Sunday, July 31, 2016

BOOK REVIEWS. Sort Of.





A note about BOOK REVIEWS. Sort Of.:

These are not, in any way, meant to be comprehensive reviews. They are intended to acknowledge that I have read the book, and give my honest core impressions.

If a real review is what you wish, there are many wonderful book blogs available, and I have provided some tools to find them under the tab marked "Useful Stuff."






~ AUDIOBOOKS ~

An Unsuitable Job For A Woman (audiobook) - P. D. James

This was more like a pleasant BBC radio play than an audiobook.

The first book in the Cordelia Gray series presents us with a young private detective on her first case after the suicide of her boss and mentor.

Though a relative novice, doing a job most often thought of as 'men's work,' Miss Gray acquits herself admirably.

The Talisman (audiobook) - Stephen King & Peter Straub

The usual heraldic quest to save the damsel/world, coupled with much danger, death, and magic.

This wasn't one of my favorite King stories. Not even close to the top of the list, me thinks.

The Library Policeman (audiobook) - Stephen King

Even though I read the entire story, I just could not get into into it no matter how hard I tried.

I guess, since from childhood libraries have been a source of wonder, enlightenment, discovery, and solace for me, my mind simply rejected the plot.

Face Off (audiobook) - Ed. David Baldacci

Oh My! Oh My! Oh My! Oh My!

A dream anthology for mystery fans!

With pairings of some of my favorite characters and introductions to some I'd yet to read, this has to be easily one of my favorites for the year.

True Detectives (audiobook) - Jonathan Kellerman

Although this is a stand alone novel, it does contain cameos by our old friends Dr. Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis.

As always, Mr Kellerman keeps the story going well past the point when other authors would have neatly wrapped the plot.


The Mystery Box (audiobook) - Mystery Writers of America, Ed. Brad Meltzer

Some of today's top mystery writers, and each take a unique approach to the same prompt.

These anthologies are a very good way for readers to try writers new to them without a major commitment.

Malice Domestic vol. 6 (audiobook) - Ed. Anne Perry

Another fun anthology of murder & mayhem.






On Writing (audiobook) - Stephen King

“Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace-up shoes.”

Interestingly, Stephen King's book on writing is illustrated by his own life. This book is a memoir from which you can pull lessons, and interesting on both counts.

The Colorado Kid (audiobook)- Stephen King

Although King's trademark character building ability is present in this novella, it comes across as a tepid story told by Statler & Waldorf.




Mr. Mercedes (audiobook) - Stephen King

In this novel, Mr. King has given us a murder mystery and thriller with vivid characters and a plot that demands attention.

It is also the first book in a series of three. (Like we haven't heard that before.)








~ REINCARNATED TREES ~

Doctor Sleep - Stephen King

It was nice to finally find out what happened to Danny Torrence after he and his mom escaped the Overlook Hotel all those years ago.

He hasn't had an easy time of it, but those who suffer trauma rarely do. And boy did he suffer trauma.

In my opinion, well done.



Saturday, July 30, 2016

It's A Garden Party!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PtWNgMHfF-Y/VRb5uIDGg1I/AAAAAAAAQNU/dK0QGdkrr-Q/s1600/P5050138%2Bc.JPG

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.
~
I didn't forget to post.

I've, um, been having camera problems and stuff.

It's real hot here, too.

I tried to get a post up.

Really. I did.

I just couldn't.

How about a picture of my cat doing my taxes?


Friday, July 29, 2016

Maggie Says There's No Such Thing as Winter

 
If you believe in snow, you have to believe
in water as it's meant to be, loosed

from clouds arranged like asphodel. Because that's
what it's like to come back: a slow

surfacing, memory spiraling away. You can sleep
so long, whole seasons are forgotten

like a hospital-room plaster, spidered
with cracks in Portugal shapes. You can love

sleep like water, love your heavy limbs
pushing river and ocean aside.

After Maggie woke, the doctors had her stringing
bracelets of semiprecious beads, and she

couldn't stop counting the kinds of blue.
Here, summer, in the high shade of a ginko,

she pulls up a handful of stones on silk
and we drink grapefruit seltzer, listening

to the tinny chime of bubbles
rising to the air. She can't remember

autumn, so we tell her someday this tree will drop
its fan-shaped leaves all at once,

golden in the October crush
of every plant's frantic strip show. Later

we'll see mountains through the scrim of empty
branches, and if we can look straight up

into the atmosphere, see the same plain old sky
revolving. When we ask Maggie what color it is

she always says iolite, picturing beads
like raindrops, shining azure on the table.

She forgets that sometimes things don't stay
where you leave them, that the sky fades

to white even before snow begins
to fall. It's hard, but we have to tell her

even sapphires don't glow blue
without some kind of help.

from: Some Girls. Copyright 2015.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Quote of the Day



Thou shalt not be a victim,
thou shalt not be a perpetrator,
but, above all,
thou shalt not be a bystander.

- Yehuda Bauer

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

To the Saguaro Cactus Tree in the Desert Rain

- James Wright

I had no idea the elf owl
Crept into you in the secret
Of night.

I have torn myself out of many bitter places
In America, that seemed

Tall and green-rooted in mid-noon.
I wish I were the spare shadow
Of the roadrunner, I wish I were
The honest lover of the diamondback
And the tear the tarantula weeps.
I had no idea you were so tall
And blond in moonlight.
I got thirsty in the factories,
And I hated the brutal dry suns there,
So I quit.

You were the shadow
Of a hallway
In me.

I have never gone through that door,
But the elf owl’s face
Is inside me.

Saguaro,
You are not one of the gods.
Your green arms lower and gather me.
I am an elf owl’s shadow, a secret
Member of your family.

from: Above the River: The Complete Poems. Copyright 1992.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kilt Monday!

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


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Making Peace

- Denise Levertov
 
A voice from the dark called out,
             ‘The poets must give us
imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
the absence of war.’
                                   But peace, like a poem,
is not there ahead of itself,
can’t be imagined before it is made,
can’t be known except
in the words of its making,
grammar of justice,
syntax of mutual aid.
                                       A feeling towards it,
dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have
until we begin to utter its metaphors,
learning them as we speak.
                                              A line of peace might appear
if we restructured the sentence our lives are making,
revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,
questioned our needs, allowed
long pauses . . .
                        A cadence of peace might balance its weight
on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,
an energy field more intense than war,
might pulse then,
stanza by stanza into the world,
each act of living
one of its words, each word
a vibration of light—facets
of the forming crystal.

Denise Levertov, “Making Peace” from Breathing the Water. Copyright © 1987 by Denise Levertov. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Source: Breathing the Water (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1987)


Saturday, July 23, 2016

It's A Garden Party! - Buddha Redux


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PtWNgMHfF-Y/VRb5uIDGg1I/AAAAAAAAQNU/dK0QGdkrr-Q/s1600/P5050138%2Bc.JPG


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.

~
I know. I know. Terrarium posts two weeks in a row. I just had to show you the difference that just adding the backing made. I gives it depth and makes it look fuller. I'm really quite happy about it. But then again, I'm easily amused.













 













It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.

- The Buddha
(Cetana Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Parable in Praise of Violence

- Tony Barnstone

“Violence is as American as cherry pie.”
            —H. Rap Brown, former Black Panther justice minister
 
Thanks for the violence. Thanks for Walt’s rude muscle
pushing through the grass, for tiny Gulliver crushed
between the giant’s breasts. Thanks for Moby’s triangular hump
and Ahab’s castrated leg. Thanks for the harpoons.
Thanks for this PBS history of the automatic pistol.

The good machine is simple, few moving parts,
an efficiency of what’s preserved and what is wasted,
so with each shot the recoil cocks the gun to shoot again,
then recoil, cock and shoot again, recoil, cock,
and so on till the target buys it, or your ammo’s spent.

Thanks for the poem, which is really a little pistol:
load and cock, point and aim, then the trigger,
the hammer, the powder, the discharge, the bullet,
the target, the recoil, the crime. No smoking gun,
just ballistics, caliber, powder marks, the question why.

My life is like a loaded gun, and when I aim it at you
I hope to take off the top of your head,
no safety on, no playing nice, just the spark,
the flash, the damage, just red American
cherry pie violence. So, thank you

for the harpoon gun we aim at God and death
and all the unknown world, and for the spear-stuck beast,
rope ripping through torn hands, for what
refuses to be caught and what we fathom only by
riding the whale down into the deep, refusing to let go.

from: The Golem of Los Angeles. Copyright 2008.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Quote of the Day


Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

- Isaac Asimov
Foundation

Monday, July 18, 2016

Kilt Monday! Star Date . . .

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


Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Double Image

- Anne Sexton

1.

I am thirty this November.
You are still small, in your fourth year.
We stand watching the yellow leaves go queer,
flapping in the winter rain,
falling flat and washed. And I remember
mostly the three autumns you did not live here.
They said I’d never get you back again.
I tell you what you’ll never really know:
all the medical hypothesis
that explained my brain will never be as true as these
struck leaves letting go.

I, who chose two times
to kill myself, had said your nickname
the mewling months when you first came;
until a fever rattled
in your throat and I moved like a pantomime
above your head. Ugly angels spoke to me. The blame,
I heard them say, was mine. They tattled
like green witches in my head, letting doom
leak like a broken faucet;
as if doom had flooded my belly and filled your bassinet,
an old debt I must assume.

Death was simpler than I’d thought.
The day life made you well and whole
I let the witches take away my guilty soul.
I pretended I was dead
until the white men pumped the poison out,
putting me armless and washed through the rigamarole
of talking boxes and the electric bed.
I laughed to see the private iron in that hotel.
Today the yellow leaves
go queer. You ask me where they go. I say today believed
in itself, or else it fell.

Today, my small child, Joyce,
love your self’s self where it lives.
There is no special God to refer to; or if there is,
why did I let you grow
in another place. You did not know my voice
when I came back to call. All the superlatives
of tomorrow’s white tree and mistletoe
will not help you know the holidays you had to miss.
The time I did not love
myself, I visited your shoveled walks; you held my glove.
There was new snow after this.

2.

They sent me letters with news
of you and I made moccasins that I would never use.
When I grew well enough to tolerate
myself, I lived with my mother. Too late,
too late, to live with your mother, the witches said.
But I didn’t leave. I had my portrait
done instead.

Part way back from Bedlam
I came to my mother’s house in Gloucester,
Massachusetts. And this is how I came
to catch at her; and this is how I lost her.
I cannot forgive your suicide, my mother said.
And she never could. She had my portrait
done instead.

I lived like an angry guest,
like a partly mended thing, an outgrown child.
I remember my mother did her best.
She took me to Boston and had my hair restyled.
Your smile is like your mother’s, the artist said.
I didn’t seem to care. I had my portrait
done instead.

There was a church where I grew up
with its white cupboards where they locked us up,
row by row, like puritans or shipmates
singing together. My father passed the plate.
Too late to be forgiven now, the witches said.
I wasn’t exactly forgiven. They had my portrait
done instead.

3.

All that summer sprinklers arched
over the seaside grass.
We talked of drought
while the salt-parched
field grew sweet again. To help time pass
I tried to mow the lawn
and in the morning I had my portrait done,
holding my smile in place, till it grew formal.
Once I mailed you a picture of a rabbit
and a postcard of Motif number one,
as if it were normal
to be a mother and be gone.

They hung my portrait in the chill
north light, matching
me to keep me well.
Only my mother grew ill.
She turned from me, as if death were catching,
as if death transferred,
as if my dying had eaten inside of her.
That August you were two, but I timed my days with doubt.
On the first of September she looked at me
and said I gave her cancer.
They carved her sweet hills out
and still I couldn’t answer.

4.

That winter she came
part way back
from her sterile suite
of doctors, the seasick
cruise of the X-ray,
the cells’ arithmetic
gone wild. Surgery incomplete,
the fat arm, the prognosis poor, I heard
them say.

During the sea blizzards
she had her
own portrait painted.
A cave of mirror
placed on the south wall;
matching smile, matching contour.
And you resembled me; unacquainted
with my face, you wore it. But you were mine
after all.

I wintered in Boston,
childless bride,
nothing sweet to spare
with witches at my side.
I missed your babyhood,
tried a second suicide,
tried the sealed hotel a second year.
On April Fool you fooled me. We laughed and this
was good.

5.

I checked out for the last time
on the first of May;
graduate of the mental cases,
with my analyst’s okay,
my complete book of rhymes,
my typewriter and my suitcases.

All that summer I learned life
back into my own
seven rooms, visited the swan boats,
the market, answered the phone,
served cocktails as a wife
should, made love among my petticoats

and August tan. And you came each
weekend. But I lie.
You seldom came. I just pretended
you, small piglet, butterfly
girl with jelly bean cheeks,
disobedient three, my splendid

stranger. And I had to learn
why I would rather
die than love, how your innocence
would hurt and how I gather
guilt like a young intern
his symptoms, his certain evidence.

That October day we went
to Gloucester the red hills
reminded me of the dry red fur fox
coat I played in as a child; stock-still
like a bear or a tent,
like a great cave laughing or a red fur fox.

We drove past the hatchery,
the hut that sells bait,
past Pigeon Cove, past the Yacht Club, past Squall’s
Hill, to the house that waits
still, on the top of the sea,
and two portraits hung on the opposite walls.

6.

In north light, my smile is held in place,
the shadow marks my bone.
What could I have been dreaming as I sat there,
all of me waiting in the eyes, the zone
of the smile, the young face,
the foxes’ snare.

In south light, her smile is held in place,
her cheeks wilting like a dry
orchid; my mocking mirror, my overthrown
love, my first image. She eyes me from that face,
that stony head of death
I had outgrown.

The artist caught us at the turning;
we smiled in our canvas home
before we chose our foreknown separate ways.
The dry red fur fox coat was made for burning.
I rot on the wall, my own
Dorian Gray.

And this was the cave of the mirror,
that double woman who stares
at herself, as if she were petrified
in time — two ladies sitting in umber chairs.
You kissed your grandmother
and she cried.

7.

I could not get you back
except for weekends. You came
each time, clutching the picture of a rabbit
that I had sent you. For the last time I unpack
your things. We touch from habit.
The first visit you asked my name.
Now you stay for good. I will forget
how we bumped away from each other like marionettes
on strings. It wasn’t the same
as love, letting weekends contain
us. You scrape your knee. You learn my name,
wobbling up the sidewalk, calling and crying.
You call me mother and I remember my mother again,
somewhere in greater Boston, dying.

I remember we named you Joyce
so we could call you Joy.
You came like an awkward guest
that first time, all wrapped and moist
and strange at my heavy breast.
I needed you. I didn’t want a boy,
only a girl, a small milky mouse
of a girl, already loved, already loud in the house
of herself. We named you Joy.
I, who was never quite sure
about being a girl, needed another
life, another image to remind me.
And this was my worst guilt; you could not cure
nor soothe it. I made you to find me.


from: The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton. Copyright 1981.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

It's A Garden Party! - Buddha and the Garden


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PtWNgMHfF-Y/VRb5uIDGg1I/AAAAAAAAQNU/dK0QGdkrr-Q/s1600/P5050138%2Bc.JPG

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.

~

Last weekend we did some major work on the front garden. It involved moving some of the Agave plants which had grown much quicker than I expected, separating the Fortnight Lily and replanting the resulting four plants, and moving the odds and ends of garden adornment. The whole yard kind of looks like the aftermath of some sort of natural disaster right now.

This week has been quite hot and the garden needs to recover from the last onslaught before we do any more. So I've been working on the plantings in the Terrarium. I research and try new plants, but so far only the Ficus and Peace Lily are hanging on.


I added Ivy, Pothos, and Asperagus Fern this week.


They are all supposed to like constant moisture and be tolerant of abuse. I've heard that before, so we will see what we shall see.

I need to put a covering on the back of the tank to hide the cords and plugs. I found a decent aquarium backing that will also make the tank seem fuller.

I also need more small stones to hide the water container and do a little landscaping.

Then there is the matter of ground cover. I'm still working on that one.




As I said, I'm not sure these plants will last, so I'm not in a hurry about the ground cover.

I still have landscaping and building to do in the Terrarium.

I'm planning a terraced rice paddy and a suspension bridge among other things. I've been drawing out plans and working on getting supplies together.

Yes, I know I've been planning for a long time.



Since I've never done anything like this before, and so far I can barely keep the plants alive, I'm erring on the side of caution.


The past is no more,
The future remains a dream,
Be here now, Be Here

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Smile

- William Blake
 
There is a Smile of Love 
And there is a Smile of Deceit 
And there is a Smile of Smiles
In which these two Smiles meet 

And there is a Frown of Hate 
And there is a Frown of disdain 
And there is a Frown of Frowns
Which you strive to forget in vain 

For it sticks in the Hearts deep Core 
And it sticks in the deep Back bone 
And no Smile that ever was smild 
But only one Smile alone

That betwixt the Cradle & Grave
It only once Smild can be 
But when it once is Smild 
Theres an end to all Misery 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Knoxville, Tennessee

- Nikki Giovanni

I always like summer
best
you can eat fresh corn
from daddy’s garden
and okra
and greens
and cabbage
and lots of
barbecue
and buttermilk
and homemade ice-cream
at the church picnic
and listen to
gospel music
outside
at the church
homecoming
and go to the mountains with
your grandmother
and go barefooted
and be warm
all the time
not only when you go to bed
and sleep

from: Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgment. Copyright 1968, 1970.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kilt Monday!

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


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Strawberrying

- May Swenson

My hands are murder-red. Many a plump head
drops on the heap in the basket. Or, ripe
to bursting, they might be hearts, matching
the blackbird’s wing-fleck. Gripped to a reed
he shrieks his ko-ka-ree in the next field.
He’s left his peck in some juicy cheeks, when
at first blush and mostly white, they showed
streaks of sweetness to the marauder.
We’re picking near the shore, the morning
sunny, a slight wind moving rough-veined leaves
our hands rumple among. Fingers find by feel
the ready fruit in clusters. Here and there,
their squishy wounds. . . . Flesh was perfect
yesterday. . . . June was for gorging. . . .
sweet hearts young and firm before decay.
“Take only the biggest, and not too ripe,”
a mother calls to her girl and boy, barefoot
in the furrows. “Don’t step on any. Don’t
change rows. Don’t eat too many.” Mesmerized
by the largesse, the children squat and pull
and pick handfuls of rich scarlets, half
for the baskets, half for avid mouths.
Soon, whole faces are stained.
A crop this thick begs for plunder. Ripeness
wants to be ravished, as udders of cows when hard,
the blue-veined bags distended, ache to be stripped.
Hunkered in mud between the rows, sun burning
the backs of our necks, we grope for, and rip loose
soft nippled heads. If they bleed—too soft—
let them stay. Let them rot in the heat.
When, hidden away in a damp hollow under moldy
leaves, I come upon a clump of heart-shapes
once red, now spiderspit-gray, intact but empty,
still attached to their dead stems—
families smothered as at Pompeii—I rise
and stretch. I eat one more big ripe lopped
head. Red-handed, I leave the field.

from: The Complete Love Poems of May Swenson. Copyright 1991.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

It's A Garden Party! - Scheduling Computer Time . . .


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PtWNgMHfF-Y/VRb5uIDGg1I/AAAAAAAAQNU/dK0QGdkrr-Q/s1600/P5050138%2Bc.JPG


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.

~

I've had to share my computer this week, and haven't been able to prepare a post for today. 

Bennie here is working on a novel. At least that's his story, and he claims he has a deadline. I, myself, haven't actually seen a writer's contract and suspect he's just wasting time surfing lolcats.


Cats
- Charles Baudelaire

They are alike, prim scholar and perfervid lover:
When comes the season of decay, they both decide
Upon sweet, husky cats to be the household pride;
Cats choose, like them, to sit, and like them, shudder.

Like partisans of carnal dalliance and science,
They search for silence and the shadowings of dread;
Hell well might harness them as horses for the dead,
If it could bend their native proudness in compliance.

In reverie they emulate the noble mood
Of giant sphinxes stretched in depths of solitude
Who seem to slumber in a never-ending dream;

Within their fertile loins a sparkling magic lies;
Finer than any sand are dusts of gold that gleam,
Vague starpoints, in the mystic iris of their eyes.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Tiny Gem . . .






Don’t weep, insects –
Lovers, stars themselves,
Must part.

                              - Kobayashi Issa

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Heat

- Hilda "H.D." Doolittle

O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.

Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air--
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes.

Cut the heat--
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Quote of the Day


An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

                                                                                   - Benjamin Franklin

Monday, July 4, 2016

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Curtains

 
Sometimes they are the only thing beautiful
about a hotel.
Like transients,
come winter they have a way of disappearing,
disguised as dirty light,
limp beside a puttied pane.
Then some April afternoon
a roomer jacks a window open,
a breeze intrudes,
resuscitates memory,
and suddenly they want to fly,
while men,
looking up from the street,
are deceived a moment
into thinking
a girl in an upper story
is waving.

from: Streets in Their Own Ink. Copyright 2004. 
 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

It's A Garden Party! - More Fruit!


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PtWNgMHfF-Y/VRb5uIDGg1I/AAAAAAAAQNU/dK0QGdkrr-Q/s1600/P5050138%2Bc.JPG

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.

Behind a Wall
- Amy Lowell

I own a solace shut within my heart,
  A garden full of many a quaint delight
  And warm with drowsy, poppied sunshine; bright,
Flaming with lilies out of whose cups dart
      Shining things
      With powdered wings.

Here terrace sinks to terrace, arbors close
  The ends of dreaming paths; a wanton wind
  Jostles the half-ripe pears, and then, unkind,
Tumbles a-slumber in a pillar rose,
      With content
      Grown indolent.

By night my garden is o'erhung with gems
  Fixed in an onyx setting. Fireflies
  Flicker their lanterns in my dazzled eyes.
In serried rows I guess the straight, stiff stems
      Of hollyhocks
      Against the rocks.

So far and still it is that, listening,
  I hear the flowers talking in the dawn;
  And where a sunken basin cuts the lawn,
Cinctured with iris, pale and glistening,
      The sudden swish
      Of a waking fish.


Pluots!

These are a cross between plums and apricots, and they are delicious.
It was a small harvest this year, but a nummy one.


These are the leaves on my Lemon Tree.
There is no fruit yet, but citrus trees are slow and deliberate growers.
Soon . . .

The Apple Trees, that the puppy gnawed to sticks, are doing well. I was about to declare them dead and pull them up when I saw some tiny green buds. Sure enough, they grew back. They are about three and a half feet tall now. It looks like all we'll lose is a year of growth.

The Heat has been record breaking for this time of the year, hovering between 103 & 110 degrees for over a week. Strangely enough, the plants that are suffering the most are my succulents. I need to move them too another spot, but I have to make another spot first. Such is the life of a gardener.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Bacall

To Have and Have Not, 1944
Betty Joan Perske, age nineteen, gives that look,
the one that shifts tectonic plates, to Bogie,
and that’s it: Germany surrenders,
Japan bows its apologies, and that sailor
smooches the nurse in Times Square. The world,
no longer black and white, makes love
as D-Day shrinks to just a time for planting
daffodils, and Hiroshima grows Toyotas.
Harry T. has lunch with Stalin; General
Patton takes up nursing Bonsai trees.
“You know how to whistle, don’t you,”
says Bacall, as the moon sighs and the Earth
sighs back. “Just put your lips together
and blow.”

from: Put This On, Please. Copyright  2014.