Sunday, December 31, 2017
Friday, December 8, 2017
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
By Wallace Stevens
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.
A man and a woman
A man and a woman and a blackbird
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.
O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.
From: "Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens" by Wallace Stevens. Copyright © 1954
I have no words.
Friday, November 17, 2017
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Some beautiful trees on my block, photographed last Autumn. Trees are masters of letting go...
|In Blackwater Woods|
By Mary Oliver, from "American Primitive"
Look, the trees
|their own bodies|
|are giving off the rich|
|fragrance of cinnamon|
|the long tapers|
|are bursting and floating away over|
|the blue shoulders|
|of the ponds,|
|and every pond,|
|no matter what its|
|name is, is|
|I have ever learned|
|in my lifetime|
|leads back to this: the fires|
|and the black river of loss|
|whose other side|
|none of us will ever know.|
|To live in this world|
|you must be able|
|to do three things:|
|to love what is mortal;|
|to hold it|
|against your bones knowing|
|your own life depends on it;|
|and, when the time comes to let it|
|to let it go.|
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Sunday, September 24, 2017
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:
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
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
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
Summer, you started out beautifully...pink!
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,
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
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, August 28, 2017
On Joy and Sorrow
Kahlil Gibran, from "The Prophet"
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Monday, June 26, 2017
The Scaffolding Inside You
By Olena Kalytiak Davis
Your thoughts have hung themselves from nails
The sky has stopped
offering you reasons to live and your heart is the rock
you threw through each window
of what's deserted you, so you turn
to the burnt out building inside you: the scaffolding
overhead, the fallen beams,
the unsound framework;
according to the blue that's printed on the inside of your arms
you have no plans, no plans
uncovered, or uncovering: the offing is emptying,
the horizon empty
now that your sanity is
a tarp or a bedsheet
in the rough hands of the wind,
now that everything is hooded
in drop cloth.
It didn't happen
overnight. Or maybe it did:
your heart, the rock;
your soul, the Gothic barn.
You've even started envying the flowers their stems.
Will the Norther let up?
Will the moon ever again be so full of itself
that that ragged barn will fill with light, through its tin-covered roof?
You should bury more than the dead.
You should try harder.
You should give up.
From: "And Her Soul Out of Nothing"
Never think tomorrow will ever remotely resemble today...
Thursday, May 4, 2017
by Andrew Hudgins
My wife is not afraid of dirt.
She spends each morning gardening,
stooped over, watering, pulling weeds,
removing insects from her plants
and pinching them until they burst.
She won't grow marigolds or hollyhocks,
just onions, eggplants, peppers, peas –
things we can eat. And while she sweats
I'm working on my poetry and flute.
Then growing tired of all that art,
I've strolled out to the garden plot
and seen her pull a tomato from the vine
and bite into the unwashed fruit
like a soft, hot apple in her hand.
The juice streams down her dirty chin
and tiny seeds stick to her lips.
Her eye is clear, her body full of light,
and when, at night, I hold her close,
she smells of mint and lemon balm.
From: American Rendering: New and Selected Poems
Monday, May 1, 2017
We all want to be lit on fire & burned to ash...like that... xo
By Kim Addonizio
Love me like a wrong turn on a bad road late at night,
with no moon and no town anywhere
and a large hungry animal moving heavily through the brush in the ditch.
Love me with a blindfold over your eyes and the sound of rusty water
blurting from the faucet in the kitchen,
leaking down through the floorboards to hot cement.
Do it without asking,
without wondering or thinking anything, while the machinery’s
shut down and the watchman’s slumped asleep before his small TV
showing the empty garage, the deserted hallways,
while the thieves slice through the fence with steel clippers.
Love me when you can’t find a decent restaurant open anywhere,
when you’re alone in a glaring diner
with two nuns arguing in the back booth, when your eggs are greasy
and your hash browns underdone.
Snick the buttons off the front of my dress
and toss them one by one into the pond where carp lurk just
beneath the surface,
their cold fins waving.
Love me on the hood of a truck no one’s driven
in years, sunk to its fenders in weeds and dead sunflowers;
and in the lilies, your mouth on my white throat,
while turtles drag their bellies through slick mud,
through the footprints of coots and ducks.
Do it when no one’s looking, when the riots begin and the planes open up,
when the bus leaps the curb and the driver hits the brakes and the pedal sinks to the floor,
while someone hurls a plate against the wall and picks up another...
Love me like a freezing shot of vodka, like pure agave, love me
when you’re lonely, when we’re both too tired to speak,
when you don’t believe in anything...
Listen, there isn’t anything, it doesn’t matter; lie down
with me and close your eyes, the road curves here,
I’m cranking up the radio
and we’re going,
we won’t turn back as long as you love me,
as long as you keep on doing it
exactly like that.