Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flowers, Poetry of Mother Earth


Tiny, new Pink Knockout Rose wet with the morning dew.

The first burst of yellow in the form of my showy Yellow Canna, first Canna to bloom this year. I also have red ones and peach ones. They're very easy to grow and spread like wildfire.


My daughter and I love magnetic poetry. I gave her a small nature set and this is a 12 year old boy's idea of what to do with magnetic poetry----make a robot monster, of course! We don't all think alike or create alike, thank God! I respect the individuality in all people.



My first red rose from one of six bushes that my sweet husband bought for me this year. It's called "Oklahoma" and is an everyblooming hybrid tea rose with large, fragrant red blooms. We had a small shower and the rose was still rain-kissed when I took her photograph. Isn't she beautiful?

Blessings and Love,

~Marion

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. ~Martin Luther

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers - for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are. ~Osho

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.... People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. ~Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982









Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday's Extraordinary Poet: Grace Cavalieri

I can't recall how I discovered the amazing Ms. Cavalieri, but I was half-assed cleaning my office desk last night in a futile attempt to get organized and I found a crumpled, worn copy of her poem, "The Protest" that I had printed out to read and re-read. I read it through yet again and remembered how profoundly it affected me, having grown up surrounded by alcoholics---then I related the first poem to the many wasted years of painful 'not creating' that I went through when someone cruelly dissed my poetry. That's what I love about poetry. It feeds your heart just the way YOU need it to. I'm feeling blah today but thought this poem wanted to be here, so here it is along with a sister-poem by this profoundly talented poet.

Blessings from Marion on this cloudy, dreary, warm day in swampy Louisiana.......



"Grace Cavalieri, born in 1932, is the author of 14 books of poetry and 20 staged plays. She's produced "The Poet and the Poem" on public radio, which entered its 30th year in 2007, now from the Library of Congress. Grace holds the Allen Ginsberg Award for Poetry, the Pen Fiction Award for story, and the CPB Silver Medal for Broadcasting."




YOU CAN'T START THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY UNTIL YOU HAVE A BROKEN HEART


By Grace Cavalieri

Take the edge of the past,
not the whole
just the edge,
the way the art teacher
said You Blink Too Much,
the way the English teacher said
Your Father Must Have Written This-
It's Too Good . . .
This must be why
God started talking to me
in my own voice with
thoughts of
consequence and
ideas I never knew,
in my own voice,
even though I thought
a better one surely
should be found,
and certainly could be found-
It sounded at first
like a fiery sun
and a silk moon
spinning through me,
in tongues
and languages
I finally understood
but fast- so fast-
by the time I got the pen
it was gone.



===========================================




THE PROTEST


By Grace Cavalieri

I was supposed to make a five minute speech
so l took a tranquilizer
but the speech was cancelled,


I was to give another speech but
this too was cancelled,


As you can imagine, I stayed
tranquilized my whole life without speaking,


When the fire and blood came up
in thin spouts through
the kitchen floor
I called the manager
but it is never his fault
if we are speechless and in exile,


He said the problem in the floor
comes from being too emotional,


I had another chance to speak once
but the mashed potatoes lay thick
on my tongue and my indignation
sounded less than noble,


All the audience learned that night
is how anger sounds
through mashed potatoes,


"The physical is spiritual"
I said hotly, but
other people's impressions
had already brushed off on me,


By the time the audience left
I was a widow in a nightgown
and I had not told what
I'd come here to say.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Grace Cavalieri's Poetry:


Anna Nicole : poems (CreateSpace, 2008).

Bliss (H. Roberts Publishing, 1986).

Body fluids (Bunny and the Crocodile Press, 1976).

Cuffed frays and other works (Argonne Press, 2001).

Greatest hits, 1975-2000 (Pudding House Press, 2002).

Heart on a leash (Red Dragon Press, 1998).

Migrations : poems with Mary Ellen Long (Book Distribution, In Support, 1995).

Pinecrest rest haven (Word Works, 1998).

Sit down, says love (Argonne Hotel Press, 1999).

Stealthy days (with Robert Sargent and Grace Cavalieri) (Forest Woods Media, 1998).

Swan research (Word Works, 1979).

Trenton (Belle Mead Press, 1990).

Water on the sun: Acqua sul sole (translated by Maria Enrico) (Bordighera, Inc., 2006).

What I would do for love (Jacaranda Press, 2004.

Why I cannot take a lover (Washington Writers Publishing House, 1975).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Poet, Li Po, Master of Imaginary Landscapes






I think it was Dr. Bloom, an Internet friend of mine (one of my many "imaginary friends" as my children and husband call them), who turned me on to the magnificently eloquent, but wine-loving, Li-Po. Either that or I stumbled across his writings in my study of the Tao. Either way, I'm so glad to have found him and his beautiful, inspiring "imaginary landscapes". Enjoy! ~~Marion, enjoying Saturday

Here's a bit of a bio to introduce you to the honorable Mr. Po: "Li Po was born in what is now Sichuan Province. At 19 he left home and lived with a Taoist hermit. After a time of wandering, he married and lived with his wife's family. Then he lived briefly as a poet at the Tang court in Chang'an. He decided to return to a life of Taoist study and poetry writing.

During his wanderings in 744 he met Tu Fu, another famous poet of the period. In 756Li Po became an unofficial poet laureate to Prince Lin. The prince was soon accused of intending to set up an independent kingdom and was executed. Li Po was arrested and imprisoned, but a high official looked into Li Po's case. The high official had Li Po released and made him a staff secretary. In the summer of 758, the charges were revived. Li Po was banished to Yeh-lang.

Li Po frequently celebrated the joy of drinking. According to legend, Li Po drowned while drunkenly leaning from a boat to embrace the moon's reflection on the water. Most scholars believe he died from cirrhosis of the liver or from mercury poisoning due to Taoist longevity elixirs.

Most of Li Po's works are lost, but almost 2000 poems were collected in 1080. Li Po is best known for his pieces describing voyages through imaginary landscapes. He prefers older poetic forms such as songs or ballads. Some themes expressed in Li Po's works are the sorrows of those separated by the demands of duty and the relief found in wine. He also wrote about friendship, solitude, the passage of time, and the joys of nature." ---from famouspoetsandpoems.com


DRINKING ALONE
BY Li-Po

I take my wine jug out among the flowers
to drink alone, without friends.

I raise my cup to entice the moon.
That, and my shadow, makes us three.

But the moon doesn't drink,
and my shadow silently follows.

I will travel with moon and shadow,
happy to the end of spring.

When I sing, the moon dances.
When I dance, my shadow dances, too.

We share life's joys when sober.
Drunk, each goes a separate way.

Constant friends, although we wander,
we'll meet again in the Milky Way.

Li T'ai-po

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PARTING AT A WINE SHOP IN NAN-KING

A wind, bringing willow-cotton, sweetens the shop,
And a girl from Wu, pouring wine, urges me to share it.
With my comrades of the city who are here to see me off;
And as each of them drains his cup, I say to him in parting,
Oh, go and ask this river running to the east
If it can travel farther than a friend's love!

Li Po

====================================================

GOOD OLD MOON


When I was a boy I called the moon a
white plate of jade, sometimes it looked
like a great mirror hanging in the sky,
first came the two legs of the fairy
and the cassia tree, but for whom the rabbit
kept on pounding medical herbs, I
just could not guess. Now the moon is being
swallowed by the toad and the light
flickers out leaving darkness all around;
I hear that when nine of the burning suns out
of the ten were ordered to be shot down by
the Emperor Yao, all has since been quiet
and peaceful both for heaven and man,
but this eating up of the moon is for me
a truly ugly scene filling me with forebodings
wondering what will come out of it.

Li Po

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Mentor, Edna St. Vincent Millay


I had to devote an entire post to the poet who gave me the gift of poetry, Edna St. Vincent Millay. If you've ever loved even one of her poems, then I recommend the amazing, moving biography, "Savage Beauty" by Nancy Milford. I read it once, then turned around and read it again. It broke my heart to learn of the harshness of Ms. Millay's later life and the pain she suffered. (But as it broke my heart, I also felt a kinship with her at the same time). Her free spirit enthralled me as did her wild life. It's most definitely NOT one of those dull and boring biographies, but reads more like a fascinating, riveting novel. I came away from it with a fresh admiration for both her and her amazing poetry. She lived her life as few women have before her or since.

I share below a few of my favorite poems which I first read almost 40 years ago. They're as fresh and inspiring to me today as they were then.

Blessings & Love,

~*~Marion~*~

You can find the enitre poem, Renascence, here: http://www.bartleby.com/131/1.html


RENASCENCE (First and Last Stanzas)

ALL I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked the other way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I’d started from;

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat—the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.



GOD'S WORLD

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!

Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!

Thy mists that roll and rise!

Thy woods this autumn day, that ache and sag

And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag

To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!

World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,

But never knew I this;

Here such a passion is

As stretcheth me apart, -- Lord, I do fear

Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year;

My soul is all but out of me, -- let fall

No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.


Edna St. Vincent Millay


***************************************


SPRING

To what purpose, April, do you return again?

Beauty is not enough.

You can no longer quiet me with the redness

Of little leaves opening stickily.

I know what I know.

The sun is hot on my neck as I observe

The spikes of the crocus.

The smell of the earth is good.

It is apparent that there is no death.

But what does that signify?

Not only under ground are the brains of men

Eaten by maggots.

Life in itself

Is nothing,

An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.

It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,

April

Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.


Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Celebrate Mother Earth Today with Poet, Mary Oliver




I had to post a poem by poet Mary Oliver today because she is so eloquent at describing the majestic beauty of the Earth. In my opinion, she has no equal when writing about the magnificance of Mother Earth.

Plant a flower today, or at least look out your window and thank a tree for it's wonderful shade.

Blessings, ~~~Marion


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


MORNING POEM

Every morning
the world
is created. Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies. If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere. And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging ---
there is still somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted ---

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly, every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

Mary Oliver

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Poets David Whyte, Anne Michaels & Others...


The book of poems shown is one of my favorite anthologies. If you're new to poetry, then anthologies are the way to go because they're like having a sumptuous feast of poems instead of just a meager snack. I highly recommend the poetry books of both David Whyte and Anne Michaels. I own several by both poets and they're amazing! I have the audio CD, "Midlife and the Great Unknown" by David Whyte and I listen to it often. He has a beautiful, soothing voice and to hear him read his own shimmering, healing poetry is like a waking dream.

I've chosen a few poems that are not in this book, but most are from "Staying Alive, Real Poems for Unreal Times". The quotes below are also from the book. ENJOY!!!!!!!

"Poetry has to do with the non-rational parts of man. For a poet, a human being is a mystery . . . this is a religious feeling." ---Czeslaw Milosz


"Poetry is what makes the invisible appear." ---Nathalie Sarraute


"If I knew where poems came from, I'd go there." Michael Longley

"Spend the day with yourself
Let nothing distress you
A person emerges so young and so old
You can't know how long it has lived in you." ---Sophia De Mello Breyner, "Day"


"Poetry can tell us what human beings are. In can tell us why we stumble and fall and how, miraculously, we can stand up." ---Maya Angelou


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Because the moon feels loved, she lets our eyes
follow her across the field, stepping
from her clothes, strewn silk
glinting in furrows. Feeling loved, the moon loves
to be looked at . . .

Her sister, memory, browses the closet
for clothes carrying someone's shape.
She wipes her hands on an apron
stained with childhood.

From: “Skin Divers” by Anne Michaels


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


The Lightest Touch

Good poetry begins with
the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then like a hand in the dark
it arrests the whole body,
steeling you for revelation.
In the silence that follows a great line
you can feel Lazarus
deep inside
even the laziest, most deathly afraid
part of you,
lift up his hands and walk toward the light.

-- David Whyte, from Everything is Waiting for You


========================================================


"i shall paint my nails red"

by carole satyamurti

because a bit of a color is a public service
because I am proud of my hands.
because it will remind me I'm a woman.
because I will look like a survivor.
because I can admire them in traffic jams
because my daughter will say ugh.
because my lover will be surprised.
because it is quicker than dying my hair.
because it is a ten-minute moratorium.
because it is reversible.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


The Opening of Eyes

That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.
It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.

  -- David Whyte, from Songs for Coming Home



@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
 

“There are nights in the forest of words
when I panic, every step into thicker darkness,
the only way out to write myself into a clearing,
which is silence.”
---From, “What the Light Teaches” by Anne Michaels



#################################################

Lost

Stand still.
The trees ahead and the bushes beside you are not lost.
Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still.
The forest knows Where you are.
You must let it find you.



---An old Native American elder story rendered into modern English by David Whyte



<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>



What to Remember When Waking


In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?

---David Whyte

Monday, April 20, 2009

Moody Monday Poems: Sharon Olds and More Dorianne Laux

I went into the living room yesterday to peruse my poetry books and look what I found: FAIRIES!!! I guess they're poetry fairies since they were playing in the poems.......



I can't get enough of the poetry of the down-to-earth Madam of Poetry, Sharon Olds.

The Promise
by Sharon Olds


With the second drink, at the restaurant,
holding hands on the bare table,
we are at it again, renewing our promise
to kill each other. You are drinking gin,
night-blue juniper berry
dissolving in your body, I am drinking Fumé,
chewing its fragrant dirt and smoke, we are
taking on earth, we are part soil already,
and wherever we are, we are also in our
bed, fitted, naked, closely
along each other, half passed out,
after love, drifting back
and forth across the border of consciousness,
our bodies buoyant, clasped. Your hand
tightens on the table. You’re a little afraid
I’ll chicken out. What you do not want
is to lie in a hospital bed for a year
after a stroke, without being able
to think or die, you do not want
to be tied to a chair like your prim grandmother,
cursing. The room is dim around us,
ivory globes, pink curtains
bound at the waist—and outside,
a weightless, luminous, lifted-up
summer twilight. I tell you you do not
know me if you think I will not
kill you. Think how we have floated together
eye to eye, nipple to nipple,
sex to sex, the halves of a creature
drifting up to the lip of matter
and over it—you know me from the bright, blood-
flecked delivery room, if a lion
had you in its jaws I would attack it, if the ropes
binding your soul are your own wrists, I will cut them.

*******************************************************
Blessings for a Happy Week!

~*~Marion~*~



Oops, I found another one! Kelly, you'll appreciate the puzzle in this poem by Dorianne Laux:

Break

By Dorianne Laux

We put the puzzle together piece
by piece, loving how one curved
notch fits so sweetly with another.
A yellow smudge becomes
the brush of a broom, and two blue arms
fill in the last of the sky.
We patch together porch swings and autumn
trees, matching gold to gold. We hold
the eyes of deer in our palms, a pair
of brown shoes. We do this as the child
circles her room, impatient
with her blossoming, tired
of the neat house, the made bed,
the good food. We let her brood
as we shuffle through the pieces,
setting each one into place with a satisfied
tap, our backs turned for a few hours
to a world that is crumbling, a sky
that is falling, the pieces
we are required to return to.

from Awake, 2001 University of Arkansas Press

Friday, April 17, 2009

Favorite Poem Friday - Wishes for Sons & To My Last Period by Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton is by far one of the best poets on earth. It's like she looks into the soul of woman and takes notes and turns them into perfect poems that express the inexpressable. I highly recommend all of her books. My favorite is "Blessing the Boats". These poems are just two of my favorites of hers.......


WISHES FOR SONS

i wish them cramps.
i wish them a strange town
and the last tampon.
I wish them no 7-11.

i wish them one week early
and wearing a white skirt.
i wish them one week late.

later i wish them hot flashes
and clots like you
wouldn't believe. let the
flashes come when they
meet someone special.
let the clots come
when they want to.

let them think they have accepted
arrogance in the universe,
then bring them to gynecologists
not unlike themselves.

~Lucille Clifton



TO MY LAST PERIOD

well girl, goodbye,
after thirty-eight years.
thirty-eight years and you
never arrived
splendid in your red dress
without trouble for me
somewhere, somehow.

now it is done,
and i feel just like
the grandmothers who,
after the hussy has gone,
sit holding her photograph
and sighing, wasn't she
beautiful? wasn't she beautiful?





This is yesterday's project. I cut the arms off of a white tee shirt, then cut out the neckline into a "U" shape. I took a soft small paint brush and painted my dragonfly stamp (the yellow-winged one in the foreground) lightly, but evenly with the acrylic paint, then stamped it onto the fabric and pressed down lightly, but evenly. I added another dragonfly, but didn't take a pic of it. I then iron over the dry paint with a piece of wax paper to set it. Ta-daaa! I'm done.



Ray couldn't stand it. Taylor has wanted a skateboard for a long time. But where he lives in the country, there's no place to use one close by. First, Ray called April (Taylor's mother, our daughter) and asked permission to buy him one. We didn't want to get grounded or anything. She didn't mind, so he went and picked up Taylor and they finally found one he liked at Academy Sporting Goods. I had a blast using the video button on my camera for the first time. Maybe next I'll learn how to upload videos! LOL! Here's a few pics of the expert with his awesome board. I tried to just stand still on the board holding on to Taylor and almost busted my butt. It's much harder than it looks, trust me!!! Notice Cody's adoring look at Taylor. He loves having his very own boy, even if it's only part-time!!




On that note, Happy Friday and appreciate the sons in your life today.

Peace, Blessings and Love,

~*~Marion~*~

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mugged By Poetry - Introducing Poet Dorianne Laux


Oh, what a yummy, tasty treat y'all are in for today if you have not yet discovered the down-to-earth, gritty, delicious poetry of Dorianne Laux. She's my Whitman, my Eliot and my e e cummings all rolled into a 'knowing' woman's body and soul.


I first found her when I read the book she co-authored with Kim Addonizio, "The Poet's Companion" which is a jewel of a book. When I read her poem below, "Mugged By Poetry", I went out and bought a copy of Tony Hoagland's "Donkey Gospel" because I loved him, dear bloggers, I LOVED him and wanted to hug him for sending Ms. Laux that magnficient little chapbook made from his heart tied with the shoe laces. I wanted to BE her and have someone send ME such a heartfelt prize of a gift---more precious than diamonds is a gift from the heart like that----especially to a poet, a word collector, a person that most of the world does not understand OR appreciate---my truest treasures are my poet-friends. (My husband rolls his eyes when I say to him, "Can I read you this little poem?" And then he impatiently tolerates my reading of it and then I get mad and cry and he says, "You know I've NEVER liked poetry---except for your poems, that is...." ) But it's too late by then and I know that I have to call or email someone who "knows" what it's like to have a handful of words arranged a certain way touch your soul and thrill you from the top of your head all the way down to the tips of your red-painted toes.....


I boo-hooed the first time I read "Mugged By Poetry" by Ms. Laux. I was so envious of her for getting that little book, first, and secondly for having written MY poem---I have felt what she writes too many times to count when reading poetry!! When I read the poem I shake my head up and down like a fool and mouth the word YES over and over because I've experienced the same feelings she so eloquently writes about when reading other poems by other poets who inspire me. There always seems to be that one line that breaks your heart----and later there's the line that puts your heart back together again. (My tears are dripping onto Ms. Laux's books in my lap---)


I have some credit card debt. Not as much as most American's, I'm sure, but some. And 99% of it is from buying books, mostly poetry. I don't care. You can't take it with you when you go----I should get me one of those nice, square pieces of cardboard and a large magic marker (don't you word freaks out there like me just love that they're called 'magic' markers?) and make me a sign that says, "WILL WORK FOR POETRY" and stand on the side of a busy intersection at a stop light and hold out a plastic bucket like the firemen do when collecting for charity. "Coins for words! Coins for words! Dollars appreciated, too," I'd holler. Then I'd carry my ass straight to Books a Million and spend every damn cent on poetry books. Okay, I'm mind-tripping here. Let me get back to the subject at hand.....


In her book "What We Carry" the first poem is "Late October" and it's awesome. I couldn't find it on the web, so I'll be naughty and not type it all here but tease you into buying her book by sharing a few lines:


" . . . The moon was a white dinner plate

broken exactly in half. I saw myself as I was:


forty-one years old, standing on a slab

of cold concrete, a broom handle slipping


from my hands, my breasts bare, my hair

on end, afraid of what I might do next."


Okay, now carry yourself on to Amazon.com and buy the book because, trust me, all of the poems are awesome, brilliant, shimmering and just plain good.


I'm going to leave you with a brief bio of Ms. Laux and the title poem for you to savor. Support poets and poetry today. Go to your public library and bitch to the manager if they don't have current poets in the 811's. I do it often and I've noticed recently that they're buying more poetry books. Signing off affectionately, ~*~Marion~*~


Dorianne Laux


Dorianne Laux was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her fourth book of poems, Facts about the Moon (W.W. Norton, 2007), is the recipient of the Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also author of Awake (Eastern Washington, 2007, rpt.), What We Carry (BOA, 1994), Smoke (BOA, 2000), and Superman: The Chapbook (Red Dragonfly Press, 2008).



Mugged By Poetry


—for Tony Hoagland who sent me a handmade chapbook made from old postcards called OMIGOD POETRY with a whale breaching off the coast of New Jersey and seven of his favorite poems by various authors typed up, taped on, and tied together with a broken shoelace.


Reading a good one makes me love the one who wrote it,

as well as the animal or element or planet or person

the poet wrote the poem for. I end up like I always do,

flat on my back like a drunk in the grass, loving the world.

Like right now, I'm reading a poem called "Summer"

by John Ashbery whose poems I never much cared for,

and suddenly, in the dead of winter, "There is that sound

like the wind/Forgetting in the branches that means

something/Nobody can translate..." I fall in love

with that line, can actually hear it (not the line

but the wind) and it's summer again and I forget

I don't like John Ashbery poems. So I light a cigarette

and read another by Zbigniew Herbert, a poet

I've always admired but haven't read enough of, called

"To Marcus Aurelius" that begins "Good night Marcus

put out the light/and shut the book For overhead/is raised

a gold alarm of stars..." First of all I suddenly love

anyone with the name Zbigniew. Second of all I love

anyone who speaks in all sincerity to the dead

and by doing so brings that personage back to life,

plunging a hand through the past to flip off the light.

The astral physics of it just floors me. Third of all

is that "gold alarm of stars..." By now I'm a goner,

and even though I have to get up tomorrow at 6 am

I forge ahead and read "God's Justice" by Anne Carson,

another whose poems I'm not overly fond of

but don't actively disdain. I keep reading one line

over and over, hovering above it like a bird on a wire

spying on the dragonfly with "turquoise dots all down its back

like Lauren Bacall". Like Lauren Bacall!! Well hell,

I could do this all night. I could be in love like this

for the rest of my life, with everything in the expanding

universe and whatever else might be beyond it

that we can't grind a lens big enough to see. I light up

another smoke, maybe the one that will kill me,

and go outside to listen to the moon scalding the iced trees.

What, I ask you, will become of me?
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Mother Earth and Quotes from my Indian Heritage

"There is no death. Only a change of worlds." ---Seattle (1786 - 1866) Suquamish Chief


My white Rose, after yesterday's hard rain storms, seemed to be weeping raindrops. So beautiful that words almost ruin the picture.


"The old Indian teaching was that it is wrong to tear loose from its place on the earth anything that may be growing there. It may be cut off, but it should not be uprooted. The trees and the grass have spirits. Whenever one of such growths must be destroyed by some good Indian, his act is done in sadness and with a prayer for forgiveness because of his necessities. . ." ---Cheyenne Elder (late 19th Century)


The pink Rose is sharing its first bloom with us today. She posed so beautifully, that I just had to snap her picture.


"Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. We did not weave the web of life; we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves." ---Seattle (1786 - 1866) Suquamish Chief

"You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. . . . The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. . . Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The very life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves." ---Black Elk (1863 - 1950) Oglala Sioux holy man


Yellow butterflies
over the blossoming, virgin corn,
with pollen-spotted faces
chase one another in
brilliant throng.
---Hopi Song


". . . Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence." ---Mourning Dove (1888 - 1936) Salish


". . . I am poor and naked, but I am the Chief of the Nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. WE WANT PEACE AND LOVE." ---Red Cloud (late 19th century) Sioux Chief

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter - New Beginnings - New Life

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." (Matt. 6:28-29)


LILIES
By Mary Oliver

I have been thinking
about living
like the lilies
that blow in the fields.

They rise and fall
in the edge of the wind,
and have no shelter
from the tongues of the cattle,

and have no closets or cupboards,
and have no legs.
Still I would like to be
as wonderful

as the old idea.
But if I were a lily
I think I would wait all day
for the green face

of the hummingbird
to touch me.
What I mean is,
could I forget myself

even in those feathery fields?
When Van Gogh
preached to the poor
of coarse he wanted to save someone--

most of all himself.
He wasn't a lily,
and wandering through the bright fields
only gave him more ideas

it would take his life to solve.
I think I will always be lonely
in this world, where the cattle
graze like a black and white river--

where the vanishing lilies
melt, without protest, on their tongues--
where the hummingbird, whenever there is a fuss,
just rises and floats away.




Emily Dickinson

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown —
Who ponders this tremendous scene —
This whole Experiment of Green —
As if it were his own!


Wishing you a beautiful Easter and wonderful new beginnings, just like these new flowers----

Love & Peace,


~Marion @->-----

"I think of the garden after the rain;
And hope to my heart comes singing,
At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing! ~Edna Dean Proctor, "Easter Bells"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What Do Women Want Saturday - A Red Dress??


RED: The color of blood, passion, lust, roses, dresses, heARTs, anger, lipstick and love. Red Rocks!!!!



There's nothing, not a single damn thing on earth, that can make you feel sexy and beautiful like a RED DRESS!




Poet and author Kim Addonizio (shown above) was born in Washington, D.C., in 1954. She received her B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University.


Her books of poetry include Tell Me (BOA Editions, 2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Award; Jimmy & Rita (1997); The Philosopher's Club (1994); and Three West Coast Women, with Laurie Duesing and Dorianne Laux (1987). Addonizio is also the author of In the Box Called Pleasure (1999), a collection of stories, and, with Dorianne Laux, the co-author of The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry (1997). She co-edited Dorothy Parker's Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos (2002) with Cheryl Dumesnil. Addonizio was a founding editor of the journal Five Fingers Review. Among her awards and honors are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, and a Commonwealth Club Poetry Medal. Kim Addonizio teaches in the M.F.A. program at Goddard College and lives in San Francisco.
And I'm happy to say that she has a brand new book out entitled, "Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within" which just came out in February of this year. It's another keeper, trust me! Here's a blurb from Amazon.com which persuaded me to buy yet another book on writing poetry (we must always grow---to stagnate is to die!):
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Inspired by the gratifying success of Companion, Kim Addonizio presents exciting new insights into the creative process, craft, and the lessons of her own creative subjects--love, loss, identity, community--are here, along with a heady variety of writing exercises (and innovative ways to use the Internet). Chapters on gender, race, and class challenge readers to explore their creative vision more deeply, Addonizio, hailed for her passionate, award-winning poetry, shares her breakthroughs and frustrations frankly, including samples of rejection slips. She offers not only encouragement but also a wealth of knowledge about form and structure, metaphor and rhythm, revision, and that elusive goal: publishing.

"Poetry is not a means to an end," Addonizio maintains, "but a continuing engagement with being alive." Her generous guide is for beginners and experienced poets, for groups and in the classroom--indeed for anyone eager to glimpse the angel of poetry.
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If I had that girl's bod, I'd wear a flowing, RED dress every single day of my life! LOL!

One of my all-time favorite poems by the amazingly talented, tattooed and beautiful Kim Addonizio. I own all of her books and they are all amazing, fabulous and full of heART & soul:

WHAT DO WOMEN WANT?

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

Kim Addonizio

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I hope you all have a super, relaxing, inspirational Saturday! Read and write a poem today----I plan to!!!

Hugs and Blessings and Peace and Love,

~*~Marion @->-----

Let books be your dining table,
And you shall be full of delights
Let them be your mattress
And you shall sleep restful nights.~Author Unknown

Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind. ~James Russell Lowell

Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled "This could change your life." ~Helen Exley


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Poets, Players, Passionate Phrases....




"The Devil"

By Polly Jean Harvey

As soon as I'm left alone
The devil wanders into my soul

And I pretend to myself

And I pretend to myself

I go out
To the old milestone
Insanely expecting
You to come there

Knowing that I wait for you there
That I wait for you there

Come!

Come!

Come here at once

Come!

Come!

On a night with no moon

Because all of my being is now in pining
All of my being is now in pining

What formerly had cheered me
Now seems

Insignificant

Insignificant


-------------------------------------------------


How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual

by Pamela Spiro Wagner


First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma,
your steel-tipped boots,
or your white-collar misunderstandings.

Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.
To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
and trust.

Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.

Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true,
doing holy things to the ordinary.

Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.

When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota,
and don't even notice, close this manual.


-------------------------------------------------------


"If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom." ~Audra Foveo


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Peace, Poems, Prolixity,

~Marion

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Polly Jean Harvey, Poet/Rock Legend Extraordinaire



I've said it before and I'll say it until the day I die: Songwriters are the new poets of our generation.


We may not have a Wordsworth or a Millay today, but we have the tender hearts and translucent, poetic souls of singers like Polly Jean (P. J.) Harvey, whose haunting voice can at turns bring me to tears with longing or make me want to jump up from my chair and dance with abandon. She's my newest musical muse.


I can't listen to her music and not grab my pen to write. Ideas seem to jump out of the speakers as I listen to her singing one of my favorite songs so far, "Grow Grow Grow". Her voice is at times high pitched---soft, innocent and gentle---fragile almost, as she plays the autoharp, then suddenly hard as the ground she speaks of stomping down with her boots in this amazingly inspiring song which speaks to me on so many levels that I could never describe them all here. I like her live performances on YouTube best. Check them out when you get a chance and be enthralled with her many personas.


She's a chameleon, a shape shifter---one minute the wounded lover, the next carelessly breaking a man's heart. She's basically shy but can wear a red dress and slut it up with the best of them, as in her song, "Down By The Water" based on an old Irish ballad. In "This is Love" you're riveted to her blood red lips, a slash of crimson in the canvas of the otherwise entirely white video. You can't take your eyes from her mouth in this hard-driving song.


If you've never listened to any of her music, you're in for a delicious treat. I recommend the song below first. I always like to sing along so here are the simple yet profound lyrics:


GROW GROW GROW


By Polly Jean (P.J.) Harvey


I sowed a seed
Underneath the oak tree
I trod it in
With my boots I trampled it down


Grow
Grow
Grow


I sowed a rose
Underneath the oak grove
With my boots on the ground
Into the earth I trampled it down


Grow
Grow
Grow


Teach me how to...
Teach me how to...


Teach me, Mommy
How to grow
How to catch someone's fancy
Underneath the twisted oak grove…


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

You may have heard of one of her early song, "Sheela-na-gig" which is a classic. Kurt Cobain said it was the best rock song ever written. She's an enigma, a true poet and today I salute her as my poet muse and thank her for sharing her heart and soul with all of us.


Read a poem today and listen to some new music----GROW!


Blessings, Hugs and Peace,


~~Marion


Music is the poetry of the air. ~Richter


If I were to begin life again, I would devote it to music. It is the only cheap and unpunished rapture upon earth. ~Sydney Smith


There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is. ~William P. Merrill


And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs
And as silently steal away. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Day Is Done


Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. ~Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name


Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence. ~Robert Fripp

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dragonfly Testing, One, Two Three



Will this blog work? Am I wasting my time again? Time will tell!!

Here's to National Poetry Month!!

Strange Woman

By Jill Essbaum
After Proverbs 7

She searches the sky for a god who will reach down and love her.
She seeks the arms of a lust that would stretch out to have her.
She shudders like a whore in a rickety chair.
She plaits ribbons of pain in her hair.

She sings unruly songs in strident keys.
Her feet abide in no man’s custody.
She is pity’s shabby bride, and lechery’s courtesan.
Mistress of a never-to-rise-again sun.

She tinctures her wines according to your desires.
In her bed, Hell is always and only fire.
You can set her apart like surfeit, delirious tither.
But no. She won’t be faithful to you either.

But hearken: The Goodman is gone and she will flatter you.
Use her. She will let you.



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PEACE & BLESSING!

READ A POEM, HUG A POET and WRITE A POEM THIS MONTH

~~Marion