Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Opal by Amy Lowell

By Amy Lowell

You are ice and fire,
The touch of you burns my hands like snow.
You are cold and flame.
You are the crimson of amaryllis,
The silver of moon-touched magnolias.
When I am with you,
My heart is a frozen pond
Gleaming with agitated torches.

I sincerely thank those of you who have stuck with me over the years of my poetry obsession and rants. I appreciate and love you all and wish you all a happy, healthy, 2015.

Marion 🌹

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Still Morning By W. S. Merwin

A certain slant of Winter light...

Still Morning
By W. S. Merwin

It appears now that there is only one
age and it knows
nothing of age as the flying birds know
nothing of the air they are flying through
or of the day that bears them up
through themselves
and I am a child before there are words
arms are holding me up in a shadow
voices murmur in a shadow
as I watch one patch of sunlight moving
across the green carpet
in a building
gone long ago and all the voices
silent and each word they said in that time
silent now
while I go on seeing that patch of sunlight


"There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons---
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes---

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us---
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are---

None may teach it - Any -
'Tis the Seal Despair---
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air---

When it comes, the Landscape listens---
Shadows - hold their breath---
When it goes, 'tis like the distance
On the look of Death---

#258 - Emily Dickinson

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Real Prayers Are Not Words, But the Attention That Comes First by Mary Oliver

My Kwan Yin statue

Of my hundreds/thousands of dragonfly photos I've taken, this is my favorite.  I love this tattered, curious little guy.  We played together for an hour or more before I took this photo.  I have it on a giant poster in my living room now.  He reminds me of the fragility, mystery and joy of life...
* * * * *

The Real Prayers Are Not the Words, But the Attention That Comes First
By Mary Oliver 
The little hawk leaned sideways and, tilted, rode the wind. Its eye at this distance looked like green glass; its feet were the color of butter. Speed obviously, was joy.
But then, so was the sudden, slow circle it carved into the slightly silvery air, and the squaring of its shoulders, and the pulling into itself the long, sharp-edge wings, and the fall into the grass where it tussled a moment, like a bundle of brown leaves, and then, again, lifted itself into the air, that butter-color clenched in order to hold a small a small, still body, and it flew off as my mind sang out oh all that loose, blue rink of sky, where does it go to, and why?
There's nothing more relaxing than watching a hawk drift among the clouds on the wings of the wind.  I see them often in the woods by my house.  I even pull my car over to the side of the road to watch them twist and swirl over trees when I drive.  They fascinate me.  Last week one casually swooped down and picked off a baby squirrel that was running along the dirt road.  The circle of life...
It's been a mild winter, so far, here in Swamplandia.  Today, I walked around the block sleeveless and took pictures of the Ents, I mean trees, with their arms also bare.  Oh, how I love winter trees, naked for all the world to see.  The humidity is a thousand percent and it's been raining off and on today with the sun peeking out ever so often.  A typical Louisiana day.  My rain barrels are all full again and my Kale, Spinach, Lettuce and Swiss Chard are thriving wildly even though I pick from them every day.  This time last year we'd had snow three times, which was the only time in 25 years living down here that that's ever happened.  I think I prefer the warmer, humid days, having lived in the South all my life.  The Camellia bushes are already blooming (as are some of my Roses) and those vain Narcissus are poking their green heads up from the cool ground.  I act surprised every year, but I do live in a near tropical climate only a few hours from New Orleans.
I'm through Christmas shopping and ready for Santa to drop by.  I miss having small children around this time of year.  My youngest grandson, Warner, is 7, but he's in Nashville.  My Mary Mace turns 11 on Christmas Eve.  That blows my mind.  She's already borrowing my books and asking what I was reading at her age.  She's far ahead of me.  I gave her "The Hobbit" and she loved it and wants to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy now.  I was still reading Mark Twain and Archie comic books at 11. 
My college freshman grandson wanted "American Classics" for Christmas (which tickled the hell out of me...how I love my reading family!), so I dug through my 6 rooms of books and came up with a modest 50 books for him.  I put them in milk crates so he could haul them back to college with him.  It blew his mind.  He started out with some J. D. Salinger and "A Confederacy of Dunces".  I told him it's a must-read, especially if you're from Louisiana.  So, I'm happy.  All I ever prayed/hoped for my children/grandchildren was that they'd all be healthy, well-educated and then avid readers...and they are, all five of them.  My work here is done.  :-)
I hope you all have a safe, Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! 
Love and Blessings from the swamps of Louisiana.
+ + + + +
This December,
That love weighs more than gold!"
~Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon
+ + + + +
"I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys." ~Charles Dickens

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Decade by Amy Lowell and Euphoria by Lily King

This lady must surely be reading poetry.

I've only recently begun reading Amy Lowell's poems and I'm totally intrigued with her.  I got a free Kindle book of her poetry online ("Men, Women and Ghosts") and it only whet my appetite for more.  Her poems are sensual and oh, so earthy.  If you've never read her, I highly recommend that you do.  And here's how I discovered her writing:

I've been reading an amazing novel, "Euphoria" by Lily King, and, in it, the main character quotes from the first poem below, "A Decade", which put me on the hunt for more of Lowell's work.  I got the book on CD from the library (and later bought a hard copy) and have listened to it twice all the way through.  The reader has a luscious voice and the story is utterly & totally compelling.  xo

So many books, so little time.....

A Decade
By Amy Lowell

When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
and the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
but I am completely nourished.

Published in

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

For Desire by Kim Addonizio

Gardenia after rain by Marion

For Desire
By Kim Addonizio

Give me the strongest cheese, the one that stinks best;
and I want the good wine, the swirl in crystal
surrendering the bruised scent of blackberries,
or cherries, the rich spurt in the back
of the throat, the holding it there before swallowing.
Give me the lover who yanks open the door
of his house and presses me to the wall
in the dim hallway, and keeps me there until I'm drenched
and shaking, whose kisses arrive by the boatload
and begin their delicious diaspora
through the cities and small towns of my body.
To hell with the saints, with martyrs
of my childhood meant to instruct me
in the power of endurance and faith,
to hell with the next world and its pallid angels
swooning and sighing like Victorian girls.

I want this world. I want to walk into
the ocean and feel it trying to drag me along
like I'm nothing but a broken bit of scratched glass,
and I want to resist it.

I want to go
staggering and flailing my way
through the bars and back rooms,
through the gleaming hotels and weedy
lots of abandoned sunflowers and the parks
where dogs are let off their leashes
in spite of the signs, where they sniff each
other and roll together in the grass, I want to
lie down somewhere and suffer for love until
it nearly kills me, and then I want to get up again
and put on that little black dress and wait
for you, yes you, to come over here
and get down on your knees and tell me
just how fucking good I look.

From:  "Being Alive, the sequel to Staying Alive", edited by Neil Astley, page 61


Monday, October 27, 2014

UNDONE by Sue Goyette

By Sue Goyette

In this weather, wood has warped and doors
won't shut the way they should.  The mist holds daylight

close, hoarding.  When it escapes, the light doesn't
spill, doesn't slide cross the floor, but creeps

and hobbles using furniture to hold itself up.  It just wants
to sit.  In this weather, light has age, grows rings like a stump

and can no longer hear.  It's the ancient relative in the corner
with a change purse and a group of grandchildren at its feet.

Extension wires, 100 watt bulbs, nothing helps.  It's faint
and weak and drinks only water.  In this weather, not even

the high tide of starlings rolling onto the lawn gets its attention.
"Leave me alone," it says, having forgotten the way it ranted

and raved.  How it demanded more time and more flowers.
The garden couldn't keep up, it touched everything:

the silver sugar bowl, the glass fish, every mirror, every drop of water.
And so begins the season of forgiveness, when the birch trees

bordering the yard turn back to bark and branch and you're alone
and I'm alone, the pantry is stocked

and winter is coming up the driveway.


I'm undone and don't know how to put me back together.  This painful (physical, emotional, spiritual) ageing is the hardest thing I've ever done.  My body betrays me every single minute of every hour of every day.  Then it betrays me some more. What is a woman without the essence of what makes her female?  Why do we run out of hormones and become dried up shells of our selves when we're still so young?  We're dying, of course...but...but...Winter comes too soon, too soon...


"The great secret that all people share is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don't change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion." ~Doris Lessing


When I can look Life in the eyes,
grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
and taken in exchange — my youth.  ~Sara Teasdale


Monday, October 6, 2014

Late October by Dorianne Laux

Red leaves in the Louisiana Swamp

I am this woman, have been this woman, will probably always be this woman...

Late October
By Dorianne Laux

Midnight.  The cats under the open window,
their guttural, territorial yowls.

Crouched in the neighbor's driveway with a broom,
I jab at them with the bristle end,

chasing their raised tails as they scramble
from bush to bush, intent on killing each other.

I shout and kick until they finally
give it up; one shimmies beneath the fence,

the other under a car.  I stand in my underwear
in the trembling quiet, remembering my dream.

Something had been stolen from me, valueless
and irreplaceable.  Grease and grass blades

were stuck to the bottoms of my feet.
I was shaking and sweating.  I had wanted

to kill them.  The moon was a white dinner plate
broken exactly in half.  I saw myself as I was:

forty-one years old, standing on a slab
of cold concrete, a broom handle slipping

from my hands, my breasts bare, my hair
on end, afraid of what I might do next.

From:  "What We Carry", page 11


Nothing [everything] left to say, the poem says it all.  xo

Monday, September 29, 2014

Why I'm Boycotting Lena Dunham's Book

A Little Rant to Start the Week:

There are certain things in life that piss me off.  Not a lot, but some.  And when I'm pissed, I'm pissed.  Lena Dunham (whose claim to fame is a mediocre HBO show), reportedly got a $3.7 million dollar advance for her upcoming memoir.  (That doesn't bother me.  More power to her.)  I won't put the title because I don't want to.  I had pre-ordered the book at Amazon, but cancelled it. The thing that chaps my ass is that she's charging people $38 to come to her book signing.  Right, you have to buy tickets...some of which are reportedly being scalped for up to $900.  To me, that is the epitome of greed, narcissism, bad marketing and just plain stupidity.  It makes me not like her as a person, author, actress or human being, mainly because she's stealing joy from readers.  Most of her followers are probably in her age group:  20's to 30's:  the struggling years for most who don't make $6 million a year like she does.  And she's denying them the opportunity to not only get their book autographed, but to meet someone they respect enough to buy a book from.  That is no small thing.  But, obviously, she doesn't get it.  I guess she's never been a poor book-lover who had to skip on groceries to buy books like I once did.

I have three shelves full of signed first editions by Pulitzer Prize winning authors...from the magnificent Ernest Gaines to John Updike and Rick Bragg. Robert Crais not only signed my books, but also let me take a photo with him and his lovely, Southern belle mother to whom he introduced me. James Lee Burke also took a photo with me and was patient and sweet. Most not only signed my books, but also allowed me to be a total groupie and take a picture with them at book festivals.  They were grateful, nice, polite and generous with their time.  They sweated in the South Louisiana heat to attend our annual Louisiana Book Festival which is on November 1 this year.  They appreciated ME.  After all, I was spending my HARD-EARNED money for their books.  Not ONE of them ever charged me money for the privilege of signing their name in my books.  John Updike even took the time to write an encouraging note to me about my writing!  John Updike, who has two Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction.

Also, according to Refinery29.com, "some of Dunham's appearances will include seven performers, functioning as hype men. But, word on the street is the Girls creator isn't paying these artists, many of whom auditioned for the roles."  Right, she's stiffing them!!  Again, bad karma, and GREEDY!


Take your money and buy Rick Bragg's new biography coming out in October.  Every single book he's written has been just awesome and, for the record, he's a perfect gentleman:


A house without books is like a room without windows. ~Heinrich Mann

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Aunt Leaf by Mary Oliver

A red-veined Autumn leaf in morning sunlight...


Aunt Leaf

Needing one, I invented her –
the great-great-aunt, dark as hickory
called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud
or The-Beauty-of-the-Night.

Dear aunt, I’d call into the leaves,
and she’d rise up, like an old log in a pool,
and whisper in a language only the two of us knew
the word that meant follow,

and we’d travel
cheerful as birds
out of the dusty town and into the trees
where she would change us both into something quicker –
two foxes with black feet,
two snakes green as ribbons,
two shimmering fish – – and all day we’d travel.

At day’s end she’d leave me back at my own door
with the rest of my family,
who were kind, but solid as wood
and rarely wandered. While she,
old twist of feathers and birch bark,
would walk in circles wide as rain and then
float back

scattering the rags of twilight
on fluttering moth wings;

or she’d slouch from the barn like a gray opossum;
or she’d hang in the milky moonlight
burning like a medallion,
this bone dream, this friend I had to have,
this old woman made out of leaves.

Mary Oliver


Oh, how I miss my crazy/wonderful/beautiful aunts!  They were drunks, one and all, but their lives were too hard for words, so I forgave them because, even as a child, I understood pain and hardship.  I love this glorious Aunt Leaf who I only just discovered on this amazing Fall day in Swamplandia and I'm adopting her, just as Mary Oliver did.

We had a cooler day yesterday...cooler and breezy---a wonder after our long summer of heat and humidity.  My house cat, Catfish, ran out of the open patio door in a rare visit outdoors...and just as he stepped into the yard, a magnificent wind came from wherever wind comes from and shook some leaves from the huge Water Oak tree.  He did the fastest about-face I've ever seen a 25 pound cat do, and ran back into the house with his nub of a tail tucked down.  I realized he didn't know what falling leaves were.  :-)  It was hilarious, bless his kitty heart.


"Magnificent Autumn! He comes not like a pilgrim, clad in russet weeds. He comes not like a hermit, clad in gray. But he comes like a warrior, with the stain of blood upon his brazen mail. His crimson scarf is rent.... The wind.... wafts to us the odor of forest leaves, that hang wilted on the dripping branches, or drop into the stream. Their gorgeous tints are gone, as if the autumnal rains had washed them out. Orange, yellow, and scarlet, all are changed to one melancholy russet hue.... There is a melancholy and continual roar in the tops of the tall pines.... It is the funeral anthem of the dying year." ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Matins by Louise Gluck

Tried to capture morning sunlight, but only caught herb shadows on my veranda.

By Louise Gluck

You want to know how I spend my time?
I walk the front lawn, pretending
to be weeding. You ought to know
I’m never weeding, on my knees, pulling
clumps of clover from the flower beds: in fact
I’m looking for courage, for some evidence
my life will change, though
it takes forever, checking
each clump for the symbolic
leaf, and soon the summer is ending, already
the leaves turning, always the sick trees
going first, the dying turning
brilliant yellow, while a few dark birds perform
their curfew of music. You want to see my hands?
As empty now as at the first note.
Or was the point always
to continue without a sign?

from:  "Louise Gluck, Poems 1962 - 2012", page 267


  1. a service of morning prayer in various churches, especially the Anglican Church.
    • a service forming part of the traditional Divine Office of the Western Christian Church, originally said (or chanted) at or after midnight, but historically often held with lauds on the previous evening.
    • literary
      the morning song of birds.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nouns of Assemblage - A List Poem by Marion

Nouns of Assemblage
A List Poem Assembled by Marion

A murmuration of starlings
An exaltation of larks
A murder of crows
A parliament of owls
A pitying of doves
An unkindness of ravens
A wilderness of monkeys
A bench of bishops
A desert of lapwing
A clowder of cats
A drunkship of cobblers
A barren of mules
A fall of woodcock

Aren’t words beyond amazing?  I have to say that nouns of assemblage are mind-blowing, fascinating and strangely curious.  These are my favorites from a very long list I found in an old book I own from the 1800's.


My newest journal.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

When Someone Deeply Listens to You by John Fox

When Someone Deeply Listens To You

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you've had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind's eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!

When someone deeply listens to you
your bare feet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.

John Fox
I first read this poem years ago in a magnificent book:  "Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life". I highly recommend it.  I have several copies and have given away at least a dozen.  You can find it used, very cheap at Amazon. It has poetry, essays and lots of great quotes.
I used to work with a woman who never, ever let me finish a sentence without, first, interrupting me and, then, taking my story and turning it around to be about her.  Every single time I talked to her she did this and she seemed totally clueless at how rude she was.  If I began, "My daughter said...." she immediately interrupted and continued, "My frickin' daughter got drunk last weekend and blah, blah, blah...."  You get the picture.  I worked with her for over 6 years and never once got to finish a complete sentence...and sadly, I am not exaggerating. I tried to avoid her at all cost.  I've worked with hundreds of people and she was the worst, although I've known others who did the same thing. 
I believe that deeply listening to someone is a gift that few people possess.  If nothing else, I learned from this women how NOT to listen.  I became consciously aware of how I talked to people, trying not to interrupt or turn the conversation away from them to myself.  Give yourself the gift of conscious listening.  You won't regret it.
"My wife says I never listen to her. At least I think that's what she said." ~Author Unknown

+ + + + +

 "The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention." ~Thich Nhat Hanh
+ + + + +

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Amaryllis by Karina Borowicz

"We walk on air, Watson.
There is only the moon, embalmed in phosphorus.
There is only a crow in a tree. Make notes." 

(underlines mine)  ~Sylvia Plath, from her poem 'The Detective'.


By Karina Borowicz

Something with feathers
or possibly fangs
is curled up, raw
munching the starch
inside the bulb
in the dark drawer

or a flower waits
in the papery egg
that crackles like an onion
petals collecting themselves
in the yolk, composing
themselves from the red
and yellow glints that fall
on its shell as it drowses
by the windowsill

then, when it finally opens
there is no snake springing
from the cave of the clay pot
no sharp-shinned hawklet
building a nest laced with bones
on the cliff of my kitchen shelf

when the red fist defiantly opens
there's nothing
but opening

from:  "The Bees Are Waiting" by Karina Borowicz, page 84


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Goodbye August, Welcome September

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” ~ Roald Dahl

By Amy Lowell

All day I have watched the purple vine leaves
Fall into the water.
And now in the moonlight they still fall,
But each leaf is fringed with silver.

from:  "Pictures of the Floating World", 1919


August has been wet, hot, humid, green, beautiful and bountiful.  I'll miss you, August, but I welcome your cooler pal, September, and in her suitcase, Fall.  xo

August 1 sun setting from my son-in-law's office on Music Row in Nashville.  See my camera?  :-)

Datura Moonflower with her curly-edged self.

Three of the hundreds of Morning Glories that bloomed in my back yard.

About mid-August, glorious afternoon storms began with amazing clouds.

This one brought buckets of rain...

Cloud-love & thunder-love.

Letting my freak flags fly.  No, really, they're my Tibetan Buddhist Prayer flags.

Passionflower.  I just can't pass these without sniffing them...still smells like grape kool-aid.

Goodbye, August.  See you next year, I hope.


"The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.... September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Late Prayer by Jane Hirshfield

My bird feeder holding a Passionflower & Dragon Wing Begonia's flowers---
= = = = =
Late Prayer
By Jane Hirshfield
Tenderness does not choose its own uses.
It goes out to everything equally,
circling rabbit and hawk.
Look: in the iron bucket,
a single nail, a single ruby -
all the heavens and hells.
They rattle in the heart and make one sound.
from:  "Nine Gates - Entering the Mind of Poetry - Essays by Jane Hirshfield", page 211
A beautiful, soul-searing book.
Hearing the cuckoo,
even in Kyoto
I long for Kyoto.    ~Basho
I post my favorite haiku by Basho on this rainy, stormy Saturday in which my oldest grandson is on his way to his first year of college two hours away.  I have two daughters and he was born when I was in my early 40's, so it was like having the little boy I never had.  Oh, the fun we had!  I can't count the number of times we went to the zoo and the book store---his favorite two places.  He still loves the book store, but not the zoo quite as much.  :-)  He taught me how to be a grammy and I taught him how to see (a little bit, I hope).  I asked him the other day what he looked forward to most about college (expecting something about girls, freedom, etc.), and he said, "I'm eager to get back to school to learn more stuff."  Yes, he's my boy. 
"Even in Kyoto, I long for Kyoto......."  Indeed.
= = = = =
"Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild." ~Welsh Proverb
= = = = =
"Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old." ~Mary H. Waldrip
= = = = =
Taylor & April at college.  (He's 6'1"...he got my long legs.)
A Morning Glory heart-leaf...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Denise Levertov---Extraordinary Poet

"Old River" by my sister, Margaret.  There's nothing like Louisiana sky...unless it's sky & water.

*  Remember Mallarme's words that "Poems are not made with ideas, they are made with words."

*  Beware of consciously searching for the original; nothing is more likely to lead to the banal.  The fresh word is not necessarily the odd word.

*  Strength of feeling, reverence for mystery, and clarity of intellect must be kept in balance with one another.  Neither the passive nor the active must dominate, they must work in conjunction, as in a marriage.

~Denise Levertov on the craft of poetry, from "Women of the Beat Generation", page 205

^  ^  ^  ^  ^

Morning Glories, tangled & dewy, August 2006
Captive Flower
By Denise Levertov
This morning's morning-glory
trying to thrust
through the wire mesh towards the sun
is trapped
I ease it back
to see better its unfurling,
but only slowly it resigns
the dream. Its petals
are scarred.
I had not thought myself
a jailer


HuntingThe Phoenix
By Denise Levertov

Leaf through discolored manuscripts,
make sure no words
lie thirsting, bleeding,
waiting for rescue. No:
old loves half-
articulated, moments forced
out of the stream of perception
to play “statue,”
and never released —
they had no blood to shed.
You must seek
the ashy nest itself
if you hope to find
charred feathers, smoldering flightbones,
and a twist of singing flame


A Blessing
By Denise Levertov
'Your river is in full flood,' she said,
'Work on---use these weeks well!'
She was leaving, with springy step, a woman
herself renewed, her life risen
up from the root of despair she'd
bent low to touch,
risen empowered. Her work now
could embrace more; she imagined anew
the man's totem tree and its taproot,
the woman's chosen lichen, patiently
composting rock, another's
needful swamp, the tribal migrations---
swaying skeins rotating their leaders,
pace unflagging---and the need
of each threatened thing
to be. She had met
with the council
of all beings.
'You give me
my life,' she said to the just-written poems,
long-legged foals surprised to be standing.
The poet waving farewell
is not so sure of the river.
Is it indeed
strong-flowing, generous? Was there largesse
for alluvial, black, seed-hungry fields?
Or had a flash-flood
swept down these tokens
to be plucked ashore, rescued
only to watch the waters recede
from stones of an arid variety?
But the traveler's words
are leaven. They work in the poet.
The river swiftly
goes on braiding its heavy tresses,
brown and flashing,
as far as the eye can see.
From: "Breathing the Water", pages 6 - 7
I have this entire book of short essays highlighted, dog-eared and underlined.  It's a word-feast...like chocolate truffles or something way better.  :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Stone fence in Nashville, Tennessee - I immediately thought of the following poem when we drove by this fence on the way to see my granddaughter's new school, Lipscomb Academy.

Mending Wall

Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs.  The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side.  It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.'
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors?  Isn’t it
Where there are cows?  But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.'  I could say ‘Elves’ to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself.  I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.'
Yes, they do.  I have a wooden fence and wouldn't have any other kind.
"If you know what you are going to write when you're writing a poem, it's going to be
 average." ~Derek Walcott
Leaf hearts, wet with morning dew.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Good Morning, Moonflower

Let Morning Come
By Marion
Let the river flow
unimpeded, night black,
cradled within
strong, willow-sewn banks.

Let the crickets sing
ancient, mystical
tunes, sweet and time-kissed
into my awakened ears.

Let the moonlady’s silver
beams rain down
and suffuse my
twisted, ominous dreams.

Let the candle flame pull me into
its dancing shadow.  May
the flame illuminate
my jaded, somnolent mind.

Let the rivers flow.
     Let the crickets sing.
           Let the moonlady glimmer.
               Let the candlelight shimmer.

Please, let morning come.

January/April 2012

Early morning sunlight on my Datura Moonflower---

A bee stops by for breakfast---

If it tastes as good as it smells, he's in culinary ecstasy---

A few more minutes of sunlight and the Moonflower will be gone---


^  ^  ^  ^  ^

"The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him." ~Auguste Rodin

Thursday, August 14, 2014

O Captain! My Captain! - Walt Whitman

Robin Williams.  From "Dead Poets Society."


By Walt Whitman

O CAPTAIN! my Captain, our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!

    O the bleeding drips of read,

        Where on the deck my Captain lies,

            Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up---for you the flag is flung---for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths---for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!

    The arm beneath your head!

        It is some dream that on the deck,

            You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores and ring O bells!

    But I with mournful tread,

        Walk the deck my Captain lies,

            Fallen Cold and Dead.



R.I.P. dear Robin Williams.  "Dead Poets Society" is one of my favorite movies of all time for obvious reasons.  What to say when such a talented, beloved person is dead by his own hand?  Words seem inadequate yet they're all we have.  Who can know the despair, depression and suffering of another person?  Nobody, that's who.  I pray for his family.  It's all I've got.


'"O Captain! My Captain!" is a poem written by Walt Whitman in 1865. The poem is classified as an elegy, or mourning poem, and was written to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States.'  ~from Wikipedia

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'All say, "How hard it is that we have to die" — a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.' ~Mark Twain

My blue Morning Glory in black & white.  The bees left pollen footprints...