Monday, November 30, 2009

A November Sunrise

by Anne Porter

Wild geese are flocking and calling in pure golden air,
Glory like that which painters long ago
Spread as a background for some little hermit
Beside his cave, giving his cloak away,
Or for some martyr stretching out
On her expected rack.
A few black cedars grow nearby
And there's a donkey grazing.

Small craftsmen, steeped in anonymity like bees,
Gilded their wooden panels, leaving fame to chance,
Like the maker of this wing-flooded golden sky,
Who forgives all our ignorance
Both of his nature and of his very name,
Freely accepting our one heedless glance.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Foresee the Breaking of All That Is Breakable

by John Estes


Perhaps, after all, it is merely a desire
to use the word thanatopsical
but if you can wash or handle
artifacts like this blue
tea mug, carried from Crete as a gift
from a friend, or this nacreous
orange bowl,
a honeymoon souvenir
bought in a now-defunct artists'
shop in Colorado, or
this antique Chinese mudman
carrying his sponges
and fish from a day at the pier,
without a pathological
fixation on the day you will stumble
and drop it, or smack it
against the sink divider or brush
it with a hand reaching
for the letter opener, you are junzi:
a superior person, as Confucius had it.
You probably make love
to your spouse without imagining
betrayal and pay taxes
without complaint
because you think nothing
in truth belongs to you.

They invented the earth for people
like you, and then salted it.

please note: photo by jon.noj

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday in CinCity

The Surgeon

by Alicia Suskin Ostriker

I was still a kid
interning at State
he reminisces late in the meal—
It was a young red-headed woman
looked like my sister
when the lines went flat
I fell apart
shook
like a car with a broken axle
Went to the head surgeon
a fatherly man
Boy, he said, you got to fill a graveyard
before you know this business
and you just did row one, plot one.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Two Girls

by Jim Harrison

Late November (full moon last night),
a cold Patagonia moon, the misty air
tinkled slightly, a rank-smelling bull
in the creek bottom seemed to be crying.
Coyotes yelped up the canyon
where they took a trip-wire photo of a jaguar
last spring. I hope he's sleeping or eating
a delicious deer. Our two little girl dogs
are peeing in the midnight yard, nervous
about the bull. They can't imagine a jaguar.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again

for wriggling my way into the attic to find the middle leaf for the dining room table and bring down the games for Thanksgiving.



Our feast will be on Tuesday since Hubby and I are both working the holiday. The grrrrls will be home making the rounds with the grandmothers. Stop back for a comparative study of stuffings and cranberry sauces.

I started cooking this afternoon. Sorry to say my dressing isn't up to its usual snuff. Used some fancy-schmancy sausage instead of the tried and true Jimmy Dean Bulk Pork Sausage. Let that be a lesson to anyone getting a little cocky and wanting to be innovative. Resist the urge. Save it for the leftovers.

Very thankful for my new BFF, Hulu.com. Got to catch up on past episodes of The Good Wife. Made all the chopping go quite pleasantly, although now that I think about it, perhaps the problem with my dressing. Damn that vixen, Julianna.



I have many things to be thankful for this year, the friendships and camaraderie I've found here among them. Thanks for reading and especially for your comments.

Hope your day of thanks is spent with those you love and food you love. Not necessarily in that order.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday in CinCity

XI.

by Wendell Berry

Though he was ill and in pain,
in disobedience to the instruction he
would have received if he had asked,
the old man got up from his bed,
dressed, and went to the barn.
The bare branches of winter had emerged
through the last leaf-colors of fall,
the loveliest of all, browns and yellows
delicate and nameless in the gray light
and the sifting rain. He put feed
in the troughs for eighteen ewe lambs,
sent the dog for them, and she
brought them. They came eager
to their feed, and he who felt
their hunger was by their feeding
eased. From no place in the time
of present places, within no boundary
nameable in human thought,
they had gathered once again,
the shepherd, his sheep, and his dog
with all the known and the unknown
round about to the heavens' limit.
Was this his stubbornness or bravado?
No. Only an ordinary act
of profoundest intimacy in a day
that might have been better. Still
the world persisted in its beauty,
he in his gratitude, and for this
he had most earnestly prayed.

please note: photo by Patricia McConnell

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Alexandria, 1953

by Gregory Djanikian

You could think of sunlight
Glancing off the minarets,
You could think of guavas and figs
And the whole marketplace filled
With the sumptuous din of haggling,
But you could not think of Alexandria
Without the sea, or the sea,
Turquoise and shimmering, without
The white city rising before it.

Even on the back streets
You could feel it on your skin,
You could smell it in the aroma
Of dark coffee, spiced meat.

You looked at the sea and you heard
The wail of an Arab woman singing or praying.

If, as I can now, you could point
To the North Atlantic, swollen
And dark as it often is, you might say,
"Here lies Wrath," or "Truly God is great."
You could season a Puritan soul by it.

But you could fall into the Mediterranean
As though you were falling into a blue dream,
Gauzy, half unreal for its loveliness.
It was deceptively calm and luxurious.
At Stanley Bay, you could float
On your back and watch the evening sun
Color the city a faint rose.
You could drown, it was said,
Almost without knowing it.

please note: photo by Declan McCullagh

Monday, November 16, 2009

Manners

by Howard Nemerov

Prig offered Pig the first chance at dessert,
So Pig reached out and speared the bigger part.

"Now that," cried Prig, "is extremely rude of you!"
Pig, with his mouth full, said, "Wha, wha' wou' 'ou do?"

"I would have taken the littler bit," said Prig.
"Stop kvetching, then it's what you've got," said Pig.

So virtue is its own reward, you see.
And that is all it's ever going to be.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday in CinCity

Grapefruit

by Ted McMahon

My grandfather got up early to section grapefruit.
I know because I got up quietly to watch.
He was tall. His hairless shins stuck out
below his bathrobe, down to leather slippers.
The house was quiet, sun just up, ticking of
the grandfather clock tall in the corner.

The grapefruit were always sectioned just so,
nestled in clear nubbled bowls used
for nothing else, with half a maraschino
centered bleeding slowly into
soft pale triangles of fruit.
It was special grapefruit, Indian River,
not to be had back home.

Doves cooed outside and the last night-breeze
rustled the palms against the eaves.
He turned to see me, pale light flashing
off his glasses
and smiled.

I remember as I work my knife along the
membrane separating sections.
It's dawn. The doves and palms are far away.
I don't use cherries anymore.
The clock is digital
and no one is watching.

Please note:Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Well, It's Not Rainy, It's Not a Sunday, and I Do Love This Poem...

Driving at Night

by Sheila Packa

Up north, the dashboard lights of the family car
gleam in memory, the radio
plays to itself as I drive
my father plied the highways
while my mother talked, she tried to hide
that low lilt, that Finnish brogue,
in the back seat, my sisters and I
our eyes always tied to the Big Dipper
I watch it still
on summer evenings, as the fireflies stream
above the ditches and moths smack
into the windshield and the wildlife's
red eyes bore out from the dark forests
we flew by, then scattered like the last bit of star
light years before.
It's like a different country, the past
we made wishes on unnamed falling stars
that I've forgotten, that maybe were granted
because I wished for love.