Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Snow

Something needs to be done—like dragging a big black plastic sack through the upstairs rooms, emptying into it each waste basket, the trash of three lives for a week or so. I am careful and slow about it, so that this little chore will banish the big ones. But I leave the bag lying on the floor and I go into my daughter’s bedroom, into the north morning light from her windows, and while this minute she is at school counting or spelling a first useful word I sit down on her unmade bed and I look out the windows at nothing for a while, the unmoving buildings—houses and a church—in the cold street.
       Across it a dark young man is coming slowly down the white sidewalk with a snowshovel over his shoulder. He’s wearing a light coat, there’s a plastic showercap under his dirty navy blue knit hat, and at a house where the walk hasn’t been cleared he climbs the steps and rings the doorbell and stands waiting, squinting sideways at the wind. Then he half wakes and he says a few words I can’t hear to the storm door that doesn’t open, and he nods his head with the kindly farewell that is a habit he wears as disguise, and he goes back down the steps and on to the next house. All of this in pantomime, the way I see it through windows closed against winter and the faint sounds of winter.
       My daughter’s cross-eyed piggy bank is also staring out blankly, and in its belly are four dollar bills that came one at a time from her grandmother and which tomorrow she will pull out of the corked mouthhole. (It’s not like the piggy banks you have to fill before you empty them because to empty them you have to smash them.) Tomorrow she will buy a perfect piece of small furniture for her warm well-lit dollhouse where no one is tired or weak and the wind can’t get in.
       Sitting on her bed, looking out, I didn’t see a bundled-up lame child out of school and even turned out of the house for a while, or a blind woman with burns or a sick bald veteran—people who might have walked past stoop-shouldered with what’s happened and will keep happening to them. So much limping is not from physical pain—the pain is gone now, but the leg’s still crooked. The piggy bank and I see only the able young man whose straight back nobody needs.
       When he finally gets past where I can see him, it feels as if a kind of music has stopped, and it’s more completely quiet than it was, an emptiness more than a stillness, and I get up from the rumpled bed and I smooth the covers, slowly and carefully, and I look around the room for something to pick up or straighten, and I take a wadded dollar bill from my pocket and put it into the pig and I walk out.
Reginald Gibbons, “Friday Snow” from Saints (New York: Persea Books, 1986). Copyright © 1986 by Reginald Gibbons. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
from: Saints. Copyright 1986.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


- Edna St. Vincent Millay

And if I loved you Wednesday,
Well, what is that to you?
I do not love you Thursday—
So much is true.

And why you come complaining
Is more than I can see.
I loved you Wednesday,—yes—but what
Is that to me?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Quote of the Day

The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.

- John Wooden

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Haiku Ambulance

A piece of green pepper
off the wooden salad bowl:
       so what?

- Richard Brautigan

Monday, October 17, 2016

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

North Wind

- Lola Ridge

I love you, malcontent
Male wind -
Shaking the pollen from a flower
Or hurling the sea backward from the grinning sand.
Blow on and over my dreams. . .
Scatter my sick dreams. . .
Throw your lusty arms about me. . .
Envelop all my hot body. . .
Carry me to pine forests -
Great, rough-bearded forests. . .
Bring me to stark plains and steppes. . .
I would have the North to-night -
The cold, enduring North.
And if we should meet the Snow,
Whirling in spirals,
And he should blind my eyes. . .
Ally, you will defend me -
You will hold me close,
Blowing on my eyelids.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

It's A Garden Party! - In the Jurassic!

This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and was then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

If anyone would like to share their own gardening adventures with me
- large or small, inside or out -
I would love to see them.

Just leave a link to your post in the comments.

Snow Drops are on their way!

I took some trash out to the can yesterday and saw an empty Crispy Kreme box on the ground.

I also saw something else.

I may have mentioned the chicken tearing up my garden. Well, here she is . . . along with a surprise. I only count ten in this picture, but there are eleven.

Here she is in front of the Cape Honeysuckle. What you can't see is that it's raining and and she is protecting her babies beneath her.

Here they are running in terror as I try to get a decent picture of them.

Why do I care about the prehistoric monsters who are tearing up my garden? I don't know.

All right. Yes. They're cute and I can't help it.

There. Are you happy now?

 And look!
The California Poppies are still hanging on.

Although it was afternoon when the picture was taken, this poppy is still sleeping. Since it was overcast and raining it felt no need to get up. I often feel the same way.

Woman Feeding Chickens
Her hand is at the feedbag at her waist,
sunk to the wrist in the rustling grain
that nuzzles her fingertips when laced
around a sifting handful. It’s like rain,
like cupping water in your hand, she thinks,
the cracks between the fingers like a sieve,
except that less escapes you through the chinks
when handling grain. She likes to feel it give
beneath her hand’s slow plummet, and the smell,
so rich a fragrance she has never quite
got used to it, under the seeming spell
of the charm of the commonplace. The white
hens bunch and strut, heads cocked, with tilted eyes,
till her hand sweeps out and the small grain flies.

from: A Far Allegiance, Copyright 2010.

Friday, October 14, 2016


Watch the fire undress him,
how flame fingers each button,
rolls back his collar, unzips him
without sweet talk or mystery.

See how the skin begins to gather
at his ankles, how it slips into
the embers, how it shimmers
beneath him, unshapen, iridescent

as candlelight on a dark negligee.
Come, look at him, at all his goods,
how his whole body becomes song,
an aria of light, a psalm’s kaleidoscope.

Listen as he lets loose an opus,
night’s national anthem, the tune
you can’t name, but can’t stop humming.
There, he burns brilliant as a blue note.

from: Red Summer, Copyright 2006.