New art offers unique perspective on ‘Musings’ battle’

Missouri Life magazine readers will recognize the image below, but the new spin—a blackout poem based on the article “The Battle of the Backyard,” by Missouri Life columnist Ron Marr—gives the article unique perspective. The article appeared in the June 2022 issue of Missouri Life.

See the accompanying image of Ron’s column to see how writer Mary Schanuel of Wentzville created this blackout poem.

My Annual Descent

into the arcane worlds of

weeds, ticks, fleas,

saplings, snakes and ants.

My best response

until first frost:

Go down without a fight.


My primary battleground:

semi-abandoned ponds,

once top-notch catfish holes,

inhabited by snapping turtles,

muskrats, a vibrant community

of snakes.


Ravenous foliage,

impertinent floating flora,

pond muck.

I look to dignity,

the reality of touching

Mother Earth.


My dogs taste and spray

the fence rows:

hedge, Callery pear, mulberry.

A slew of ants

tote back dinner

for their queen.


The dogs laugh

at my glacial pace. Victory

arrives in capitulation.

I surrender.