Thursday, October 19, 2017

Goodbye, Sweet Catfish...

Gir (black cat) and my sweet Catfish (black & white)

Cody and Catfish, now in Pet Heaven.  All the stuffed toys were Cody's.  World's Best Dog!

Last week I had to have my precious alpha-cat, Catfish, put to sleep.  He was only ten years old.  My cats tend to live to 20.  Sophie is 21 and still kicking.

He had a severe kidney problem that we've been fighting for many years with one expensive surgery, special prescription catfood, etc.  This cat cost us more than all our other pets combined.  But he was so worth it!  He had a personality like a sweet human.  Every time you'd talk to him, he answered with a meow or two.  Insane, right?

This time, they wanted to attempt an experimental surgery (cutting off the poor cat's penis!) that was a very expensive surgery and had no guarantee of correcting his problem of leaking urine all over the place.  He was in pain and suffering and worst of all, losing his dignity...  

I made the excruciating decision to have him put down.  It was my first time to have this done, personally.  Ray used to handle the hard stuff because I'm such an emotional, tenderhearted wuss.  It just killed me, broke my already broken fucking heart.  Catfish actually had two tears rolling down his little face when I talked to him and told him goodbye.  Needless to say, I'm still crying.  I brought him home to bury him with Ramone (my 20 year old Siamese who died ten years ago) in my Rose garden.  

The other 3 cats are sad and inconsolable.  We had six cats just a few years ago and now I'm down to three.  Catfish was the alpha boss-cat, the leader, the caretaker.  Every day he'd hold the other cats down (whether they liked it or not) and give them a good bath, ears and all.  What a friend! (He was also a snuggler as you can see in the pic above). They've been walking around the house for days yowling (they are very quiet, non-meowing kitties normally) and it breaks my heart.  They're looking for him.  Catfish woke me up every morning before 6 a.m. for their early treat of a half can of Friskies canned catfood.  Every day since, the silence is painful, brutal.  I had no idea how much I loved this crazy cat until he was gone.  He was my favorite, my familiar. He liked to just hang out and followed me from room to room.  He was always just...there.  He's in cat heaven now with Gir, and his Mom, Cody, our Great Pyrenees who raised him.  Catfish thought he was a dog and was very doggish.  A guy on Instagram called him a trans-cat.  Hilarious, but perfect.  He was the only cat we ever had who would keep a collar on.  The others always managed to ditch theirs.  He was proud of his macho Harley collar.  I buried him wearing it.

Life is about loss, I know.  I've had more than my share this year and overall.  I'd been to 8 funerals before I hit puberty and two of them were DOUBLE funerals of my first cousins killed in a wreck by a drunk driver coming home for Christmas.  One was an the smallest coffin I'd ever seen.  I get depressed every year when the holidays come 'round.  Seems everyone in our family died in November or December... 

People say, "Oh, it was just a cat and you had him for ten years."  Well, it wasn't long enough.  His absence is as strong as his presence was.  He came to me in a dream the night I had him put down.  He was jumping all over me, happy.  He wasn't a lap cat. He liked to lay on his back on a rug with all four legs up in the air.  So I took it as a sign that I'd done the right thing for him.  I'm glad he is out of pain.  But I hope and pray I never have to do that again.  It was horrifying.  They gave him a shot to calm him down...waited about ten minutes while I talked to him, petted him and told him goodbye and how much joy he'd given us then she gave him the final shot.  He gave two deep sighs and was gone...then she handed me a bill for $200.  Life goes on...

Marion, missing my beautiful, fat, lovey-dovey, one-of-a-kind kitty cat...sniff, sniff...

Catfish, in his favorite position...


The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called the Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Song of the Witches by William Shakespeare

From:  "Amy Brown's Fairies". The time of fairies is upon us...

Song of the Witches: “Double, double toil and trouble”

(from Macbeth)
Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn and caldron bubble. 
Fillet of a fenny snake, 
In the caldron boil and bake; 
Eye of newt and toe of frog, 
Wool of bat and tongue of dog, 
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, 
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing, 
For a charm of powerful trouble, 
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 

Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn and caldron bubble. 
Cool it with a baboon's blood, 
Then the charm is firm and good.
Macbeth: IV.i 10-19; 35-38

A little tree frog near my patio last summer.

October page on an old Mary Englebreit calendar. Quote by Abraham Lincoln. :-)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Praying, lyrics to a song by Kesha

By Kesha

Well, you almost had me fooled
Told me that I was nothing without you
Oh, but after everything you've done
I can thank you for how strong I have become
'Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I'll just say this is "I wish you farewell"
I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin'
I hope your soul is changin', changin'
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin'
I'm proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done

Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
'Cause I can make it on my own
And I don't need you, I found a strength I've never known
I'll bring thunder, I'll bring rain, oh
When I'm finished, they won't even know your name
You brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I'll just say this is "I wish you farewell"
I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin'
I hope your soul is changin', changin'
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin'
Oh, sometimes, I pray for you at night
Someday, maybe you'll see the light
Oh, some say, in life, you're gonna get what you give
But some things only God can forgive
I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin'
I hope your soul is changin', changin'
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin'
Songwriters: Kesha Rose Sebert / Ben Abraham / Ryan Lewis / Andrew Joslyn

This Moment by Eavan Boland

Window from  Pinterest

By Eavan Boland

A neighborhood.
At dusk.
Things are getting ready
to happen
out of sight.
Stars and moths.
And rinds slanting around fruit.
But not yet.
One tree is black.
One window is yellow as butter.
A woman leans down to catch a child
who has run into her arms
this moment.
Stars rise.
Moths flutter.
Apples sweeten in the dark.
“This Moment” by Eavan Boland from In a Time of Violence. © Norton, 1994. 
Prayers for the family & friends of those in Las Vegas who lost their lives or were injured.  God help us all... xo

Sunday, September 24, 2017

With Mercy for the Greedy by Anne Sexton

With Mercy For The Greedy by Anne Sexton
for my friend Ruth, who urges me to make an appointment for the Sacrament of Confession

Concerning your letter in which you ask
me to call a priest and in which you ask
me to wear The Cross that you enclose;
your own cross,
your dog-bitten cross,
no larger than a thumb,
small and wooden, no thorns, this rose --

I pray to its shadow,
that gray place
where it lies on your letter ... deep, deep.
I detest my sins and I try to believe
in The Cross. I touch its tender hips, its dark jawed face,
its solid neck, its brown sleep.

True. There is
a beautiful Jesus.
He is frozen to his bones like a chunk of beef.
How desperately he wanted to pull his arms in!
How desperately I touch his vertical and horizontal axes!
But I can't. Need is not quite belief.

All morning long
I have worn
your cross, hung with package string around my throat.
It tapped me lightly as a child's heart might,
tapping secondhand, softly waiting to be born.
Ruth, I cherish the letter you wrote.

My friend, my friend, I was born
doing reference work in sin, and born
confessing it. This is what poems are:
with mercy
for the greedy,
they are the tongue's wrangle,
the world's pottage, the rat's star.
I am reading about nonduality.  (How could Jesus dying brutally, violently, cruelly by crucifixion have such an impact on bringing love, mercy and forgiveness into the world?  A paradox, no?)  How have I not ever studied duality/nonduality before?  I came across the subject in an amazing, 138 page book that Little Flower gave me, "you are here" by Thich Nhat Hahn.  She bookmarked the chapter, "Healing Our Wounds and Pain".  Indeed. It continually surprises & astounds me, page after page.  Some books we are meant to read exactly when we are supposed to read them.  This is one for me.  xo

Friday, September 22, 2017

I Do Not Write Poetry by Carol Carpenter

Datura Moonflower's birth...

I Do Not Write Poetry
By Carol Carpenter
it writes me
into the blue-black center
of my birth back then
when I slid head first
into sterile white with no words
for my life pushed into that mid-afternoon
glare of Detroit time clocked in and out
at the Ford Body and Assembly Plant
and ticked off by the White Castle
belly-buster burgers slammed one after the other
onto the greasy grill and patted flat by the slender cook
who knew her blank-verse days ended Sundays
in the Temple Baptist church on Woodward,
the main drag for the ‘43 Ford V8 DeLuxe coupes
revving up and running lights too red
after the world war I read about in poems
without rhyme
and later, words
slapped me flat as a White Castle
when poetry sizzled blue in my mouth
dribbled onto pages of my life
and wrote me into a simile
as if I could puzzle out
my birth and death rites
and scrawl poems in between.


Happy first day of Autumn!  You'd never know it here in the sweltering, humid swamp, but I have spotted a few red leaves fallen from the trash trees.  The hummingbirds are fewer as are the dragonflies, but butterflies are everywhere, covering my Zinnias and Gerbera Daisies.

May Autumn bring us all peace of mind and an absence of pain...


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

When Someone Deeply Listens to You by John Fox

Summer, you started out!

When Someone Deeply Listens To You
by John Fox

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you've had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.

When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind's eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered.

When someone deeply listens to you
your barefeet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.


When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~Henri Nouwen


This poem is for my new friend, Little Flower, who has one of the purest, kindest, most compassionate souls of anyone I've ever met.  In my time of deepest need, she was not only present with me, but also spoke beautiful, healing words to me and listens to me weekly, never judging me.  She is a survivor, a wounded healer and an angel.  

Do someone/anyone a favor this week and deeply listen to them.  It's life-changing to have someone listen to you with empathy and compassion, not interrupting or judging.  

Blessings and Peace, 

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Wine of My Own Poetry, Lala, 14th Century Persian Poet

My prayer flags on a foggy morning...

I didn't trust it for a moment
but I drank it anyway,
the wine of my own poetry.

It gave me the daring to take hold
of the darkness and tear it down
and cut it into little pieces.

-- Lala, 14th century Persian poet


Indeed!  I've spent the morning reading, editing and writing poetry.  It's been years since I've had the total freedom to do this without anxiety or fear...  

It is intoxicating. I'm slowly, slowly tearing away the darkness that has been my life---.  

I was crying one day and my old cat, Sophie, jumped up on me and began licking away the tears on my face.  What love & compassion from a cat.  The world is an amazing place...


Sophie & a friend, 10 years ago. :-)  She's 21 years young now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Moths by Eavan Boland

Pink Sphinx Moth, 2007.  My once in a lifetime shot.

By Eavan Boland

Tonight the air smells of cut grass.
Apples rust on the branches.  Already summer is
a place mislaid between expectation and memory.

This has been a summer for moths.
Their moment of truth comes well after dark.
Then they reveal themselves at our window-
ledges and sills as a pinpoint.  A glimmer.

The books I look up about them are full of legends:
ghost-swift moths with their dancing assemblies at dusk.
Their courtship swarms.  How some kinds may steer by the moon.

The moon is up.  The back windows are wide open.
Mid-July fills the neighborhood.  I stand by the hedge.

Once again they are near the windowsill---
fluttering past the fuscia and the lavender,
which is knee-high, and too blue to warn them

they will fall down without knowing how
or why what they steered by became, suddenly,
what they crackled and burned around.  They will perish---

I am perishing---on the edge and at the threshold of
the moment all nature fears and tends towards:

the stealing of the light.  Ingenious facsimile.

And the kitchen bulb which beckons them makes
my child’s shadow longer than my own.

From:  “New Collected Poems” by Eavan Boland, pages 220, 221


My life is discombobulated and not by a hurricane, but by divorce & domestic violence.  My heart goes out to the people in Texas and Florida who have experienced Mother Nature's wild forces.  I pray for you all to come through this as better people, realizing that life is not about stuff, but about, well, life.  It's what I pray for myself, also.  xo, Marion

Monday, September 4, 2017

Solar Eclipse by Marion

Me, chasing the moon...

Solar Eclipse
By Marion Lawless

Ever so slowly,
the hot,
electric blue August
sky faded…

bloomed, BLOOMED(!)
on a cloudless day!

The heat plummeted, 
as if a
storm cloud was
devouring the sun.

No! It was the naked new moon 
gliding leisurely
past the brilliant star
that lights our days

marrying the moon, 

mysterious rock that rules
the night/the tides &
every woman’s 
body & heart.

Oh, the molten heat
the moonlady must have
felt as she melded with 
that quivering, shining, 
shimmering, searing
hottest of stars…

if only for 
two minutes
and a glorious 
43 seconds…

of ecstatic, euphoric