Monday, April 20, 2015

Kilt Monday!

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

Saturday, April 18, 2015

It's A Garden Party - Water & Roses & Other Things

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

Japanese Maple

The Water Conservation Corps sent emails outlining the new water CA restrictions. In a nut shell, our 'goal' is to cut back to 25% less than our 2013 usage.

I've changed the garden quite a bit over the past few years with a view to conserving both effort and water, and still have some intensive work to do. I need to build edgings for most of the beds and the rows of fruit trees that will hold a thick layer of mulch in place over my soaker hoses.

Hopefully this will help me hit my target.

The Lavender is beginning its season.

I have, four different kinds, the first of which you see here.

It was salvaged by my husband from a clearance bin and though it seems to be a Spanish cultivar, I don't know any specifics.

One thing I do know is that it is very happy this year - and I have not given the Lavender bed a drop of water since last summer.

Once established, it tends to be quite drought tolerant.

We had two days of gale force winds, not uncommon for this time of year, and this was the result.

I'm always amazed at how much fruit we can lose and still have a huge crop.

I transplanted three Peonies last month and they hardly noticed!

This is the first bloom.

The Columbine also transplanted well.

Here it is getting ready to bloom.


The yellow Iris never bloom until after the purple ones are finished.

But bloom they do.

And then we have . . .

A Red, Red Rose
- Robert Burns

O my luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
O I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve,
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Cat

- Lawrence Ferlinghetti

                The cat
                              licks its paw and
        lies down in
                            the bookshelf nook
                                    can lie in a
                                              sphinx position
        without moving for so
                                         many hours
and then turn her head
                                to me and
                                          rise and stretch
       and turn
                       her back to me and
              lick her paw again as if
                                    no real time had passed
                     It hasn’t
                                    and she is the sphinx with
                        all the time in the world
                                             in the desert of her time
             The cat
                    knows where flies die
                               sees ghosts in motes of air
                                                   and shadows in sunbeams
She hears
                  the music of the spheres and
       the hum in the wires of houses
                           and the hum of the universe
             in interstellar spaces
                prefers domestic places
                             and the hum of the heater

from: These Are My Rivers. Copyright 1993.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

BLACKLISTED - Thomas McGrath

I recently read Sara Paretsky's Blacklist, in which she treats incidents that seem to some of us like ancient history. To others though, they are still ever present. It was then I decided to take on blacklisted writers for National Poetry month, not an easy task.
"After 10 actors refused to testify in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the blacklist was created. Hundreds of actors, actresses, directors, screenwriters and other entertainment professionals were barred from working."
 Obviously, some fared better than others, but all suffered under the inquisition known as the "red scare." No more than 10% of those blacklisted ever returned to their vocations.

Thomas McGrath was one of the lucky ones. He was dismissed from his position at at Los Angeles State College, in connection with his appearance, as an unfriendly witness, before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1953. He recovered and went on to write 20 books of poetry and fiction.

All the Dead Soldiers
In the chill rains of the early winter I hear something—
A puling anger, a cold wind stiffened by flying bone—
Out of the north ...
                               and remember, then, what’s up there:
That ghost-bank: home: Amchitka: boot hill ....

They must be very tired, those ghosts; no flesh sustains them
And the bones rust in the rain.
                                              Reluctant to go into the earth
The skulls gleam: wet; the dog-tag forgets the name;
The statistics (wherein they were young) like their crosses, are weathering out,

They must be very tired.
                                     But I see them riding home,
Nightly: crying weak lust and rage: to stand in the dark,
Forlorn in known rooms, unheard near familiar beds:
Where lie the aging women: who were so lovely: once.

from: Selected Poems 1938-1988. Copyright  1988.
The Hollywood Blacklist - Dan Georgakas
More on the Blacklist.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

If You Forget Me

- Pablo Neruda

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kilt Monday!

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

Saturday, April 11, 2015

It's A Garden Party - "I Am Restored by My Decline."

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

As I Watched my Japanese Maple go from kindling to flame in just a matter of days, I thought of the terminally ill Clive James and his wish to live long enough to see his own tree, a gift from his daughter, in flame once more.

Diagnosed with leukemia (among other maladies) in 2010, and not expecting to live much longer, he wrote his valedictory farewell, "Japanese Maple." But as of this post Mr. James is still with us - and still working hard.
QUOTE of the DAY:

Japanese Maple
- Clive James

Your death, near now, is of an easy sort.  
So slow a fading out brings no real pain.  
Breath growing short  
Is just uncomfortable. You feel the drain
Of energy, but thought and sight remain:
Enhanced, in fact. When did you ever see  
So much sweet beauty as when fine rain falls  
On that small tree  
And saturates your brick back garden walls,  
So many Amber Rooms and mirror halls?
Ever more lavish as the dusk descends  
This glistening illuminates the air.  
It never ends.  
Whenever the rain comes it will be there,  
Beyond my time, but now I take my share.
My daughter’s choice, the maple tree is new.  
Come autumn and its leaves will turn to flame.  
What I must do  
Is live to see that. That will end the game  
For me, though life continues all the same:
Filling the double doors to bathe my eyes,  
A final flood of colors will live on  
As my mind dies,  
Burned by my vision of a world that shone  
So brightly at the last, and then was gone.