Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jason Bredle, Young Poet Extraordinaire

I discovered the incredible poetry of Jason Bredle several years ago online and fell in love with several lines of this particular poem. You can guess, knowing me, that the word 'dragonfly' is in most of my favorite lines. But I love the raw intensity of his writing and how he seems to reinvent language, yet not so in a way that's undecipherable as some poetry is nowadays.

I say this often, but we must buy poetry and support other poets. I read an article last week that said that most poets, even the award winning ones, must have other jobs to survive. It's a shame. We need poetry. It's food for the spirit. It's the lifeblood of language.

Poetry is my own personal lifeline and my very heartbeat. Poetry is what keeps me tied to this earth, but at the same time, gives me wings to escape it.


Blessings and Love,


The Idiot's Guide to Faking Your Own Death and Moving to Mexico
By Jason Bredle

Every few seconds I check the Bible
to see what Jesus is saying about me. The answer
is always nothing. Sometimes
he's condemning me to eternal damnation,
but usually nothing. Tonight I am alone,
wearing my sex shorts, adrift amongst
the black suburban pools of eternal damnation.
No, I have not been in love. Yes,
I have been in love. I am speaking the language
in which no and yes mean the same, in which
apricot and goodbye mean the same.
I am remembering the kudzu of the awful season,
sitting with you beside the swamp for the last
time and neither of us knowing it was the last
time but yes the glass was hello and dragonfly.
Was it a blessing? They say so in this language.
Others say this language is dying, or already
dead. I speak it, nonetheless, while eating
apricots in the evening of eternal damnation
where you yell at the map and cut your wrist
and there is a darkness here that I have only shared
with my cat, like that guy in the movie who writes
graphic erotica and goes crazy. One says
pain near the black pool of everything,
my back is covered with wax. Every few
seconds I check the Bible to see what Jesus
is saying about me. The answer is always nothing,
aside from the time he lambasted the outfit I wore
to the People's Choice Awards. A green tuxedo.
Tonight, I am adrift in the suburb of the black sky,
I am speaking the language in which love
and apricot mean the same, in which pool
and death mean the same. I said goodbye
in a suburb like this, years ago. I said
goodbye in a suburb like this, years ago.
According to Hercules, if we make an angel
out of ourselves, that is what we are; if we make
a devil out of ourselves, that too is what
we are. See, this is what I am getting at.
It is the awful season and I am speaking
the language in which violence and God mean
the same, in which blood and dragonfly mean
the same. I am in the orchard of eternity
picking the goodbyes of damnation, I am licking
your dragonfly blood and speaking the language
in which pain means hello. A black pool,
a green sky. That is to say, each moment
without you is a vacant airport, each moment
without you is a glass apricot. Every few seconds
I check the Bible to see what Jesus is saying
about me. The answer is always nothing. Except
today, it's a bunch of weird stuff about how
I'm falling into a black pool in some suburb,
maybe Palatine or something, and just like that,
I've gone forever. I know! That's what I thought
too. This is the story, but in this language, this
is not the story. I am eating red ice,
harvesting a field of knives. I am speaking
the language in which heaven and earth mean
the same, in which sky and white mean the same.
O Lord, I made this dragonfly for you. Even
if you do not listen to it, just know, this
is how I have always felt about you. And I
am possessed. And I am a fatalist. Do you see
these bruises? Do you see these bruises?
They are a sad bouquet. They are a beautiful
scrapbook. I am floating. I am in love.
I am dead. On a perfect night, my back is covered
with wax. O Violence, but I did not want this hello.
O Lord, I made this dragonfly for you.
Even if You do not listen to it, just know, I made it
only for you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

maggie and millie and molly and may

maggie and milly and molly and may
by e. e. cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea.


This is one of my favorite summer poems and it just happens to be by one of my favorite poets, e.e. cummings, whose poems I often share here. I post it for those of you who haven't read it. It's lyrical and fun and just plain perfect.

I don't know anyone who doesn't love the sea. I've been to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, but I've never been to the West Coast to see the Pacific Ocean. I hope to one day before I die. There's just something healing about the sea and the beach, standing on the edge of the land and looking out into that vast body of water. For some reason it brings to mind the first few sentences in a fabulous book, "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston:

"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men."

It's a fabulous book if you're looking for something good to read. LOL! See, life is just this big cross reference where one book or poem leads to another and on and on. I love it!!

It's been a nice, stormy day here in the swamps with lots of much needed rain. It's cooler, but the mosquitoes are doing tiny little happy dances because of all the water they now have to lay eggs in. It's always something, right?

I'm not complaining, though. I love the cooler weather. It's pretty sad when 90 degrees is a cool spell! Let me head back to my books. I hear them calling me---

Hugs, Love, & Blessings,


"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Dinesen

"The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out. " ~Annie Dillard

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett

I read "Undiscovered Gyrl" by Allison Burnett, earlier this week and really enjoyed it. It was different from any other book I've read and the plot was ingenious, riveting, and heartbreaking all at the same time. I'm recommending it because it's about blogging, a favorite subject of so many of us, no? It's written in the format of an 18 year old girl's anonymous blog. This line really hit me in the gut: "Only on the Internet can you have so many friends and be so lonely."

In the interest of honesty, I will say that I'm now a member of the Amazon Vine program where I get to review books before they come out. I get a reader's copy of the book for free (thank yaaa Jaayyysssuus!) BUT, I do get to choose from a variety of books to review and I picked this one because it looked so interesting. I'm in the top 1,000 of reviewers at Amazon and have only been reviewing books there for, oh, TEN YEARS! I will say, when I saw the invitation, I did do a teeny, little happy dance...I mean offering a bookaholic books is like putting an alcoholic to work stomping grapes with the benefit of all the free wine they can consume if you don't mind purple feet. But really, the book is amazing and I think many of you would enjoy reading it. It comes out August 11, 2009.

I won't go into the story because you can read my review at Amazon. I review as Marion with my 'dragonfly' hotmail address next to my name if you'd care to toss me some bones in the vote department. Don't worry, I won't be bugging the hell out of you with lots of book reviews, but this one really got to me and was an awesome read.

Blessings, Love & Peace,


"There are books so alive that you're always afraid that while you weren't reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away. No one has stepped twice into the same river. But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?" ~Marina Tsvetaeva

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tom Robbins - Undisputed Master of the Metaphor!!

A quote to whet your appetite: "Spoon surveys the room. Moonrays are driving through the window like a fleet of white Cadillacs." ~Tom Robbins, "Skinny Legs and All", page 250

This is a long post. Probably the longest post I've had so far. I'm finally getting to the prolix part of my brain. I have a serious case of prolixity today, but I've been working on this post for weeks trying to get everything I want to say in---not possible considering the subject matter. This is one of my rare stream of consciousness rants about an author I worship and adore. But to try to minimize what I have to say about Tom Robbins, the KING OF METAPHORS, is unconscionable, totally not do-able, etc. So please, bear with me because you won't be disappointed if you're just discovering this man's writing. If you already read Tom Robbins, please feel free to share your favorite quotes or books. I'd love to know so I can secretly judge you by what's in that grocery cart of a brain of yours......LOL! I don't judge, but I am quite the curious girl, pun intended.

Many days I wake up and wish I'd never read a single word he'd written so I could re-experience the ecstasy of finding him. Oh, to be a Tom Robbins virgin just one more time---it gives me shivers, just the thought of it!!! I love this man's words more than chocolate or mocha frappuccinos and that's really, really saying something. I'm posting covers of my favorites of his books. I love every one he's written (although I haven't read his new one, "B is for Beer" yet. I'm saving it for a dreary day so I'll have something to look forward to.......) and highly recommend them all for great, never-your-average reading.

By Tom Robbins

She went to the School of
Miss Crocodile,
learned to walk backwards,
skin a black cat with her teeth.

Soon, she could dance with
dead pirates,
cook perfect gumbo,
telephone the moon collect.

But it took 23 doctors to
fix her
after she kissed that snake.

From: "Wild Ducks Flying Backward", page 150


By Tom Robbins

I went to Satan's house.
His mailbox was painted black
A fleet of bonecrushers
was parked in his driveway.
The thorns on his rosebushes
were longer than shivs.
And sixty-six roosters scratched
in his front yard, their spurs
smoldering like cheap cigars.

I went to Satan's house.
It was supposed to be an Amway party.
I wanted one of those
hard as hell steak knives.
The ones that can't tell the difference
between mama's sponge cake
and a chunk of rock cocaine.

I went to Satan's house.
I felt a little out of place.
But Satan's twin daughters soon put me at ease.
They tried on funny hats for me,
showed me jewels,
danced around my chair.
They read my fortune
in a bowl of ashes,
let me pet their Dobermans,
and watch while they rinsed out their pink underthings.

I stopped by Satan's house,
I just happened to be in the neighborhood.
Satan came downstairs in a Raiders jacket.
His aura was like burnt rubber,
but his grin could paint a sunrise
on a coal shed wall.
"I see you've met Desire
and Fulfillment," he said,
polishing his monocle with a blood-flecked rag.
"Regret is in the kitchen making coffee."

From: "Wild Ducks Flying Backward", pages 125, 126


In the world of writing/reading, there is Tom Robbins, then there is everyone else and I am seriously not exaggerating or pulling your leg. As Mama says, “I shit you not!” Go ahead, ask anyone who reads Tom Robbins and you’ll find a passionate, ardent, fanatic; a fiery-fierce, ferocious free spirit; a person with whom you’d trust your life and your children’s lives and even your groceries. I am being as serious as a dead grasshopper here!

I have been going to library sales and used book stores for 35 years and I have yet to find a single, battered Tom Robbins book ever. Why is this? BECAUSE NOBODY EVER GETS RID OF HIS BOOKS! I can’t say that about any other author on earth! Nobody!! Nowhere! I used to have a habit of highlighting favorite passages in books. I gave up on his books because I have entire books highlighted! Entire books, people---every magical, crazy, hypnotic word! (Have you peeked at and hit "Add to Shopping Cart" yet???)

Everything I read before Tom Robbins was piss poor, stale white bread. He is the juiciest, most mouth-watering steak, the finest, aromatic wine, the most luscious, pristine, fresh vegetable---to put it gastronomically. He's the red, ripe Chipmunk AND Grasshoppper untouched tomato fresh off the intoxicating vine. . . It was like this: I thought I had been drinking coffee all my life until I had that first cuppa Starbuck’s Espresso Roast, freshly ground, then I realized I’d been drinking colored water up until then---that's TOM ROBBINS! He’s so far beyond what I can even describe that it’s pathetic to even try. Excuse the abundance of exclamation marks, okay? I’ve been saving them up for this post and they’re all jumping around in my pockets in anticipation of their appearances! I promised to use them all in this post......!!!

I spent over half my life eating said white bread then a friend (who cannot remember the person who introduced them to the master?) sent me an old copy of “Jitterbug Perfume”. My life has never been the same.

I am on my knees bowing, head to the ground, arms waving up and down in the air to Angie C. the best friend on earth, who sent me her very own copy of “Jitterbug Perfume” back on October 14, 1999---I told you one never forgets---From there I escalated to “Skinny Legs and All”, then to “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” and all the rest of them. (If you're a real Tom Robbins nut, you own the movie version of "Cowgirls" with a young Uma Thurman....Of course, I have it!) Hell, I even found some poems he wrote in "Wild Ducks Flying Backward" to keep with my blog theme of poetry.

I met Angie online in a “Discussion Group” about Anais Nin, my favorite female author, way back in the virginal days of cyberspace in 1998. It was fate---we're still good friends, too! You might forget your own Mama’s birthday but you’ll never forget the person who introduced you to Tom Robbins---EVER! Thank you, Angie, I’ll owe you till the day I become ashes spread in bookstores around the world……(That's my last request, that my husband put on his favorite jeans, rip a little hole in the pocket, put my ashes in and take a road trip to the biggest, best bookstores around the USA and dribble my ashes in the poetry sections of as many as he can...if he dies before I do, my daughters have this information and swear to do it boxes in the ground for this girl!)

I found an interview with Tom Robbins online and share my favorite line here where he attempts to describe, quite aptly I might add, his own books. You can read the entire interview if you want to at the website following the quote:

TOM ROBBINS: "If unrestrained, I might describe my books as hallucinogens, aphrodisiacs, mood elevators, intellectual garage door openers, and metaphysical trash compactors. They'll do everything except rotate your tires. As a novelist, my goal has been to twine images and ideas into big subversive pretzels of life, death, and goofiness with the hope that they might help keep the world lively and give it the flexibility to endure. Now, having said all that, I should confess that I probably have no idea what I'm talking about. I rarely indulge in self-analysis and I'm as surprised as anyone else by what seeps out of the end of my pen."

From interview with Peter Wild at Bookmunch:

And now for a few of my favorite quotes from his books:

Jesus: Hey, Dad.
God: Yes, son?
Jesus: Western civilization followed me home this morning. Can I keep it?
God: Certainly not, boy. And put it down this minute. You don’t know where it’s been.
From: “Another Roadside Attraction” by Tom Robbins

"Louisiana in September was like an obscene phone call from nature. The air moist, sultry, secretive and far from fresh---felt as if it were being exhaled into one's face." ~Tom Robbins, "Jitterbug Perfume", page 66

"The Chinese fingers of dawn, slender and opium-stained, were massaging the bruised bottom of the sky, and owl hoots were beginning to be supplanted by benevolent birdsong and what might have been the sound of the night shift punching off duty at the buggworks." ~Tom Robbins, "Skinny Legs and All", page 72

"The last thing she hears as she dives deep down among the keys and change, Kleenex and Boomer letters, post-Jezebelian cosmetics and tattered old magazine photos of Georgia O'Keefe, is the joyful laughter of the heathen dildo.......The average woman's purse weighs approximately one kilo. The average woman's heart weighs nine ounces.....Can a woman who does not know the contents of her handbag know the contents of her heart?" ~Tom Robbins, "Skinny Legs and All", page 279

"The minute you land in New Orleans, something wet and dark leaps on you and starts humping you like a swamp dog in heat, and the only way to get that aspect of New Orleans off you is to eat it off. That means beignets and crayfish bisque and jambalaya, it means shrimp remoulade, pecan pie and red beans with rice, it means elegant pompano au papillote, funky file z'herbes, and raw oysters by the dozen, it means grillades for breakfast, a po' boy with chowchow at bedtime, and tubs of gumbo in between. It is not unusual for a visitor to the city to gain fifteen pounds in a week---yet the alternative is a whole lot worse. If you don't eat night and day, if you don't constantly funnel the indigenous flavors into your bloodstream, then the mystery beast will go right on humping you, and you will feel its sordid presence rubbing against you long after you have left town." ~Tom Robbins, "Jitterbug Perfume", page 240

"....I always wear flats to work, you've hardly ever seen my prime-time heels. I mean, hey, I'm no Imelda, but I've got three or four pair that could loot the treasury of a Third World country and make the natives say thank you. My hot pink Kenneth Cole pumps could fleece Manila in an hour......Let me show you a pair that takes no prisoners. Ellen Cherry knocked back a slug of Rum and vanished into her bedroom closet. When she reappeared, she was holding out in front of her, as if they were twin holy grails, a pair of pumps that seemed to have been fashioned from passion fruit and monkey entrails knotted together in posh bows; with cut-out insteps, ribbon ties, and spool heels, wider at the ends than in the middle. 'Ta-da,' she said softly and without emphasis. "Now, aren't these the shoes estrogen would wear if estrogen had feet? I call the color neon fox tongue, but that's another story." ~Tom Robbins, "Skinny Legs and All", pages 293, 294.

"With it's marvelous pinkness, Conch shell's long, smooth, folded aperture saturated the cave. It was a bonbon pink, a tropical pink; above all, a feminine pink. The tint it cast was that of a vagina blowing bubble gum." ~Tom Robbins, "Skinny Legs and All", page 54


Happy weekend, and happy reading. Hugs, Love and Blessings, ~Marion~

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Linda Pastan's Carnival Evening, Amazing Poetry

There are some poets you discover and you immediately just KNOW that they KNOW. I first heard one of Ms. Pastan's poems read by Garrison Keiller on "The Writer's Almanac" on NPR and I felt an immediate kinship with her words. I was instantly enthralled and felt illuminated from within.

I own this book as it's an edition of new and selected poems from several of her books and I must say it's a fine book of poems, one that I go to again and again. I had a hard time selecting only a few poems to post here because I have so many favorites. If you haven't yet discovered Ms. Pastan's poetry, then you're in for a delicious treat. Enjoy! Blessings, ~Marion


What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names---
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.

Linda Pastan



Tonight I understand
for the first time
how a woman might choose
her own death
as easily
as if it were a dark plum
she picked
from a basket
of bright peaches.

It wouldn't be despair
that moved her
or hunger,
but a kind of stillness.
The evenings are full
of closure: the pale flowers
of the shamrock fold
their fragile wings, everything
promised has been given.

There is always
that moment
when the sun balanced
on the rim
of the world
and is lost at sea,
and the sky seems huge
and beautiful without it.

I lie down on my bed
giving myself
to the white sheets
as the white sheets of a sloop
must give themselves
to the wind,
setting out on a journey---
the last perhaps
or even the first.

Linda Pastan



More faithful
than lover or husband
it cleaves to you,
calling itself by your name
as if there had been a ceremony.

At night, you turn and turn
searching for the one
bearable position,
but though you may finally sleep
it wakens ahead of you.

How heavy it is,
displacing with its volume
your very breath.
Before, you seemed to weigh nothing,
your arms might have been wings.

Now each finger adds its measure;
you are pulled down by the weight
of your own hair.
And if your life should disappear ahead of you
you would not run after it.

Linda Pastan



Finding a new poet
is like finding a new wildflower
out in the woods. You don't see

its name in the flower books, and
nobody you tell believes
in its odd color or the way

its leaves grow in splayed rows
down the whole length of the page. In fact
the very page smells of spilled

red wine and the mustiness of the sea
on a foggy day - the odor of truth
and of lying.

And the words are so familiar,
so strangely new, words
you almost wrote yourself, if only

in your dreams there had been a pencil
or a pen or even a paintbrush
if only there had been a flower.

Linda Pastan



Just looking at them
I grow greedy, as if they were
freshly baked loaves
waiting on their shelves
to be broken open---that one
and that---and I make my choice
in a mood of exalted luck,
browsing among them
like a cow in sweetest pasture.

For life is continuous
as long as they wait
to be read---these inked paths
opening into the future, page
after page, every book
its own receding horizon,
And I hold them, one in each hand,
a curious ballast weighting me
here to the earth.

Linda Pastan

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Cracked Pot Fable & Ebb and Flow

This is one of my Morning Glories from last year. They're pitifully thin this year, I guess from the drought.

This cracked pot fable and the ebb and flow prayer have been on my mind all week. I tore my house up to find the Henri Nouwen book from which the ebb and flow prayer came, but I finally found it. I don't know, maybe someone needs to read it. It always lifts my spirits.

I'm hunkered down under the a/c trying to stay cool. The heat index here is 109 and it already feels like it. Even the locusts are singing with a slow southern drawl today in this heat and our family of raccoons who we usually only glimpse at night just now came to the back door to get a drink of fresh water from the gallon container I keep for the wild cats!! Stay cool, peeps........Blessings! ~Marion

The Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?"

"That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."

"For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell and enjoy the flowers on your side of the path.


A Prayer to the God of Ebb and Flow
From: "Seeds of Hope" by Henri Nouwen, page 37

Dear Lord:

Today I thought of the words of Vincent Van Gogh, "It is true that there is an ebb and flow, but the sea remains the sea."

You are the sea.

Although I experience many ups and downs in my emotions and often feel great shifts and changes in my inner life, you remain the same. Your sameness is not the sameness of a rock, but the sameness of a faithful lover. Out of your love I came to life, by your love I am sustained, and to your love I am always called back. There are days of sadness and days of joy; there are feelings of guilt and feelings of gratitude; there are moments of failure and moments of success; but all of them are embraced by your unwavering love.

My only real temptation is to doubt your love, to think of myself as beyond the reach of your love, to remove myself from the healing radiance of your love. To do these things is to move into the darkness of despair.

O, Lord, sea of love and goodness, let me not fear too much the storms and winds of my daily life, and let me know that there is ebb and flow but that the sea remains the same. ~Amen~


Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Healing Power of Flowers

I got the most wonderful envelope of flower advertising from a plant nursery a few days ago and they just screamed for me to glue them into my art journal. So here they are with a few added words and twirls and ink. Summer fun!!!


"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be
mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us." ~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

A late cloudy afternoon and one of my backyard Moonflowers on the verge of unfurling. They only live one single night, by morning they are dead.


"A flower's appeal is in its contradictions - so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect." ~Adabella Radici

A set of silky, wrinkly Moonflower twins in my front yard around my dirty ironwork. They're so fragile, freshly opened with their delicate petals and heavenly scent. The scent is like a drug---I can't keep my nose out of them! They remind me of the sand dollars we used to find on the beach. I saw my first pink and black Sphinx Moths the night of the full moon but they were too elusive to be captured in photos. One even bumped my arm as if to push me out of the way on her way to the intoxicating Moonflower nectar.


"I know that if odour were visible, as colour is,
I'd see the summer garden in rainbow clouds." ~Robert Bridges, "Testament of Beauty"

This flower blooms in a little globe (I forget the name!) but it's not an Allium. The last few afternoon rains got her to finally bloom for me this year!

My sassy, pink Pansies have really outdone themselves. I just can't pass one by without snapping a photo.

Sunflowers are nature's enigma. They bloom early with their bright yellow, smiling faces, then bend their heads as if sorrow is weighing them down. I had to change this one to black and white because it just fit better. Doesn't she look forlorn? But the happy part is that she makes seeds and feeds the birds even as she is drying and dying.....


"Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock." ~Henry Ward Beecher, Star Papers: A Discourse of Flowers

Oh, the Zinnias, like rabbits they multiply! Just when I think they're done blooming, here comes another one in a color I've never seen before. These orange ones are blooming under the Sunflowers.

My backyard Zinna patch by my Tomatoes. They've been loaded with baby bumble bees ever since spring. Every spring I go to Dollar Tree and buy 10 packs of Zinnias for a dollar. So far, I've only planted 4 packs. I'm staggering them now every few weeks so I'll have their company until frost. I recently made a flower bed around my mailbox and mixed Zinnia seeds with Daisies and Purple Coneflowers. They're about 3 inches high. They'll make my mailman happy, bless his old heart. He told me the other day (when I have a package he honks the horn for me because he knows how I love my books and don't want to drive to the P.O. to pick them up) that I didn't look a day over 35. I told him I think he needs glasses. LOL!

"The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life." ~Jean Giraudoux


Blessings, Peace & Happiness,


Monday, July 6, 2009

William Stafford, A Poet Who Inspires Me, Always

When I Met My Muse
By William Stafford

I glanced at her and took my glasses
off—they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched. "I am your own
way of looking at things," she said. "When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation." And I took her hand.


Just Thinking
By William Stafford

Got up on a cool morning. Leaned out a window.
No cloud, no wind. Air that flowers held
for awhile. Some dove somewhere.

Been on probation most of my life. And
the rest of my life been condemned. So these moments
count for a lot—peace, you know.

Let the bucket of memory down into the well,
bring it up. Cool, cool minutes. No one
stirring, no plans. Just being there.

This is what the whole thing is about.


Waking at 3 a.m.
By William Stafford

Even in the cave of the night when you
wake and are free and lonely,
neglected by others, discarded, loved only
by what doesn't matter—even in that
big room no one can see,
you push with your eyes till forever
comes in its twisted figure eight
and lies down in your head.

You think water in the river;
you think slower than the tide in
the grain of the wood; you become
a secret storehouse that saves the country,
so open and foolish and empty.

You look over all that the darkness
ripples across. More than has ever
been found comforts you. You open your
eyes in a vault that unlocks as fast
and as far as your thought can run.
A great snug wall goes around everything,
has always been there, will always
remain. It is a good world to be
lost in. It comforts you. It is
all right. And you sleep.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tokin' With The Lord?

"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." ~Hebrews 13:2


“Honey, I’m home,” Ray called from the living room, slamming the front door shut. I was in the kitchen cooking a skillet of hamburger helper for supper.

“I picked up a hitchhiker on the way home. Do we have enough for one more?” (This was in the days before cell phones, waaaaay before cell phones.)

”Sure,” I hollered back, used to feeding strangers, since Ray never passed a hitchhiker, this being the 1970’s when it wasn’t as hazardous as it is now to pick up a stranger. I was a little bit perplexed, though, as I knew he had ridden the motorcycle to work that morning because our car was broke down waiting for a payday to get fixed and we did live in the middle of nowhere on Lake Bistineau, 25 miles from any town. Who in the world would hitch a ride on the back of a motorcycle?

I opened a can of English peas and poured them in a pot to heat on the back stove burner and popped some canned biscuits in the oven before going to see who our surprise guest was.

I walked into the living room, wiping my wet hands on a dish towel and there on my ratty, gold fuzzy garage sale couch sat Jesus. Well, he resembled Jesus. He was wearing a dingy white sheet tied at the waist with a cloth belt and had on a pair of plastic flip flops. His hair was long and ratted from blowing in the wind and he had a beard.

I stopped dead in my tracks and just stared, speechless.

“Hello, there,” he said, “I’m Jesus. You can wash my feet if you want to.”

Still temporarily mute, I couldn’t resist the urge to look down at his feet. They were filthy.

I said, “You’re welcome to use the bathroom if you want to take a shower, but I think I’ll pass on the foot washing.” He took me up on the shower and Ray gave him an old robe and boxers to wear while I washed his sheet/robe. I took the biscuits out of the oven, buttered them, and put an extra plate, knife and fork on the table.

While Jesus was showering I laughingly asked Ray where he had picked this one up. He replied, “You’re not going to believe this,” but I urged him on.

“I was passing that little Assembly of God church that’s on the main drag there in town and this guy comes running out of the church’s front door waving wildly. I pulled over to see if there was some problem and he jumped on back of my motorcycle and said, ‘Hit it, dude, hit it!’ so I did. He told me he was Jesus and that he had been in the church blessing the place when a secretary saw him and said she was going to call the cops and that was why he came running out so fast.”

“Ooookay”, I said, giggling.

Ray continued (and this is pure Ray): “I wanted to test him, you know, to see if he might really be Jesus, so I opened up the motorcycle on that straight stretch of highway by the horse farm with the white painted fences. I know I hit 100 mph and Jesus didn’t even blink or hold on! The only words he uttered when I slowed down a bit were, "Cool, dude!”

“Hmmm, maybe he really is Jesus if you couldn’t scare him,” I replied sarcastically.

When Jesus came out of the bathroom, his hair still wet (we didn’t have a hair dryer), he sat down and pulled out a little Bull Durham tobacco cloth bag with a string pull and some Zigzag cigarette rolling papers. “Would you guys care to share a doobie with me?” Ray and I looked at each other and fell out laughing like hyenas. Tokin’ with the Lord, yesssirrreeee. (I swear this is a true story. It is!!)

How could we say no? Who in their right mind would pass up the chance to even utter the sentence, ‘I got high with Jesus?' Not us! I mean, it was the 70’s and it was quite unsociable to refuse a toke, much like refusing a cocktail in the 50’s.

We partook (it was some righteous weed---sorry, I couldn’t help myself) and he urged us to put on some music. I asked if he had any preferences and he said, “Y’all got any Grand Funk Railroad”? I put on the album, Closer to Home and he said he loved “I’m You’re Captain,” so we entertained Jesus with a perfectly appropriate song seeing as who he was and all.

After that, all mellowed out, I suggested one of my favorite groups, Pink Floyd, and he said, “Wow, Groovy!”

I put “Dark Side of the Moon” on and we sat, rapt, falling into the music. To this day I can’t hear Pink Floyd without recalling our visit with Jesus.

When supper was ready, I called April from Mama’s across the street to come home and eat. But Jesus said he didn’t eat meat, so I made him two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He then proceeded to lecture us on the dangers of eating meat and killing cows and other of his helpless creatures. He chided us both for wearing leather belts and shoes. I really felt ashamed for a minute or two.

He slept peacefully on our couch that night. I went to get his robe/sheet out of the dryer the following morning and discovered that the dryer wasn’t working---his robe was still wet. He said, “That’s okay, I don’t mind,” and proceeded to put his wet sheet on, and get on back of our Suzuki in the cold, damp morning air. Ray took him back to town on his way to work and dropped him off at a 7-11 at this request. His robe was dry by the time they got there.

We learned several weeks later by way of a newspaper article that ‘Jesus’ was really the son of a wealthy family and he had run away from a psychiatric halfway home. I often wonder what became of him, if he still thinks he’s Jesus. If Jesus came back today, do you think he’d be locked up and considered crazy? Probably.

The synchronistic, funny thing is that several years later we began attending that same church, the little Assembly of God where Ray picked up hitchhiking Jesus. The pastor and his wife and a group of church members were sitting around talking one day and someone said, “Do y’all remember the time that crazy man dressed in a sheet ran through the church and like to have scared us all to death?”

Ray and I just looked at each other and winked....