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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Moving Blog

I haven't posted here since March - health and energy lacking for a time.

It has been so long I doubt anyone has been around. But just in case - my husband and I are in the process of setting up a new blog at wordpress: Red Moon
See you there!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

It's Today!

My daughter will be arriving today at 2:30 - it's only 10:00 a.m. and I am ready to go to the airport! It's a beautiful Southern California day with just the right touch of a cool breeze. I'm breathing in this blue sky and thinking about wrapping my arms around her.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

All This Murmuring

Image from "New Orleans Vodoun Tarot"
Poetry Thursday

New Orleans wraps itself in the mystery of Vodoun. The religion is misunderstood as the Hollywood caricature of evil and the dreaded zombie. In reality, it's a complex and often beautiful belief system - but admittedly not for the weak of heart. The poem is written from the point of view of someone only familiar with Voudoun, not part of its inner circle. The piece describes the dance of the Mambos, but I think Baron Samedi needs a bit of an introduction. He's one of Vodoun's Guedes that is said to guard the crossroads where the spirit of the dead can cross in and out of this world and act as intercessor between the living and the dead. He also presides over love and resurrection. Baron Samedi wears a top hat, black coat tails, and sunglasses. He loves ambrosia cigars and has a propensity for rum.

All This Murmuring

I run into myself
crawling out of a manhole
on a street in New Orleans.
I tell myself,
"The old man's dead,"
but really - I think
he conjured a convenient senility
to disguise his secrets.
I ask, "Do I know where the children are?"
And, "Did I bake the sweet potato pie for after the funeral?"
And, "By the way, what was I doing down there anyway?"

For ten days I've hung this Gris-Gris
bag around my neck -
still I don't leave myself in peace.
I won't answer myself-
just remark that the stench
top side isn't much different,
then I remember the old man's
handkerchief still covers my face.

I complain
to stone angels -
"Don't I ever answer my questions?"
And, "Don't I have any respect for the dead?"
And, "Didn't I know Momma's bad nerves
were on account of my moods?"

I leave myself
to track the scent of Ambrosia,
go where the Mambos swirl
in their white dresses
inside a circle of Fire Lilies -
scattering cornmeal
so the Guedes will come to dance.

I sway on the brim of the wheel,
whisper in trickles of rum
while I hope for the tip of a hat-
even though we're strangers,
Baron Samedi might dance
with me - stop all this murmuring.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Morning Kitchen Thoughts

Sunday Sribblings

I’m alone in the kitchen, the morning still in half-light. I sit at the table cradling my coffee mug for warmth and hear the wind rattle the windows- there’s a cold front coming in. Cold days or rainy days turn out to be my favorite here where the sun shines so diligently day in and day out. The refrigerator hums, the faucet drips, and Chiron (our cat) is beginning his morning serenade for food. It's good to have the reassurance of morning routine. After feeding the cat I look up to see the food blessing hanging above the kitchen table and remember there will be a new pair of hands to hold before every meal. My youngest daughter, Melissa, is coming for a visit from Biloxi, Ms. It has been a few years since she sat around my kitchen table – we usually go visit them. But this time Melissa wanted to come so she could have me all too herself with no other relatives around to crowd in on her time. So we will sit around the kitchen table and talk about our lives and make plans for our day. Maybe we will even get an art project going at the kitchen table like we did when she was a girl. We can update from finger paints and popsicle sticks. At the sink I rinse out my coffee cup and think how proud I am of her. She teaches High School English and in addition to her regular classes, she teaches what they call “Ramp-Up to Literacy” for children that aren’t quite ready for freshman English. Her students are excited about reading and their reading levels are rising all the time. The Gulf Coast Area project manager for the program and the Director of Curriculum for the school district came to sit in on her class and will be using her classroom as the model for the rest of the school district. She’s the kind of teacher I wish for every child – she doesn’t believe there is any such thing as a student not worth her time and effort regardless of what negative history follows them into her classroom. I don't mind bragging. As I finish up in the kitchen I remember that when Melissa was in kindergarten she used to love to help me make New York Cheesecake – she called herself the “official stuff putter inner”. I would have everything all measured out and it was her job to pour the ingredients into the mixing bowl. I can still remember her saying, “and pour the sugar in sloooooooooow” – her face full of serious concentration. Maybe we’ll make Cheesecake this weekend.

More Sunday Scribblings here

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Image Inspired

I bought this print (by Pahuncvo) when I lived in Spain. I was fourteen years old and had a difficult home situation. This print gave me a sense of moving into the future with hope and freedom. It also gave me a feeling that there were going to be long stretches of becoming, that I wasn't stuck in the here and now of who I thought I was. I'm fifty now and it appears I was right!

I've struggled writing the poem, it is still very rough. If any one has constructive criticism please feel free to let me know.

White Horse

She bolts into the storm
to taste the night
on her tongue,
becomes the lantern
in the blue-black midnight.
A twin to the moon
that pulls us up
through the ground of ourselves
into perpetual becoming.