Kelli's Tree House (Suite)
I. Prologue / Burn Permit (Sonnet)
At the start of the day, the coast was clear.
First impressions, all you want when you please.
Closing credits have an anthem, to share,
called, "Can I See the Forest for the Trees?"
Covered bridge needs murky water to flank.
Hayloft needs block and tackle to pull through.
Morning fog needs a sun to drain the tank.
A slow boat needs an inland to float to.
This park bench compels you to come and sit;
unintended consequence, a sprawl.
King County requires written burn permit.
Allow me to usher a curtain call.
Comfort zones allow for fall and forget,
but even Rumpelstiltskin had a net.
Second Centennial, walk in the park, Seattle in Seventy-Six
Kelli gazes at the big kids, fulfilling tree climbing fix.
For a second grader to have and hold aspirations so high,
she might as well settle a scale and seize a path to fly.
Deduction: not all is measured by hand rulers and yardsticks.
Kelli wanders over, observes limbs and leaves, unsupervised,
until finally, between shade and shadow, perfect angle sized.
Points of light fixed, then it clicks; these things take time.
Sounds of this playground lend to the symmetry of the climb,
her climb of the centuries, imagined, some day to be realized.
III. Merge (Acrostic)
Knowledge is the key to power. The key to a kite is string and tail.
Electricity to a kite is less of a foregone conclusion, more a rumor.
Lyrics do not compensate for harmony, when moments call for a dirge.
Left to our own devices, more often than not, we can carry the mail.
In case of a sudden panic (pressure), display a way to dispel rumor;
rail on reckless surmise, keep the surprise; as for the rest, purge.
Unless we are under cloudless skies, we cannot appreciate contrail.
So often, we overlook the obvious currents, in haste to reach shore,
Setting sail in search of certainty, failing to pave for the surge.
Equal parts give and take, in that order, will most often prevail.
Love and honor land sentience, guaranteed leap of faith in store,
landing on your feet, on the precipice, on time, in time, emerge.
After all of the on-the-run is said and done, look behind the veil.
Garner a horde, get into the game; leave a mark, stone-set in lore,
or stand on the sidelines, biding your time, until time to merge.
Did you know, there are those who find safe haven beyond The Pale?
Often, we confine our options to a definitive method: either/or,
not rationalizing, there is middle ground, where chances converge.
IV. Tree House
"Congratulations! You're the twenty-third caller in our contest."
She was put on hold, while the radio Dee Jay got another finalist.
When the jock came back to Kelli, also on the line, was Stan,
a steam fitter from Vashon Island, who Kelli was now playing.
"Between Sun Tzu and Niccolo Machiavelli who held the most might?
In other words, all things being equal, who'd win a fair fight?"
Stan was out of sorts, clearing his throat, asking for a clue;
Dee Jay, mistakenly said, "Articles of War. Kelli how about you?"
Kelli knew from literary training, Machiavellian was reprobate.
She offered an enthusiastic "Sun Tzu" then waited on her fate.
"That is correct, Kelli, and you are our grand prize victor.
Stan, if you will hold, I will reward your secondary score."
Not long after, Kelli was given three options which to choose;
a tree shed, cookware, or a trip to the Anaheim House of Blues.
Kelli jumped for joy at the thought of a tree house, or shed,
which is that the radio guy offered. That is what the man said.
Weeks later, crates arrived, from the architect hardware store,
and to boot, the deliverers assembled, "Because A&H Does More!"
Kelli came home later to find the biggest back yard surprise...
She saw a storage building, grounded and settled, with no highs.
She called the local radio station to offer a sincere protest.
They referred her to the A&H mercantile, to get her to arrest.
Those people assured her, the mistake did not fall in their lap.
When everything was said and done, it was the Dee Jay's mishap.
To Kelli's ever lasting credit, she embraced the new station,
turning it into an office, but she could not ignore frustration.
Kelli was the proud owner of a tree house without a tree where
sun in the window was all glare, without limbs and leaves there.
There were no steps to climb, there wasn't a pennon to hoist;
there was no dizzying height, and that is what she missed most.
The "Tree House Diaries" project blog would have to be scrapped.
Quietly letting that deal slide, a new directive would be mapped.
All things considered, innocent little office was just a shell,
and the desire of a tree house, was just an errantly cast spell.
While across town, Vashon holds suspense, fire truck on the scene.
Stan's pressure cooker lid, through the roof! It got away clean.
Kelli is a master of many trades. Editor, author, and avid poet;
eyes forward, always on the future, building an impressive resume.
But, truth be told, there remains one crash and burn to acquit,
which led to her writing a new book, one called "Articles Aweigh!"
You see, after reading Sun Tsu's "Art of War" to see what it was,
she got all caught up in strategy, and how to counter a next move.
Soon she was active in gaming, then book sales was her next cause.
She was constantly in search of culprits and theories to disprove.
Her math improved to where she was involved in the baseball scene.
She created a brand new level of saber metrics, for contact skills.
One night, while singing the anthem before the game, unforeseen,
she had an epiphany, at "free and brave" proclaiming "Speed Kills."
She left the Seattle stadium during their seventh inning stretch,
muttering about articles, and how they cost her a house in a tree.
Finally, with her epiphany, the equation made sense, just one catch;
the literary world would be better without them, "a, an and the."
Colleagues, casual acquaintances, tried to head her off at the pass.
Critics and antagonists, went to great lengths to prove her wrong.
Three printings in, and Kelli was now in demand to teach the class.
Gone were dissenters who urged her to go along just to get along.
Her next volume "What Morse Means to Me" invoking Morse Code style,
went to the top of the coastal best seller lists, a hit parade.
Her poems now read by mathematicians, her stats on the prose dial,
her greatest literary triumph encompassed all, titled "Like I Said."
One cannot submit too many entries. That includes books and manuals.
With a stroke of luck, and equal amount of effort, Kelli went bank.
When the votes were cast and tallied, she cashed the crown jewels,
winning the Wallace Stevens Award. Question now, who would she thank?
(A) gracious winner, will always recall where she came from and how.
(An) independent thinker, will acknowledge, others paved the way.
(The) manner in which one gives and takes, affects the here and now.
(Articles) have their place, in the Bi-Centennial, back in the day!
VI. Walk in the Park
A ribbon cutting ceremony in Seward Park is cause for celebration.
To some, this will be a time to display dismay and bring contention.
Kelli paid what was due, for permits and fees, and seized the park.
Well, not all, but a choice area was hers from daylight 'til dark.
By end of day, not a person would doubt her novel noble intentions.
Three prime, choice trees were now housed, strategically encased.
Not a single nail was driven or barked scraped, as brackets placed
with pulleys and braces, block and tackle, made from iron and steel,
scrap from a failed bridge, which Kelli paid to move. Her plan ideal,
waterways were freed, and much needed tree houses planted in haste.
These tree houses were all code approved, with attendants on site
to help those whose balance might be impaired, or others who might
have other issues, or who might just need a little special attending,
because sometimes it gets lonely at home, when alone, nothing pending.
Everyone was happy, except for the protesters, who gave up the fight.
Just before our host could step aboard personally designed Tree One,
she heard a car horn, and saw the Green Miata. "Oh my, time to run!"
She was met by her chauffeur, Tyler Myrth, who said, "We're late."
Spying Jay Sole running, car stopped. Waving, he said, "We'll wait."
Jay was running in a 2K Run sponsored by Kelli, just for added fun.
Next stop, a personal appearance at the local Washington State Fair;
they wanted Kelli as a judge. Everyone who was anyone would be there.
Dave Schrader was in from Minnesota, to capture moments on film disc.
The pickle judging was a drag, but the turkey roping event was brisk.
Kelli chose winners, with no rebuke, then asked Tyler, "Now to where?"
She had gotten so caught up in the whirlwind, she forgot Glastonbury
of the West Coast, Capitol Hill Block Party Spoken Word where she
was set to duet with Melissa, her accomplice from Texas, Southwest,
where everything is bigger, and sometimes even better than the rest.
Kelli took the stage, and saw the crowd... such a sight to see...
VII. Epilogue / For Good Measure (Sonnet)
Waking from a noon nap, eased in her chair,
she draws a blank, not knowing where she is.
This new office needing conditioned air;
that is for a future analyses.
It appears she may be overdoing.
Best case, she is far too dedicated.
She always goes all out when pursuing,
though sometimes endeavors are ill fated.
Her focus now, strictly on quarantine.
Her day dreams drift away and betray her.
She cannot recall how long it has been.
Uncounted days, weeks pass by in a blur.
Some day she will count, bounty of treasure.
'Til then, she'll dream on, just for good measure.
Entire Set written for Kelli Russell Agodon
Michael Todd (2020)
Including Cameo Appearances by...
Tyler Myrth, Jay Sole, Dave Schrader & Melissa Studdard