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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.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Servants by Faith Shearin



In college I read about Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton
and I thought of their great minds and their long dresses
and their gilded friendships which involved tea
in the library or on the lawn. I thought of the places
they traveled and the weight of their trunks
and all the ways their marriages did or did not
please them. I thought of the dogs that followed
at their heels and the rooms and gardens they
decorated and the beaches where they
carried umbrellas. But I never once thought of
their servants. I didn’t think of the cook who
woke up to make the fires of morning or the maids
who stood over a pot of hot soap, stirring the day.
I did not think of how someone dressed them
and scrubbed their floors, how someone
brought their dinner on a tray. It was years before
I knew they had them at all: invisible, unremembered,
people who gave their lives to drudgery. Now I
can barely write or finish a book for all the housework
and errands, now I think of them: knocking dust
from the curtains, carrying the rugs outside
each spring so they could beat them with a broom.

"Servants" by Faith Shearin from Telling the Bees

Saturday, April 29, 2017

And the winners . . .


Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of this year's Agatha Awards 


Best Contemporary Novel
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)

Best Historical Novel
The Reek of Red Herrings by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)

Best First Novel
The Semester of Our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn (Henery Press)

Best Nonfiction
Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot: How to Write Gripping Stories that Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats by Jane K. Cleland (Writer's Digest Books)

Best Short Story
"Parallel Play" by Art Taylor in Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning (Wildside Press)

Best Children/Young Adult
The Secret of the Puzzle Box: The Code Busters Club by Penny Warner (Darby Creek)

Lifetime Achievement: Charlaine Harris

Poirot Award: Martin Edwards



Saturday morning in Meat Camp



























 

















have more beignets



have more beignets,

By robin moyer
Jul 10, 2012


Vieux Carré

The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France,
now called St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans was first built in 1718.
They hand out glow-in-the-dark rosaries for Mardi gras
so folks can find
their way to Jesus in the dark.

Come, pick your way through the park
cross Decatur to drink coffee at Cafe DuMonde,
have more beignets,
trail powdered sugar and beads
to stare the Old Man in his muddy eyes.

Hanging ferns and foibles
line balconies where voices speak
but you cannot understand on Toulouse Street:
you are but a traveler here even
when you've walked these cobbled stones
for twenty years.

Bend warp and weave your dinner;
string the lost
beads to sell to the unsuspecting
because anything goes
and the party will go on anyhow.

Beyond the sequined mask
naught but hollowed eyes you do
not want to see and that clown
you laughed at, but did not pay
juggles souls behind your back.



Friday, April 28, 2017

A Morning in Meat Camp



Coffee on the deck while Annabelle surveys her world








And Donald gets ready for a ride








Life is good.



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