Friday, July 30, 2010

Goodbye July!!

Where did you go, July, and why are you leaving so suddenly?

Got my first Moonflower on a rainy night.

And an amazing book of poetry from a friend.

A visiting green Dragonfly on my Rose Geranium.

A blue Dragonfly I coaxed onto my foot.

Oh, all those lucious, fresh tomatoes on lots of bacon/tomatoe sandwiches!

My favorite saying on one of my many book bags.

A spider friend living in my Azalea bushes.

An awesome book I sent my granddaughter last week.  The princess saves the prince from the dragon and decides she doesn't like the prince after all and will not marry him.  This is an anti-Disney propaganda book that teaches little girls to think for themselves and not swallow every stereotype that comes along.  Every little girl should read it or have it read to her.  It's a classic!

I hope you had a wonderful July.  I can't wait to see what August has in store!!



"The clock talked loud. I threw it away, it scared me what it talked." ~Tillie Olsen, Tell Me a Riddle

+  +  +  +  +

"Time is the only thief we can't get justice against." ~Astrid Alauda

+ + + + +

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." ~Fr. Alfred D'Souza

+  +  +  +  +

Books & magazines I read this month:

1.  Room by Emma Donoghue
2.  The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
3.  The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke
4.  The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
5.  Dracula by Bram Stoker
6.  The City of Dreadful Night by James Thomson
7.  Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
8.  More Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
9.  Further Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
10.  Babycakes by Armistead Maupin
11.  Significant Others by Armistead Maupin
12.  Adam and Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund
13.  The Paris Review, Summer 2010 Issue
14.  Zoetrope:  All-Story, Summer 2010 Issue, Guest Designer, P. J. Harvey
15.  Vanity Fair, July Issue
16.  Country Home, July 2010 Issue
17.  Poetry, Summer 2010 Issue
18.  Tin House, Fantastic Women Issue, Volume 9, Number 1
19.  I Stole a Rock by Sara King
20. Harper's Magazine, July 2010 Issue
21.  Totally Tangled by Sandy Bartholomew (a FUN zentangle drawing meditation book).
22. Neil Young's Greendale, (a graphic novel) by Josh Dysart
23.  Karma Bites by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
24.  Supernatural Love, Poems 1976 - 1992 by Gjertrud Schnackenberg

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Forms of Love by Kim Addonizio

Forms of Love

by Kim Addonizio

I love you but I'm married.
I love you but I wish you had more hair.
I love you more.
I love you more like a friend.
I love your friends more than you.
I love how when we go into a mall and classical muzak is playing,
you can always name the composer.
I love you, but one or both of us is/are fictional.
I love you but "I" am an unstable signifier.
I love you saying, "I understand the semiotics of that" when I said, "I
had a little personal business to take care of."
I love you as long as you love me back.
I love you in spite of the restraining order.
I love you from the coma you put me in.
I love you more than I've ever loved anyone, except for this one guy.
I love you when you're not getting drunk and stupid.
I love how you get me.
I love your pain, it's so competitive.
I love how emotionally unavailable you are.
I love you like I'm a strange backyard and you're running from the
cops, looking for a place to stash your gun.
I love your hair.
I love you but I'm just not that into you.
I love you secretly.
I love how you make me feel like I'm a monastery in the desert.
I love how you defined grace as the little turn the blood in the
syringe takes when you're shooting heroin, after you pull back
the plunger slightly to make sure you hit the vein.
I love your mother, she's the opposite of mine.
I love you and feel a powerful spiritual connection to you, even
though we've never met.
I love your tacos! I love your stick deodorant!
I love it when you tie me up with ropes using the knots you
learned in Boy Scouts, and when you do the stoned Dennis
Hopper rap from Apocalypse Now!
I love your extravagant double takes!
I love your mother, even though I'm nearly her age!
I love everything about you except your hair.
If it weren't for that I know I could really, really love you.

"Forms of Love" by Kim Addonizio, from Lucifer at the Starlite.

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. ~Mother Teresa

* * * * *

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. ~Robert Heinlein

* * * * *

Love doesn't sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all of the time, made new. ~Ursula K. LeGuin

* * * * *

Sunday, July 25, 2010

PSALM 91 - The Poetry of the Psalms

Mother Swan and babies.  "He shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust."  Psalm 91:4

The Psalms contain some of the most beautiful poetry on earth.  Throughout my life, I've found comfort, inspiration and soul-healing in their words.  Psalm 91 is one of my favorites.  I have it memorized and, along with Psalm 23, often run it over and over in my mind throughout my sleepless nights.  It never fails to comfort and inspire me.  My favorite visual is of God as a bird (verse 4) covering its babies with its feathers.  Can anything feel safer than a baby bird snuggled under its mother's warm feathers?  I don't think so.

I love the language of the King James version and use it to memorize from, but there are many translations to choose from nowadays. 

One of my favorite online Bible sites is because it has 16 different versions of the Bible to choose from.  I also love the Amplified Bible because it has the synonyms of words included in the verses.  And what word lover can resist all those added words!?  Not me.  I own about 8 or 9 Bibles and try to read from them regularly.  One of the only books I've purchased for my Kindle is the Bible.  It's fabulous to have it so handy and being able to call up any chapter or verse with the search feature.  When my children were young I taught Sunday School for about 6 years and learned Bible stories right along with the kids. 

The hurricane dissipated, thank God.  Our air-conditioner went out yesterday and we're sweltering under fans today eagerly awaiting Monday when the repairman can come to look at it.  I may drag out Cody's wading pool and fill it up and sit in it and read in the shade.  LOL!

Do you have a favorite Bible verse or book of the Bible?

Blessings & Love,


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

Psalm 91 (King James Version)

1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8  Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9  Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vampire of the Night: Insomnia

9 of Swords, Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

I've had trouble sleeping for the past year or three.  I can count on one finger the number of nights I've slept 8 hours straight.  And I used to never, ever have trouble sleeping.  I slept like a baby my  entire life until I had that freaking back surgery that destroyed my life as I knew it.  I pick that Tarot card above often in my daily readings.  My cards know me too well. 

The two pieces excerpted below, I read this week.  Only those who cannot sleep will fully appreciate the prose of these dark, Victorian gentlemen. 




From: “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde (On Insomnia. . .)

“There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamored of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chamber of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie.

Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colors of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often.

Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that has been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colors, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance of even joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.”


From: “The City of Dreadful Night” by James Thomson, written between 1870 - 1873.  It's a very long poem and I excerpt a few of my favorite verses here:

“The city is of Night; perchance of Death
But certainly of Night; for never there
Can come the lucid morning’s fragrant breath
After the dewy dawnings’s cold grey air:
The moon and stars may shine with scorn or pity
The sun has never visited that city,
For it dissolveth in the daylight fair.

Dissolveth like a dream of night away;
Though present in distempered gloom of thought
And deadly weariness of heart all day.
But when a dream comes night after night is brought
Throughout a week, and such weeks few or many
Recur each year for several years, can any
Discern that dream from real life is aught?

For life is but a dream whose shapes return
Some frequently, some seldom, some by night
And some by day, some night and day: we learn,
The while all change and many vanish quite,
In the recurrence with recurrent changes
A certain seeming order’ where this ranges
We count things real; such is memory’s might.

The City is of Night, but not of Sleep;
There sweet sleep is not for the weary brain;
The pitiless hours like years and ages creep,
A night seems termless hell. This dreadful strain
Of thought and consciousness which never ceases
Or which some moments’ stupor but increases,
This, worse than woe, makes wretches there insane. . .


"The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to." ~F. Scott Fitzgerald


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sara King - I Stole A Rock - Excellent Poems!

I bought this book in October of 2003.  I kept the sales receipt as a bookmark and reviewed it at Amazon, that's how I 'remember'.  Every single poem exudes life, love, loss, romance, laughter.  I was perusing my shelves of poetry this morning and realized I had overlooked this thin little book many times.  I had the 3 poems below marked among my many favorites.  It's a fabulous book of poetry, a keeper. 

It's an overcast, humid day here in the swamps with the promise/tease of a storm.  The heat has been oppressive lately, like wearing a wool shawl on my naked skin when I walk out the door.  The hot breezes suck my breath away and push me back into my air-conditioned cave as soon as I've watered my drooping plants and given the stray cats fresh, cool water.  The trees and plants radiate a high summer, neon green luminescence.  Right now, everything is as still as death---an unearthly calm before the storm.  Not even a dragonfly is stirring.  I'm content to watch through the window as I sit in my cozy reading chair. 

Wishing you all a cool, rainy weekend.  Blessings!!  ~Marion


The Clean House
By Sara King

Fur balls like tumbleweeds
around the stove
where the cats sleep like frying pans
and there's a sauce stain
the shape of Africa.

He said he didn't love me,
never had,
and it wasn't because
his still loved his wife,
who now was a lesbian,
but because he couldn't live
like I do,
with the pets and the mess.
It didn't matter
that I was the best lover
he ever had
(and he's had 30),
or that I baked him a chocolate cheesecake
when he cried
that his wife was away with her woman
on his birthday.

He said I was too emotional,
but he fell to his knees at the beach
when I said,
I knew he wished
she was there instead of me.

He doesn't want the kids to know.
They know,
but they're not saying,
because they're hearing lies,
but at least their house is clean.

From:  "I Stole a Rock"


Finding Your Wife Was a Lesbian
By Sara King

You counted your years of abstinence
like candles on your cake,
while your wife was away in vineyards,
drinking wines, drinking juices
with the woman that she loves.

How many years with backs turned
like strangers in the bed?
You hands roaming hungry
her thighs while she feigned sleep.

You cook the dinner, wash the clothes,
put the children to bed.
You tell them Mom is out tonight,
dancing with a friend.

And oh, what a tango!
It's been so long since you have tangled.
But you haven't got the right shoes.
You haven't got a rose
between forgotten lips.

From:  "I Stole A Rock"


By Sara King

Don't say you'd mourn my passing.
You a writer, and a liar.
Writers are the worst of liars---
their audience has no face,
so they don't have to smile,
don't have to weep,
don't even pretend to love.

I know you will forget me
while I sleep with the worms.
You have forgotten me already
and I am breathing still,
here in the wet leaves and wind,
you, hiding somewhere in the city,
behind Dostoyevsky and cognac.

If only I were a book,
then maybe you would read my body---
run your eyes right to left
over my flesh,
bury your face
in the pages of my breasts.

But I am only a bookmark---
a place to rest
when you are reluctantly tangled,
a voracious reader,
a vicarious lover.

From:  "I Stole A Rock"


Friday, July 16, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Moondancing by Marion


By Marion, for my poet/friend, Erin
(I wrote this for last year's July full moon.)

There was I wearing just dragonflies
in my untamed, burgundy hair.
She all glistening, robed only in river silt,
shining just as fair.

Our skin glowing uncannily
lit from within and without,
arms outstretched, heads thrown back
as we twirled and pranced about.

Faces upturned, filled with rapture as
round and round we whirled---
lost in the moonlady’s ecstasy,
entranced in our own dream-world.

Some said it were fairies dancing
up under the stars that night---
Crazed and drunk from the river reflecting
the full moon’s shimmering light.

But me and my friend know better---
t’was our spirits’ mystical meeting,
celebrating the poetry of rivers and
the feel of the full moon’s heart beating.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shade by Tada Chimako

Full Winter Moon Photo by Marion

Tada Chimako (1930 - 2003) was one of the most important female poets of contemporary Japan.  During her life, she published eight volumes of essays and thirteen volumes of poetry.  She is also the author of one volume of poetry in English translation, "Moonstone Woman", compiled while she was poet-in-residence at Oakland University in 1986.  She died of cancer in early 2003.  Jeffrey Angles, (translator) recently completed his Ph.D. in modern Japanese literature and is currently working on a book of translations of Ms. Tada's poetry.

By Tada Chimako

A dark elephant
living in a dark forest
came to sip from a pond
as the Buddha watched

A dark elephant
from a dark forest
has come to the pond
and sipped
the trembling vision
of the Moon.

A dark deer
from a dark forest
also came to sip from the pond.

The deer has also sipped
the vision of the moon.

The Buddha leaned over
and scooped up the moon in his palm.

I too will sip
if it will illuminate my heart
just a little.

More than two thousand years
after the Buddha's death
His remains have been divided endlessly
only imaginary numbers can count
the tiles atop the reliquary pagodas
that stretch into the sky
three stories, five stories, seven stories...

As a person of brightness
living now in a town of light,
to which pond will you go
to sip when overcome by night?
When you scoop up the water
what vision of the moon
will you find in your palm?

I too will sip
if it will shade my heart
just a little.


My Gir, sipping some clouds...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Advice to Myself by Louise Erdrich

Advice to Myself

By Louise Erdrich

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.

Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.

Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.

Except one word to another.
Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.

Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator.

Accept new forms of life and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.

Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

~From: "Original Fire: New and Selected Poems", by Louise Erdrich, page 149

"There is a difference between one and another hour of life, in their authority and subsequent effect. Our faith comes in moments; our vice is habitual. Yet there is a depth in those brief moments which constrains us to ascribe more reality to them than to all other experiences." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Portable Emerson", page 228, 'The Over-Soul'
I'm trying to take the advice here today.  It's not working.  I want to clean house, do laundry, sort junk and not write.  Not writing is easy.  Housework is hard.  I want to write and I've got nothing, zilch.  I'm tabula rasa, blank.  Maybe the puttering will inspire me, jump start my engine.  Later, friends, 

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Language of the Brag by Sharon Olds

This poem has been floating around in my head all day today, so I guess it wants to be here.  I love this poem and how powerful & proud it makes me feel as a woman.  I found the photo online and it's just perfect for this poem, as most of the photos had men throwing knives at women.  NOT!

Read and enjoy.  Blessings!  ~Marion

By Sharon Olds

I have wanted excellence in the knife-throw,
I have wanted to use my exceptionally strong and accurate arms
and my straight posture and quick electric muscles
to achieve something at the centre of a crowd,
the blade piercing the bark deep,
the haft slowly and heavily vibrating like the cock.

I have wanted some epic use for my excellent body,
some heroism, some American achievement
beyond the ordinary for my extraordinary self,
magnetic and tensile, I have stood by the sandlot
and watched the boys play.

I have wanted courage, I have thought about fire
and the crossing of waterfalls, I have dragged around

my belly big with cowardice and safely,
my stool black with iron pills,
my huge breasts oozing mucus,
my legs swelling, my hands swelling,
my face swelling and darkening, my hair
falling out, my inner sex
stabbed again and again with terrible pain like a knife.
I have lain down.
I have lain down and sweated and shaken
and passed blood and feces and water and
slowly alone in the centre of a circle I have
passed the new person out
and they have lifted the new person free of the act
and wiped the new person free of that
language of blood like praise all over the body.

I have done what you wanted to do, Walt Whitman,
Allen Ginsberg, I have done this thing,

I and the other women this exceptional
act with the exceptional heroic body,
this giving birth, this glistening verb,
and I am putting my proud American boast
right here with the others.

"The Language of the Brag" is from SATAN SAYS by Sharon Olds.
Copyright © 1980

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost & Moonflowers!

July arrived in Louisiana wearing Moonflowers in her hair!  The heart-shaped leaves are so large this year that they brought to my mind this Robert Frost poem that I love and have memorized.

By Robert Frost

A tree's leaves may be ever so good,
So may its bark, so may its wood;
But unless you put the right thing to its root
It never will show much flower or fruit.

But I may be one who does not care
Ever to have tree bloom or bear.
Leaves for smooth and bark for rough,
Leaves and bark may be tree enough.

Some giant trees have bloom so small
They might as well have none at all.
Late in life I have come on fern.
Now lichens are due to have their turn.

I bade men tell me which in brief,
Which is fairer, flower or leaf.
They did not have the wit to say,
Leaves by night and flowers by day.

Leaves and bark, leaves and bark,
To lean against and hear in the dark.
Petals I may have once pursued.
Leaves are all my darker mood.

Backside of opening Moonflower, wet with early evening rain.

She looks to be made of delicate silk unfolding, with a starfish inside.

Tiny, sweet-smelling stamens that drive the Sphinx Moth crazy.  We await their return eagerly.

A frilly Moonflower, freshly open, dripping with raindrops.

I have to say flowers win over leaves, to me.  But then I think of my 3 Weeping Willows and have to recant when I see them dancing with a wild wind or flowing on a gentle breeze.



Do you prefer leaves or flowers?

"'Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!"
~William Wordsworth, "Lines Written in Early Spring," Lyrical Ballads, 1798


"If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom." ~Terri Guillemets


"Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity." ~John Ruskin


Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Few Movies I Watch Over and Over

My favorite movie of all time:  "Harold and Maude".  The soundtrack by Cat Stevens is worth getting the movie.  When I grow up I want to be just like Ruth Gordon's free-spirited, bohemian character and live in a house made from a railroad boxcar.

Every time I watch this movie, I cry my eyes out.  What an awesome story of love, sin, hypocrisy and redemption!  It has no equal.  If you've never seen this movie, then add it to your MUST-SEE list.

I take back what I said about the previous movie.  "Babette's Feast" is a moving, beautiful redemption story and a classic, also.  It was written by the amazing Isak Dinesen and will take your breath away.

Being a lover of all things Anais Nin, I got this movie when it first came out.  It's fabulous and  follows the first diary perfectly.  Uma Thurman became June Miller, Henry's first wife.  And Maria de Medeiros was truly Anais Nin.  I've never seen a movie that cast characters so perfectly matched to their real life counterparts.  It's also pretty hot and steamy.  If you love Nin's diaries, then you'll love this movie.

I have a huge crush on James Spader.  And this movie is absolutely wild.  Ray brought it home from the library and after we watched it we both said, "Do ya think they even know what goes on in this movie downtown at the main library?"  LOL!  I also adore Maggie Gyllenhaal who steals the movie from Spader.

"Northern Exposure" has no equal.  I bought it one season at a time and have watched them all until I have entire passages memorized.  My favorite character?  Chris in the Morning played so handsomely by the illustrious John Corbett.  I am madly in love with him as the literature loving, motorcycle-riding, Freud-quoting DJ in Cicely, Alaska.  Seldom has a televison show been filled with so much poetry, philosophy and just plain fun.  On of my favorite lines is "It's not the thing you fling, it's the fling itself," spoken by Chris when he flings a piano with a catapult.  He was going to fling a cow originally.  (Someone had already done a cow to his dismay, but from thence comes the quote.)  If you've never seen this series, put it on your list, too.

And last, fittingly, is "Six Feet Under".  This is my 2nd favorite TV series after "Northern Exposure".  It's about the dysfunctional (i.e. normal) Fisher family who owns and runs a funeral home and that's like saying "Gone With the Wind" is about the South.  I can't do it justice with mere words.  Frances Conroy as the uptight mother, Ruth, is amazing and fun to watch.  Before Michale C. Hall became famous as the serial killing blood spatter expert in "Dexter",  he played the part of David Fisher in this show.   I only wish they'd gone on for a few more years.

On that note, I hope you all have a happy & safe 4th of July weekend.  It's raining here, so I'll be hunkered down reading.  I'm into Bram Stoker's "Dracula" at the moment.

What are a few of your favorite movies?



"Sex on television can't hurt you unless you fall off." ~Author Unknown


"Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover." ~Homer Simpson, The Simpsons