Tuesday, March 31, 2009


by Erin Davis

Cradled the frozen bulb in her mouth
Swaddled it in the velvet of her tongue
Awakened it with the warmth of her breath
Braced herself for the birth
Thrust the shoot through the gap in her teeth
And watched the bloom part her rounded lips

Please note: photo by John C. Finlayson
& poem from freckled writer, thanks for letting me share it here

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ever The Optimist?

From a hilarious blogsite, OVERHEARD LINES...

30 March, 2009
Half-Full, Half-Empty Girls

Girl 1: "Oh look, those people are camping!"
Girl 2: "No, they're homeless. People don't camp by the freeway."


Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm Telling You, I Can't Make This Stuff Up

Excerpt from; Pride and Prujudice and Zombies
by Seth Grahame-Smith

As Mr. Darcy walked off, Elizabeth felt her blood turn cold. She had never in her life been so insulted. The warrior code demanded she avenge her honour. Elizabeth reached down to her ankle, taking care not to draw attention. There, her hand met the dagger concealed beneath her dress. She meant to follow this proud Mr. Darcy outside and open his throat.

But no sooner had she grabbed the handle of her weapon than a chorus of screams filled the assembly hall, immediately joined by the shattering of window panes. Unmentionables poured in, their movements clumsy yet swift; their burial clothing in a range of untidiness. Some wore gowns so tattered as to render them scandalous; other wore suits so filthy that one would assume they were assembled from little more than dirt and dried blood. Their flesh was in varying degrees of putrefaction; the freshly stricken were slightly green and pliant, whereas the longer dead were grey and brittle – their eyes and tongues long since turned to dust, and their lips pulled back into everlasting skeletal smiles.

A few of the guests, who had the misfortune of being too near the windows, were seized and feasted on at once. When Elizabeth stood, she saw Mrs. Long struggle to free herself as two female dreadfuls bit into her head, cracking her skull like a walnut, and sending a shower of dark blood spouting as high as the chandeliers.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"...you'd never know it, but buddy I'm a kind of poet..

..and I've got a lot of things I wanna say.
And if I'm gloomy, please, won't you listen to me
till it's all, all talked away.

Well, that's how it goes,
And Joe, I know, you're getting anxious to close.
So thanks for the cheer,
I hope you didn't mind
my bending your ear...

CollegeGrrrl has come home and gone already. Came for the ballet on Saturday--the Distracted Grrrls have a subscription this year for three seats in the nose bleed section. The ushers are very nice and usually let us slip down to unoccupied seats closer to the stage. Yesterday's performance was touted for The Sinatra Suite which was quite nice. It's Old Blue Eyes, can't go wrong there. However, it was two other performances that blew me away, La Belle Danse choreographed by Jessica Lang and World Citizen, choreography by Devon Carney. Those two dances were spirit-lifting, transcending. If you hear of either ballet coming to your hometown go and see them.

This morning, I've just returned from Pilates, taken my Advil, and am waiting for CollegeGrrl's call to let me know she's arrived safely. HoneyHaired is finishing her required reading about Hester Prynne and that terrible sorrow of a life and we're trying very hard not to laugh at our silly dog barking in his sleep. If she can finish a bit more of the book there may be time for us to push out from under the heavy leaden sky pressing down on our eyeballs. Perhaps a pizza in our future as a just reward.

Saturday in CinCity


by Louis Simpson

The truck came at me,
I swerved
but I got a dent.

The car insurance woman
informs me that my policy
has been cancelled.

I say, "You can't do that."
She gives me a little smile
and goes back to her nails.

Lately have you noticed
how aggressively people drive?
A whoosh! and whatever.

Some people are suddenly
very rich, and as many
suddenly very poor.

As for the war, don't get me started.
We were too busy watching
the ball game to see

that the things we care about
are suddenly disappearing,
and that they always were.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Meditation on Ruin

by Jay Hopler

It's not the lost lover that brings us to ruin, or the barroom brawl,
or the con game gone bad, or the beating
Taken in the alleyway. But the lost car keys,
The broken shoelace,
The overcharge at the gas pump
Which we broach without comment — these are the things that
eat away at life, these constant vibrations
In the web of the unremarkable.

The death of a father — the death of the mother —
The sudden loss shocks the living flesh alive! But the broken
pair of glasses,
The tear in the trousers,
These begin an ache behind the eyes.
And it's this ache to which we will ourselves
Oblivious. We are oblivious. Then, one morning—there's a
crack in the water glass —we wake to find ourselves undone.

Italy, October

Jesse Lee Kercheval

To be here is to be where fruit you have never seen before grows on equally strange trees. The fruit is not, as you first thought, oranges, though it is orange in color. Nor is it a tangerine or some strangely colored apple. Then you see it in the market, each soft fruit cradled in its own nest of woven plastic. Cachi, the sign reads, 200 lire. You hold out a palm of silver, and let the cashier pick warm coins from your waiting hand. Then she wraps your cachi in white paper like a present, which you carry to your hotel, hoping cachi can be safely eaten raw.

In your room, you slice it open, lift the cachi to your lips and find it sweeter than any fruit you've ever tasted, half watermelon, half pressed roses. Only when you've finished, do you think to look up cachi in your pocket Italian dictionary which says it means persimmon. And you remember as a child picking a persimmon at a friend's house, then leaving it all afternoon in your mother's stand-up freezer. Still, when you bit the unripe fruit, your mouth drew up in a pucker from which you—silent person that you are—never did recover. Until today in Sacile when you took a bite of strange fruit.

Now, who knows? You may speak in tongues.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Her Husband's To-Do List Found on the Floor of the Garage

by Shoshauna Shy

1. check out catalytic converter
2. coil@ Home Depot
3. call re: mortgage
4. Denny about tickets
5. take care of boat hoist
6. the wife situation

I'm a list person. Love to make lists, and even better I love to mark off when I've gotten each task done. Sometimes I cross through the DONE items in a different colored pen. That way I know without question those jobs are really done and shall not need to be thought of again. Until maybe next week. Same time, different paper.

I think that's why writing, and especially blogging is so appealing. Writing allows me to open the windows of my right brain and see what's going on over there. I get tripped up when I start wondering what's the goal here, what's the outcome, what do I have to show for it?? Oddly, I don't feel that way about dancing. Don't know why. Luckily, Hubby is much more laid back and thinks that writing for the sake of writing is a worthy pursuit. And, as I rack up more years working in an ICU I know that a person can work really, really hard running on a hamster's wheel and end up going no place. Same injuries, different faces.

So thanks for the different perspectives and your thoughts on time and writing. India is on the money with her observation,"...and disciplined webbing is vital - those interpixies can lure you like the sirens of old." This may be repetition, but I heard a writer being interviewed on NPR who stated, "Blogging is crack for writers." I totally get that. It can be a bit like falling down Alice's rabbit hole and wandering through the labyrinths discovered there, and isn't everyone's brain/blog a rabbit warren of sorts? Not for nothing is her blogsite titled,"not all those who wander are lost." A very interesting byway to wander through.

I think I'll try Annie's idea--"Manage time? I attempt it a lot, but can't say I have ever done a good job of it. What I try now is to do the creative thing before I do all the other stuff that needs done, instead of leaving it until last" except flip it. I think on my days off I'll get coffee and start working on the ongoing projects that I want to get done--the list items--, then I have the afternoon to write and the evening to catch up and read. We'll see. Hell, it ain't brain surgery so I think there's a little wriggle room for tweaking.

And Debra's comment??--"Years ago, when I worked in the peds unit of a hospital, a very wise nurses' aide told me, "Honey, nobody done ever died of dirt." We have the same sentiment here in southern Ohio--"God made dirt. Dirt don't hurt." (Unless anyone reading this is from the Ohio Department of Health, in which case, that is a very, very wrong statement and made mention here only for its meager entertainment value. Dirt, in fact, does hurt and if I could keep my hands forever in a bubble of antiseptic, anti-fungal, Darth Vader-esque cleansing solution and live in a Haz-Mat suit I certainly would. Cross my heart.)

Well, now look, time's been a-ticking and there are walks to sweep and dogs to walk and clothes to fold. While I am totally okay with dust and their bunny offspring, I do like to have the clothes folded and at least put into piles. I've found they make much softer pillows on the couch that way if you need to take a little lie-down.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


by Meg Kearney

I have a ticket in my pocket that will take me from Lynchburg
to New York in nine hours, from the Blue Ridge to Stuy Town,

from blue jays wrangling over sunflower seeds to my alarm
clock and startled pigeons. If I had a daughter I'd take her

with me. She'd sit by the window wearing the blue dress
with the stars and sickle moons, counting houses and cemeteries,

watching the knotted rope of fence posts slip by while I sat
beside her pretending to read, but unable to stop studying

her in disbelief. Her name would tell her that she's beautiful.
Belle. Or something strong, biblical. Sarah. She would tolerate

the blue jay and weep for the pigeon; she would have all the music
she wanted and always the seat by the window. If I had a daughter

she would know who her father is and he would be home writing letters
or playing the banjo, waiting for us, and I would be her mother.

We'd have a dog, a mutt, a stray we took in from the rain one night
in November, the only stray we ever had to take in, one night in our

cabin in the Catskills. It would be impossibly simple: two train tickets;
a man, a dog, waiting; and a girl with her nose pressed to the window.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's A Question Of Time

Sitting here and wondering--how do all of you manage your time if you do other writing?? I'm certain there's an easy answer, perhaps, "Step away from the computer. There's nothing to see here, folks." But maybe a more palatable one?? Just asking.

And, while we're at it, some of us should, very slowly, step away from the Aqua Net.

Monday, March 23, 2009


"When the snow went away--in a rush, just as it came--it left behind the lawn, the garden, the pastures, the barnyard. It also left behind locust pods, fallen branches, last falls's leaves, snowplow scrapings, mire, and muck--the debris of a disordered season. The snow's erasure has itself been erased. Everything is matted to the earth or anchored in the mud except the ridges an eastern mole has made while tunneling round and round. The early buds seem desperate just now. Nothing else catches the hint of spring from them."------Verlyn Klinkenborg, The Rural Life

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Introduction to Poetry

by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday in CinCity

Poem on a Line by Anne Sexton, 'We are All Writing God's Poem'

by Barbara Crooker

Today, the sky's the soft blue of a work shirt washed
a thousand times. The journey of a thousand miles
begins with a single step. On the interstate listening
to NPR, I heard a Hubble scientist

say, "The universe is not only stranger than we
think, it's stranger than we can think." I think
I've driven into spring, as the woods revive
with a loud shout, redbud trees, their gaudy
scarves flung over bark's bare limbs. Barely doing
sixty, I pass a tractor trailer called Glory Bound,
and aren't we just? Just yesterday,
I read Li Po: "There is no end of things
in the heart," but it seems like things
are always ending—vacation or childhood,
relationships, stores going out of business,
like the one that sold jeans that really fit—
And where do we fit in? How can we get up
in the morning, knowing what we do? But we do,
put one foot after the other, open the window,
make coffee, watch the steam curl up
and disappear. At night, the scent of phlox curls
in the open window, while the sky turns red violet,
lavender, thistle, a box of spilled crayons.
The moon spills its milk on the black tabletop
for the thousandth time.

please note:photo by McBeth

Friday, March 20, 2009

Vernal Equinox

in Just-

by E. E. Cummings

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan whistles

please note: photo by hoveringdog

Don't You Know We're Riding On the Marrakesh Express


by Tahir Shah

Many have written about their experiences after moving to a foreign country, recounted adventures in remodeling, and meeting the new neighbors.

Having Jinns inhabit your home, however, puts a whole new wrinkle on it.

There wasn't anything I enjoyed more after a grey and rainy day in CinCity where my adventure for the day was running up to the local grocery store for the foods I needed for dinner than reading about the latest obstacle in making Mr. Shah's house liveable. The cars, the customs office, the search for building supplies and the descriptions of all the nooks and crannies of Morocco took my mind off the last claws of winter stuck in our local landscape.

Quintessential Sentence: "We could sell this house and do it all again," she said.

Favorite Word(s): "Bidonville"--love the sound of it & "Bismillah"--love the concept of it

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Blessing

by John Updike

The room darkened, darkened until
our nakedness became a form of gray;
then the rain came bursting,
and we were sheltered, blessed,
upheld in a world of elements
that held us justified.
In all the love I had felt for you before,
in all that love,
there was no love
like that I felt when the rain began:
dim room, enveloping rush,
the slenderness of your throat,
the blessèd slenderness.

please note: art by Max Buten

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"She Will Make the Face of Heaven So Fine..."

Nothing in the cry
of cicadas suggest they
are about to die.

--Matsuo Basho

Some deaths seem more tragic than others. Pointless in the ensuing loss of intelligence, kindness, talent, future of someone who should have had more time.

But the life we face does not play by those rules, and death comes as it will, often without warning. Natasha Richardson's death seems ridiculously cruel following a fairly undramatic bump to the head. I imagine we'll hear and read a bit more about whether a helmet could have prevented injury and it's a fair subject for discussion. However, the truth of life is that there are no guarantees. No day is promised to us. As much as I joke to my grrrls about wearing helmets and life jackets when they leave the house, there is no absolute protection from living.

John Travolta's son died from a traumatic brain injury after a fall in the bathroom related to a seizure. I cared for a gentleman who died from a head bleed after bumping his head on his couch, as well as a woman who fell from a chair she was standing on while taking the ornaments off her Christmas tree. How much protection and padding are we willing to bear?

When I worked in a Medical ICU I felt somewhat removed from the patients we cared for rationalizing that I didn't drink a case of beer/day or smoke cigarettes or ignore any escalating diabetes/hypertension/coronary artery disease. Certainly that could never be me in one of those hospital beds. It only took a couple of weeks in an ICU which treats trauma and head injuries to realize it hits every body. Any body with a brain. And, while I continue to fret whether my grrrls wear their seat belts each and every time they're in a car, I also understand that life is a crap shoot. You play the best you can and enjoy. The motto in Neurodramaville?? "Use it while you got it." Now go on, take that and run with it. Do me a favor and look both ways if you cross the street.

please note: title is reappropriated from Shakespeare, "When he shall die take him and cut him out in little stars and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night." Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene II

The Tooth Fairy

by Dorianne Laux

They brushed a quarter with glue
and glitter, slipped in on bare
feet, and without waking me
painted rows of delicate gold
footprints on my sheets with a love
so quiet, I still can't hear it.

My mother must have been
a beauty then, sitting
at the kitchen table with him,
a warm breeze lifting her
embroidered curtains, waiting
for me to fall asleep.

It's harder to believe
the years that followed, the palms
curled into fists, a floor
of broken dishes, her chainsmoking
through long silences, him
punching holes in his walls.

I can still remember her print
dresses, his checkered Taxi, the day
I found her in the closet
with a paring knife, the night
he kicked my sister in the ribs.

He lives alone in Oregon now, dying
of a rare bone disease.
His face stippled gray, his ankles
clotted beneath wool socks.

She's a nurse on the graveyard shift,
Comes home mornings and calls me,
Drinks her dark beer and goes to bed.

And I still wonder how they did it, slipped
that quarter under my pillow, made those
perfect footprints...

Whenever I visit her, I ask again.
"I don't know," she says, rocking, closing
her eyes. "We were as surprised as you."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Heavenly Banquet

Celtic poem from 10th century Ireland

I would like to have the men of Heaven
In my own house:
With vats of good cheer
laid out for them.

I would like to have the three Marys,
Their fame is so great.
I would like people
From every corner of Heaven.

I would like them to be cheerful
In their drinking.
I would like to have Jesus too
Here amongst them.

I would like a great lake of beer
For the King of Kings,
I would like to be watching Heaven’s family
Drinking it through all eternity.

please note: some attribute to St. Brigid

Monday, March 16, 2009

For All Those Living In The MidWest

I wandered afar last evening and found myself in North Carolina where flowrgirl has actually seen and captured a bit of sunlight. There are shadows and everything. I have forgotten just how bright the day could get.
The Yankee sun is much more of a slacker or has an abhorrence for wild swings of lighting display. Could be on even billing...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

And We Don't Give 'Em Away For Free

Some horrific misalignment of the stars and my schedule has me working 2 Sundays in a row. I can see we may have some shoppers stopping by. See you Monday.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday in CinCity


by Harvey Shapiro

1. Caught on a side street in heavy traffic, I said to the cabbie, I should have
walked. He replied, I should have been a doctor. 2. When can I get on the 11:33 I
ask the guy in the information booth at the Atlantic Avenue Station. When they
open the doors, he says. I am home among my people.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hubby's Up and Moving...

The Friday the 13th Edition--AGAIN

please note: I'm pretty sure this photo is from Vengeance of the Zombies, but could just as easily be my living room and Revenge of the Man Cold.


Maureen Micus Crisick

the ghetto stars pinned to cloth
could lift from history
like angels soaring to the sky.
The air which holds cinders
of Buddist robes, burned hair
of ones who doused themselves, set fire,
suppose the plume of smoke
becomes clear and white.

What did I say?
I said: what if Sarejavo is not burning
and no city is burning
and in the market square
no human head is impaled upon a stick
or mute limbs strewn on streets,
and no fingers exist without hands.

Suppose grenades side with sunlight.
Bullets in boxes become
chocolate wrapped in gold foil,
and in Guatemala, the men come back
from their disappearance,
and in the morning, wake in their own beds
because love is the white moon
and light moves in us like blood.

there will be holes left in clothes
but not from ripped stars,
only from wear,
to let the darkness out.

please note: art by Marc Chagall

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You and Me

please note: music and choreography by Ethan Philbrick

HoneyHaired and I see Hat Guy almost every weekend as he walks back and forth along Central Parkway.

I See A Bad Moon Rising, I See Trouble On The Way...

When I posted the prayer to St. Anthony of Padua I had no idea about the shootings in Alabama and Germany. Maybe they hadn't happened yet. Maybe it was that day. I don't know. I've been working the past couple of days and despite 12hrs of asking each and every patient each and every hour their name and the day, month, and year it all tends to run together.

I knew about the murder here of a 13yr old girl which has deeply grieved our city. I didn't know her or the family. She went to school with the children of two of my neighborhood girlfriends; in the same grade as Lisa's son. Although I know it's not their child, irrationally my heart feels otherwise. The arresting officer is the daughter of another friend of mine. She called her mother that night wanting to make sense of the senseless. What can you tell someone who has looked into the black void of a nightmare?

To hear and see two more tragedies makes you wonder what the hell is going on?

This isn't tragic, but adds to the anxiety--my hospital system is announcing lay-offs. Fifty nursing postions. No bedside nurses this round, but after all my years there I've not seen lay-offs not affect the bedside. A handful of nurses already have husbands who have lost their jobs in other fields. Another handful or two are worried. It's grey and ridiculously cold here. I'm tired. I could easily fall into lugubriousness(I love that word).

Lucky for me HoneyHaired's radio station was dialed in the bathroom when I took a shower and Are We Humans Or Are We Dancers was the first song that came on.

Are we human or are we dancers?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I'm on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancers?

Pay my respects to grace and virtue
Send my condolences to good
Give my regards to soul and romance
They always did the best they could

I have no idea what they're really saying and HoneyHaired thinks the video is a bit random, but it makes as much sense to me as anything else happening right now, so there's my new mantra for the day. We don't need to be no stinkin' humans.

I could end this with a description of dance class tonight, they're teaching the Balboa, however Hubby is down with what he's called a Man Cold. I have labeled it as Manpneumonia. My personal hunk of mancake right now is looking like the haggard half of The Odd Couple.

He shan't be leaving the house. With me.

Hope your day is sunnier and snot-free. Hug your kids and family today. Buy a lottery ticket. Dance.

please note: caricature by Chris Wahl

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


by David Shumate

I am seduced by trains. When one moans in the night like some
dragon gone lame, I rise and put on my grandfather's suit. I pack a
small bag, step out onto the porch, and wait in the darkness. I rest
my broad-brimmed hat on my knee. To a passerby I'm a curious
sight—a solitary man sitting in the night. There's something

unsettling about a traveler who doesn't know where he's headed.
You can't predict his next move. In a week you may receive a
postcard from Haiti. Madagascar. You might turn on your
answering machine and hear his voice amid the tumult of a
Bangkok avenue. All afternoon you feel the weight of the things
you've never done. Don't think about it too much. Everything
starts to sound like a train.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Patron Saint of Things Lost or Stolen

We've had a terrible tragedy in my hometown. I won't pain you with the details, every city has their share of senseless crime and some hit closer to one's home than others. My thoughts are with a mother who now knows where her missing daughter is and two others who may see justice done.

Prayers to all those who have suffered loss
or loss of any hope.

Welcome To The Club, Gals.

Wish I could tell you how many times Barbie accompanied us to Sunday mass clutched in the small hands of a much younger College Grrrl. No matter what ensemble she arrived in, by the time communion rolled around Barbie was buck naked. So off we'd go, waiting our turn to the front of the line--me holding a little Grrrl who's carrying Naked Barbie and offering her to the priest. He blessed them both every time, although sometimes half a smile snuck by. Happy 50th you old broad. I'm putting some money down on how long those outfits stay on.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


by Robyn Sarah

It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
It is possible that we are past the middle now.
It is possible that we have crossed the great water
without knowing it, and stand now on the other side.
Yes: I think that we have crossed it. Now
we are being given tickets, and they are not
tickets to the show we had been thinking of,
but to a different show, clearly inferior.

Check again: it is our own name on the envelope.
The tickets are to that other show.

It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
without waiting for the last act: people do.
Some people do. But it is probable
that we will stay seated in our narrow seats
all through the tedious dénouement
to the unsurprising end — riveted, as it were;
spellbound by our own imperfect lives
because they are lives,
and because they are ours.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday in CinCity


by Jane Hirshfield

In every instant, two gates.
One opens to fragrant paradise, one to hell.
Mostly we go through neither.

Mostly we nod to our neighbor,
lean down to pick up the paper,
go back into the house.

But the faint cries—ecstasy? horror?
Or did you think it the sound
of distant bees,
making only the thick honey of this good life?

Few thoughts to get out today. Again, I so appreciate all the new visitors and commentors and want to thank you all. I'd like to respond more timely to the comments, but if I am to get anything done I have to "step away from the computer." My Pasta ala Fridge does not make itself.

To answer two questions though, I do not take the photos on this blog site. Maybe a few were taken by HoneyHaired, but for the most part they were retrieved from various Google searches. If I can find an artist I try to include a name or website.
Believe me, if I could take photographs like some of these I would quit my job, sell my art, and most likely live in my car near the big crazy guy in his van by the river.

The poems come from many places--books, magazines, notebooks I've kept, on-line poetry sites, a lot from Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, a rare few are my own. For me, a little poetry goes a long way, but it seems like one is enough to mull over throughout a day and give me a view of the world just slightly askew from what I see.

The sun is out here, the wind is warm, the dog wants to go out, and HoneyHaired needs to get to dance class. Whatever's planned for your Saturday, hope you enjoy.

Friday, March 6, 2009

TGIF Tonight

HoneyHaired Grrrrrl and her dad went to the circus tonight. After 12hrs of Neurodramaville I've had quite enough of high wire acts for a day and an evening. I dropped by our favorite neighborhood bistro after work and picked up the dinner special, mahi mahi over Mediterranean pasta, to eat at home, blissfully alone, in my PJ's.

It's 60 degrees in my hometown and folks tonight are wearing flip-flops with their jean jackets. There's a pirate moon out hiding in the clouds. I'm on the couch with a full stomach, a cup of tea, and a cat and dog snuggled against me. Hard to tell if it's love or love of my fish dinner, but no matter.

I stole, yes, stole, an O magazine I found in the unit's break room. It's the one from September 2008 with articles about 48 Solutions:Love, Money, Work and 12 Ways To Unclutter and Too Busy To Live? I desperately need to read these articles in the quiet of my empty house. I promise I'm gonna take it back on Sunday when I go back in. Until then, Oprah's got a cure for being overwhelmed and I want it bad. I'm tired up to my eyeballs of these long days without a meal break and I want to badly hurt whatever deviants invented the alarms on every single piece of equipment. I'm betting they work for the CIA now.

Lucky for me I happened to find this little piece of peace inside--

I know
it's hard to be reconciled
not everything is exactly
the way it ought to be

but please turn around
and step into the future
leave memories behind
enter the land of hope

--Zbigniew Herbert, from A Life

In the Coffee Shop

by Carl Dennis

The big smile the waitress gives you
May be a true expression of her opinion
Or may be her way to atone for glowering
A moment ago at a customer who slurped his coffee
Just the way her cynical second husband slurped his.

Think of the meager tip you left the taxi driver
After the trip from the airport, how it didn't express
Your judgment about his service but about the snow
That left you feeling the earth a tundra
Only the frugal few could hope to cross.

Maybe it's best to look for fairness
Not in any particular unbiased judgment
But in a history of mistakes that balance out,
To find an equivalent for the pooling of tips
Practiced by the staff of the coffee shop,
Adding them up and dividing, the same to each.

As for the chilly fish eye the busboy gave you
When told to clear the window table you wanted,
It may have been less a comment on you
Than on his parents, their dismissing the many favors
He does for them as skimpy installments
On a debt too massive to be paid off.

And what about favors you haven't earned?
The blonde who's passing the window now
Without so much as a glance in your direction
Might be trying to focus her mind on her performance
So you, or someone like you, will be pleased to watch
As she crosses the square in her leather snow boots
And tunic of red velvet, fur-trimmed.

What have you done for her that she should turn
The stones of the public buildings
Into a backdrop, a crosswalk into a stage floor,
A table in a no-frills coffee shop
Into a private box near the orchestra?

Yesterday she may have murmured against the fate
That keeps her stuck in the provinces.
But today she atones with her wish to please
As she dispenses with footlights and spotlights,
With a curtain call at the end, with encores.
No way to thank her but with attention
Now as she nears the steps of the courthouse
And begins her unhurried exit into the crowd.

please note: photo by fallsguyd

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I'm either receiving spam or have a very ardent admirer from a foreign country with a made-up alphabet. Thus, the word-verifier. Hope it isn't the straw to break any backs today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sleeping Next to the Man on the Plane

by Ellen Bass

I'm not well. Neither is he.
Periodically he pulls out a handkerchief
and blows his nose. I worry
about germs, but appreciate how he shares
the armrest—especially
considering his size—too large
to lay the tray over his lap.

His seatbelt barely buckles. At least
he doesn't have to ask for an extender
for which I imagine him grateful. Our upper arms
press against each other, like apricots growing
from the same node. My arm is warm
where his touches it. I close my eyes.
In the chilly, oxygen-poor air, I am glad
to be close to his breathing mass.
We want our own species. We want
to lie down next to our own kind.
Even here in this metal encumbrance, hurtling
improbably 30,000 feet above the earth,
with all this civilization—down
to the chicken-or-lasagna in their
environmentally-incorrect packets,
even as the woman behind me is swiping
her credit card on the phone embedded
in my headrest and the folks in first
are watching their individual movies
on personal screens, I lean
into this stranger, seeking primitive comfort—
heat, touch, breath—as we slip
into the ancient vulnerability of sleep.

Red Letter Days

Three young paramedics walked into the unit yesterday, clipboards in hand, and looked around a little uncertainly. They explained they had just dropped off three teenagers to the ER and wondered if they could see the young man they had brought in nearly two weeks ago. Another unrestrained teenage boy in an MVC in almost the same exact location as the crash tonight.

I took them into the room to see our star patient just one day off the respirator and sitting up in a chair thanks to PT/OT standing him up for the first time. He looked around at his visitors, bewildered as he has been all day at the fuss, the tears of his parents and grinning wonderment of the nurses and docs. He's able to answer the questions about place, person and time, but recites them like he's memorized them for a test, smart kid that he is. Already accepted to the Pharmacology College at the University before jumping into his car and not putting on his seatbelt. He was late meeting his friends, he was driving too fast, he hit the curb, over corrected and hit another car who thankfully saw him coming and had come to a stop to lessen the impact.

Thanks to a whole lot of new people this young man's soon to meet in the Rehab hospital he'll graduate with his class and be able to go on to college. A good day indeed.
For a listen to someone else's red letter day, here's one sound from the YouTube symphony that's being put together from on-line videos and an on-line contest. Real live concert to be seen and heard April 15 in Carnegie Hall. I think the way there is still with "practice, practice, practice," but YouTube is helping pave the way.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

worst lines runner up

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
Runner-Up, 2008

"Hmm . . ." thought Abigail as she gazed languidly from the veranda past the bright white patio to the cerulean sea beyond, where dolphins played and seagulls sang, where splashing surf sounded like the tintinnabulation of a thousand tiny bells, where great gray whales bellowed and the sunlight sparkled off the myriad of sequins on the flyfish's bow ties, "time to get my meds checked."
--Andrew Bowers

How often have I thought the very same thing?

Monday, March 2, 2009

12hrs Down, 12hrs To Go.

Wanted to thank everyone again for the all comments and kindnesses sent my way. And please, let me dispel any concerns out there...we DO NOT eat from these plates at work. That would simply be tacky. And we don't have enough for everyone.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

And It's Back To Work I Go.

please note: photo by girlfriday, St. Louis, Mo., 1983

Mama's Definitely Buying A Lottery Ticket Today

Holy Moley.
Blog Of Note.

What a stupendous surprise! And a little overwhelming. I woke up, grabbed the laptop to give my site a quick look-see before doing some writing and found 23 comments. That's not the norm for me so I clicked on warily thinking it was some weird spamming mix-up with made-up psycho/creepy words. Not a mix-up at all. What a gloriously lovely way to start the morning.

Next came a knock at the door for the group photo with recent Blog Noters and we get to keep the orange jackets.
This day just gets better and better. I'm hoping one of those little chickadees lets me borrow their fancy sash to wear to work tomorrow.

Warm welcomes and thank you very much for your comments and kind words. I am truly thrilled to meet you all:>)

and, what I had planned on posting today...

"One day soon the rain will let up, and the frost will leave the ground as stealthily as it came. There will be yielding all around and a sudden insistent adhesion in the barnyard. The urge to clean away winter from the corners of the lawn, from the deep shade beneath the hemlocks, will be irresistible. But all of this hides somewhere on the next page of the calendar. The good news now lies deep within the beehive, where the workers, their dead cast aside in the melting snow, have set the queen laying eggs once again."

Verlyn Klinkenborg, from the chapter, February, in The Rural Life

please note: photo, Junior Orange Bowl Creative Writing Award ceremony on 1/3/09, art by Aleta Gudelski