Friday, April 29, 2011

In Praise of My Bed

Since the poem about staying in bed was so popular I thought I'd share this one about going to bed.

In Praise of My Bed

by Meredith Holmes

At last I can be with you!

The grinding hours
since I left your side!
The labor of being fully human,
working my opposable thumb,
talking, and walking upright.
Now I have unclasped
unzipped, stepped out of.
Husked, soft, a be-er only,
I do nothing, but point
my bare feet into your
clean smoothness
feel your quiet strength
the whole length of my body.
I close my eyes, hear myself
moan, so grateful to be held this way.

Only ONE (1) more day in National Poetry Month. Find one you love!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I want some recognition for my self-control

It's almost the end of April and I've hardly shoved any Auden down your throats at all!

Here are some quotes by the man and then afterward, a poem by Dorothy Parker, the queen of snark before the word even existed.

Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table.

Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.

May it not be that, just as we have to have faith in Him, God has to have faith in us and, considering the history of the human race so far, may it not be that "faith" is even more difficult for Him than it is for us?

No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.


Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom
by Dorothy Parker
Daily dawns another day;

I must up, to make my way.
Though I dress and drink and eat,
Move my fingers and my feet,
Learn a little, here and there,
Weep and laugh and sweat and swear,
Hear a song, or watch a stage,
Leave some words upon a page,
Claim a foe, or hail a friend-
Bed awaits me at the end.

Though I go in pride and strength,
I'll come back to bed at length.
Though I walk in blinded woe,
Back to bed I'm bound to go.
High my heart, or bowed my head,
All my days but lead to bed.
Up, and out, and on; and then
Ever back to bed again,
Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall-
I'm a fool to rise at all!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pictures and a poem!

Sugar cookie egg decorating!
 Our new-ish couch.
 The extension of our backyard patio.
 The site of our future shed.

If I could tell you

Time will say nothing but I told you so,

Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose the lions all get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.

by the fabulous and brilliant
W. H. Auden (1907 - 73)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, Spring, Passover, etc.

I had a lovely day yesterday, good times, including a motorcycle ride, wheeee!

Here, have some poetry for Easter!


Easter by Joyce Kilmer

The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
and sings.

An Eastern Ballad by Allen Ginsberg

I speak of love that comes to mind:
The moon is faithful, although blind;
She moves in thought she cannot speak.
Perfect care has made her bleak.

I never dreamed the sea so deep,
The earth so dark; so long my sleep,
I have become another child.
I wake to see the world go wild.

Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse -
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3

It's easy to love

through a cold spring
when the poles
of the willows
turn green
pollen falls like
a yellow curtain
and the scent of
Paper Whites
the air

but to love for a lifetime
takes talent

you have to mix yourself
with the strange
beauty of someone
wake each morning
for 72,000
mornings in
a row so
breathed and
bound and
that you can hardly
sort out
your arms

you have to
find forgiveness
in everything
even ink stains
and broken

you have to be willing to move through
the way the long
grasses move
in a field
when you careen
blindly toward
the other

there's never going to be anything
straight or predictable
about your path
except the
and the springing

you just go on walking for years
hand in hand
waist deep in the weeds
bent slightly forward
like two question
and all the while it

my dear
it burns beautifully above
and goes on
like a relentless

"The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3" by Mary Mackey, from Breaking the Fever. ©
Here is someone's take on this poem.
In other news, I sent this picture to The Esteemed Elder Sister to let her know that her secret superhero identity was out. She also looked through the t-shirts available from Natalie Dee, Married to the Sea and Toothpaste for Dinner. She called me laughing so hard she was wheezing, so I am considering the entire venture a success.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mr. Logo and I didn't buy a TV til we'd been married about 4 years. Mostly we got it so we could watch videos, which is a good thing, because we immediately moved to Greece with it where it couldn't receive television signal anyway. So we watched video cassette tapes on the built-in VCR, whoooooa, old school. Periodically after that we actually bothered with getting cable, but sometimes not.

In 2002, it died. It was tossed in a dumpster, with no particular honors despite it's many years of faithful dust collection and distinguished service as a child distractor so I could occasionally engage in acts of extreme neglect, like dashing through the shower or preparing a meal without a small child attached to my hip.

The new TV was a duel system, enabling us to watch European AND US television stations. It returned to the US with us and mostly we used it more movies and video games, but from time to time, we have paid for television as well.
some friends were in a transition recently and we played host to this for a while.
What it lacks in subtlety it makes up for in a sleek silhouette, clarity of picture, and sheer enormousness.

This week it went to Spokane to our friends' new home and we decided to upgrade to a flat screen, after all, it is not really sexy for your television to have junk in its trunk.
Thing One was pushing for a TV large enough to cover the whole freaking wall, and Thing Two thought the same size would be perfect.
Mr. Logo and I however, decided to go with a screen just about the same size as our old TV.
Ah, juuuust right!

And now, some poetry
Dilemma by David Budbill

I want to be
so I can be
about being

What good is my
when I am
in this

The Discovery of Sex by Debra Spencer

We try to be discreet standing in the dark
hallway by the front door. He gets his hands
up inside the front of my shirt and I put mine
down inside the back of his jeans. We are crazy
for skin, each other's skin, warm silky skin.
Our tongues are in each other's mouths,
where they belong, home at last. At first

we hope my mother won't see us, but later we don't care,
we forget her. Suddenly she makes a noise
like a game show alarm and says Hey! Stop that!
and we put our hands out where she can see them.
Our mouths stay pressed together, though, and
when she isn't looking anymore our hands go
back inside each other's clothes. We could

go where no one can see us, but we are
good kids, from good families, trying to have
as much discreet sex as possible with my mother and father
four feet away watching strangers kiss on TV,
my mother and father who once did as we are doing,
something we can't imagine because we know

that before we put our mouths together, before
the back seat of his parents' car where our skins
finally become one-before us, these things
were unknown! Our parents look on in disbelief
as we pioneer delights they thought only they knew
before those delights gave them us.

Years later, still we try to be discreet, standing
in the kitchen now where we think she can't see us. I
slip my hands down inside the back of his jeans
and he gets up under the front of my shirt.
We open our mouths to kiss and suddenly Hey! Hey!
says our daughter glaring from the kitchen doorway.
Get a room! she says, as we put our hands
out where she can see them.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What I Know

by Lee Robinson

What I know for sure is less and less:
that a hot bath won't cure loneliness.

That bacon is the best bad thing to chew
and what you love may kill you.

The odd connection between perfection
and foolishness, like the pelican
diving for his fish.

How silly sex is.
How, having it, we glimpse
our holiness.

What I know is less and less.
What I want is more and more:

you against me—
your ferocious tenderness—

love like a star,
once small and far,
now huge, now near.

This arrived in my inbox today courtesy of the Writer's Almanac.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Favorite Poems

Today I am not posting any poems.
Instead, I am posting a link to this site.
 I love this project! Watching little kids reading Robert Louis Stevenson, or Casey at the Bat is just sweet. Each person gives the reason they chose their poem and how they relate to it.
Hope you can listen to some, they're worth the time!

Friday, April 08, 2011


This is a poem I recall my dad reading to us as kids. He loved it, probably still does.
This is exactly his kind of logic.

The Deacon’s Masterpiece or
The Wonderful "One-Hoss Shay": A Logical Story

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

Have you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,

That was built in such a logical way

It ran a hundred years to a day,

And then of a sudden it — ah, but stay,

I’ll tell you what happened without delay,

Scaring the parson into fits,

Frightening people out of their wits, –

Have you ever heard of that, I say?

Seventeen hundred and fifty-five.

Georgius Secundus was then alive, –

Snuffy old drone from the German hive.

That was the year when Lisbon-town

Saw the earth open and gulp her down,

And Braddock’s army was done so brown,

Left without a scalp to its crown.

It was on that terrible Earthquake-day

That the Deacon finished the one-hoss shay.

Now in building of shaises, I tell you what,

There is always a weakest spot, –

In hub, tire, felloe, in spring or thill,

In pannel or crossbar, or floor, or sill,

In screw, bolt, throughbrace, — lurking still,

Find it somewhere you must and will, –

Above or below, or within or without, –

And that’s the reason, beyond a doubt,

That a chaise breaks down, but doesn’t wear out.

But the Deacon swore (as deacons do,

With an "I dew vum," or an "I tell yeou")

He would build one shay to beat the taown

‘n’ the keounty ‘n’ all the kentry raoun’;

It should be so built that it couldn’ break daown:

"Fer," said the Deacon, "’t’s mighty plain

Thut the weakes’ place mus’ stan’ the strain;

‘n’ the way t’ fix it, uz I maintain, is only jest

‘T’ make that place uz strong uz the rest."

So the Deacon inquired of the village folk

Where he could find the strongest oak,

That couldn’t be split nor bent nor broke, –

That was for spokes and floor and sills;

He sent for lancewood to make the thills;

The crossbars were ash, from the the straightest trees

The pannels of whitewood, that cuts like cheese,

But lasts like iron for things like these;

The hubs of logs from the "Settler’s ellum," –

Last of its timber, — they couldn’t sell ‘em,

Never no axe had seen their chips,

And the wedges flew from between their lips,

Their blunt ends frizzled like celery-tips;

Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,

Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin too,

Steel of the finest, bright and blue;

Throughbrace bison-skin, thick and wide;

Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide

Found in the pit when the tanner died.

That was the way he "put her through,"

"There!" said the Deacon, "naow she’ll dew!"

Do! I tell you, I rather guess

She was a wonder, and nothing less!

Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,

Deacon and deaconess dropped away,

Children and grandchildren — where were they?

But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay

As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake-day!

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED; — it came and found

The Deacon’s masterpiece strong and sound.

Eighteen hindred increased by ten; –

"Hahnsum kerridge" they called it then.

Eighteen hundred and twenty came; –

Running as usual; much the same.

Thirty and forty at last arive,

And then come fifty and FIFTY-FIVE.

Little of of all we value here

Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year

Without both feeling and looking queer.

In fact, there’s nothing that keeps its youth,

So far as I know, but a tree and truth.

(This is a moral that runs at large;

Take it. — You’re welcome. — No extra charge.)

FIRST OF NOVEMBER, — the Earthquake-day, –

There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay,

A general flavor of mild decay,

But nothing local, as one may say.

There couldn’t be, — for the Deacon’s art

Had made it so like in every part

That there wasn’t a chance for one to start.

For the wheels were just as strong as the thills

And the floor was just as strong as the sills,

And the panels just as strong as the floor,

And the whippletree neither less or more,

And the back-crossbar as strong as the fore,

And the spring and axle and hub encore.

And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt

In another hour it will be worn out!

First of November, fifty-five!

This morning the parson takes a drive.

Now, small boys get out of the way!

Here comes the wonderful one-hoss shay,

Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay.

"Huddup!" said the parson. — Off went they.

The parson was working his Sunday’s text, –

Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed

At what the — Moses — was coming next.

All at once the horse stood still,

Close by the meet’n'-house on the hill.

First a shiver, and then a thrill,

Then something decidedly like a spill, –

And the parson was sitting upon a rock,

At half past nine by the meet’n'-house clock, –

Just the hour of the earthquake shock!

What do you think the parson found,

When he got up and stared around?

The poor old chaise in a heap or mound,

As if it had been to the mill and ground!

You see, of course, if you’re not a dunce,

How it went to pieces all at once, –

All at once, and nothing first, –

Just as bubbles do when they burst.

End of the wonderful one-hoss shay.

Logic is logic. That’s all I say.


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

He said it!

I love Ogden Nash, and he is a giver of very good advice.

A Word to Husbands by Ogden Nash

To keep your marriage brimming

With love in the loving cup,

Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;

Whenever you’re right, shut up.

To A Small Boy Standing On My Shoes While I Am Wearing Them by Ogden Nash

Let's straighten this out, my little man,

And reach an agreement if we can.

I entered your door as an honored guest.

My shoes are shined and my trousers are pressed,

And I won't stretch out and read you the funnies

And I won't pretend that we're Easter bunnies.

If you must get somebody down on the floor,

What in the hell are your parents for?

I do not like the things that you say

And I hate the games that you want to play.

No matter how frightfully hard you try,

We've little in common, you and I.

The interest I take in my neighbor's nursery

Would have to grow, to be even cursory,

And I would that performing sons and nephews

Were carted away with the daily refuse,

And I hold that frolicsome daughters and nieces

Are ample excuse for breaking leases.

You may take a sock at your daddy's tummy

Or climb all over your doting mummy,

But keep your attentions to me in check,

Or, sonny boy, I will wring your neck.

A happier man today I'd be

Had someone wrung it ahead of me.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Do you know about poetry slams?
They are all kinds of awesome.
Poetry is made to be enjoyed aloud so if you can, follow the link to youtube. However,  the first poem I've linked  is also copied below from Taylor Mali's webpage below so you can read it even if you can't see and hear his amazing performance.

What Teachers Make  (performed by the author)

What Teachers Make, or
Objection Overruled, or
If things don't work out, you can always go to law school

By Taylor Mali

He says the problem with teachers is, "What's a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"
He reminds the other dinner guests that it's true what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.
I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests
that it's also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we're eating, after all, and this is polite company.

"I mean, you're a teacher, Taylor," he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"

And I wish he hadn't done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.

I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?

The The Impotence of Proofreading (tee hee, this one is funny)

and just one more, because I really just had to

Totally like whatever, you know?

Friday, April 01, 2011

It's National Poetry Month again!

I do love poetry, not just the formal kind, any lyrical expression of words will work, really.
I have to start the month off with Auden, cuz I luffs him.

The More Loving One    by W. H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
Over here you can hear him read his poem On the Circuit.