Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Solstice, 2014

"A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring." ~The Collected Later Poems of William Carlos Williams

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With the official advent of Summer (Summer Solstice, Saturday, June 21), I've decided to share a few of my flower photos.  I lost a ton of potted plants due to the snow (my Angel Wing Begonias!)  We had four or five snowfalls here...unheard of!  But my flowers in the ground seem to have thrived from the snow.  Go figure.  I lost my beloved Willow tree (that's about the 5th one), but will plant another one next Spring. 

My Dinner Plate Hibiscus, which I thought were all kaput, came back with dozens of blooms.  Happy, happy, joy, joy.  My Lemongrass died...and my sweet son-in-law, the farmer, gave me some cuttings from his, so I'm back with Lemongrass.  The Mints are growing like the weeds they are, just more luscious this year, as is the Yarrow, Comfrey, Lemon Balm and the 5 kinds of Mint.  And on and on.  Here's a few pics from the past week and a Mary Oliver poem.  Enjoy!!!  xo, Marion

See the tiny grasshopper on the left?  Sneaky bug!
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The Summer Day
By Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

I call this one my "Blushing Hibiscus".  I love the pink with the red...

I planted ONE Spearmint plant by this birdbath and now it's all over the patio.  Total aromatherapy!

You can see why they're called "Dinner Plate Hibiscus".  Round and big as a plate.   Gorgeous!  I got them in every color I could find a couple of years ago.
Pink Hibiscus, glowing...
Red Hibiscus.  Unfortunately, grasshoppers love the leaves!!
+ + + + +
"Flowers don't worry about how they're going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful." ~Jim Carrey
The only thing that smells better than a Gardenia is a Magnolia.  Delicious!
+ + + + +
"Against a dark sky all flowers look like fireworks. There is something strange about them, at once vivid and secret, like flowers traced in fire in the phantasmal garden of a witch." ~G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions, "The Glory of Grey"
The Passionflower who planted herself.  Now it's miles long wrapped around my cast iron posts on my carport.  Still smells like grape kool-aid.  The stem is fat as my big toe.  :-)
Bottle Brush Bush's flower.
The tiny white flowers of the ancient Yarrow herb.  I grew my own Yarrow, dried it, and made my own Yarrow sticks to throw when learning the I Ching.  I think that's the only way to get your soul into your sticks...grow your own.  ;-)
I have Daylilies lining my wooden fence. 
"When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other." ~Chinese Proverb
Morning Glory leaf on white Hibiscus.  I love flowers & leaves...
A hungry bee having breakfast at Chez Blushing Hibiscus.
Orange Canna.  I also have yellow, peach and red ones.
Datura Moonflowers beginning to open one evening.

Datura Moonflower, the Luna Princess of the flower kingdom...
"Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into." ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Late Hours By Lisel Mueller


By Lisel Mueller
On summer nights the world
moves within earshot
on the interstate with its swish
and growl, an occasional siren
that sends chills through us.
Sometimes, on clear, still nights,
voices float into our bedroom,
lunar and fragmented,
as if the sky had let them go
long before our birth.

In winter we close the windows
and read Chekhov,
nearly weeping for his world.

What luxury, to be so happy
that we can grieve
over imaginary lives.


Oh, the countless imaginary lives/lines I've cried over!  The beautiful words, the ink and paper characters as real as my hand in front of my face and yet.....not.  Books: sweet escape, sweet relief, sweet-healing-wounding words. 


"Girl Reading" by Canadian artist, Oliver Ray
"Medicine for the soul." ~Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tom Robbins Memoir

I'm eagerly sitting on my hands awaiting this book to arrive via UPS.  This is a memoir (of sorts) by the master of the metaphor.  It came out on May 27, 2014, and I somehow missed the fact that he had a new book coming.  Shame on me!  I own all of Robbins' books and can't wait to get my grubby hands on this one in spite of a few nasty reviews at Amazon.  I don't even trust a book that doesn't get a few bad reviews.  I mean, you can't please everyone...especially if you're Tom Robbins.  Amazingly, I just realized (after counting on my fingers and toes) that he'll be 78 years young a few days after my own birthdate in July.  Mon Dieu, time, she flies!! 
If you've never read Tom Robbins, start with either "Jitterbug Perfume" or "Skinny Legs and All".  They are my co-favorites.  He's like no author I've ever read and I've read tens of thousands of books.  I can count the writers who compare to him on one finger...Tom. 
I love this writing advice (below) by Tom Robbins.  Goes great for poetry, too: 
"Write down your favorite word. Write a sentence incorporating that word. Write another sentence that hold hands with your first sentence. This is the beginning of your story."

Gotta run.  Here's my book....



PS:  A perfect book poem from "Carnival Evening" by Linda Pastan:


Just looking at them
I grow greedy, as if they were
freshly baked loaves
waiting on their shelves
to be broken open---that one
and that---and I make my choice
in a mood of exalted luck,
browsing among them
like a cow in sweetest pasture.
For life is continuous
as long as they wait
to be read---these inked paths
opening into the future, page
after page, every book
its own receding horizon,
And I hold them, one in each hand,
a curious ballast weighting me
here to the earth.
~Linda Pastan


"Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures." ~Jessamyn West


"There are books so alive that you’re always afraid that while you weren’t reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away. No one has stepped twice into the same river. But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?" ~Marina Tsvetaeva



Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hurricane Season

I don't know who wrote this, so for now, I'll credit it to "Anonymous".
Hey, y'all.  Happy hurricane season!  (June 1 till November 30).  Here's a big ole 'fuck you' to State Farm Insurance and the entire insurance industry for stealing even more money from hard-working middle class folks.  We got a letter a few months ago saying we're no longer covered if our home receives damage during a 'named hurricane'.  I cussed out everyone I could find while they hemmed and hawed.  It's yet another government scam to take our money and give us nothing in return.  I still have to pay several thousand dollars a year for insurance, but I'm just not covered pretty much half the year.  Hell, about the only time a person in Louisiana has damage to their home is during hurricane season!  And for the record, I'm nowhere near the coast.  (Phew, I feel better...steppin' off my soap box for now.....)
I have searched and searched for the origin of that poem.  I don't know where I got it or when, but found it glued into one of my old journals, so I'm sure I found it somewhere on the Internet---or not.  I do still have my trusty typewriter, but I haven't drug it out in too many moons to count.  I love, love, love this poem or beginning of a poem.  I, too, was born in the heart of hurricane season (on the full moon in the sign of Moonchild) and truly wish I had written this, but I didn't.
If you wrote it or know who did, please let me know. 
It was one of those hot, silent nights, when people sit at windows, listening for the thunder which they know will shortly break; when they recall dismal tales of hurricanes and earthquakes; and of lonely travellers on open plains, and lonely ships at sea, struck by lightning. ~Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, Chapter XLII
The wind shows us how close to the edge we are. ~Joan Didion