December 31, 2010

Farewell to 2010...

and a hearty welcome to 2011 - I am more than ready for a new year to start. Have a great feeling about this one! Let this photo of a Grand Central Station light serve as the Times Square ball as I toast in the new year. Happy New Year one and all!

December 29, 2010

fly through the air with the greatest of ease

only to land CLUNK on the ground. At a doctor's office of all things, falling down the stairs. Been a long time since I fell like that - about six steps and into the hallway (I must be jet-propelled). So odd. Laying on the floor of a medical building's basement thinking, gee whiz, I just fell down the stairs. I am actually fine except for a sore wrist and hand and a sideways view of the world. Thank goodness for a coat that is like wearing a giant sleeping bag. And thanks to the lovely man who came to my aid and the lovely nurses whose first response was "would you like some tea?". My kind of medical attention :)

December 27, 2010

Freezing. Seriously. Brrrrrrr.

The wind since yesterday whipping about the house does not give one that cozy in the snow feeling but instead makes one feel edgy, waiting. For what? Don't know. A tree to fall? The lines to freeze and crack sending darkness and stealing the heat? This is not the peth peth peth pristine snow that warms the heart and I will be glad when it settles down. Meanwhile in our not well insulated and forget about these outdated windows, etc. I am freezing. Someone send me a fireplace and a pot-bellied stove and a heated small barn for the homeless cat who is too feral to be caught that we saw dragging down the street in the snow earlier. Stay warm somehow, cat. Stay up somehow, wires. Stay rooted please, trees. Stay safe all of you out there tonight.

December 26, 2010

Sunday Quote

If the grass is greener on the other side, water your grass.

- tee shirt slogan

December 23, 2010

the sky was a saucer

on which the night balanced and the moon was a small chip of porcelain, above my pillow, above my sleep.

December 20, 2010

December 19, 2010

Sunday Quote

"At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows;
But like of each thing that in season grows."

- William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost

December 17, 2010

Can we please hold off Christmas?

At least until I am feeling well again? Otherwise I would like a large cup of tea with lemon and honey, wrapped, as well as a box of softy tissues (the kind with lotion in them) with a giant bow. Thank you.

December 15, 2010

Horses for Hire and homes for gnomes...

...or fairies. In my crafty days I would have been constructing these little magical tree trunk home charmers in a New York minute. Found at the Westport, Ct Anthropologie - and while I tend to like all those stores, the Westport store is Mecca, whoever designs that store has the best eye for detail, whimsy, and inspiration. Salad and divine cream of Mushroom soup at the Firehouse Deli added to the fun day a weekend or so ago. Across from the FD, in the parking lot men from Allegra Farm (they gave me their card and mentioned they were available for hire for special events and so forth- note the nifty website) were setting up a covered wagon of sorts - and the horses had a furry rugged very appealing look to them - the men said the horses were's a little info on them.

December 13, 2010

Poem for the first true cold

Be Music, Night

Be music, night,
That her sleep may go
Where angels have their pale tall choirs

Be a hand, sea,
That her dreams may watch
Thy guidesman touching the green flesh of the world

Be a voice, sky,
That her beauties may be counted
And the stars will tilt their quiet faces
Into the mirror of her loveliness

Be a road, earth,
That her walking may take thee
Where the towns of heaven lift their breathing spires

O be a world and a throne, God,
That her living may find its weather
And the souls of ancient bells in a child's book
Shall lead her into Thy wondrous house

- Kenneth Patchen

December 12, 2010

Sunday Quote

The snow is silently falling like memories unspoken
The past is fading away as time is forever lost
You can trust me to keep the wish till you come home
Our dreams blow in, loves unknown
I lie in the arms of winters ever after,
I lie in your arms in a winters dream...

- Hayley Westenra, Winter's Dream

December 7, 2010

Billy Collins and Mom and The Lanyard

A friend sent me this link, a poem I have heard Billy Collins read both in person and in a little all-about-Billy type documentary I recently borrowed from the library. He seems to be a lovely, decent man and he is a wonderful poet. He has been our Poet Laureate for those who don't necessarily follow these things - and in that time created this site, Poetry 180. I love him because he is the poet of life - how we muddle through, how profound things come alongside the morning paper and a cup of coffee.
Poets or wannabe poets who want to make sure everyone understands how startingly original and profound they are, are fond of bashing him at times for not being a poet of depth or talent because he writes poetry that even the common folk can understand (and we all know the common folk know nothing about the depth and beauty of life) Sigh.
I am sure he is ruined by their comments as he considers his Poet Laureate-ness, regards his shelf of well received books, but no, that would be petty and he seems to be a lovely, decent man, (I, on the other hand would be doing just that - take that, you sulky MFAers, I would say, but then I am not talking about my petty leanings at the moment).
Here is The Lanyard, a poem that like many of his poems makes you laugh at the wit even as the significance of the poem moves you to the edge of tears. Perhaps you have to be older to really love his poetry, arriving at that place he seems to have gotten to earlier, where all the tender joys and woes of life converge and you know so much more, are so much more patient, compassionate, wise...and have really bad knees.

December 5, 2010

Sunday Quote

"You darkness, that I come from,
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes
a circle of light for everyone,
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything;
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them!—
powers and people—
and it is possible a great energy
is moving near me.
I have faith in nights."

- Rainer Maria Rilke, On Darkness

December 3, 2010

If they celebrated Christmas...

Passed by this gate to a small cemetery on my home for lunch and fell so in love with the image that I brought a camera back with me - I had to park half a block away and walk up (and was slightly late back) and dodge a few cars, but this old wreath across the iron gates so reminded me of a book I love, Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. If the ghosts celebrate the holiday, surely this would be their wreath.

December 1, 2010

From the shoebox

End of November photo, a cold dusk down the street when out with the dog. Now first day of December and it is just pouring, sheets of water, getting soaked during errands on a day off. Tossing paper scraps - some good stuff. This site for the over fifty set, was created by a 16 year old Maryland girl for her grandfather - a search with larger font and search box. Two great books to consider as a Christmas gift - the Poets Laureates book which has poetry from all the Poet Laureates of the USA (the Poetry Society of America recently had their centenniel celebration and this was being touted), and of course the book I am awaiting in the mail to receive, Dogs Singing, which I will shamelessly continue to recommend since it's a wonderful collection, it benefits dog charities, and I have three poems in it :)
Still time to make someone a cute toy - interlibrary-loaned myself this book and found it charming. Our libraries do not own this book - the title alone has great appeal for a mermaid type like me, however I have not seen it but it sounds great and it is by the fabulous Claire Murray of rughooking fame. Plus the site this is linked to looks like fun for sea-lovers. and lastly - if you have one of those new shiny fridges that look great but magnets don't stick to it - you can play with this fake fridge and make up cool stuff with the poetry magnets. Enjoy! Happy Chanukah to everyone.

November 28, 2010

Sunday Quote

You may delay, but time will not.

-Benjamin Franklin

November 26, 2010

Last blaze on a black Friday

It does seem like autumn's swan song, the leaves mostly down, tonight's November sky was a smoky blue with the texture and depth of blue velvet swirled with dark mauve clouds among the black stark branches of the newly shorn trees. I love November, it's wild and wooly. Once Thanksgiving is past, the doors of the season are wide open and I have Christmas on my mind...not a big crowded mall, black Friday shopping kind of gal, but here are some things I like that I have stumbled across you might enjoy for your Christmas list consideration. This great fox scarf reminds me of childhood trauma, sitting behind my Aunt who had a fur stole of entwined dead foxes, staring at me with their little marble eyes. Stocking stuffers are going to fly over to my house from Perpetual Kid, fun stuff galore including Fred design that is witty and silly. I think this inanimate office stickers are a hoot, don't you? Natural Mama with a yen for the organic, natural gift? I love this site that does all the linking to wonderful Etsy stuff where you can purchase felted fairies and amazing cloth dolls and wooden toys and the like. My daughter still raves about the perfume I got for her last Christmas from here, maybe a repeat visit in the cards. A blog that links to a huge variety of fairytale-tastic jewelery, clothing, art sites. and to wrap up - the best maple spread I know of, the blended maple one here, I buy in the high numbers whenever we go to Vermont, but now I can just click and get some maple happiness. Happy Shopping!

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We've got it covered - the posting on the white board from the vegan daughter, Happy Tofurky, and the husband's heavenly turkey roasting in the oven, potatoes being cooked, cranberry sauce cooked, all children home, blessings, Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be thy praise.

-George Herbert

November 22, 2010

puppy in a fish tank and deep thoughts

Nodded off after dinner. Awoke to daughter discussing what she would do if she won a million dollars. It involved real estate. I was dreaming of money as well, curiously enough. My dream far more practical than hers - I dreamt I had a magic shoebox that kept giving me a thousand dollars in small bills every time I opened it. Ah, the practical mind, always thinking. Realizing I seriously need to figure out a better evening winter plan than coming home, eating dinner, policing homework, and falling asleep on the couch. Movement of some sort seems like it should be part of this plan. Don't like our usual walking at night after work - too dark and there are coyotes that are not as shy as one would do you, gentle reader, do for exercise in the winter?

November 21, 2010

Sunday Quote

So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.

- John Clare, November

TSA and children and accepting the unacceptable

I'm glad my family and I have had some nice trips this past year - to Florida and to Scotland - because I will not be buying any airline tickets. I refuse to deal with the insanity of the TSA.
That they seriously thinks the inappropriate gropings and x-rays (with most of the machines not working making the pat downs mandatory according to a good many news reports) will make anyone safer is beyond me.
I think of some of our friends and extended family, of the families I know through my work with children, and I include tweens and teenagers when I say children. Families with autistic children, children who have been traumatized or molested, children with psychological issues, are offered no alternatives. Stories are documented about the infirm and elderly being forced to get out of wheelchairs, leg braces removed, etc. There is a news reporter who took a cell phone video of his three year old being held by his wife, the child screaming as she is being patted down - and while the Dad objects and remarks about compromise and does this strange double standard of being outraged and yet trying to be okay with it, this child knows her parents stood there while she was terrified and touched by a stranger in places we tell our children not to allow anyone to touch them.
I don't want to be okay with something like this.
Apparently now if this took place with your child and you decided the hell with the tickets, we will just leave rather than upset my child like this, especially if you or your child has any sort of issues where this could be deeply upsetting you can be detained and significantly fined.
Can you imagine a rape victim having to go through these pat-downs? I read comments where the critics basically say man-up and shut-up and just go through to keep America safe. Apparently they have never been subjected to any sort of sexual harassment or history that might make these searches unbearable.
What of pregnant women or people with cancer issues - the radiation is not "nothing" as we are told. Children should not be exposed to full body scanning radiation.
Yet we are accepting this?
We honestly don't think as a country we could come up with saner, reasonable alternatives for airport security that don't stomp on our civil rights?
If you are flying and experience any problems with the TSA involving any kind of abuse during searches, the ACLU has a complaint form for you to fill out as they gather information.
If you opt out of flying - let your government and the airline industry know via letters, emails, tweets, blog posts.
I appreciate the need for safety and security but I do not believe for one moment that what the TSA is doing is making my country safer.
"He who trades freedom for safety gets neither." -Benjamin Franklin

November 18, 2010

Dogs Singing poetry anthology

Pleased to be in the same company as the amazing poets featured in this wonderful tribute collection, Dogs Singing, with poems about our canine friends released today. The proceeds go to animal charities. (I am thinking great holiday gift, right?)

November 17, 2010

How my children see me

Or have seen me...
Two are drawings by the boys at various times in my life - the first one is twenty years old and yet I still remember just thinking genius! artist! when he scribbled an actual face and said it was his mommy. Wow. That's the stuff when you have little kids. The second one where I look like a beatnik with a rose sticking out of her head was drawn fairly recently by the last child who is either keeping me young or aging me rapidly. He draws under the covers the way other kids read, very fun. The quite interesting art work by Dorothea Tanning is entitled Birthday, 1942, and is a painting my 24 year old daughter tells me always makes her think of me. Hmmmm. Where is my shirt? Who is my strange pet? The daughter is very into surrealistic art. As is the usual case with my children I am charmed, amused, and interested by all three impressions.

November 16, 2010

Good poem for a gray day

Home sick, the youngest is in the next room having his cello lesson while the dog howls from behind a closed door. Gray day that would be worthy of a fire in a fireplace, having none I will make do with a photo taken a month ago of a woodpile and a link to one of my favorite Adrienne Rich poems, Song.

November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

Honoring those who have served our country and those who are serving now.

November 9, 2010

walkabout wonders...

Rat art, shadows and light, mysterious doorways, and always just a little green.

November 8, 2010

Sunday fine and lively with poets and writers

Where do you meet? Coming in on a train, at the clock. Cold but that doesn't stop a passing (and good-natured) New Yorker from showing off her stuff. Some Earl Gray (loose in a pot, of course)at the hotel that Harry Potter would stay in as an adult. Onto the point of the trek, or one of them, a wonderful poetry reading at the very atmospheric and appealing
Bowery Poetry Club and Cafe to hear Heather Hartley on her American tour reading from her recently released and quite brilliant collection, Knock, Knock. Also reading and new to me, Craig Morgan Teicher, reading from Cradle Book, a magical and mysterious collection of modern fables (could not get over one called Raised By Wolves). On the way to Indian food with a dear friend after, refound a store I stumbled across a year back and loved, Timbuktu, beautiful things. Drinks and cookie mad fabulousness at W, lost in the aisles at the Strand where I found a lovely secondhand book called Aid to Rhyme with lists of words that are perfect (by Bessie Redfield). Walkabout with great company at night in NYC, loved the sound and scents, noise and jazz of it all...train home with a purse full of books...that sort of fine.