Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tear It Down by Jack Gilbert



Tear It Down
By Jack Gilbert

We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of racoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within the body.

*********************************************


I first posted this poem 8 years ago...EIGHT(!)  The comments!  They were like time travel, to reread them.  So much change in the lives of those who commented...and in mine, too, of course.  Several of my blog friends dead...no use whitewashing it...dead and missed so very much.

This remains, and always will be, my favorite Jack Gilbert poem.  xo

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Inessential Things by Brian Patten

My silky kitty, Garfield, in one of his favorite spots.


Inessential Things
What do cats remember of days?
They remember the ways in from the cold,
The warmest spot, the place of food.
They remember the places of pain, their enemies,
the irritation of birds, the warm fumes of the soil,
the usefulness of dust.
They remember the creak of a bed, the sound
of their owner´s footsteps,
the taste of fish, the loveliness of cream.
Cats remember what is essential of days.
Letting all other memories go as of no worth
they sleep sounder than we,
whose hearts break remembering so many
inessential things. 
© Brian Patten

Friday, January 6, 2017

Complaint by James Wright

Moonlady tangled in trees.

Getting over the flu.  It's an icy day in Swamplandia...rare & beautiful & magical here in the warm Deep South.

Complaint

She’s gone. She was my love, my moon or more.
She chased the chickens out and swept the floor,
Emptied the bones and nut-shells after feasts,
And smacked the kids for leaping up like beasts.
Now morbid boys have grown past awkwardness;
The girls let stitches out, dress after dress,
To free some swinging body’s riding space
And form the new child’s unimagined face.
Yet, while vague nephews, spitting on their curls,
Amble to pester winds and blowsy girls,
What arm will sweep the room, what hand will hold
New snow against the milk to keep it cold?
And who will dump the garbage, feed the hogs,
And pitch the chickens’ heads to hungry dogs?
Not my lost hag who dumbly bore such pain:
Childbirth at midnight sassafras and rain.
New snow against her face and hands she bore,
And now lies down, who was my moon or more.
“Complaint” by James Wright from Above the River: Complete Poems. © Noonday Press, 1992.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Poem from the Experimental Novel, "House of Leaves"...



(Untitled Fragment)
By Mark Z. Danielewski, from "House of Leaves", page 563

Little solace comes
to those who grieve
when thoughts keep drifting
as walls keep shifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a house of leaves

moments before the wind.

<><><><><><><><><>

This truly experimental novel, which is many stories (lifetimes/dimensions) in one, messed with my head so badly that, among other abuses, I threw it against walls, poured coffee (then blow dried it in remorse) on it, tossed it in the trash (and retrieved it) twice, stopped reading it for a full year, then finally just wrote my frustration into the margins (along with the author's gazillion footnotes/endnotes/sidenotes) which is freaking hilarious NOW as I revisit it about 10 years after I read it and enjoy my bad attitude back around 2005 when I experienced "House of Leaves".  Mark Z. Danielewski (MZD) is a pioneer, a poet, and a courageous trailblazer.  He's also a crazy as a loon genius and an excellent storyteller.  It would just be nice to read one of his stories in chronological order, but I doubt that'll happen.  Reading a fat novel (occasionally) in circles and sideways got a bit tedious at times, but I guess that's art for you.

If you're looking for a challenging reading experience, then read this book.  If you're an impatient, normal type, then for heaven's sake:  DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!




Friday, December 16, 2016

Questions of Travel by Elizabeth Bishop

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
–For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren’t waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.
Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?
But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.
–Not to have had to stop for gas and heard
the sad, two-noted, wooden tune
of disparate wooden clogs
carelessly clacking over
a grease-stained filling-station floor.
(In another country the clogs would all be tested.
Each pair there would have identical pitch.)
–A pity not to have heard
the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird
who sings above the broken gasoline pump
in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque:
three towers, five silver crosses.
–Yes, a pity not to have pondered,
blurr’dly and inconclusively,
on what connection can exist for centuries
between the crudest wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden cages.
–Never to have studied history in
the weak calligraphy of songbirds’ cages.
–And never to have had to listen to rain
so much like politicians’ speeches:
two hours of unrelenting oratory
and then a sudden golden silence
in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes:
“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?
Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?”
Elizabeth Bishop


Saturday, December 3, 2016

In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti

It's been crazy here at Chez Dragonfly since I got my greenhouse. Did I mention I have a new little greenhouse/potting shed?  I do! I counted 62 plants in it yesterday, most babies propagated from my other plants: Lemongrass, Yarrow, Pineapple Sage, Spearmint, Peppermint, Chocolate Mint, Apple Mint, Comfrey, Basil, Lavender, Airplane Plants, Wandering Jew, Black Sweet Potato Vines, Passionflowers...too many to recall!  Mother Nature keeps blessing me with abundance.  For the first time in my life, I have big fat Tomatoes in December!  They're also in the greenhouse.  I bought one Angel Trumpet flower a few years ago & now have 12 of them. They're like trees! This Spring I plan to have a few plant sales to make some money to buy more plants. LOL!  It's an addiction.  And my Cypress Tree has 10 babies all thriving across my front yard.  They're gorgeous.

I want to wish you all a blessed Christmas/Holiday season filled with love, peace & happiness.  I sincerely appreciate the many faithful readers of my blog, several who have become dear, precious friends over the years.  This has been a physically painful year for me (chronic pain & autoimmune disorders) and your support means the world to me.  God bless you all! xo, Marion

...water like a stone...


In the bleak midwinter

Related Poem Content Details

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!



My favorite holiday dish on this day of gratitude.  It's great any day of the year but goes especially well with cornbread dressing, turkey & giblet gravy.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!  ~Marion


Mama's Sweet Potato Soufflé

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I used canned yams, but you can use fresh)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon  (you can also add nutmeg if you like)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (my secret ingredient)
½ cup butter, melted

Mix the above ingredients well using electric mixer and pour into oven-safe casserole dish.

TOPPING:  (mix in separate bowl)

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/3 cup butter

Melt butter in mircrowave.  Mix all topping ingredients together with a fork. It will be crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over top of casserole mixture. Bake 30 minutes (or until medium golden brown in color) at 350 degrees.  Enjoy!!!
 
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Friday, November 11, 2016

RIP Leonard Cohen

RIP, great Poet!!


Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen
("Various Positions" Version)

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

An American Tune By Paul Simon - My 800th Post!

Make America Great Again Today - VOTE!!

An American Tune
by Paul Simon

Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and often felt forsaken
And certainly misused 


But I'm all right, I'm all right
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be
Bright and bon vivant 


So far away from home, so far away from home
And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered 

or driven to its knees 

But it's all right, it's all right
We've lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
we're traveling on 


I wonder what went wrong 

I can't help it, I wonder what went wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
And I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly 


And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea 


And I dreamed I was flying
We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hour
and sing an American tune
But it's all right, it's all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest

Sunday, October 30, 2016

I Was a Mean to You Today by Pat Schneider



I Was Mean to You Today

Things were difficult
and I was impatient.
You were trying to explain
why I must reorganize the files
on my computer, why
they all have to have project numbers,
why I can't put them
where they've always been,
what the tax consultant said,
what you need for your report
to the Board of Directors,
and it boiled down to my files
have to be re-filed, and they
have to have titles with no more
than twelve letters to leave room
for project numbers,
and I said, Well, dammit.
And you said, Don't talk like that.

You sounded pained
and I was mean to you.
I was bored and tired
and mad, and you were
trying hard. Later,
I went out in the rain.
I went to the mall
and bought us both really
expensive pillows. Down
pillows with 100 per cent
cotton covers, 400 thread count.
I have lusted after them for years,
ever since Mama told me
that she asked Grandma,
who was 86 and dying,
"If you could have anything
in the world, what would it be?"
and Grandma answered,
"A down pillow" and Mama
didn't have enough money.
I bought two down pillows for us all,
to say I'm, sorry. 
"I Was Mean to You Today" by Pat Schneider, from The Patience of Ordinary Things. © Amherst Writers & Artists Press, 2003