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In the meantime, while you're here, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a cuppa tea, have a piece of pie and always feel free to speak your mind, and your heart, here at Meanderings and Muses.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Ode To Common Things - by Pablo Neruda


I have a crazy,
crazy love of things.

I like pliers,

and scissors.
I love cups,
rings,
and bowls
-not to speak,
of course,
of hats.
I love all things,
not just the grandest,
also the infinite-ly
small -thimbles,
spurs,
plates,
and flower vases.
Oh yes,
the planet is sublime!
It’s full of pipes
weaving hand-held
through tobacco smoke,
and keys and salt shakers -everything,
I mean,
that is made
by the hand of man,
every little thing:
shapely shoes,
and fabric,
and each new
bloodless birth
of gold,
eye glasses
carpenter’s nails,
brushes,
clocks, compasses,
coins,
and the so-soft
softness of chairs.
Mankind has built
oh so many
perfect
things!
Built them of wool and of wood,
of glass and
of rope:
remarkable tables,
ships,
and stairways.
I love all things,
not because they are
passionate
or sweet-smelling
but because,
I don’t know,
because
this ocean is yours,
and mine;
these buttons
and wheels
and little
forgotten
treasures,
fans upon
whose feathers
love has scattered
its blossoms
glasses, knives and
scissors -all bear
the trace
of someone’s fingers
on their handle or surface,
the trace of a distant hand
lost
in the depths of forgetfulness.
I pause in houses,
streets and
elevators
touching things,
identifying objects
that I secretly covet;
this one because it rings,
that one because
it’s as soft
as the softness of a woman’s hip,
that one there for its deep-sea color,
and that one for its velvet feel.
O irrevocable
river
of things:
no one can say
that I loved
only
fish,
or the plants
of the jungle
and the field,
that I loved
only
those things
that leap
and climb,
desire,
and survive.
It’s not true:
many things conspired
to tell me the whole story.
Not only did they touch me,
or my hand touched them:
they were so close
that they were a part
of my being,
they were so alive with me
that they lived half my life
and will die half my death.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Annabelle is happy to see the sun again!







Quest by Susan Frybort



Take me past
the guarded place
in you
where confusion
covers itself
in unrelenting confidence
then marches on
In lively steps
Take off the façade
let it fall away
into nowhere
Turn around and face me
I search the infinite depth
where beyond all entrenchments
I find your thirst
to be met
and understood
the sadness in your bones,
the want of your silent cries
to be heard
and be known—
abiding within those
unseen landscapes
is a world of precious
dreams
Let me touch where
the battle wounds
lie quietly healing—
Buried beneath
an armored sheath
rests a lifetime of love
and loneliness,
blame and triumph,
honor and defeat
Within this blended web
of scars and treasures,
glistening with honesty,
there you are—
I found you,
beneath the soldier’s plated heart
So loosen the knots around my own
see all its agony bared and mending
and in between each open space
we’ll breathe upon the frailty
All the wishful longings to be had
bring to me yours
as I meet you there with mine.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Late February By Ted Kooser


The first warm day,
and by mid-afternoon
the snow is no more
than a washing
strewn over the yards,
the bedding rolled in knots
and leaking water,
the white shirts lying
under the evergreens.
Through the heaviest drifts
rise autumn’s fallen
bicycles, small carnivals
of paint and chrome,
the Octopus
and Tilt-A-Whirl
beginning to turn
in the sun. Now children,
stiffened by winter
and dressed, somehow,
like old men, mutter
and bend to the work
of building dams.
But such a spring is brief;
by five o’clock
the chill of sundown,
darkness, the blue TVs
flashing like storms
in the picture windows,
the yards gone gray,
the wet dogs barking
at nothing. Far off
across the cornfields
staked for streets and sewers,
the body of a farmer
missing since fall
will show up
in his garden tomorrow,
as unexpected
as a tulip.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Editing my mom's work



"Mama.  This story needs lots of work.  Better get it to Earl pretty quick."







The Rainy Day



The day is cold, and dark, and dreary,
It rains, and the wind is never weary,
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust more dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold and dark and dreary,
It rains and the wind is never weary,
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
And youth’s fond hopes fall thick in the blast,
And my life is dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart and cease repining
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining
Thy fate is the common fate of all
Into each life some rain must fall
Some days must be dark and dreary.

A Brief History of Eloquence



1700 a sonnet
1800 a ballad in common meter
1900 an ode in free verse
2000 LMAO BB
2010 :) :( :-/
2017 😎💄💃

Monday, April 24, 2017

Today


Related Poem Content De

If ever there were a spring day so perfect, 
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze 

that it made you want to throw 
open all the windows in the house 

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage, 
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb, 

a day when the cool brick paths 
and the garden bursting with peonies 

seemed so etched in sunlight 
that you felt like taking 

a hammer to the glass paperweight 
on the living room end table, 

releasing the inhabitants 
from their snow-covered cottage 

so they could walk out, 
holding hands and squinting 

into this larger dome of blue and white, 
well, today is just that kind of day.

 - -  Billy Collins



Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Clearing




What lies at the end of enticing
country driveways, curving
off among trees? Often only
a car graveyard, a house-trailer,
a trashy bungalow. But this one,
for once, brings you
through the shade of its green tunnel
to a paradise of cedars,
of lawns mown but not too closely,
of iris, moss, fern, rivers of stone rounded
by sea or stream,
of a wooden unassertive large-windowed house.
The big trees enclose
an expanse of sky, trees and sky
together protect the clearing.
One is sheltered here
from the assaultive world
as if escaped from it, and yet
once arrived, is given (oneself
and others being a part of that world)
a generous welcome.
It's paradise
as a paradigm for how
to live on earth,
how to be private and open
quiet and richly eloquent.
Everything man-made here
was truly made by the hands
of those who live here, of those
who live with what they have made.
It took time, and is growing still
because it's alive.
It is paradise, and paradise
is a kind of poem; it has
a poem's characteristics:
inspiration; starting with the given;
unexpected harmonies; revelations.
It's rare among
the worlds one finds
at the end of enticing driveways.


by Denise Levertov

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Peonies: A Poem by Mary Oliver






This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers


and they open —
pools of lace,
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,


boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away


to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,


the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding


all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again —
beauty the brave, the exemplary,


blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?


Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,


with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?



Friday, April 21, 2017

She hath wings . . .




Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile
on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings,
knowing that she hath wings.
-Victor Hugo

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Major Work


Poems are hard to read
Pictures are hard to see
Music is hard to hear
And people are hard to love
But whether from brute need
Or divine energy
At last mind eye and ear
And the great sloth heart will move.

        -William Meredith

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Saraband



Select your sorrows if you can,
Edit your ironies, even grieve with guile.
Adjust to a world divided
Which demands your candid senses stoop to labyrinthine wiles
What natural alchemy lends
To the scrubby grocery boy with dirty hair
The lustre of Apollo, or Golden Hyacinth's fabled stare.
If you must cross the April park, be brisk:
Avoid the cadence of the evening, eyes from afar
Lest you be held as a security risk
Solicit only the evening star.


Your desperate nerves fuse laughter with disaster
And higgledy piggledy giggle once begun
Crown a host of unassorted sorrows
You never could manage one by one.
The world that jibes your tenderness
Jails your lust.
Bewildered by the paradox of all your musts
Turning from horizon to horizon, noonday to dusk:
It may be only you can understand:
On a mild sea afternoon of blue and gold
When the sky is a mild blue of a Chinese bowl
The bones of Hart Crane, sailors and the drugstore man
Beat on the ocean's floor the same saraband.


- by Carson McCullers

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Fight


It was over a girl,
One boy had spoken to her,
Had asked her out, the other
Had been feeling with her
The twitches of something serious.
It was a misunderstanding,
Something that might have been fixed,
Talked out or around,
But the whole school had turned out
To watch them settle it.
It was too late for talk,
It was no longer just their fight,
Something irrelevant and impure
Had entered it, honor, looking
More upright than the other,
Things which had nothing to do
With the girl, or desire,
Or what she had whispered to one of them
One night in a car.
So they faced each other,
Bringing their anger up
By saying what finally did not matter
But loudly enough so their bodies believed it.
There was a sudden coming together,
There were fists flailing
While everybody, hundreds, watched.
One was cut above the eye, the other's
Knuckles were bloodied against teeth.
It lasted half a minute until
One of them pulled back and said
Something like "This is stupid"
And the other dropped his fists
And watched him walk away

Monday, April 17, 2017

“Natural Resources" excerpt



My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
so much has been destroyed
I have to cast my lot with those
who age after age, perversely,

with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world.
A passion to make, and make again
where such un-making reigns.
—Adrienne Rich

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter 1962



Ocean City, MD






Missing my mom and dad this Easter



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Bunny Annabelle

Suffice to say,

Annabelle does not want to be dressed as the Easter Bunny . . .



Well, maybe . . .


Maybe not . . . 


I've changed my mind


Maybe you didn't hear me ?


I do not want to do this . . .



Oh, jeeze . . .


Give me this thing . . .


Dad.  You're pissing me off . . . 


okay.  It's on.  Take it off.


Take.   It.   Off!


i hate you



i really really hate you



And I'm not real happy with you guys either!



I'm outta here . . .



Fictional Characters



Do they ever want to escape?
Climb out of the white pages
and enter our world?

Holden Caulfield slipping in the movie theater
to catch the two o'clock
Anna Karenina sitting in a diner,
reading the paper as the waitress
serves up a cheeseburger.


Even Hector, on break from the Iliad,
takes a stroll through the park,
admires the tulips.

Maybe they grew tired
of the author's mind,
all its twists and turns.

Or were finally weary
of stumbling around Pamplona,
a bottle in each fist,
eating lotuses on the banks of the Nile.

For others, it was just too hot
in the small California town
where they'd been written into
a lifetime of plowing fields.

Whatever the reason,
here they are, roaming the city streets
rain falling on their phantasmal shoulders.

Wouldn't you, if you could?
Step out of your own story,
to lean against a doorway
of the Five & Dime, sipping your coffee,

your life, somewhere far behind you,
all its heat and toil nothing but a tale
resting in the hands of a stranger,
the sidewalk ahead wet and glistening.

by Danusha Laméris

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Patience of Ordinary Things

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?
— Pat Schneider

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Raymond Carver, from “Sunday Night,” in All of Us: The Collected Poems

Make use of the things around you.
This light rain
Outside the window, for one.
This cigarette between my fingers,
These feet on the couch.
The faint sound of rock-and-roll,
The red Ferrari in my head.
The woman bumping
Drunkenly around in the kitchen …
Put it all in,
Make use.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Auschwitz



Auschwitz could be anywhere.
Plans and ideas are waiting in people's minds.
It only needs time and a little barbed wire.
It is enough to close the sky above the earth,
Extinguish hopes, break the rainbow.

Atomic suns will brighten again
with burning rays of death.
Choking dust of hatred will blow in everywhere.
The sown wind will stir up the sandy storms.
The Great War about everything and about nothing.
Losers, winners.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Music by Anne Porter


When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother’s piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold

And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying

Why is it that music
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
An ache a desolation
Deep as a homesickness
For some far-off
And half-forgotten country

I’ve never understood
Why this is so

But there’s an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow

For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest

And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation
For when we hear it
We half remember
That lost native country

We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams

And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows

Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.


Monday, April 10, 2017

The Country by Billy Collins




I wondered about you
when you told me never to leave
a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches
lying around the house because the mice

might get into them and start a fire.
But your face was absolutely straight
when you twisted the lid down on the round tin
where the matches, you said, are always stowed.

Who could sleep that night?
Who could whisk away the thought
of the one unlikely mouse
padding along a cold water pipe

behind the floral wallpaper
gripping a single wooden match
between the needles of his teeth?
Who could not see him rounding a corner,

the blue tip scratching against a rough-hewn beam,
the sudden flare, and the creature
for one bright, shining moment
suddenly thrust ahead of his time—

now a fire-starter, now a torchbearer
in a forgotten ritual, little brown druid
illuminating some ancient night.
Who could fail to notice,

lit up in the blazing insulation,
the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces
of his fellow mice, onetime inhabitants
of what once was your house in the country?


- - Billy Collins

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Wheeeeee, Annabelle!



The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm


The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.


—Wallace Stevens

Saturday, April 8, 2017

A small cove


Some nights I lie in the dark
listening to silence
eyes wide open 
the silver moon dripping
behind the window

The mind on low fire
the body warm
under the covers
the tick-tack of time
barely audible


I feel free, as if the faint penumbra
was an empty capsule
full of tenderness
and think of
the pages I’ve read
in the book of life today
when the sun was up


I dream then, and find myself
saying the names of mysterious
birds flying out of cages
in a strange regular order
like soldiers out of a truck
dying for a cigarette but holding a gun

I wake up with relief
daylight only minutes away.


by Francesca Castaño

Friday, April 7, 2017

Graduation Night


Congratulations 
to the 
Puppy Kindergarten 
Graduating Class 

Yay!!!!


Annabelle

Aspen

Dozer

Ellie

Sammy



Annabelle says:
Thank you, Melissa!!
You're the best



Thursday, April 6, 2017

oh, Annabelle . . .


LordAMercy.

Tonight is graduation night for Annabelle's Puppy Kindergarten Obedience Class.

I guess I shouldn't complain - we did not get to go over the "Don't Mess With The Toilet Paper!" chapter of the puppy obedience textbook.






Song for Spring Equinox




It is the first day of spring, the children are singing
(they are supposed to be sleeping) the clock is ticking
the cats are waiting for supper, one of them pregnant
kittens to herald the spring, nothing is blooming
nothing seems to bloom much around farms, just hayfields and corn
farms are too pragmatic, I look at ads
for hydrangea bushes, which I hate they remind me of brooklyn

for chinese wisteria vines, which I can’t picture
but they sound exotic and mysterious
a kind of blue purple, I decide I’ll get some

will I be disappointed, will they be yellow?
will I hate the Shetland pony we are buying
will we run out of wholewheat flour this week
before a new supply drives up from the city?

oh, it is very like being a pioneer,
but then everything is in this country, and in the country
especially. it was like being a pioneer on 5th street, too
and houston street, and amsterdam avenue
and in brooklyn, under the streetlights growing up
rollerskating at dusk with stickball games in the street
was the most pioneery of all,

it is slightly boring,
it tastes a lot of the times crossword puzzle
and ordering things thru the mail, which never come
or turn out wrong, or come the wrong color (wisteria)

I can’t blame Alan for planning to go to India
to free his kundalini, so that his ears peel
or something dreadful happens to his physique
we are built for the exotic, we americans, this landscape leaves us
as open as a piece of chocolate cream pie

Diane di Prima

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

After We Saw What There Was to See


After we saw what there was to see
we went off to buy souvenirs, and my father
waited by the car and smoked. He didn’t need
a lot of things to remind him where he’d been.
Why do you want so much stuff?
he might have asked us. “Oh, Ed,” I can hear
my mother saying, as if that took care of it.
After she died I don’t think he felt any reason
to go back through all those postcards, not to mention
the glossy booklets about the Singing Tower
and the Alligator Farm, the painted ashtrays
and lucite paperweights, everything we carried home
and found a place for, then put away
in boxes, then shoved far back in our closets.
He’d always let my mother keep track of the past,
and when she was gone—why should that change?
Why did I want him to need what he’d never needed?
I can see him leaning against our yellow Chrysler
in some parking lot in Florida or Maine.
It’s a beautiful cloudless day. He glances at his watch,
lights another cigarette, looks up at the sky.


by Lawrence Raab