
But rather by some Dada-esque concoction
Bereft of consistent key or time signature)
He laughs unrestrainedly, bereft of cause or context
Without a trace of mirth or simple humanity.
The glittering lights
Of the City below
Shimmer in the
Sunrise glow
As I perch on
My rocky throne
To admire them.
Neon snails slowly
Inch their way along
The distant highway.
Flocks of starlings
Spray themselves
Across the rosy sky
And I am content.
           LJM
A different way of getting high.
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