Cassandra Predicts

Our prompt words for today:
FRACAS, CHILLING, CASSANDRA, DISSEMINATE

November 1, 2020:
Sticksville is a nice-sized town set in the lush corn belt somewhere west of Pennsylvania. A quiet community with a home-town friendliness. Safe, too; no big-time crimes happen here. The last major assault case was back in the fifties when one of the bankers whacked some miscreant he found trying to break into the safe.

People here in Sticksville are generally a down-to-earth bunch. Most citizens cast a skeptical eye on gloom-and-doom prophecy and people who claim to foresee the future. But our residents may have changed their minds after this morning’s invasion. An invasion that was foretold just two days ago.

It appears that on Thursday, Oct 30th, in the middle of the afternoon, diners in the Tradewinds food court were startled when a young woman climbed up on a seat and began shouting to the multitude. Two good friends, Isadonna and Panorama, told our roving reporter that they arrived at the Tradewinds, the town’s only indoor shopping mall, just in time to see the woman stand up on a seat and start calling out.

At first, they said, she could hardly make herself heard over the general babble, but everyone fell silent as they realized what was taking place. The two friends soon caught on that she was shrieking some warning at her unwilling audience, ranting about a “mega-disaster invasion” coming very soon. They observed a mixture of doubt and fear on the faces of the audience.

Calling herself an “end-times Cassandra” the woman announced the disaster as “something that will affect the whole town – each and every one of you. The stars Plexius and Glassus have aligned this week. The ground hogs have burrowed really deep this fall. Nature has given them a danger signal. And last night I dreamed of alien forms all over Sticksville. These are SIGNS! We are about to be invaded by some sinister force! We need to prepare for a disaster of mega-proportions. Very soon,” she reportedly claimed.

Mall security arrived at this point and led her away, but her proclamation caused quite the fracas in the food court as people debated what her prophecy would amount to and others speculated about how much her psychiatric bill would amount to. As people left the mall, details of her chilling prognostication began to disseminate all through the community.

As I said, residents of Stickville may wish to pay closer attention to future prophecies, since citizens all over town woke up this morning to discover piles of what are apparently unsold Halloween pumpkins and gourds in their yards.

Local farmers are being questioned.

September Bully

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was BULLY.

Frost was the bully that came last night. It stomped through my flowerbed, punching down the fleshy stemmed balsam plants and blackening marigold leaves. They’re hanging sadly bedraggled as I write this. We had warning and carried into the house some of the prettiest tubs & baskets. I left out the pots of pansies and they were crisp this morning, but have cheered up some. And here’s a poem I wrote some years ago about the bullying wind:

SEPTEMBER WIND

Damp September wind whistles
through an August day, chilling
our summer-browned bodies.
Ever the schoolyard bully, it cuffs us
with an almost icy hand. "Remember!"
It mocks our shivers, our calendar
consultations. Dismayed, we grab
for hours as they bounce away, August
days slipping out of our lives forever.
With sighs we hunt for sweaters,
check the pockets of our coats,
while we’re at it, wash our gloves.
Image by David Strong — Pixabay

Nothing to Laugh At

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is PROTEST

For my response I’ll give you the first two verses of this four-verse epic by Edgar Guest.

NOTHING TO LAUGH AT

‘Taint nothin’ to laugh at as I can see!
If you’d been stung by a bumble bee
an’ your nose was swelled an’ it smarted, too,
you wouldn’t want people to laugh at you.
If you had a lump that was full of fire,
like you’d been touched by a red hot wire
an’ your nose spread out like a load of hay,
you wouldn’t want strangers who come your way
to ask you to let the see the place
an’ laugh at you right before your face.

What’s funny about it, I’d like to know?
It isn’t a joke to be hurted so!
An’ how was I ever on earth to tell
that the pretty flower which I stooped to smell
in our backyard was the very one
which a bee was busily working on?
An’ just as I got my nose down there
he lifted his foot an’ kicked for fair,
an’ he planted his stinger right into me
But it’s nothin’ to laugh at as I can see.

😦

From his book, The Collected Works of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by the Reilly & Lee Company

Hello Tulips

This poem by Edgar Guest takes me back to a time soon after the Stock Market Crash in Oct 1929, when the world was plunged into the Great Depression. The winter of 1930 saw a double whammy happening: in the East the economy was sinking fast as jobs were being lost; in the West the drought had begun and was to last, generally, until Aug 1937. All this while Hitler’s armies were moving into various countries and war clouds were gathering over Europe. Yes, this old world has seen some pretty tough times. As Mr Guest points out, the flowers know nothing of financial woes.

Hello Tulips

Hello, tulips, don’t you know
stocks today are very low?
You appear so bright and glad;
don’t you know that trade is bad?
You are just as fair to see
as you were in times when we
rolled in money. Tell me how
you can look so happy now?

Hello, tulips, white and red,
gleaming in the garden bed.
Can it be you haven’t heard
all the grief which has occurred?
Don’t you see the saddened eye
of the human passer-by?
By his frowning, can’t you tell
things have not been going well?

Hello, tulips, in the sun
You are lovely, every one.
But I wonder, why don’t you
wear a sad, expression, too?
Can it be you fail to see
things aren’t what they used to be?
This old world is all upset;
why don’t you begin to fret?

And they answered me, “Hello.
Nothing’s altered that we know,
warm the sun and sweet the rain,
summer skies are blue again.
Birds are singing and we nod
grateful tulip prayers to God.
Only mortals fret and strive.
We are glad to be alive.”

From his book, The Collected Works of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by the Reilly & Lee Company

Flower Doctor

The Ragtag daily prompt yesterday was A FLOWER CRIED. I had something in mind and tweaked a poem I wrote some years back, but have been slow getting it posted. And here’s a Pixabay image I found to go with it.

Bee gathering.Criadero
A flower cries.
My lovely little blossoms
have sore throats,
a swelling, I suppose,
of too much nectar.

How co-operative you are,
pretty flower, so patient with that
bumbling Doctor Buzz
in his yellow-striped coat
as he pries open your silky jaws
and pushes his portly self
deep inside.

How willingly you put up with
hairy feet tickling,
his fat nose in your tonsils.
He mumbles to himself
as he pokes among
your tender stamens.
How funny that buzzing must feel
deep in your golden throat!

At last he discovers the problem
he wants to cure:
an abscess of sweetness;
to his delight
he manages to remove it all.
Then off he flies,
always in a rush to the next
swelling throat
not even washing his feet.