Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Training

They tell you
what to say
and how to say
what you say
without seeming
to be giving
without being
intrusive as the lone
warbler in the holly
singing its heart out
at four AM.

They tell you
the best thing
you can do
is listen,
let your ears
white porcelain
gods, black grates
spread across
the wide divide,
the softness
of a summer
lawn, echoes
inside a tunnel.

They say:
you make a plan,
set goals, make
certain the goals
are reasonable--
lay the blueprint
kind of thing--
as if you are designing
a city and need
to know
where to place
the subdivisions,
the shopping malls,
the grocery stores--
but the shady alley,
the worn couch
in a dark
the new bed,
sheets twisted,
body entangled
in the messiness
of living.

How many of them
work the front line,
I wonder, as I choose
a doughnut I don't want,
coffee I will drink
from necessity, make
small talk with others
who know, too,
the salvation of small
talk and bad food.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Dog Asleep on Floor: All's Right in the World

I was going to write about what seemed
or seems right with the world at this moment
and just lost it. Seems pretentious (don't even know
if that's how to spell the damn word--cant spell anymore).

to write about how good the house smells
fresh vegetables, garlic, onions, herbs
how even the sneezing and cold outside
don't seem to matter.

But im tanked. that;s why. let me sober up and things
won't seem so whole and right. why cant there be something
out there somewhere to allow me this? then i would not
be fat and unhealthy. my heart and liver would love
me. all my friends would say Gee, you look great
what have you been doing to look so great? and the energy
i'd have, oh, gee whiz, man oh man. just to think about it
makes my head spin.

and the dog is asleep on the floor near the kitchen, filled
with the aroma of my caring. and the house is warm enough
and my clothes are packed for the next trip. and i am not
alone but always feel alone. and it's not one person's fault.
not anyones./ and i feel too much shame and guilt to write
about what i want to say and i think i may always.

but i am at this moment ok. another sneeze rising,
postnasal drip choking me. time for another sip
of elixir. oh yes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The rain taps lightly
against the window,
not really wanting in,

but insisting to be
heard. Cars drive
by out front. I hear

the water displace
beneath their wheels,
spinning out and back

again, back to the black
they've fallen upon, darkness
closing in, laying its claim

to the innocent and guilty
alike. There is no control.
There is only the rain,

the soup cooking in the kitchen,
the wrist swollen and damaged,
leaves abandoning trees in droves,

waiting for winter to have its say.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rain & dreams & a swollen wrist

It's raining, and I am glad for it.


Strange dreams all night. Woke to one in which my father
was driving a large bus--a tour bus or school bus. My siblings,
mother, and children were all aboard the bus, but no one other
than family. None of us were sitting together. We were seated
randomly all over the bus. I could see the back of my father's
head. I said to my sister or daughter (can't remember) Why
isn't anyone up there with Dad? I know he's tired. So, I went
to the front of the bus and said, Dad, you don't look well. Let
someone else drive.

Even though I called him Dad, he was clearly not my dad.
As a matter of fact, he was the size of a 1 year old child
who looked like one those children with that rare disorder
which makes a child age quickly (will have to look that up).

I said, Come here. Let me hold you. And I scooped him
up from the driver's seat and held him in my arms saying
There, there now. It's going to be ok. And in this strange little
voice, he started speaking to me. I could not understand much,
but I understood Hugs and I said, Yes, of course,
hugs are good, and I hugged him tightly and stroked his back like
you would stroke the back of your sick child. And then he said
something about Anna (my niece). And I said, You want to talk to
Anna? And he indicated he did. And I think I said, Anna knows
you're sorry. It's ok.

And I woke up.


My left wrist has been swollen and hurting for about 5 days now.
I woke up Tuesday morning, I think, in pain and could hardly
move my wrist. I vaguely remember dreaming about hurting
it. Maybe I fractured it in my sleep. Who knows.


No results yet from Judy's chest X-ray. She is very concerned,

Friday, November 12, 2010


Nashville. Heard David Kaczynski (sp) address
the crowd gathered about his brother, Ted,
the Unabomber, and severe mental illness.
Bill Babbit (sp) was there talking about his brother,
Manny, as well. Glad my daughter told me about this
event. My strong, brave, filled with conviction daughter.

Last night, on call. did not get home until after 2. Took
an hour to get to the hospital, hour to assess, hour to get
home. Should be in bed. But can't sleep. So many
issues, thoughts, causes, people in my mind.

Tx team in the AM early. Should shower now. Don't
think I can sleep.


And, on the way to Nashville, my sister called to tell me she had
a TB skin test. Positive. X-ray tomorrow. Researching sites.


So, I drove to Nashville (200 mile round trip)
and back after I got off work.

I am tired but the wheel is on fire.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Beneath the Blue

My eyelids burn,
the well of a thousand

tears awaiting the moment
when spill into darkness
can contain the secrets

in some old rugged rock,
some hand-hewn vessel
readied for the drought,

protected from the chill,
small bucket hanging
from worn thread

ready to be tossed
down to quench
a thirst which seems


Friday, November 05, 2010

Be articulate and demonstrative and revelatory.

That's what I am supposed to be this year. Just took this blog
into the private zone and this guy is telling me I am supposed
to "be A, R, and D!


The next poem I plan to write will be about the Black Vulture.

Here is his picture. He mates for life.

Scorpio Horoscope for week of November 4, 2010

Technorati, a search engine for blogs, says there are well over 100 million blogs on the Internet, and that figure doesn't include millions of Chinese language blogs. So self-expression is thriving on a global scale, right? Not exactly. Most blogs -- the estimate is 94 percent -- have not been updated for at least four months. In accordance with the current astrological indicators, Scorpio, I expect you to do something about this problem. Refresh your blog in the coming week, or consider launching one if you don't have one. But don't stop there. Use every other way you can imagine to show the world who you are. Be articulate and demonstrative and revelatory.


See how far you can spit a mouthful of beer
Pick blackberries naked in the pouring rain
Scare yourself with how beautiful you are
Stage a slow-motion water balloon fight
Pretend your wounds are exotic tattoos
Sing anarchist lullabies to lesbian trees
Plunge butcher knives into accordions
Commit a crime that breaks no laws
Sip the tears of someone you love

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Clouds and more clouds

So happy to have a camera. Got it last Christmas
but did not use it much. Had to buy a memory stick
or whatever those things are called. Got one before
the trip to Savannah, Charleston, Asheville.

Now, I take my camera with me everywhere, but I don't
know enough about it to know how to do the settings.

I know I love clouds and trees, so I am taking many
pictures of clouds and trees.


If I did not have on call, I would love my job. But I hate
being in alert mode for 48 hours plus. Hard to get up and drive
60 miles in the middle of the night. Praying I won't get called.


Reading a bio of Thomas Wolfe. Much I did not know about him.


Really low tonight. Need to eat but am not hungry.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Yet another

big change. New job for Robin. After 32 years of his own
business, he is now working for someone else. Punching
a time clock, working seconds, packing a dinner, trying
to acclimate.

We somehow had it in our heads that at 55 (his age), he'd
be thinking about how he would keep the business going
for another 6 years and then retire. But it has not worked
out that way.

I realize now that I can't come here and write anything about us.
It feels like betrayal. I suppose there are just some things
that must live inside you until you no longer live. Things others
will never know.

I want someone to know about what it is I am and feel. But I can't
do that--let anyone in. I shall go to my grave with what needs to be
said. Maybe.

I must think there is something special about what it is that is happening
to me and has happened or I would not feel so pulled.

But I am just too fucking tired to do anything about it tonight.


Give up or give in or go nuts.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back home

Left last Sunday for savannah GA.
Loved it there. Wish we would have had more time.

Then on to Patriot's Point, SC (in charleston harbor)
to step foot on the Yorktown. Emotionally draining.

Then downtown charleston the next day and on to Asheville
NC. Biltmore on Thursday. Thomas Wolfe home on Friday
Oct. 22.

Then on to nashville to stay with Lauren.

Then home.

Really need to get back on the habit of writing.

I want to say things that will hurt, so I just don't say anything,

Strange dreams. My dad working in a hardware shop.
Me on the doctor's exam table. I think I am most likely
doomed, but I seem too optimistic and the doctor seems
so cheerful.


had this episode at Biltmore. Can't explain it, really. Thought
I was having a stroke or something. Heart beating very fast.
Head with this strange vise-like feeling all around it. No pain.

The only time I feel good and unafraid and capable of doing anything
is when I am half tanked.

I don't want to give up. I don't believe in the we all have a destiny
or time or whatever. We fucking have to keep believing. I don't
want to be so beaten down that I can't keep believing.

there is so much to what little I say. It rolls through my head
all day. I am just not up to the getting it on the page.

what is the point? if the point is to get better, then i need to do it.

Fuck. Don't matter. Still so damned stuck.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

First time I have cried in a very long time.

Dad would have been 87 tomorrow.

So much has changed since his death. It seems
so little has felt right. I think many things have
been right. I just don't know how to let them be
what they are.

I feel lost. Alone. I wrote those same words many
times when he was alive. They are the same words.
But what they mean is not the same.

I hope I get some sleep.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I am so glad it is fall. My favorite time of the year. And I feel sad. For all the years gone by. For all I did not do, have not done, have missed in the lives of my children and in my own life, when all the while I thought I was out searching for me. I was really missing out on me. Now what? Can't even remember 21 or 22. And 51 feels far too old to be not that old.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Went to New Harmony, IN Friday night. European
beer tasting. Not a beer drinker. Did it more to get Rob
out of the house. Don't know that it helped much. He's
never been to New Harmony. I've been there many times--
for wine tastings, poetry workshops, pleasure. Thought
including him in a part of my life by asking if he wanted
to go to something I thought he would like (beer) would
help lift his mood. Not that he seemed miserable, but
he was detached. One of the beers I tasted was surprisingly
good. It tasted like drinking October. Like drinking Halloween.
A German beer, a dopplebock--starts with an A...hmmm....Aventinus.


I felt alone in our togetherness.

The downward spiral continues for his business. Every night
I come home to gloom and doom. It is wearing on me. I have
done all I know to do to help.

Kunstfest started yesterday and ends today. Stayed in New Harmony
most of the day for the festival. Lots of music, vendors, artisans.
Dulcimers, electronic accordion, brass, bluegrass, bad German food.

Walked for about 4 hours. My feet hurt today.


More I thought about saying but too tired to say. Or too unsure.

Back to my bed and my books.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Before the Break

We picked my brother
up in the night:
a train depot smaller
than my carport,
concealing arrivals
and departures,
all fears concealed
in darkness, fog,

Famished, we stopped
at the Pelican for eggs
and hash, my husband lively
in his fatigue, brother
half-asleep through
the meal, me praying
I would not die there,
at the Pelican, baby
kicking around.

Even then, death
sat on my shoulder,
made itself at home
in the chambers of my heart,
an uninvited
and intrusive visitor.
I only think of this tonight,
20 years later,
because I can,
and because my brother
sends me messages
which remind me
of those days,
before the fall,
the fear left me
and truth came at me
with a mean right
punch to the gut,
a constant twitch
in my left eye, feet
swollen and sore,
unbendable arthritic

Oh, yes, he sits
there still,
not as loud
as he was in the days,
but no less lively.
I want to say to him
that he no longer holds
the key, no longer
makes the decisions,
but I am older
and he never

I tell him
my brother
will kick his ass
if he makes a move,
my husband will jump
in, too, and my children
will never forgive him,
but it makes
no difference.

He's still going
to sit and brood,
make himself
my most stalwart
companion, present
himself as the lover
he has always been--
faithful and unforgiving.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Unexpected

Don't know how
it is I am still awake.
Out all night on call,
driving miles and miles
of dark road,
someone very ill
at the end of my journey.
But this morning,
just as I thought
I am done
with this, I can do more
but die, a rainbow rose
in front of me.
From the indigo clouds
of night, lifting like song
into burning morning.
From nothing it came,
nothing but itself. Not one
storm cloud, not one drop
of rain. I came closer
to losing myself in this life
as I craned my neck,
not satisfied with the slice
afforded, than I did
to sleeplessness and deer
Me, allowed to see
such beauty, leaving behind
the men so lost in voices
and fear that no rainbow
could penetrate
their darkness, nor make
any sense if it did.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

This from FB tonight. Dorianne posted it. I like it very much!


Love picks its way through the gravel ruts
leading into the job site, past the truck tires
exploded nearby, the crows’ rusted voices, black
wings and feet, cottonwoods risen in ghostly
fields and the levee’s blonde lip folded over
the water. It seeks itself in random orders:
pale mist settling on marsh grass, freezing

the tattered glittering webs, ragged forsythia
strewn down the fence, raindrops fallen like worlds
without end into the distant river. The job
runs smoothly, ahead of schedule, feeder frames
built in the ceilings, underground cable
punched down and tagged. See the tiered
ladders set in place, wire spools threaded

side by side onto a length of steel pipe. See
the apprentice in line at the roach coach waiting
for everyone’s coffee. You know somewhere nearby
chaotic traffic fractures the April dawn. That the
Dow Jones ratings your paycheck depends on
cluster like blind spores swarming their prey.
That the homeless have wandered the hacked edge

of nightfall scavenging Pepsi cans. But here pairs
of carpenters level the windows and new tilework
arches its reverend glaze over the fireproof doors.
a fine rain glows in the threshold where your crew
hunches over the floorplan: four Benedictines
in speckled light, cowled in frayed sweatshirts,
Carhart jeans, copying out last night’s changes.

Joseph Millar
Basically just got called out, or called out to. From one of my baby brothers, this:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Let them flow

Maybe because it's such a small town, the grief
is so magnified. I feel sometimes like I am everyone's
mother. After I dropped my keys on the counter
and put my purse on the table this evening, I threw away
something sitting somewhere (I can't remember what).
The garbage closet is next to the refrigerator.

And there he was, on my refrigerator. In his Army
uniform. His mischievous brown eyes looking back
at me. And I could not stop looking at him, thinking
about his mom, about how much she must every single
day miss him, how often she must think This can't be.
But he just kept looking back at me. I could only keep
staring into his eyes, like I was expecting him to speak.
Two years almost. First Iraqi war casualty (and only that
I know of ) from this town. He was my daughter's friend.
He was my sister's best friend's son. He was here, at this
house, on more than one occasion. He was funny. Smart.
Full of spirit. Now he is this picture on my refrigerator.
And I cried.

And then there is Jake. My daughter's friend for so many
years. Her friend who was so many times almost boyfriend.
Who pissed her off, made her cry, made her laugh hysterically,
who came and went, who had just started calling her again
in those last weeks. Jake, the pillow snake. That's what I called
him. Jake with the deep voice. Jake with the badass attitude.
Jake with the jokes. Jake. Jake who is gone now. Jake
whose loss hurts my heart so deeply that I can't even begin to
imagine what his mother's heart feels.

So, I am crying tonight, thinking about these boys--these young
men who were taken before they got to live so many things.
Knowing that in their short years, they may have lived
in ways I'll only ever dream about. But who should be here!

Oh! I hurt.

May all the powers of healing and good and hope
and faith and truth and acceptance be with their mothers this night.
I think last night, you were driving circles around me

Monday, August 23, 2010

Full of Glory

Fist full of wildflowers,
stems staining
the lines,
once fine but now
etched deeply
in glory, she paces
the large backyard,
wonders where all
the elaborate
plans met a not
so inglorious truth.
An unknown
of bird startles
this moment;
the unnamed wildflowers
drop from her hand.
She is the starling,
scattering seed.
Next summer,
she will know
all of their names,
these birds filled with glory,
filling the air
with their flight,
an uprising
of wildflowers
left in their wake.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Sneaks up. Feels like someone's filled your shoes
with cement. Your head with a blank page waiting
to be filled on the day you have the worst case of writer's
block ever. The whole I don't give a flying f*** attitude sucks!
But I do, I suppose, give a f***, or I would not be here, typing away,
thinking about what I need to do.

Need and want are two very different things, but each
indicate some pull of the life force. Pull on, baby.


Another fox last night. They must love Hwy 120. I see
at least one every time I have to drive it (which is only
when I am on call and have to go to Crittenden Co.
Hosp., which is in the middle of the boonies!). Three
dear crossed within 20 ft of my car. Slowing down as
I was almost at the hospital, so thankfully no mishap.
Appeared to be two does and a fawn. Many lucky little
critters last night (ar at least when I met them!). Can see
their eyes in the oncoming lights. Like two small, red
glaring lights. Then off they shoot into the brush.
Lots of fog last night, too. And a bug-smeared windshield,
which the wipers and washer fluid only made worse, but
the fog kept coating the windshield in a fine mist.

I thank George Winston, Tom Waits, and Lucinda Williams
for keeping me company.


Struggling to complete The Man Who Loved Children. Why
I have stayed with it is beyond me. On pg 400 something
and been saying since pg 100 I am sure this is going to get
better. Keep reading. I am sure it's not, considering I only have
about 50 pages left.


Still wondering when it's going to happen. It has to for so many
reasons. The facade must crumble away. Not time yet, though.


Have a feeling I'm a gonna just stay in this nightie all day!

Finished the book. Reflection time. Weighing out why I stayed
with it, what it's really about (as if there is this accepted explanation
out there and the book can only be about that). Wore me out.

Need something really dark to pick me up.
If you did not know who this was, and the song came on the radio, you would be thinking Dylan.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


does not come easily. Can remember the day--
was probably 25 or so--when I thought That will
never be me--too fat to move around easily, too tired
to want to go somewhere I once would have gone
come hell or high water, too "set in my ways" to deviate
from the norm, too predictable, too comfortable
to go outside my own backyard and play a bit, too
indifferent, too willing to concede to limitations
set for me.


There is a word. Anhedonia. Keep saying, screaming
at times, That is not me, that is not me, that is not me!!!
I must keep screaming, or at least, believing it is not.


All day discussions of axons and neurons, chemical imbalances,
environment, genetics, neurotransmitters, the endocrine
system, cortisol, GAD, SPECT and fMRI scans, meds, appointments,
therapy, CBT, RET, etc. I believe and I don't.


Overcast this morning. I was excited, hoped for rain. A nice
steady rain all day long, but the sky cleared, the sun kept up
its steady pace, the woodferns laid upon themselves in great
resignation. But tonight, the moon is 70% and waxing, a lovely
light with no heat, the breeze blowing my hair all around my face,
the water from the hose blowing back on my bare arms and legs.
Many apologies I made to those who did not get watered--the coral
bells near the hydrangeas, the hostas, the Japanese maple.
Tomorrow, I promised.


Hesse sits next to me, waiting to be opened. TV on in the living
room. Dog lying down next to me. Kitty hiding. Another load
of laundry spinning. The endless spinning. The turning of world
life thought plan body belief. Spinning. Extended cycle.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh Yes

So, another gift tonight. Watering the plants
out front. The rhododendrons. Water also spraying
the azaleas, whose roots run deep, requiring little
care. Out she jumped! Thought it was a grasshopper.

It began swaying on the sidewalk. Stevie Wonder-like.
I was singing, in my mind, Still Waters Run Deep/Bridge
Over Troubled Water--Aretha song I heard on NPR
last Saturday. Perhaps why church came to mind.
Filled with the spirit sorta thing.

There she was. Swaying, then lifting her front legs
from the pavement and making a dash for the azalea
cover. Another praying mantis. Have not seen so many
in such a long time.

Makes me think of the year I went out to sit in the antique
wicker rocker on my screened-in porch and felt eyes on me.
Could see, out of the corner of my eye, movement.

Turned, and there they were. Hundreds of baby praying
mantisses. Amazing thing to see, right here in little podunk

Amazing. They thought I was their mommy. They wanted
to be all over me. Should have taken a picture.
Old people just grow lonesome

So says Mr. Prine. Love that song. Lonesome I've
known so long, but I am sure there are as many kinds
of lonesome as there are wildflowers.


To Lexington and back this weekend. Moved Wes back
for the fall semester. Summer flew by. Seems he just got
here for the summer and he's gone again. Don't think he'll
want to live here again in the summer, or ever. Not much
here except his dad and me. He learned many things this summer--
some very difficult things. All part of growing, becoming
more himself. Hard to watch some of it but necessary.

Had dinner with Christopher, Jess, and Isaac. Spent several
hours there Saturday. Isaac brings me great joy. I smile more,
laugh more, recognize my limitations in ways that challenge
me to make a difference (GiGi has a hard time getting up
and down, playing chase, roughhousing, etc. GiGi needs to lose
some weight and tone up her arms and strengthen her legs),
see the beauty of my life unfolding again in this new life.


Butterflies were slaughtering themselves in vast numbers
Saturday. So many different types, colors, sizes smashing
into my windshield. Saddens me. This hot summer has been
good for two things: fewer mosquitoes and so many lovely

Watering the flowers a few nights ago. Was spraying the wood
ferns next to the house when I felt someone or something
watching me. Bent down to see a young praying mantis. Hard
to detect him there, but I saw him. Just stood and kept spraying
the ferns to the right of him so I could just look at him.

Watched him bring his front legs to his face, cat-like, and clean
the water from his face. Drink the water. Just a few nights before,
saw another one about his size climbing up my basil plant. He kept
cocking his head to follow my movements. Interesting little
creatures. That day, I got stung by a wasp, saw two rabbits,
a praying mantis, several varieties of butterflies, a red-tailed
hawk, a baby robin who just stopped and watched me water,
and a few dragonflies. They've been hanging around my car.
Thinking about that and them.


Good food again. That wonderful orzo with roasted vegetables.
Has become one of my favorite meals. Serving pork chops
marinated in chili sauce, orange rind, soy, brown sugar.
Tender. Nice complement to the roasted veggies with orzo.


Finally, not so hot today. Less humid. Lower 90s. Breeze.
It's all good at the moment.
Hello in There

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flex--what a lovely word!!!!!

My day. Only 2 hours early, but it sure helps. The day
after I'm on call, I can leave work 2 hours early
(theoretically speaking--doesn't always work out
that way!). I don't get to flex because of the on call,
but because we have treatment team every morning
(except Wednesday) now at an earlier time.

Only one call last night. 60 mile round trip. A child.
I am not a children's crisis case manager, but all of the
case managers are responsible for assessing children
when they are on call. Wasn't there too long. Think
we have a good plan.

I am beginning to think I am never going to adjust
to the on call routine. I stay in alert mode and can't
go to sleep. I've always had trouble sleeping, but this
is particularly bad. I keep thinking that the minute I fall
into a sound sleep, the phone will ring. And it does, quite

2 weeks ago, I had worked all day, and then, just as I was
turning out the light that night (around 10), I got called
out. That particular call was local, but I had to transport
the client to the Crisis Stabilization Unit--a 70 mile round trip.
It turned out to be about a 3 1/2 hour on call. Got home, got
in bed, was turning out the light, and got called again (it
was about 2:30 AM). Had to go to the psychiatric hospital
(another 70 mile round trip). Did not get home until 5:30, then had
to go to my office to get some notes in so I could come home
and try to sleep a few hours before going back to work.
Wore me out!

The saving grace is how lovely the farms and lakes and ponds
look as the sun is coming up. Hear some interesting stuff on NPR
that time of the morning, too. Sadly, I am too tired today
to even think of even one of those broadcasts. I listen as I drive
and think, Now, that's interesting. I shall have to research, but then
I get caught up in the business of the day and the busyness
of my nights, and I just can't remember.

So, almost 2 years into my career, and I have learned so much.
And I have aged so much! Crisis can be draining, but I believe
in what I am doing.

Taking my very tired ass into the kitchen to start chopping peppers.
Pasta salad. B B Q chicken. Fresh corn.
This makes me think of Douglas Adams. I love the Planet Earth series!

Monday, August 02, 2010


I am just going to go sit on the porch.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The loveliest words

I grow weary of not being able to remember.

Each day that passes, I get further from them
and from what mattered. I become concerned,
at times. I cannot think this night of all the words
through all of the years that I have found to be some
of the loveliest in the English language.

I can see myself underlining them in books and poems
I've read, but they won't come to me.

The only two that my mind can get near tonight are
abalone and anemone. Oh, another: alabaster is somewhere close
at hand.

What is lovely? The place the word takes you? The way
it rolls off your tongue? The sound? All of the above?

Ummm...cerulean. I love that one. Azure.

Seem to be, for the most part, color words.

I have such a hard time being here. Bereft of my language.

I don't know the remedy.

Here's a link I found. Can't say many of these words:
do much for me.

Sleep. Now that's a nice word.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Extremely good tasting food!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Actually, some sleep

Such a rare thing. Hardly know what to do with
myself. Rested.

Long, drawn out on-call last night. 135 miles of driving.
Night falling lovely across the country. Corn high. Cows
and horses grazing. Lights in the houses starting to come
on. Always the danger of deer running out. One did. 30
feet in front on my oncoming car. More on the side of
the road. Families of them gathering in the dusk.

Then darkness and my destination. A hospital in the middle
of nowhere. Darkness into the sterile lights of the ICU.
An evaluation. A decision. An hour drive with my client
to the crisis stabilization unit. A dropping off. A moment
to be thanked and to feel grateful.

Back into the darkness but no longer on the winding
country roads. Parkway. Not much traffic. Still pumped
from the latte. Thinking about home. How good it is
to be going home. How my feet hurt from the long
day. How good the dinner I prepared tasted. How beautiful
the sun presented itself upon leaving my field of vision.
Home, to my bed, to my pillow, to my life. Not a hospital
room, not a CSU. Home. Where I slept well. For the first
time in a very long time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Encapsulating the Day

Long day but no longer than any other, time
being what it is. Hard. His daughter dead. Her mother
dead. Another toddy while dinner cooks.

No plants beneath the carport this year, first
time in 22 years. Maybe they did not need to be
there. No herbs planted. No taking pains with

the tolerant ones who grow despite the weeds.
His daughter dead. Her mother dead. My father now a long
time dead. Green peppers, stuffed, and fresh corn

on the cob. A fridge full of veggies. All the healthy
plans. Needs of the body and mind. Other needs

on hold. Holding a pen, writing the words, attempting
to explain a mother dead, a daughter dead. A rose
bush waiting by the back door. Aroma filling

the house. Peppers! Peppers! No rain, the herbs
still hanging out. Body warm and unafraid now.
Let sleep try to interrupt. Let it. Fight. Rub

the fingers together. Keep the blood flowing.
Keep the food cooking. Keep the daughter
here, let the mother go. Go. Fan noise, light

noise. Light. Silent night. Light loud. Light
surrounding. Fishing? Not many times.
Threw them back. Could not understand

the piercing of mouth, the cruelty. Rainbow
trout sizzling on his father's grill. Fresh chives
scattered. Tears for his father. Let the daughter

go. The fries are cold, the drive long. Patient
now. Patient. This is life. The cilantro,
washed and dried, packed in a plastic

bag, the smell on the fingers. Aroma. Let
her go. Life is here and now. Life. Shells
from the eons worn around the neck,

a scarf knotted above the waist, eyes
as blue but tearing, tearing. Sky filled
with fluff. Sky all around. Sky unyielding.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Honesty is The Cruelest Thing

I tell my dearest friend why I could not be there
for her while her mother was dying. I tell her that
tonight. I don't want to live in lies any longer.

I wrote in my journal that I was a fraud. I am thinking
tonight I am, as I am hurting for her, for her loss.
For not just losing her mother, but losing trust in me.

I just could not be there. I could not watch her mother
take her last breath. She needed me, and I could not
be needed that way. I think of all the reasons I could

not be in her house, hold her mother's hand, hold her.
I could say Not over my father's death yet. Social
anxiety (her family all around). My own discomfort

with mortality. I think "I don't want to be needed,"
but I know that is a lie. I fear being needed that way.
That way in which someone depends so much, loves

so fiercely, expects strength where there is none.
I let her down, not gently, not easily, but in one
swift blow, the archer's arrow in the heart of a dove.

If she never forgives me, perhaps she will be the better
for that. I am disappointment throwing out hailstones
on the ripe tomatoes, breaking the tender shoots

of larkspur, birdshit-covered chives on fresh green
arugula. Lying serves a purpose. Cocooned
from the harsh weather, hung by impossibly

fine threads, foolhardy in its naivety, it emerges
victorious and striped, spreads its wings, enjoys
its very short and lovely life flitting in and out

of the thorned knockouts hugging this house
as if it were a refuge, as if its inhabitants
(particularly an older white female) knew

how to give a damn anymore.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Loreena McKennitt - The Mummers' Dance (HQ)

Painted birds and other things

Finished reading The Painted Bird, Jerzy Kosinski. Have to agree
with Elie Wiesel's comment: " One cannot read it without fear,
shame, and sadness. "

It was terrifying. Shocking. Brutal. Filled with such hopelessness.
But it speaks of the drive to live. The need to keep going, pushing,
hoping, and then forgetting what it is to hope.

I am not sure about happiness. There is no indication that this
young boy can even think what that may be. I think what he knows
is some delight in his ability to be resourceful, to beat the odds
now and again. To be able to figure things out. To be stronger
than the others think he is. To be able to smile when someone
tells a story in which others see the humor and laugh.

There were times I thought I would not be able to finish reading it.
But I did, and I am glad I did.

"Maybe there's a god above/but all I've ever learned from love/
is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya"

Leonard Cohen


More rain this morning, which is good for all my plants.
I have blueberries this year!!! They are so cute! They are
ripening and nearly ready for picking. I only have a handful
of them, but I am excited. Think I'll plant some more bushes
this year or next.

The wisteria has gone absolutely crazy! It is over the trellis
which leads into the garden area I have planted in memory
of my dad. I also bought an ironwork double bench garden
trellis, which sits next to the arbor trellis. Looks funky now
but the idea is to have it completely hidden by the wild, trailing
wisteria. So far, the wisteria has started to cover one side
of it.

Garden and mounding phlox, hydrangeas, hostas, speedwell,
sun impatiens, red knockout roses, Impressionistic climbing
rose, asters, day lillies, Stella d'oro lillies, purple and pink
petunias, coral bells, helleborus, salvia, coreopsis, heliotrope,
hardy hibiscus, yucca, liriope, sage, basil, oregano, chives,
lemon balm, lavender, dill, cilantro, flat-leaf Italian parsley, thyme.

Eye candy.

Those are some of the plants growing and doing well in my
yard. Feeding me.

Yes, feeding me.

The Great Gallery, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
I hope to see this place one day. When is there ever time for a driving trip out West? Been to L.A. and San Diego long ago. Took the train out there, three times, which was interesting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

All the should bes

As in , I should be sleeping.

What a night last night on call! Weather
was terrible. I have driven many, many times
in torrential rain, snow, sleet, etc., but I have
never been as frightened as I was last night
on my way to Muhlenberg Co. for an on call
assessment. It's about a 30 minute drive,
and I drove directly into the storm front.

Felt like my car was in this storm globe--lightning
striking all around, wrapping around my car.
Hydroplaning, rain so hard I could not see the road.
I finally got to the Ky State Police Post on the Pkwy
and pulled off for a little while, only to resume my drive
when the storm reached its peak. I am not sure what
got me through. A blood pressure pill and grit.

Grateful to be here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Neil Young - Philadelphia

Neil Young- Comes A Time Farm Aid '86

What would have been for dinner tonight but will wait til tomorrow

Wes decided to go to L'ton for a friend's B'day.
So, tomorrow I will cook:

chicken with shallots and mushrooms in a white wine sauce
white cheddar mac and cheese with white truffle oil
roasted asparagus

Went to see Neil Young at the Ryman in Nashville a few weeks
ago and ate at the Firefly Grille in the Green Hills area.
On the appetizer menu: white truffle oil mac and cheese.
Oh my--quite wonderful! Of course, mac and cheese is one
of the ultimate comfort foods, but this one raised the bar.
Healthy? Surely not, but oh my--so tasty.

Neil was good, but it was the same exact show I saw a week
earlier at the Palace Theatre in Louisville. Never had been
to the Ryman, so enjoyed that. Will go again.

Blazin', friggin' hot here. Too hot to work in the yard. Surprised
my lovely plants are so forgiving of my negligence!

Some thunder, dark clouds but little rain today. Will water


Almost forgot about luncheon at work tomorrow. I am making
MY potato salad. I do not like traditional potato salad, so over
the years, I have been working on my own, which my family,
friends, and coworkers love. Here it is:

Red potatoes (I never measure or weigh--about 24 for
this luncheon--usually about 12), washed and cut into quarters
Fresh cilantro, washed and chopped, about 2 tbps
Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, washed and chopped, about 2 tbps
4-5 stalks celery, diced
5 scallions, snipped (I use kitchen scissors)
Fresh dill, washed and chopped, about 1 tsp
1 8 ounce container Greek yogurt
Sour cream (about 8-15 oz depending on how creamy you want the salad)
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsps onion powder
Kosher salt to taste
1 tsp celery seed
Cracked black pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes until tender (add some Kosher salt while cooking).
Drain and pour out on a cookie sheet to cool.

Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cooled potatoes
and mix as you like (chunky or more smashed).

Chill for at least an hour.


Getting ready to go drain potatoes and make this stuff now!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

by Lucille Clifton

who would believe them winged
who would believe they could be

beautiful who would believe
they could fall so in love with mortals

that they would attach themselves
as scars attach and ride the skin

sometimes we hear them in our dreams
rattling their skulls clicking

their bony fingers
they have heard me beseeching

as i whispered into my own
cupped hands enough not me again

but who can distinguish
one human voice

amid such choruses
of desire

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
by E. E. Cummings

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"You've got to have something to eat and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body's sermon on how to behave."

Billie Holiday

Monday, February 01, 2010

“Was there no way out? Was loneliness universal? Was restlessness a fact of life? Was it better to acknowledge that than to keep on looking for false solutions? Marriage was no cure for loneliness. Children grew up and went away. Lovers were no panacea. Sex was no final solution. If you made your life into a long disease then death was the only cure.”

“Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

Erica Jong

Sunday, January 31, 2010

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...”

Annie Dillard

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"When you're dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody."

J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Monday, January 25, 2010


I like that word more and more the older I get.

I like to say to my husband when I get home from my
little holiday that my drive home was "uneventful."

It looked at times today as if it were going to be anything
other than uneventful. Strange weather patterns.

I kept going in and out of the front. First, just light snow
and little wind. 80 miles later, blowing snow and almost
whiteout conditions. 5 miles down the road, west bound,
the sun shining all around and these thin, loner clouds hang there,
not 50 feet from my head. Like I was seeing those low-lying
wispy clouds with 3D glasses on. And all above and around
those clouds were enormous clouds, clouds with names like
nimbostratus and stratocumulus, the sky dark gray and
ominous to the north and east. Wonder what the wispy ones
are called.

20 more miles westbound and I am back in the whiteout
conditions, only this time the wind is so strong it pulls
my car to the far right shoulder of the parkway, almost
to the guardrail, which is the only thing between my car
and a creek about 20 ft below. But I hang on, and within
a mile or two, the sun shines again.

15 more miles and I am in a snowglobe, thinking how lovely!
To the south, a patch of blue, like a giant siamese cat's eye peering
through the clouds. I can hardly keep my eyes on the road
for wanting to see everything. But I do. Keep my eyes on the
road. Keep things uneventful. I do like it that way.
"The way of the world is to bloom and to flower and die but in the affairs of men there is no waning and the noon of his expression signals the onset of night. His spirit is exhausted at the peak of its achievement. His meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his day."
— Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The truth knocks on the door and you say, go away, I'm looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling.

Robert Pirsig

Monday, January 04, 2010

Never is a long, undependable time, and life is too full of rich possibilities to have restrictions placed upon it.

Gloria Swanson

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Saturday, January 02, 2010