Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday in CinCity. For All the Mamas with Baby Chicks (big and small) at Home


by Blas Falconer

Rain against the roof sounds like a slow tire

over gravel, as if a friend has come.

The train rumbles through the dark, and my body, tuned

to hear you cry before you cry, stirs.

The lamp floats in the window, the only window lit

at this late hour on the empty street.

Your hands unfurl as you fall asleep.

Small Clock of Needs, Law that I Abide,

the leaves gloss and shine. Like this we rock

and sink into the long night of our rocking.

Friday, November 23, 2012


(We saw a flock of birds looking very similiar to this--wild turkeys--after dinner at Grandma PatPat's)


by Mary Mackey

One November

a week before Thanksgiving

the Ohio river froze

and my great uncles

put on their coats

and drove the turkeys

across the ice

to Rosiclare

where they sold them

for enough to buy

my grandmother

a Christmas doll

with blue china eyes

I like to think

of the sound of

two hundred turkey feet

running across to Illinois

on their way

to the platter

the scrape of their nails

and my great uncles

in their homespun leggings

calling out gee and haw and git

to them as if they

were mules

I like to think of the Ohio

at that moment

the clear cold sky

the green river sleeping

under the ice

before the land got stripped

and the farm got sold

and the water turned the color

of whiskey

and all the uncles

lay down

and never got up again

please note: photo by Mark Hamilton

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks Giving

If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is "thank you," that would suffice.

--Meister Eckhart

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Every Land

by Ursula Le Guin

The holy land is everywhere. —Black Elk

Watch where the branches of the willows bend

See where the waters of the rivers tend

Graves in the rock, cradles in the sand

Every land is the holy land.

Here was the battle to the bitter end

Here's where the enemy killed the friend

Blood on the rock, tears on the sand

Every land is the holy land.

Willow by the water bending in the wind

Bent till it's broken and it cannot stand

Listen to the word the messengers send

Life from the living rock, death in the sand

Every land is the holy land.

please note: my own photo of the beautiful Ohio near Coney Island

Monday, November 19, 2012

it's a monday


by George Bilgere

It was nice being a genius

worth nearly half-a-million dollars

for the two or three minutes it took me

to walk back to my house from the mailbox

with the letter from the Foundation

trembling in my hand. Frankly,

for the first minute

I was somewhat surprised at being a genius.

I'd only published a few small things at that point.

I didn't even have a book.

I was just a part-time lecturer

at a small mid-western college.

But early into the second minute

I had fully embraced the fact of my genius.

I mean, these people know what they're doing, right?

Who am I to tell the Foundation its business?

And I was already practicing the kind of modest,

Hey, it's no big deal tone of voice I'd be using

on the phone for the rest of the day

as I called all my friends, and especially

my enemies, to treat them to the good news.

But when I opened the letter

and saw it was merely a request

for me to recommend someone else to be a genius,

I lost interest and made myself a ham sandwich.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday in CinCity. The Stuffing Edition.

"There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American."

    --O Henry

I love Thanksgiving. Full disclosure, I love the fall with the change in colors, the chill, and the slowdown to the quiet of winter. I love the annual dog show on television in the morning and the Macy's Parade which jabbers in the background while I read and reread recipes and mince, chop, and slice. I get tired of the kitchen that day, but I enjoy the cooking. It is the day that White Christmas may be dusted off, but I don't want to hear any Christmas music or movies before the day after Thanksgiving. It should be autumn music. A little Yo-Yo Ma, perhaps. Autumn should get it's time and we should take a moment to be grateful before the headlong rush into Commercialmas. IMHO.

This year Hubby's working 12hrs, I'm off, HoneyHaired will come home and MissNewOrleans will be in New Orleans. HoneyHaired and I will drive over to the next state and have Thanksgiving with  Grandma PatPat and Aunt DebbieDebbie, and with luck will be able to squeeze in a showing of The Life of Pi before coming home bearing food for the working man.

  So now, the big questions of the day boils down to just one. The stuffing. I'm going to do it this year. I'm going with the oysters. Always wanted to try a recipe I found years ago, but held off till the kids got older or the guests weren't too persnickety and  now that we're having our Turkey Day on Monday with just the two of us and leftovers galore to GladWare away to an off-campus apartment in the heart of Clifton, this year seems as good as any. And, with an unexpected day off work it seems as though the universe is in alignment with this stop-the-press decision.

PS. If you haven't seen it yet, Hubby and I saw Lincoln yesterday. In a word, GO.

...'O Oysters, come and walk with us!

The Walrus did beseech.

'A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,

Along the briny beach:

We cannot do with more than four,

To give a hand to each.'

The eldest Oyster looked at him,

But never a word he said:

The eldest Oyster winked his eye,

And shook his heavy head --

Meaning to say he did not choose

To leave the oyster-bed.

Out four young Oysters hurried up.

All eager for the treat:

Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,

Their shoes were clean and neat --

And this was odd, because, you know,

They hadn't any feet...

by Lewis Carroll

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

...a pyrates' life for me...

The Old Sea-dog at the Admiral Benbow

SQUIRE TRELAWNEY, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17__ and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral Benbow inn and the brown old seaman with the sabre cut first took up his lodging under our roof.

I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest following behind him in a hand-barrow — a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man, his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulder of his soiled blue coat, his hands ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails, and the sabre cut across one cheek, a dirty, livid white. I remember him looking round the cover and whistling to himself as he did so, and then breaking out in that old sea-song that he sang so often afterwards:

"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest —

Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday, Monday

please note: pictured is the first album I ever bought

Ode to the Vinyl Record

by Thomas R. Smith

The needle lowers into the groove

and I'm home. It could be any record

I've lived with and loved a long time: Springsteen

or Rodrigo, Ray Charles or Emmylou

Harris: Not only the music, but

the whirlpool shimmering on the turntable

funneling blackly down into the ocean

of the ear—even the background

pops and hisses a worn record

wraps the music in, creaturely

imperfections so hospitable to our own.

Since those first Beatles and Stones LPs

plopped down spindles on record players

we opened like tiny suitcases at sweaty

junior high parties while parents were out,

how many nights I've pulled around

my desires a vinyl record's cloak

of flaws and found it a perfect fit,

the crackling unclarity and turbulence

of the country's lo-fi basement heart

madly spinning, making its big dark sound

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday in CinCity. The With Deepest Gratitude Edition.

"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."

Douglas MacArthur

Friday, November 9, 2012

TGIF. The Purple Haze Edition.

Not quite as "1 Fish 2 Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" as shown over and over again.

please note: map demographic found on FaceBook by Cousin Cole

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday in CinCity. The "We Remain More Than a Collection of Red States and Blue States. We Are and Forever Will Be the United States of America." Edition.

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."  

--attributed to Mother Teresa

Monday, November 5, 2012

Line in the Sand


by Ken McCullough

What he said was vast, given his limits.
At some mojave of the soul, we stopped

to gas up, and I was inclined to bolt—

wrong look, wrong answer, might raise his demons,

but what did I know, who was I to say?

He tuned Tom Harmon on the radio,

sneered and nodded like a slow woodpecker—

"Would that they had broke the mold," he chuckled

with sand in his pipes. The sun had stumbled.

His eyes turned on me—"What'll it be, rook?

Only one of us will walk away, son."

He coughed, spat. ''Are you in or are you out?

If you think you are fast enough, just once,

you might have a blind salamander's chance."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday in CinCity. The Fall Arrives! Edition

The Fall Almost Nobody Sees

by David Budbill

Everybody's gone away.

They think there's nothing left to see.

The garish colors' flashy show is over.

Now those of us who stay

hunker down in sweet silence,

blessed emptiness among

red-orange shadblow

purple-red blueberry

copper-brown beech

gold tamarack, a few

remaining pale yellow

popple leaves,

sedge and fern in shades

from beige to darkening red

to brown to almost black,

and all this in front of, below,

among blue-green spruce and fir

and white pine,

all of it under gray skies,

chill air, all of us waiting

in the somber dank and rain,

waiting here in quiet, chill


waiting for the snow.

Well, I don't know what the hell I've been doing for the past month or so. I obviously wasn't here. Biggest change other than the temperature is that we've gone completely to electronic/computerized charting at BigFatTeaching Hospital and I have pretty much lost my mind. It has been a struggle and rightfully, I don't want to see or touch a computer once I'm home. And a miracle that I haven't taken a sledge hammer to it just for being distantly related.

Yes, I'm a bitter bitch.

Hubby and I have been walking a lot. Five miles at Spring Grove Cemetery on my days off. I may have mentioned once or twenty times that my cholesterol and lipid levels are out of whack. Have tried multiple medications which have not taken kindly to me. So, I'm amping up on the exercise and cutting down on the CoffeeMate. That was before EPIC charting came our way. Now it's coffee and whatever transfatty food is available in the break room. I either have massive gastritis or a dissecting aortic aneurysm. Doesn't matter as long as I don't have to chart it. People say it gets better, but they might be the walking dead; it's hard to tell the difference these days.

We're leaving in about 45 minutes to take a long walk up to the university to see the POTUS at one of his last stumps in the heart of it all. Hubby, who "voted my conscience" and voted third party, is going with me. That's the real love of old married folks.

Much love to all of you and remember...only 54 hours till the end of the political ads...! Hang tough!