The Stag At My Sit Spot
By Marguerite Holmes
I go to my Sit Spot in a wooded area of Memorial Park – under the only pine tree I can see among the hardwoods in this spot. To my left is a gully. I have settled for only a minute or two when I hear an urgent chuffing sound across the gully. It is a sound I’ve never heard before. I move only my eyes and see through the dappled sunlit branches the white tail of a doe chuffing to her two fawns to move away from where I sit across the gully.
Chipmunks stop scolding and the birds are silent: a stranger is in the landscape. Am I a threat? I hear a much stronger chuffing closer to me on the other side of the gully. I sit VERY STILL.
A stag walks into the opposite clearing and makes insistent chuffing sounds, challenging me to react or move. I do not. This continues a time until he decides I must belong and he ambles off in the direction of the doe and fawns. The birds and chipmunks resume their morning conversations and all is well. All is brand new for me after the magical moment that I am accepted as part of the landscape. Four Haikus capture the essence of this story:
My Sit Spot
Time and I sit still …
Eager for the Moment when
We and Woods are one.
Curious, he stares
And questions my credentials
To be one with him.
A magical choice
Moves me from threat to comrade.
Awe gratitudes me.
How carefreely he
Accepts me as belonging
To the All-That-Is!
By Charley Seagraves
Parked my truck near the Globe,
the Christmas lights were blinking,
I was two quarters short for the meter,
went inside and started drinking.
Forgot to feed my meter
until it was much too late,
a ticket awaited on my windshield,
I got caught tempting fate.
A sawbuck it cost me,
ten bones, a ten-spot, a dime,
now that drink I was gonna buy you
will have to wait for another time.
For when you park in downtown Athens,
there’s always a price to pay,
you gotta feed that insatiable meter
every night and every day.
The meter maid who burned me,
I know her very well,
she seldom smiles, stalking the streets,
a stoic mademoiselle.
A chalk stick in one hand,
a scowl across her face,
she often appears out of nowhere,
as if she came from cyberspace.
She does not care for excuses,
so avoid that slippery slope,
I have no doubt whatsoever
she would ticket even the Pope.
When I spot her coming down Clayton,
I run to feed my meter,
I do not know her name,
but to me she looks like a Rita.
My younger self talks to my older self after meeting me at the coffee shop
by Mark Bromberg
“…but you don’t go hiking anymore?”
“Oh sure, the urban canyons are pretty exciting too.”
“No I mean the mountains and the woods.”
“At this age it’s all mountains and woods. The streets are filled with beasts and wonders.”
“Well that seems like a cop-out for some kind of old book-reading hippie.”
“But you see, that’s the pleasure of it. After awhile, to a certain age, the fun is all up here.”
(my older self taps noggin) “I have friends.”
“Not only imaginary ones, I hope.”
“Real ones too. Just because I’m older doesn’t mean my brains don’t work.”
“Still a hard head, though. Putting your head through a windshield…”
“No, that was you, remember, freshmen year in Toronto, riding shotgun in a ’65 Mustang.”
“Oh yeah, right. Well, your memory’s good.”
“I’m still a writer, smart guy. Now I just topple over occasionally.”
“Ouch. Well, the falls still haven’t knocked any sense into you.”
“It’s a gift. I’m still more surprised by imagination than reality.”
“…well, gotta run. I’m heading to the bookstore.”
“See you there…still reading, too. Some things don’t change.”
“Anything I haven’t done yet? I’m surprised I’m still around at 60 plus.”
That question stops the older me for a minute. Finally, I have it.
“Only one thing… You still haven’t met Keith Richards.”