Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Circus Animals' Desertion By Yeats

The Circus Animals' Desertion
William Butler Yeats

I sought a theme and sought for it in vain,
I sought it daily for six weeks or so.
Maybe at last, being but a broken man,
I must be satisfied with my heart, although
Winter and summer till old age began
My circus animals were all on show,
Those stilted boys, that burnished chariot,
Lion and woman and the Lord knows what. 

What can I but enumerate old themes,
First that sea-rider Oisin led by the nose
Through three enchanted islands, allegorical dreams,
Vain gaiety, vain battle, vain repose,
Themes of the embittered heart, or so it seems,
That might adorn old songs or courtly shows;
But what cared I that set him on to ride,
I, starved for the bosom of his faery bride. 
And then a counter-truth filled out its play,
'The Countess Cathleen' was the name I gave it;
She, pity-crazed, had given her soul away,
But masterful Heaven had intervened to save it.
I thought my dear must her own soul destroy
So did fanaticism and hate enslave it,
And this brought forth a dream and soon enough
This dream itself had all my thought and love. 
And when the Fool and Blind Man stole the bread
Cuchulain fought the ungovernable sea;
Heart-mysteries there, and yet when all is said
It was the dream itself enchanted me:
Character isolated by a deed
To engross the present and dominate memory.
Players and painted stage took all my love,
And not those things that they were emblems of. 

Those masterful images because complete
Grew in pure mind, but out of what began?
A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone,
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Poet Rod McKuen Died

Rod McKuen died yesterday at age 81.  He was a bestselling poet in the 1970's and my muse during that decade.  My favorite books of his are "Lonesome Cities" and "In Someone's Shadow".  His title poems in both of those books are magical.  His love poems have no equal.

Rest in peace, gentle poet...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Preface To a Twenty Volume Suicide Note By Imamu Amiri Baraka

Preface To a Twenty Volume Suicide Note
By Imamu Amiri Baraka

Lately, I've become accustomed to the way 
The ground opens up and envelopes me 
Each time I go out to walk the dog. 
Or the broad edged silly music the wind 
Makes when I run for a bus... 

Things have come to that. 

And now, each night I count the stars. 
And each night I get the same number. 
And when they will not come to be counted, 
I count the holes they leave. 

Nobody sings anymore. 

And then last night I tiptoed up 
To my daughter's room and heard her 
Talking to someone, and when I opened 
The door, there was no one there... 
Only she on her knees, peeking into 

Her own clasped hands


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Opal by Amy Lowell

By Amy Lowell

You are ice and fire,
The touch of you burns my hands like snow.
You are cold and flame.
You are the crimson of amaryllis,
The silver of moon-touched magnolias.
When I am with you,
My heart is a frozen pond
Gleaming with agitated torches.

I sincerely thank those of you who have stuck with me over the years of my poetry obsession and rants. I appreciate and love you all and wish you all a happy, healthy, 2015.

Marion ��

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Still Morning By W. S. Merwin

A certain slant of Winter light...

Still Morning
By W. S. Merwin

It appears now that there is only one
age and it knows
nothing of age as the flying birds know
nothing of the air they are flying through
or of the day that bears them up
through themselves
and I am a child before there are words
arms are holding me up in a shadow
voices murmur in a shadow
as I watch one patch of sunlight moving
across the green carpet
in a building
gone long ago and all the voices
silent and each word they said in that time
silent now
while I go on seeing that patch of sunlight


"There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons---
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes---

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us---
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are---

None may teach it - Any -
'Tis the Seal Despair---
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air---

When it comes, the Landscape listens---
Shadows - hold their breath---
When it goes, 'tis like the distance
On the look of Death---

#258 - Emily Dickinson

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Passed

Annie Marie & her kitty.

Another holiday over; a new year arriving soon.
Santa brought me two new dolls. I'm sure I'm trying
To make up for the dolls I never had as a poor kid.
It can't be done, fixing the past, and yet...

My favorite gift?  I made my oldest daughter cry.
She gave away an intricate, large charcoal drawing
Of a scruffy little girl with her face in
a Philip K. Dick book...You know him. He wrote,
"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"  The movie
"Blade Runner" is based on it.  Primo Sci-Fi.

She donated it to a fund raiser for a fellow teacher's daughter
Who was paralyzed from a flu shot.  We went to
The silent auction and bid on it and won.  I wrapped
It and gave it back to her.  She boo-hooed and said,
"I never thought I'd see her again!  I didn't want to
Give her away but I wanted to help..."

The greatest gift is to give.
The greatest joy is to make someone happy.


May your new year be filled with joy, health, peace & happiness...  ❤️

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Real Prayers Are Not Words, But the Attention That Comes First by Mary Oliver

My Kwan Yin statue

Of my hundreds/thousands of dragonfly photos I've taken, this is my favorite.  I love this tattered, curious little guy.  We played together for an hour or more before I took this photo.  I have it on a giant poster in my living room now.  He reminds me of the fragility, mystery and joy of life...
* * * * *

The Real Prayers Are Not the Words, But the Attention That Comes First
By Mary Oliver 
The little hawk leaned sideways and, tilted, rode the wind. Its eye at this distance looked like green glass; its feet were the color of butter. Speed obviously, was joy.
But then, so was the sudden, slow circle it carved into the slightly silvery air, and the squaring of its shoulders, and the pulling into itself the long, sharp-edge wings, and the fall into the grass where it tussled a moment, like a bundle of brown leaves, and then, again, lifted itself into the air, that butter-color clenched in order to hold a small a small, still body, and it flew off as my mind sang out oh all that loose, blue rink of sky, where does it go to, and why?
There's nothing more relaxing than watching a hawk drift among the clouds on the wings of the wind.  I see them often in the woods by my house.  I even pull my car over to the side of the road to watch them twist and swirl over trees when I drive.  They fascinate me.  Last week one casually swooped down and picked off a baby squirrel that was running along the dirt road.  The circle of life...
It's been a mild winter, so far, here in Swamplandia.  Today, I walked around the block sleeveless and took pictures of the Ents, I mean trees, with their arms also bare.  Oh, how I love winter trees, naked for all the world to see.  The humidity is a thousand percent and it's been raining off and on today with the sun peeking out ever so often.  A typical Louisiana day.  My rain barrels are all full again and my Kale, Spinach, Lettuce and Swiss Chard are thriving wildly even though I pick from them every day.  This time last year we'd had snow three times, which was the only time in 25 years living down here that that's ever happened.  I think I prefer the warmer, humid days, having lived in the South all my life.  The Camellia bushes are already blooming (as are some of my Roses) and those vain Narcissus are poking their green heads up from the cool ground.  I act surprised every year, but I do live in a near tropical climate only a few hours from New Orleans.
I'm through Christmas shopping and ready for Santa to drop by.  I miss having small children around this time of year.  My youngest grandson, Warner, is 7, but he's in Nashville.  My Mary Mace turns 11 on Christmas Eve.  That blows my mind.  She's already borrowing my books and asking what I was reading at her age.  She's far ahead of me.  I gave her "The Hobbit" and she loved it and wants to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy now.  I was still reading Mark Twain and Archie comic books at 11. 
My college freshman grandson wanted "American Classics" for Christmas (which tickled the hell out of I love my reading family!), so I dug through my 6 rooms of books and came up with a modest 50 books for him.  I put them in milk crates so he could haul them back to college with him.  It blew his mind.  He started out with some J. D. Salinger and "A Confederacy of Dunces".  I told him it's a must-read, especially if you're from Louisiana.  So, I'm happy.  All I ever prayed/hoped for my children/grandchildren was that they'd all be healthy, well-educated and then avid readers...and they are, all five of them.  My work here is done.  :-)
I hope you all have a safe, Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! 
Love and Blessings from the swamps of Louisiana.
+ + + + +
This December,
That love weighs more than gold!"
~Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon
+ + + + +
"I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys." ~Charles Dickens

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Decade by Amy Lowell and Euphoria by Lily King

This lady must surely be reading poetry.

I've only recently begun reading Amy Lowell's poems and I'm totally intrigued with her.  I got a free Kindle book of her poetry online ("Men, Women and Ghosts") and it only whet my appetite for more.  Her poems are sensual and oh, so earthy.  If you've never read her, I highly recommend that you do.  And here's how I discovered her writing:

I've been reading an amazing novel, "Euphoria" by Lily King, and, in it, the main character quotes from the first poem below, "A Decade", which put me on the hunt for more of Lowell's work.  I got the book on CD from the library (and later bought a hard copy) and have listened to it twice all the way through.  The reader has a luscious voice and the story is utterly & totally compelling.  xo

So many books, so little time.....

A Decade
By Amy Lowell

When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
and the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
but I am completely nourished.

Published in

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Under the Snow by Marion

Snowstorm by Maurice de Vlaminck

Under the Snow
By Marion

I never bought flower bulbs when I was young.
I couldn’t believe the bulbs would sprout
from this dry, dead thing.
And I was too busy to even think of spring
so far away.
Now I decide, timidly, to try growing them.
Now that I’m closer to the dark, fecund earth---
and by closer I mean
closer to death & dying, much closer---
closer to becoming like the desiccated, brittle
bulb I palm, I dig.

I cram the bulbs into their exact, prepared holes
(graves) in the cold, hard ground---
dozens, maybe hundreds of bulbs:  small, medium, large,
precisely spaced.
For am I not a meticulous woman, a bookkeeper
in a previous life, numbers always balanced, nary
a penny lost or gained?

I cover the bulbs tenderly with earth when I’m done,
as gently and lovingly as I once tucked in my own two
babies so long ago.
I look around and see nothing but smooth, rich dirt---
rows and rows of it and nothing else.
(In my heart, flowers are wildly blooming).

I have finally learned,
in the winter of my life,
the meaning of
faith and hope, and,


Friday, November 21, 2014

Mama's Sweet Potato Soufflé

Cooked and ready to eat!

I'm sharing one of my family's favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  I posted it a few years ago, but it's time for a repost.  It's my favorite dish. Turkey and dressing just doesn't taste the same without this on the plate.  I used to take it to work for holidays and had men proposing to me after tasting it.  Ha!  Seriously, it's a real winner.  If you need more, just double it.  I find that it works best, though, making the recipe individually, twice, in two separate containers.

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 or margerine, 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 or margerine

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 at 350 degrees or until golden brown on top.  Enjoy!!!

From my quote journal
Edges of my quote journal.  Crafty me made it.