In the Eye of the Beholder

Fun is defined as a playful, amusing activity. What do you consider fun? There is an endless checklist of variables. What you call fun might be a source of frustration or boredom or fear for me, like golf or sudoku, hunting for snakes or gigging. What I call fun might not be fun all the time, or with some people, or when I am losing.

Once I tried golf. If I am going to walk all day and pick up stray balls, I might as well walk the track. So far I have yet to complete a sudoku puzzle. Do I care? Nope. It involves numbers. Words are my game. We have some locals who seek out slithering serpents. Makes me cringe just thinking of the latest photo of a snake circulating on facebook. Gigging is still an unknown. Maybe it’s fun to trust a companion to guide a boat on Current River when it’s dark, and cold, enveloped by sounds from unseen beasts. It’s on my bucket list to judge the fun factor afterward.

I said all that to introduce you to some poetry. It is a parallel poem, which means the poet composes it to be be read in three different ways that all make some sense.This wouldn’t be fun for me today, but it was on the rainy spring morning I was sitting on the porch marveling at the fluorescent colors in my yard.

First read down the left-hand column, then read down the right. For the second reading, read the right-hand column first, then the left. For the third reading, read each line all the way across as you read down. Yeah, this can be fun, sometimes, for some of us.

On this blog site, I have not been able to get the stanzas to post side by side, so to get the effect of the parallel poem, you will need to read the first, then the second. For the second reading, read the second one, then the first. For the third reading, I have just typed it again, meshing the lines together so you don’t have to hop back and forth.

Mother Nature is getting dressed
We are the ones who are blessed
Tired of the shades of gray
She’s chasing the blues away
Tired of winter’s buff,
She’s really struttin’ her stuff.

With varied colors and hues
In Missouri, a site to view.
Make time to go see
The Ozarks in spring glory
Now puittin’ on a show
These foothills are all aglow.

Now here it is the third way it can be read, the first line of the first stanza, followed by the first line of the second stanza, etc.

Mother Nature is getting dressed,
With varied colors and hues,
We are the ones who are blessed
In Missouri, a site to view,
Tired of the shades of gray?
Make time to go see
She’s chasing the blues away,
The Ozarks in spring glory
Tired of winter’s buff,
Now puttin’ on a show,
She’s really struttin’ her stuff,
These foothills are all aglow.

There are issues, but revision is part of the fun for me. Maybe I will pull out that sudoku book again.

This was written for my Close to Home column in a May issue of our local weekly, The Prospect-News.

About Teresa Pearson Lee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. You might still find me at the reservation desk when spring rolls around. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content coordinator for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist/stringer for the local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness. The material in this blog written by Teresa Lee is her property and cannot be used without express written consent to do so.
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