Saturday, May 23, 2015

It's all in how you look at things!

Ever notice that people make assumptions to support their way of thinking rather than accept an idea that might threaten how they want to look at things. Here's an example of what I mean. Last summer I had a thriving, beautiful birch tree behind my kitchen window and this year I don't. It was debated in my family as to how it died. Perhaps a woodpecker we often saw pecking at it killed it, or it could have succumbed to the harsh cold winds of winter.

I told my family that I thought the tree had too much water directed to it which caused problems for the tree's roots. Because the pipes in our sup-pump froze, water from our basement was redirected through the wall of the basement. Thankfully, this action prevented our basement from flooding, but a stream of water flowed towards the birch tree.  Everybody in my house wanted to blame the woodpecker, but I didn't think if was the woodpecker's fault.. Whatever the reason the tree has been cut down. We plan to make something decorative from it's trunk and branches. 

In memory of my birch tree I'm posting several poems by Ted Hughes (1930 - 1998). Ted Hughes wrote numerous volumes of poetry from the late 1950's onward, and he was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984, receiving the Order of Merit in 1998. His classic story The Iron Man was made into a an animated film, The Iron Giant, in 1999, after his passing. I like Ted Hughes prose. His poems have some great insights about the animal he is writing about, although most of it is just delightfully silly.


Woodpecker is rubber-necked
    But has a nose of steel.
He bangs his head against the wall
    and cannot even feel.

When Woodpecker's jack-hammer head
    Starts up its dreadful din
Knocking the dead bough double dead
    How do his eyes stay in?

Pity the poor dead oak that cries
    In terrors and pains.
But pity more Woodpecker's eyes
    And bouncing rubber brains.


I don't know about flies.

I don't like to see a fly
Wandering about in the air
Outside a rabbit-hole, then going in.
Somebody's died down there.

I don't like to see a fly
Tapping the eye ball
And peering into the eye
Of a cow stretched out in her stall.

And I hate to feel a fly
When I'm taking a snooze after lunch
Walk to my mouth-corner -
As if just checking a hunch.


With skin all wrinkled
Like a Whale
On a ribbon of sea
Comes the moonlit Snail.

The Cabbage murmurs:
'I feel something's wrong!'
The Snail says 'Shhh!
I am God's tongue.'

The Rose shrieks out:
'What's this? O what's this?'
The Snail says: 'Shhh!
I am God's kiss.'

So the whole garden
(Till stars fail)
Suffers the passion
Of the Snail.

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