Monday, September 29, 2008

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

Hoping I shall embrace

...the change. I am excited, but I also know
the adjustment period will take a little while...
I've been home for almost 2 years (except for the
part-time job I had from last Dec.-May).

This Wednesday, I shall embark, indeed, on a new
journey. Although I think I only work 1/2 day, and
that 1/2 day is spent meeting with HR to complete
paperwork and discuss policy, I am ready to go.

I will be working for a rural mental health center
as a crisis case manager. The crisis case manager meets
with the client in a "safe" place (hospital, police dept.,
the clinic) to assess the client's immediate needs
and to decide what course of action is the best for the client
at that time. They may need hospitalization. They may
need institutionalization. They may need to go home
with a relative or friend. They may need just to talk that
night to get a plan in place for appointments or meds.

Although my work site is roughly 40 miles from home,
it's all parkway to get there. It will still take 35-40 min
to get home, but I know people who live relatively close
to where they work and it takes them 45 minutes to an hour
to get home. I have a friend in Birmingham who lives 14
miles from her office, but it takes her an hour to get home
every evening, so I won't complain too much (I hope) about
the drive time. At least it's not bumper to bumper stop-and-go

As a crisis case manager, I will also be on call two nights per
week. On call starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 8 a.m. The on
call CCM is on call for the 8 counties the mental health center
serves, so I could have to drive an hour or so to do an assessment.
I know that will take some getting used to, but I am so ready
to not just be working, but to be working in a field in which
I have such a keen interest and in which I can try to help others
help themselves.


Daughter and her boyfriend were in this weekend for
a wedding. Yesterday morning, youngest son's girlfriend
came over and we all had brunch together. Youngest
made his "in demand" blueberry pancakes. I cooked
scrambled eggs with hot sauce, cilantro and monterey
jack cheese, some sausage, and some bacon (yep--beaucoup
cholesterol!) but it was fun to share the time together
and everything tasted wonderful.

After daughter left, youngest, his GF, and I played
Monopoly. I almost won--matter of fact, that's the closest
I have ever come to winning. I generally suck at board
games. I either get impatient and don't care any longer
who wins or I simply don't strategize well (if it's a game
of strategy). Sometimes, I'm just really unlucky (cards).
Regardless, it was fun. It was one of the best days I've
had in a long time.

I felt something close to hopeful. It was a strange, yet welcoming


Finished reading No Country For Old Men & Into The Wild.

I already mentioned some thoughts about NCFOM, but I
don't think I've mentioned what drew me into the book
ITW, nor why I recommend it. I saw the movie and wondered
why this young man would do what he did and why he did
not choose to contact his family, or anyone who knew him,
for over 2 years. I wanted to know more about him, what kind
of kid he was, what kind of friend, what his family thought
about him during that time and after the discovery of his
whereabouts, what he liked to read, how he spent his time
as a young child and a young adult. The author makes assumptions
many times about Chris's reasons based on conversations
with people who met him during his two year journey, with his
family members, and with the little bit of information he found
in Chris's journal. It's a well-written book with a few
chapters devoted to the author's own mountain climbing
experiences and his own risk-taking lifestyle. It's worth
the read.

Now rereading The Things They Carried and another book I hope
helps me out some. It's called Learned Optimism. It's
interesting so far, but somewhat on the academic side.
It reads like a book I would have had to read in one of my
Psych classes. I know all too well about Learned Helplessness.
Perhaps I'll learn that such a thing as "learned optimism"
is well within the realm of possibility.


Time to go get some yard work done. Here's a thought
for today from Thoreau's Walden, Or Life In The Woods:

"...If the day and the night are such that you greet them
with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-
scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal,--
that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and
you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest
gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We
easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them.
They are the highest reality...The true harvest of my daily
life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints
of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment
of the rainbow which I have clutched. "

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman
January 26th, 1925-September 26th, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Some Days it's Just Too Much

So, I'm on my way to the Pampered Pet Salon this
morning to drop Molly off for a bath and to have her
nails filed, and I get behind this truck with a rather
large decal on the back window (which is tinted so
darkly you can't see anything inside the vehicle)
that says "I dig my coal miner," which is written
beneath the outline of a woman reclining and a man
crawling on his knees toward her inner thighs, his
miner's cap with the headlamp on. Made me think
of this scene from Austin Powers.

They turn at the light, and as they make the turn,
a truck that says, "Wayne's Auto Body" pulls out
in front of me. Can't miss this truck. It has a set
of Texas longhorns attached to the top of the cab.

By this time, I am wondering, more than usual, where
in the hell am I and how in the hell did I get here!

I come home and make an attempt to finish reading
our newspaper (all 8 pages of it). They list police reports
(as do most papers) and a section called "Fire Runs."

In today's section it said this (which is a found poem of
sorts, I think):

"Dispatched at 12:15 a.m. to a request for assistance
from Regional Medical Center at 900 Hospital Drive.

Crews tried to help remove jewelry from a patient
with a ring stuck on their swollen hand. Attempts
to use an assortment of cutters was unsuccessful."

Ok, so what the hell happened to the person? There has been
no follow-up to this Fire Run report, and enquiring minds
want to know. Did a surgeon have to cut the finger off
and reattach it? Or did the doctors give the person massive
amounts of Lasix (if fluid retention caused the finger to swell so much
that the ring got tight) and hope that enough times to the potty
might make the swelling go down, or is the person still walking
around with this too-tight ring cutting the circulation off in
"their" finger?

Tell us, dear editor!

Yes, folks, I need a life.



Getting ready to go window shopping, as in real windows.
We are going to put replacment windows in when we redo
the house. They look like the original windows (6 over 6
they call them at the store--6 panes in the top and 6 in the
bottom). They are lovely old windows, but they've seen
better days.

I think I'm going to keep some of them and perhaps do
some artwork with them. I have some ideas.

Then I'm going to meet a friend for lunch. If all goes
as planned, I'll be at work this time next week, and she
and I will not get to have lunch together again until
we both happen to be off for a day.

If everything goes as planned, I won't be working in town.
I will be driving about 40 miles one way to my work site.

But, I don't have anything in writing at this point--I am just
waiting to receive some more info from the organization.

Time to get my face on and go!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sunflowers, 1880
Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What You Don't Say To Your Ma

She tells you she wants
some lye soap, cayennes, and corn,
only if you're going anyway,
to which you respond
Of course, I had planned on it,
knowing that telling her you
were going to the market
tomorrow was not anything
other than a ploy
to keep talking and so then she tells
you how the groundhog ate all the blooms
off the pansies you got for her at Lowe's,
twenty bucks that could have bought
some food, but she was wanting
to see those pansies this winter,
when the cannas had given
up the ghost and the pampas
was leaning heavily toward
the house, how happy that would
have made her on those grey days,
how she couldn't bring herself to call
anyone to kill it as it trusted
her so, like a pet, so she might just put moth
balls around what's left of the pansies
and maybe they'd bloom again and maybe
they'd just stay green for a little while
standing out there proud-like amidst
all the grey and brown and you want
to scream I'm dyin here, Ma,
and I'm not sure if getting better
is better than staying worse, but all you say
is I'll go get you some more pansies.

There goes a troubled woman, she dreams a troubled dream

Sailing to Byzantium

THAT is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

William Butler Yeats

Monday, September 22, 2008


How it is a person can lose so much
of who they were and become nothing short
of a complete stranger. How the mind can no longer
bring the words and nearly everything becomes
monosyllabic. How the face in the mirror has
the wrong eyes. The eyes that are much smaller
now. The eyes whose green has lost much of
its once remarkable irridesence. How the lips are much
less full, and the face rounder. How some etch-a-sketched
lines create the new face. And then there are the hands,
fingers swollen most days. Perpetually tanned from long
days of working in the yard, of living in the elements,
the nails sporting miniature Appalachian ridges,
the prominent evidence of the life force gracing
the back of each hand, the uplifted palms revealing
callouses and the rough texture that defines so much
of this life. Just wondering how it happens. How you miss
it happening and just all of a sudden, it is there.


Got a box from Amazon today. Yay! No Country For Old Men,
Into the Wild, and The Things They Carried. I just started
No Country. I've read The Things They Carried and wanted
to reread it but couldn't find my copy, so I just ordered
another that I am going to try to keep here at the house
(every time I get a copy, it has a way of disappearing,
which is really pretty great because someone else is
getting the chance to read one of the best books I've ever
read). I saw the movie Into the Wild and knew I wanted
to read the book, so I ordered that, too.

Only one bookstore in this town, and they never have
anything other than bestsellers, romance novels,
self-help books, and lots of little doo-dad gift things.
No Borders or Barnes and Noble or Joseph Beth here,
so I have to order.


Jo tagged me for a meme last week. I am to name a book
which I feel had the greatest impact on my life,
music which has greatly influenced me, and my favorite
movie. I have been struggling to think of one and only
one in each category.

Each stage of my life has afforded me the opportunity
to fall in love with yet more and more books, music,
and movies. Each day I live presents an opportunity
to fall in love with a painting I've never seen before--
not just fall in love, but to feel a powerful sense of who I am
be simply viewing or hearing or reading or touching,
as the case may be.

I'll give it a stab by starting with books.

When I was young girl, my favorite and most influential
books were White Fang, Call of the Wild, Black Beauty,
and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

When I read Jack London, I not only wanted to know that wild
world he wrote about, I wanted to be Jack London!

There was no limit. I just knew I could be and do
anything if I were Jack. I wanted to touch the fur
on those wild wolves. I wanted to watch them play.
I wanted to hold their gaze. I wanted to marvel at their
beauty. I wanted them to accept me as one of their own.
I wanted to be where the wild things were. I wanted to
be strong, like Buck, and learn to adapt to whatever
circumstances in which I would find myself. I wanted
to be a survivalist, like White Fang and his mother.
I needed to know that there were many frightening
places in this world, but that even in the midst of such
a place, there is beauty and there is hope.

Black Beauty brought me a sense of belonging, of understanding
I was not alone in my pain. I could get lost in the book
and take the focus away from my own sense of loss
and bewilderment. I could keep holding out hope that goodness
would prevail. That he would be loved and treated fairly
and taken care of for the rest of his life. And when he
was finally taken in and loved by a family, I could believe
I would know such love, too. And there was aggressive
Ginger, who bit nearly everyone she met. I could relate
to her hostilities. The book resonated with the empathic
part of my spirit.

And Twenty Thousand Leagues simply filled my head with such
wonder at all the mysteries of the deep. I was fascinated
with the story of Captain Nemo and the strange crew of
the Nautilus. I had nightmares about giant squids
for months, but I couldn't get enough of Verne. So
I read Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mysterious
Island. Fantastical creatures and bold adveturers. I wanted
to be one of those adventurers!


See, I can't even narrow down a book! I'll just list a few others
I found to be influential in my life:

To Kill A Mockingbird
Crime and Punishment
Les Miserables
The Outline of History (H.G. Wells)
Look Homeward Angel
Tennessee Williams's plays
Everything That Rises Must Converge

Just too many....

Now back to my reading!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I listen to my words, but they fall far below/I let my music take me where my heart wants to go

Making it through Sunday

I love Lucinda Williams' work. And I love
that song Sundays. I can't find it on YouTube
or I'd post it.

It does seem like the hardest day to get through
for reasons I don't fully comprehend.

Kept it rather low key today. Got up late, around
9 or so. Couldn't believe I slept that late. Cooked
an omelet for my son and me--a throw bunches of stuff
you like into the mix omelet. It was quite yum. He made
the coffee (which he always does now--he's quite the coffee
connoisseur or snob!) and likes only whole bean, full-bodied coffees.

I bought him some amaretto when I went shopping with
my daughter-in-law last week. I love amaretto coffee!
I bought myself a beautiful bowl--it's a huge salad or vegetable
bowl that matches this set of dishes. My dishes have three
shades of colors--a yellow ochre, like my walls, a reddish-yellow,
and a reddish-orange, so the bowl is just great. I needed new
clothes, but what do I do when I go shopping for the first time
in god only knows how long? I buy a bowl. On sale. 23.00

After that, I read the paper and cleaned the kitchen. I also
actually talked my son into playing a game of Scrabble with
me. We were tearing the board up with words like chair
and fart--I think the closest we got to a word that might
be construed as a decent Scrabble word and play was the word nexus.

Let's just say that it's a good thing neither of us was terribly
concerned about scoring in the 4 or 500s!


Alone now. Son at work. Hubby racing. Haven't answered my
messages today, though one of them was from someone I really
do want to talk to and have not talked to in some time. Was
jsut drifting when the call came in.

Read some Neruda, Sexton, & Stevens today. Also decided I wanted
to read some plays (have not read any in some time and there
is no theater here on a regular basis and I wish there was as I love
to go). Read Desire Under The Elms and The Cherry Orchard.

Think I'll read 'night, Mother, Spoils of War, & Burn This tonight.

I feel rather comfortably tired today.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

You gave me more to live for/more than you'll ever know

Feeling lighter

...than I have in some time. It helps to know
where you stand in life, and when it's time to let
go of something that drags you down. I am grateful
that I made the decision to do that today(with a little
help and encouragement) about an issue
that has cost me so much of late.


Spent part of the morning raking the mess from last week's
storm. There are still around 100,000 people across KY without
power from the remnants of Ike. There are still many in this
community who do not have power. My yard is still covered
in the debris. I found someone's tax statement in my yard--
they live 23 miles from here. There are cushions from lawn
furniture, letters, chairs, lots of branhes and leaves, and just
an assortment of trash in the yard. I only managed to get
the front cleaned up today. If my energy holds out, I'll try to do
some more later.


Last night's meal: I browned a pork tenderloin
in some olive oil. I salt and peppered it and sprinkled
some onion and garlic powder on it. I removed it
from the pan and placed it in a foil lined glass baking
dish. I deglazed the pan with white wine and a little
chicken stock. I added to that freshly chopped basil,
oregano, and thyme and I grated some fresh garlic
into the sauce. I let it cook down a little and then
poured it over the tenderloin. Cooked it at 325 for
a few hours. I served a diced sweet potato and sliced
granny smith apple dish with it and some steamed
broccoli. The sweet potato dish was roasted at 400
for about 30 minutes. It was quite good.


Yesterday's Classic Peanuts was indeed classic. Wish my scanner
was working correctly so I could scan it. Lucy is standing in her
Psychiatric Help booth speaking to Linus. She says: Living
is living! Living is what counts! In the next frame, she says:
People come to me and ask me how to live...I tell them that
to live is to live! Living is what makes living!
Next frame: Linus walks past the little curly-haired girl.
Last frame: The little curly-haired girl says: Is the doctor in?
Linus says, as he walks away: No, I think she's way out!

I love it!


A friend called yesterday and asked me how I felt about collaborating
on a book of poems and essays. She'll send a line or two, I'll send her
some thoughts, she'll send another line or two and the process will
go on. She will reciprocate. We discussed a few poems we think
will fit the idea we have for the book, and we have a title. I'm excited.

On that note, I received a rejection from Ploughshares. Just a standard
"Dear Writer" letter. Oh well. It happens.


I have been so down for so long that I am not sure what it will be like
to be up again. It frightens me in many ways to think about it.

Though I have much work to do to help myself get better, I am
feeling now that I don't have a choice if I want to be around for some
time. I have to take better care of me.

It saddens me that when we are at our most vulnerable, the people
we thought we could trust the most to be there and to hang tight
with us don't do it. It's hurtful. For them to lose sight of all the things
you were before your world came crashing down just makes you
realize they must not have cared the way you thought they did.

That's not an easy thing to accept, but to move on, it has to be
accepted and dealt with.

As Nietzsche says: That which does not destroy us makes us stronger.

I hope that is true.


A few other Nietzsche quotes:

And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

A friend should be a master at guessing and keeping still: you must not want to see everything.

Admiration for a quality or an art can be so strong that it deters us from striving to possess it.

All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses.

And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Am Vertical

But I would rather be horizontal.
I am not a tree with my root in the soil
Sucking up minerals and motherly love
So that each March I may gleam into leaf,
Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed
Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted,
Unknowing I must soon unpetal.
Compared with me, a tree is immortal
And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,
And I want the one's longevity and the other's daring.

Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and the flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly resemble them --
Thoughts gone dim.
It is more natural to me, lying down.
Then the sky and I are in open conversation,
And I shall be useful when I lie down finally:
Then the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me.

Sylvia Plath

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Clean Up

...goes on. We were actually spared so much.

Certainly, those on the coast of LA and TX
got slammed. So many lost homes, so many
without power, so many still in shelters.
I have not heard anything about casualties.
I do hope that the majority of people heeded
the warnings and evacuated. I've only been through
one hurricane, and it was nothing like what
happened with Katrina or Ike.

Here, we got high sustained winds. Our schools are back
in session tomorrow, but many surrounding
counties will not be going. Some of them are
not expected to have power back on until
Friday. Many of the utility workers are in
LA or TX, so they are being called back home
to help get the power restored.


On a lighter note, at least 4 people I have come
into contact with in the last week have told me I look
like Sarah Palin. I don't like her politics, but her
physical appearance is not so horrific. Even tonight,
after I showed my husband the SNL spoof, he said,
You know what? You kind of look like her. Must be
because my hair is long now, and I keep it swept up,
much like she does. It's too hot to keep it down. And my
glasses look similar. It's just weird to have more than
one person tell me that they think that. Hmmmm....
The SNL piece is so damn funny. Tina Fey nailed Palin
in body, voice, and mannerisms. I hope she'll do some
more Palin stuff.


Just good old spaghetti tonight. In this small town,
it's hard to find San Marzano tomatoes (canned),
but lately, Kroger has had them. They make all
the difference in a sauce. We had salad, a loaf of deli
garlic bread (stuffed with whole cloves of garlic),
and the spaghetti. I am stuffed.


the writing life is all but over now. Not one single thing
I can put down on paper. I have been playing solitaire
since the power went out yesterday (well, not all night,
but into the evening hours last night and much of this

What was really positive and enlightening and interesting
was the fact that all the neighbors, all over this block, were
out and about and talking to one another. We were all busy
cleaning up the debris, but we were also stopping in the midst
of our labor to talk to one another. A rare thing these days.


Just an aside. The moon was extraordinary on the 13th into
the 14th, before the winds came. Don't think it was a moonbow--
not sure what to call it. I was way past gone anyway, but I took
a blanket outside, placed it as far away from the safety light
as I could, and stretched out to look at the sky. In the center
of total blackness was the full moon. Measuring from the imperfect
perception of my vision, and knowing fully well that the blackness
had to extend for such a huge amount of space that I have no
guess, I will just say that, to my eyes, it looked like 100 yds or so
of black in a 360 around the moon. And then, outside of that
blackness, there was a ring of light. And then the wind started
to blow, lightly at first, and then, harder. My old boy, Dante, came
to lie down beside me on the blanket. I feared the branches of the tree
would soon come crashing on top of us, so I came inside and crashed,
only to wake at 4:30 or so with the wind howling. What an amazing
sky and night and day. I felt so alive out there on that blanket,
the wind blowing my hair, the moon full, my cat purring next to me,
most people in the neighborhood asleep, the night air filling my lungs,
the fear of possible disaster alerting me that I was still very much alive,
the ability to stand and walk back in the house nothing short of
something damn near amazing in and of itself.


Neil Young - After the Gold Rush

Saturday, September 13, 2008

6 Unremarkable Things About Me

1. I cannot stand to drink coffee from a Styrofoam cup (it’s the equivalent of the fingernails down the chalkboard or biting into aluminum foil—yucky!)

2. I sleep on my right-side in a fetal position

3. I use Maybelline’s Great Lash mascara (which I started using at age 15)

4. I love to eat leftovers for breakfast

5. Sometimes I smell chrysanthemums for no apparent reason at all

6. I have never dyed my hair (I did spray Sun In on it in the summer of ’71, which turned it orange, but I have never had it dyed or colored or tinted or streaked, etc.)

Ok...I think those meet the criteria for this meme. I don't have 6 blog friends (boo hoo), but I will tag the really good, few blog friends I do have: Talia Karen Jo Bill


Waiting for my daughter & her boyfriend to arrive. We are going
to cook out and have everyone over (mother-in-law, father-in-law
& the rest of the family) tonight. Can't wait to see Lauren, and to
visit with everyone.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Truth the Dead Know

Gone, I say and walk from church
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.
It is June. I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones
from the whitehearted water and when we touch
we enter touch entirely. No one's alone.
Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes
in their stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse
to be blessed, throat, eye, and knucklebone.

Anne Sexton


When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver


In memory of all 9/11/2001 victims.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Every Day You Play

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water.
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a cluster of fruit, every day, between my hands.

You are like nobody since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.

Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.
The rain takes off her clothes.

The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind. The wind.
I can contend only against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.

You are here. Oh, you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Cling to me as though you were frightened.
Even so, at one time a strange shadow ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your breasts smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.

How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the gray light unwind in turning fans.

My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
I go so far as to think that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,
dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want
to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.

Pablo Neruda


I want to discuss some Neruda poems next month
(if I keep the circle going--not much interest). The poem
above is one of my favorites.

Talked to a friend last night about Stevens. Wished we had
talked before last night. She told me she wrote a 18 page
paper in grad school on Sea Surface Full of Clouds, which was actually
only about the title. She also loves Dance of the Macabre Mice,
but I confess to not knowing quite what to make of it.


Tonight I am cooking chicken in a white wine, cream and caper
sauce, wild rice with shitake mushrooms and pecans,
and asparagus bundles wrapped with prosciutto. Making
me hungry just thinking about it.


No word back from the most recent interview which
seemed so promising. Just had the interview last Thursday,
so I don't think it's appropriate to do a follow-up call
just yet, but as the woman I met with mentioned a meeting
she hoped to have tomorrow and mentioned that she wanted
me there, perhaps I should call. Decisions, decisions.


You say you got a real solution--well, you know, we'd all love to see the plan

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

No way, no how

Needless to say, I am concerned about
these two getting elected--yikes! What
a nightmare.

Here's something I want.

In my life, I love you more

I'll just start with a James Wright poem

I looked back at what I had posted on my blog a year ago,
and though there was nothing entered on 9/09, this was listed
on 9/10 or 9/15 (can't remember).

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year's horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

James Wright

I've always liked Lying in a Hammock, but my favorite has to be the one
about the ponies. What is the name? Oh, yes--this:

A Blessing


Yesterday turned out to be pretty much the same old
same old, though I did manage to get to the grocery,
sort the mail, strip the beds, do some clothes, clean
the kitchen, and cook dinner. Decided to do ribs last
night--something we don't have often. I start out
with a rub, and since I was not going to grill these,
I rubbed them down with a mixture of garlic powder,
onion podwer, chili powder, cumin, smoky paprika,
kosher salt, & pepper. Then I wrapped them in foil
and cooked them on 300 for a few hours, opening them
to baste them in the natural juices from time to time.
Just before serving, I turned the broiler on, basted them
with barbecue sauce and let the sauce get a bit caramelized.

Served my baked beans. I use black beans, red kidney beans,
and navy beans. Mix those together and add 1 chopped jalapeno,
pure maple syrup or molasses, brown sugar, a smoky barbecue
sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt and pepper.
Add some chopped bacon to the top and bake along with the

Also had steamed broccoli with fresh lemon juice squeezed over
it and a tad of kosher salt. I had one baked potato left from
the night before (one of those huge Idaho bakers), so I diced
it and cooked it in some chicken stock until most of the stock
cooked down. Then I grated fresh garlic in there, added kosher
salt and cracked black pepper, some heavy cream, and some
chopped fresh chives. I just smashed the potatoes a little, so
they still had some chunks. It was great.

Then I made my three layer pound cake sinfully yummy dessert.
Just spread each layer with whipped cream cheese and cool whip.
Then spoon some of the berries over each layer. I used blueberries,
raspberries, and blackberries. Put them in a bowl and added a cup
of sugar and 3/4 cup Gran Marnier. Let them sit for at least 30
minutes. It was all very good, and good for my waistline (which
no longer exists anyway, so what the hell!).


Today is overcast. My eyes are itchy and my head hurts. I bet
if I kept a log, I would find out that my head hurts and my eyes
are itchy far too often. I am sure it's allergies, but I don't want
to be on meds nor go to a doctor, so I should jsut shut up about it.

We are selling some property we have owned since 1978. We
should have enough money to paint the house, replace some
of the windows (though I will not do that if I can't get replacement
windows that look exactly like what I have--I love my windows--
most all of them are 7 ft. tall and triple-paned),
replace the gutters, and maybe even get the guest bedroom's
bathroom retiled. That is a job I don't want to take on, but may
have to.


I'm disappointed that I chose two Stevens' poems from the
same collection--Harmonium. Generally, I like to select
a few poems from different collections to give the reader an
idea of how the poet's work changes/remains much the same/
takes on a different focus, etc. Oh well. Hopefully we'll have
a good discussion.


Time to go walk Molly and get moving.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Awaiting The Fall

A yellow butterfly
sips sedum’s pink-crowned head,
her days soon over.


The tangled Black-eyed
Susans cater the party,
sate temporal needs.


From beneath, at root
level, the fungus took over.
Coneflowers succumbed.


Aphids danced beneath
and atop the marmalade
roses. Yet they live.


Smoke drifts from the porch.
The robin, done with it all,
finds another tree.


Dead leaves scatter themselves
beneath the dying dogwood.
I won’t rake them.


In my dad’s garden,
all the Stella D’oros
lean toward the dry earth.


sunflowers decide it’s time
to flaunt their colors.


An errant pepper plant,
seeds carried by my winged friends,
continues to thrive.


In the compost pile’s
center, basil emerges
from its mother’s seeds.


Tomorrow I must
pretend I am someone
who knows about life.

Tangled Up in Blue Bob Dylan

Not Writing

A wasp rises to its papery
nest under the eaves
where it daubs

at the gray shape,
but seems unable
to enter its own house.

Jane Kenyon


I am unable to enter my own house.

Poetry books are stacked next to the computer.
They are strewn across my bedroom--under
the bedside table, next to the desk, beneath the bed,
on the bedside table. I read and read and ache
and ache to write, but I am unable to enter my own house.

It happens.

I struggle each day to stop the cycle which keeps me
unwell and incapable of being on my way to better.
I am strong and filled with conviction when I wake
in the middle of the night, house quiet, the only noise
the sound of my pounding heart. I say to myself
as I rise from the bed and pace the floors that tomorrow
I will be different. I say You are strong and you can do this.
I believe it until about noon. Then I give in and I give up,
again and again. And I say Why try, why care, what possible
difference will it make?

And I give in.

This morning started out ok. Breakfast and a 30 minute walk.
Then the mail came, and I looked at the the stack of bad
news (investments dropping, dropping, dropping, credit
card statements, insurance due, etc.). Just life stuff. But
then the bottom dropped out. No more wind for the sails.

I was thinking about going to the grocery, but I've lost the
uumph. Have to go though. I need milk and some things
for my son's lunches.

Sunny today and quite pleasant outside. Need to mow.
That was another thing I had decided to do (didn't get
it done the other day). I had such good intentions for all
the things I was going to do today. Things that need to
done and things I need to do to stay busy.

Oh well. We'll see what happens.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Lorenna McKennit The Mummers Dance

On a Lorenna kick today--would love to see her...

Finally, some rain

Yippee! And maybe more to come today.
I am thrilled. I am glad the sun has decided
to go away for a few days. Though the dark,
grey KY winters generally bring out the worst
of my depression (S.A.D., most likely), I prefer the fall
and the changing of the seasons to a relentless
sun. My sister is just the opposite. She loves the hot
weather and day after day of sunshine (she is in the
Sunshine State for more than one reason!), but I need
to see and feel and live the changes. Of course, FL has
its seasons, but they are nothing like KY seasons.

I guess when I'm older and my skin grows thinner
and thinner until it's so transparent that most of what
lies beneath it can be easily seen with the naked eye,
and I can't get warm no matter what, I may want to forego
watching the seasons change and just find a hot little
spot in southwest FL to live out the remainder of my days.

I'd go today if I could live oceanfront, but that's not likely.
I'd come here to visit. I'd come here in the fall and drive
the parkways and through the state parks to see all the beautiful
changing leaves. Then I would be sure to try to be here
for a snowfall or two. And then I'd have to be here for the lovely
redbuds, dogwoods, Bradford pears, irises and crocuses and tulips
and all those lovely spring blossoming things.


The poetry circle I am leading may be coming to an end.
Just not enough interest. This month, we will read and discuss
two Wallace Stevens poems: Anecdote of the Jar and Thirteen
Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.

I certainly welcome any comments on the poems.


Feeling particularly lonely today.
A Table in the Wilderness

I draw a window
and a man sitting inside it.

I draw a bird in flight above the lintel.

That's my picture of thinking.

If I put a woman there instead
of the man, it's a picture of speaking.

If I draw a second bird
in the woman's lap, it’s ministering.

A third flying below her feet.
Now it's singing.

Or erase the birds
make ivy branching
around the woman's ankles, clinging
to her knees, and it becomes remembering.

You'll have to find your own
pictures, whoever you are,
whatever your need.

As for me, many small hands
issuing from a waterfall
means silence
mothered me.

The hours hung like fruit in night's tree
means when I close my eyes
and look inside me,

a thousand open eyes
span the moment of my waking.

Meanwhile, the clock
adding a grain to a grain
and not getting bigger,

subtracting a day from a day
and never having less, means the honey

lies awake all night
inside the honeycomb
wondering who its parents are.

And even my death isn't my death
unless it's the unfathomed brow
of a nameless face.

Even my name isn't my name
except the bees assemble

a table to grant a stranger
light and moment in a wilderness
of Who? Where?

Li-Young Lee

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Some of the flowers I gathered today on my walk
and some of the dragonflies my friend and I saw yesterday.

A long list of to-dos

Starting with watering the yard, again. My water
bill is going to be outrageous. It's overcast and we have
a chance of showers today, but I'm not holding my breath.

So, I'll go water. Then I'll go take my walk. Then I'll come
home and shower. Then I'll go to the employment office
for a review of my UI. Then I will prepare for yet another
interview. I am grateful to get the interviews, but it is
disheartening to not get the jobs. I either have too much
education for certain employers, or I have the required
bachelor's but it's not specific enough for them, or I have
the skills but I don't have the master's or it's very plausible
that a certain someone is making sure I don't get a job,
which is a bitter pill to swallow.

I'm so damn tired that I can't even muster any emotion
about it right now. I just know I have much to offer
if someone would just give me the chance. I have worked
for so long that I simply cannot make peace with this being
at home all the time scene. If I could just accept the present,
perhaps then I would just live in the moment and do the things
with this old house I've always wanted to do but never had
the time to do. Or I'd take up watercolors again. Or I'd spend
more time walking trails, journal in my backpack, jotting down
lines or perhaps whole poems. Or I'd be more than a warm
body occupying space when my son comes home from school
or when my friends come to visit or when my husband
gets in from work. I'd be a better gardener. I'd dry some of
my herbs, freeze some of the others, make some oils with some.
I'd perhaps get all the crap cleaned out of the basement and all
the walls complete inside. I'd cook even better meals than I cook.
I would not need to self-medicate every day, earlier and earlier
in the day as time goes on and I feel more and more isolated.

I need to just be.

I feel that I have lost almost 2 years of my life to this inability
to move on and let the past be the past. I am drained emotionally,
physically (largely because I am such a poor sleeper), intellectually,
artistically, and psychologically. I am so not well.

On that note, I shall get off my arse and go water the poor dying

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lest I forget

I have no clue whether it is important to remember
dreams and/or important to forget them.

My father came to me last night. First dream, his hair
was white and I knew he was old. First dream I've had
of him in which I saw him, for the most part, like he looked
before he died.

His eyes were covered with some type of bandaging--like an
Ace bandage but transparent. Over that wrap, he had on sunglasses-
huge glasses that looked almost like safety glasses. We were going
somewhere separately. He took a stairway and came back down on the
other side and made it in about the same time as me though I had
no stairs to walk up or down and no bandages. He got in his
car and I said I'll see you there, Dad. I remember thinking how
surprised I was that he seemed to be walking without effort--
slowed down a bit by the stairs but not much.

Next dream, he was young and he told me he was tired. He was
going on shift--bartending at some upscale resort place. He not
only had to make the drinks, he was responsible for some grilled
foods and appetizers. I told him I would help, and he let me.

Scene flash: we are standing in front of a pool. Everyone there
is a senior citizen except me. My father is but I can't see that.
His hair is black and his body strong. And he says, as the music
starts in front of the pool, Just let me lift you, like I once did
and I said, But you can't. I am too heavy and you don't need
to strain yourself. But he puts his arms around my waist, and
we move toward the water, music playing in the background,
my back to his face, my body knowing he is smiling.

whew....whew....can;t make a deep sigh here, but I just allowed
myself--no--my body just let me sigh like that.
In this together, and alone

I was walking this morning at the track when I saw a car pull up as I rounded my last turn to get in my 2 miles. It was an old friend who has become a new old friend. We walked a few more laps and I told her I needed to go home and take Molly for a run at the cemetery. So, she drove there and waited for us.

We walked out into a field on the outer edges of the cemetery. She gathered wildflowers--purples, blues, oranges, yellows, and whites. I did not know their names. I admired their determination. Her bouquet was more beautiful than anything a florist could put together.

We saw bees and grasshoppers--those little creatures who seem to be such an oddity now.

We saw three differtent types of dragonflies--one whose body was black and cobalt, one whose body was deep green and whose wings were transparent, one whose body was green and black and whose wings bore the shimmers of translucence.

It was humid as hell (whatever that is supposed to mean). But we parted, she with her lovely bouquet in her hand and me with Molly in the back of the Highlander, and I kissed her cheek and thanked her for being there.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


The insides of my refrigerator scream
to be released, but I am not the messiah,
and my love for feeding the hungry
dissipated by early afternoon, heat
so obnoxious that I felt myself in an old
Twilight Zone episode, the one where
the sun bakes everything in its path,
the one in which debutantes and gutter
drunks whither away and die together
in separate places, their purpose
unknown. I am frankly quite tired
of the heat. My feet burn at night,
toes extended beyond the boundaries
of borders whose meanings get lost,
whose purpose seems futile. Tonight,
I shall stick a toe beyond the fringes,
let the cool air attempt to palpate
Ultima Thule, that forbidden zone
in which few things survive, a toe
such a small piece but no less significant
than the whole body, the mastodon,
the men who come creeping, faces
covered, to explore whatever mystery
they think lies beneath the cold, the years.