Friday, June 18, 2010

Dharma by Billy Collins

My dog, Cody, and one of the many kittens he's rescued from feral catdom and given to us.  He cares for them like a mother cat until they're grown.  A truly kind, compassionate, loving being!!!

by Billy Collins

The way the dog trots out the front door
every morning
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her dog house
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.

Who provides a finer example
of a life without encumbrance—
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Ghandi with his staff and his holy diapers?

Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose,
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail.

If only she did not shove the cat aside
every morning
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment she would be,
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager
for a rub behind the ears,
so acrobatic in her welcomes,
if only I were not her god.

from "Sailing Alone Around the Room".


Who can not love Billy Collins?  He's the poet of the average man/woman.  I own all of his books.  My only bitch is that he doesn't write fast enough.   :-)  Happy Friday!! 



"Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that is how dogs spend their lives." ~Sue Murphy


"Any member introducing a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of one pound. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat." ~Oxford Union Society, London, Rule 46


"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." ~Author Unknown


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Slow Dance by Matthew Dickman

By Matthew Dickman

More than putting another man on the moon,
more than a New Year’s resolution of yogurt and yoga,
we need the opportunity to dance
with really exquisite strangers. A slow dance
between the couch and dinning room table, at the end
of the party, while the person we love has gone
to bring the car around
because it’s begun to rain and would break their heart
if any part of us got wet. A slow dance
to bring the evening home, to knock it out of the park. Two people
rocking back and forth like a buoy. Nothing extravagant.
A little music. An empty bottle of whiskey.
It’s a little like cheating. Your head resting
on his shoulder, your breath moving up his neck.
Your hands along her spine. Her hips
unfolding like a cotton napkin
and you begin to think about how all the stars in the sky
are dead. The my body
is talking to your body slow dance. The Unchained Melody,
Stairway to Heaven, power-chord slow dance. All my life
I’ve made mistakes. Small
and cruel. I made my plans.
I never arrived. I ate my food. I drank my wine.
The slow dance doesn’t care. It’s all kindness like children
before they turn four. Like being held in the arms
of my brother. The slow dance of siblings.
Two men in the middle of the room. When I dance with him,
one of my great loves, he is absolutely human,
and when he turns to dip me
or I step on his foot because we are both leading,
I know that one of us will die first and the other will suffer.
The slow dance of what’s to come
and the slow dance of insomnia
pouring across the floor like bath water.
When the woman I’m sleeping with
stands naked in the bathroom,
brushing her teeth, the slow dance of ritual is being spit
into the sink. There is no one to save us
because there is no need to be saved.
I’ve hurt you. I’ve loved you. I’ve mowed
the front yard. When the stranger wearing a shear white dress
covered in a million beads
comes toward me like an over-sexed chandelier suddenly come to life,
I take her hand in mine. I spin her out
and bring her in. This is the almond grove
in the dark slow dance.
It is what we should be doing right now. Scraping
for joy. The haiku and honey. The orange and orangutan slow dance.


I love this guy's poetry.  I own this book and each and every poem is amazing.  And guess what?  His brother, Michael, is a poet also!  I have his book, "The End of the West" and it's also a fabulous book of poems. Imagine being able to share poetry-love with your brother?  It must be like magic....

It's sweltering-hot & clammy-humid here in the deep South.  I know, I know, I should be used to it and expect it, right?  It's like childbirth.  You forget the pain after the birth when they hand you that precious baby.  Every year, I forget the heat-pain until it hits.  The heat slaps you in the face and sucks the air from your lungs the minute you step out the door.  (Multiply the heat-pain times a hundred if you're anywhere near menopause....)  And to top it off, we're having a drought here in my part of Louisiana.  (But oh, I have some luscious, lovely, luminous tomatoes on the vines!!!) 

On that note, I'm out of here.  Stay cool and take time to smell the flowers and the tomato leaves....and if you get the chance....slow dance.




"What is one to say about June,
the time of perfect young summer,
the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months,
and with as yet no sign to remind one that its
fresh young beauty will ever fade." ~Gertrude Jekyll

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Seven of Pentacles by Marge Piercy

The Seven Of Pentacles

By Marge Piercy

Under a sky the color of pea soup
she is looking at her work growing away there
actively, thickly like grapevines or pole beans
as things grow in the real world, slowly enough.
If you tend them properly, if you mulch, if you water,
if you provide birds that eat insects a home and winter food,
if the sun shines and you pick off caterpillars,
if the praying mantis comes and the ladybugs and the bees,
then the plants flourish, but at their own internal clock.

Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.
More than half the tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.

Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endure: Make love that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in,
a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,
for every gardener knows that after the digging, after
the planting,
after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.

~ Marge Piercy ~

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thinking of Night Poems

Night Song
By Philip Booth

Beside you,
Lying down at dark,
My waking fits your sleep.

Your turning
Flares the slow-banked fire
Between our mingled feet,

And there,
Curved close and warm
Against the nape of love,

Held there,
Who holds your dreaming
Shape, I match my breathing

To your breath;
And sightless, keep my hand
On your heart's breast, keep

On your sleep to prove
There is no dark, nor death.


Plaque for a Brass Bed
By Charles Philbrick

Everything else is just furniture.  This  bed
is frame on which, in light or dark, forgiveness
weaves itself, and failure fails to matter.
Here love has worked, and pain has visited;
here life has struck; here death may still the sheets:
this bed our garden, altar, engine-room,
the tablet of whatever testament our blood
has written in our more than twenty years.


Quote by Miranda July

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rant on Dragonflies, Crude Oil and My Louisiana...

A dragonfly has a life span of more than a year, but very little of that life is actually as an adult dragonfly. There are three stages of the dragonfly life cycle, 1)  the egg, 2)  the nymph, and 2)  the adult dragonfly. Most of the life cycle of a dragonfly is lived out in the nymph stage and you don’t see them at all, unless you are swimming underwater in a lake or pond with your eyes opened, of course.

The Egg Stage

A male and a female dragonfly will mate while they are flying in the air. After two dragonflies mate, the female dragonfly will lay her eggs on a plant in the water, or if she can’t find a suitable plant she will just drop them into the water.

Mr. and Mrs. Dragonfly doing their acrobatic mating dance.

The Nymph Stage

Once the dragonfly eggs hatch, the life cycle of a dragonfly larva begins as a nymph. A nymph looks like a little alien creature. It hasn’t grown its wings yet and has what looks like a crusty hump hanging onto its back. Dragonfly nymphs live in the water while they grow and develop into dragonflies. This portion of the dragonfly life cycle can take up to four years to complete, and if the nymph cycle is completed in the beginning of the wintertime, it will remain in the water until spring when it is warm enough to come out.
Dragonfly nymphs live in ponds or marshy areas because the waters are calmer than in a stream or river. Sometimes they can be found in the calmer backwaters of rivers, too. Dragonfly nymphs may eat smaller dragonfly nymphs as they develop. 

If their habits are covered in oil, an entire generation or more of dragonflies will be destroyed.  SHAME on BP for not taking care of this travesty.  The president should have the entire Coast Guard out there mopping, sopping, shoveling or just sucking up that oil.  WHERE IS THE HELP??  This disaster is making Katrina look small.  An entire ecosystem is being destroyed for only God knows how many generations and the oil is fast spreading to beaches and wetlands down the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

The Adult Dragonfly Stage

Once the nymph is fully grown, and the weather is right, it will complete the metamorphosis into a dragonfly by crawling out of the water up the stem of a plant. The nymph will shed its skin onto the stem of the plant and will then be a young dragonfly. The skin that the nymph left behind is called the exuvia and you can find the exuvia still stuck to the stem for a long time after the dragonfly has left it.

Once the dragonfly leaves the exuvia it is a full grown dragonfly. The dragonfly will hunt for food and begin to look for a mate. Once the dragonfly finds a mate, the female will find a body of calm water that will be a good place to lay her eggs, and the life cycle of the dragonfly begins all over again. Adult dragonflies only live about two months.  And we are so fortunate to be able to watch these flying jewels and live beside them.

An aerial view of the Louisiana coastline & wetlands, a delicate ecosystem full of life.  This is in the Grand Isle area.  For years when I was a kid, we'd drive down to Grand Isle with our crabbing nets and chicken necks as bait in the ice chest and we'd go crabbing, catching ourselves several ice chests full and cook them right there in a rented cabin on stilts on the outdoor cooker.  Nothing has ever tasted better to me than those crabs cooked fresh and eaten right out of the Gulf of Mexico with a few fat shrimp tossed in for the litle kids who didn't want to beat the crabs and pick the sweet claw meat out.  All of my childhood vacations were either on the Louisiana coast, the Biloxi, MS coast, or the Texas coast. They were easy drives and we never had much money, but could always scrape up enough to rent a no-tell motel and fish, crab and lay out on the beach and enjoy the breezes.  These are all of my childhood vacation memories.  This summer both of my children and my sister have plans to vacation on the Gulf coast.  They're watching the situation closely and pray for BP to get busy cleaning up this mess.

A pink and purple dragonfly, one of the hundreds of species of this delicate bug.

My first tattoo, a dragonfly on my shoulder.

I've lived in Louisiana most of my life.  I remember catching dragonflies as a very young child and getting them to land on my tiny fingers.  They are creatures of water, earth, then air.
Our swamps and their delicate ecosystems are in danger.  I pray for everyone to still boycott BP until they somehow manage to stop that oil from billowing into the Gulf of Mexico and put together a clean up plan that involves all of the areas affected.  God help my beautiful State and all of it's coastal wildlife.


~*~ Marion ~*~ 

The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago... had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands. ~Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923


In America today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see, and nobody calls the cops. ~Paul Brooks, The Pursuit of Wilderness, 1971


The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun. ~Ralph Nader, quoted in Linda Botts, ed., Loose Talk, 1980


When you defile the pleasant streams
And the wild bird's abiding place,
You massacre a million dreams
And cast your spittle in God's face.

~John Drinkwater

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How to Stuff a Pepper by Nancy Willard

-Baby Belpepper growing in my garden yesterday-

How to Stuff a Pepper
by Nancy Willard

Now, said the cook, I will teach you
how to stuff a pepper with rice.

Take your pepper green, and gently,
for peppers are shy. No matter which side
you approach, it's always the backside.
Perched on her green buttocks, the pepper sleeps.
In its silk tights, it dreams
of somersaults and parsley,
of the days when the sexes were one.

Slash open the sleeve
as if you were cutting into a paper lantern,
and enter a moon, spilled like a melon,
a fever of pearls,
a conversation of glaciers.
It is a temple built to the worship
of morning light.

I have sat under the great globe
of seeds on the roof of that chamber,
too dazzled to gather the taste I came for.
I have taken the pepper in hand,
smooth and blind, a runt in the rich
evolution of roses and ferns.
You say I have not yet taught you

to stuff a pepper?
Cooking takes time.

Next time we'll consider the rice.

From:  "Cries of the Spirit, A Celebration of Women's Spirituality" edited by Marilyn Sewell, Pages 202, 203

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

My newest anthology of poetry, "Cries of the Spirit, A Celebration of Women's Spirituality" edited by Marilyn Sewell.

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

I'm so glad to be back to Blogland.  I MISSED YOU ALL!!!  I felt like I'd lost a whole village full of friends while I was offline!  I hope to visit everyone and get caught up by this weekend.  Thank you all for your comments.  I read them all and cracked up when I saw the tomato perfume recipe.  Believe you me, I plan to try it out.  It just might make me rich and then I can open a used book store and give Tarot readings and sell coffee, books, cats and exotic Tomato perfume.  I'll have several black cats milling about as my one female cat just give birth to 3 black kittens in my closet.  Anybody want a black cat?  LOL!

I took my 14 year old bookaholic grandson to the local library sale last week.  (I'm passing along my best tightwad secrets to him, one at a time.)  Our library has a sale twice a week and most of the books are priced at a quarter or fifty cents.  It's truly a godsend for a tightwad bookaholic such as myself.  I call it good book karma....There are books culled from the nine library branches and books that are donated to every branch from individuals.  We're after the donated books.

I gave him a crash course in how to 'work' the sale.  First, you quickly look over the books on the big center table as they are newest books.  Then you pick up any books that look new whether hardback or paperback and put them in your stack.  Hardbacks must have the dust jacket and be in good shape.  Then you peruse the books on the shelves, again choosing any that look newer.  The next thing you do is check the publication dates to make sure the books are less than 3 years old and make sure there is no writing in the books. Discard any that are book club books or library books unless you want to keep them.  Pay for the books.

Next, we throw our haul into my truck and boogie on down to Hastings Book Store and sell the books.  Hastings buys and sells used books, CD's and movies and I've got their buying system down to an art form.  (At Christmas one year I made almost $200 in one trip).  Last week we paid $2.50 for our books at the library sale and sold them for $22.50.  I had a $5.00 off coupon from the Sunday paper, so we were in the black for $25.00.  I have to say that my grandson was astonished and amazed at his Grammy's talent, especially when he got 6 new Naruto books 'free'. 

I managed to sneak in the anthology of poetry shown above.  It's an awesome book and has most of my favorite female authors in it, many that I've shared here.  It's one of those anthologies that just keep on giving.  (I saw it used at Amazon, but it has a different cover if any of you go to look for it).  I highly recommend it.  It's going right next to my other two favorite anthologies, "Staying Alive" and "The Best Erotic Poems from 1800 to the Present".

We came home extremely pleased with ourselves.  Since school is out, he said he planned to raid the library sale twice each week and teach his Mom my system.  There's nothing like a good deal!

While I've been offline I've been attempting to relieve my life of some clutter and have also been hunting down some important papers.  It's an ongoing job due to my system which is to open a drawer, pull out the contents, then spend the next 2 days perusing the photos, cutting out stuff from the magazines for use in my altered books and then finally discarding the junk after sorting.  I may get done before I'm 60 years old.   For instance, last week I found a little box holding my oldest daughter's baby teeth.  Awwwww, right?  NOT!  She'll be 37 in November!!  I called her and asked her if she wanted her baby teeth.  She was laughing so hard I couldn't tell if she said yes or no, so I put them back in the little treasure box. 

I could go on and on for hours, but it's thundering and I'm praying it turns into a real rain storm.  We've had a drought of sorts here with little or no rain for many weeks.  I've had to water my garden almost daily.  (The heat index today and for all next week is predicted to be 105 degrees!)

Wishing you rainbows, sunshine, blessings and love,

~*~ Marion ~*~

"Do you have doubts about life?  Are you unsure if it is worth the trouble?  Look at the sky: that is for you.  Look at each person's face as you pass on the street:  those faces are for you.  And the street itself, and the ground under the street, and the ball of fire underneath the ground:  all these things are for you.  They are as much for you as they are for other people.  Remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing.  Stand up and face the east.  Now praise the sky and praise the light within each person under the sky.  It's okay to be unsure.  But praise, praise, praise."  From:  "No One Belongs Here More Than You Stories by Miranda July", Page 11

A decoupaged page in my newest altered book.  (Many thanks, Carmen, for the buckets of inspiration, and for the materials to get me going.  You rock!)