Huntergal Val

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Wild Rice Tree Stand; Season Opener

Glancing through a network of leafless branches,
The steady stream of the gently, curving river is interrupted by a young doe foraging through from one muddy shore to a safer more thicketed shore.
Her presence breaks the water into a v-shaped ripple.
Ever so gently she discovers a well-worn leaf-lined path through the woods.
She stops intently staring into the blaze orange huntergal’s scope, then she turns away, fading, disappearing into the shelter of the trees and undergrowth.
She is small yet, plus the hunter only can seek a buck.
So she lives, yet another year, and another season.
The sun rises in early dawn, glistening on the river.
The squrrels scold the intruder in their trees. The birds whistle from up high. The branches quiver in the breeze. Distant gunfire echoes out, as each of the other hunters hope to claim their deer.
The huntergal patiently awaits.

Poetry Month 1/30

Featured

The Hat

Back in the 60’s people dressed up more, especially going to church. I had stretchy white gloves and tights, and pretty, lacy hats and purses, and shiny, patent leather shoes.
My hair was brushed into waves and curls, after my mom wet, rolled, dried, and unrolled my hair with pink spongy curlers.

Mom had dark, curled hair ratted into a bowling ball shape, heightened with a wiglet hair piece. Her features were enhanced by green eyes, a prominent nose, dimples in both of her cheeks, and a divot in her chin. Red was her signature lipstick color.
She wore polyester dresses, or shells (sleeveless tops) and skirts with cardigans. She always wore longline bras, and nylons hooked to a girdle underneath a full or half-slip. Her shoes were usually spike-heeled pumps, which were a bit awkward as they poked holes in the snow-covered icy sidewalks on our wintery walks to church.
The following poem takes one back to that era:

The Hat
So proudly she donned her newest treasure,
Promenading so proudly with such pleasure.
I thought, “how cool!”
Folds of black scarving formed a turban-like base,
Which beautifully framed her eyes, and eyebrows and her dimply, rosey-cheeked face!
The highlight of this amazing, millinery marvel drew the viewers eyes upward,
Roving towards a ruffled, virtual “forest” of feathers,
Flopping, floating, crazily “every-which-way” without rhymed reasoning,
And so gloriously- absurd!
Well, my mom decided to wear this new accent to her beauty,
To our Midwestern church,
Whose opinionated members were quite conservative, gossipy, and snooty.
I thought, “How fun!”
She had the best time, in church, as her feathers tickled my dad’s nose,
And, as she slipped into the lady’s room afterwards, starred down by two snobbish crows.
Coffee-time in the “Church-ladies’ basement” was definitely a hoot!
The feathers flew freely onto our clothes,  jackets, and suits.
Ironically, many of the ladies, although enviously green.
And despite the drama, and the spectacle of the scene,
Poured out compliments, as the church crowd giggled and cooed,
Nobody showed my mom their usually snobbery, nor were they rude.
I thought, “Wow!”
I think from that Sunday, onward, we found,
The church became less uppity, and perhaps, nicer all around.
Unfortunate for my mom, arriving back home, instead,
My dad told her, she’s never to wear that crazy hat, again, on her head,
So, it went back permanently in its box on a shelf, near their bed.
Until now, forgotten.

 

 

Breeze & Boppa

Breeze & Boppa

By Valerie J. Laidlaw

Breeze loves her “Boppa,”

And, she knows he loves her, too!

She dances and sings, “Boppa”

And, screams with such excitement,

When he calls “Grma” on the phone.

She knows he’s coming over,

Through the door into her home.

She likes his hat and whiskers,

And, they always share a smile,

“Boppa’s” coming for a visit,

For a long or little while.

There’s a special bond

Between them,

Breeze and “Boppa” style!

Peaceful

Peaceful

By Valerie J Laidlaw

A fresh blanket of pure white snow.

A peaceful quiet surrounds me.

I sit outside cloaked in my plush robe

Sipping a granny mug of warmed coffee

Spiked with a caramel monster java.

The moon and a few stars shine

In a fading dark blue, predawn sky.

White fluffy clouds like clumps of quilt batting

Float eastward in the breeze.

A scraping sound breaks the silence

As a neighbor shovels his walk.

My Aussie howls to respond to a distant bark.

The sparrows are still asleep

As are the squirrels and bunnies

Still burrowed under the shed.

A winter world is waking up

As the sun slowly rises.

Time to go inside

To warm up and wait

Till a new day begins,

Again.

Peaceful

Peaceful

By Valerie J Laidlaw

A fresh blanket of pure white snow.

A peaceful quiet surrounds me.

I sit outside cloaked in my plush robe

Sipping a granny mug of warmed coffee

Spiked with a caramel monster java.

The moon and a few stars shine

In a fading dark blue, predawn sky

White fluffy clouds like clumps of quilt batting

Float eastward in the breeze.

The scraping sound breaks the silence

As a neighbor shovels his walk.

My Aussie howls to respond to a distant bark.

The sparrows are still asleep

As are the squirrels and bunnies

Still burrowed under the shed.

A winter world is waking up

As the sun slowly rises

Time to go inside

To warm up and wait

Till a new day begins,

Again.

College Days

Back during the winters of 73/74 & 74/75 I attended a university in Fargo, ND. I was 17 & 18 years old those two winters.

Weird things come to mind from those days. I used to go to coffee houses at the student union. Entertainment was a guitar player singing folk songs as I sipped hot apple cider, with a cinnamon stick, out of a mug.

Almost all of the guys wore green Army “snorkle” winter coats and blue jeans, and as they walked around on the snow-covered grounds…they all looked like ugly clones. My ex kept his snorkel jacket for years with a strip of duct tape holding the back together. It mysteriously disappeared into a dumpster, along with a pair of thin, brown nylon runing shorts, many years ago.

Several of us went to a series of Charlie Chapman movies and “Clockwork Orange.” We also bowled and played pool.

I helped with a group called “Campus Attractions” setting up concerts. I saw “Black Oak Arkansas,” Linda Ronstad, Charlie Daniels, John Denver, ZZ Top, and others. One band, the “Ozark Mountain Daredevils” invited us poolside at their hotel. Their lead singer and harmonica player kept taking his shirt off hoping to get the group of us to strip down and go skinny dipping. He was unsuccessful. We were too conservative and self conscious.

This was the era of the famous song about “The Streak,” where one stripped down randomnly, and ran across a public place or stage in nothing but tennis shoes. The fad disappeared as suddenly as it had when it first appeared…like a streak.

The drinking age was 18 across the river into Minnesota. One bar called the “Dirty Bird” had the famed falsetto singer “Tiny Tim” perform on their venue during that era.

I was a lifeguard at the university. I used to do back sailor dives off of the high dive. Over time, I became more cautious, sensible, and fearful before I was ever injured from doing so. I flipped off the low boards until my back slightly scraped the board once, and knew to quit from that one near miss.

I rode bike everywhere in those days during the non-winter seasons. My car was a 1963 Chevy Impala 4-door. Most of the time the engine killed on the 10th street underpass if the light turned red at the top of the incline leaving the underpass. Then, my brakes would lock up and I could not start my engine or shift to go forward. I had to slide backwards in reverse down into the underpass, hoping to start up the incline again during a green light. I had the wave to the cars behind me to go around as I backed down.

If successful, I could drive on my way to “T lot” to park in time for a 7:30am Biology Lab to study, disect, and diagram “instinct, non-vertibrae fish.”

Going back to my car, oftentimes I locked my keys in my car. Fortunately, I could bend and wiggle a wire coat hanger through the winged front windows enough to free the lock. It happened so much that I ended up to be pretty proficient at doing so.

My other more reliable vehicle was my mom’s Gran Torino. She carpooled to work so I could drive her car. That was the car I drove when I had passed my driver’s exam a few years earlier. Both of those cars now would be quite sought after.

Just a few random memories…hoped you enjoyed them.

October Mourn

October Mourn

By Valerie J Laidlaw

I experience a calm, quiet, windless, cloudy morning.

A plane hums across the Northern horizon, As a crescent moon smiles at me overhead, from the Eastern sky.

My Aussie, Kooper, gently rustles the leaves as he makes his rounds, checking out the perimeters of our yard.

Kooper barks, then howls looking for his neighbor dog, Baba, who is still inside.

He comes to me, for me to scratch his ears, then he bends down in gratitude, to lick my cold, aged feet.

The trees are still. Another neighbor’s workshop light shines through a barren tree.

Our yards are lit by a neighbor’s floodlight, extinguishing my solar garden’s cross.

Early commuters are driving along a highway in the distance.

Silence, overcomes me. I am at such a loss, today.

I am yet unable to praise, sing, or pray.

I sip my morning glass of orange juice, thinking of my daily tasks yet to do.

The clouds in the East are becoming highlighted with a pinkish hue.

I go inside, and my warm plaid robe is set aside, as I wait in the warmth for the sun to rise.

My husband sends me an “early bird” vision…and another…and a call.

Good Morning!

Good Morning!

That Girl Named Leona

“That Girl named Leona”
By Valerie J. Laidlaw
(aka Lala)

As a child…
Leona had soft, cornsilk hair,
Three brothers to love, and a baby sister in her care.

Always, she had a soft, listening heart and ear,
And a kind, loving soul, and a sensitivity
So “Puhr.”

She embraced friends and family
All as one,
Loved music, bowling, and just having fun.

Her heart ached…
As she lost her friends, family, and her son,
Yet, she truly believed Jesus was there for her loved ones,
And was alongside them in heaven.
She cherished and appreciated all of the joy
In the time she was given.

House of Bad Manor

“House of Bad Manor”

A Lord rode astride his armored white horse,
Traveling on in a South-eastern course.
The crowd cheered to him, as he arrived at “King’s Gate,”
Searching the grounds for his “Love, Future Bride, and Soulmate.”

A Lady arrived in her carriage ornate,
Entering the Festival through the Western, “Queen’s Gate.”

The “Lovely Vision” appeared,
As the sun beamed upon her and her carriage.
The two met near the house of “Bad Manor.”
He dismounted, kneeled, and asked for her Honor,
Of Love, and her hand in a Marriage.

Valerie J Laidlaw, 10/04/2015

At the MN Renaissance Fair

The Flight of the Dragonflies

The Flight of the Dragonflies

By Valerie J Laidlaw

Dragonflies fill an August evening sky.
Little, ebony helicoptors, Randomly hovering above.
Circling continuously,
Reflecting occasonal glimmers of sunrays,
Into iridescent gleaming colors of yellow, blue, and green.
Three-dimensional, swirling, ascending, and dipping,
Continuously maneuvering,
Overhead.