Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dust if you Must - Poetry I like today

Dust If You Must

by Rose Milligan

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.

Text Source

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Poems I like today

I am grateful for the internet.  The eternal source of poems that may have been forgotten, lost in obscure books long out of print.  Instead they are fresh and real as the day they were written, there in front of me.  I may need to look up the obscure verbiage or antiquated language, but I CAN do that.  So here are a few.  Found (in part) in the introduction of The Inquisitor's Tale Or, The Three Magical Children and their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz (Illuminated by Hatem Aly)

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things –
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.

 Text Source and to hear it read aloud


As I Walked Out One Evening

As I walked out one evening,
   Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
   Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
   I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
   ‘Love has no ending.

‘I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
   Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
   And the salmon sing in the street,

‘I’ll love you till the ocean
   Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
   Like geese about the sky.

‘The years shall run like rabbits,
   For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
   And the first love of the world.'

But all the clocks in the city
   Began to whirr and chime:
‘O let not Time deceive you,
   You cannot conquer Time.

‘In the burrows of the Nightmare
   Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
   And coughs when you would kiss.

‘In headaches and in worry
   Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
   To-morrow or to-day.

‘Into many a green valley
   Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
   And the diver’s brilliant bow.

‘O plunge your hands in water,
   Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
   And wonder what you’ve missed.

‘The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
   The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
   A lane to the land of the dead.

‘Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
   And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
   And Jill goes down on her back.

‘O look, look in the mirror,
   O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
   Although you cannot bless.

‘O stand, stand at the window
   As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour - (Love this line!)
   With your crooked heart.'

It was late, late in the evening,
   The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
   And the deep river ran on. 

Text Source

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Breakfast Adventures: Poached Egg on Toast with Mushrooms in Garlic and Butter Sauce (aka , how to gross out almost all your kids)

It's summer.  Glorious summer.  When time is loose and the world doesn't end if I don't get breakfast made and everyone out of the door by 7:30am.  Heck, it is currently 7:21am and only one kid is even awake!  Now if only I could sleep in, I would.

Recently I took advantage of this extra time to return to making different things for breakfast besides the same old same old eggs, toast and fruit that has been our school day staple.  And by that I at least I mean cooking the eggs in a different way, right?  Right.

I had leftover baby Portabella mushrooms I needed to use up and some garlic and butter, so I sauteed the mushrooms and garlic in butter, poached some eggs, toasted some toast and there I had it!  A delicious breakfast.  I even went so far as to serve in season, deliciously ripe, in season strawberries with freshly whipped cream. (As kids we called it "whup cream".  I did grow up in Texas, after all!)

The butter has all run off and soaked into the toast.  Mmmm.

Matt's comments were, "Man this is good!"  and "I feel like I am dining at a cafe in Paris." (where he has never been and wouldn't know that breakfast in Paris mostly consists of cafe au lait and a croissant) but I know what he meant and I liked the compliment.

Cora gave it a big thumbs up and ate every scrap.


The youngest two gave me these faces and these tears.



Guess what kids?  Mama is never gonna stop making weird food for you to cry about!  Ha!  We folks with a more sophisticated fake French palate are going to continue to eat this stuff from time to time and I know you think you don't like it, but your mouth is going to catch up with the rest of us some day.  Until then cry on, my loves, cry on.

Happy Summer!

The Deep Places

I notice in my life there are seasons when I fall silent.  As a lifelong journaler, this is strange to look back on. I used to wonder why and try to remember what was going on in my life then.  Now, as an adult, I have figured it out.  These are the times when the things that are going on inside me become too complex, too deep, too painful or angry for me to figure it all out, much less write about it.  I fell silent here too.  Life still went on.  The kids did funny things, we celebrated birthdays and holidays. I laughed and took photos, traveled with my family and wrote funny blurbs on facebook, where my life looks shiny and mostly happy.

But here I have to get still.  I have to get quiet.  And here is where I find what is underneath all of that surface life.  And I have been trying to ignore it.

In the deep places, I don't find rest, or contentment, understanding or faith.  Right now, in the deep places, I find longing like a deep dark well.  I find anger so strong that it threatens like a wildfire to consume the rest of my life.  I find sadness like an endless grey sea and lack of faith.  These things disturb me and I don't understand them, so I don't visit the deep places for very long.

Thankfully there are those around me who help me walk through the deep places, help me talk about these things.  To help me be present in my life instead of wander through my life as a documentary journalist, taking photos of life around me and never being in the photos.

Now, family members and friends who like to worry about me/love me, this is not an invitation to fix me.  That's not your job.  Thanks for the love you give and I understand that you want me to not hurt or be angry, but no one can take that away.  It is only God who can heal us in the deep places and I am seriously considering letting Him.  I've held Him at arm's length for a long time about this place, dancing around faith and surrender like a child throwing a tantrum at the end of his mother's arm, taking back the steering wheel of the ambulance when I need to be in the back on life support.  Don't worry.  He's got me.  He is never going to let me go.  Even when I go to the deep places.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Weightless and Waiting

I am floating in space.
The earth is no longer
beneath my feet.
The gravity turned
off in my world and
I let loose
of everything that holds me there.
The sounds of
everything I know and love
grow distant
and distorted as through a tunnel or through the glass.
The things that cross my mind
are like mini-movies that play on the screen
of the back of my eyes.
The laughter sounds like it is imprisoned in a can.
All goes on without me or
with the ghost of me but no one seems to notice.
I feel your touch but as on a phantom limb, long amputated.
I smile.
I put on my best shoes and
I walk
from time
to time
and back
to time again,
but I am weightless and floating.
I am no longer here.
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