Sunday, February 25, 2007


or is it despair (oh that word again)
or maybe weariness or wariness.

How about sad? How about joyless?
How about depressed or even melancholy?

Not with it, perhaps. Not engaged. Not connected.
Adrift. Grasping but only half-heartedly.


So, I went in search of a book I once turned
to often as I tried to work through the tedious
and the pedestrian aspects of my mundane life.

I found it. Here are some things I found inside:


As we live we are transmitters of life and when we fail
to transmit life, life fails to flow through us...
And if, as we work, we can transmit life into our work,
still more life rushes into us to compensate, to be ready
and we ripple with life through the days...
Give and it shall be given unto you is still the truth
about life. But giving life is not so easy. It doesn't mean
handing it out to some mean fool or letting the living
dead eat you up...It means kindling the life force
where it was not, even if it's only in the whiteness of a
washed pocket-handkerchief.

D. H. Lawrence
Complete Poems

My bookmark for that page was a bumper sticker that says:


There was a note, in my handwriting, on the back of said,
obviously unused, bumper sticker:

May 1997
Beale St. Music Festival
Memphis, TN


Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and
try to love the questions themselves...Do not now seek
the answers which cannot be given you because you
would not be able to live them and the point is to live
everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will
then gradually, without noticing it, live along some
distant day into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet


On that page was a yellow sticky pad note thingee. It contains
the following info:

Sanctuary, Inc.
(phone number)

Florida Locations

Palm Beach Co. Domestic Assualt Center

Harmony House

I guess I will throw it away today. I remember writing
the note and why I wrote it. My sister's ex was psychologically
abusing her. She couldn't get help anywhere. The shelters
were for battered (physically) women.

So many years ago now.


I am afoot with my vision...I tramp a perpetual journey.

Walt Whitman
Song of the Open Road


Miracles seem to rest, not so much upon faces or voices or healing
power coming suddenly near to us from far off, but upon our
perceptions being made finer so that for a moment our eyes can
see and our ears can hear that which is about us always.

Willa Cather


I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring
out all kinds of things that lie buried in my heart.

Anne Frank
The Diary of a Young Girl


The necessary thing is, after all, but this: solitude, great inner
solitude. Going into oneself and for hours meeting no one--
this one must be able to attain.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Letter to a Young Poet


In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself
within a dark wood where the straight way was lost.

The Divine Comedy


You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in
which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say
to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing
that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt
You Learn by Living


World, I am your slow guest, one of the common things that
move in the sun and have close, reliable friends in the earth,
in the air, in the rock.

William Stafford


Lie back daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out in the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead man's
float is face down. You will dive and
swim soon enough where the tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe me,
when you tire of the long thrash
to your island, lie up and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember, when fear
cramps your heart, what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back and the sea will hold you.

Phillip Booth
"First Lesson"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I could not get these pictures in order no matter what I tried,
but here are some pictures of Dante, Oreo, and Molly.

More Molly to come. Been fooling with this too long.
Have to go start dinner before Molly wakes up.

Sweet Italian Sausage and Spinach Lasagne night.
Need to go get some bread for garlic bread. I have
salad stuff.

Damn I'm tired and don't really want to cook, but
it will be worth it.

I'll just pour some wine and drink while I cook.

And here's Dante!

You can see what he thinks of Molly in one of these pics!

Actually, he's just yawning!

Here's Oreo!

Here's Molly!

Worn out...

I had forgotten how much work puppies are--Molly is wearing
me out! She's just so busy that I never stop running after her.
She's asleep at the moment, so I think I'll take a nap.

Unusually tired lately. Not sure if it's all about Molly either.

I have a roll of film ready to be developed (soon,
LKD, I promise!) with lots of shots of Molly and the cats (not
together mind you--they don't like her at all!).

Time to go snooze.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's bitter cold here with snow flurries, but that's all.

Molly did very well last night. She crashed around 9
(and so did I). I heard her whimpering around midnight
but she went back to sleep. Ditto at 3. Then I woke at 4:30
or so and thought Oh my, Molly. You're bladder is probably
about to bust. So, I got up, got my pants, socks, shoes
and jacket on and went in the livingroom to get her.
She was still sleeping but woke easily and I could tell
she really needed to go potty. So I said Outside and her tail
wagged and I wrapped her up and we went out and
she did her business (9 degrees this morning with the
wind chill).

She ate and played for over an hour then she got sleepy
and we crashed on the couch. I got up, put her in her crate,
made the coffee, packed Wes's lunch and went back to bed
for 45 minutes. She's still sleeping, so I think I'll try to read
the paper.

Concerned that Wes is going to have to have surgery again.
One part of the incision has never healed and it's been 5 months.


He's been really great about it all. I am very frustrated.

I don't think his surgeon did anything wrong. I think it's
just one of those things that happen to some people. I just
want my son to not have to go through this discomfort
every day, and if it takes another surgery to take care of the incision,
and get him 100% healed, then we'll absolutely have to do it and will do it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


she's the reason I have not read anything
since Sunday nor written anything,
but she's so damned beautiful that I don't
really care. She's still asleep but will
be waking any time now. I am stealing
a few precious minutes to write about
her (would rather do that than clean
the house!).

Molly Artel O'Durr Brown--the newest
addition to the Brown household.

Molly because she looks like a Molly.
Artel in memory and honor of my father--Artie Elmo
O'Durr--her mom and pop's name.
Brown--because she is now a part of the Brown family.

My beautiful, unsinkable Molly Brown!

She's a 7 week old Irish Setter who has the most
beautiful mom and pop. Molly doesn't have a choice
in the being beautiful thing! She's also smart
and good-natured though that's hard to assess at times
because she's so busy being a puppy and puppies
can be pretty obnoxious and far too curious (almost
ate a screw yesterday, then a penny and is trying
to eat all the houseplants). I have to get the house
puppy-proofed. And I need some knee pads. Geez.
My knees are killing me from playing with her
and cleaning up boo-boos.

This is all really good exercise for me in preparation
for my first grandchild who is due in July. Maybe Molly
will get me in shape so I can be of some help to my daughter-in-law
and really be able to enjoy my Grandmother time.
It's hard keeping up with babies, too, and I need the house
baby-proofed even though he or she won't be crawling around
or walking for a little while, I'll need to have things ready.

Hard to believe I am going to be a grandmother.
Where have the years gone?

Now I am totally convinced that old(er) women
should not have babies or puppies! Yikes!
Molly's wearing me out, but it will all be worth it.

I do feel like my friends should be bringing
meals to the house and offering to watch
her while I get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.


Time to reheat coffee, get my shoes on, round up
a jacket and towel (pouring down rain--a very cold
pouring down rain at that, but Molly
loves it and doesn't get in a hurry to come back
in), and get ready for puppy
potty time!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Before a Cashier's Window in a Department Store


The beautiful cashier's white face has risen
once more
Behind a young manager's shoulder.
They whisper together, and stare
Straight into my face.
I feel like grabbing a stray child
Or a skinny old woman
And driving into a cellar, crouching
Under a stone bridge, praying myself sick,
Till the troops pass.


Why should he care? He goes.
I slump deeper.
In my frayed coat, I am pinned down
By debt. He nods,
Commending my flesh to the pity of the
daws of God.


Am I dead? And, if not, why not?
For she sails there, alone, looming in the
heaven of the beautiful.
She knows
The bulldozers will scrape me up
After dark, behind
The officer's club.
Beneath her terrible blaze, my skeleton
Glitters out. I am the dark. I am the dark
Bone I was born to be.


Tu Fu woke shuddering on a battlefield
Once, in the dead of night, and made out
The mangled women, sorting
The haggard slant-eyes.
The moon was up.


I am hungry. In two more days
It will be spring. So this
Is what it feels like.

James Wright


Came across this recently and it just makes goosebumps
come up on my arms every time I read it.

"the pity of the/ daws of God"
"I am the dark/Bone I was born to be"

All of it, all of it will stay with me.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tom Waits - Lie To Me

I'm really enjoying the new Tom Waits CD Orphans. This song is on Disc One. It's just fun and upbeat and makes me want to pull the car off the road, park in the cornfield, and just dance (well, when it gets warmer I may be tempted to do that but not now--12 outside this morning!).

Morning in the Burned House

In the burned house I am eating breakfast.
You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast,
yet here I am.

The spoon which was melted scrapes against
the bowl which was melted also.
No one else is around.

Where have they gone to, brother and sister,
mother and father? Off along the shore,
perhaps. Their clothes are still on the hangers,

their dishes piled beside the sink,
which is beside the woodstove
with its grate and sooty kettle,

every detail clear,
tin cup and rippled mirror.
The day is bright and songless,

the lake is blue, the forest watchful.
In the east a bank of cloud
rises up silently like dark bread.

I can see the swirls in the oilcloth,
I can see the flaws in the glass,
those flares where the sun hits them.

I can't see my own arms and legs
or know if this is a trap or blessing,
finding myself back here, where everything

in this house has long been over,
kettle and mirror, spoon and bowl,
including my own body,

including the body I had then,
including the body I have now
as I sit at this morning table, alone and happy,

bare child's feet on the scorched floorboards
(I can almost see)
in my burning clothes, the thin green shorts

and grubby yellow T-shirt
holding my cindery, non-existent,
radiant flesh. Incandescent.

Margaret Atwood


Starting my day with poetry.

I am emotionally drained after completing
The Executioner's Song.

Geez. Took a lot out of me, but it was worth
what it took. There were times it was so
intense I would have to put it down, walk
around a bit, concern myself with other
things for a little while, and then come back
to it only to find myself doing the same thing about
20 minutes later.

Having read very little Mailer, I had no idea
what style of writing to expect. Reminded me
of Capote. The non-fiction that reads like fiction
with its embellishments and parallel story lines and in-depth
character analysis.

So, time to start something else. God knows I have enough
books piled under my bedside table and on it and on the floor
to last me for a little while.

Atwood to Oliver, I think. And then....hmmmm.....
two books--a bio--Portrait of An Artist: A Biography
of Georgia O'Keeffe and a fiction: The Way of All Flesh,
Samuel Butler.

But first some poems. Some breakfast. A load of laundry.
Some strong coffee. The newspaper. Medicine.
The bed with a book. That has been the only good thing
thus far about being fired--I have time to read.
Other than that, it's been a damned hard

Test this Saturday for a state position (Training and Development
Specialist). We'll see how that goes.
Another application to fill in today for another position
with the state (with the Dept. of Health and Human
services). Another one to the courts (Juvenile Justice).

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I confess...

that I am an HGTV addict.

I love to watch other people work.

If Walls Could Talk is a featured show that comes on nightly.
It spotlights older homes and their histories. As I live
in an older home (about 90 years old), I love to watch
the discoveries the new homeowners make.

I can't say we had any such discoveries here, but there
are some things I have yet to find out about this house.

For example, the stone wall that sits about 20-30
ft. from the back of the house. It is a perpendicular
wall whose lines extend 15-20 ft. N to S and another
15-20 ft. E-W. On the backside (North side) of the wall is a small,
inscripted stone which has been nearly totally
erased through the years from age
and weather, I suppose.

I can make out this much:

Eliza Hall
Infan Daugh of

and that's it.

When we bought the house, I thought I'd look into this matter.
Perhaps this infant daughter is buried there, I thought.
Perhaps it is something to mark her memory.

I can't believe I've been here almost 19 years and have yet
to research the stone.

Other things have gotten in the way. Like work and school
and child-rearing and home renovation and being
a drunken fool. Maybe I am not meant to know
who Eliza was.

So, I was watching a show on HGTV and it was about
a house which was built by a civil war veteran. He had a
shop across the street--hardware store or something.
The new owners of the house found many things
in the carriage house, including some medallions,
that were fashioned out of metal in the shape
of a star, to be placed on the stones of civil
war veterans.

Well now, there you go. Made me think of my granny's
grave in Evansville, IN. Last time I visited the grave
was last spring. It was only then that I realized
that I kept forgetting her medallion was missing
from the stone. A DAR star, I think. I remember
noticing it was gone several years ago and trying
to make myself understand why it was important
that the star be there.

And then, I forgot to think about it again.

And so I thought about it tonight, but I really
don't know who to ask about it. Dad is gone
and his sister is in a long-term care facility
and rarely understands fully what you're asking
her. I haven't heard her voice in a few years.

She and Dad weren't close. She and Mom
even less so.

And then I started thinking about Granny's death.
And I wondered how much my dad thought
about it. And I wondered if he ever went up
there (to Evansville) to see her grave.

And I don't think he did. Many people don't.
It's what you do for the living while they're living
that matters, I suppose, but I am thinking
about that star.

Hey Jupiter

No one's picking up the phone