Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Broken Ice...

Pain by Marion

I wake weeping (the pain)
as if a dam has broken (endless)
& I'm drowning (in pain)
going deeper (hurtshurtshurts)
into the hurt (endless-endless)
that never stops (always-aching)
praying to come out (of this purgatory)
but I'm sucking waterpain (aching hell)
and fading from life (now the pain is weakening)
as the soft cerulean water takes me (sweet relief)
from this world of pain. (at last)


Friday, August 19, 2016

Clear Night by Charles Wright

Last year's lunar eclipse moon...the magical clouds parted...


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

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Cinnamon Peeler by Michael Ondaatje

I've always had a nose for scents---quite like a bloodhound I've been told.  I could smell beer on my mother's breath the second she walked in the door...from the time I was born until I was 15...She quit drinking (and smoking, temporarily) when she got pregnant with my little brother when I was 15 years old. (To this day I wonder why she could get herself sober for him, but not for me and my sisters...) I was horrified to have a pregnant mother at that age.  Ah, those teen years.

I also grew up in a chronic fog/cloud of Pall Mall filterless and Virginia Slim cigarettes.  I guess there is no such thing as a perfect childhood, right?  For sure.  We all do the best we can... But I'm way off track now...  

Back to scents:  this amazingly fragrant poem always delights my senses supremely.  Can't you just smell the cinnamon?  Enjoy!

The Cinnamon Peeler
By Michael Ondaatje

If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbor to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
-- your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers...

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grasscutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.
and knew
what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler's wife. Smell me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Monet Refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller

                     Monet's "Houses of Parliament" from his series of this painting.

Monet Refuses The Operation by Lisa Mueller

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels, 
to soften and blur and finally banish 
the edges you regret I don't see, 
to learn that the line I called the horizon 
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see 
Rouen cathedral is built 
of parallel shafts of sun, 
and now you want to restore 
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolves
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe 
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world 
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight 
so quickly to one another 
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals, 
burn to mix with air
and change our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands 
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Conjuring by Hilda Morley

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, thirsty and

fighting for dominance, coming in for a landing

wings, whirring little cyclone, flying jewels...

The fastest ones eat first...
Summer's reward, measured in sugar water.
CONJURING by Hilda Morley

Finding the names of birds here,
of flowers, important, I say I must
know them, name them,

                                        to be able
to call upon where their magic
resides for me: in naming them
myself - to lay hold upon whatever
quivers inside the bird-calls,
                                          the dipping
of tail or wing -
                          to know it
inside my hand where power
of that sort lives
                           & in my fingers
wakes & becomes
                            an act of

Thursday, July 21, 2016

My World, This Week...

      A serene visit to a local lake.  Sky mirror!!!

               Rosebud blooming today.

   Tiny orange flowers of the 'Can-Can' Calibrachoa.

       Faithful Petunias love the July heat...

            These came back from last summer.

  Water lily hearts on Lake Valentine...among the clouds...


                  ...and a little rainy day reading!!! 


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wilderness By Carl Sandburg - And I Am Mourning My Own Wild(er)ness

Our beautiful forest, our magical woods overflowing with wildlife that will go...where??? is being systematically destroyed as I write...clear cut...two of the cruelest, ugliest words in the English language...by an already wealthy man who bought the swampy land, to sell the timber, the trees that have nourished the local ecosystem, and my own soul, for over 30 years.  Flooding will ensue without the land break which the forest has provided for centuries...But WTF does he care?  Right, he doesn't...

I am already mourning the turtles, frogs, raccoons, possums, armadillos, snakes, owls, birds, Hawks' habitats being destroyed.  

I am completely inconsolable...so beyond sad.  

I took a few last photos of the gorgeous Pines and trees across the street that will be gone by next week...My life here will not be the same...being a Moonchild born on the full moon at the height of hurricane season, I am averse to change, especially in nature.  I can all but hear the trees screaming...the animals dying...My heart hurts...Every window in front of my house opens to these beautiful trees full of birdsong, cicadas, frogs' croaking, crickets singing...Screech Owls' talking at night and, at times, God's quiet voice, whispering...

What a nightmare, what a horrific, waking nightmare... 


              See the tall, pretty trees across the street?  Going, going...gone...

My Ent-like Pines/woods have watched over me for 30 years...this photo is this Morning...

         ...and this photo is afternoon...they're falling fast, like wounded giants...

                  Goodbye, sweet Pines...

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the woman of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”  
                                                                                               ― William Blake


WILDERNESS By Carl Sandburg

THERE is a wolf in me ... fangs pointed for tearing gashes ... a red tongue for raw meat ... and the hot lapping of blood-I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a fox in me ... a silver-gray fox ... I sniff and guess ... I pick things out of the wind and air ... I nose in the dark night and take sleepers and eat them and hide the feathers ... I circle and loop and double-cross.

There is a hog in me ... a snout and a belly ... a machinery for eating and grunting ... a machinery for sleeping satisfied in the sun-I got this too from the wilderness and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a fish in me ... I know I came from saltblue water-gates ... I scurried with shoals of herring ... I blew waterspouts with porpoises ... before land was ... before the water went down ... before Noah ... before the first chapter of Genesis.

There is a baboon in me ... clambering-clawed ... dog-faced ... yawping a galoot's hunger ... hairy under the armpits ... here are the hawk-eyed hankering men ... here are the blond and blue-eyed women ... here they hide curled asleep waiting ... ready to snarl and kill ... ready to sing and give milk ... waiting-I keep the baboon because the wilderness says so.

There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird ... and the eagle flies among the Rocky Mountains of my dreams and fights among the Sierra crags of what I want ... and the mockingbird warbles in the early forenoon before the dew is gone, warbles in the underbrush of my Chattanoogas of hope, gushes over the blue Ozark foothills of my wishes-And I got the eagle and the mockingbird from the wilderness.

O, I got a zoo, I got a menagerie, inside my ribs, under my bony head, under my red-valve heart-and I got something else: it is a man-child heart, a woman-child heart: it is a father and mother and lover: it came from God-Knows-Where: it is going to God-Knows-Where-For I am the keeper of the zoo: I say yes and no: I sing and kill and work: I am a pal of the world: I came from the wilderness. 


Saturday, July 9, 2016

...Dragonflies draw flame...

                 Blue Tiger Dragonfly, Drawing Flame---

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Related Poem Content Details

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; 
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells 
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's 
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; 
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: 
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; 
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, 
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

I say móre: the just man justices; 
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces; 
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is — 
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places, 
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his 
To the Father through the features of men's faces. 


Summary from Sparknotes:

The kingfisher, one of the most colorful birds in England, “catches fire” as the light brings its plumage to a bright radiance. Similarly, the iridescent wings of the dragonfly glint with a flame-like beauty. These two optical images are followed by three aural ones: the tinkling sound of pebbles tossed down wells, the plucking of strings on a musical instrument, and the ringing of bells as the “bow” swings like a pendulum to strike the metal side. Each of these objects does exactly what its nature dictates, in a kind of (unwilled) self-assertion. More generally, every “mortal thing” might be thought to do the same: to express that essence that dwells inside (“indoors”) of it. “Selves” (assumedly from the infinitive “to self,” or “to selve,”) is Hopkins’s coined verb for that self-enacting, and he elaborates upon this process in the lines that follow: to “self” is to go oneself, to speak and spell “myself,” to cry, “What I do is me: for that I came.” 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Before the World Intruded by Michele Rosenthal

                                                     Birth of a flower

When you're young, the whole world, a lifetime(!) is ahead of you...a seemingly endless expanse of time...an intriguing, mysterious enigma to be explored, discovered, enjoyed and experienced.  Wonder washes over you like a gentle summer rain daily, hourly...minute by minute.  Everything is new, fresh, ecstatic.  

Then time & life intervene.

Things become known, explained, routine.  Sadly, the mysterious slowly becomes the mundane.  

You wake up one morning and the majority of your life is no longer ahead of you, but behind you, in that far off land called memory.  You have no idea how it happened so suddenly, the passing of decades...not years, but decades.  A new millineum is no longer new...

Your days become numbered...there's a red DEAD END sign in the blurry distance, a mere speck, but becoming closer and clearer with each passing week, hour, day... 

No one gets out alive...not even you and me.  xo

Before the World Intruded 

Return me to those infant years,
before I woke from sleep,

when ideas were oceans crashing,
my dreams blank shores of sand.

Transport me fast to who I was
when breath was fresh as sight,

my new parts — unfragmented —
shielded faith from unkind light.

Draw for me a figure whole, so different
from who I am. Show me now

this picture: who I was
when I began.

Michele Rosenthal

                 Art by MacKillArt

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Broken Things

                               Old, Broken Things...