Squeaks When Disturbed

The Walnut Sphinx Moth On Very Old Wall

Insectidentification.org  sizes this moth by portraying it as a large orange square placed on the same page as a quarter (25 cents). The orange square would, by my guesstimate, hold a couple dollars’ worth. Ross says it was about 4 inches wide not including the wingspan. He thought at first that it was a bat. Ross also says that the moth is not on a wall but a windowsill.

A quirk of the Walnut Sphinx Moth caterpillar: It may make “squeaking” sounds when disturbed.

This moth is very much alive; the wall (or windowsill or whatever it is) is surely wasting away which qualifies it for The Beauty in the Decay Series, attentive to the intersection of nature with human-built things; how nature will have its way. The captivating presence of the process.

– beautiful photo by Cathy Sevensma

The Movement of Planets

Dad tried to explain,
giving me a grapefruit,
Mom an apple and he was
the flashlight sun. I
was never going to get it.

Sun bright
on my revolving moon.
Black-eyed crows
and Susans still banging

from a blue sky.
Grape jelly
in a hollow half orange,
bird watchers below.
An apple planet
bobs above.

– poem and photo (at Chicago’s O’Hare) by mary macgowan

Or Willewingulagulin

from Spaceship Under the Apple Tree, by Louis Slobodkin, as remembered by a 10 year old girl

Or Willewingulagulin

Marty arrived, a tiny Martian
senior scientist in tight uniform,
orange willewingulagulin
and a tiny black typewriter.

Eddie befriended Marty
and was allowed to see
Zurianomatichrome (green).
Marty slept hanging upside down,
his shadow right side up.

Skip pages, adventures,
Grandma’s cookies;
proceed to Marty and Eddie
hurrying to the spaceship,
red footprints running behind them.

At the door, Marty confessed,
frowning: I’m only a junior scientist.
I’ve failed my Earth mission.

But Eddie gave Marty
his brown Boy Scout manual.
Marty emanated dashes
indicating pleasure &
success after all.

Next day, gray twigs and leaves
lay randomly scattered
in a circle of watercolor hues
where the spaceship had been
by the old apple tree

and this is my poem to you,
illustration of trees and branches
falling in my yard, a chainsaw
revving and resting, revving
and resting, which is as much
about orange, green or love
as it is about trees or art

or hovering spaceships
or two men who thank me
for writing about them,
boy or martian, which has
as much logic as you or me
or you and me together
which is to say it makes
perfect sense in a
willewingulagulin kind of way.

– poem by mary macgowan

Invite A Bird To Sit Upon Your Forehead

A bird

with no name

picks at my face.

No sense wishing it away,

this bird likes


I’ve other friends,

flowers too –

ladies, babies –

and armfuls of sweet color!


My pecker and I

(not the penis pecker)

have agreed

life is

honeysuckled blossoms

no matter what sits on your face

or what face you sit upon.


(Just for now, go

elsewhere, sexy thoughts!)

We are all one countenance

and the sooner we believe

the sooner we love.


(Not that


isn’t important) (it is)

(but just for a moment

invite a bird

to sit upon your forehead)

(first despair)



Collage on Monopoly playing card



Day or night, rain or shine,

it stands

ready to help you –

in the everyday affairs of life

as well as

in emergencies.

This swift,

willing worker

will run your errands,

guard your home,

save countless steps

and valuable time

and keep you in touch

with relatives and friends.

In office

and in home,

these oft-repeated words

reveal its value –

“I don’t


where I’d be


the telephone.”

– (found poem) Nat’l Geographic, 1954

Collage on Monopoly playing cards

Blue Egg Tattoo Dog

Blue-egg tattoo Dog,

Girl and a Red Scarf

ran away from

your house crashing in.

You bite and they

know your Ow.

Beware, Rage Dog:

If you scare us

we’ll sing songs of love

maybe even Kumbayah

and then put you to sleep.

Gas, injection,

bullet to the head.

[Rage is there. Inside all of us. I wanted to put it on paper, look at it, wonder about it.]