Thoughts About College Football — Georgia-Alabama 2020

My relationship with football has always been tumultuous. As a child I enjoyed playing in pick-up or school matches, although my parent never urged me to play in any organized youth football league such as Pop Warner. Growing up in both Upstate New York and California, baseball was more the sport of choice for kids in their school years, and I was both a pitcher and second-baseman through junior high. My college years were spent sequentially at the University of California at Berkeley and UC Davis, and both schools had a star quarterback…


Hummingbirds at the Feeder in September

These dwarf jets, emerald
Feathers fading to white.
Dogfight, figure eights
And double barrel rolls,
Rewarded with tongue-sips
Of sweet sugar water.

Our small grey side porch
Sports a faux flower vine.
Glass tube sprouting carmine
And yellow nectaries.

The birds contest these
Ten square feet, like Liston
And Ali, who floated like
A butterfly but couldn’t
Zig-zag like a hummer.

Backstroking, they hover,
Folding the air, black
And white-tipped tails flared
Wings pulsing accusations,
Surging forward
For the knock-out.

Slowly, I open the
Kitchen door, accidental
Impalement possible by
The just-launched F-14 that
Roosts in my neighbor’s…


Damn, what the hell?
Shuffling upstream,
Just outside the
Rhododendron line
Electric needles strike
Forearm, ankle and neck.
Effing yellow jackets.

Mother drove poorly
Always fiddling,
Cigarettes or radio.
Until her 65 German
Ghia…


Such small spheres
One inch, maybe two
Red as a Spanish rose
Or yellow; the solstice sun.

Blam go my taste buds
Tartness sliding round
A startled tongue
Fleshy pulp, sour and sweet…


Budbreak

For JW and WW

I.

March 22, and life pivots
Mother Sun climbs the rungs
Of her annual ladder
Solstice to Equinox.
In the Georgia woods,
A lone wren calls.

Ground fog rises
Through trunks painted
In grays, and corrugated
Browns. The aged
Palettes of Bruegel, Elder
And Younger

But small greens call
Spring’s name. That
Boisterous child of
Each solar cycle.
Trees leafing out
Fast as snapped fingers.

Mint, moss, and shamrock.
Limbs putting on
Lime cloaks, ripening
To olive, like my
Skin, aged from
Ivory to speckled tan.

II

Leaf-fall is months away,
And that final Winter.
Three score…


King of the food bar
Strutting his stuff
A preening rock star
With bulging stomach.

A blushing male
Teenager really,
Approaches, and
Bully hurtles from
Above, eyes sparking
Yellow anger.


Gary D. Grossman

I.

Flew home from Israel,
In week two of the Plague,
Fourteen day quarantine,
And my Zayde’s haint,
Rasps “Idle hands…Devil’s friend”.
So I’m painting our mange-
Blotched, 1940s Cape Cod,
Our peeling, white, heart-haven.

Kibbutz Mizra, Plague day four,
I flail against the government’s web.
Cancelled flights and shuttered stores.
In the Holy Land,
Where the air rustles nervously,
Despite greening hills. And
There is no moderation.

The new order tells
My hotel to shed me,
Like winter fur in April.
But kindness prevails,
And I remain, fed even.
Anxiety forecast now
Cloudy with occasional sun.


Hand Sanitizer

Years, no, weeks ago,
I had no use for hand
Disinfectant.

No peering at label’s
Alcohol content,
Like I do for bottles
Of Cabernet, and
Moderate ETOH.

Or…


Pine needles shiver
It is 40 degrees

I watch a squirrel

Perched on the
Jagged remainder

Of what was

A 20 foot branch
A memory of

Last month’s gale.

His…


I said “honey, I have to go to the potty now.” And you asked “Can I come too.” And I said “sure.” And we walked, together, to the yellow bathroom, the one down the hall from your bathroom. And you said “What’s that?” And I replied “my pee pee.” And you inquired “You have a boy pee pee?” And I said “yes.” Then you asked “I have a boy pee pee?” And I answered “no, you have a girl pee pee.” Then I said “Honey, please move back a little, it makes me nervous when you stand so close to…

Gary David Grossman

Professor animal ecology, writer, Dr. Trout for Am. Angler ‘08–’19, ukulele player, sculptor, runner, fly fisher, reader, gardener, all on www.garygrossman.net

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