Thursday, April 30, 2009

Something Knit

One jayhawk finger puppet for Andy.

(First completed knitted thing since I broke my arm.)


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Because It Is Still National Poetry Month

In April
by James Hearst

This I saw on an April day:
Warm rain spilt from a sun-lined cloud,
A sky-flung wave of gold at evening,
And a cock pheasant treading a dusty path
Shy and proud.

And this I found in an April field:
A new white calf in the sun at noon,
A flash of blue in a cool moss bank,
And tips of tulips promising flowers
To a blue-winged loon.

And this I tried to understand
As I scrubbed the rust from my brightening plow:
The movement of seed in furrowed earth,
And a blackbird whistling sweet and clear
From a green-sprayed bough.


One Year

Today, I've been a church secretary for one year. I have lived nearer my family for one year. I have had a nice apartment for one year. I have been happy this year.

I am going to eat donuts to celebrate.


Friday, April 24, 2009

A Trio of Ohs

Oh, symphony... how wonderful you were last night! (Andy is in very, very good graces.)

Oh, Justice Stephen Breyer, we must think before we speak!
"In my experience when I was 8 or 10 or 12 years old, you know, we did take our clothes off once a day, we changed for gym, OK? And in my experience, too, people did sometimes stick things in my underwear."

Oh, tis sad that I missed "talk like Shakespeare" day yesterday! (There's a Shakespearean version of the Hokey Pokey here that you don't want to miss, methinks.)


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another One for Poetry Month

The weather here is amazing. It is warm, and the light stretches out for a long time. This is my favorite time of year. I feel like the end of this poem, so full I could burst.

A Blessing
by James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Would it be going overboard to list another poem?

Kiss the Earth
By Thich Nhat Hanh

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Drive By Blogging

We were laughing at lunch today that a few months ago I had so much free time that one weekend I didn't leave the house at all. This week? I have eventS.

So all you get in this post is a link to a post about how to make vegan cupcakes with "knitting" on top. Truly fabulous. I want these for my birthday next year.

If you have time, make some. And then eat them slowly, in honor of me.


Pledge Drives and More Poetry

My local radio station is having their pledge drive this week. I became a member of this radio station approximately ten minutes before I broke my arm last January.

I'm okay with pledge drives. I even listen through some of the breaks. I like it when the people pleading for my money seem a bit self-conscious. And these three interruptions a year are a lot better than two minute commercials every ten minutes. But I do miss my uninterrupted stream of public radio at work. Sigh. I'm having information deprivation.

Yesterday (according to NPR; I did get some news between pledge breaks) W.S. Merwin won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his book The Shadow of Sirius.

One of my very favorite poems is by Mr. Merwin. I've read it over and over, to myself and out loud to others. I've used it as an illustration, and, since it's National Poetry Month, I'll post it here.

by W. S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

(The poem is published online here at


Monday, April 20, 2009

How did I miss this?

It's National Poetry Month!

Though the month is almost over, I recommend we start with Pamela Spiro Wagner's "How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual" and do as she says, "Read just one poem a day," for the rest of April. There's the Poem-A-Day Archive here.

And in honor of the month, I'm going to do something that I haven't done for years. I'm going to post a poem I wrote. *Gasp*

Thrift Store

The toasters touch me:
someone’s crumbs still sound when I shake them.
There are the cameras, too. The photographs
still inside, waiting to be developed. No one will
recognize the places,
the frozen faces.

Shoes, bent by feet, worn out and then rejected.
Computer keyboards,
hair from dead pets stuck between the keys.
The carefully painted canvas I buy
to doodle over.

These are the ghosts we leave behind.
We abandon them underneath a sign:

Do read a poem. Put it on your blog, if you have one. And carry a poem in your pocket on April 30th. In this increasingly non-literary world, it's good to remember the power of carefully crafted words.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Etsy Find

Oh! Oh! I love it.

"The Lighthouse" from etsy seller Tina Tarnoff.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter in Sweetwater

I do love my mother.

Only the two of us would celebrate Easter weekend together by listening to lectures on British History ("The Two Winstons" segment of Simon Schama's A History of Britain) and world literature (Life Lessons from the Great Books taught by J. Rufus Fears) and staying up late to watch Miss Potter. We are true nerds.

There was also much dog walking along the edge of fields with little wheat blades waving in the wind. (Roxie enjoyed eating these little wheat blades--?!) And much dog walking along the dirt road. Several horses stopped and lined themselves up to stare at us. Roxie froze and whined, not sure what to do. She loves horses, and can distinguish them from cows when we're driving in the car.

It rained on Easter Eve. In West Texas, this is the best way to celebrate the Resurrection and new life. I think Easter should be the beginning of the new year-- this year may it continue to rain and may the wheat grow tall and strong and may we all have a year filled with wonderful nerdiness.


And a Post Script because I can't help myself. NPR this morning featured an author who asked "Can Poetry Save the World?" and picked several poems that he thought could. If you have a moment, please visit the article here. Beautiful poems.

Monday, April 6, 2009

This Weekend

(As in yesterday and the day before.)

I'm beginning to like this weekend thing.

Went to the Deep Ellum Arts Festival on Friday. Fun, but not nearly as big as the website would leave you to believe. I enjoyed all the dog art.

Saturday I met with some friends from my college church's "university group" who are getting married. I get to be the "maid of honor." :-) Everyone's getting married lately! They do look so happy, and I'm so happy for them.

Thanks to an empty Saturday and Sunday, my house is relatively clean again. (If I could just suck all the fur off of Rox with a vacuum cleaner, I'd have a spotless home. My next dog will be a Golden Doodle--no shedding.) I plan to keep it picked up until Easter at least, in celebration of Spring. I know Easter is only a week away. I set small goals so I can meet them.

Andy and I braved the wind with Raider (a chihuahua/dachshund who might be cuter than Roxie, but only because he's small) and Rox at White Rock Lake yesterday. I can't believe that I've lived in the DFW area for so many years and never gone to this park. Even with the wind pushing us over it was beautiful. Roxie would have liked to take a dip in the water with the geese, but I refused. She feigned weakness and stupidity when it was time to get in the car, as in, she looked at me blankly when I said "load up" and then, suddenly, she lacked the strength to lift her back legs into the car. Raider happily sat in Andy's lap. (I keep offering to trade dogs, but Andy won't take me up on that.)

And today, back to the grindstone. I did manage to get up on time, and had no unfortunate surprises from the dog this morning. I also took the time to put on tennis shoes and walked only on dry grass. (On Friday I forgot this step. I went out in flip-flops, slipped on the wet grass on a hill, fell in exactly the same way on my newly-cleared wrist, and had to spend the morning getting x-rayed. Luckily nothing was broken, but there was a little swelling and more than a little pain. It scared me.)

Should be a good Holy Week.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Last Weekend

I went home last weekend and was inundated by cat.

Roxie watched for squirrels.

And today, thinking of the fam, I drew this:

my brother.


Thursday, April 2, 2009


How DO normal people do it? I know there are people out there who have spouses, children, pets, and still manage to keep their house in ship-shape as well as hold down a job and finish some creative projects. I know these people exist. I've seen them. Somewhere.

Not me. Oh no. I am single, with one dog, few local friends, and an easy job.

My house? Mess. I mean, it's clean underneath all the laundry. (Laundry and I have a love-hate relationship. I love to wear clothes. I hate to wash/iron/put away clothes.)

My dog? Mess. But I love her anyway.

My creative projects? Mess. I am making progress on the cowl, a quarter-inch or so further on the socks, and the writing...well, the writing and I are taking a little break from each other. (We can't seem to agree on the definition of "finished" as in why-the-hell-isn't-fourteen-drafts-enough-to-create-perfection. Ahem.)

Me? Mess. I love it. I am happier than I've been in a while.

Maybe normal people aren't really happy? Better not to have your life all the way together?

Tonight, after I finish blogging, I am going to do something about the dog (long walk) and the laundry (a load of underwear is absolutely necessary). And then I'm going to curl up on the coach with some hot tea and a book. Forget about everything else.

Post Script:
1. My arm is HEALED! I have no brace at all from now on. All I have to do is stretch myself so that I can regain strength.
2. Concerned about our new president's progress? NPR has an Obama Tracker so you can obsess all you want. You can even get a widget for your desktop. If you're obsessive like that.