Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Spirit Is Too Blunt An Instrument By Anne Stevenson

                                                            Abandoned Bluebird Nest


The spirit is too blunt an instrument 
to have made this baby. 
Nothing so unskilful as human passions 
could have managed the intricate 
exacting particulars: the tiny 
blind bones with their manipulating tendons, 
the knee and the knucklebones, the resilient 
fine meshings of ganglia and vertebrae, 
the chain of the difficult spine. 

Observe the distinct eyelashes and sharp crescent 
fingernails, the shell-like complexity 
of the ear, with its firm involutions 
concentric in miniature to minute 
ossicles. Imagine the 
infinitesimal capillaries, the flawless connections 
of the lungs, the invisible neural filaments 
through which the completed body 
already answers to the brain. 

Then name any passion or sentiment 
possessed of the simplest accuracy. 
No, no desire or affection could have done 
with practice what habit 
has done perfectly, indifferently, 
through the body's ignorant precision. 
It is left to the vagaries of the mind to invent 
love and despair and anxiety 
and their pain.


I appreciate you all very much and wish you a blessed and happy 2016.


Friday, December 25, 2015

May Christmas Bring You Unexpected Joy!!!

                                                    Happy Birthday, Jesus!

                            .......and my grandchildren...

                                     May Christmas Bring You Unexpected Joy!!!

                      My Grandchildren...

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Birth of Jesus

Luke 2:1-20King James Version (KJV)

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

      Vietnam War Memorial at sunrise this a.m.

I pray you all have a happy, blessed Christmas with the ones you love. (((Hugs))) ~Marion

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

"God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."  1 John 1:5

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Lightning By Sarah Kay, from: "No Matter The Wreckage"

By Sarah Kay, from:  "No Matter The Wreckage"

During his marriage to the poet Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes took up an affair with Assia Wevill after she and her husband David visited the couple in 1962. Wevill’s husband, upon finding out about the affair, took a number of sleeping pills and attempted suicide, but survived. After Plath’s suicide in 1963, Wevill moved into Hughes’s house two days after Plath’s death. Of Hughes, Wevill told friends that his lovemaking was so ferocious, “in bed, he smells like a butcher.” She helped raise Plath and Hughes’s children, and one of her own, but Hughes once again left on another affair in 1968. The following year, Wevill committed suicide and the murder of her four-year-old daughter, gassing herself in the same manner that Plath had done. In her diary, Assia Wevill wrote that the ghost of Plath had made her suicidal.

To Assia Wevill.

Were there nights
when you were sure he would grind you down to bone?
That you had not placed nearly enough wax paper on the bed spread,
that you would have to wash the sheets tomorrow?

Did you ever think of David?
His custard eyes
and balloon hands.
Clumsy with words
and careless with love.

Some of us are born chasing disaster.
From the moment we enter this world screaming,
we are looking for lightning,
the raw
of our bodies
always searching for cleaver hands.

You memorized every love poem he wrote for someone else
and slept on a pillow that had held her slumber.

Some of us are born chasing poetry.

When you searched for the words,
was it her voice who spoke them?

Sarah Kay is a NYC-based poet whose work has taken her uptown, downtown, and out of town. Her work is published or forthcoming in Foundling Review and DamselFly Press, among others. Sarah is the Founder and Director of Project V.O.I.C.E., which promotes creative self-expression among high school and college students through writing and Spoken Word workshops.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Your Other Name by Tara Sophia Mohr

Oh, how this poem shimmers & shines!!!  I found it in an anthology while going through my zillions of books to pass along to my younger daughter and granddaughter. (Last year, my college student grandson asked for some of my American Classics.  I rounded him up 90 or so!) Sarah likes poetry, April, not so much, so I've reluctantly been parting with some of my favorite books.  Sarah loves Mary Oliver---she heard Mary Oliver speak when she was in college, so I picked those first and kept only one for myself.  I cried as I boxed up about 75 books.  So many wonderful memories attached to those reads!!  My books are like a journal or road map of my life...

Pet peeve:  This is why I HATE electronic books (beside the fact that they've become exorbitantly expensive...only a dollar or two less than a 'real' book), you can't pass them down to your family or friends.  They're a total ripoff.  Okay, hopping down off my soap box.  :-P

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving filled with love, family and friends.  xo, Marion

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Amazing, Cerebral, Fascinatingly Beautiful Books! My Favorites of 2015!

I read a brief description of this series on Fliver and was instantly intrigued.  It is a woman's soul split wide open; an epiphany; a 1,600 page praise prayer to life; a spirit-reviving miracle.  And more.  It is what books are meant to be... It's why ink and paper were invented.  Yes, these books are that good, and better.

So I ordered only the first book in the series to see if it lived up to my high expectations...BIG MISTAKE!  I read it in one day and immediately got the last three books.  I've never read a series quite like this.  At the heart of the story is a lifelong friendship between two brilliant girls who grew up in a poor Italian neighborhood...(horrid oversimplification!) The author is a uniquely gifted storyteller and nothing I can say can adequately describe the beauty, depth, horror, insight and joy contained in this story...All four books are one continuous story that you never want to end.  

So, if you're looking for something riveting, luscious, and magnificent to read to finish up your reading year, definitely read these amazing books. You can thank me later. ;-) xo, Marion

Friday, November 13, 2015

God's World by Edna St. Vincent Millay

God's World

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough! 
   Thy winds, thy wide grey skies! 
   Thy mists, that roll and rise! 
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag 
And all but cry with colour!   That gaunt crag 
To crush!   To lift the lean of that black bluff! 
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough! 

Long have I known a glory in it all, 
         But never knew I this;   
         Here such a passion is 
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear 
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year; 
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall 
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mirror, Mirror by Tom Healy


By Tom Healy

What do we do when we hate our bodies?
A good coat helps.
Some know how to pull off a hat.

And there are paints, lighting, knives, needles,
various kinds of resignation,
the laugh in the mirror, the lie

of saying it doesn’t matter.
There is also the company we keep:
surgeons and dermatologists,

faith healers and instruction-givers,
tailors of cashmere and skin
who send their bills for holding

our shame-red hands, raw
from the slipping rope,
the same hands with which we tremble

ever so slightly, holding novels in bed,
concentrating on the organization
of pain and joy

we say is another mirror,
a depth, a conjure in which we might meet
someone who says touch me.

~~~from What the Right Hand Knows. Copyright © 2009


I avoid mirrors.  I haven't recognized the woman in my mirrors for a long time now.  Pain makes you ugly, depressed, sad and sick.  People hate sickly people.  They run screaming if, when they politely say, "How are you?", and you answer truthfully, "I feel like shit, everything hurts and I haven't slept all night for many years now...How are you?"  They trip over their feet to get the hell away from you.  Few people have sincere empathy, which is to truly imagine yourself in the other person's place.  

I'm grateful for the people in my life who've shown me empathy in spite of wanting to run.  You know who you are.  Bless you all & have a Thanksgiving filled with love, empathy and gratitude. xo, Marion

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Louisiana State Fair Memories

                                    Louisiana State Fair, 2015, taken by my niece.

The Louisiana State Fair was the best part of every year when I was growing up.  We saved our hard-earned spending money (Quarters from selling Coke bottles, picking pecans, shelling peas and raking or hoeing the garden, picking peas, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, etc.)

It was a real sacrifice to have to go a month to six weeks without our candy/comic/RC Cola and Moon Pie fix, but we knew magic was at the end of our great sacrifice:  Like candy apples & caramel apples, blue & pink cotton candy, andouille sausages cooked with onions & bell peppers, cradled in a soft, steamed bun...and that's just the food!!!  We tried our hands at coin toss and breaking balloons with darts, while the little kids picked up rubber ducks for a prize.  

We carefully chose as many rides as we could afford on our little budgets.  Then there were the free areas:  the stock barn where all the animals were judged and ribbons given out.  Next was where the jams, pickles and preserves were judged and sold.  It was as pretty as a rainbow...all those Mason Jars full of colorful figs, strawberry jam, apple jelly, blueberry jam, pears.  I don't know how we'd have kept going if it hadn't been for the huge quantities of sugar we consumed.  We often barfed up our treats after the roller coaster ride, but we kept right on going till the fair closed at 10:00 p.m. 

Uncle Warner carried us into the house because we fell asleep from pure exhaustion and excitement on the 30 minute drive home.  We'd be sticky from head to toe and Aunt Mace would wash our faces, hands and feet with a warm wash cloth and put us to bed.  It seems like day before yesterday, but it was over 50 years ago.  That blows my mind.  Time, she flies...  Nostalgically yours... ~Marion xo

Saturday, October 31, 2015


My patio, a river...

Flooding, tornado warnings, thunderstorms, rain, flash floods, wind...Autumn is still being birthed painfully and messily this last day of October.  It's been summer-like here in the tomatoes & peppers are still making although my Moonflowers have gone to seed.   My back bedroom is flooded, but that's minor compared to the damage in Texas from tornadoes and flooding.  

Found a cool read this week and it's free.  Also check the author's web site:

Check it out:

Weather Channel
By Sheryl Crow

Sunny morning
You can hear it
Siren's warning
There is weather on both sides
And I know it's coming
Just like before
There's a black dog
That scratches my door
He's been growling my name saying
You better get to running
Can you make it better for me
Can you make me see the light of day
Because I got no one
Who will bring me a
Big umbrella
So I'm watching the weather channel
And waiting for the storm
It's just sugar
Just a pill to make me happy
I know it may not fix the hinges
But at least the door has stopped it's creaking
I got friends
They're waiting for me to comb out my hair
Come outside and join the human race
But I don't feel so human
Can you make it better for me
Can you make me see the light of day
Because I got lab coats
Who will bring me a panacea
While I'm watching the weather channel
Waiting for the storm
You won't want me
Hanging around the birthday pony
Even though it's just a game
You know we are the same
But you're the better faker

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Prayer By Marion - For Magpie Tales #291

                                  For Magpie Tales #291

A Prayer
By Marion

Now I lay me
down to pray;
I clasp my hands
in bright moon rays.

I close my eyes
as if in sleep,
draw in a breath, then
gently leap

into the arms of
of God above
and quickly rest
inside His love.

I lie here like a 
small child curled, 
encompassed in
His trusting word

of faith & peace
known simply by
those many souls
that to Him cry...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fliverapp - Fun & Fabulous

One of the most FUN, informative, fascinating, free apps I have on my IPad is the Fliverapp.  It's a collection of lists about everything from books to poetry, restaurants, food, fashion, recipes, name it.  The sky's the limit...or not.  The lists are in multiples of 5 with space to add a link with a little comment section at the end.  It's simple and easy to use and therein lies the beauty.

I went a little crazy when I first discovered it and became a top 5 list maker...and the cool CEO & Founder, Faraaz Ahmed, sent me a little gift:  Fliverapp socks!!  As I told him in a thank you email, "I love the app and enjoy it even more than Pinterest.  Nobody at Pinterest ever sent me cute socks... They've just stolen years from my life that I'll never get back."

I highly recommend that you all try Fliverapp, even if it's just to read all of the cool lists on your IPhone.
I'd keep reading it even if they never sent me cozy socks!  xo

Friday, October 23, 2015

Beautiful Chaos By Robert M. Drake

        Beautiful Chaos By Robert M. Drake

           Black Butterfly By Robert M. Drake

Robert M. Drake began posting his simple, beautiful poetry on Instagram (@rmdrk) and has developed a huge following.  His fifth book, "A Brilliant Madness" is just out.  His poetry is pure soul and emotion...and highly addictive reading.  I have one of his books and can't wait to read his newest volume.

It's hot, dry, cloudy and muggy here in the swamps with rain predicted for the next few days as an after effect of Hurricane Patricia.  Everyone in the hurricane's path, please stay safe.

Support poetry!!!!


"Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance." ~Carl Sandburg

                         My Autumn Rose...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bone By Mary Oliver

By Mary Oliver


Understand, I am always trying to figure out
what the soul is,
and where hidden,
and what shape 
and so, last week,
when I found on the beach
the ear bone
of a pilot whale that may have died
hundreds of years ago, I thought
maybe I was close
to discovering something 
for the ear bone


is the portion that lasts longest
in any of us, man or whale; shaped
like a squat spoon
with a pink scoop where
once, in the lively swimmer's head,
it joined its two sisters
in the house of hearing,
it was only
two inches long 
and thought: the soul
might be like this 
so hard, so necessary 


yet almost nothing.
Beside me
the gray sea
was opening and shutting its wave-doors,
unfolding over and over
its time-ridiculing roar;
I looked but I couldn't see anything
through its dark-knit glare;
yet don't we all know, the golden sand
is there at the bottom,
though our eyes have never seen it,
nor can our hands ever catch it


lest we would sift it down
into fractions, and facts 
and what the soul is, also
I believe I will never quite know.
Though I play at the edges of knowing,
truly I know
our part is not knowing,
but looking, and touching, and loving,
which is the way I walked on,
through the pale-pink morning light.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Panic of Birds By Olena Kalytiak Davis

            Photo from Google Images

The Panic of Birds
By Olena Kalytiak Davis

The moon is sick
of pulling at the river, and the river
fed up with swallowing the rain,
So, in my lukewarm coffee, in the bathroom
mirror, there’s a restlessness
as black as a raven.
Landing heavily on the quiet lines of this house.
Again, the sun takes cover
and the morning is dead
tired of itself, already, it’s pelting and windy
as I lean into the pane
that proves this world is a cold smooth place.

Wind against window—let the words fight it out—
as I try to remember: What is it
that’s so late in coming? What was it
I understood so well last night, so well it kissed me,
sweetly on the forehead?

Wind against window and my late flowering brain,
heavy, gone to seed. Pacing
from room to room and in each window
a different version of a framed woman
unable to rest, set against a sky
full of beating wings and abandoned
directions. Her five chambered heart
filling with the panic of birds, asking: What?

What if not this?


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Write Now

I wrote my first poem at age 14 with a cartridge pen.  It was a love poem and the start of a lifelong love affair with ink pens and poetry. I wrote for 20 years with Schaefer Cartridge Pens (still available at Hobby Lobby).  They're the pens on the right.  My best poems were written with the red one in blue ink.  Then I discovered German made Pelikan Fountain Pens. (On the left.) They're the best pen I've ever used.  The green Pelikan pen is a wide nib highlighter.  I highlight in advance reader copies of books that I get from Amazon and authors to review.  It's a blast to use.  I'm glad I saved and splurged on the Pelikan pens.  I plan to pass them down to my grandchildren.

There's also my little pink Japanese Tasche cartridge pen...It writes sweet Haiku.  xo

"You can't write poetry on the computer." ~Quentin Tarantino

When dragonflies leave
At autumn's first appearance---
Butterflies appear!  ~Marion

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Letter in October By Ted Kooser

                     Autumn at a camp in the swamp. (Photo from Google Images.)

                                              My Catfish and a new friend. ;-)

A Letter in October - By Ted Kooser

Dawn comes later and later now,
and I, who only a month ago
could sit with coffee every morning
watching the light walk down the hill
to the edge of the pond and place
a doe there, shyly drinking,

then see the light step out upon
the water, sowing reflections
to either side - a garden
of trees that grew as if by magic -
now see no more than my face,
mirrored by darkness, pale and odd,

startled by time. While I slept,
night in its thick winter jacket
bridled the doe with a twist
of wet leaves and led her away,
then brought its black horse with harness
that creaked like a cricket, and turned

the water garden under. I woke,
and at the waiting window found
the curtains open to my open face;
beyond me, darkness. And I,
who only wished to keep looking out,
must now keep looking in.

'A Letter in October' from Weather Central (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994), © Ted Kooser 1994


Monday, October 5, 2015

Wish You Were Here, Keith

A good, kind friend of mine who died of AIDS in the 1980's.
I miss you every day, Keith...  

Pink Floyd

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue sky's from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
And how we found
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

An Old Woman's Painting By Lynn Emanuel

                                                             <^>  Calla Lily after rain...  <^>


By Lynn Emanuel

Scrape the sun from the wall of  the sky. 
Cast the great nets of  autumn over the houses. 
Even the throat of  the lily is a dangerous inlet. 

Let the world stand wearily on the stoop of  the jail 
of  the world and the light of  the mind, that small lamp, 
pearl of  shine, let the night come to it, as iron filings to a magnet, 

"The Nerve of It:  Poems New and Selected" by Lynn Emanuel

                        August sunrise...

                                     Zinnia, fading as time marches on....

                                  Zinnia, ravaged by time...

           Amidst the fading flowers, new life...

           The fading flower is the most beautiful...

                         Sister Zinnias...