Friday, January 28, 2011

Romeo and Juliet Meet Van Gogh

'The Starry Night' by Vincent Van Gogh, September 1888

"Come, night; come, Romeo; come, thou day in night;
for thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
whiter than new snow on a raven's back.

Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow'd night,
give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
take him and cut him out in little stars,
and he will make the face of heaven so fine
that all the world will be in love with night
and pay no worship to the garish sun."

~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, from:  Scene II, Capulet’s Orchard


I saw a post similar to this one on another blog and realized I've been amiss by not posting Shakespeare.  Romeo and Juliet is my favorite play by the master.  Maybe because I saw the movie as a young teenager and instantly fell in love with love.  Ah, youth....wasted on the young!  :-)

My husband's favorite artist is Van Gogh and he has reproduced many of his paintings and sold them.  We have every letter, book, biography written by or about Van Gogh and many volumes of his art.  I feel as if he's a part of our family.  I have "Road With Cypress and Star" on the wall in my den painted by Ray.  He's a great artist and can paint almost anything (except walls...tee-hee...he detests 'honey-do's').  Our dream is to see one of Van Gogh's paintings 'in person'.  Hopefully we will one day soon.

I hope you all have a wonderful, happy weekend.

Love & Blessings,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Words for It by Julia Cameron

Rose Petal Heart by Marion

Words For It
By Julia Cameron

I wish I could take language
and fold it like cool, moist rags.
I would lay words on your forehead.
I would wrap words on your wrists.
"There, there," my words would say–
or something better.
I would ask them to murmur,
"Hush" and "Shh, shhh, it's all right."
I would ask them to hold you all night.
I wish I could take language
and daub and soothe and cool
where fever blisters and burns,
where fever turns yourself against you.
I wish I could take language
and heal the words that were the wounds
you have no names for.


"For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die." ~Anne Lamott, from "Bird by Bird"


I have no words of my own this week.  I'm January-ed out, blank, ready for February and the promise of Spring.  I love this poem by Julia Cameron from her amazing book, "The Artist's Way" and have it taped on my closet door.  It's exudes love and comfort to me and I hope it does the same for you.  xoxoxo

Love & Blessings,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Song for Going to the Water, A Cherokee Poem & Moondancing by Marion

I took this photo last night while outside moonbathing under the full moon and admiring the jet stream along side it. I brought my largest cup and filled it until it overflowed with moonlight. I drank it, then howled at the moon. I did. Really.


Song for Going to the Water
~Cherokee Poem

If your heart is not well,
If your spirit is not well,
These words may help you.

Wake in the hour
just before dawn.
Wake in the hours
before first light.
Wake when the animals of the night
have ended their songs,
when the animals of the day
have not yet begun their songs.

Walk without words.
Follow the path
that leads to the stream.

Then, as the first light
touches the stream,
bend to the water,
speak these words:

"Long Person, I come to ask your help."

Then hold up
a cup of that water
and drink the dawn.

~From an old high school Literature Book.


I wrote this full moon poem in July of 2009 for my friend, Erin.

By Marion

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 knew better,
t’was our spirits’ mystical meeting,
celebrating the poetry of rivers and
the feel of the full moon’s heart beating.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

God Says Yes To Me by Kaylin Haught

I've been listening to my record albums today. I have quite a collection, most like new. I made a major haul at a library sale several years back and got almost 100 albums in mint condition for fifty cents each. The one pictured is one of my very, very favorites with some awesome memories attached to it. :-)

I thought I'd share a favorite poem, too. This poem sings right off the page!



God Says Yes To Me
Kaylin Haught

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes


"Don't let the past remind us of
What we are not now
I am not dreamin'..." ~From: 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' by Steven Stills


"Things ain't what they used to be and probably never was." ~Will Rogers


Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Am An Alphabet Woman by Marion

by Marion Lawless

Written after reading Beat poet Anne Waldman’s Poetry.
She was inspired by the shaman woman, Maria Sabina’s chants.....

I am an Alphabet woman, a magician with words.
I am a Book woman, reading to stay alive.
I am a Creative woman, forming art from garbage.
I am a Dragonfly woman, born of water, earth and sky.
I am an Earthy woman, friends with trees and flowers.
I am a Flying woman, soaring nightly in my dreams.
I am a Gardening woman, tiller of soil and soul.
I am an Herbal woman, creator of enchanted potions.
I am an Intuitive woman, looking beyond facades.
I am a Joyous woman, happy to be alive.
I am a Kind woman, treating others with respect.
I am a Learning woman, hungry for truth and knowledge.
I am a Moon woman, in tune with lunar cycles.
I am a Nature woman, hearing the earth’s heartbeat.
I am an Ocean woman, drawn by the pull of the tides.
I am a Poet woman, midwife to little poems.
I am a Questioning woman, every seeking mystery.
I am a Reading woman, devourer of words.
I am a Survivor woman, growing stronger with each challenge.
I am a Tattooed woman, wearing my spirit on my skin.
I am an Understanding woman, full of empathy.
I am a Victorious woman, overcomer of obstacles large and small.
I am a Wild woman, indefinable, spirited and free.
I am an X-ray woman, seeing through life’s illusions.
I am a Yin-Yang woman, ever seeking balance.
I am a Zealous woman, passionate about life, truth and love.


I've posted this old poem several times. It's one of my favorite poems by one of my favorite! LOL!

It's colder than a well-digger's ass here in the deep South (that's one of Mama's sayings) and I'm hunkered down wearing my sock hat, toe-socks, flannel pj's, scarf and sweat suits...plural. I am so not a cold weather girl. I went outside to break the ice on my birdbaths and it was so thick I had to bang it with a shovel then pour hot water over it. Poor little birdies. I filled all my bird feeders and that was my outdoor adventure for today. Thankfully, the sun is shining and it's slowly warming up. Kudos to my Canadian friends. I sincerely do NOT know how y'all do it.



Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~Robert Byrne


"I was just thinking, if it is really religion with these nudist colonies, they sure must turn atheists in the wintertime." ~Will Rogers


"O, wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" ~Percy Bysshe Shelley


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A New Poet by Linda Pastan

A New Poet
By Linda Pastan

Finding a new poet
is like finding a new wildflower
out in the woods. You don't see

its name in the flower books, and
nobody you tell believes
in its odd color or the way

its leaves grow in splayed rows
down the whole length of the page. In fact
the very page smells of spilled

red wine and the mustiness of the sea
on a foggy day - the odor of truth
and of lying.

And the words are so familiar,
so strangely new, words
you almost wrote yourself, if only

in your dreams there had been a pencil
or a pen or even a paintbrush,
if only there had been a flower.

from Heroes In Disguise, 1991

I can't barely recall my life before I met Erin or my Annie, two of my favorite poets/writers/people/friends... Finding a new poet often leads to finding an amazing, sparkling new friend. For sure.

Love & Blessings,

"But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." ~Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dead-Winged Blackbirds, A Symphony

Dead-Winged Blackbirds: A Symphony
By Marion for Magpie Tales 48

Red-Winged Blackbirds
fallen from the sky,
everyone guessing
none knowing why---

Red-Winged Blackbirds
falling like rain,
some say it’s normal,
I think it’s insane---

Red-Winged Blackbirds
never again to sing--
I’ll mourn your silence
With my tears, come Spring.

Dead-Winged Blackbirds
never to fly
back into their ocean
Of lapis blue sky---


Inspired by the Beatles song, "Blackbird", and sadly, the mysterious death of thousands of Red-Winged Blackbirds recently...


"A skylark wounded in the wing,
A Cherubim does cease to sing." ~Walt Whitman


Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart by Deborah Digges

"Dragonflies" by Marion

The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart

by Deborah Digges

The wind blows
through the doors of my heart.
It scatters my sheet music
that climbs like waves from the piano, free of the keys.
Now the notes stripped, black butterflies,
flattened against the screens.
The wind through my heart
blows all my candles out.
In my heart and its rooms is dark and windy.
From the mantle smashes birds' nests, teacups
full of stars as the wind winds round,
a mist of sorts that rises and bends and blows
or is blown through the rooms of my heart
that shatters the windows,
rakes the bedsheets as though someone
had just made love. And my dresses
they are lifted like brides come to rest
on the bedstead, crucifixes,
dresses tangled in trees in the rooms
of my heart. To save them
I've thrown flowers to fields,
so that someone would pick them up
and know where they came from.
Come the bees now clinging to flowered curtains.
Off with the clothesline pinning anything, my mother's trousseau.
It is not for me to say what is this wind
or how it came to blow through the rooms of my heart.
Wing after wing, through the rooms of the dead
the wind does not blow. Nor the basement, no wheezing,
no wind choking the cobwebs in our hair.
It is cool here, quiet, a quilt spread on soil.
But we will never lie down again.

From:  "The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart:  Poems" by Deborah Digges, 1950 - 2009
A beautiful, soulful, fantastic book of poetry.
Buy poetry. Support poets!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Monet Refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller

Houses of Parliament, London, 1904 by Claude Monet

Monet Refuses the Operation

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don’t see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don’t know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and changes our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

Lisel Mueller, “Monet Refuses the Operation” from 'Second Language'. Louisiana State University Press, 1996.


I could post this poem every other day, over and over and over again. I've memorized it and still can't get enough of the amazing imagery and sheer beauty of it. It's a pure, perfect marriage of art and words...just magnificent!

Update:  (Thanks to those of you who told me the painting I had up with this post was not the Houses of Parliament by Monet.  I've corrected it and added the proper painting from Wiki.  Thanks, again!)

I highly recommend Ms. Mueller's book, "Alive Together: New & Selected Poems" which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1996.

Love & Blessings,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Almanac of Last Things
By Linda Pastan

From the almanac of last things
I choose the spider lily
for the grace of its brief
blossom, though I myself
fear brevity,

but I choose The Song of Songs
because the flesh
of those pomegranates
has survived
all the frost of dogma.

I choose January with its chill
lessons of patience and despair- and
August, too sun-struck for lessons.
I choose a thimbleful of red wine
to make my heart race,

then another to help me
sleep. From the almanac
of last things I choose you,
as I have done before.
And I choose evening

because the light clinging
to the window
is at its most reflective
just as it is ready
to go out.

"Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998"


Monday, January 3, 2011

Pain by Linda Pastan

By Linda Pastan, from "Waiting For My Life"

More faithful
than lover or husband
it cleaves to you,
calling itself by your name
as if there had been a ceremony.

At night, you turn and turn
searching for the one
bearable position,
but though you may finally sleep
it wakens ahead of you.

How heavy it is,
displacing with its volume
your very breath.
Before, you seemed to weigh nothing,
your arms might have been wings.

Now each finger adds its measure;
you are pulled down by the weight
of your own hair.
And if your life should disappear ahead of you
you would not run after it.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost

I took these two leaf photos this morning inspired by one of my favorite poet/bloggers/people of all time, Erin at The Tiny Leaf

Leaves Compared With Flowers
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.


And who doesn't love Robert Frost? The sun is shining magnificently & brilliantly here today. I hope it's sunny where you are, too.

Love & Blessings,

"If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees." ~Hal Borland

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Birds of America by Lorrie Moore

I never was much of a short story person until I came across "Birds of America" by Lorrie Moore several years back and now I love short stories. I re-read "Birds of America" annually and got it down today and decided to share a few of my favorite quotes. This passage from the story "Terrific Mother" cracks me up every time I read it:

"You're not a poetess, I hope," said the English geologist next to her. "We had a poetess here last month, and things got a bit dodgy here for the rest of us."

"Really." After the soup, there was risotto with squid ink.

"Yes. She kept referring to insects as 'God's typos' and then she kept us all after dinner one evening so she could read from her poems, which seemed to consist primarily of the repeating line, 'the hairy kiwi of his balls.'

Ms. Moore converted me lock, stock and barrel with the story, "Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens" in which Aileen's cat, Bert, dies and she can't seem to get over it and seeks psychiatric help. The story begins,

"When the cat died on Veteran's Day, his ashes then packed into a cheesy pink-posied tin and placed high upon the mantel, the house seemed lonely and Aileen began to drink..."

She muses: "She had already---carefully, obediently---stepped through all the stages of bereavement: anger, denial, bargaining, Haagen-Dazs, rage. Anger to rage---who said she wasn't making progress? She made a fist but hid it."...

Her husband suggests that she see someone, so she searches the phone book for a psychiatrist:

"She got recommendations, made lists and appointments, conducted interviews...."I have a death of a pet situation," she said. "How long does it take for you to do those?"

"I beg your pardon."

"How long will it take you to get me over the death of my cat, and how much do you charge for it?"

Each of the psychiatrists, in turn, with their slightly different outfits, and slightly different potted plants, looked shocked.

"Look," Aileen said. "Forget Prozac. Forget Freud's abandonment of the seduction theory. Forget Jeffrey Masson---or is it Jackie Mason? The only thing that's going to revolutionize this profession is Bidding the Job!"

She does manage to find a psychotherapist who guarantees to have her 'cured' by Christmas or the last visit is free. What a story! My own cat of 20 years had just died when I read this and still I laughed my ass off at her sharp wit. I can't even recall how many times I've read this book. Ms. Moore's imagination and lyrical prose is amazing.

My Beloved Ramone, my very own 'Bert', may he rest in peace in Cat Heaven.

And a Happy New Year's Day! I'm cooking my black-eyed peas and cabbage, an annual tradition here in the deep South. The peas are for luck and the cabbage for financial success in the coming year.