Wednesday, May 27, 2015

yesterday's rain

the leaves
of this morning's magnolia tree -
dark stillness.
blooms are glowing
like round white bowls
afloat in space
deeply black.
fishes are mating
in the creek below
filled by yesterday's rain.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Two bits of fact intersected with my path today, and have me intrigued. The first was seeing tomato plants growing without stakes or other props - just vines growing on the ground in a garden. Is this how they grew over the thousands of years gone by?

The other was a picture of a colorful pet parakeet with no cage, just perching outdoors on his human's shoulder.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Three drum references have shown up in half an hour. Drums are ringing my doorbell. So, I am drawing. I'm drawing some drums on the back of a Firestone car repair receipt. There. Brown marker. Two drums. In honoring the synchrony, I feel better. I've moved a stone and am on my way, back on my path. I don't need to know why.

In a graduate school three-semester course on sleep and dreams, our teacher taught how to help ourselves and to help our clients find meaning in our dreams. We practiced interpretive techniques, ways to examine and open up a dream, but somehow he also let us know that there are shortcuts to moving forward. Respecting a dream, giving it a nod, is enough.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

drawing triangles

and circles
are on my mind.
i'm drawing grids
with lines and
lots of intersections.
time flows both ways.
i'm 62.
i'm just a kid
drawing triangles
and squares.
here are circles
with beady eyes
and moustaches.
here's a square
- add some lines -
with arms and legs
and a straight line tail.
The straight line
turns wiggly
- comes to life -
on the grid.
i'm no expert
but a curious beginner;
art, yes, every field
- physics, music, medicine, cooking -
comes to life.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

American Musical

One thing my father shared with us over the years was his love for musicals. He was a big fan of this American form of entertainment. He liked to sing and he liked to see a play. One of the first recordings and first musicals I ever heard was a record he bought when I was six - the Broadway musical 'Camelot' with Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, and  Robert Goulet in the lead roles. I can still hear the wonderful, sometimes wistful, opening instrumental and the actors' gorgeous and moving voices.

Musicals were made into popular movies in the 1950s-70s. Carousel, Riverboat, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma!, Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Camelot, West Side Story, Porgy and Bess, and Fiddler on the Roof attracted large, enthusiastic audiences.

My favorite way to experience a musical, however, is live on the stage. There have not been that many that I've seen, but most have been great experiences. The performances I've seen were not professional, but high school and college shows. Some of those shined brightly, truly moving and powerful. It isn't so much the quality or expense of the costumes and set, or the perfection of the singing or orchestra that carries you away. There is something else, the passion and teamwork of the actors, crew, and director, a passion that connects with those in the audience.

Dad and I saw Guys and Dolls a few years ago, a production put on by Lafayette High School in Louisiana. His health was not good at the time, and he was barely ambulatory, and he was excited to be going. The production was a success for the students and for the audience, a most happy evening, and it remains a strong and happy memory.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

San Juan Island Ferries

San Juan Island Ferries

chain of islands
by ferries
chugging here to there
with people,
vehicles, and goods on board.
the air sings
with spark and clean salt
ocean breezes -
the horn blasts with chilly cheer
or sometimes with foggy gloom.
The ferry moves from the docks -
the island left behind grows
smaller, smaller
the next in line grows
bigger, bigger
gulls and eagles rocking
on the currents above the sea -
among cloud grays
and sky blues,
above trees evergreen
and constant ferries
in slow motion

Monday, May 18, 2015


The first week of September, 1987, we took a trip to Colorado. Despite some illness and minor accidents among us, a number of wonderful memories still stand out. The Rocky Mountains were cool and lush with summer life. Streams of crystal water from the melt of the previous winter's snow, large stands of white-barked aspen trees, and dozens of ruby-throated hummingbirds at feeders at a lodge in Redstone come to mind. We visited a very small town near there, Marble, where marble was mined, and took home with us a white marble sphere about the size of a baseball.

The skies were clouded, though, and there was more rain than was pleasant for camping so we ended up at an unplanned destination, Mesa Verde National Park in the southwest corner of Colorado, somewhat away from the mountains. The weather for tent camping was perfect, with clean fall breezes moving in. We took a guided hike through some of the ancient Anasazi architecture carved into the side of a hill, structure that was both very functional and visually intriguing.

I lived for three years in Colorado as a young adult, and many years later still marvel at the varied natural wonders and experiences available there. 

post script:

The marble sphere was a polished product purchased as a souvenir.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

most flowers,
trees, weeds, and shrubs
love the sun -
they reach each day
toward the light
what blesses
their blooming and soaring
their birthing of leaves 
of nuts, of limes -
the thistles and pineapples
potatoes and zucchini

how much do
they stretch for the dark?
for the mysterious gumbo,
the rhythm of night?
are the berries that have their full share of darkness
any more juicy and sweet?
Do eggplants, sweet peas
daisies and pumpkins
that know only light
vaguely fail to thrive?
do they scratch their heads
and merely

Friday, May 15, 2015

cardboard box world

I've been unpacking this week. Squeezing the contents of boxes and bags into my new apartment.

A couple of days ago, I was weary and sat down. One box lay empty on its side on the table before me, except for some styrofoam peanuts, a receipt or two, some curly shredded packing paper. I rested my head leaning toward and slightly into the brown, cardboard box. The noise in my ears went quiet. I'd entered a mysterious place. Light leaked into the box in a thin line where the two flaps on the bottom were taped but did not quite meet. It was like a high window in a large dim room. The pink and white and pale green peanuts, wavy and crinkled, took on faces of light and shadow. Some were like people, and some like birds and dogs and other animals. The dangling strands of paper and crumpled tape created a landscape.

My cell phone was near and I spent a couple of minutes photographing this mysterious little world. Then, I turned the box to face a window in the apartment where the sunlight was shining and took a photo. The interior of the box was now well lit, and the strange little world disappeared.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

hermit crabs
wander the sands
in search of shelter
just right for them

here's s shell
just a might bigger than the last
not too heavy to carry
but lots of room at last
oh that's one happy little crab.

where are the hermit crabs?

i heard the question
and looked around
and though not on the beach
there goes one now

up and down
Foster Lane

zipping to and fro
a crab to every motor car
so cheerfully they go

there walks a young lady now
eagerly to a shell
she slides right in
varoom varoom
in love with her safe room.

all us hermit crabs
cruising down the lane
our shells so new and shiny
and some run down and plain

the sweet or grumpy faces
behind the wheel
we're hermits secure in our sealed up shells
with the spinning black wheels

Friday, May 8, 2015

y a r n

I continue to knit, with less of the wonder of a beginner, but with great appreciation of the calming qualities of the practice.

Now and then I'm left with strands of yarn from varied skeins - some fat green yarn here, some skinny grey and white twine-like stuff, a few inches of ribbon, a soft black. No strand is ever tossed. Each is cheerfully knotted to the last bit I found, wound into a ball on a bit of cardboard.  It's a motley crew. I don't have enough saved to knit a whole scarf, but every now and again, I weave a small section using yarn from the odds and ends collection. Lots of knots and awkward matches! For some reason, this makes me quite happy.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

3 fat sparrows

3 fat sparrows
perched on the wires
like a 3-note song
dark against the bright sky

up they soar
and down they glide
a flying melody

7 May 2015
4 PM

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

like a raven
a thin black cloud
stretched its wings
over the face
of the bright moon
the other night
and flew away

my mother was in her forties
and expecting.
she ate moon pies every evening after work.
boxes of moon pies
huddled in the pantry
one dozen per box.
there was
and pink strawberry.
she gave birth in June
and the last box of
marshmallow-and-cookie confections
remained forgotten on the shelf
a very long time.

Monday, May 4, 2015

we were taught that darkness is the absence of light.

now we find that there is substance to the dark, just as there is to light.