Monday, September 24, 2018

QUICK, LIKE AN ANIMAL…*


Like a meerkat? That would be me alright. I’m
from a mob, a gang, a clan, a manner – isn’t that
fascinating? So many collectives for such a wee
mammal. We’re known as one of the most cooperative
groups of mammals in the world because of the way
we’re able to live together, raise our families, look
out for each other; at night we sleep together in one
big pile. We might not be able to always fend off
a poisonous snake like our cousin, the mongoose,
but we can disarm a scorpion and teach our young
to do likewise – and eat it! Yeah, and we’re cute.

*From E.Bachinsky’s poem St.Sarah.1 from the book
Home of Sudden Service.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS*


too many of us! It’s Insulting that sign out there
 – right where you enter the park—to see us, and
on the map, there’s a hand-lettered warning…a warning!
It reads, “Here’s your chance to
bypass the monkeys (baboons are unpredictable and
have been known to damage cars) – feel free to take 
the road to the right.” What? Bypass us? We’re the
most entertaining bunch of bananas of all. The rest
of them just laze around, or pick leaves off trees, or
soak in the ponds. Sheesh! We stage pretend fights,
hang upside down from your roof and look right at you,
oh – okay – occasionally we might tamper with a wind-
shield wiper or an antenna or something but really,
we’re very well-behaved. Especially since that incident
with Baboo – never mind, he doesn’t live here anymore.


*From E.Bachinsky’s poem How to Bag Your Small Town Girl 
from the book Home of Sudden Service.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

AT SCHOOL WHERE YOU LEARN*


all sorts of things – about people and countries
and animals – did you happen to learn about
White Lions? I know I didn’t, didn’t even know
they existed until I saw them at a Safari Zoo, then
learned they are not an anomaly but are a breed 
unto themselves. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, 
but the rare white lions of Timbavati are not albino, 
their colour is due to a recessive gene variant 
called leucistic. Their skin and coat colour vary 
from pure white to tawny blonde, and, unlike 
albino animals, they don’t have pink/red eyes 
or skin – the colour of their eyes runs the gamut 
from hazel-golden, to green, to blue. They’re in 
danger of extinction but are also being protected 
in zoos around the world.

*From E. Bachinsky’s poem For the Teen Moms 
at the Valley Fair Mall (4.and furthermore) 
from the book, Home of Sudden Service.





Friday, September 7, 2018

THANKS BE TO THE FAITHFUL


Every time I return from yet
another sojourn
to the great beyond, 
an increasingly unknowable place
that grows ever more difficult to describe
and even more challenging to articulate.

Without exception, without fail,
I am always warmly welcomed back
Embraced by a group of friends,
the nucleus of which
is such that I know not how to classify, 
categorize, or in any way explain.

Such exceptional people, I am certain,
are as rare as true love and just as precious,
if not more so. People – friends, of whom 
I know I am unworthy—yet 
feel incredibly blessed to have in my life.

When I finally soar back into their lives, 
as if on the wings of some recalcitrant
—or at least at last, forgiving angel,
there are never any recriminations,
nor the slightest whiff of disapproval
and not a hint of disappointment.

If any of these, feel any of that, they 
are incredibly careful to keep such 
feelings expressly well-hidden, from me. 
Their love and acceptance seem, 
and after years of experience, 
I believe is, truly unconditional.

So – no matter how long my
fickle health has me go to ground
or contrarily, provokes
months of behaviour so bizarre
my family must crave disowning me,
this company, never intrusively,

always reassuringly, but really – just there—
lets me know, throughout all the
shades and vagaries that
make up my shredded life:
I am loved, I am treasured,
I am valued beyond all measure and—

when I am so inclined, or my demons at last
let loose their surly bonds; no matter should it take
a million untold days, my band of allies will still be there for me
Eager, nay, impatient to help pick up the ruined threads
that link the fragile web of my existence
to the weft and weave of theirs, and to carry on as if uninterrupted... 

We continue—
their strength becomes
my strength, at least
for a time
and I know,  
I do, I am so very blessed.

S.E.Ingraham










Wednesday, September 5, 2018

DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS *


Three green Adirondack chairs crouch in the snow – pick one
for your afternoon break; one where you will sit and gaze at – at
what? Will it be a mountain-side? Will it be a frozen lake ringed
by a thickly treed forest? Will it be a winding road leading to a 
place disappearing in the distance? No-one has sat in the chairs
for a while; you will have to dust the snow off once you’ve made
your choice. Will it be worth it? 

*From Elizabeth Bachinsky's poem B&E from the book Home of Sudden Service.

 

SOFT COATS THAT GLEAM *


We, this year, have slipped quietly onto the endangered
species list…our numbers have been depleted by 40%
over the past 3 decades. At this rate, we will become
extinct very soon. People complain about us being in
zoos. Some zoos are keeping us from disappearing with
breeding programs and seeing we don’t get sick from Aids, 
or poached either. I’d rather be in a zoo than be shot or sick
on the plains of Africa.  

*From Elizabeth Bachinsky's poem Of a Time from the 
  book Home of Sudden Service.

FROM A DISTANCE AMONG THE TREES...*


I can almost believe I am back home. Almost. 
The day must be particularly hot for me to fool
myself into thinking I’m on the Serengeti and that
the rest of my family are just over there. I am luckier
than most here – I came to this zoo with my parents
and my sister. Many others come alone and have to
make families out of the ones they meet here. Still,
my mother cries for my brothers left behind. So, do I.
She tells me I am safe here, will not be killed, and that’s
something good to remember. I try.

*From Elizabeth Bachinsky’s poem Night Voices from 
  the book Home of Sudden Service.