Showing posts from January, 2013


by Marianne Boruch

I walked out, and the nest was already there by the step. Woven basket of a saint sent back to life as a bird who proceeded to make a mess of things. Wind right through it, and any eggs long vanished. But it my hand it was
intricate pleasure, even the thorny reeds softened in the weave. And the fading leaf mold, hardly itself anymore, merely a trick
of light, if light can be tricked. Deep in a life is another life. I walked out, the nest
already by the step.

please note: photo by DarlingBridget from Homespun Bliss Blog

Saturday in CinCity. The "I Was Mad About It" Edition.

Might I recommend a movie to you all? Diana Vreeland. If you are "of a certain age," male or female, this movie brings our past back to kaleidescopic life through an entirely different lens. The quotidian wrappings of our day have, more likely than not, become icons. The Twiggys, the Rolling Stones, the Jean Shrimptons, the Veruschkas. Pages and pages of magazine photos that filled our minds and eyes in the travels of our every days now fill in the gaps of our history of events of that time.

I'd seen the previews at our neighborhood movie theater and thought it looked interesting enough, though easy enough to keep putting off. Yesterday I put it on the To-Do List for 5:05pm and to quote another great icon, "I'm mad about it!! Simply mad!"

Goodbye, New York

(song from the wrong side of the Hudson)

by Deborah Garrison

You were the big fat city we called hometown

You were the lyrics I sang but never wrote down

You were the lively graves by the highway in Queen…

The Physics of the Known World

by Paul Lisicky

That silly retriever. He doesn't go to the two guys looking right at him, beaming him awake with concentrated joy. Not at all: he goes straight to the man with his head turned to the left, who could care less about doggy behavior and isn't the least bit stirred by the snout parked in the knee and the wagging hind parts. And that's it: the physics of the known world. Which is why the trees look better when they're left unwatered, and the birds actually prefer it when you don't sing back to them. And the holy man crossing the street with the black brim hat? He knows better than to pick up what he's dropped and lift his face to the mountains. Take it from him, friend. You probably wouldn't even want it if the light hit you in your head.

One Today

by Richard Blanco

One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,

peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces

of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth

across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.

One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story

told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,

each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:

pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,

fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows

begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper -- bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,

on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives -- to teach geometry, or ring up groceries as my mother did

for twenty years, so I could write this poem.

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,

the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:

equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagine…

I Know I Should Be Thinking Deep Thoughts...

...being that's it's the second inauguration of this country's first African-American president on the very day we celebrate Martin Luther King. I love this president and revere Mr. King, but I got nothing. I'm gonna percolate on this and try to be pithy and reflective at some point in my day. What I really want to talk about is the Downton Abbey episode last night, and the reports I keep getting on FaceBook that it's -20 in Fargo, and the events surrounding the young woman I wrote about a few days ago reported on the front page of our">"> 
daily paper yesterday morning
 and the fact that Hubby is working today and I'm off which allows me to toss and purge some of the flotsam and jetsam in this house without having every bag and pile second guessed. With the inauguration playing in the background.

One thing which remains certain in this world is that life is full of incredib…

TGIF. It's Already the Middle of January?!

"Outside, it is cold, silvery, and suffused with a delicate milky haze. Gray hushed days follow each other, calling us to inner activity. Sitting by the fire or hurrying through the streets, our power of thinking grows. Filled with new ideas, we feel creative and courageous. Legend says, "words spoken in winter go unheard until next summer." This is the message from Janus, the old Etruscan god of the doorway, after whom January was named. Janus stands between past and future, new and old. He has two faces. One looks back, the other forward. His third face is invisible. This is the face of eternity, the present moment: NOW. Warmth settles around our hearts. Summoned to great deeds of right action and selfless love, Janus bids us pass through his gate." --Christopher Bamford

please note: photo is from Cincinnati Daily Photo. Apparently there was a once-in-a-lifetime, phenomenally beautiful sunset the other evening while I was hard at work in BigFatTeaching Hospital w…


"Every year about now, I feel the need to keep a journal...I walk past the blank books--gifts of nothingness--that pile up in bookstores this season, and I can almost hear their clean white pages begging to be defaced...if I do give in, this is what I have in mind. I want to count the crows in the field every afternoon. I want to record the temperatures, highs and lows, every day and measure the rain and snow. If a flock of turkeys walks into the barnyard, I want to mention the fact. If one of the horses throws a shoe, I want to say so, in writing, before I call the farrier; and I'd like to be able to tell from my journal just how many bales of hay I have squirreled away in the barn."
--Verlyn Klingenborg

For those among us who live more prosaic lives and don't have the cawings of crows to mark our mornings and evenings as their flight pattern crosses over the quiet, snow dusted street we live on and who have no noble beasts snorting sweet hay scented, steamy breath …

The Song of Wandering Aengus

By William Butler Yeats

I went out to the hazel wood,

Because a fire was in my head,

And cut and peeled a hazel wand,

And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,

And moth-like stars were flickering out,

I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor

I went to blow the fire a-flame,

But something rustled on the floor,

And someone called me by my name:

It had become a glimmering girl

With apple blossom in her hair

Who called me by my name and ran

And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering

Through hollow lands and hilly lands,

I will find out where she has gone,

And kiss her lips and take her hands;

And walk among long dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done,

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun

A Prayer among Friends

by John Daniel

Among other wonders of our lives, we are alive

with one another, we walk here

in the light of this unlikely world

that isn't ours for long.

May we spend generously

the time we are given.

May we enact our responsibilities

as thoroughly as we enjoy

our pleasures. May we see with clarity,

may we seek a vision

that serves all beings, may we honor

the mystery surpassing our sight,

and may we hold in our hands

the gift of good work

and bear it forth whole, as we

were borne forth by a power we praise

to this one Earth, this homeland of all we love.

There was a fire here by the university on New Year's morning. Five kids got out and two were carried out by firefighters and brought to the hospital. When I say "kids" I mean college students--20 year olds. Of the two at our place, the young man died a few days ago and the young girl is struggling against all odds. So, all that is left is prayers to which my friend Debra says, "You can never have too many,&qu…

Relentless Usurpation of Temporal Linearity

by Dara Wier

I had been continuing to do the same thing

while expecting different results.

On most days the children learned how

to do something. Time passed around us

as something approaching a figure eight

might move in order to let all else move

or be moved by our large numbers of feelings

exponentially on high alert once we let them register.

It passed us around. It passed around us like a river

around a boulder.

Music consisted of light & light came on time.

It was impossible for us not to anthropomorphize everything.

And yes, watching ice skaters, the kind called figure skaters,

the ones who aren't doing anything other than tracking again &

again some figure of infinity marked out on ice for them,

this never failed to quiet us down & take us some place else.

Tuesday in CinCity. The "I Have Lusted in My Heart" Edition.

A Short Panegyric

by Mark Strand

Now that the vegetarian nightmare is over and we are back to

our diet of meat and deep in the sway of our dark and beauty-

ful habits and able to speak with calm of having survived, let

the breeze of the future touch and retouch our large and hun-

gering bodies. Let us march to market to embrace the butcher

and put the year of the carrot, the month of the onion behind

us, let us worship the roast or the stew that takes its place once

again at the sacred center of the dining room table.

(Olivier's on Decatur Street, New Orleans. And, yes, I'm still thinking about their Creole Rabbit.)

Sunday in CinCity. Resolution Is Us Edition.

I have not wanted to write much after my friend's death. Let me be honest, I have not wanted to think much. And I believe that's as it should be. Lord knows, the brain takes years to recover and heal and I imagine the soul does, too. But, I miss the magic I found in words. The unexpected placements and pairings. The rhythm of syllables. So, for me, 2013 will be a year of opening doors and telling the tales of what I find.

Our squirrel's nest squirms
and reassembles 
beneath a winter's wind.

...Maybe...or  I could watch Big Bang Theory marathons...Bazinga!

The Frogs After Dark

by Robert Bly

I am so much in love with mournful music

That I don't bother to look for violinists.

The aging peepers satisfy me for hours.

The ant moves on his tiny Sephardic feet.

The flute is always glad to repeat the same note.

The ocean rejoices in its dusky mansion.

Bears are often piled up close to each other.

In caves of bears, it's just one hump

After another, and there is no one to s…

Saturday in CinCity. The Pay the Piper Edition.

Well, it's January and it must be done. Yoga pants must be dug out of the bottom of a pile of clothes in the bedroom, a short sleeved T shirt must be wriggled into, and I must sweat amongst strangers. Hubby and I have never quite recovered from our last visit to New Orleans and let me simply say two words. Creole. Rabbit. We believe we were placed on earth to eat and drink every two hours while wandering around listening to fabulous music.

Alas, that is not meant to be and January is here and my jeans are not as comfy as my work scrubs, so sweat it shall be today. Turn it up and burn it up, my friends!


by Linda Pastan

The deep strangeness

of flowers in winter—

the orange of clivia,

or this creamy white rose

in its stoneware

vase, while outside

another white

like petals drifting down.

Is it real?

a visitor asks,

meaning the odd magenta

orchid on our sill


as makeup on a child.

It's freezing all around us—

salt cold on the lips,

the flinty blacks and grays

of Jan…


Does sunset sometimes look like
  the sun is coming up?
Do you know what a faithful love is like?

You're crying; you say you've burned yourself.
But can you think of anyone who's not
 hazy with smoke?


The New Year Begins.

Outside Fargo, North Dakota

by James Wright

Along the sprawled body of the derailed

Great Northern freight car,

I strike a match slowly and lift it slowly.

No wind.

Beyond town, three heavy white horses

Wade all the way to their shoulders

In a silo shadow.

Suddenly the freight car lurches.

The door slams back, a man with a flashlight

Calls me good evening.

I nod as I write good evening, lonely

And sick for home.