Nature’s Unseen Path

Ronovans Haiku Challenge #92 Life and Path


“Pathways” Original Acrylic Artwork By Stuart Glazer*


Leaping whitetail deer
follow nature’s unseen path
-dappled bits of life

-Clarence Holm

Dear Santa – S’il Vous Plait

It’s that time of year again, when tradition has me compile a list of items that I most desire. However after years of endless requests and items duly received, this year I’ve only one small wish that I would like granted—

I have no need for a bike tonight,
Or sweater that’s tailored tight.
A simple wish I make today
That’s all I need from Santa’s sleigh.

In fact, it’s a message for you to carry,
To my friends and family making merry.
I think it’s time to tell each and every one
How much in life they’ve really done.

For every occurrence, each little tussel,
Gave us all a little hustle.
Each made an impact that’s plain to see
So thank you all for what’s been given to me.

To Jack, the eldest of the tribe this advice he freely offers,
Including this financial gem, guaranteed to fill our coffers.
Never turn down “refills and top offs” poured by neighborly clans
Especially at reunions with plentiful cookie stands.

To Jerry, the only one among us not dependent on Obamacare.
Who made a life most true with his carpenter’s square
Whose year is lived in different countries,
Says switching locations is a breeze.

Next there’s the one that holds us all together
Our sister Joanne who acts as the family’s tether.
Who’s defied the odds using incredible guile
Cracking the whip wearing a cheerful smile.

Following in the family organization,
Is our expert in commercialization.
Jim has skills that we all agree
Has suffered through years of corporate conferees.

Lastly my little brother Gene,
Whose family has grown umpteen.
Unfortunately Boston’s Red Sox, and the New England’s Pats
Have let him down with sickly stats.

Before I wish a pleasant Christmas eve
I have to say as I take my leave
I’ll miss you all as midnight’s strike
As Santa calls to all good night.

Stuck At The Mall

With apologies to Christmas Carolers “Up On The House Top” everywhere!

Stuck at the mall this holiday night
Boring as heck – I have to just sit tight
Down to JC Penney, that was just the start
It was just a warm up, see the shopping cart!

Oh me oh my! I want to die! Oh dear Lord! I’m so bored
Stuck like a mall rat, whine, whine, whine
No hope for TV, I’m in a check-out line!

First came a blister on my little toe
Oh dear heaven see it swell.
Limping and hopping I trudge along
Hoping and praying it won’t take too long.

Oh me oh my! I want to die! Oh dear Lord! I’m so bored
Stuck like a mall rat, whine, whine, whine
No hope for TV, I’m in a check-out line!

– Saint Clarence

Karma Is A Slippery Slope!

Last night my wife got her car stuck in the driveway in the freshly fallen snow. She managed to get out of the car and trudge through about a foot of snow up the driveway into our house.

When she told me what had happened, I immediately rose (with manly manners) and said, “I’ll go out and drive the car up the driveway into the garage. — No problem!” With all the bravado I could muster I slipped on my tennis shoes along with a hooded sweatshirt and went out the front door.

Immediately my tennis shoes filled with snow from the deep snow drift that covered our sidewalk. Undeterred from the melting water in my shoes, I high-stepped my way to the driveway, only to notice that my wife’s car had been left very close to the side of the driveway very near a five foot pile of snow. “Boy” I thought. “She must have barely been able to slip out of the car.” I also started to wonder, “How I will be able to get between the car and that huge snow pile and still get in the door!”

Aware that neighbors were now watching my progress from the safety of their living room windows, I realized that my pride was at risk. “I would get in that car and I would gloriously drive it to the safety of our double garage (a mere 30 feet away).”

Pointing my right foot east and my left foot west, I edged my way alongside the car on the 6 inch ice covered gap between the two. Working my body into an entry position I reached with my left arm to the driver’s door. I felt both my feet slip slowly towards – then under the car. At the same time I fell backwards into the freshly piled bank of snow, sinking deeply in the welcome embrace of the wet and cold snow. It didn’t take me long to realize that:

1) I was trapped in the snow unable to get up.

2) The snow had slipped under my sweat shirt and was now melting in the small of my back and

3) Chances were very good my neighbors were preparing a “YouTube” video for upload to the Net.

As the blood found its way back into my brain, I worked on a plan to get up and out. The snow had me firmly imprisoned by the walls of the snow drift and my wife’s car, not allowing me to turn left or right. I was also unable to place my arms behind me (because of the deep snow) to help lift myself up. My only chance was to grab the door handles of the car and pull myself out of this predicament. With the resolve born of desperation, I grabbed both car handles and pulled as hard as I could – only to have the doors swing open above me, further pinning me to the snow.

As I paused there, considering if & when the spring thaw would arrive and save me, one of my neighbors ambled across the street and said, “Are you gonna get up?”

With humiliation creeping ever nearer, I made one last effort to crawl out backward, tunneling through the snow. Finally extricating myself from under the car, I nonchalantly brushed myself off. My neighbor said “Good! You got out.” and returned to clearing his own driveway.

Slowly I shuffled back up my driveway, through the snow covered sidewalk and finally staggered into my warm home, where I made myself some hot chocolate, all the while considering an early retirement and the overwhelming desire to permanently move south.

Oyster Crackers

– Recollections of Christmas Eve, Abt. 1958 – Cuba, North Dakota

Of course it was Christmas Day that included a holiday feast with ham, turkey and all the trimmings, but it was the Christmas Eve meal that would become our family’s favorite tradition.  My parents loved oyster stew and crackers, and would served it as our family’s “pre-gift” Holiday Eve treat. Unfortunately, my brother Eugene and I wouldn’t eat it. To placate us, the youngest of the six children, they would serve a second type of soup, Campbell’s chicken noodle. Even though we had different soups, we all shared the other part of the menu, the little round oyster crackers.

Other holiday meals included richer foods, but the sights and smells of the chicken and oyster soups along with the crackle of the cellophane bag containing those crackers, remain in my memory.

The soups were served at our table in the pots they were warmed in. Our entire family would sit around the Formica topped kitchen table with its matching vinyl and chrome chairs and would wait to eat until Joanne, the only girl of the six children, lead us through Grace saying, “Bless us Oh Lord…”

My mother would dish up the soup. She knew we had to finish the meal quickly! The doors to the rest of the house had been closed, to allow Santa to enter and bring our gifts. Those same doors would not be reopened until everyone was finished with their soup and oyster crackers.

In most families it would be the children who would have a hard time waiting, but not in ours. It was mother who poked and prodded us to finish the meal. Mom loved Christmas! She could barely stand the wait to see what Santa had brought. While we slurped at our soup, she would exclaim, “Did you hear that? I think I heard Santa’s reindeer on the roof!” Or, if that didn’t work, she would shush us and say, “Do you hear sleigh bells?”

We children loved the time between our parent closing the hallway doors and waiting for them to open them again, allowing us into Christmas. Anticipation warmed us as our mother stoked the fires of our imagination. It was a magic time. It was the time when everything we dreamt of was possible. Even as children, we sensed we should hold that feeling and revel in that moment.

After the meal was finished, the doors would be opened and we would be allowed to open the gifts that were left for us. Memories of the gifts that my parents had scrimped and saved for all that year have long ago faded. I’m sure we were given lots of toys and candy along with new clothes to wear for Christmas. I vaguely recall trying to learn the rules of new games and my older brother’s exasperation as he read the instructions out loud to us over and over again. But these are distant memories.

Christmas days come and go; gifts under a tree fade with the years. Only the best moments of Christmas stay with you forever.