Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Diet Pill Scriptures by Jennifer Thal

My kitchen window Gods

Les Grandes Baigneuses, or The Large Bathers, is a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir made between 1884 and 1887. 


The Diet Pill Scriptures 
by Jennifer Thal

I turned to scripture in desperation
because they said we don’t have your size
in the store but we can order it online,
a secret package with contraband goods,
and I tried to crawl back into the dated canvas
of Impressionist paintings locked in stone
buildings, seeking comfort in the oiled
arms of women bathing in streams and
sunning themselves in open fields, but
found the frames broken and the figures
fled, and all that remained was a bottle
of text, inscribed with the declaration
that my body is a sin, a spawn of history
faded by varnish, that it should be reduced
pound by pound in the name of mercy
because Eve did not wear a size 16,
and that Eden does not have room
for plus-size women who are greedy
to take up space in an infinite garden.
I turned to the fatty foundations of my ancient
temple and burned it down, and began to build
a new haven made of diet pills, caffeine
headaches, and detox powders,
I opened my arms to the brethren of the BMI
and the sacred priests of the scale that stormed
the soft doors and proclaimed that there are
demons with sugar-spun claws that are holding
my smaller soul hostage, that I must banish
these creatures, burn the disciples who clutch
onto the false God of fat and stone them,
cleanse my altar and extinguish the radical
fires ignited by false prophets of self-love.
They wailed that my body is not holy
until I purge these evils from my flesh.
When I held the diet pills aloft
and kneeled, my knees were cushioned
by starved salvation and by porcelain
protection, and I heard a hallelujah
in the chorus of weight loss challenges,
and I carved from the sacred text the letters
XS into my skin.

I vowed that I would become a devout
practitioner of counting calories and pray
to the icon of a beach body, that I will
believe in a higher power of green-tea
supplements that will exorcize the hedonists
hiding in my pockets of fat, that even when
the deities of diet pills remained silent
and would not grant me the salvation
I was promised, I would behead
the betrayers, one by one until
there was nothing left but bodies
rotting in the Entrance, and the sharp
pang of glory in my empty temple.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

House, Garden, Madness by Cate Marvin - Sweet Potato Soufflé Recipe

House, Garden, Madness
By Cate Marvin

Meeting his mouth made it so I had house again.
I called him garden and drew him so, grew
his long lashes like grasses so I could comb
them with my stare. Some evenings a low cloud
would arrive, hang its anxiety over the yard.

Having his mouth at mine again gave me back
home. The walls painted themselves blue
flowers grew larger than my head, stared
at me with wide eyes through the windows.
I was surrounded. A cloud stretched gray arms.

His mouth and mine again built something back
up with heat. The house was home again, wherever
I lived. The flowers grew fat, fed on weeds
around them. Ladybugs tucked their red luck
beneath petals' chins. The cloud came home again.

His eyes were closed but mine kept swinging open.
I saw him in the garden, surrounded by its light.
The flowers cut their own stalks, handed themselves
over to him in bunches. He kissed their bouquets,
and petals raptured. A cloud lowered, dark with fury.

I pressed my mouth to palm, closed my eyes
to find the garden, then saw: window shut in fright,
roots drowned, flower stalks broken, their heads dead
in puddles. Startled, I looked around. The cloud
descended, prepared to hemorrhage in my arms.

From: "Poetry Daily", page 173
first published in The Paris Review, no. 158, Spring, Summer 2001
also from "World's Tallest Disaster" by Cate Marvin


Madness is highly underrated.

I'd like to share my favorite, most requested Thanksgiving recipe passed down to me by my Mama.  As most Southern cooks do, I add or subtract spices to suit my taste.  (We're the best cooks in the world down here in Swamp country.) It tastes like a dessert, but it's a yummy side dish, best served with deep fried turkey, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, homemade rolls and green bean casserole.  Oh, and don't forget the cranberry sauce.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with love, family and friends.  Ray & I are alone this year, sadly... :-(

Love & Blessings to you all,



Mama's Sweet Potato Soufflé

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I used canned yams, but you can use fresh)
1 cup sugar (or Splenda, a sugar substitute)
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon  (you can also add nutmeg if you like)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (my secret ingredient)
½ cup butter, melted

Mix the above ingredients well using hand mixer and pour into oven-safe casserole dish.

TOPPING:  (mix in separate bowl)

1 cup packed brown sugar (or Splenda Brown Sugar)
1/3 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/3 cup butter

Melt butter in mircrowave.  Mix all topping ingredients together with a fork. It will be crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over top of casserole mixture. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown on top.  Enjoy!!!


"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." ~H.U. Westermayer


For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence." ~Erma Bombeck


"O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness."  ~William Shakespeare


Indigo Dreams by Marion

Indigo Dreams

By Marion Lawless

Purple Kale
Purple glass
                                   Indigo book---
                                   Indigo kitchen stools---
                                   Indigo mystery.

I drank Purple Russian Kale
in my plastic purple glass
and it transmogrified into
a misty, holy, Russian Mass
in a huge psychedelic cathedral with
melting stained glass windows.


Modigliani was a poet;
his medium was paint on canvas.
He loved long-necked women
and Absinthe---green liquor
that took him to dream worlds---

Dearest poet, I love you the way 
purple loves the elusive indigo,
the way paint lusts for canvas and
the way words and ink crave paper...
the way my fingers love
the feel of dirt as I plant
eggplants and tomatoes.
I dream of touching your skin
the way sunlight caresses
the tips of the trees...

I think of your dark, long hair
tangled in a soft morning breeze,
your face upturned as words
come to you---pure & unfiltered.

I wake, 
eager to read them.

Marion L.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

I Envy My Dolls

Inga Rose from Moscow, Russia

By. Charles Wright

The brief secrets are still here,
and the light has come back.
The word remember touches my hand,
But I shake it off and watch the turkey buzzards bank and wheel
Against the occluded sky.
All of the little names sink down,
weighted with what is invisible,
But no one will utter them, no one will smooth their rumpled hair. 
There isn’t much time, in any case.
There isn’t much left to talk about
as the year deflates.
There isn’t a lot to add.
Road-worn, December-colored, they cluster like unattractive angels
Wherever a thing appears,
Crisp and unspoken, unspeakable
in their mute and glittering garb.
All afternoon the clouds have been sliding toward us
out of the
Blue Ridge.
All afternoon the leaves have scuttled
Across the sidewalk and driveway, clicking their clattery claws.
And now the evening is over us,
Small slices of silence
running under a dark rain,
Wrapped in a larger.

My dissolving, brittle skeleton,
a pain-filled coat rack
for decaying flesh.
I envy my plastic dolls. ~Marion, 11/6/2019


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Louisiana Autumn, October Lullaby by Marion

My found rock with a message from the Universe for me.

Bleeding Heart Flowers

Louisiana Autumn
October Lullaby

A few brown,
desiccated, falling leaves---
lush, fragrant Lavender 
and feathery Yarrow yet
reaching skyward.

Endings woven
into Beginnings
and Circles breeding

Moonflower seed pods
heavily pregnant with
next year's blooms.
Two hundred seeds
lying on my windowsill:
bountiful, generous

Beginnings woven 
into Endings
and Death breeding
Life.  Imagine!

Only the occasional Hummingbird
now at the almost empty,
red plastic feeders
rocking in the
80 degree breeze.
Such tiny enigmas,
on sugar water and
insects...headed further

...and not surprisingly---
the only flowers 
yet still blooming
are the luscious
red-centered, sadly drooping
clusters of seemingly pulsing,


Monday, October 28, 2019

Leaves Compared With Flowers by Robert Frost

I love the red veins in this dying leaf.

My first(!) rare blue Moonflower with Godlight shining, a highlight of this year.

Leaves Compared With Flowers
By Robert Frost

A tree's leaves may be ever so good,
So may its bark, so may its wood;
But unless you put the right thing to its root
It never will show much flower or fruit.

But I may be one who does not care
Ever to have tree bloom or bear.
Leaves for smooth and bark for rough,
Leaves and bark may be tree enough.

Some giant trees have bloom so small
They might as well have none at all.
Late in life I have come on fern.
Now lichens are due to have their turn.

I bade men tell me which in brief,
Which is fairer, flower or leaf.
They did not have the wit to say,
Leaves by night and flowers by day.

Leaves and bark, leaves and bark,
To lean against and hear in the dark.
Petals I may have once pursued.
Leaves are all my darker mood.


And who doesn't love Robert Frost?  We’re supposed to get our first frost at the end of next week.  October, where did you go?  

Love & Blessings,


"If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees." ~Hal Borland

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Addict by Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton at her writing desk

The Addict 
by Anne Sexton

with capsules in my palms each night,
eight at a time from sweet pharmaceutical bottles
I make arrangements for a pint-sized journey.
I'm the queen of this condition.
I'm an expert on making the trip
and now they say I'm an addict.
Now they ask why.

Don't they know that I promised to die!
I'm keeping in practice.
I'm merely staying in shape.
The pills are a mother, but better,
every color and as good as sour balls.
I'm on a diet from death.

Yes, I admit
it has gotten to be a bit of a habit-
blows eight at a time, socked in the eye,
hauled away by the pink, the orange,
the green and the white goodnights.
I'm becoming something of a chemical
that's it!

My supply
of tablets
has got to last for years and years.
I like them more than I like me.
It's a kind of marriage.
It's a kind of war where I plant bombs inside
of myself.

I try
to kill myself in small amounts,
an innocuous occupation.

Actually I'm hung up on it.
But remember I don't make too much noise.
And frankly no one has to lug me out
and I don't stand there in my winding sheet.
I'm a little buttercup in my yellow nightie
eating my eight loaves in a row
and in a certain order as in
the laying on of hands
or the black sacrament.

It's a ceremony
but like any other sport
it's full of rules.

It's like a musical tennis match where
my mouth keeps catching the ball.
Then I lie on; my altar
elevated by the eight chemical kisses.
What a lay me down this is
with two pink, two orange,
two green, two white goodnights.
Now I'm borrowed.
Now I'm numb.


“The whole notion of pain, and how every individual experiences pain, is up for debate. We don't know how another person experiences pain - physical pain or psychic pain. Some of these clinics where assisted suicide or euthanasia is practiced, they call it 'weariness of life.'”

Sunday, October 13, 2019

I Am the Highway by Audioslave

What a magnificent Autumn Full Moon!  Wow!  Just...WoW! xo, Marion


“But even when the moon looks like it's waning...it's actually never changing shape. Don't ever forget that.” 
― Ai Yazawa, Nana, Vol. 14



Pearls and swine bereft of me
Long and weary my road has been
I was lost in the cities
Alone in the hills
No sorrow or pity for the leaving I feel

I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the sky

Friends and liars don't wait for me
I'll get on all by myself
I put millions of miles
Under my heels
And still too close to you
I feel

I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the sky

I am not your blowing wind
I am the lightening
I am not your autumn moon
I am the night
Source: Musixmatch

Friday, October 11, 2019

So Tired...

Getting old is exhausting...

My daughter, Sarah, and my smart, gorgeous granddaughter, Mary Mace, who is 15.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Way Maker - God

The Pentecostals Of Alexandria, Louisiana 

Isaiah 43:16 - 19 

Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;
17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.
18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 


Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are
Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are
You are here
Touching every heart
I worship you
Meeting every need
I worship you
I worship you...

Songwriters: Osinachi Okoro


I am fortunate to know God, to have experienced His Love, miracles, healing and Light.  In my darkest hours, Jesus came to me, spoke to me through His Word, His people and His beautiful Spirit.  I’ve been cared for spiritually, materially and physically by God.  He has met my needs, healed my body and mind and kept my heart beating.  When I was poorest materially, I was richest spiritually because I depended on God for everything.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Aren’t We Strange? By Marion

Aren’t we strange
little creatures?

We live; we die.
It happens that fast,
like a semicolon’s pause...

Estranged family, former friends,
& neighbors who never spoke to you
gather in an ornate funeral parlor
with sparkling chandeliers,
thick, soft, neutral carpet, and
black suited, paid employees. 
Soft, morbid music is piped in...
Soon-to-be-dead flowers 
are covering the fancy,
expensive, satin-lined coffin
in which your corpse is stuffed
wearing clothing, well, you would
never be caught dead in.

Why dress up corpses?

Put them in comfortable clothes!!!

Why are these people here?

To celebrate your life??

You’re dead.  You don’t know
who’s at this gathering of gawkers.

Why, when you were alive, didn’t 
they tell you of their love, friendship
and caring concern...and give you living flowers,
red Rose bushes & Blueberry plants?
Or apologize for the ugly scars
they inflicted on your tender
body, soul and spirit?

Why didn’t they speak
of their love for you or
once say sincerely:  “Are you hurting?”
Or, “I’m sorry you are in pain.”
“What can I do for you?”
So few words holding such power—-
To the living, of course.

Have mercy, breathing people
with wildly beating hearts—-
Make peace with your loved ones
while they are still alive!
They will not see you or your 
crocodile tears once they are
forever in that box,
buried in the 
cold, hard,
eternally silent, 
unforgiving earth.


PSALM 69:29 (ESV) 

But I am afflicted and in pain;
    let your salvation, O God, set me on high!