Sunday, March 25, 2018

Forgetfulness by Billy Collins

Couldn't resist this photo.  Love it.

By Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart. 


I'm there.  I can barely remember my name most days.---

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Spring 2015 by Marion

the world has lost it's color---

Spring 2015
By Marion

Spring is almost here.
The bulbs I buried in January
are shyly reaching
with tiny green shoots
toward the gray, rainy sky.

(The constant pain in my
weary body hums endlessly
like the broken instrument
that it is).

March 5 was the night of the
smallest full moon of the year,
but I was dreaming of
flowing Willows and dancing dragonflies
and only saw moonshadows
through the pill-gauzy
curtain of my mind.

(My body is a prison wrapped
in electric barbed wire;
it only hurts when I move).

The Bluebirds have chosen
their tiny bird houses along
my faded wooden fence.
I press my tear-stained face to
dirt-streaked windows, watching
and longing for just one
pain-free day...

that never comes.

Spring 2018, still all true...just worse, much worse...

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Art of Clinging by Marion

Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) opening at sunset---

Moonfower opening early one late, rainy afternoon.

Ipomoea or The Art of Clinging
By Marion

No one is free.
Freedom is an illusion.
Your room is not there.
Nobody cares.

the ipomoea instinctively 
reaches up to the sky
clinging to whatever's near

Nothing thrives in
total isolation.
There is no detachment
in nature.

notknowing is
up, up, up...
ignorance truly is bliss.

What was once green,
vibrant & juicy
is now dried up, brown

& useless....useless!!!!

even a poet's gypsy soul
can be bound & knotted,
wither & die in isolation---
why? death always wins...
We're all alone.
you'll wane, too
I'm warning you...
forget you ever knew
the meaning of succulent
wild lust/love/life...

the ipomoea won't grow
in a void:
water, dirt, love,
bees & moths,
warm sunshine...
for such it pines...

You won't even look back
fondly (at all!)
at all that 
steamy, poetry-inspiring 
hormonal, mind-bending sex.
don't laugh, it ain't a hex I'm cooking
I'm warning you that
this  -  too  -  shall  -  pass.

One day'll be your last
& you won't know.
It's a ticking clock & 
will stop & won't be
right even twice a day, ever again.
Put it on the calendar.
The end is near (in more ways than one)---

The ipomoea, after thousands of 
fragrant flowers,
one night
fails to bloom (bleed)---no foreshadowing,
no premonitions, 
it's just gone.


~Marion Lawless

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Door by Miroslav Holub

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to (wo)man as it is, Infinite."  ~William Blake

The Door by Miroslav Holub
Go and open the door.
          Maybe outside there’s
          a tree, or a wood,
          a garden,
          or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
          Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
          Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye, 
or the picture
          of a picture.

Go and open the door.
          If there’s a fog
          it will clear.

Go and open the door.
          Even if there’s only 
          the darkness ticking,
          even if there’s only
          the hollow wind,
          even if
                           is there,
go and open the door.

At least
there’ll be 
a draught.
from:  Poems Before & After: Collected English translations (Bloodaxe Books, 2006)
from:  Staying Alive:  Real Poems for Unreal Times, page 69, edited by Neil Astley

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Rilke on Memory and Nikita Gill's The Truth About Your Heart

Tree hearts, growing wildly...

"And it is not yet enough to have memories.  You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you must have the immense patience to wait until they return.  For the memories themselves are not important.  Only when they have changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves---only then can it happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem arises in their midst and goes forth from them." 

                           ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, from 'The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge'

Thursday, March 15, 2018

It Is Not Always Possible to Fall in Love In Blackberry Season by Robin Behn

Oh, what a luscious, juicy, earthy, magnificent poem by Robin Behn!


It Is Not Always Possible To Fall in Love in Blackberry Season

You might enter the many dark chambers
without this tender clustering,
you might start by washing your lover’s mouth in snow
or tease apart the spring tendril root of him,
or scrape the old leaves out of his autumn hair
on your way to making his acquaintance in loam,
but if it is chosen in the kingdom of blackberries
that you shall be one of the ones,
one of the many clusters of ones,
that among the thorns and giant snails
you and he shall wade the slimy,
primordial rocks of the creek
to get to the blackberries leaning over the current,
and if whoever sees one first
shall place it onto the waiting, snail-like
ravenous tongue of the other
and know the gift of
the other’s pleasure before he
dismantles with his gentlest caliper fingers
the next dark ripe one, leaving
the brightness for later,
the suck and give
of the pale, moist, naked, astonished stem-head
among the young screaming red ones for later
and place that next, that dark, that ripe one on your tongue
so that always, when you kiss, the explosion
of ankle-breaking cold and warm purple liquid earth
will alarm and comfort you
back to the beginning
of gathering everything in sight,
the ruin already in it, the bleeding
and the rot and plundering birds already in it,
a sharp, riotous darken-ness already in it, then
will you be ready
to lay your lives, together, down in thorns?
By Robin Behn

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Journey by Mary Oliver

In the end, we can only save ourselves---

The Journey
By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.


Some Questions

What to do with a lifetime of memories when love leaves?

Why is everything on earth attached to memory:
songs, places, books, clothes, colors, trees, food, flowers ---

Can memory be erased?  How?

Why did love abandon me, so brutally, suddenly & ruthlessly?
Can love really die?
How do you keep breathing with a shattered heart?
Why does a broken heart keep beating?

Can the lover abuse a precious loved one?
Why would God allow this?
Why do I still love him after he tried to kill me?
Am I irretrievably broken inside?
Was I a brainwashed idiot?
Why is life so complicated?
Why am I furious at God?

How many rivers of tears can one person cry?
How much pain can a wounded soul bear?
Why am I so desperately, horrifyingly alone?
Can a person die of loneliness?

Why would a family completely desert a wounded loved one?
Does the animal kingdom abandon their wounded?

Is love a thing, as suffering is caused by wanting things?

At least Buddha warned me:
Life is suffering.



Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sometimes When the Light by Lisel Mueller

My fence steaming after a rain... Louisiana light is magic.


Sometimes, when the light strikes at odd angles
and pulls you back into childhood

and you are passing a crumbling mansion
completely hidden behind old willows

or an empty convent guarded by hemlocks
and giant firs standing hip to hip,

you know again that behind that wall,
under the uncut hair of the willows

something secret is going on,
so marvelous and dangerous

that if you crawled through and saw,
you would die, or be happy forever.

By Lisel Mueller

From:  "Alive Together:  New and Selected Poems" by Lisel Mueller

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Dollmaker

Sunny, my new hippie wild child customized Blythe.

Sunny's sister, Joy, who loves dressing up. 

Joy, Sunny & Blue Dog.

Why invest in the boring stock market when you can buy art?  Customized Blythe dolls are a true art form.  Each doll customized is one of a kind from around the world.  I have dolls from Greece, Spain, Japan and China.  The outfits are also amazing, tiny art.  My favorite outfit maker lives in northern Canada and she's also a gifted artist.  

One of my all-time favorite books is "The Dollmaker" by Harriette Arnow.  It's a brilliant, beautiful, timeless, classic novel.  I highly recommend it.  

Monday, March 5, 2018

Color by Christina Rossetti

By March, the bleakness of Winter has usually driven me to pull out my coloring books, gel pens, watercolors & Prismacolor Pencils because I'm all crocheted out.  (I finished a 7 foot long/4 foot wide blanket I custom made extra long for me last month.  It took two Winters to complete, but I persevered!)  I'm not much of a sketcher, but I've been coloring since the age of 3.  Ha! Ha!  Never grow up!

 This coloring art I did last weekend from the fabulous Hanna Karlzon's "Summer Nights" adult coloring book.  She's an amazing artist & I have all 3 of her books.  (Actually, I have an entire book shelf packed full of coloring books).  This page I did mostly in gel pen & Prismacolor Coloring Pencils.  I got those vividly colored pens (blues/purples) from Dollar General.  (I love a bargain!)

Same girl, but I colored her a year ago, mostly in colored pencil.  I think I like the wild, red hair better.  I'm still learning Prismacolor skin tones...not easy!

Moon & sun from "Magical Dawn" by Hanna Karlzon, all gel pens.  All cool colors for the Moonlady & warm colors for old Sol.


My Garfield kitty on back of my reading chair with a hippie-styled throw on it.  Got the "imagine" pillow cover for $5 at Amazon.  Love those inexpensive zippered covers because I can wash them & change them out often.



What is pink? a rose is pink 
By a fountain's brink. 
What is red? a poppy's red 
In its barley bed. 
What is blue? the sky is blue 
Where the clouds float thro'. 
What is white? a swan is white 
Sailing in the light. 
What is yellow? pears are yellow, 
Rich and ripe and mellow. 
What is green? the grass is green, 
With small flowers between. 
What is violet? clouds are violet 
In the summer twilight. 
What is orange? Why, an orange, 
Just an orange!
Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947)

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Sick Rose by William Blake

This Rose outlasted the one who gave it to me.


The Sick Rose
By William Blake

O rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.