Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Did Someone Say Chocolate?

. . . AND SHOES!!!

POETRY: Read More, Blog More #1

This post is the first in a series of monthly poetry posts written in response to the READ MORE, BLOG MORE challenge sponsored by Regular Rumination

I would appreciate your response to the posts as they go up. Be honest. I'm a big girl. Just remember, house rules: Do unto others & such.

I'll ease into the challenge with a bit of reflection:

I will admit, my desire to publicly discuss poetry has taken a few hits through the years. Back in school (late Paleozoic period) my teachers had definitive and unassailable ideas about the meanings and messages in each poem we read. Invariably, my thoughts and ideas were different, and therefore wrong. Slapped down in class repeatedly, I shared less and less. I never lost my love for poetry, but I stopped sharing it.

The final blow, however, came while in a grad school. A hole in the university's scheduling left me a rare chance to take a poetry writing class. I was an English education major in a seminar with writing majors. It was also my first writing seminar, and my peers were veterans of many years. I shouldn't have been surprised by subsequent events. But I was.

We were prompted. We wrote. We sat in circles and offered critique on each others' writing. I loved the writing and steeled myself for the critique of my peers. Initially, I was more worried about evaluating the others than hearing their comments. But that changed. Quickly.

My peers delighted in literary allusion. Well trained writing, packed to the rafters with them, forced me to spend more time researching than reading. Even then I was left with the feeling I had missed something.

I, on the other hand, an avid reader, a Literacy and English Language Arts teacher, loved to play with words. Manipulating the sounds and meanings to create something that is just a little bit more than it was, gave (and gives) me tremendous pleasure. And making it seem effortless is an art to which I still aspire.

The comment I heard most often was, "I didn't know that word, so I didn't 'get' the poem." Did they look it up? no.

They were polite. They were supportive. They tried hard to hide their exasperation as they patiently explained how to rewrite each poem; changing allusions, changing symbolism, changing word choice - especially word choice - until it said what they thought it should. Until it was a completely different poem. Not my poem.

I smiled. I explained my choices. I thanked them for their kindness. And I retreated into silence.

I still love poetry. I read all that I can get into my greedy little hands. I write it. I share the poetry I love on this Blog. But do I talk about it? Until today, no.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next installment, scheduled for February 28. Who knows what wonders may take root and grow in this modest little place.

My Favorite Color

The Flower Of Carnage by fatmanwalking, © All rights reserved.


There are two ways of viewing the Government’s duty in matters affecting economic and social life. The first sees to it that a favored few are helped and hopes that some of their prosperity will leak through, sift through, to labor, to the farmer, to the small business man. That theory belongs to the party of Toryism, and I had hoped that most of the Tories left this country in 1776.

But it is not and never will be the theory of the Democratic Party. This is no time for fear, for reaction or for timidity. Here and now I invite those nominal Republicans who find that their conscience cannot be squared with the groping and the failure of their party leaders to join hands with us; here and now, in equal measure, I warn those nominal Democrats who squint at the future with their faces turned toward the past, and who feel no responsibility to the demands of the new time, that they are out of step with their Party.

Yes, the people of this country want a genuine choice this year, not a choice between two names for the same reactionary doctrine. Ours must be a party of liberal thought, of planned action, of enlightened international outlook, and of the greatest good to the greatest number of our citizens.

Now it is inevitable – -and the choice is that of the times — it is inevitable that the main issue of this campaign should revolve about the clear fact of our economic condition, a depression so deep that it is without precedent in modern history. …

… My program, of which I can only touch on these points, is based upon this simple moral principle: the welfare and the soundness of a Nation depend first upon what the great mass of the people wish and need; and second, whether or not they are getting it.

What do the people of America want more than anything else? To my mind, they want two things: work, with all the moral and spiritual values that go with it; and with work, a reasonable measure of security–security for themselves and for their wives and children. Work and security–these are more than words. They are more than facts. They are the spiritual values, the true goal toward which our efforts of reconstruction should lead. These are the values that this program is intended to gain; these are the values we have failed to achieve by the leadership we now have.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Take a Moment

monarch butterfly on a black-eyed-susan


The folly at the root of this foolish economy began with the idea that a corporation should be regarded, legally, as “a person.” But the limitless destructiveness of this economy comes about precisely because a corporation is not a person.

A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance.

Unlike a person, a corporation does not age. It does not arrive, as most persons finally do, at a realization of the shortness and smallness of human lives; it does not come to see the future as the lifetime of the children and grandchildren of anybody in particular. It can experience no personal hope or remorse, no change of heart. It cannot humble itself.

It goes about its business as if it were immortal, with the single purpose of becoming a bigger pile of money.

The stockholders essentially are usurers, people who “let their money work for them,” expecting high pay in return for causing others to work for low pay.

- Wendell Berry on Corporate Personhood.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

You Make Me Happy!

two black and white birds preening each other, looks like a hug


At the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, on 3/31/1968.

~  ~  ~

Jesus told a parable one day, and he reminded us that a man went to hell because he didn’t see the poor.

His name was Dives. He was a rich man. And there was a man by the name of Lazarus who was a poor man, but not only was he poor, he was sick. Sores were all over his body, and he was so weak that he could hardly move. But he managed to get to the gate of Dives every day, wanting just to have the crumbs that would fall from his table. And Dives did nothing about it. And the parable ends saying, “Dives went to hell, and there were a fixed gulf now between Lazarus and Dives.”

There is nothing in that parable that said Dives went to hell because he was rich. Jesus never made a universal indictment against all wealth.

It is true that one day a rich young ruler came to him, and he advised him to sell all, but in that instance Jesus was prescribing individual surgery and not setting forth a universal diagnosis. And if you will look at that parable with all of its symbolism, you will remember that a conversation took place between heaven and hell, and on the other end of that long-distance call between heaven and hell was Abraham in heaven talking to Dives in hell.

Now Abraham was a very rich man. If you go back to the Old Testament, you see that he was the richest man of his day, so it was not a rich man in hell talking with a poor man in heaven; it was a little millionaire in hell talking with a multimillionaire in heaven. Dives didn’t go to hell because he was rich; Dives didn’t realize that his wealth was his opportunity. It was his opportunity to bridge the gulf that separated him from his brother Lazarus.

Dives went to hell because he was passed by Lazarus every day and he never really saw him. He went to hell because he allowed his brother to become invisible. Dives went to hell because he maximized the minimum and minimized the maximum. Indeed, Dives went to hell because he sought to be a conscientious objector in the war against poverty.

And this can happen to America, the richest nation in the world — and nothing’s wrong with that — this is America’s opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The question is whether America will do it. There is nothing new about poverty.

What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012


Life is too short to sleep through.
Stay up late, wait until the sea of traffic ebbs,
until noise has drained from the world
like blood from the cheeks of the full moon.
Everyone else around you has succumbed:
they lie like tranquillised pets on a vet's table;
they languish on hospital trolleys and friends' couches,
on iron beds in hostels for the homeless,
under feather duvets at tourist B&Bs.
The radio, devoid of listeners to confide in,
turns repetitious. You are your own voice-over.
You are alone in the bone-weary tower
of your bleary-eyed, blinking lighthouse,
watching the spillage of tide on the shingle inlet.
You are the single-minded one who hears
time shaking from the clock's fingertips
like drops, who watches its hands
chop years into diced seconds,
who knows that when the church bell
tolls at 2 or 3 it tolls unmistakably for you.

clock face whose roman numbers are in a spiral instead of a circle

You are the sole hand on deck when
temperatures plummet and the hull
of an iceberg is jostling for prominence.
Your confidential number is the life-line
where the sedated long-distance voices
of despair hold out muzzily for an answer.
You are the emergency services' driver
ready to dive into action at the first
warning signs of birth or death.
You spot the crack in night's façade
even before the red-eyed businessman
on look-out from his transatlantic seat.
You are the only reliable witness to when
the light is separated from the darkness,
who has learned to see the dark in its true
colours, who has not squandered your life.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart

abstract painting in reds and black of hearts and swirlsby Jack Gilbert

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind's labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not language but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.

from: The Great Fires, Poems 1982-1992.
Photo source.

OFF THE SHELF Challenge for 2012

A good two thirds of my books are packed away right now, as I make this commitment. Mine is a household in flux, but I still have a large number of 'to be reads' at hand. 

My goal is to read at least as many books in 2012 as I did in 2011 - 100 - and this puts me on the Hoarder level. It may take some ingenuity on my part, but I am determined.

I'm not a book blogger, but I hope to add a line or two about my time with each book. Just click on each title to read a short review of that book.

If you are interested in joining the challenge as well, just click on the badge and you will be taken to the sign up page at Bookish Ardour, the sponsoring site.


1. Cat of the Century - Rita Mae Brown    
2. Cat Striking Back - Shirley Rousseau Murphy     
3. Mile 81 (ebook) - Stephen King     
4. The Gunslinger - Stephen King
5. The Drawing of the Three - Stephen King      
6. The Big Cat Nap - Rita Mae Brown
7. Victims - Jonathan Kellerman  
8. V is for Vengeance - Sue Grafton  
9. Dracula by Bram Stoker  
10. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Jules Verne    
11. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain    
12. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson     
13. The Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux     
14. The Final Problem (from The Complete Sherlock Holmes) - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (ebook)

FINAL UPDATE: *Sighs* I didn't do so well at reducing my TBR pile this year. Only 14 is rather dismal. I will redouble my efforts for next year.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Art lives by reason of its function, which is to enable men to break free from their human condition, not by shirking it but by an act of possession. All art is a means to gain a hold on fate.

- André Malraux

Princesses of Tomorrow Are in for a Big Surprise!

prince with guitar shows up to help princess in trouble

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Haven't Thought of This Rhyme in Ages.

I don't remember where it was from,
what it was called, or if there is more to it. 

Does anyone have any idea?

fork and knife with peas

I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on my knife

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

- Robert A. Heinlein

It Really Works! Honest!

lolcat sidewas says if I hold my breath my but works like suction cup

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Face To Face

- Tomas Tranströmer

winter sun shining through barren tree branches
In February life stood still.
The birds refused to fly and the soul
grated against the landscape as a boat
chafes against the jetty where it’s moored.

The trees were turned away. The snow’s depth
measured by the stubble poking through.
The footprints grew old out on the ice-crust.
Under a tarpaulin, language was being broken down.

Suddenly, something approaches the window.
I stop working and look up.
The colours blaze. Everything turns around.
The earth and I spring at each other.

from: The Great Enigma. Copyright 1987.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Good Night, Miss Etta. Sweet Dreams


    by Sonia Sanchez
one black iris with green leaves

forgive me if i laugh 
you are so sure of love 
you are so young 
and i too old to learn of love.

the rain exploding 
in the air is love 
the grass excreting her 
green wax is love 
and stones remembering 
past steps is love, 
but you. you are too young 
for love 
and i too old.

once. what does it matter 
when or who, i knew 
of love. 
i fixed my body 
under his and went 
to sleep in love 
all trace of me 
was wiped away

forgive me if i smile 
young heiress of a naked dream 
you are so young 
and i too old to learn of love.

from: Homegirls & Handgrenades. Copyright 2007. 

OUTDO YOURSELF Reading Challenge for 2012

2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
In 2011, I read 100 books, with several sub-challenges. Because of a very full schedule, however, I did no reviews or recommendations. 

My goal for 2012 is to keep the number steady but begin adding my personal reflections, at least a line, for each.  I guess that puts me in the I'm on fire! level.

The way I have it planned, any reflections will be linked here, as well as on the page for any other challenge the book may fulfill.

If you're interested in participating, just click the challenge badge and you will be magically whisked off to the sponsoring site, The Book Vixen. Best of luck to everyone participating. The way I see it, everyone who reads is a winner! 

(Why yes, I am a Reading/ELA teacher. What makes you ask?)

1. Cat of the Century Rita Mae Brown       
2. Cat Striking Back - Shirley Rousseau Murphy    
3. Mile 81 (ebook) - Stephen King       
4. Freaks (ebook)- Tess Gerritson   
5. The Cat Sitter's Pajamas (ebook)- Blaize Clement     
7. bunnies (ebook)- Justin Cawthorn
8. Writing Critique: A Horror Short Story (ebook)- Rebecca M. Senese      
9. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro      
10. Double Booked For Death (ebook) - Ali Brandon     
11. The Rosary Bride (ebook) - Luisa Buehler     
12. The Lion Tamer (ebook) - Luisa Buehler     
13. The Station Master (ebook) - Luisa Buehler      
14. The Scout Master (ebook) - Louisa Buehler           
15. The Lighthouse Keeper (ebook) - Luisa Buehler
16. The Innkeeper (ebook) - Luisa Buehler    
17. The Reenactor (ebook) - Luisa Buehler
18. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith       
19. The Gunslinger - Stephen King
20. The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland Aged 42 and Three-Quarters (ebook) - Barbara Silkstone
21. The Cat, the Wife, and the Weapon (ebook) - Leann Sweeney
22. The Beekeeper's Apprentice (ebook) - Laurie King   
23. A Monstrous Regiment of Women (ebook) - Laurie King   
24. A Letter of Mary (ebook) - Laurie King   
25. The Moor (ebook) - Laurie King   
26. Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings - Matsuo Basho, Sam Hamill            
27. The Drawing of the Three - Stephen King      
28. O Jerusalem (ebook) - Laurie R. King
29. Justice Hall (ebook) - Laurie R. King     
30. The Game (ebook) - Laurie R. King
31. Locked Rooms (ebook) - Laurie R. King     
32. The Language of Bees (ebook) - Laurie R. King     
33. The God of the Hive (ebook) - Laurie R. King     
34. The Pirate King - (ebook) - Laurie R. King     
35. Beekeeping for Beginners - (ebook) - Laurie R. King      
35. Afterlives of the Saints -  (ebook) Colin Dickey   
36. Copycat Killing - (ebook) - Sofie Kelly    
37. Last Bus to Woodstock - Colin Dexter    
38. Last Seen Wearing - Colin Dexter
39. The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn - Colin Dexter    
40. Book of Mercy - Leonard Cohen
41. Complete Poems: Ernest Hemingway - Ed. Nicholas Gerogiannis      
42. The Big Cat Nap - Rita Mae Brown
43. Victims - Jonathan Kellerman   
44. Service of All the Dead - Colin Dexter
45. The Dead of Jericho - Colin Dexter
46. The Riddle of the Third Mile - Colin Dexter    
47. The Secret of Annexe 3 - Colin Dexter
48. The Wench is Dead - Colin Dexter    
49. The Mind's Eye - Oliver Sacks  
50. The Jewel That Was Ours - Colin Dexter    
51. The Way Through the Woods - Colin Dexter   
52. American Smooth - Rita Dove  
53. The Daughters of Cain - Colin Dexter  
54. The I Chong - Tommy Chong  
55. Death is Now My Neighbor - Colin Dexter   
56. Leaving Yuba City - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni  
57. Gorrill's Orchard - Jeanne E. Clark
58. The Remorseful Day - Colin Dexter
59. Natasha Trethewey - Native Guard   
60. V is for Vengeance - Sue Grafton   
61. Morning Haiku - Sonia Sanchez  
62. Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches - Matsuo Basho   
63. Holocaust Poetry - Hilda Schiff, Ed.    
64. Dracula by Bram Stoker  
65. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Jules Verne    
66. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - by Mark Twain    
67. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson     
68. The Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux     
69. The Final Problem - from The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (ebook)
70. Frozen Heat - Richard Castle   
71. Hallucinations - Oliver Sacks 
72. The Bone Bed - Patricia Cornwell  
73. King Solomon's Mines - H. Rider Haggard

UPDATE 1/27/12: Well, I've fallen far short of my 100 book commitment. But on the other hand, I wrote a review (sort of) for each book I read. Clicking on each title will enable you to share in the magic of my words. You're welcome go to the review (sort of) of the book.     

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dream Variations

    by Langston Hughes
tiny pink flowersTo fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
    Dark like me--
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance!  Whirl!  Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening . . .
A tall, slim tree . . .
Night coming tenderly
    Black like me.

from: The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. Copyright 1994. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why PIPA/SOPA is a BAD Idea

More information from:  


Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. 

It is always the same words telling the same lies. 

And the fact that men accept this, that the people's anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed; that they gamble--yes, gamble--with a whole part of their life and their so-called 'vital interests'.

 - Albert Camus, 1937.

Which Way?

flock of sheep

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

An Appropriate Campaign Time Poem?

Compulsively Allergic to the Truth 
  by Jeffrey McDaniel
I'm sorry I was late.
I was pulled over by a cop
for driving blindfolded
with a raspberry-scented candle
flickering in my mouth.
I'm sorry I was late.
I was on my way
when I felt a plot
thickening in my arm.
I have a fear of heights.
Luckily the Earth
is on the second floor
of the universe.
I am not the egg man.
I am the owl
who just witnessed
another tree fall over
in the forest of your life.
I am your father
shaking his head
at the thought of you.
I am his words dissolving
in your mind like footprints
in a rainstorm.
I am a long-legged martini.
I am feeding olives
to the bull inside you.
I am decorating
your labyrinth,
tacking up snapshots
of all the people
who've gotten lost
in your corridors.

from: The Endarkenment. Copyright 2008. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

from: The King Philosophy

portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made with text

The Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community.  ...

Poverty – unemployment, homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, infant mortality, slums…

“There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it. The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty … The well off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.

Racism – prejudice, apartheid, ethnic conflict, anti-Semitism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, ageism, discrimination against disabled groups, stereotypes…

“Racism is a philosophy based on a contempt for life. It is the arrogant assertion that one race is the center of value and object of devotion, before which other races must kneel in submission. It is the absurd dogma that one race is responsible for all the progress of history and alone can assure the progress of the future. Racism is total estrangement. It separates not only bodies, but minds and spirits. Inevitably it descends to inflicting spiritual and physical homicide upon the out-group.”

Militarism – war, imperialism, domestic violence, rape, terrorism, human trafficking, media violence, drugs, child abuse, violent crime…

“A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war- ‘This way of settling differences is not just.’ This way of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

Source: “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Boston: Beacon Press, 1967.  

(emphasis mine)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

This is the Voice I Hear today

Still Here

by Langston Hughes
Been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me,
Sun has baked me,

Looks like between 'em they done
Tried to make me

Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'--
But I don't care!
I'm still here!

Another Cold, Clear Day in California

Can't you read!
burrowing owl sits on sign that says sensitive habitat area

Source: SFBBO.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey

    by Hayden Carruth
Scrambled eggs and whiskey
in the false-dawn light. Chicago,
a sweet town, bleak, God knows,
but sweet. Sometimes. And
weren't we fine tonight?
When Hank set up that limping
treble roll behind me
my horn just growled and I 
thought my heart would burst.
And Brad M. pressing with the
soft stick and Joe-Anne
singing low. Here we are now
in the White Tower, leaning
on one another, too tired
to go home. But don't say a word,
don't tell a soul, they wouldn't
understand, they couldn't, never
in a million years, how fine,
how magnificent we were
in that old club tonight.

from: Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey, Poems 1991-1995. Copyright 1996. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Pomegranate

by Eavan Boland
The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere.  And have.
As a child in exile in
a city of fogs and strange consonants,
I read it first and at first I was
an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
the underworld, the stars blighted.  Later
I walked out in a summer twilight
searching for my daughter at bed-time.
When she came running I was ready
to make any bargain to keep her.
I carried her back past whitebeams
and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
But I was Ceres then and I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.
                    It is winter
and the stars are hidden.
I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
The pomegranate!  How did I forget it?
She could have come home and been safe
and ended the story and all
our heart-broken searching but she reached
out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
She put out her hand and pulled down
the French sound for apple and 
the noise of stone and the proof
that even in the place of death,
at the heart of legend, in the midst
of rocks full of unshed tears
ready to be diamonds by the time
the story was told, a child can be
hungry.  I could warn her.  There is still a chance.
The rain is cold.  The road is flint-coloured.
The suburb has cars and cable television.
The veiled stars are above ground.
It is another world.  But what elsepainting of a butterfly on a pomegranate
can a mother give her daughter but such
beautiful rifts in time?
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
The legend will be hers as well as mine.  
She will enter it.  As I have.
She will wake up.  She will hold
the papery flushed skin in her hand.
And to her lips.  I will say nothing.

from: In a Time of Violence. Copyright 1994.
Painting: Linda R. Herzog.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Alien

    by Greg Delanty 

looking up at the milky way through the natural rock bridge in Utah
 I'm back again scrutinizing the Milky Way
          of your ultrasound, scanning the dark                        
                    matter, the nothingness, that now the heads say
          is chockablock with quarks & squarks,
gravitons & gravitini, photons & photinos. Our sprout,
who art there inside the spacecraft
               of your Ma, the time capsule of this printout,
               hurling & whirling towards us, it's all daft
          on this earth. Our alien who art in the heavens,
our Martian, our little green man, we're anxious
to make contact, to ask divers questions
          about the heavendom you hail from, to discuss
                    the whole shebang of the beginning&end,
          the pre-big bang untime before you forget the why
and lie of thy first place. And, our friend,

to say Welcome, that we mean no harm, we'd die 
          for you even, that we pray you're not here
                    to subdue us, that we'd put away
          our ray guns, missiles, attitude and share
our world with you, little big head, if only you stay.

from: The Ship of Birth. Copyright 2007.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Old Coat

    by Liam Rector
Dressed in an old coat I lumber
Down a street in the East Village, time itself

Whistling up my ass and looking to punish me
For all the undone business I have walked away from,

And I think I might have stayed 
In that last tower by the ocean,

The one I built with my hands and furnished
Using funds which came to me at nightfall, in a windfall....

Just ahead of me, under the telephone wires
On this long lane of troubles, I notice a gathering

Of viciously insane criminals I'll have to pass
Getting to the end of this long block in eternity.

There's nothing between us. Good
I look so dangerous in this coat.

black and white painting of man in an over coat

from: American Prodigal. Copyright 1994. 
Painting: Stephanie S. Smith.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Red Shoes

sexy open toed red shoes with white lace dress
   by Honor Moore
all that autumn you step from the train

as if something were burning

something is burning

running across the green grass bare feet

that day death was only

what we lose in fall comes back in spring

something is burning

from the train you climb

smoke between the skyscrapers

Paris was so beautiful, the sky– 

all that autumn

then tears

Why do we do this again?

she turns to you in the kitchen

she puts her arms around you

she is wearing those red shoes

from: Red Shoes. Copyright 2005.

Monday, January 9, 2012

No Time to Read?

Once upon a time in the dead of winter in the Dakota Territory, Theodore Roosevelt took off in a makeshift boat down the Little Missouri River in pursuit of a couple of thieves who had stolen his prized rowboat.

After several days on the river, he caught up and got the draw on them with his trusty Winchester, at which point they surrendered.

Then Roosevelt set off in a borrowed wagon to haul the thieves cross-country to justice. They headed across the snow-covered wastes of the Badlands to the railhead at Dickinson, and Roosevelt walked the whole way, the entire 40 miles.

It was an astonishing feat, what might be called a defining moment in Roosevelt’s eventful life.

But what makes it especially memorable is that during that time, he managed to read all of Anna Karenina.

I often think of that when I hear people say they haven’t time to read.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Everything Is Better With Cats

alternate cover, Furenheit 451

Check out AbeBooks for more.

A Different Kind of POETRY Challenge

 This challenge is hosted jointly by The Written World & Regular Ruminations.
UPDATE 7/5/12:
The challenge has evolved. Make The Poetry Project about your goals. You still post monthly about poetry but a). there is not an assigned day and b). you can post as often as you like. Just be sure to link to all your posts by the end of the month so they can be included in the round up. 

Not sure what to talk about? Follow these (optional) prompts!

July – Meet and Greet Questionnaire - (posted 7/7/12)
August – Poem by a Pulitzer Prize winner - (posted 8/1/12)
September – A classic poem - (posted 9/5/12)
October - Halloween poems - (posted 10/2/12
November – War remembrance - (posted 11/11/12)
December – Holiday Poems/Mid -Year Reflection - (posted 12/5/12)
January – Poems by Christina Rossetti (posted 1/6/12 Oops! 13)
February – Poems about love, hate or heartbreak (posted 2/6/13)
March – A new release poem/book of poetry (pub. 2012/2013) (posted 3/6/13)
April – What could have made you appreciate poetry more when you were younger? How would you raise a poetry reader? (posted 4/5/13)
June – Read a poem from the list that started it all. (posted 6/7/13)
July – Shakespearean sonnet (posted 7/9/13)
of participants:

July / August / SeptemberOctober / November / December
January / February / March / April / May / June / July

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Instead of a readalong or a reading challenge, this is a blog-along, with one goal: blog about poetry once a month. It is a laid-back way to get the book blogging community posting about poetry.
I post regularly.
I post things I love.
I post things that amuse or intrigue me.
I post things that force me to think.
I post things that I think might help others in some way.

I have, however, purposely kept my own commentary to a minimum, sinceI have had little time to put together what I consider to be thoughtful, insightful, and enlightening blog posts. But I would like to do more.

I'm hoping that this challenge will help by giving me a manageable goal. Well, I guess I'll find out soon enough.
1). Sign up link on regular rumination. (Some poetry suggestions if you need a push.)
2). Post about poetry on your blog on the following dates:

MONTHLY ROUNDUPS of participants:

KINSEY MILHONE Reading Challenge for 2012 . . and Beyond!

I confess. I've read this entire series, except for the last one published, so this may be the easiest challenge I've ever taken on. 

Please don't hate me.

Darlene's Book Nook is sponsoring this challenge, and I'd like to throw my support her way. Click on the badge to the left and go to her blog to sign up for the challenge. 

 My modest goal for this particular challenge in 2012 is:

"V" is for Vengeance  

[UPDATE 11/3/12] Click on the titles to read my reviews, such as they are.

Kinsey & Me (2013)
 "W" is for Wasted (2014)
X (2016)


This challenge seemed intriguing to me, the premise that is. Brought to us by Booking in Heels, it offers a different way for me to push myself in directions I might not otherwise have taken. Simply click on the badge to the left for her sign up page and join the party.

  1. Allan Quatermain from King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard (Completed)
  2. Mina Harker from Dracula by Bram Stoker (Completed)
  3. Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne (Completed)
  4. Tom Sawyer from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (Completed)
  5. Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (Completed)
  6. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (Completed)
  7. Rodney Skinner from The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (kind of) (Completed)
  8. The Phantom from The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (Completed)
  9. James Moriarty from The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Completed)

UPDATE 11/28/12: Review (Sort Of) post number one, First six of the nine books completed.
UPDATE 12/27/12: Review (Sort Of) post number two, One more book completed.
UPDATE 1/2/13: Round-up post, from Hanna at Booking in Heels (our hostess).
UPDATE 1/1/1: Just one more to go!
UPDATE 1/4/14: At last! I'm finished! I completed the challenge - only a little over a year late.