Showing posts from April, 2008

Going in for another 12 hrs of neurological insults


Another 16 yr old Gunshot Wound to the Head, Another Mother Crying,"Oh God, Why Have You Taken My Baby?" Another Round of Drive-Bys.

The Second Day of Mourning by Gaston Ng

The second day of mourning is always grey,
When the grandeur of elaborate pain
Fades into a comprehensible dawn.
The asthmatic morning laboured to wheeze a few
Competent breaths to last from bus to school.
A grim visage canopies a lurching heart that still stumbles
In the quicksilver and endless corridors of remembering.
Mourning seems such a vain thing.
It crys aloud to be seen, solicits pity with
Conscious tears and wanton dysphoria,
Damns an implosion with a paradoxical front.
Trudging up the overhead bridge that prevent dented fenders
And stubborn bloodstains on the roads,
The sweaty morning clings onto my skin and sorrow
Weighing with the symbolism of exertion.

This Guy Stole My Best Dance Moves

The similiarities are too eerily close for coincidence. Must search kitchen for hidden camera broadcasting my every move to his lair of copycattiness.Jamie Lidell

Prayer Chain by Tim Nolan

My mother called to tell me about an old classmate of mine
who was dying on the parish prayer chain— or was very sick—or destitute—
or it had not worked out—the marriage— or the kids were all on drugs—and
all the old mothers were praying intensely for all the pain of their children

and for life—they were praying for life— in their quiet rooms—sipping decaf coffee—

I bet they've been praying for me at times— so I'll find my way—so I won't rob a bank—

I'll take them—the mystical prayers of old mothers— it matters—all this patient and purposeful love.

by Rumi

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.

Help someone's soul heal.

Walk out

of your house like a shepherd.

A Trail of Yellow Ribbons

"There are those --soldiers and nurses, poets and priests--for whom death is a sure companion."
Nancy Gibbs, TIME, Essay-The Light of Death, May 5, 2008

The flags remain at half mast. Yellow ribbons line Route 32 and dot neighborhood streets in this part of the country to honor Matt Maupin's return to his family. Military jets flew in formation overhead while I watched my daughter's soccer game yesterday near Lunken airport and a plane looking suspiciously Harrison Ford-ish-Air Force One flew in ready to land. The Sunday morning newspaper has as its headline, "Maupin's long journey home finally complete." Another young man is now forever caught in the face of his youth and the countenances of two more parents are etched with grief. Painful days for this community.

We have the C-Stars come to our hospital before they are deployed in their military service to Iraq, Afghanistan, or the military hospital in Germany. I can't remember the specifics of the ac…

Man Writes Poem by Jay Leeming

This just in a man has begun writing a poem
in a small room in Brooklyn. His curtains
are apparently blowing in the breeze. We go now
to our man Harry on the scene, what's

the story down there Harry? "Well Chuck
he has begun the second stanza and seems
to be doing fine, he's using a blue pen, most
poets these days use blue or black ink so blue

is a fine choice. His curtains are indeed blowing
in a breeze of some kind and what's more his radiator
is 'whistling' somewhat. No metaphors have been written yet,
but I'm sure he's rummaging around down there

in the tin cans of his soul and will turn up something
for us soon. Hang on "just breaking news here Chuck,
there are 'birds singing' outside his window, and a car
with a bad muffler has just gone by. Yes ... definitely

a confirmation on the singing birds." Excuse me Harry
but the poem seems to be taking on a very auditory quality
at this point wouldn't you say? "Yes Chuck, you're right,
but af…

Piece of Cake...

Looking at 12 and 12 for the next two days.
with thanks to for their original post--they have fabulously interesting material for like-minded individuals, or if you have a neuro-odd-ic sense of humor. God, I am so funny, I can barely contain myself.

Not For the Squeamish--


Smoke and Bodies, to Lost Brothers

Moving through the bodies that travel my mornings I am sorry to learn of Tom’s death. He and my father, all exiting the comfort of home and an English teacher at Oak Hills, were grabbing our coffees and conversations to go great friends. I remember his wit, in and out doorways. Sidewalks bubble with breath, vibrancy, and passion like yesterday. I’m sorry for the loss buses stop and go, backpacks and briefcases block the path, of your fossil-collecting uncle, brother, and son. Smoke and bodies fill my eyes. My deepest condolences.

This originated from a quote I read in Newsweek, "I saw smoke and bodies."-Mohammed Kadhem, witness to a suicide bomb attack killing fifty-two in the Shi'ite holy city of Karbala, Iraq on March 17, 2008.

Sorry kids...

Image ain't over till it's over, some body crosses the finish line, and the fat lady sings.

THE RESCUED CAT by Lynn Peterson Mobley

The rescued cat recalls the dreadful joke -
“Lost dog: one eye, three legs, answers to Lucky”
He’s deaf. His hair breaks loose in greasy clumps.
Four orange teeth hide in his rancid mouth.
His claws were misplaced several homes ago.
A foggy stare burns out of fused black orbs.
That he’s pathetic wouldn’t come to him:
He can’t afford the luxury of doubt.

How many homes were his, the rescued cat?
How many names? My husband calls him Peter,
Which suits, but it is not his own true name.
His secret name is Quisling, Dorian Grey.
Cranky but not noble, a survivor
Who will elude, and never, ever die.
He does not purr, but if he takes your lap
He’ll bless you with a squint that looks like peace.

From our tall patch of woods, hawks eye the yard
For moving snacks.
He plies the garden path,
But something in his creaking stride dissuades.
It is well known that prey should walk in fear,
But he has seen too much to fret mere death.
From time to time, alone, he wails aloud,
His cries all that his ruined head can hear.
He do…

Six Minutes in Heaven

Now that's what I'm talking about...a man who's funny and can dance.

The Writer by Richard Wilbur

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits

Back to the Salt Minds

Note Please--This title is particularly HIL-AR-IOUS because in Neuro we tend to keep patients' serum sodium levels quite high in order to pull excess fluid off the brain--cerebral edema from their injury. My husband did not think that you would get it. Just wanted you to know so that I'm not sitting here chuckling to myself. Feel free to chuckle along.

I've been off for a week now and having a fabulous time, dollinks... Pilates, dance classes, reading, writing, movies, music, running up and down the streets and byways of River City... But, now the time has come for me to go back and work for The Man. However, there will be dancing and merriment tonight with Dance Master Len before I return to caring for sick and bad brains.

please note--art by tartx

Is There Any Poetry To Be Found In This Day?--Rough, Rough Draft

Is there any poetry to be found in this day?
Waking to a hazy grey light
and another day of impending snow,
The night spent warm and sleepy. A huge bed, unfamiliar to us—
accustomed to legs and arms entangled,
always seeking each other.
This bed though,
as long as it is wide,
room to stretch and
turn without the touch of another.

Waking, sleeping, waking, sleeping,
and the lights across the river change
from red to green to yellow
adrift over empty streets,
flashing to a silent rhythm.

Debris in the river passes swiftly by our window.
My husband always looking…
hoping for the gruesome. “Look!”
I say in my best pirate voice,
“There’s a bloody stump floating by,”
to entice him
to me
watching the river flow by; looking on our world for the day.

please note--art by Jim M. Goldstein

Evening Walk in Haiku

Warm breath steams from dog,
hangs in the fog and suspends. Life's breath surrounding.

If There's Ever a Rocky and Bullwinkel Family Reunion We Are So Going

My older daughter is home from college for a few days. We're sitting around contemplating baby names for no reason other than it's a rainy Sunday afternoon. She wants a baby girl of the future to have the middle name of Anne and wants to know what's a good first name. Ummmm...Raggedy?? Nope, she says, "Natasha." I have to laugh. That was my name tag when I worked at the old Rookwood Pottery. It was fabulous, dollink.

Jam by Karen Chase

Our love is not the short courtly kind but upstream, down,
long inside — enjambed, enjoined, conjoined, and jammed, it's you, enkindler, enlarger, jampacked man of many stanzas, my enheartener — love runs on from line to you, from line to me and me to you, from river to sea and sea to land, hits a careless coast, meanders way across the globe — land ahoy! water ahoy! — love with no end, my waters go wherever you are, my stream of consciousness.

Flight--Rough Draft

I had a dream again last night about jeteing. I've never been asked that in a personality test in any of the multiple magazines passed my way. Do you dream of flying? Falling? Phantoms? Ferocious beasts? But never, Do you dream of dancing? The feel of a few running steps and leaping out into open space,
right leg lifted and pointed straight out in front, left leg extended straight behind and arms lifting up towards the heavens for a span of forever. And, in my dream, a slow, drifting descent back down to earth. Something I could never accomplish in my daily life despite years of lessons and the feel of many different ballet barres and resined wooden floors. But in sleep I become airborne after a few attempts, and in the morning rise up from my bed arms, shoulders, and legs sore from my flight.

Hotel Breakfast on a Road Trip

The hotel dining room smells
of omelets, bacon, and onions,
accompanied by the music of eating:
metallic chimes of forks and knives
tapping ceramic plates, percussion
of coffee cups hitting tabletops,
the occasional morsels
of overheard sentences
concerning biofuels and predictions
of impending restructurings
in one company or another.
“…can’t keep spending money... How can they keep her on…
…flies out every week…
district in Missouri… upgraded last month…
…a Crown Royale…great ride.” Exotic musings to this little family of four traveling down I-75 in the winter holidays.
And all the while,
snow is falling lightly,
from a wind so fierce the snow is
horizontal outside the window in front of us.
A giant log rolls by
adrift from upriver.
Roots barely visible above the waterline;
separated from its native soil,
Maysville perhaps, Pittsburg, Coney Island,
now in an unknown element and riding the currents.
Traveling south. please note--art by Ian Walker, crystal microscopy

When You Believe In Things That You Don't Understand You Will Suffer.........stevie wonder

I have finished The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and while I see other blogophiles review books and movies I shan't be doing that. Sorry, but I shan't. Really...who here gives a flying rat's patootie about my opinion of the book...
"#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER" "Eerie and fascinating."-USA Today
...'nuf said. I don't finish books that I don't like unless they're really, really bad and then I kinda like them for their awfulness.
No, what I shall do is to find the quintessential sentence of the book, the one sentence-maybe two-that contains the entire storyline--
--if you have very loose associative thinking. And, I will pull out of the book my new favorite words. That way, everyone knows I've read the book, there's no book report and I get new favorite words to ramble on about inappropriately. (ex. radiculopathy) Okay. Game on.
The Thirteenth Tale--A tale in which stories, lives, and histories are built upon the whisperings o…

A Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On (Apparently NOT Raccoons)

My honey haired child woke us up early this morning to tell us she heard footsteps going back and forth in the attic hallway.

Ever the helpful and loving mother, I told her it was raccoons and to "... scootch in bed next to me and go to sleep." Was not expecting an earthquake right here in River City :-)

The Faux Frenchmen

Lovely spring evening drinking wine sitting in the zoo and listening to gypsy jazz. Life don't get much better than that.

Waiting for Icarus by Muriel Rukeyser

He said he would be back and we'd drink wine together
He said that everything would be better than before
He said we were on the edge of a new relation
He said he would never again cringe before his father
He said that he was going to invent full-time
He said he loved me that going into me
He said was going into the world and the sky
He said all the buckles were very firm
He said the wax was the best wax
He said Wait for me here on the beach
He said Just don't cry
I remember the gulls and the waves
I remember the islands going dark on the sea
I remember the girls laughing
I remember they said he only wanted to get away from me
I remember mother saying : Inventors are like poets,a trashy lot
I remember she told me those who try out inventions are worse
I remember she added : Women who love such are the
Worst of all
I have been waiting all day, or perhaps longer.
I would have liked to try those wings myself.
It would have been better than this.

Bat by Rebecca Clark--In honor of our first bat returning this spring

I walk towards our house

after dusk has covered the yard

and through the open windows

I hear a sharp yelp from our daughter.

I look up to the stairwell window

where I see the silhouette of a bat

flashing across the walls. Inside the house,

the sound of your laughter echoes

behind the living room door

as you try to lasso its beating wings

with a green and yellow afghan.

Its wild aerobatics finally subdued

and rolled up into an acrylic ball, you rush

out into the now-black night and like magic,

its fluttering wings dissolve

into stars.

Grief Is Not Always Practical

Grief is not always practical.
It leaves white, wooden crosses
standing along roads and fast moving highways,
some with fresh plastic flowers, by others
bouquets now sun- faded and disheveled.
All with writings on the hammered strips of wood
illegible when driving by at 60 MPH
even in the slow lane.
Reminders that death is ever present in life,
although difficult to mow around.

It is grief that has placed the
large cardboard box in our dining room
filled with my mother-in-law’s papers,
next to the piano, under the birdcage,
waiting quietly to be filed in manila folders
with headings written in black permanent marker—
“Doctors’ Bills”, “Letters from Lisa”, “Mom’s Old To-Do Lists,”
and grief that collected the fossils and rocks
from my brother’s apartment
to lie in rest dusty on our bookshelves.

It is grief that finds other tasks for me,
distractions and obstacles,
that keeps me from climbing the stairs to the attic floor
and my daughter’s empty bedroom;
her clothes that need to be sorted through and given a…

In Disagreement With the Status Quo

Response to Pastor Martin Niemoller

What does it take to
make a man finally speak
against injustice?

How to Crush Ideological Opposition. In Haiku.

Threaten, ridicule.
Dismiss, minimize, slander.
Placate the masses.

Having gone through this recently yet once again--the business of disagreeing with a policy and requesting that more thought and discussion be placed to the longer view and wider implications of new restrictive procedures--the first words I heard were, "Annie, are you starting trouble again?" Got me thinking about the plan in place, the algorithym, the recipe to silence those who step over the lines to speak up and speak out.

Crosswind Reunion

Here is a very welcome blast from the past! Fabulous and talented Cincinnati jazz band that played at Bentley's (downtown) and Edwards. They're all off now doing their own thing, but reuniting for one evening. The "Around Cincinnati" link lets you hear some of their music and the interview with Don and Bill.

One night only, Saturday, April 28, 2008
at Molly Malone's in Covington

I Saw a Chinese Alligator Stretch Today

Went to the zoo today with my hubby for a bit of aerobic walking up and down the steps and hills there. We have a beautiful zoo, and home of the last passenger pigeon until her death and, with that death, the extinction of the species. This is written on the cottage that housed her and now serves as a memorial: "The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again." -William Beebe and now hosting Blooms and Tunes with a few of my favorite individuals, The Faux Frenchmen


Everybody’s got a story.
A history.
A grab-your-attention moment in the sun.
Not all stories are spoken
and tales of glory drift away;
comedies, tragedies, the everyman’s anthology of fables
yellow and crumble to the touch,
torn bits of discarded and weathered memories.

Ever hear the one about the old man in the ER?
Old man lying on a stretcher in the hallway of the ER-
true story-
one of the many homeless men that travel through the
hallways and units of this hospital,
carrying a Hamilton County Public Library card
in his pocket, $1.68 in change,
and years of bad luck or bad choices
in the lines of his face,
the filth in his pores, the look of surrender in his eyes.
One of the cocksure med students
says to him, “Hey…
Any words of advice for us as we start out?”
The student had to lean over and
bend closely to the old man’s face;
his breath coated with years of cigarettes
and God knows what else
as he weakly scratched out,
“I would have bought the red truck.”

Everydamnbody’s got a story.
Red trucks.
I still shake…

Listening to Garrison Keillor This Morning and Missing My Husband

"Last Night at the Farm, Spring 2005"by Lilly Marsh

Last night, I hadn't known how cold the house was
Until I was already downstairs.
Coming back up that long series on dark treads,
Ascending towards the dark rectangle at the top,
The dog nosed the door ajar.
I saw the light from the bedside candle spill forth,
Across all the angles and shadows of the door frame.
Our old farmhouse is so full of angles and shadows.
The narrow stairwell hall was dark and colorless,
An abstract study of gray and black,
Repeated patterns stark and stern.
But the candlelight fell golden across all the shadows, and,
I ascended, drawn back into the warmth,
Called back to bed by you.

Susanna by Anne Porter

Nobody in the hospital
Could tell the age
Of the old woman who
Was called Susanna
I knew she spoke some English
And that she was an immigrant
Out of a little country
Trampled by armies
Because she had no visitors
I would stop by to see her
But she was always sleeping
All I could do
Was to get out her comb
And carefully untangle
The tangles in her hair
One day I was beside her
When she woke up
Opening small dark eyes
Of a surprising clearness
She looked at me and said
You want to know the truth?
I answered Yes
She said it's something that
My mother told me
There's not a single inch
Of our whole body
That the Lord does not love
She then went back to sleep.

Miami Whitewater

7 April 2008

When last walked these trails
we found the carcass of a young deer
lying in the creek bed
with her neck heartbreakingly arched
and her face turned up towards the sky.

It was a dry summer that year
with not enough water in the creek
to cover the dusty brown fur
that gave no rise and fall
or distort the dull globe of open eye.

We stayed and looked long,
you and I,
each wondering the logistics of such a fall-
the height she had to jump
to clear the wooden walls of bridge;

perhaps not hard for a running deer.
What makes a wild, young creature leap to her death?
Merely not knowing what lay on the other side?
Or joy of the jump
with eyes steady on the stars?

note please--art by anikistit tampereella

12hrs down, 12 more to go...

...if only we were all as safety conscious.

The Queen City is in the House and Ready to Party

Also Known As: What I Want To Do For My Next Job and...


Why I Cannot Wait To Get Up At 5:30am On Fridays

The Waitresses by Matt Cook

The waitresses
At the restaurant
Have to keep reminding
The schizophrenic man
That if he keeps acting
Like a schizophrenic man
They'll have to ask him to leave the restaurant.
But he keeps forgetting that he's a schizophrenic man,
So they have to keep reminding him.

Seriously. It was that kind of a day, minus the top hat.

12 Hrs. of Living Large Among the Neurons

Some say fun, I say job security.

7th Grade Twister Champion Circa 1968

Holy Moley, Batgirl. I've been tagged.

By, for whom I've now retitled this--

...and The Home of the Bref.

walisabeth was tagged by Drewby, who was tagged by Jen-jen, who was tagged can see where this is going can't you??. Don't have many blogger friends yet, and my readership is in the ones and twos, but here are five folks who just might come out and play:

and citykin@

Now hush all while I tell you the story...
Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the recountre by asking readers for their own six-word memoirs. They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet (“Curs…

Artwork by

The artwork below is created by an enormously talented artist whose blog I tripped over one day. Lots of reasons why her work resonates, none I want to dissect...just enjoy beauty when and as it appears. I have a link to her blogsite and work at the bottom of the lefthand column if anyone would like to take a minute or two and peruse. Enjoy.

I Started Early by Emily Dickenson

I started Early - Took my Dog And visited the Sea The Mermaids in the Basement Came out to look at me And Frigates - in the Upper Floor Extended Hempen Hands Presuming Me to be a Mouse Aground - upon the Sands
But no Man moved Me - till the Tide Went past my simple Shoe And past my Apron - and my Belt And past my Bodice - too And made as He would eat me up As wholly as a Dew Upon a Dandelion's Sleeve And then - I started - too
And He - He followed - close behind I felt His Silver Heel Upon my Ankle - Then my Shoes Would overflow with Pearl
Until We met the Solid Town No One He seemed to know And bowing - with a Mighty look At me - The Sea withdrew note please--art by tartx

To Nancy

Every night lights are extinguished
and not all rekindled with the break of morn.
And, so it was with you.
Doused to dreams by Morpheus
and the cancer dwelling within,
your light grew cool,
and was gone.
It’s absence but a minute change
from the breath before.
Your love a blaze lamented
too hot by some it touched,
erratic in its warmth,
bending side to side with drafts of winds,
and drafts of change.
I mourn not the loss of flame
not having felt the heat,
but grieve the lack of it for those I love
whose ways are dark with loss of you.

The Downside of Having a Poet Do the Dishes

Why is it that the
very best lines occur when
my hands are soapy.