Wednesday, March 25, 2020

This Shit Just Got Real

I am doing okay in lockdown, as it’s so inappropriately called.  I own my home, own over 1,000 books, can pay my bills for months, and have an acre of land around my home where I grow vegetables.  My cabinets are stocked.  I bought 3 cases of TP right before this pandemic hit.  I own guns and ammo should the world go nuts and chaos ensues.  I doubt seriously that will happen, though.  I was a Campfire Girl...Always be prepared!  Honestly, I once started a campfire in the pouring rain.  I got two MFing badges for that feat.  I’m a country girl.  

BUT, for most of my life, I lived paycheck to paycheck like many of you do.  I feel for those who are out of work and broke because I’ve been there.  I feel your fear, uncertainty and confusion.  I sincerely pray for this virus to die out soon.  I pray for God’s mercy for humankind.  I pray for you to not fear and to stay well.  I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime.  It’s a time of reflection on the fragility of life and trust in God.  Nature prevails.  The seasons still change, the trees are covered in blooms and new leaves.  

Know this:  life goes on and this, too, shall pass.  Love, peace, calm and hugs,  xo, ~Marion 



Hmmmm, I’m not so sure about this, but I’m staying home anyway.


My favorite 30 year old cookbook that tells you how to cook anything & everything from scratch.  

City Park in New Orleans after Madrid Gras.  Beads in the trees...

Truth.  And the truck drivers & grocery store employees who work tirelessly.


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Bored? Never!

My solitary life is never boring.  Readers, poets, gardeners and creative people are never bored!

A really good book to read.  It’s truly a meditation...

It’s  Spring!  Plant flowers and veggies and trees.  Take photos of the new flowers blooming.  Plant tomatoes, herbs and lettuce for your own salads.  Write about this strange time we’re experiencing in your journal for future generations to read.  Collage a can, a box or a notebook cover.  Write a story or a poem about your aloneness.  Color in a coloring book with gel pens.  Organize your craft supplies or your closet. Prepare a will, just in case.

 Call and check on friends and family members often!

Pray for our leaders, our fellow Americans/the world and especially our healthcare workers.  Pray for healing of the sick.  Meditate on the fragility of life and the mighty strength of Nature!  Read those philosophy books, the Bible, Rumi and Khalil Gibran.  Expand your mind/feed your head by reading books outside your comfort zone.

And keep your sense of humor and laugh often!


A can I painted and collaged.  I get my material from catalogs & magazines.


A coloring page from Laurel Burch’s coloring book that I colored this week.

Lemons on my Meyer’s Lemon tree.  My first Lemon tree!!!!! 

Scooby, our Pitbull, who likes to sniff the wind for enemies, I pontificate...

Two of my Blythe girls, holding hands.



My favorite comic, Calvin & Hobbs.





Thursday, March 12, 2020

Some Joy! Available for Preorder!

Fellow blogger Erin Wilson’s first book of poetry, “At Home With Disquiet”, is available for pre-order NOW at Amazon.  It will be out March 24.  Soon! I’m SO EXCITED and happy for her!

I met Erin over ten years ago via blog land and have loved her and her blisteringly beautiful words ever since.  I highly anticipate and recommend her book.  It will fill you with wonder and joy, I know.  Support new poets by buying their poetry!  Our world NEEDS poetry...

“It doesn’t matter what she makes the fire with./
The mother burns”.  ~Erin Wilson, (taken from Amazon review).


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Enough Words? by Rumi



Enough Words?
Rumi


How does a part of the world leave the world?
How can wetness leave water?
Don’t try to put out a fire
by throwing on more fire!
Don’t wash a wound with blood!
No matter how fast you run,
your shadow more than keeps up.
Sometimes, it’s in front!
Only full, overhead sun
diminishes your shadow.
But that shadow has been serving you!
What hurts you, blesses you.
Darkness is your candle.
Your boundaries are your quest.
I can explain this, but it would break
the glass cover on your heart,
and there’s no fixing that.
You must have shadow and light source both.
Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.
When from that tree, feathers and wings sprout
on you, be quieter than a dove.
Don’t open your mouth for even a cooooooo.
When a frog slips into the water, the snake
cannot get it. Then the frog climbs back out
and croaks, and the snake moves toward him again.
Even if the frog learned to hiss, still the snake
would hear through the hiss the information
he needed, the frog voice underneath.
But if the frog could be completely silent,
then the snake would go back to sleeping,
and the frog could reach the barley.
The soul lives there in the silent breath.
And that grain of barley is such that,
when you put it in the ground,
it grows.
Are these enough words,
or shall I squeeze more juice from this?
Who am I, my friend?
Taken from The Essential Rumi
translated by Coleman Barks

Thursday, February 13, 2020

February is STILL the Cruelest Month

Sunny & Annie Marie, Blythe dolls...totally random.


"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers......"

From:  "The Waste Land, (The Burial of the Dead)" by T. S. Eliot


February is The Cruelest Month
(with apologies to T. S. Eliot)
By Marion Lawless

February is the cruelest month
breeding death and stygian darkness.
Hungry Robins peck the unforgiving ground
and Cardinals perch listlessly on dry, brittle branches.
February is a miserable month---
colorless, frigid, gloomy and bleak.
Depression hangs in the air like
cigarette smoke in a honky-tonk bar---
Sadness staggers from room to empty room
dragging heavy, lethargic feet.
Time steals friends and tosses them to
the incinerator, burning them to bitter, black ash...
Suffering grabs you by the throat and chokes
you until you gasp and pant for air. . .

You silently whisper a cry for help---
and who shows up? 

Despair.

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










Tuesday, January 28, 2020

January 2020 in Pictures & Sister Cat Poem

Scooby, 60 pound Pit Bull, in my lap today.

Little Debbie, warming by the stove.  Haven’t turned on the heat yet!

My Azalea already blooming!  It’s been a mild Winter here in Swamplandia.

A surprise Hyacinth I forgot I planted years ago, making a comeback.

Daunting Drusilla Blythe in red & fake Blythe, Macey, in blue.

HILARIOUS!  As a grammarian, poet, word painter, voracious reader & retired legal secretary, I must say this is, so far, THE funniest thing I’ve read this year.  If you’re offended, then don’t fucking read it!  Happy 2020!


Sister Cat

Cat stands at the fridge,
Cries loudly for milk.
But I've filled her bowl.
Wild cat, I say, Sister,
Look, you have milk.
I clink my fingernail
Against the rim. Milk.
With down and liver,
A word I know she hears.
Her sad miaow. She runs
To me. She dips
In her whiskers but
Doesn't drink. As sometimes
I want the light on
When it is on. Or when
I saw the woman walking
toward my house and
I thought there's Frances.
Then looked in the car mirror
To be sure. She stalks
The room. She wants. Milk
Beyond milk. World beyond
This one, she cries.
—Frances Mayes




Sunday, January 19, 2020

Winter Poems, 2020


I planted this giant Water Oak as a 4 foot tall twig 25 years ago.




My backyard on a sunny Winter day last week.




Winter Trees
By Marion Lawless

The trees are all bare tonight,
their gangly limbs, 
bony-fingered arrows
pointing to the ghostly full moon
shining luminously overhead
casting murky shadows
on the frozen ground.

Unearthly they seem---
like beings from another realm,
vulnerable and naked,
yet sure of who they are---
safe,
watched over 
by the stars.

<><><><><><><><><><>
  
"Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?" ~Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982 


**********


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Must Read Poetry in 2020

I have one book on my must-read 2020 Poetry list and this is it:  “”at Home with Disquiet” by friend & fellow blogger, Erin Wilson.  I’ve waited many, many moons to see this book.  Congratulations, Erin!  I am so very happy for you!  Erin is a magician with words:


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Diet Pill Scriptures by Jennifer Thal

My kitchen window Gods


Les Grandes Baigneuses, or The Large Bathers, is a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir made between 1884 and 1887. 

^_^_^_^_^_^


The Diet Pill Scriptures 
by Jennifer Thal

I turned to scripture in desperation
because they said we don’t have your size
in the store but we can order it online,
a secret package with contraband goods,
and I tried to crawl back into the dated canvas
of Impressionist paintings locked in stone
buildings, seeking comfort in the oiled
arms of women bathing in streams and
sunning themselves in open fields, but
found the frames broken and the figures
fled, and all that remained was a bottle
of text, inscribed with the declaration
that my body is a sin, a spawn of history
faded by varnish, that it should be reduced
pound by pound in the name of mercy
because Eve did not wear a size 16,
and that Eden does not have room
for plus-size women who are greedy
to take up space in an infinite garden.
I turned to the fatty foundations of my ancient
temple and burned it down, and began to build
a new haven made of diet pills, caffeine
headaches, and detox powders,
I opened my arms to the brethren of the BMI
and the sacred priests of the scale that stormed
the soft doors and proclaimed that there are
demons with sugar-spun claws that are holding
my smaller soul hostage, that I must banish
these creatures, burn the disciples who clutch
onto the false God of fat and stone them,
cleanse my altar and extinguish the radical
fires ignited by false prophets of self-love.
They wailed that my body is not holy
until I purge these evils from my flesh.
When I held the diet pills aloft
and kneeled, my knees were cushioned
by starved salvation and by porcelain
protection, and I heard a hallelujah
in the chorus of weight loss challenges,
and I carved from the sacred text the letters
XS into my skin.

I vowed that I would become a devout
practitioner of counting calories and pray
to the icon of a beach body, that I will
believe in a higher power of green-tea
supplements that will exorcize the hedonists
hiding in my pockets of fat, that even when
the deities of diet pills remained silent
and would not grant me the salvation
I was promised, I would behead
the betrayers, one by one until
there was nothing left but bodies
rotting in the Entrance, and the sharp
pang of glory in my empty temple.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

House, Garden, Madness by Cate Marvin - Sweet Potato Soufflé Recipe




House, Garden, Madness
By Cate Marvin

Meeting his mouth made it so I had house again.
I called him garden and drew him so, grew
his long lashes like grasses so I could comb
them with my stare. Some evenings a low cloud
would arrive, hang its anxiety over the yard.

Having his mouth at mine again gave me back
home. The walls painted themselves blue
flowers grew larger than my head, stared
at me with wide eyes through the windows.
I was surrounded. A cloud stretched gray arms.

His mouth and mine again built something back
up with heat. The house was home again, wherever
I lived. The flowers grew fat, fed on weeds
around them. Ladybugs tucked their red luck
beneath petals' chins. The cloud came home again.

His eyes were closed but mine kept swinging open.
I saw him in the garden, surrounded by its light.
The flowers cut their own stalks, handed themselves
over to him in bunches. He kissed their bouquets,
and petals raptured. A cloud lowered, dark with fury.

I pressed my mouth to palm, closed my eyes
to find the garden, then saw: window shut in fright,
roots drowned, flower stalks broken, their heads dead
in puddles. Startled, I looked around. The cloud
descended, prepared to hemorrhage in my arms.

From: "Poetry Daily", page 173
first published in The Paris Review, no. 158, Spring, Summer 2001
also from "World's Tallest Disaster" by Cate Marvin

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

Madness is highly underrated.

I'd like to share my favorite, most requested Thanksgiving recipe passed down to me by my Mama.  As most Southern cooks do, I add or subtract spices to suit my taste.  (We're the best cooks in the world down here in Swamp country.) It tastes like a dessert, but it's a yummy side dish, best served with deep fried turkey, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, homemade rolls and green bean casserole.  Oh, and don't forget the cranberry sauce.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with love, family and friends.  Ray & I are alone this year, sadly... :-(

Love & Blessings to you all,

~Marion

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

Mama's Sweet Potato Soufflé

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I used canned yams, but you can use fresh)
1 cup sugar (or Splenda, a sugar substitute)
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon  (you can also add nutmeg if you like)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (my secret ingredient)
½ cup butter, melted

Mix the above ingredients well using hand mixer and pour into oven-safe casserole dish.

TOPPING:  (mix in separate bowl)

1 cup packed brown sugar (or Splenda Brown Sugar)
1/3 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/3 cup butter

Melt butter in mircrowave.  Mix all topping ingredients together with a fork. It will be crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over top of casserole mixture. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown on top.  Enjoy!!!

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

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." ~H.U. Westermayer

*****

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

*****

"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence." ~Erma Bombeck

*****

"O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness."  ~William Shakespeare

*****