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Showing posts from December, 2010

HappyHappyJoyJoy

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Going into the fix-'em-up brain factory this morning, hoping the census is low and a few of us can go home early. Or not...

Whatever the day brings, I plan to have a glass of bubbly in hand at midnight yelling out a welcome to the new year and a fare-thee-well to the old one. Wishing you and yours much joy and happiness in 2011.

Resolutions?...I may have to fine tune a bit, but the sentiment above seems okay with me!

When I Am in the Kitchen

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by Jeanne Marie Beaumont







I think about the past. I empty the ice-cube trays
crack crack cracking like bones, and I think
of decades of ice cubes and of John Cheever,
of Anne Sexton making cocktails, of decades
of cocktail parties, and it feels suddenly far
too lonely at my counter. Although I have on hooks
nearby the embroidered apron of my friend's
grandmother and one my mother made for me
for Christmas 30 years ago with gingham I had
coveted through my childhood. In my kitchen
I wield my great aunt's sturdy black-handled
soup ladle and spatula, and when I pull out
the drawer, like one in a morgue, I visit
the silverware of my husband's grandparents.
We never met, but I place this in my mouth
every day and keep it polished out of duty.
In the cabinets I find my godmother's
teapot, my mother's Cambridge glass goblets,
my mother-in-law's Franciscan plates, and here
is the cutting board my first husband parqueted
and two potholders I wove in grade school.
Oh the past is too much wi…

December 26

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by Kenn Nesbitt



A BB gun.
A model plane.
A basketball.
A ‘lectric train.
A bicycle.
A cowboy hat.
A comic book.
A baseball bat.
A deck of cards.
A science kit.
A racing car.
A catcher's mitt.
So that's my list
of everything
that Santa Claus
forgot to bring.

Toward the Winter Solstice

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by Timothy Steele



Although the roof is just a story high,
It dizzies me a little to look down.
I lariat-twirl the rope of Christmas lights
And cast it to the weeping birch's crown;
A dowel into which I've screwed a hook
Enables me to reach, lift, drape, and twine
The cord among the boughs so that the bulbs
Will accent the tree's elegant design.

Friends, passing home from work or shopping, pause
And call up commendations or critiques.
I make adjustments. Though a potpourri
Of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Sikhs,
We all are conscious of the time of year;
We all enjoy its colorful displays
And keep some festival that mitigates
The dwindling warmth and compass of the days.

Some say that L.A. doesn't suit the Yule,
But UPS vans now like magi make
Their present-laden rounds, while fallen leaves
Are gaily resurrected in their wake;
The desert lifts a full moon from the east
And issues a dry Santa Ana breeze,
And valets at chic restaurants will soon
Be tending flocks of cars and SUV's…

In Winter

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by Michael Ryan




At four o’clock it’s dark.
Today, looking out through dusk
at three gray women in stretch slacks
chatting in front of the post office,
their steps left and right and back
like some quick folk dance of kindness,
I remembered the winter we spent
crying in each other’s laps.
What could you be thinking at this moment?
How lovely and strange the gangly spines
of trees against a thickening sky
as you drive from the library
humming off-key? Or are you smiling
at an idea met in a book
the way you smiled with your whole body
the first night we talked?
I was so sure my love of you was perfect,
and the light today
reminded me of the winter you drove home
each day in the dark at four o’clock
and would come into my study to kiss me
despite mistake after mistake after mistake.

please note: photo art by Desert Vu.

Anniversary on the Island

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by W.S.Merwin

The long waves glide in through the afternoon
while we watch from the island
from the cool shadow under the trees where the long ridge
a fold in the skirt of the mountain
runs down to the end of the headland

day after day we wake to the island
the light rises through the drops on the leaves
and we remember like birds where we are
night after night we touch the dark island
that once we set out for

and lie still at last with the island in our arms
hearing the leaves and the breathing shore
there are no years any more
only the one mountain
and on all sides the sea that brought us

Your Luck is About to Change

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by Susan Elizabeth Howeby


Ominous inscrutable Chinese news
to get just before Christmas,
considering my reasonable health,
marriage spicy as moo-goo-gai-pan,
career running like a not-too-old Chevrolet.
Not bad, considering what can go wrong:
the bony finger of Uncle Sam
might point out my husband,
my own national guard,
and set him in Afghanistan;
my boss could take a personal interest;
the pain in my left knee could spread to my right.
Still, as the old year tips into the new,
I insist on the infant hope, gooing and kicking
his legs in the air. I won't give in
to the dark, the sub-zero weather, the fog,
or even the neighbors' Nativity.
Their four-year-old has arranged
his whole legion of dinosaurs
so they, too, worship the child,
joining the cow and sheep. Or else,
ultimate mortals, they've come to eat
ox and camel, Mary and Joseph,
then savor the newborn babe.

Saturday in CinCity. The Pass the Zadroga Bill Edition. Please. And Forward It On.

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Dear Senator Voinovich,

I am asking you to please reconsider a blind solidarity with the Republican Party and to vote the will of the American people and the citizens of Ohio on the Zadroga, 9/11 Bill now before the Senate.

It is nothing but wrong to disallow compensation and healthcare assistance to the men and women who worked tirelessly at the WTC site for months on end and who now suffer the consequences of the toxic materials distributed there.

Please honor those first responders who served our country in 2001 by assisting them in their time of need. Any more filibustering looks like exactly what it is--a silly, pathetic joke by folks who don't actually do the hard work at hand. I do not recall one senator pulling a dead body out of the rubble during that national tragedy. Your long speeches are not wanted here. Actual financial assistance is required.
Make it work and get it done.

Thank you for your time and thank you for a vote of support for first responders,



FaceBook has a si…

TGIF. The Week Off Work Edition.

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It's very quiet here this morning. HoneyHaired is at school taking her last exam of the quarter. Art History. Hubby's luxuriating in being back in bed after driving our grrrrl and the neighbor grrrrls to school this morning. It was my turn, but I bartered to drive extra shifts on a morning without so much snow and ice. I was thinking perhaps next summer.

Birds are chattering away at the bird feeders in our front yard and I see glimpses of a fat furry tail scampering across the outside of our living room window. This fall we had a mama and baby squirrel constructing an elaborate nest outside our kitchen window. The baby would come out in the evenings at dinnertime and peek in, lifting his little paw on the screen like a hello. I don't know if it was the workmen who came to fix the gutters or a forewarning of the bitter wind that comes in from that western exposure, but the squirrels moved their home from the back of the house to a front window box where I hope they're mo…

Emily Dickinson's To-Do List

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by Andrea Carlisle


Monday
Figure out what to wear—white dress?
Put hair in bun
Bake gingerbread for Sue
Peer out window at passersby
Write poem
Hide poem



Tuesday
White dress? Off-white dress?
Feed cats
Chat with Lavinia
Work in garden
Letter to T.W.H.

Wednesday
White dress or what?
Eavesdrop on visitors from behind door
Write poem
Hide poem

Thursday
Try on new white dress
Gardening—watch out for narrow fellows in grass!
Gingerbread, cakes, treats
Poems: Write and hide them

Friday
Embroider sash for white dress
Write poetry
Water flowers on windowsill
Hide everything

Missoula in a Dusty Light

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by John Haines


Walking home through the tall
Montana twilight,
leaves were moving in the gutters
and a little dust...



I saw beyond the roofs and chimneys
a cloud like a hill of smoke,
amber and dirty grey. And a wind
began from the street corners
and rutted alleys,
out of year-end gardens, weed lots
and trash bins;
the yellow air
came full of specks and ash,
noiseless, crippled things that crashed
and flew again...
grit and the smell of rain.
And then a steady sound,
as if an army or a council,
long-skirted, sweeping the stone,
were gathering near;
disinherited and vengeful people,
scuffing their bootheels,
rolling tin cans before them.

And quieter still behind them
the voices of birds
and whispering brooms:
"This Land
has bitter roots, and seeds
that crack and spill in the wind..."

I halted under a blowing light
to listen, to see;
and it was the bleak Montana wind
sweeping the leaves and dust
along the street.

TGIF

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The nose knows snow...

please note: photo art by Arne Dedart

Manna

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by Joseph Stroud



Everywhere, everywhere, snow sifting down,
a world becoming white, no more sounds,
no longer possible to find the heart of the day,
the sun is gone, the sky is nowhere, and of all
I wanted in life – so be it – whatever it is
that brought me here, chance, fortune, whatever
blessing each flake of snow is the hint of, I am
grateful, I bear witness, I hold out my arms,
palms up, I know it is impossible to hold
for long what we love of the world, but look
at me, is it foolish, shameful, arrogant to say this,
see how the snow drifts down, look how happy
I am.


please note: photo art by minimanjapan