Sunday, September 14, 2014

Super Moon by Marion for Magpie Tales 237

Super Moon
By Marion

Her pale, round face at my bedroom window
pressed against the dirty panes
looking curiously at my upside down face.
Her luminosity hypnotizes me, shining
through the pale, gauzy,
antique lace curtains.

We gaze into each other's faces
mesmerized, inquisitive, fascinated---
amazed at our commonality,
both of us sleepless, lonely,
and yearning
for morning.


We've had two "cooler" days here in the Louisiana swamps.  It's been amazing and magical.  Seven days until Autumn, but who's counting?  :-)


"The smell of ink is intoxicating to me — others may have wine, but I have poetry."  ~Terri Guillemets

Monday, September 8, 2014

End-of-Summer Haiku

I lovingly plant
purple night-blooming lilies---
and pray for darkness.
* * * * * * * *
Swarms of Hummingbirds
taking summer's heat with them
on green, shining wings.
* * * * * * * *
I painted this yard froggie years ago.  He's one happy dude.
Munch on because I have miles and miles of Passionflowers this year...
"I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips." ~Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit
* * * * * * * *
Press close, bare-bosomed Night!
Press close, magnetic, nourishing Night!
Night of south winds! Night of the large, few stars!
Still, nodding Night! Mad, naked, Summer Night!
~Walt Whitman
* * * * * * * *
The heat here in Swamplandia is lifting somewhat, the wind is gently blowing, there are hundreds of hummingbirds, weeds, butterflies, joyous flowers and slower-talking crickets.  Afternoon showers with stunning clouds are almost daily events.  Summer is flaming to a close as Autumn nears. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Amaryllis by Karina Borowicz

"We walk on air, Watson.
There is only the moon, embalmed in phosphorus.
There is only a crow in a tree. Make notes." 

(underlines mine)  ~Sylvia Plath, from her poem 'The Detective'.


By Karina Borowicz

Something with feathers
or possibly fangs
is curled up, raw
munching the starch
inside the bulb
in the dark drawer

or a flower waits
in the papery egg
that crackles like an onion
petals collecting themselves
in the yolk, composing
themselves from the red
and yellow glints that fall
on its shell as it drowses
by the windowsill

then, when it finally opens
there is no snake springing
from the cave of the clay pot
no sharp-shinned hawklet
building a nest laced with bones
on the cliff of my kitchen shelf

when the red fist defiantly opens
there's nothing
but opening

from:  "The Bees Are Waiting" by Karina Borowicz, page 84


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Goodbye August, Welcome September

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” ~ Roald Dahl

By Amy Lowell

All day I have watched the purple vine leaves
Fall into the water.
And now in the moonlight they still fall,
But each leaf is fringed with silver.

from:  "Pictures of the Floating World", 1919


August has been wet, hot, humid, green, beautiful and bountiful.  I'll miss you, August, but I welcome your cooler pal, September, and in her suitcase, Fall.  xo

August 1 sun setting from my son-in-law's office on Music Row in Nashville.  See my camera?  :-)

Datura Moonflower with her curly-edged self.

Three of the hundreds of Morning Glories that bloomed in my back yard.

About mid-August, glorious afternoon storms began with amazing clouds.

This one brought buckets of rain...

Cloud-love & thunder-love.

Letting my freak flags fly.  No, really, they're my Tibetan Buddhist Prayer flags.

Passionflower.  I just can't pass these without sniffing them...still smells like grape kool-aid.

Goodbye, August.  See you next year, I hope.


"The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.... September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Late Prayer by Jane Hirshfield

My bird feeder holding a Passionflower & Dragon Wing Begonia's flowers---
= = = = =
Late Prayer
By Jane Hirshfield
Tenderness does not choose its own uses.
It goes out to everything equally,
circling rabbit and hawk.
Look: in the iron bucket,
a single nail, a single ruby -
all the heavens and hells.
They rattle in the heart and make one sound.
from:  "Nine Gates - Entering the Mind of Poetry - Essays by Jane Hirshfield", page 211
A beautiful, soul-searing book.
Hearing the cuckoo,
even in Kyoto
I long for Kyoto.    ~Basho
I post my favorite haiku by Basho on this rainy, stormy Saturday in which my oldest grandson is on his way to his first year of college two hours away.  I have two daughters and he was born when I was in my early 40's, so it was like having the little boy I never had.  Oh, the fun we had!  I can't count the number of times we went to the zoo and the book store---his favorite two places.  He still loves the book store, but not the zoo quite as much.  :-)  He taught me how to be a grammy and I taught him how to see (a little bit, I hope).  I asked him the other day what he looked forward to most about college (expecting something about girls, freedom, etc.), and he said, "I'm eager to get back to school to learn more stuff."  Yes, he's my boy. 
"Even in Kyoto, I long for Kyoto......."  Indeed.
= = = = =
"Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild." ~Welsh Proverb
= = = = =
"Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old." ~Mary H. Waldrip
= = = = =
Taylor & April at college.  (He's 6'1"...he got my long legs.)
A Morning Glory heart-leaf...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Starry Night by Marion for Magpie Tales 234

The Starry Night
By Marion
Inner dialogue of artist:
I can do it.
Vincent did it, half crazy
from lead paint and
venereal disease,
left ear mutilated.
I can do it.
Vincent did it looking
out his bedroom window---
twenty-one times he
painted this view
till he got it right.
God did it, didn't he?
Created this magnificent night?
I can do it.
Oh, fuck it.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Denise Levertov---Extraordinary Poet

"Old River" by my sister, Margaret.  There's nothing like Louisiana sky...unless it's sky & water.

*  Remember Mallarme's words that "Poems are not made with ideas, they are made with words."

*  Beware of consciously searching for the original; nothing is more likely to lead to the banal.  The fresh word is not necessarily the odd word.

*  Strength of feeling, reverence for mystery, and clarity of intellect must be kept in balance with one another.  Neither the passive nor the active must dominate, they must work in conjunction, as in a marriage.

~Denise Levertov on the craft of poetry, from "Women of the Beat Generation", page 205

^  ^  ^  ^  ^

Morning Glories, tangled & dewy, August 2006
Captive Flower
By Denise Levertov
This morning's morning-glory
trying to thrust
through the wire mesh towards the sun
is trapped
I ease it back
to see better its unfurling,
but only slowly it resigns
the dream. Its petals
are scarred.
I had not thought myself
a jailer


HuntingThe Phoenix
By Denise Levertov

Leaf through discolored manuscripts,
make sure no words
lie thirsting, bleeding,
waiting for rescue. No:
old loves half-
articulated, moments forced
out of the stream of perception
to play “statue,”
and never released —
they had no blood to shed.
You must seek
the ashy nest itself
if you hope to find
charred feathers, smoldering flightbones,
and a twist of singing flame


A Blessing
By Denise Levertov
'Your river is in full flood,' she said,
'Work on---use these weeks well!'
She was leaving, with springy step, a woman
herself renewed, her life risen
up from the root of despair she'd
bent low to touch,
risen empowered. Her work now
could embrace more; she imagined anew
the man's totem tree and its taproot,
the woman's chosen lichen, patiently
composting rock, another's
needful swamp, the tribal migrations---
swaying skeins rotating their leaders,
pace unflagging---and the need
of each threatened thing
to be. She had met
with the council
of all beings.
'You give me
my life,' she said to the just-written poems,
long-legged foals surprised to be standing.
The poet waving farewell
is not so sure of the river.
Is it indeed
strong-flowing, generous? Was there largesse
for alluvial, black, seed-hungry fields?
Or had a flash-flood
swept down these tokens
to be plucked ashore, rescued
only to watch the waters recede
from stones of an arid variety?
But the traveler's words
are leaven. They work in the poet.
The river swiftly
goes on braiding its heavy tresses,
brown and flashing,
as far as the eye can see.
From: "Breathing the Water", pages 6 - 7
I have this entire book of short essays highlighted, dog-eared and underlined.  It's a chocolate truffles or something way better.  :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Stone fence in Nashville, Tennessee - I immediately thought of the following poem when we drove by this fence on the way to see my granddaughter's new school, Lipscomb Academy.

Mending Wall

Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs.  The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side.  It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.'
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors?  Isn’t it
Where there are cows?  But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.'  I could say ‘Elves’ to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself.  I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.'
Yes, they do.  I have a wooden fence and wouldn't have any other kind.
"If you know what you are going to write when you're writing a poem, it's going to be
 average." ~Derek Walcott
Leaf hearts, wet with morning dew.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Good Morning, Moonflower

Let Morning Come
By Marion
Let the river flow
unimpeded, night black,
cradled within
strong, willow-sewn banks.
Let the crickets sing
ancient, mystical
tunes, sweet and time-kissed
into my awakened ears.
Let the moonlady’s silver
beams rain down
and suffuse my
twisted, ominous dreams.
Let the candle flame pull me into
its dancing shadow.  May
the flame illuminate
my jaded, somnolent mind.
Let the rivers flow.
     Let the crickets sing.
           Let the moonlady glimmer.
               Let the candlelight shimmer.
Please, let morning come.
January/April 2012

Early morning sunlight on my Datura Moonflower---
A bee stops by for breakfast---
If it tastes as good as it smells, he's in culinary ecstasy---
A few more minutes of sunlight and the Moonflower will be gone---
^  ^  ^  ^  ^
"The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him." ~Auguste Rodin

Thursday, August 14, 2014

O Captain! My Captain! - Walt Whitman

Robin Williams.  From "Dead Poets Society."


By Walt Whitman

O CAPTAIN! my Captain, our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!

    O the bleeding drips of read,

        Where on the deck my Captain lies,

            Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up---for you the flag is flung---for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths---for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!

    The arm beneath your head!

        It is some dream that on the deck,

            You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores and ring O bells!

    But I with mournful tread,

        Walk the deck my Captain lies,

            Fallen Cold and Dead.



R.I.P. dear Robin Williams.  "Dead Poets Society" is one of my favorite movies of all time for obvious reasons.  What to say when such a talented, beloved person is dead by his own hand?  Words seem inadequate yet they're all we have.  Who can know the despair, depression and suffering of another person?  Nobody, that's who.  I pray for his family.  It's all I've got.


'"O Captain! My Captain!" is a poem written by Walt Whitman in 1865. The poem is classified as an elegy, or mourning poem, and was written to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States.'  ~from Wikipedia

                                                                 + + + + +

'All say, "How hard it is that we have to die" — a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.' ~Mark Twain

My blue Morning Glory in black & white.  The bees left pollen footprints...