Monday, February 8, 2016

Growing Old by Matthew Arnold

         ...is what we all are, ultimately, sadly.


GROWING OLD

By Matthew Arnold


What is it to grow old? 
Is it to lose the glory of the form, 
The luster of the eye? 
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath? 
—Yes, but not this alone. 

Is it to feel our strength— 
Not our bloom only, but our strength—decay? 
Is it to feel each limb 
Grow stiffer, every function less exact, 
Each nerve more loosely strung? 

Yes, this, and more; but not 
Ah, ’tis not what in youth we dreamed ’twould be! 
’Tis not to have our life 
Mellowed and softened as with sunset glow, 
A golden day’s decline. 

’Tis not to see the world 
As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes, 
And heart profoundly stirred; 
And weep, and feel the fullness of the past, 
The years that are no more. 

It is to spend long days 
And not once feel that we were ever young; 
It is to add, immured 
In the hot prison of the present, month 
To month with weary pain. 

It is to suffer this, 
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel. 
Deep in our hidden heart 
Festers the dull remembrance of a change, 
But no emotion—none. 

It is—last stage of all— 
When we are frozen up within, and quite 
The phantom of ourselves, 
To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost 
Which blamed the living man.


I am currently reading "Deepstep Come Shining" by C. D. Wright, a most excellent book.



Saturday, February 6, 2016

Adult Coloring Books & I'm Falling Apart

I haven't been around much lately.  I got some adult coloring books for Christmas and discovered that they're highly addictive.  When I get to coloring these intricate pictures or designs, I get so eager to find out how they'll turn out, I just cannot stop.  It's relaxing.  They start at about $5 and go up to near $20, depending on the quality, but there are some excellent selections at Amazon.

I have to have a knee, then hip replacement soon, very soon.  I know I'm way too young (ha!) but I've developed severe bursitis and arthritis from where I broke bones in that motorcycle wreck when I was 28.  Time destroys, slowly.  I'm not looking forward to it...in fact, I'm dreading it.  I hate pain and doctors.  The back surgery I had that damaged my sciatic nerve is to blame for giving me a limp.  I'm trying to schedule the surgeries for March so I can be walking by summer.  I've lost 30 pounds since October eating lots of nothing, mostly salads, fish and chicken.  

So, that's the depressing, but colorful, scoop from Swamplandia where it's been mostly warm all winter...no snow or ice and only a handful of nights below freezing.  xo


My favorite picture done with Prismacolor Colored Pencils

First ones I did using gel pens and Prismacolor Colored Pencils (the best, waxy and bright).

I love the dragonflies and the damsel fly.  Mostly gel pens from Wal-Mart and colored pencils.

Gel pen entirely.  I had a contest with hubby & won.

                My first moth.  I wanted it to have the colors of the Luna Moth.

A Christmas gift from my artist daughter...I'm addicted now to coloring.

                                 Another Christmas gift from artist daughter.

        After becoming addicted in December, I got these two books at Amazon in January.

                                     Hedgehog made of leaves.  Mostly gel & glitter pens.

Got this case of gel/glitter pens years ago for $10.  Almost empty now.

                 All gel/glitter pens.  I'm a bit OCD about balance.  Trying to get over that...

Christmas gift from Ray.  The Mother with ALL Prismacolors.  Heaven!


Two canvas cases that hold ALL 132 of my pencils and roll up neatly and snap. Only $10 each at Amazon.  They come in different sizes for holding varying numbers of pencils.  It makes the pencils much more accessible.  After I use a color, I reverse it so I'll know I've used it.  













Friday, January 22, 2016

Clear Night by Charles Wright

No, we didn't get any snow or ice.  But it was 70 degrees a few days ago!  Love Southern weather.  My daughter in Nashville got TWO snow days and shared some of her pics.  Wish I was there.

 This is where my younger daughter and her family live.  It's a beautiful place with a creek in back.

We surprised my son-in-law (who was so ill) with a new recliner.  His old one was 13 years old!

          Snow Angel by my granddaughter.

CLEAR NIGHT

By Charles Wright


Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky. 
Moon-fingers lay down their same routine 
On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys. 
Bird hush and bird song. A cassia flower falls. 

I want to be bruised by God. 
I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out. 
I want to be stretched, like music wrung from a dropped seed.   
I want to be entered and picked clean. 

And the wind says “What?” to me. 
And the castor beans, with their little earrings of death, say “What?” to me. 
And the stars start out on their cold slide through the dark.   
And the gears notch and the engines wheel.


Charles Wright, “Clear Night” from Country Music: Selected Early Poems

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

R.I.P. Ms. C. D. Wright


   “It is a function of poetry to locate those zones inside us that would be free." C. D. Wright


EVERYTHING GOOD BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN

By C. D. Wright

has been written in mud and butter 
and barbecue sauce. The walls and 
the floors used to be gorgeous. 
The socks off-white and a near match. 
The quince with fire blight 
but we get two pints of jelly 
in the end. Long walks strengthen 
the back. You with a fever blister 
and myself with a sty. Eyes 
have we and we are forever prey 
to each other’s teeth. The torrents 
go over us. Thunder has not harmed 
anyone we know. The river coursing 
through us is dirty and deep. The left 
hand protects the rhythm. Watch 
your head. No fires should be 
unattended. Especially when wind. Each 
receives a free swiss army knife. 
The first few tongues are clearly 
preparatory. The impression 
made by yours I carry to my grave. It is 
just so sad so creepy so beautiful. 
Bless it. We have so little time 
to learn, so much... The river 
courses dirty and deep. Cover the lettuce. 
Call it a night. O soul. Flow on. Instead.


C. D. Wright, “Everything Good between Men and Women” from Steal Away: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2002 by C. D. Wright. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ms. Wright died today at age 67.  RIP, sweet Southern poet.  So little time, indeed...

Our Dust

C. D. Wright

I am your ancestor. You know next-to-nothing
about me.
There is no reason for you to imagine
the rooms I occupied or my heavy hair.
Not the faint vinegar smell of me. Or
the rubbed damp
of Forrest and I coupling on the landing
en route to our detached day.

You didn’t know my weariness, error, incapacity,
I was the poet
of shadow work and towns with quarter-inch
phone books, of failed
roadside zoos. The poet of yard eggs and
sharpening shops,
jobs at the weapons plant and the Maybelline
factory on the penitentiary road.

A poet of spiderwort and jacks-in-the-pulpit,
hollyhocks against the tool shed.
An unsmiling dark blond.
The one with the trowel in her handbag.
I dug up protected and private things.
That sort, I was.
My graves went undecorated and my churches
abandoned. This wasn’t planned, but practice.

I was the poet of short-tailed cats and yellow
line paint.
Of satellite dishes and Peterbilt trucks. Red Man
Chewing Tobacco, Black Cat Fireworks, Triple Hut
Creme Soda. Also of dirt dobbers, nightcrawlers,
martin houses, honey, and whetstones
from the Novaculite Uplift. What remained
of The Uplift.

I had registered dogs 4 sale; rocks, dung,
and straw.
I was a poet of hummingbird hives along with
redhead stepbrothers.

The poet of good walking shoes—a necessity
in vernacular parts—and push mowers.
The rumor that I was once seen sleeping
in a refrigerator box is false (he was a brother
who hated me).
Nor was I the one lunching at the Governor’s
mansion.

I didn’t work off a grid. Or prime the surface
if I could get off without it. I made
simple music
out of sticks and string. On side B of me,
experimental guitar, night repairs and suppers
such as this.
You could count on me to make a bad situation
worse like putting liquid make-up over
a passion mark.

I never raised your rent. Or anyone else’s by God.
Never said I loved you. The future gave me chills.
I used the medium to say: Arise arise and
come together.
Free your children. Come on everybody. Let’s start
with Baltimore.

Believe me I am not being modest when I
admit my life doesn’t bear repeating. I
agreed to be the poet of one life,
one death alone. I have seen myself
in the black car. I have seen the retreat
of the black car.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Time Passing---What Is Time?

Time Xxi - Poem by Khalil Gibran

And an astronomer said, "Master, what of Time?" 

And he answered: 

You would measure time the measureless and the immeasurable. 

You would adjust your conduct and even direct the course of your spirit according to hours and seasons. 

Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing. 

Yet the timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness, 

And knows that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream. 

And that that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space. 

Who among you does not feel that his power to love is boundless? 

And yet who does not feel that very love, though boundless, encompassed within the centre of his being, and moving not form love thought to love thought, nor from love deeds to other love deeds? 

And is not time even as love is, undivided and paceless? 

But if in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons, 

And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


My first date with my future husband (we were 14 & 15) was here at The Corner Drug Store near my old neighborhood, Cedar Grove. We had fountain Cherry Cokes, with real cherries, sitting on high stools at the bar and played the bagpipe version of Amazing Grace on the jukebox.  I'm pretty sure we got out of there for under a dollar. :-) We were the definition of innocence...The Corner Drug Store is all gone now, torn down..nothing left but memories, widened streets, big box stores, fast food crap and "progress".  No one ever wants to restore historical buildings in dirt poor neighborhoods.  

An old friend I knew from Jr. High School sent this pic to me on Facebook.  It was like a time travel object that took me right back to that point in time.  Nice.  Before everything---when life was youth and freedom:  a wide, very long, endless highway... Sigh... It's more of a dead end street at this juncture, but a nice street with a forest view.  Time:  A memory-River of things and people never again to be; floating, floating endlessly to the wild, blue sea.



New year, new prayer flags put up today. We leave the old, disintegrating flags up because the birds in Spring will take the loose strings of fabric and add it to their their nests.  I love that they 'recycle'. :-)

A jet flew by and perfectly split the cold, blue sky...

A shadow shot of the flags swaying in a tiny breeze.

                         ~~~#~~~#~~~#~~~

Books I read this week - All Five Star Reads:

~~"The Mountain Shadow" by David Gregory Roberts (Sequel to "Shantaram")
~~"M Train" by Patti Smith
~~"Lover of Unreason - Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival & Ted Hughes's Doomed Love"
               By Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev

                        ~~~#~~~#~~~#~~~

My son-in-law is back home after 14 days in the hospital for pneumonia, a lung abscess, lung surgery, biopsy, chest tubes for fluid inside & outside his lung lining and many tests.  Thank you for the prayers.  He'll be recuperating for a few months, until his lung heals from the surgery trauma.  My daughter was a pillar of strength and kept the nurses and doctors in line... She'd make an awesome patient advocate...Her hubby had never really been sick before or been in a hospital.  He was scared, but he made it through, PTL!  He's quit smoking (using the patch) and has a new appreciation for breathing!!!!!  I'm very proud of him.  I know it's not easy.  Mama was 84 when she stopped smoking after a mild stroke.  She's doing good with her fake cigarette thingy.  

Later, peeps, 
~~Marion







Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Spirit Is Too Blunt An Instrument By Anne Stevenson


                                                            Abandoned Bluebird Nest

THE SPIRIT IS TOO BLUNT AN INSTRUMENT By Anne Stevenson

The spirit is too blunt an instrument 
to have made this baby. 
Nothing so unskilful as human passions 
could have managed the intricate 
exacting particulars: the tiny 
blind bones with their manipulating tendons, 
the knee and the knucklebones, the resilient 
fine meshings of ganglia and vertebrae, 
the chain of the difficult spine. 

Observe the distinct eyelashes and sharp crescent 
fingernails, the shell-like complexity 
of the ear, with its firm involutions 
concentric in miniature to minute 
ossicles. Imagine the 
infinitesimal capillaries, the flawless connections 
of the lungs, the invisible neural filaments 
through which the completed body 
already answers to the brain. 

Then name any passion or sentiment 
possessed of the simplest accuracy. 
No, no desire or affection could have done 
with practice what habit 
has done perfectly, indifferently, 
through the body's ignorant precision. 
It is left to the vagaries of the mind to invent 
love and despair and anxiety 
and their pain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I appreciate you all very much and wish you a blessed and happy 2016.

xo,
Marion

Friday, December 25, 2015

May Christmas Bring You Unexpected Joy!!!

                                                    Happy Birthday, Jesus!


                            .......and my grandchildren...


                                     May Christmas Bring You Unexpected Joy!!!


                      My Grandchildren...



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Birth of Jesus

Luke 2:1-20King James Version (KJV)

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


      Vietnam War Memorial at sunrise this a.m.

I pray you all have a happy, blessed Christmas with the ones you love. (((Hugs))) ~Marion



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Light

Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.




"God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."  1 John 1:5