Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall's Arrival

Today Summer was waning and Fall made it's appearance
there is always one day, one day when you know a season has passed
and another is here
In the Spring it's always the day when you can go out without a coat
and just by chance a crocus will bloom
and you know you won't face another morning of frost
another night of whistling winter winds
not for awhile,
not for a few months,
not tomorrow

Today someone who loves me read me a poem I wrote years ago
that I couldn't remember writing and even though it made him sad
he shared it with me and for a few moments
we lived as Uncle Walt trying to find meaning in the trees
looking for the one leaf that will convince me fall is here
and summer was gone
I wanted to hold off frost for just a few more weeks
hoping that more of the morning glories would bloom because
I think they have become my new favorite flower
they teach me patience
and I will need that patience when the earth is covered in snow
when Superman will look briefly for the green mermaid
when the summer bugs stop singing me to sleep

Oh Emily let the winged creatures you loved teach me about hope
let them land on my sill and share with me the secrets they keep
and I will push fall and winter aside and plan the Spring garden
I will be fearless
I will paint more
I will wrap myself in that cloak of hope and truly believe
I will believe in summers that last forever
for gardens blooming under winter snows
I will believe in sweet men who read poetry to women who cherish them
and of course that the morning glories will bloom just another few weeks.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fireflies In A Jar

He tells me that in the next life we will find the other sooner in life
we will live by the sea in a house full of books and paintings
and of course a cat with six toes
and when we grow weary of love as lovers often do
I will remind him how long it took to know us
the last time around and I'll dye my hair red
and learn to cook souffle
and we can eat it in a hammock
under an azure sky full of clouds
that look like circus animals

I won't get jealous when women admire your sweet smile
and you'll agree I should travel to meet the poets
and miss me until I return
and we'll meet at the Cafe Du Mond drinking coffee
because the first time I saw you, you were drinking coffee
and I fell like an autumn leaf sailing
happily to it's demise
only to be reborn under an autumn sky
wrapped in the love of the harvest moon
shining in the blue of your eye

I will keep a jar at our bedside table
where I an capture that noise you make right before
the sigh that whispers to me you'll let go
and give up your rib all over again
and when we are old the together kind of old
and on a park bench near the Seine and you ask me
why I have loved you through two lifetimes
because it will take me that long to convince you
we have loved before and will again
I will pull the jar from my bag
the jar that looks as though it holds a thousand fireflies
and open it to play
the sweetest battle cry of desire, a symphony of nights
in foreign hotels, in our room by the sea, in the hammock in our garden
and even the hotel in Paris

and I will tell you that you fill my head with music
that even after two lifetimes my heart beats faster when you are close
that you push away the wallow of sadness I tend to swim in
and you'll ask me what you ask me over and over
so I'll never wonder
and I'll ask you back
was there Spring before I loved you?
Do you really think of me when you put on your socks?
Is it forever thine, forever mine
not a day less
because I'd miss you so
just you and I on the river and a jar of fireflies
planning for the next time

Saturday, September 17, 2011

She's the Moon

I was missing my mother all day today as I fiddled around with the idea of fall closing in and putting away some of the garden. Another year turns and I don't miss them any less, those that aren't here anymore. So, I went to find Peter Gabriel and he kept me company while I hung the Halloween witch from a tree and fashioned the giant spider on the side of the house as a Saturday spins by.

I am my mother's only one
It's enough

I wear my garment so it shows
Now you know

Only love is all maroon
Gluey feathers on a Flume
Sky is womb and she's the moon

I am my mother on the wall, with us all
I move in water, shore to shore;
[ Flume lyrics from ] Nothing's more

Only love is all maroon
Lapping lakes like leary loons
Leaving rope burns --
Reddish ruse

Only love is all maroon
Gluey feathers on a flume
Sky is womb and she's the moon

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Monarch's Wing

The arrival of the Monarch holds us
in the reverence of God's design
and as we are an audience to his beauty
we are reminded that nature is the inspiration
for all art and God's Apollonian winged ornament
tempts man's torment his want to pluck apart
anything more beautiful than himself
He is brave he is Mercury taking flight
feeding from and nurturing flowers
like the buzzing bee
and as I am an instrument of God I stand here
gentle reader as his shield and in telling you of his beauty,
his sword
beauty can after all cause such want, such need and eventually
such pain

Then there is the tiger pacing in his diminutive cage
man's opportunity to humble such a fierce creature
and they will poke him, this pacing calculated feral animal
who would if left free tear the spectators limb from limb
and with a glance can strike fear even in those who carry guns
some creatures after all believe they can conquer anything
they are born with that inherent belief that they are Zeus
they are of the mighty Gods just walking around us as though
we are furniture
and for their restraint we put them in a cage
trying to capture what we aren't trying to reign in fire
trying to push back the ocean bucket by bucket of disdain
and of course fear

And as we are reminded we are all human
why is it that we take the best of us and try to dismantle them?
pluck their wings
make them into Godlike creatures, make their presence almost unattainable
with doubt and speculation
take for example man, a man among the Gods
a man that teaches, that guides us that would be a prophet of sorts
in an age where prophets no longer exist
and in a moment mans design to be whom he is
he steals a kiss, a simple kiss
we would destroy him, we would take away all he is
make him humble, remove from him what is who he is
just to remind us that he is of us, human
and rather than celebrate the piece of him that was God
we would dress him in shame and pull his wings
cage his soul
poke at him with sharp sticks and tell ourselves we are better for it
such is life
such is love
such is man

I can't think of a better thing to do on the anniversary of 9/11 than listen to Ani DeFranco, she is after all a singing patriot. I love this one:

she says forget what you have to do
pretend there is nothing
outside this room
and like an idea she came to me
but she came too late
or maybe too soon
I said please try not to love me
close your eyes, I'm turning on the light
you know I have no vacancy
and it's awfully cold outside tonight

the rain stains the brick a darker red
slowly I'm rolling out of her bed
the rain stains the streets a darker black
I dress my face in stone
because I can't go back

I feel her eyes watching me
from behind the curtain of her hair
and she says I'm sorry
I didn't mean to stare
I say I think I really have to go now
but oh baby, maybe someday
maybe somehow.


Ten years ago I was looking for Best Friend because the Sears Tower seemed such a prime target and I just wanted her close. We waited for Richie to get out of school watching in terror (isn't that what they wanted?) as the city I found myself, the city I love so much go up in flame. New Yorkers would help anyone, that have that kind spirit, that beautiful soul that is unique to New York. So, the three of us held out for a few days, playing dominoes, watching TV when we could, making plans. I think the truly shocking part is that this sort of thing didn't happen here. We were given a window of what it was like to live in Israel and at any moment we get on a bus, we lose everything, everyone we love. Why doesn't it happen here? because you see we live in a place of brave men, men who don't let insane zealots and social misfits light women on fire, refuse to educate their daughters and burn things just to watch it burn. We have brave men here who fight, who write, who do what they do unafraid, bold and for the safety and peace of mind of us all. So rather than dwell on the horrible of the world, I think I will spend the day thinking about the joy of those brave men and how lucky we all are they love us.

A fine addition to any ipod:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Langston Hughes

The Death of the Bookstore

One of my favorite things to do is to peruse the bookstore with my Best Friend. We linger there for hours. I always order some coffee thing and she, iced tea and she will always ask me to share and then remind me why she hates coffee. "Tastes like dirt." will always be her reaction. They are all closing those giant mega mall of books. The days of sipping latte and reading a book you wont indulge in at home because $30 for a book you will just read parts of seems obscene are coming to an end, the end of an era. It's not just books, cds are obsolete with the invention of an ipod, with YouTube, with electronics changing our lives, making us just a little less social. I went to look for a Langston Hughes book of prose this morning and I found it on Amazon for $1, explains why borders would struggle to sell the same book for $15.

And while I do love my kindle, I also love the romance of a book. All my books have little notes on the pages, on the inside cover, little pieces of poems, something I was thinking at the time. And I save them, those worn books, the books I've read too many times to count. When I am feeling melancholy about life I want my old friend Pat Conroy to be on my bookshelf so I can read of men who wish for two lives. I have more Bukowski books than anyone should be allowed to own and depending on my moon I want to read his take on women, or shack jobs, or reading Tolstoy while working in the Los Angeles public library as a janitor. I want him at the end of my finger tips and to feel the pages beneath my fingers and my eyes, it's just comforting. Having those old books close is comforting like having church on Sunday morning and coming home to the scrambled eggs and black currant tea. It's comforting like old photo albums and calling my Best Friend to see what she is reading which I will do in a few moments.

As for the Langston Hughes poem I was looking for?

Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
He did a lazy sway . . .
He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man's soul.
O Blues!
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan--
"Ain't got nobody in all this world,
Ain't got nobody but ma self.
I's gwine to quit ma frownin'
And put ma troubles on the shelf."

Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more--
"I got the Weary Blues
And I can't be satisfied.
Got the Weary Blues
And can't be satisfied--
I ain't happy no mo'
And I wish that I had died."
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
The stars went out and so did the moon.
The singer stopped playing and went to bed
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
He slept like a rock or a man that's dead.


That poem is so beautiful it is a work of art, it's a song, it's pure art. Hughes was related to the first black man to ever hold a public office. You can find his prose of I wonder as I wander at Amazon for $1. I purchased a copy today and will be here soon. I like the idea of wandering with him a little during an autumn afternoon while leaves are flying, so I am preparing for that.

Here's a little taste of the joy of his work:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

In The Rain

Being caught in the rain as a child is a rarity
you aren't allowed to play in the rain
and when I was wandering home and caught a rain storm
I would walk very slowly in watery dreamland

This summer afternoon was covered in rain
a honey dripping August afternoon
and as I was out walking when I turned the corner
there he was
it wasn't Yeats' glimmering girl
it was my shinning boy
his eyes gleaming in the rain
his hair plastered to the sides of his head
his shoes full of water
and that sweet smile that puts women at ease

"Is it five?" he asked
I whispered "Not yet."
and with that he pulled me under a tree
fashioned into an umbrella
and there we whispered the things lovers do
we were the bathing sparrows
drip dropping into fall

Lovers have an umbilical each to each
to nourish their souls and that cord is twisted
and snapped by life's every day this and that;
the moving of the world, the pursuit of our passions
other than the flesh
and on the days that are good
the soft peach days of summer passing into fall
you are certain that you are always taking more than you give
when the conversation is finished like a storm
and everything feels clean
and smells like linens hanging to dry

Those lovers, these lovers pause for just a moment
in the rain
and begin again to want for "hello baby"
and under the tree with the drip drip dripping
of nature singing to us he sat with me and we begged
time to move slower
like when we were children and the summer afternoons seems to last forever
when we held time in our pocket
next to the compass that led us to that place no one knew of
where we shared childhood thoughts of nothing ordinary

I'd like to find that secret tomb and find that unafraid girl
the girl who never looked before crossing
who never crawled
and share her with you
When I tell you of my life there
I will tell you that no one ever told me they loved me in the rain
their shoes full of water
no one ever told me they loved me in the rain
before today
a day like this can change your life
God teaches us that love changes everything
He has changed my heart
he of reasoning and science and romance
I had to ask
"Why are you out in the rain?"

"I was looking for you." he said
and then went on to explain we are born in the water
like the fish
when I am full of emotion, caught in the moment
my eyes are always covered in tears
the rain of my soul
and when he is on top of me moving
that intimate friction will turn to rain
until his skin is fused with mine
and we are one
one soul in two parts, two orbits, two lovers
twisting and holding and pushing one against the other
and both into God and out again

Nobody ever told me they loved me in the rain
you can't buy it or wrap it
you can only sing it or make it into a poem
and hope that long after you are gone someone finds it
and sings it for you
the song of two lovers who find the other in a twirling universe of stars
and who find the other again and again because without the other
life goes on but together there is an undeniable magic
that changes the world
the same love magic that teaches the sun to shine
that fill plants with foods for the harvest
that teach the ants to march
and birds to fly
it's the restrained strength when he holds me down
and and I could stay there forever and listen to his breathing
and the rain
listening to the water wash the dust from the world
and my heart

This is truly lovely:

It's hard to listen to a hard hard heart
Beating close to mine
Pounding up against the stone and steel
Walls that I won't climb
Sometimes a hurt is so deep deep deep
You think that you're gonna drown
Sometimes all I can do is weep weep weep
With all this rain falling down

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
But I'm holding on underneath this shroud

It's hard to know when to give up the fight
Some things you want will just never be right
It's never rained like it has tonight before
Now I don't wanna beg you baby
For something maybe you could never give
I'm not looking for the rest of your life
I just want another chance to live

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
But I'm holding on underneath this shroud

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
But I'm holding on underneath this shroud

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
But I'm still alive underneath this shroud
Oh Rain
Oh Rain

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

And the butterflies began to sing

The painting is the work of Surrealist painter Max Ernst. He's best known for his collage pieces, taking parts of 19th century works and creating something new entirely. He was a thinker and never led anyone too close to why he did anything leaving the work up to one's imagination. I found him recently in a book I wasreading and the caption under the painting read:

And the butterflies began to sing

The scientists don't really know why moths are irresistibly attracted to light, and they remark lamely that the insect's response "suggests that it has some biological meaning for these animals." But at least they now know that moths migrating at night can navigate by the moon and if there is no moon, by the stars. Pliny had some very curious and obscure reflections on the subject:

The month that is seen fluttering about the flame of a lamp is generally reckoned in the number of noxious medicaments; it's bad effects are neutralized by the agency of goat's liver.

And I found this which is amazingly wonderful:

Set yourself an hour at least when you start reading her blog you won't be able to stop, fascinating woman.

The whole concept of the moths flying around the flame is dangerously exciting. Langston Hughes knew the power of the attraction of flame:

The gold moth did not love him
So, gorgeous, she flew away.
But the gray moth circled the flame
Until the break of day.
And then, with wings like a dead desire,
She fell, fire-caught, into the flame.

And my contribution to the ever burning desire of moths and flames and love and the ending of summer the preparation of what is frozen and ungiving and what will seen in February unending...

Summer is dwindling and soon the summer bugs will be quieted with a blanket of dead leaves and I will miss them
When the temperatures are too cool I will look for their blazing glory the moths
circling the lamp's light
as they teach us how to love how to let go of the intellectual fight
to give in to the dance
to turn our face to the light
and resist what we know is true of love
of the attraction that turns a passing fancy to the clutches of want
to just let the flame touch you a little
as you brush shoulders
to absorb the warmth to believe it was only burning for you
for this very moment
burning brightly for a hundred years hoping you would find him here
and that you'd have the strength to let go
flying a little closer
the dance would make you dizzy even drunk with desire
and ordinary complications of life left
drowning in the mire their voices barely audible
under your laugh
under your sigh
beneath the clicking of your thinking tongue
that beautiful instrument of fire

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Crescent Moon

Tonight the crescent moon hung in the summer sky
the dangling moon the hopeless moon of late July
You and I yes you and I
You were with me and it was just you and I

Bedouin women sit under that moon
marking days by it's glowing dance
until one day blends into another
then she disappears in the sand
being part of the landscape forever

And she is with us because we share the light
shooting down at us one hundred and eight six thousand miles a second
putting a glow on your face
that makes your blue eye seem an ocean
and your shoulders a trellis for me to cling to in the night air

When you are away we share the moon
I dance in it's light
and look for you
conjure you in a prayer keep you close to me
hear your laugh like thunder in the approaching storm

The summer bugs are out to sing and little fireflies on the wing
If this be just a summer crush
crush me hard and crush me slow
stay with me until the hanging moon
the glowing crescent almost ring
is full again welcoming the harvest
a thousand years from now
when other lovers will sit right here
in this very spot
and he will be her trellis heart

and we will be other people in another place
and the only thing that will be the same
is a warm summer evening the position of the moon
the promise of your blue eye
the forever love of a heart sick girl
and this passionate embrace

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Long Summer Days

When we were children and the summer days were long
my father would take us fishing
and near the water I'd spread out a blanket
and listen to Elton John on the radio
and watch for lady bugs in the grass
and he would tell us to enjoy these days
because all too soon they would pass

It was by no means a perfect life
but watching my brother cast like my father
knowing my mother would pack the perfect lunch
knowing she put work aside on a Sunday afternoon
made our life seem almost perfect
and she would tell us to drink the sun
as we'd have to leave soon

There was a Sunday when it rained and rained
and we had a picnic in the back of the car
the blanket spread out under us
and it was an adventure, the grandest of adventures
the fierce warrior taught us to play a card game
that required four people to play
and he told us when we were older we'd remember this day

and if I am still I can hear my mother humming
a neil diamond song and when she looked at him
he was the only man that ever existed
she will always be young and beautiful
and even when she was sad she a tragic beauty
she held the world at a safe distance
and before she could show the world who she was she was gone
and life marches on and on

On summer days like today when the sun is out longer than it's dark
when the fireflies come out at night to play
the dreaded fireflies who would mark our bed time
when the summer bugs get loud I think of them
and hope that maybe heaven will be the place where all those memories
are played out over and over so we can relive all the little details
that made those days magic
and like the miracle that puts the sun and the moon in the sky
at the same time
when night is day and day is night
they will be there too
and my brother and I can tell them of all the times
we laughed in quiet moments
what one of us couldn't remember
the other held on to like a sword and a shield
and indeed she was right
one day it would be the two of us
and it would be just fine


Morning Glories don't bloom when the plant is two inches tall
they take their time climbing up something strong
something that commands the wind and brings it closer to the sun
and in each tendril there is a hidden leaf
another inch of life another twist and turn
and it can't be forced it just has to come along
but then one day when you least expect it
when there are no buds you are anticipating
no trumpet sound
just one day when you glance over
there will be a bloom so beautiful
it will make you stop and just enjoy it
and that bloom won't last forever
love doesn't last forever either
so there is no crime in lingering there
enjoying it for one more second
holding on
and even wishing for the watch boiling pot of nature
to move faster
no hopeful soul was ever convicted for wanting
who would condemn me for wishing your kiss never ends
who would point a finger at a girl, this girl even
for wanting summer to never end
for you to never stop loving me
for just one morning glory to bloom?

Do you mind?

Do you mind if I ask you a question
Do you mind if I swear not to hurt you
Do you mind if I don't piss on your bed

Do you mind if I bring her still with me
Do you mind if I forget and thank you
Do you mind if I juggle the meaning

Do you care that I wear only silver
Do you care that set only stone
Are you angry the you I'm adopting
Is only a pretense at home

Do you mind if I make you wear earrings
Like she did, like you did before
Do you mind for I think I still love you
Do you mind
Always have
Evermore If you post that in your brower and listen all the way to the end, you get it.

Sometimes you have to look for the hidden secret, the tiny meaning nobody else would get, the idea that you share with someone who has a commonality of spirit. Secrets are only valid if they are kept, that way they can't hurt a soul and sharing a secret can forge a friendship like no other.

Every time I watch it I laugh and I don't like cartoons, just ask my nieces and nephews.

Best Friend tells me to be patient that quite often what we want is like watching morning glories bloom, they seem to take forever. I watch them tendril up the trellises I put up for them in the garden and I wait and wait, watering them, loving them, hoping against all hope I can see the blues and purples. The days when I am frustrated and wanting and wanting and wanting I just say a little prayer, not to get what I want but to have the patience to wait for what I need.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I love the way you Speak to Me

Falling Garden In Venice

The Falling Garden in Venice in 2003 inspired some art project in my head and I knew I wanted a few large tree branches but wasn't sure I wanted to brave the heat to go find a few, the next day we have a horrible storm and it blows down half a tree in the yard. Be careful what you ask for, you never know who is listening.

The Way You Speak To Me

I wandered into a church like any other Sunday
there's a storm brewing
the air has been thick and hot for days
and finally the coolness washes the earth
and over the voices singing
you could hear the thunder carrying the rain
and under the whispered prayer,
the rejoicing song
above mother nature's fury
I could hear a voice ask me
"Why are you here?"
my heart answered back not waiting for me
to formulate a thought
"Because I Love the way you whisper to me"

When I am playing the violin
and I pull the bow over the strings
I can't even believe the music comes from my hands
it feels as though the violin would move without me
and I am just a spectator of the song
that the earth is singing in most any object
and to touch it, to make it your own
will create music and that music could change the world
or just the heart of a wonky girl
in those moments when I a hear the music
whispering to me
it will ask of me "Why do you need this music?"
and lost in the notes
lost in the timing, hearing that metronome
trapping me in the rhythm
my only answer is "I love the way you sing to me"

I find myself in old bookstores,
all the pages stacked one on another
someone else having read the passages
and now those words are their own,
part of their being how they think of the world
and when reading Bukowski's edge
or Wolff's passion, Shakespeare's terror
I found a book of Conroy had written
I'd read a few times
and turned to my favorite passage
one of secrets and how they bear on a man's soul
and I could hear Conroy speak to me
asking me "Why do you read this over and over?"
and if he had been on the other side of the stack
if I could meet his eyes with mine
I would tell him he has taught me much of how men think
and how duty can dampen their souls
and before I left I'd tell him
"I love the way you read to me"

When I am standing in the drive way with no end
and I can see my Best Friend pulling away
when I am already missing her
when I am wishing it was a Monday, a Monday of nothing to do
but drive Lake Shore Drive
in the summer sun and watch her hair get wind blown
to such wild imagination that she will need a large
pin to hold it down
our skin a little sun burn
celebrating the years we didn't sleep
life was too exciting and we couldn't miss a minute
and even when we are apart we are as close as the next heart beat
because that's how life works when you love and love and love
when I have my arms around her and I say
"Call me from the train"
and walk away quickly as to avoid too much emotion
she always stop for a few moments and just waves
and when you are friends for so long
you never have to ask and I never have to say
"Because I love the way you play with me"

And when the day is done
when there are just a few minutes before you drift
and if you drift before me
well then I will be in charge
when I can smell your skin and
yes indeed you smell like summer rain
and your hand slides over my throat
When I am sure I couldn't love you any more than I already do
it would just be silly and impossible
you say something
"Yesterday was long without you"
for a moment I am exactly where I want to be
suspended in time
I can be weak for a few moments
I drop pretense over the side of the bed
and listen to it crash like a glass
your eyes ask me why I love you
and while I hold your head in my hands
reminding you I am just as strong as you
but different
I can feel the days of warm heavy air in my lungs
and the cold front moving over me
this storm between us that never seems to end
I whisper "Because you see, I love the way you speak to me"

The last entry is my favorite passage in any book.

A good interview with Conroy you can watch the entire interview on He's a stunning southern gentleman and I could watch him speak for hours.

You Look Like Rain

Heard this song years ago, actually it was softly whispered in my ear. There are some evenings you just don't forget.

More Morphine:

Let's take a trip together
Headlong into the irresistible orbit
Breathing the cold black space
With the glistening edges
Let's take a trip me and you
Let's go the scenic route
Get to finally (x3)
Get to know each other
Just to be alone (x2)
Just to be alone with thee
Somewhere there's no distracting breeze of information
Leaking through the windows dripping from the trees
Somewhere there's no earthquakes
Of other people's anxious questions
No nervous wrecks going down (x2)
Let's take a trip together
Headlong into the irresistible orbit

And how could it be summer without a sad song:

A Summer Poem

A Summer Shower
By Henry Timrod

Welcome, rain or tempest
From yon airy powers,
We have languished for them
Many sultry hours,
And earth is sick and wan, and pines with all her flowers.

What have they been doing
In the burning June?
Riding with the genii?
Visiting the moon?
Or sleeping on the ice amid an arctic noon?

Bring they with them jewels
From the sunset lands?
What are these they scatter
With such lavish hands?
There are no brighter gems in Raolconda’s sands.

Pattering on the gravel,
Dropping from the eaves,
Glancing in the grass, and
Tinkling on the leaves,
They flash the liquid pearls as flung from fairy sieves.

Meanwhile, unreluctant,
Earth like Danae lies;
Listen! is it fancy
That beneath us sighs,
As that warm lap receives the largesse of the skies?

Jove, it is, descendeth
In those crystal rills;
And this world-wide tremor
Is a pulse that thrills
To a god’s life infused through veins of velvet hills.

Wait, thou jealous sunshine,
Break not on their bliss;
Earth will blush in roses
Many a day for this,
And bend a brighter brow beneath thy burning kiss.

Source: The Collected Poems of Henry Timrod (1965)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Love Letters

HBO ran the John Adams series over the weekend and of course the romantic in me was truly taken by the letters Adams wrote to his wife and the letters she returned to him. This one was a favorite.

My Dearest Friend,

...should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.

I look back to the early days of our acquaintance and friendship as to the days of love and innocence, and, with an indescribable pleasure, I have seen near a score of years roll over our heads with an affection heightened and improved by time, nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my heart.

Abigail Adams to John Adams, her husband.
Abigail Adams

Their letters not only reflected this emotional and intellectual interdependence; they also became symbols of it. Abigail found writing to John “the composure of my mind.” John, even more strikingly, asked, “Is there no Way for two friendly Souls, to converse together, altho the Bodies are 400 Miles off?— Yes by Letter.— But I want a better Communication. I want to hear you think, or see your Thoughts. The Conclusion of your Letter makes my Heart throb, more than a Cannonade would. You bid me burn your Letters. But I must forget you first.”

A great book for summer reading romance and for people love history.

Miss Adorable

By the same Token that the Bearer hereof satt up with you last night I hereby order you to give him, as many Kisses, and as many Hours of your Company after 9 O'Clock as he shall please to Demand and charge them to my Account: This Order, or Requisition call it which you will is in Consideration of a similar order Upon Aurelia for the like favour, and I presume I have good Right to draw upon you for the Kisses as I have given two or three Millions at least, when one has been received, and of Consequence the Account between us is immensely in favour of yours,
John Adams
Octr. 4th. 1762

New Baby Photo

I've named him Buddha and he's the fuzziest of the new babies. He likes to sleep in the crook of my arm while I am reading and when his momma gets tired of his need to roam away from the crowd she brings him over and drops him at my feet for awhile. She has a built in babysitter.

That's Entertainment

I am tearing through novels this summer and just finished Little Bee which was a good read but didn't end quite as dramatic as I had hoped. Best Friend told me Water For Elephants would be a fast read and as usual she was right. I finished the book in two sittings over the weekend and as it was a quick read it was a good story also. I like the old circus images it created and because of those images still in my head I am working on a few circus projects. I am forwarding both books on to friends to share as I have so many books to finish I am tired of storing them and promised myself not to buy another book until I finish another twenty of the books I already have and have forwarded to someone else. I started Beyond Desire this morning, the book based on the life of Felix and Cecile Mendelssohn an old old book I found abandoned in some bookstore for $1 and the $64 Tomato, a book about the cost of making the perfect garden. I spend half of my life doing that and now in two gardens it's a little overwhelming at times. Last year I planted thirty tomato plants and this year only four. I can't take the pressure of what to do with all the tomatoes.

I also went to the movies this weekend to see Larry Crowne. After just spending some time with my 18 year-old niece I was astonished at the energy of 18 year-olds and their power of fun. This movie was as little slow but I think all summer movies are supposed to be a little slow and it was a testament to the power of a life gone awry and how to fix it. I laughed and ate too much popcorn. I can't remember the last time I went to the mall, a fascinating place that people actually pick to spend leisure time there simply amazes me.

French Cooking Made Easy

I made this peach raspberry blackberry blueberry tart in about 5 minutes of prep and a little over an hour of cooking time. It's summer perfect. You can find the uncooked pie crust (I like the pillsbury brand) put it on a cookie sheet and pile it high with two cans of peaches (drained), two handfulls of fresh raspberries, blueberries and a handfull of blackberries. I then topped it with a few pats of butter some some sugar mixed with cinnamon and baked it at 350 for a little over an hour until the edges are brown. It's the perfect summer treat that takes only minutes of prep time.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Celebrating Freedom

Just a note of thanks to everyone who fights to keep us safe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Project

I wanted to make a headboard and thought of the tufting idea, watched all kinds of home improvement shows not sure if I wanted it to extend it to the ceiling or keep it on a smaller scale and I finally figured it out when I found my new quilt. I pulled the colors from the quilt, painted some canvases and then did a little circle pattern in silver as the bed frame is stainless steel. I may paint butterflies or birds on them later but I love the simplicity, so I am not sure.

New Garden Photos

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Little Blessings

If you haven't had a little animal sleep in your house, it's time to take a trip to your local animal shelter and donate some food, cat litter, blankets, and dog and cat toys. If you ask, they will allow you to take a pregnant dog or cat home and let them deliver in your home where there aren't cages and where they can get better love and attention. Fostering animals, taking care of them while they are ill or in crisis can be quite rewarding and I am always about loving over the little animals of the world. I am still about feeding the bunnies in the yard. The babies are precious and if you go a step further and offer to find them a home you will take quite a burden off the system.

There are many ways to share who you are with the world and make others happier. You can volunteer a week or a month of time. Years ago Best Friend wandered into the Chicago Public Library and when looking for a book realized how many books were shelved because they didn't have a staff big enough to put them where they belong. She volunteered her time a few days a week shelving books and was just happy to be at the library. You can volunteer time reading to kids in the summer, teach an art class, find your way to a retirement home and offer to play chess with someone who would otherwise have a lonely summer day. Giving of yourself is the greatest reward really, it's something selfish, it's about sharing your heart and talents with people who are just waiting for that to happen.

Here's a CNN article about volunteering your time:

If you have summertime hours to kill maybe it's time to teach at Vacation Bible School or run a kid's carnival. I was at the party store the other day and they had home versions of all those great carnivals games really inexpensive. I can remember playing that silly duck game at the school's carnival every year and my brother and I loved it. I wish they had these when my son was little. He had a little plastic McDonald's center like a little kitchen, but all about the golden arches. I would go and purchase a bag full of hamburgers and watch him play with the neighborhood kids for hours and hours.

Monday, June 27, 2011


(The photo is from my garden)

I don't want to explain why I need his hands on me
My song is waiting for his honey bee goodness
and I just a simple filament waiting wanting
when he is close I will whisper "How do you know what I need?"
and he will respond as he does
"because I love you. I have loved you since God made flowers."
and the hovering is of such excitement
the electricity rivals that of the lightning strikes
the comfort almost like sleep
drifting away being pulled under and over
feeling the water fill your lungs
knowing he's never done anything he hasn't done well
this force of nature
wanting me dancing in the garden
where lovers dance
while rain fills the garden pots
Is that thunder or are the Gods playing Mozart
when we glide this way and that
and being one with him was just a matter of time
because his smile caught my eye
my laugh drew him near
then lost in the lovely way he speaks to me
I've waited my whole life for him to speak me
to hear that laugh like thunder
to get lost in the clicking of his tongue
while he's thinking
my heart sinking because he shares those thoughts with me
and how it opens the door of my cage
how it sets me free

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Loving a Mangod

Loving A Mangod

"You are with me in every step I take."
There is a beauty you see in the contrast between
how he speaks to me in those dulcet low tones
and what I want him to do with my body
with the way he feeds my soul
and yet leaves me wanting

when it is just the two of us whispering
our prayer of thanks more sacred than church
I could hear a dripping drop dripping
almost like the ticking of a clock
marking time, a reminder that we are mortal
a tiny leak in a ceiling and the immediate solution
was a big red bucket nothing fancy or wonderful
just this red red beating heart of water meeting
an object that wouldn't be moved
an underneath the thunder we were alive
every point of nature being more of wonder
because you are of the organic and yet a mangod
who would leave his footprint here
long after this moment passed
after even we stopped breathing
when we were different people our souls looking for one another
and when found like this time around
lost in the magic of the randomness of love
striking like lightning
slaying the monsters we create
because in the commonality of spirit
of his spirit I am found
like the muse or a talisman
found by a treasure map

Love's language is universal and it's power
so overwhelming
that even when you are falling
it feels like flying
when his mere absence leaves the space next to me empty
a little lost
the earth's wobbling movement not quite right
knowing peace is found when his thigh
is pushed up against mine
and victory found when I can hear him let go
praying in that moment he knows that peace is found
when I let go
and the lingering question sitting on the end of your tongue
when did you become part of my soul?
when did want's history become need?
Can Love be the sustenance of forever?
and even though "Yes, of course I know"
I still wait for you to ask

The photo above is a Morning Glory Pool. The pool is a hot spring in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park in the United States. The pool was named by Mrs. E. N. McGowan, wife of Assistant Park Superintendent, Charles McGowan in 1883. She called it Convolutus, the Latin name for the morning glory flower of which the springs resemble. By 1889, the name Morning Glory Pool had become common usage in the park[1]. Many early guidebooks called this feature Morning Glory Spring. The distinct color of the pool is due to bacteria which inhabit the water. On a few rare occasions the Morning Glory Pool has erupted as a geyser, usually following an earthquake or other nearby seismic activity.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Happiness

Every season has it's joys, summer though is so full of joy that it's hard to not to get lost in the long warm June afternoons. I think I love the season of warmth more because of the garden and mine is overgrown as usual. I always plant too much, I try to show restraint but I love the little flowers and this year I planted seeds among the plants so that I could cherish the joy of discovering what new flowers will pop up between the herbs and the few tomato plants I planted this year. I didn't mark the seeds so I would be surprised what new leaf pattern and color combination would make it's summer appearance and I recognize the sweet peas twirling it's sweet tendrils up the side of the trellis and I can't wait for the pinks to appear.

One of my favorite ways to spend summer is to find something to cook that will define the summer. My unusual find this year via the amazing Ina Garten is the most amazing chicken stock one could imagine finding. She just throws this little recipe out there now and then and because the summer garden is so full of herbs I thought I'd try it. Her trick? She roasts the chicken or pieces of chicken first in the oven and I think that's the miracle part of it because it removes any extra chicken fat and all you really get after is this amazing golden broth that only a jewish mother could make. And how does this relate to summer meals? Well it's the lightness of it, making it thai by adding a little fish sauce and some egg noodles, chopped up peanuts and lots and lots of fresh cilantro. Cilantro grows like a weed and will make anything taste like a summer evening. You make this Italian by adding basil and maybe a half a can of chopped tomatoes. It's wonderful with loads of vegetables and it's comfort food of the highest order. It's easy too, just roast the chicken parts or the whole chicken, put it in a large stock pot and start to layer the flavors, carrots, celery, parsnips, two large spanish onions, and the best part? You don't even have to peel, cut the skins off anything, almost no prep work involved here, just cutting it up with a few heads of garlic, just cut the whole things in half, no need to remove the skin here either, a big batch of dill, some parsley a little sprig or two of rosemary and let it boil then turn it down to a summer for a few hours, and strain, take out the chicken and shred it and you can keep it all separated until you are ready to have dinner and throw all the rest away. It freezes for a quick meal and it's pure summer joy.

Bravo will make summer fun as Jeff Lewis is back and just the promos are fun. The summer fun movie? Hangover2 which is not quite as funny as the first, but hilarious all the same and I've seen the first about 300 times and it still makes me laugh.

Summer is the time to find a new OPI color and paint your toe nails, wear sandals and spend at least 20 minutes a day worshiping the sun. That is what I miss most in the winter, not being able just to sit outside without a coat or shoes. I am painting a series of canvases to make a new headboard and found some wood butterflies to make a mobile for the kitchen. If the sun makes an appearance today I will wander to the garden and take some photos to post. The Summer book this year? Little Bee by Chris Cleave about a girl who escapes Nigeria. You can find it on amazon used for about $4 and it's a true page turner as I am on my second reading and admit I missed a few things the first time around because it was so compelling. When I am done I will find his first novel and anything else he's written and put it in my head. If books make up who we are, I am glad to find this one. The compassion he writes of here between people who are almost strangers is lovely.

The stores here stopped selling my favorite Black currant tea so I am looking for a new brand. I just purchased a few different brands online and when i find the new perfect cup of brewed wondrous goodness I will let you know. I went to a few international markets near Chicago and found a few boxes written in Polish. Both were too purple, too bitter and not the black currant flavor I love. I did buy a bottle of black currant syrup that I have been adding to plain iced tea and although it does add a little too much sweetness, its lovely.

Last summer my favorite flower was the cosmos. I know why Alice Walker would find a field of those purple beauties to be worth writing an entire book around, but this year I think I am taken with the lilies. I owe someone a Lily poem and I am working that through my head. The come back every year and they are so beautiful, each like it's own painting, each worthy of a moment's pause on a June afternoon, and in colors so rich, it's hard to pick a favorite.

My novel is almost finished, the story finding it's way home. I am making jewelry again and while not consuming my life it does make me happy. There are a few lingering health issues but I am feel as though I am healing, love does that I think, finds a way to heal us. I am fostering some baby kittens from a local animal shelter and the mother and babies are a comfortable addition to the house. I like their little mewing. I will post some photos of them as well, their eyes just opened today. I took them out on the deck with me for awhile so their little faces could feel the warm sun, the momma just climbed the tree and sat in a branch looking down at me until I put them away. Life is good.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I am the master of my fate

When I am unsure, when I am doubting anything, when I feel as though the world is a little too big and I am fighting a losing battle, I hold this poem in my head awhile because I have to move it around as it always lives near my heart.

"Invictus" by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate;

I am the captain of my soul.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My New Sanctuary

It's finally done, my new studio space, a place for me to paint and write. What I love about this space? The light and that I found most everything thrift. The dining room set, the lamp, the chairs and even the little table. The space feels like me, a place to put things I love, a place that's quiet and just mine. I know that I already have a few spaces like this but I like this better than another guest room. It's a place where I can sip tea with Best Friend, to play the violin, a place to disappear, although I do allow the cats to visit, they aren't encouraged to stay. I like finding something someone loved and loved and then for whatever reason decided to let go of it and I get to turn it into something I can use, the history of it has it's own vibe, it's own soft pace. Time to finish the garden, which I gave a Beatrix Potter theme this year in making Mr. McGregor's Garden, photos to come soon.