Monday, March 25, 2019

The Dolls by John Ciardi

Miss Tee-Joy

Sunny, Tee-Joy’s sister. 

There’s a world of collectors of these unique, beautiful, mesmerizing Blythe dolls.  These two sisters, Tee-Joy and Sunny, were made by a doll customizing artist in Detroit.  My non-customized dolls all come from one place:  The Junie Moon Shop in Tokyo, Japan.  They’re not sold anywhere else except EBay.  A fun, interesting hobby.

The Dolls

Night after night forever the dolls lay stiff
by the children’s dreams. On the goose-feathers of the rich,
on the straw of the poor, on the gypsy ground—
wherever the children slept, dolls have been found
in the subsoil of the small loves stirred again
by the Finders After Everything. Down lay
the children by their hanks and twists. Night after night
grew over imagination. The fuzzies shed, the bright
buttons fell out of the heads, arms ripped, and down
through goose-feathers, straw; and the gypsy ground
the dolls sank, and some—the fuzziest and most loved
changed back to string and dust, and the dust moved
dream-puffs round the Finders’ boots as they dug,
sieved, brushed, and came on a little clay dog,
and a little stone man, and a little bone girl, that had kept
their eyes wide open forever, while all the children slept.

John Ciardi, “The Dolls” from In the Stoneworks (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1961)

Monday, March 11, 2019

March, Winter’s Death Mask by Marion

Winter Snow, 2015


March, Winter’s Death Mask
By Marion Lawless

The spindly, naked trees are gently swaying—
one warm day, a row of tiny
leaves appear, marching up the branches,
specks of green from dead-looking, dry limbs,
like baby grasshoppers walking slowly in file.

Cold returns for a bleak few weeks,
knocking on the doors and windows, trees bowing in respect,
the jade leaves clinging as if glued to each branch.
Cold rain beating the new emerald-hued grass
sheets of ice, clear, like bits of tiny broken glass
fighting to stay much longer, in spite of time passing,
the sunshine gently molding mud, 
an annual mystical task...preparing

Winter’s death mask.


Friday, March 8, 2019

A Blessing by Denise Levertov

A Blessing
By Denise Levertov

'Your river is in full flood,' she said,
'Work on---use these weeks well!'
She was leaving, with springy step, a woman
herself renewed, her life risen
up from the root of despair she'd
bent low to touch,
risen empowered. Her work now
could embrace more; she imagined anew
the man's totem tree and its taproot,
the woman's chosen lichen, patiently
composting rock, another's
needful swamp, the tribal migrations---
swaying skeins rotating their leaders,
pace unflagging---and the need
of each threatened thing
to be. She had met
with the council
of all beings.

'You give me
my life,' she said to the just-written poems,
long-legged foals surprised to be standing.

The poet waving farewell
is not so sure of the river.
Is it indeed
strong-flowing, generous? Was there largesse
for alluvial, black, seed-hungry fields?
Or had a flash-flood
swept down these tokens
to be plucked ashore, rescued
only to watch the waters recede
from stones of an arid variety?

But the traveler's words
are leaven. They work in the poet.
The river swiftly
goes on braiding its heavy tresses,
brown and flashing,
as far as the eye can see.

From: "Breathing the Water" by Denise Levertov, pages 6 - 7

"Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the poet spends his life patiently trying to untie." ~Jean Cocteau

"Poets are like magicians, searching for magical phrases to pull rabbits out of people's souls." ~Glade Byron Addams

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Carpe noctem

Carpe noctem

To those anonymous cowards leaving crude, nasty comments:  I screen my comments so no one is reading your vile, racist, socialist, anti-conservative vomit, but me.  Please stop. Get a life.  I will never mention y’all again.  

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Clear Night by Charles Wright

A beautiful painting by my 14 year old artist/granddaughter, Mary Mace. 

By Charles Wright

Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky. 
Moon-fingers lay down their same routine 
On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys. 
Bird hush and bird song. A cassia flower falls. 

I want to be bruised by God. 
I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out. 
I want to be stretched, like music wrung from a dropped seed.   
I want to be entered and picked clean. 

And the wind says “What?” to me. 
And the castor beans, with their little earrings of death, say “What?” to me. 
And the stars start out on their cold slide through the dark.   
And the gears notch and the engines wheel.

Charles Wright, “Clear Night” from Country Music: Selected Early Poems


“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring