Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kim Addonizio - New Book & Fabulous Poem

Ms. Addonizio's newest book of poems is "Lucifer At The Starlight".

The First Line is the Deepest

I have been one acquainted with the spatula,
the slotted, scuffed, Teflon-coated spatula

that lifts a solitary hamburger from pan to plate,
acquainted with the vibrator known as the Pocket Rocket

and the dildo that goes by Tex,
and I have gone out, a drunken bitch,

in order to ruin
what love I was given,

and also I have measured out
my life in little pills—Zoloft,

Restoril, Celexa,

I have. For I am a poet. And it is my job, my duty
to know wherein lies the beauty

of this degraded body,
or maybe

it's the degradation in the beautiful body,
the ugly me

groping back to my desk to piss
on perfection, to lay my kiss

of mortal confusion
upon the mouth of infinite wisdom.

My kiss says razors and pain, my kiss says
America is charged with the madness

of God. Sundays, too,
the soldiers get up early, and put on their fatigues in the blue-

black day. Black milk. Black gold. Texas tea.
Into the valley of Halliburton rides the infantry—

Why does one month have to be the cruelest,
can't they all be equally cruel? I have seen the best

gamers of your generation, joysticking their M1 tanks through
the sewage-filled streets. Whose

world this is I think I know.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jubilate Agno - Christopher Smart

I recall a reference to Christopher Smart in a previous poem and he's been on my mind lately, what with my cat house and all. That photo above is "Catfish" (named because he has a bad habit of sitting on the stove in a clean iron skillet). I awoke that morning and walked into the kitchen and there he was viciously killing that roll of paper towels. I'm sure in his mind he was protecting me from that evil roll of paper. The entire kitchen floor was covered with shredded paper towels. I had to laugh and grab my camera. Cats are a trip. I'm sure that Mr. Smart spent much time observing felines as he's really got them down in his masterpiece poem!



For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry (excerpt, Jubilate Agno)
By Christopher Smart

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of food.
For having consider'd God and himself he will consider his neighbour.
For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.
For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.
For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.
For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.
For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.
For every family had one cat at least in the bag.
For the English Cats are the best in Europe.
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For he is tenacious of his point.
For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
For he knows that God is his Saviour.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For he is of the Lord's poor and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually--Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.
For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.
For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in complete cat.
For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in music.
For he is docile and can learn certain things.
For he can set up with gravity which is patience upon approbation.
For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.
For he can jump over a stick which is patience upon proof positive.
For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.
For he can jump from an eminence into his master's bosom.
For he can catch the cork and toss it again.
For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.
For the former is afraid of detection.
For the latter refuses the charge.
For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.
For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.
For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.
For he killed the Ichneumon-rat very pernicious by land.
For his ears are so acute that they sting again.
For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.
For I perceived God's light about him both wax and fire.
For the Electrical fire is the spiritual substance, which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.
For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
For, tho he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.
For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.
For he can swim for life.
For he can creep.


Here's a short bio on Mr. Smart. If you'd like to know more about him, just Google!

Christopher Smart was born in 1722 in Shipbourne, Kent, England. In the 1750s Smart developed a form of religious mania that compelled him to continuous prayer. Samuel Johnson remarked, "My poor friend Smart showed the disturbance of his mind by falling upon his knees, and saying his prayers in the street, or in any other unusual place."

His father, a steward on the estate of Lord Vane, died when Smart was eleven. Smart attended the Durham School and was later educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, where he was well known for his Latin verses. The Odes of Horace would remain influential throughout Smart's career; he translated The Works of Horace in 1756. After college, Smart earned a living in London editing and writing copy for periodicals and composing songs for the popular theater.In 1756 he published Hymn to the Supreme Being, on Recovery from a Dangerous Fit of Illness.

However, from that time onward, Smart was confined, with one brief Intermission, until 1763 in St. Luke's Hospital and then in Mr. Potter's Madhouse in Bethnal Green. During his confinement he wrote what many see as his most original and lasting works—A Song to David, and the lengthy manuscript of Jubilate Agno. The last five years of Smart's life were marked by increasing debt and need; he was arrested again for debt in 1770 and died the following year.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Like Kerosene - More Olena Kalytiak Davis

I can't help myself, I just love Ms. Davis's poetry, so I chose another of her poems from her book, "And Her Soul Out of Nothing" today. I did discover she has a new book out, actually, a chapbook, "On The Kitchen Table From Which Everything Has Been Hastily Removed" which is available at I just ordered it and can't wait dig into it.

Olena was born in 1963, in Detroit, Michigan, and is a first generation Ukranian-American. She graduated from Wayne State University, the University of Michigan Law School, and the Vermont College MFA Program. She now lives in Anchorage, Alaska. She is divorced and the mother of two children. I found the photo of her below while 'Net surfing. Now, is this not a stereotypical photo of the torturned poet? From the ciggie to the tall coffee and those ass-kicking boots which I coveted, well, I wanna be her in my next reincarnation. Not really, but I do like to have a face to put with the poetry I read and this is an amazing photo.

Like Kerosene
By Olena Kalytiak Davis

Yes, it’s daily
that we move into each other—but this morning
I was separate even from myself—
my hands were shovels, I had mosquito netting for hair,
and the insect beating against the night
was my heart. My name was hallow
and the sky was made of shale when

I walked into a part of morning
I’ve never seen: the sky still heavy, still
smoldering with the nightmares of others,
the drunkenness and sorrow rising like dew, like fog,
like smoke back into the clouds. Suddenly,
my face was wet with it. I wanted to lie down
with it. To rest against the almost exhausted night.

Uncertain of what to do there
I started dividing the layers, the sediment,
thinking: Usually I sleep through his sadness.

And the morning asking: Why do you keep track
of the middle of the day when you should be
waxing the moon? How can these young fragile branches
be left out in the darkness, and who set that darkness
wandering inside your heart? Who can your love ignite,
like this, like kerosene?

And then the sky lit the morning.
And then I went in to set my own house on fire.
And then I lay down next to you:
a body filling with feathers or with snow
asking: and who are you that my love can light
like this, like kerosene.

University of Wisconsin Press (November 1997)


Wishing you all a peaceful, relaxing weekend. Blessings!


"Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason." ~Novalis

"The smell of ink is intoxicating to me -
others may have wine,
but I have poetry." ~Abbe Yeux-verdi

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Notice by Steve Kowit

NoticeBy Steve Kowit

This evening, the sturdy Levi's
I wore every day for over a year
& which seemed to the end
in perfect condition,
suddenly tore.
How or why I don't know,
but there it was: a big rip at the crotch.
A month ago my friend Nick
walked off a racquetball court,
got into his street clothes,
& halfway home collapsed & died.
Take heed, you who read this,
& drop to your knees now & again
like the poet Christopher Smart,
& kiss the earth & be joyful,
& make much of your time,
& be kindly to everyone,
even to those who do not deserve it.
For although you may not believe it will happen,
you too will one day be gone,
I, whose Levi's ripped at the crotch
for no reason,
assure you that such is the case.
Pass it on.

from The Dumbbell Nebula, 2000Heyday Books

I highly recommend Mr. Kowit's book, "In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop". It's an amazing, inspiring book for poets....Blessings, ~*~Marion~*~

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Morning Glories, A Water Hyacinth & Fireflies Poem

Today the Morning Glories were glorious!

Delywn, I found the name of this plant. I had another bloom this morning. It's a Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes).
Water hyacinth is a prolific plant that floats at the surface of water, its dangling roots acting as natural filters, drawing dirt and suspended debris out of the water for its own nourishment.

This photo is for Carmen the Mermaid who loves hearts.

Love, Peace & Blessings,



by Cecilia Woloch

And these are my vices:
impatience, bad temper, wine,
the more than occasional cigarette,
an almost unquenchable thirst to be kissed,
a hunger that isn't hunger
but something like fear, a staunching of dread
and a taste for bitter gossip
of those who've wronged me—for bitterness—
and flirting with strangers and saying sweetheart
to children whose names I don't even know
and driving too fast and not being Buddhist
enough to let insects live in my house
or those cute little toylike mice
whose soft grey bodies in sticky traps
I carry, lifeless, out to the trash
and that I sometimes prefer the company of a book
to a human being, and humming
and living inside my head
and how as a girl I trailed a slow-hipped aunt
at twilight across the lawn
and learned to catch fireflies in my hands,
to smear their sticky, still-pulsing flickering
onto my fingers and earlobes like jewels.

'Fireflies' by Cecilia Woloch, from "Carpathia".

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Olena Kalytiak Davis - And Her Soul Out of Nothing

The Scaffolding Inside You
By Olena Kalytiak Davis

Your thoughts have hung themselves from nails
like workshirts.

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.


In Defense of Marriage
By Olena Kalytiak Davis

Marry the black horse stuck
Dumb in her humble corral.

Marry the white fences; marry the fenceless
Moon and the defenceless sky.

Marry the feedlot and the threshing
Floor. Like the northern heaven to the southern

Stars, marry the kitchen table, its three strong
Legs. Marry the gate and the small intricate

Cuts on the keys and the view spreading
Outback. The streetlamp

Weds the morning light, like that, take the
Nomad. Promise to forsake. Give in

To the cistern full of asters.
To the way the beloved

Story goes: her body from a bone
And her soul out of nothing.

In a slowly spoiling month find out
You have married the house worn

Blue on the yellowing hill: each of its
Slow budding bedrooms. Marry one or two

Or three varieties of light, in three or four
Different lifetimes. I meant, windows.

Mate, be forsaken.

I married the way moths marry.
I married hard.


Friday, August 21, 2009

The Awful Normals and Phoebe In Wonderland, Plus More!!

Today I'm going to post a few new quotes I've collected from a movie and a few books I've read in the past few months. I hope you enjoy them. They all touched me deeply. May you all have relaxing, peaceful, refreshing and rejuvenating weekends.

Love, Peace, Hugs & Blessings, dearest Friends--- ~*~Marion~*~

"I moved toward the Yew tree. The ancient branches grew almost to the ground. I pushed aside some leafy obstacles and disappeared into the tree's shadow...underneath the branches, the air was cool and dim, a sanctuary in its own right. I moved closer to the tree's enormous trunk. It was close to four feet across and had split wide open with age. I'd read somewhere that once a Yew tree get that old, it didn't actually need the trunk to survive and so the trunk decays and becomes hollow. I could certainly identify."

~From: "Jane Austen Ruined My Life" by Beth Pattillo, Page 56

I watched the amazing movie, "Phoebe in Wonderland" last week. The photo above is from a scene out of the movie. Elle Fanning gives an awe inspiring performance as the troubled, fantastical Phoebe who won't - or can't - follow the rules. Confounded by her clashes with the rule-obsessed world around her, Phoebe seeks enlightenment from her unconventional drama teacher, even as her brilliant but anguished mother, played by Felicity Huffman, looks to Phoebe herself for inspiration.
Her mother is writing her disseration on "Alice in Wonderland", and firmly believes in letting children develop and live out their free, creative imaginations in their lives. But does Phoebe know the meaning of limits or is there something deeply wrong with her which the family refuses to face? I won't give it away, but it is a wonderful, beautifully filmed movie. I came away from it with the profound quote below which Phoebe was told by her spirited, free-thinking, never normal drama teacher, Miss Dodger played eloquently by Patricia Clarkson. I highly recommend this movie. It's a keeper.

And here is the amazing quote:

"At a certain point in your life---probably when too much of it has gone by---you will open your eyes and see yourself for who you are, especially for everything that made you so different from all the awful normals. And you will say to yourself, "But I am this person." And in that statement, that correction, there will be a kind of love."

"The playwright Eugene O'Neil in 'The Great God Brown' said, "Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue," So maybe life isn't about finding a cure but instead discovering what it takes to keep ourselves together, to mend ourselves so we can go on and live life to the fullest." ~From: "On The Couch" by Lorraine Bracco, page 283


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yusef Komunyakaa - Louisiana Native Poet

I discovered the poetry of Mr. Yusef Komunyakaa when he appeared at the annual Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge a few years ago. I had never previously read his amazing poetry or even knew that he was a Louisiana native.

Mr. Yusef Komunyakaa was born on April 29, 1947 in Bogalusa, Louisiana. I own "Neon Vernacular" for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poety in 1994, and I share a few of my favorite poems from this book. I'm going to try to share Louisiana poets and authors at least once a week. I'm proud of my state and it's colorful, amazing heritage.

For anyone interested, the annual Louisiana Book Festival will be Saturday, October 17, 2009 at the beautiful State Capital grounds along the mighty Mississippi River in Baton Rouge. I'll be there! Here's the website listing the authors and poets who'll be attending:

By Yusef Komunyakaa

I take it back.
The crow doesn't have red wings.
They're pages of dust.
The woman in a dark room
takes the barrel of a .357 magnum
out of her mouth, reclines
on your bed, a Helena Rubinstein smile.
I'm sorry, you won't know your father
by his darksome old clothes.
He won't be standing by that tree.
I haven't salted the tail
of a sparrow.
Erase its song from this page.
I haven't seen the moon
fall open at the golden edge of our sleep.
I haven't been there
like the tumor in each of us.
There's no death that can
hold us together like twin brothers
coming home to bury their mother.
I never said there's a book inside
every tree. I never said I know how
the legless beggar feels when
the memory of his toes itch.
If I did, drunkenness
was then my god & naked dancer.
I take it back.
I'm not a suicidal mooncalf;
you don't have to take my shoelaces.
If you must quote me, remember
I said that love heals from inside.


By Yusef Komunyakaa

If an old board laid out in a field
or backyard for a week,
I'd lift it up with a finger,
a tip of a stick.
Once I found a scorpion,
crimson as a hibernating crawfish
as if a rainbow edged underneath;
centipedes & unnameable
insects sank into loam
with a flutter. My first lesson:
beauty can bite. I wanted
to touch scarlet pincers---
warriors that never zapped
their own kind, crowded into
a city cut off from the penalty
of sunlight. The whole rotting
determinism just an inch beneath
the soil. Into the darkness
of opposites, like those racial
fears of the night, I am drawn again,
to conception & birth. Roots of ivy
& farkleberry can hold a board down
to the ground. In this cellular dirt
& calligraphy of excrement,
light is a god-headed
law & weapon.


By Yusef Komunyakaa

Mama Mary's counting them
again. Eleven black. A single
red one like a drop of blood

against the sky. She's convinced
they've been there two weeks.
I bring her another cup of coffee

& a Fig Newton. I sit here reading
Frances Harper at the enamel table
where I ate teacakes as a boy,

my head clear of voices brought back.
The green smell of the low land returns,
stealing the taste of nitrate.

The deep-winter eyes of the birds
shine in summer light like agate,
as if they could love the heart

out of any wild thing. I stop,
with my finger on a word, listening.
They're on a powerline, a luminous

message trailing a phantom
Goodyear blimp. I hear her say
Jesus, I promised you. Now

He's home safe, I'm ready.
My traveling shoes on. My teeth
in. I got on clean underwear.

Dear Faithful Readers: I hope you enjoyed the poems. I tend to get in a rut and only post female poets or very old favorites of mine, so I'm trying to stretch myself and delve deeper into my 189 books of poetry. I'm too 'me' (scatterbrained) to go alphabetically or in any certain order, but I do love my home state and will try hard to educate you all on the poets and authors from my great state which I love. I'll leave you with a few quotes I found in an old journal of mine. Love, Blessings, and Peace,


"Please do not leave me when my moods make me a burden to you. I need to be heard and to be loved. Stay next to me and give me what I have never had." ~Elizabeth Peters

"We are all healed to the extent that we love ourselves as we are right now---blemishes, vulnerabilities and all---not as we wish we will be at some time in the distant future." ~Marsha Sinetar

"Lately it's occurred to me what a long strange trip it's been." ~from: "Truckin'" by the Grateful Dead

"Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself." ~Carl Jung

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(1807 - 1882)

THE DAY is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

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.


Friday, August 14, 2009

And The Days are Not Full Enough by Ezra Pound & Other Poems

By Ezra Pound

And the days are not full enough
and the nights are not full enough
and life slips by like a field mouse
not shaking the grass.


By Sheila Wingfield

in the salt meadow
lay the dead bird.
The wind
was fluttering its wings.


By Eibhlin Nic Eochaidh

Neglect it.
Criticize it to its face.
Say how it kills the light,
traps all the rubbish,
bores you with its green.

harden your heart,
cut it down close
to the root as possible.

Forget it
for a week or a month.
Return with an axe.
Split it with one blow.
Insert a stone

to keep the wound wide open.


All poems are from: "Good Poems for Hard Times" edited by Garrison Keiller

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dawn Revisited by Rita Dove

Dawn Revisited
By Rita Dove

Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don't look back,

the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits ---
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours

to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
shake a leg! You'll never know
who's down there, frying those eggs,
if you don't get up and see.

from: "On the Bus with Rosa Parks"


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bitsy by Jill Conner Browne

This is a photograph below of my only granddaughter, Mary Mace, who starts kindergarten Thursday. She's very excited about her big day. She gets to go to school with her Mama who teaches 5th grade Advanced Math at the same school and she's beside herself with excitement! Oh, how I loved to go to school, as did both of my daughters. I remember the smell of the erasers, the joy of those shiny new school supplies, the fun of having new clothes to wear and the dread of having to wear those damn new shoes which made blisters on my feet due to going barefoot all summer. LOL!

But thinking about little girls made me recall this short story below, "Bitsy" by Jill Conner Browne, of "Sweet Potato Queen" fame. She is hilarious and this is one of her early short stories. It's pure-dee fun and brings back the giggle-icious delight of being a small girl out on the town for the first time with grown ups. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Blessings, Everyone! ~*~Marion~*~

By Jill Conner Browne

When my daughter, BoPeep, was about six or seven years old, she went to New Orleans with her Godparents, Joanie and Buster, and their granddaughter, ('Peep's Godcousin?), Ali, who would have been about four. I figured Joanie and Buster had completely lost their minds to want to take not ONE but TWO (2) small children to New Orleans for a weekend---but 'Peep adores them and it also gave ME a free weekend, so I figured, "So what if they're crazy? They're extremely nice otherwise," and so, off they went.

On BoPeep's solid recommendation, they went to dinner at Mandina's on Canal Street. Mandina's is very similar to a restaurant we know and love in our hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, Crechale's---in decor, atmosphere, and food respectively zero, very loud, and so good you can't stand it. Mandina's has EVERYTHING but the gumbo is outstanding and the crab claws are my personal favorite. Actually, you could throw the crab claws on the FLOOR--it is the GOO the crab claws come swimming in that is The Best Stuff You Ever Sopped a Hunk of French Bread In---ever in the history of the world, living or dead.

Anyway, 'Peep and Ali were Acting Big and going to the Ladies Room without a Grown-Up and getting a major charge out of it. Remember how cool you thought you were when you could finally start going to restaurant restrooms without a parent? I wish I could feel that mature NOW---about ANYTHING. Anyway, Joanie and Buster had wisely selected a table that was in direct line of sight with the powder room so they could at least get a description of the kidnapper, should the need arise. This is why I trust them so completely and chose them to be Godparents to my only child---they think of details like that.

So dinner was pretty much over and 'Peep and Ali had made their sixth and final trip to the Facilities. Buster had gone dutifully to pay the tab, Joanie waited for the girls at the table. Well, they didn't come and they didn't come and so, by and by, Joanie ambles over to the Ladies Room to check on them.

The Ladies Room at Mandina's is designed like this: the outside door opens into a tiny, tiny, tiny---A REAL SMALL---space with a mirrir on one wall. Another door then opens into the actual space that contains the potty and the sink. This is also a very small area. As Joanie enters she is aware there is another person already crammed in there (it could not have escaped her attention, since they were practically forced to embrace in order to fit both of them in there at the same time.) She knocked on the door and made the usual Mom-type comments. You know, "Hurry up, girls, someone's waiting, are you all right, do you need help, etc. " The only reply she receives is GALES of laughter of the shrieking sort that is peculiar to Small Girls. She, of course, knocks more firmly on the door this time and DEMANDS that they come out RIGHT NOW. They open the door a crack and in that piercing whisper that is really more of a shout---that is also peculiar to small girls, they inform Joanie that they CAN'T come out because THERE'S A BOY OUT THERE!

This is the first time Joanie actually LOOKS at her very close neighbor in the very tiny room. She turns slightly, eyes downcast, and her gaze takes in two very large, FURRY feet---in high heels. Moving slo-o-o-owly up, she notices two fairly substantial, equally furry legs encased in stockings, emerging from a very short, very tight skirt. Climbing still higher she finds she is face to face (or would be were Joanie significantly taller or her companion significantly shorter; truth be told, Joanie is taller than most toddlers but a fair number of middle-schoolers can see the top of her head; however, as Buster can attest, one should never confuse her diminutive size with any corrresponding lack of power) with what is very likely the The World's Largest Transvestite, complete with chest hair, make up, five o'clock shadow, a bad wig, and a necklace that inexplicably reads, "Bitsy."

He/She had apparently knocked on the potty room door and asked if "anyone was in there" and his/her voice had clearly said "BOY!" to the little girls on the other side of that door, and they had stayed locked in there, howling with hysterical laughter at The Very Idea.

Joanie, however, is standing toe-to-toe with him/her and finds they have Nothing to Talk About. None of the usual stuff that Women Talk About in Restrooms seems appropriate somehow. She smiles weakly and turns once again to The Door. She raps sharply this time and speaks in that Mother Tone that Cannot Be Ignored. "Come out NOW," she says quietly, death threats dripping from every syllable.

At the first opening of the door, he/she pushed him/herself through, shoved the girls out, and slammed the door in a Decidedly Huffy manner.

Joanie and the girls exploded out into Mandina's in absolute convulsions of laughter to find an Utterly Bewildered Buster. They explained it all to him in the car.

Mostly they explained to him that this is the Very Reason that women Always Go to the restroom in Groups---you just never know WHAT will happen and you sure don't want to MISS ANYTHING.

From "Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe," Anthology of Southern Writers, edited by Sonny Brewer, pages 27 - 29

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Walking to Oak Pond by Mary Oliver

Walking to Oak-Head Pond, and Thinking of the Ponds I Will Visit in the Next Days and Weeks

by Mary Oliver

What is so utterly invisible
as tomorrow?
Not love,
not the wind,

not the inside of stone.
Not anything.
And yet, how often I'm fooled-
I'm wading along

in the sunlight-
and I'm sure I can see the fields and the ponds shining
days ahead-
I can see the light spilling

like a shower of meteors
into next week's trees,
and I plan to be there soon-
and, so far, I am

just that lucky,
my legs splashing
over the edge of darkness,
my heart on fire.

I don't know where
such certainty comes from-
the brave flesh
or the theater of the mind-

but if I had to guess
I would say that only
what the soul is supposed to be
could send us forth

with such cheer
as even the leaf must wear
as it unfurls
its fragrant body, and shines

against the hard possibility of stoppage-
which, day after day,
before such brisk, corpuscular belief,
shudders, and gives way.

"Walking to Oak-Head Pond, and Thinking of the Ponds I Will Visit in the Next Days and Weeks" by Mary Oliver, from What Do We Know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Time for Everything and The Value of Friends

A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.


The Value of a Friend

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.


I can't discuss poetry and leave out the Bible. It has some of the most beautiful, comforting, uplifting and powerful poetry ever written, especially the Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. The two passages I posted above are two of my favorites and I read them often. I taught Sunday School when my children were young for almost eight years and we memorized countless Bible verses. I still meditate on those verses I learned so many years ago. I loved teaching children and learned right along with them. The passage about the value of a friend is untouchable, in my opinion, the most beautiful passage about friendship with people and God ever written. My friends are my treasures, more valuable than gold.....

I ask, again, that you all pray for Renee and her family. My heart is heavy and full of love for her and her precious family.

Love, Peace, and Blessings to you all---


PS: I have to include my #1 favorite chapter of the Bible which has comforted me and gotten me through many a crisis and many a painful, sleepless night.


1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Modern Sorcery by Charles Simic

Modern Sorcery

By Charles Simic

You could have been just another maggot
squirming over history's roadkill.
Instead a witch took pity on you, lucky fellow,
made you say abracadabra, and much else
you didn't understand
while you held on to the hem of her skirt.

You know neither the place nor the hour
of your transfiguration.
A kitten lapping a drop of milk
fallen from the Blessed Virgin's breast
in a church at dawn. That's how it felt:
the two of you kneeling there.

Outside, there was a flash of lightning
like a tongue passing over a bloody knife,
but you were safe.
Hexed once and for all in her open arms,
giddy and ticked pink with her sorcery.


This poem is from one of my favorite anthologies, "Staying Alive, Real Poems for Unreal Times" edited by Neil Astley which I've mentioned several times before. It's loaded with great poetry---overflowing!! I know I posted this poem a while back, but I'm doing a rerun because I love it so much.

I love, love, love the imagery in this poem. It literally makes me wince every time I read it. Great stuff!

I'd like to ask everyone to pray for Renee, one of my dear blog friends, who lives in Canada. Her sister is battling inoperable brain cancer and her 25 year old nephew (same sister's son) is battling a rare stomach cancer. They were both diagnosed only recently. They need healing miracles and our loving thoughts.... I appreciate you all!!

Hugs, Love, & Blessings,


"I believe in prayer. It's the best way we have to draw strength from heaven." ~Josephine Baker

"If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give." ~George MacDonald

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tear It Down by Jack Gilbert

Tear It Down
By Jack Gilbert

We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of racoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within the body.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Moonlight's Dance, A Poem With Pictures

My majestic Moonflowers are ecstatic with our August weather: afternoon storms so they can open early in the cooler, cloudy false twilight and fabulous humidity for maximum blooming. They're vining like crazy---reaching toward the sky, tangled in the Morning Glories, choking the Elephant Ears and even crawling along the ground---it's as if they know they only have another month or so to flourish radiantly before Autumn arrives and magically transforms what was flowers into big, fat seed pods.

Me, I get melancholy in August. The flowers are starting to be all bloomed out, school starts, time is flying by like a runaway train, and I'm oh, so bone tired, body-weary and in daily pain with my pathetic bad back which is getting worse. I know, I'm whining, but I haven't whined all summer, so gimme a break! LOL!

I haven't been inspired, but I went outside anyway last night to photograph the full moon. (Oh, how she glowed in my windows, moonlight lying like ghostly carpet on my fake wood floors!!!) Boy, was I in for a wonderful surprise. I have a new camera, another Kodak EasyShare, but with more zoom and megapixels, so these are the first moon shots I've attempted. I put it on the Night Landscape setting and below are some of the crazybeautiful, stunning photographs.

It's like the Moonlady Herself knew I was down in the dumps and wanted to cheer me by playing with me on this hot, humid Summer night. There are many, many more amazing photos but I'm not posting them here because I don't want anyone to take them (I know, we all do it). I have no idea how I got these mind-blowing shots, but here they are with a little poem I eeked out with much sweating and effort. LOL! (I plan to work on it and add more to it when the Muse comes back. In the meantime, I'll be doing art to rest my brain.) I hope you enjoy them.

Blessings, Love & Peace---


Moonlight's Dance
By Marion L.

Went out last night to take
her picture, to capture her
in fullness of face.
She spun away in modesty,
saying she had no grace.

I snapped her as she
was turning---
She twisted her head to the right

All that appeared on my pictures
were trails of
her luminous, white light.

August 5, 2009, Full Moon

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dragonfly Love

Dragonfly Love

I don't know from where
this dragonfly love was birthed.
Memories come to me,
all the way back to 5 years old
playing with dragonflies,
chasing them,
standing as still as a statue,
little fingers outstretched
hoping they'd think me a tree,
or sitting in a lawn chair
my red-painted toes wiggling,
willing them to land.
They always do.
Can it be their predictability?
Or that they soar about the earth
yet are birthed in water.

See his tattered, fragile wings?
See his curious big turquoise eyes?
See how he trusts me?
He's a survivor, like me.
Maybe that's our bond.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Sky Calligraphy by Buson

The wild geese write a verse against the glow
Over the hills; their seal---the moon below. ~BUSON

~Haiku from: "A Net of Fireflies", translated by Harold Stewart, page 82
Photograph by Marion, taken on 8/1/09

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Your Heart Was My Home Until You Handed Me an Eviction Notice

Your Heart Was My Home Until You Handed Me An Eviction Notice
by Amanda Bower, Stacy, MN


I removed the layers of blankets from my aching bones
to excavate the secrets that were held together by saliva
in papier-mâché envelopes, only to chew on disappointments
and lie on shards of fragile stained glass that tampered with my flaws,
instead of putting me back together with multicolored duct tape
so gray was only found inside of my body.

I wrung the tears from your sweatshirt and decided it was time
to give it back to you, in exchange for my serpent heart

[barely beating,

barely breathing];
instead of curling inside your stomach and making you
nearly as ill as I had become, just by drinking venomous nectar
and digesting fireflies so a small portion of me would feel alive,
I climbed over your picket fence and let you recline my eyes
in another awkward position to the point where I only chain-smoked
the main exhibits of your aesthetic proportions and declined
every deficiency of the person you truly are,

i. blunt


I found this poem in an old book yesterday, cut out from a newsprint publication. I don't know the date or where it really came from until I Googled it online and found the link listed above. The universe gave it to me.

I only know that it resonated deeply within my spirit's heart and poetsoul. Oh, the careless way we trust our beating, precious, only tender hearts to just anyone!!!