Saturday, June 30, 2018

Squash in Bloom by Robert Francis

Squash bloom.  Surely, it deserves this poem!

SQUASH IN BLOOM By Robert Francis
How lush, how loose, the uninhibited squash is.
If ever hearts (and these immoderate leaves
Are vegetable hearts) were worn on sleeves,
The squash’s are. In green the squash vine gushes.
The flowers are cornucopias of summer,
Briefly exuberant and cheaply golden.
And if they make a show of being hidden,
Are open promiscuously to every comer.
Let the squash be what it was doomed to be
By the old Gardener with the shrewd green thumb.
Let it expand and sprawl, defenceless, dumb.
But let me be the fiber-disciplined tree
Whose leaf (with something to say in wind) is small,
Reduced to the ingenuity of a green splinter
Sharp to defy or fraternize with winter,
Or if not that, prepared in fall to fall.

Friday, June 29, 2018

What We Want - Waiting For My Life by Linda Pastan

Zinnia, after peaking...

I love Anais Nin so much...

Waiting For My Life
By Linda Pastan

I waited for my life to start
for years, standing at bus stops
looking into the curved distance
thinking each bus was the wrong bus;
or lost in books where I would travel
without luggage from one page
to another; where the only breeze
was the rustle of pages turning,
and lives rose and set
in the violent colors of suns.

Sometimes my life coughed and coughed:
a stalled car about to catch,
and I would hold someone in my arms,
though it was always someone else I wanted.
Or I would board any bus, jostled
by thighs and elbows that knew
where they were going; collecting scraps
of talk, setting them down like bird song
in my notebook, where someday I would go
prospecting for my life.


"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else." ~Emily Dickinson


There Are Poems

By Linda Pastan

There are poems
that are never written,
that simply move across
the mind
like skywriting
on a still day:
slowly the first word
drifts west,
the last letters dissolve
on the tongue,
and what is left
is the pure blue
of insight, without cloud
or comfort.


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


What We Want

By Linda Pastan

What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names---
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.


In a dream you are never eighty. ~Anne Sexton


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Apologia by Jill Essbaum

A page from an old collage journal... 

I posted this poem 8 years ago, in another lifetime.  I go back, often, to read old comments from the beautiful, magnificent, talented friends I've made here---many that, gratefully, I still have.  Two of my favorites have died...our precious Renee in Canada and my sweet Texas pal, Pammie.  Life is short.  I miss so many bloggers that Facebook & time have stolen... But I'm grateful to make new friends, also.

I'm happy to still be here and have this platform to share my own sporadic poetry, prolixity and my favorites from my still growing poetry collection (which will go to my granddaughter when I die...that problem solved...She loves books and poetry.  Worrying about my books' future used to keep me awake at night.) This poem has inspired me over and over.  Enjoy.  xo, Marion, hanging in...

By Jill Essbaum

I have been sodden with wine.
I have been confused by wine.
I have been lied to by men,
And yet, I lie down upon such men,
Still and willing in the manners that they please.
Lord, I’ve been the blemish at your love feast.

And I’ve been tangled in nettles and brambles,
Have dwelt in seamy hotels, have ambled
Down roads that once, so necessary,
Seemed. And I’ve prayed, hot and overloadedly,
Having meddled in such matters
That ought be closed to me.

Darkness. I have done dread deeds in,
Hearkening to apocalyptic heathen,
Even as I cocked my lips to yours. And I have slept
On floors. And I have crept along on all fours.
And. More. I have lived briskly in nice houses.
I have swigged whiskey in icehouses.

I have been June, July, and August.
I have been riotous when I felt like I must
Or I could be. And I’ve hung on your tree like a ripe fig.
Desiring to be plucked. And I’ve flung my body to your bed
Like a white bride pining to be rubbed up against.
Like a suckling child hungry in a viper’s den.

And I have been Dismas, the penitent
Thief. And I have been Judas. And I’ve spent
My plenty silvers chiefly on my hells.
In that, I have seldom, if ever, failed.
It’s just as well. For as the ibis devours her carrion,
I feed upon what queasy defeats I carry on

My back. Thus the beggar becomes her bowl.
And the hangwoman surrenders to the scaffold.
And irrevocable acts of god and doom consume me.
Can this be mercy? I fear there isn’t any
Left. Even the chrism is bereft.
Wretched, most wretched it says.

While my guilt unfolds like a napkin in your lap.
Will a dog grow fat on crumbs the master drops?
I have been a grabber at your garment hem.
And I have been a Magdalene outside your tomb.
And I’ve bathed atop roofs, have pounded with rue,
Have pooled my pearls, the sorrowful few---

Like milky mea culpas they rattle fragile on a string.
Christ: Forgive me everything.

From: “The Best American Poetry 2010,” pages 51, 52


"Jill Alexander Essbaum is a Christian erotic poet distinguished as the author of the 1999 Bakeless Prize winner in poetry, Heaven, the 2005 collection of sonnets, Oh Forbidden, and the full length collections Harlot (poetry) (No Tell Books, 2007) and Necropolis(neoNuma Arts, Spring 2008). She has described herself as "nettled and hectored by a good dozen obsessions--more, probably. There are but three that ultimately matter to me (maybe to anyone): God, sex, death. Anything worthwhile I've ever thought or said will be about those things." Essbaum's poetry features puns, wordplay and dark humor mixed with searing religious and erotic imagery. Bruce Covey singled out Essbaum as "contemporary poetry’s best punster". She currently teaches at the University of California Riverside Palm Desert Graduate Center in the Masters of Creative Writing Graduate Program."  From:

Better Man by Taylor Swift, Sung by Little Big Town

Sung by Little Big Town
Lyrics by Taylor Swift

I know I’m probably better off on my own
than lovin' a man who didn’t know
what he had when he had it...
And I see the permanent damage you did to me...
Never again.
I just wish I could forget when it was magic.
I wish it wasn’t four a.m., standing in the mirror
saying to myself, "You know you had to do it. I know 
the bravest thing I ever did was run."
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I can feel you again
but I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man...
And I know why we had to say goodbye
like the back of my hand
and I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man, a better man...
I know I’m probably better off all alone
than needing a man who could change his mind at any given minute....
And it’s always on your terms.
I’m hanging on every careless word
hoping it might turn sweet again
like it was in the beginning.
But your jealousy, I can hear it now,
you’re talking down to me like I’ll always be around.
You push my love away like it’s some kind of loaded gun;
boy, you never thought I’d run.
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I can feel you again
but I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man...
And I know why we had to say goodbye
like the back of my hand
and I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man, a better man---
Better man.
I hold onto this pride because these days it’s all I have
and I gave you my best and we both know you can’t say that...
You can’t say that.
I wish you were a better man.
I wonder what we would’ve become
if you were a better man?
We might still be in love
if you were a better man.
You would’ve been the one
if you were a better man.
Yeah, yeah...
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I can feel you again
and I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man.
And I know why we had to say goodbye
like the back of my hand...
And I just miss you and I just wish you were a better man.
We might still be in love, if you were a better man
Better man.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tree Memory

The Tree that inspired this poem, long gone, but still in my head.

Tree Memory
By Marion
(inspired by Tao Chapter 11)

The absence of my
old Oak tree 
is as strong
a presence 
as the tree was.
In my memory the
tree still stands.
I sit in its
shade on the 
stump where it
no longer is,



Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu - Chapter 11

Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.


"A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen." ~Edward de Bono


The leaves of memory seemed to make
A mournful rustling in the dark.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
One need not be a chamber to be haunted; 
One need not be a house; 
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

~Emily Dickinson, "Time and Eternity"


What now?  The majority of my life is behind me, in memory.  I swing daily on a pendulum of hope & despair.  Despair is so much heavier, though... I sigh...

Monday, June 25, 2018

Being a Wife by Selima Hill

Poem below from page 244.  Great anthology!

by Selima Hill

So this is what it's like being a wife.
The body I remember feeling as big as America in,
the thighs so far away
his hand had to ride in an aeroplane to get there;
the giggles I heard adults giggling with
I was puzzled about,
and felt much too solemn to try;
buttons unbuttoned by somebody else, not me;
the record-player
neither of us were able to stop what we were doing
to turn off;
the smell of fish
I dreaded I'd never get used to,
the peculiar, leering, antediluvian taste
I preferred not to taste;
the feeling of being on the edge of something
everyone older than us,
had wasted,
and not understood,
as we were about to do;
his pink hand gripping my breast
as if his life depended on it;
the shame of the thought of the mirror
reflecting all this,
seem long ago,
yet somehow authentic and right.

Being a wife is like acting being a wife,
and the me that was her with him in the past is still me.

Feeling better today.  Reading poetry does that... xo

Saturday, June 23, 2018

In Defense of Marriage by Olena Kalytiak Davis

My favorite book of Ms. Davis's poetry...

By Olena Kalytiak Davis

Marry the black horse stuck
Dumb in her humble corral. 

Marry the white fences; marry the fenceless 
Moon and the defenseless sky. 

Marry the feedlot and the threshing
floor. Like the northern heaven to the southern

stars, marry the kitchen table, its three strong
legs. Marry the gate and the small intricate

cuts on the key and the view spreading 
out back. The street lamp

weds the morning light, like that, take the 
Nomad. Promise to forsake. Give in

to the cistern full of asters. 
To the way the beloved

story goes: her body from a bone.
And her soul out of nothing

In a slowly spoiling month find out 
you have married the house worn 

blue on the yellowing hill: each of its
slow budding bedrooms. Marry one or two

or three varieties of light, in three or four
different lifetimes. I meant, windows

Mate, be forsaken. 

I married the way moths marry. 
I married hard.

Tobacco Moth, drinking Moonflowers nectar.

This is a mystery:

Mark 10:6-8

"But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. "

Friday, June 22, 2018

In the Fields of Time by Mahvash Mossaed

I am moon; you are sun.  Colored by Marion.

By Mahvash Mossaed

Walking on an eggshell,
With a piece of cloud on a string as my kite.
I am going nowhere, lost in the fields of time.
Running around, looking for a good wind.

I have a body which will not last me long.
I have a soul which wants to come out and fly.
And I know when I go back where I came from,
when I go back home, God will be there waiting for me.

But for now I will fly my soul like a piece of a cloud,
or like a kite, while I am running around in the fields of time.


I succeeded in getting up this morning.  Now, to make it through another lonely day.  The flowers need watering and the cats need to be fed.  There's that... 


"As we do at such times
I turned on my automatic pilot
and went through the motions of normalcy on the outside,
so that I could concentrate all my powers
on surviving the near-mortal wound inside." 
                       ~ Sonia Johnson


"There is no coming to consciousness without pain." 
                       ~Carl Jung 


Life is suffering. ~Buddha


Psalm 126:5, 6 - "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Solstice - 2018 - Mary Oliver

Indeed, indeed...

Zinnia, pure magic...

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?


What, indeed???  

Aren't we all?????