Archive for June 15th, 2014

Narrative alive.

There is, to begin with, possibility.

Then I spot him, traveling towards the tractor at one foot per minute, a turtle snug inside a richly embellished box. The turtle I have been looking for all week.

Turtle by the barn.

Seeking shelter from the storm?

He sees me, but he doesn’t take me very seriously. He keeps the nose extended by which he beat Achilles across the line, so many races ago. Been here longer than you, he says, and I know things you are not equipped to know.

Looking at me.

Looking at you.

I record the hieroglyphics, of course, for reading later. I’m on to him, the little hardshell walking billboard.


Ready to take the weight.

He holds me with his glittering eye. I could put you on your back, I say, and make a soup tureen of your shell. You may now go, he says,  commit less harm today than yesterday. I’m expecting the world will be on my back soon enough. Was that not, I ask, exactly what I proposed a moment ago? Gravity is established law. You’re annoying me, he says, go on, I’ve prepared your way; but do not imagine I will forget about the soup tureen.

Your turn.

Red eye.

The turtle is right, I see that now. The path ahead beckons to me. We’d better both get moving, each at his native pace.

Stone crop.

The way in.

Follow the stone crop along the stones, past the creeping thyme, then right to the Peace Rose, unseen.

White as snow.

Wot, mai I not stonden here?

But first I’ll have to decide about the mushroom. I could cut it up for dinner, which would not at all hurt the underlying life-form, but might prove fatal for me. It is a great white, so it is pure, the poison unalloyed, toxin simple. Unless it is wholesome despite it’s shade. Dilemma, dilemma.

Quite white.

With divots from fairie golf.

Ah! She will know, the tiny red toad. And she will speak to me, unlike the mute ‘shroom.

And she does speak, says that a toadstool is wherever a toad sits, not separately extant; that I must not malign the turtles under the earth or the pillar of toads that holds up the dome of heaven; and that she suggests I should not eat the fungus. After I offer, and she accepts, a tiny thimble of a somewhat hoppy local ale, she tells me everything I must do tomorrow.

Resting at high alert.

Thumb toad at ready.

But that’s a story for another day.


Tags: , , , , ,

The Zombie Army of Iraq.

Our handiwork.

Our handiwork.

America rules.

For we created the army that is now slouching towards Baghdad.
We killed Saddam’s army once when we invaded, with shock and awe.
We killed it again when we disbanded the army, de-Baathification (Paul Bremer, almost offhandedly: cue the looters).
We killed it a third time with our “surge” to destroy the subsequent insurgency.

But each time we killed the Sunni Baathist Army of Iraq, it resurrected, mightier and meaner than before,
for it is of that place as we are not.

This time, the zombies may win it all back.
Only one thing can stop them: the lack of any remaining brains, either here or there, worth eating.
Flesh alone may not be enough to sustain them — marching as Napoleon said all armies do on their stomaches.

Shall we test if the flesh of chicken-hawks might prove toxic?

Behold what we have wrought, America.


Tags: , , , , ,

Just toads, all the way up.

The orange one returned yesterday. The cup without a seedling was not what he had in mind, but neither was the seedling. They shared for a while; afterwards, fluffed and straightened up a bit, the seedling was unhurt.

First time in a cup.

Orange is the old toad.

Today a smaller gray visitor occupied the same toad-tested cup most of the morning. Why did he come? Why that cup? Why did he go? Will he return? To that cup?

The vitreous is deep and quiet.

We see you, too, but it’s not the same.

The slot eyes are fathomless, solid black, ten million years deep. Not a hostile stare, but fixed and judging. I am glad we have not disturbed the pristine watershed that extends 1200 feet (vertically, 1800 along the ground) up from the house to the Little Bald, glad that our gardening is (almost perfectly) organic. That will be in your report, won’t it?

Unblunk eye.

Sharing with the toad.

The bushman laughed, asked what was underneath the turtle that carried the earth on its back. It’s just turtles, he said, turtles all the way down.

I think, all the way up, it’s toads. The eye of heaven is the omniscient unblinking eye of the highest and holiest toad in the stack.

Are our visitors one of the varieties that excretes psychedelic sweat? We shall not try that question; it would be presumption of a most unwholesome and disturbing sort. We are better for not knowing.

To be visited, that is enough; allowed to host.


Tags: , , , ,