Friday, April 30, 2010

National Poetry Month isn't over yet!

A Marriage by Michael Blumenthal

You are hold­ing up a ceil­ing
with both arms. It is very heavy,
but you must hold it up, or else
it will fall down on you. Your arms
are tired, ter­ri­bly tired,
and, as the day goes on, it feels
as if either your arms or the ceil­ing
will soon collapse.

But then,
some­thing won­der­ful hap­pens:
a man or a woman,
walks into the room
and holds their arm up
to the ceil­ing beside you.

So you finally get
to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
the blood flow­ing back
to your fin­gers and arms.
And when your partner’s arms tire,
you hold up your own
to relieve him again.

And it can go on like this
for many years
with­out the house falling.
I used one of this guys poems earlier, and Jocelyn used it recently too.
I love that this guy, in part, converted the English Teacher Who Hated Poetry.
Anyway, I quite like that one up there, and here is another.
What I Believe

I believe there is no justice,
but that cottongrass and bunchberry
grow on the mountain.

I believe that a scorpion's sting
will kill a man,
but that his wife will remarry.

I believe that, the older we get,
the weaker the body,
but the stronger the soul.

I believe that if you roll over at night
in an empty bed,
the air consoles you.

I believe that no one is spared
the darkness,
and no one gets all of it.

I believe we all drown eventually
in a sea of our making,
but that the land belongs to someone else.

I believe in destiny.
And I believe in free will.

I believe that, when all
the clocks break,
time goes on without them.

And I believe that whatever
pulls us under,
will do so gently.

so as not to disturb anyone,
so as not to interfere
with what we believe in.
and finally,
Light, At Thirty-Two

It is the first thing God speaks of
when we meet Him, in the good book
of Genesis. And now, I think
I see it all in terms of light:

How, the other day at dusk
on Ossabaw Island, the marsh grass
was the color of the most beautiful hair
I had ever seen, or how—years ago
in the early-dawn light of Montrose Park—
I saw the most ravishing woman
in the world, only to find, hours later
over drinks in a dark bar, that it
wasn't she who was ravishing,
but the light: how it filtered
through the leaves of the magnolia
onto her cheeks, how it turned
her cotton dress to silk, her walk
to a tour-jeté.

And I understood, finally,
what my friend John meant,
twenty years ago, when he said: Love
is keeping the lights on. And I understood
why Matisse and Bonnard and Gauguin
and Cézanne all followed the light:
Because they knew all lovers are equal
in the dark, that light defines beauty
the way longing defines desire, that
everything depends on how light falls
on a seashell, a mouth ... a broken bottle.

And now, I'd like to learn
to follow light wherever it leads me,
never again to say to a woman, YOU
are beautiful, but rather to whisper:
Darling, the way light fell on your hair
this morning when we woke—God,
it was beautiful. Because, if the light is right,
then the day and the body and the faint pleasures
waiting at the window ... they too are right.
All things lovely there. As that first poet wrote,
in his first book of poems: Let there be light.
Poetry, including song lyrics, is the art of communication at its finest, imnsho.
I am glad we have a National Poetry Month. I really kinda believe that people who say they don't like poetry just haven't found the right poem. It's like saying you don't like art, or music. How can anyone possibly not like ALL music, or ALL art?! Somewhere there is a poem for everyone. It's just a matter of finding the one piece that resonates with that soul. I hope National Poetry Month helps people find a poem or poet that works for them.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Must not waste National Poetry Month!!

I love Dorothy Parker. She did write a rather unkind of review of one of A.A. Milne's Pooh stories as Constant Reader but no one is perfect.

Her poems are delicious.


If I had a shiny gun,
I could have a world of fun
Speeding bullets through the brains
Of the folk who give me pains;

Or had I some poison gas,
I could make the moments pass
Bumping off a number of
People whom I do not love.

But I have no lethal weapon-
Thus does Fate our pleasure step on!
So they still are quick and well
Who should be, by rights, in hell.

Neither Bloody Nor Bowed

They say of me, and so they should,
It's doubtful if I come to good.
I see acquaintances and friends
Accumulating dividends,
And making enviable names
In science, art, and parlor games.
But I, despite expert advice,
Keep doing things I think are nice,
And though to good I never come-
Inseparable my nose and thumb!

On Being a Woman

Why is it, when I am in Rome,
I'd give an eye to be at home,
But when on native earth I be,
My soul is sick for Italy?

And why with you, my love, my lord,
Am I spectacularly bored,
Yet do you up and leave me- then
I scream to have you back again?
Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song

There's many and many, and not so far,
Is willing to dry my tears away;
There's many to tell me what you are,
And never a lie to all they say.

It's little the good to hide my head,
It's never the use to bar my door;
There's many as counts the tears I shed,
There's mourning hearts for my heart is

There's honester eyes than your blue eyes,
There's better a mile than such as you.
But when did I say that I was wise,
And when did I hope that you were true?
Words of Comfort to Be Scratched on a Mirror

Helen of Troy had a wandering glance;
Sappho's restriction was only the sky;
Ninon was ever the chatter of France;
But oh, what a good girl am I!

If I don't drive around the park,
I'm pretty sure to make my mark.
If I'm in bed each night by ten,
I may get back my looks again,
If I abstain from fun and such,
I'll probably amount to much,
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

i thank You God for most this amazing

ee cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

and then something a little lighter
nobody loses all the time

i had an uncle named
Sol who was a born failure and
nearly everybody said he should have gone
into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could
sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself which
may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle

Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable
of all to use a highfalootin phrase
luxuries that is or to
wit farming and be
it needlessly

my Uncle Sol's farm
failed because the chickens
ate the vegetables so
my Uncle Sol had a
chicken farm till the
skunks ate the chickens when

my Uncle Sol
had a skunk farm but
the skunks caught cold and
died so
my Uncle Sol imitated the
skunks in a subtle manner

or by drowning himself in the watertank
but somebody who'd given my Unde Sol a Victor
Victrola and records while he lived presented to
him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a
scrumptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with
tall boys in black gloves and flowers and everything and

i remember we all cried like the Missouri
when my Uncle Sol's coffin lurched because
somebody pressed a button
(and down went
my Uncle

and started a worm farm)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Poetry Month strikes again!

Musee des Beaux Arts
by W.H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.


This poem has floated, in a half-remembered haze, through my mind at various museums. I can't decide if, for me, the meaning of this poem is, Life keep happening, get on with it, or something a bit more along the lines of, be aware, amazing events occur without warning.

Monday, April 26, 2010

T shirts

from some random internet t-shirt site that made me giggle.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's that time again

Time to steal another meme from Lime!

Write some lyrics from the song you're listening to?
No one's gonna take me alive
The time has come to make things right
You and I must fight for our rights
You and I must fight to survive

Do you open up to people easily?
I do if they are kindred spirits... or surgeons.

Has anyone given you a compliment today?
It's 7 am, no one has even spoken to me yet today! Setting the bar a little high aren't we?

What do your friends call you?
"You there, you with the red black hair!"

Has anyone upset you in the last week?
Yes, and thank you for bringing it up. Would you like to give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice in it next?

What usually causes your relationships to end?
That none of my "pals" are willing to pay me palimony. Users!

What's the best thing about you?
My Isles of Langerhans are beautiful this time of year.

Do you think you would be a good parent?
Absolutely, and no, you may NOT verify that answer with my children.

Who was the last person of the opposite sex you had a conversation with?
Mio sposo

Whats your favorite drink?
tea, or coffee, but mojitos really are lovely this time of year too.

Do you miss anyone?
What were we saying about the papercuts??

What were you doing at 3 AM this morning?
Mind your own business, cheeky monkey

Is your room clean?
Which half?

What are you going to do tomorrow?
All the stuff I was supposed to do today.

What is in store for your future?
Brothers and sisters, have you heard about Sisyphus?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Northwest Profiles

Pemco Insurance started running their NW Profile ads a while back and we love 'em.
Anyone who remembers the Seattle blogger Schnoodlepoo will recognize her as this first one.
The radio ads are awesome, so here is the profile #23 radio ad

Here are other common northwest species.

50 Degrees Shirt Off Guy

Walla Walla Wine Wine Woman Woman radio ad
Oh yes, Confused East Coast Transplant, we DO know you (listen to this radio ad for that to make sense).
Four Way Stop TV commercial

Ski in the Rain Guy

Ever wanted to be an action figure? This one comes complete with pba-free water bottle and REI membership card! Check him out

There are lots of other profiles you can find here.
The Logophile family has taken to identifying people we know who fit one of these profiles.
I am sure some of these creatures reside in other locales as well.
Do you know any of these people? Do share!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More tulips visual,

as requested.

The last post was done on a borrowed computer so I couldn't attach photos.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

April means TULIPS!

In Skagit Valley

I shall focus on the beauty of the flowers and not the stupidity the tulips seems to provoke in drivers.

Monday, April 05, 2010


is National Poetry Month
and we are nearly a week into it
and I haven't posted a poem YET.
So here is one I love.

And the Cantilevered Inference Shall Hold the Day
by Michael Blumenthal

Things are not as they seem: the innuendo of everything makes
itself felt and trembles towards meanings we never intuited
or dreamed. Take, for example, how the warbler, perched on a

mere branch, can kidnap the day from its tediums and send us
heavenwards, or how, held up by nothing we really see, our
spirits soar and then, in a mysterious series of twists and turns,

come to a safe landing in a field, encircled by greenery. Nothing
I can say to you here can possibly convince you that a man
as unreliable as I have been can smuggle in truths between tercets

and quatrains on scraps of paper, but the world as we know
is full of surprises, and the likelihood that here, in the shape
of this very bird, redemption awaits us should not be dismissed

so easily. Each year, days swivel and diminish along their inscrutable
axes, then lengthen again until we are bathed in light we were not
prepared for. Last night, lying in bed with nothing to hold onto

but myself, I gazed at the emptiness beside me and saw there, in the
shape of absence, something so sweet and deliberate I called it darling.
No one who encrusticates (I made that up!) his silliness in a bowl,

waiting for sanctity, can ever know how lovely playfulness can be,
and, that said, let me wish you a Merry One (or Chanukah if you
prefer), and may whatever holds you up stay forever beneath you,

and may the robin find many a worm, and our cruelties abate,
and may you be well and happy and full of mischief as I am,
and may all your nothings, too, hold something up and sing.

"And the Cantilevered Inference Shall Hold the Day"
by Michael Blumenthal, from And.

Some of you old timers may be surprised I didn't start off with Auden, but don't worry, there is plenty of month left, he will be appearing later.
I discovered Blumenthal courtesy of The Writer's Almanac and highly recommend it. There is something rather wonderful about having a piece of poetry waiting for you every morning in your inbox plus there are biographical and historical tidbits. It's like candy for your soul AND your brain. Score!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Images of Easters past

Look how little Thing Two was in that pic!

The Things a couple years later.

Ariella posing all pretty amongst the flowers that grow the best for me.

Skagit Valley daffodils

and here are the Things last Easter with their gramma.
Hope you all have a Happy Easter/Passover/Spring.
Blessings on your heads.