Saturday, December 19

River Road

a river, swift and dark
creeps closer to an asphalt ribbon,
the one with a parallel name

one raindrop, joined by others
a watershed gestating until eventually
it has no choice but to unleash its torrent
scattering remnants of sodden lives
on unfamiliar shores

the fine silt of our ancestors
a button, a bone, a seed
or the shard of a porcelain cup
once carried in the belly of a ship

i want to dangle my fingertips
in the frigid water
absorb the memories as they float by
before dissolving
into a gulf, a sea, an ocean

Wednesday, December 16

Carolina Wrens

Carolina Wrens are known for their antics and big voices, disproportionate to their tiny bodies. I love to watch them year round, but especially during nesting season. A pair of wrens built a nest above the porch light this year and raised their family right before my uplifted eyes.

This year the fledglings didn't want to venture far from the nest so each night, they perched as close to the nest as possible. A most precious sight to see four little wren bodies lined up like soldiers sleeping contently. As they grew, so did their trademark beaks. They could no longer face forward when sleeping, so cleverly turned their heads...little birdies in profile.

As often as possible, I'd invite guests of the Retreat Center to peak at them as they dozed.

Cute is meant to be shared.

Monday, December 14

A Surprise

On Thanksgiving, neighbor Kathryn and I walked at Radnor Lake. It was a cold, blustery morning with a sky threatening rain, but we were not deterred. Fallen leaves no longer held any autumnal crunch after weeks of rain, but flocks of Canadian geese on the lake lent a picturesque quality to an already bucolic setting.

We chose the Spillway Trail which meanders through the woods, across the spillway and dam, then leads you along the edge of a ravine as you make your way back to the Visitor's Center.

The vivid colors of fall have long passed in Middle Tennessee, so I was delighted and surprised when a lone ray of sun lit up this small tree wearing it's hot pink leaves. This is not a color I've come to expect in the fall palette but there it stood in its unapologetic glory, a neon sign from Mother Nature.


Sunday, December 13

Silence

Since moving to the retreat center in 2005, silence has become a welcomed part of my daily existence. Having moved from the center of the nation's 4th largest city, it took a while to embrace silence, both aurally and emotionally. But embrace it I did, except for today.

When there's a retreatant in the main retreat house who chooses to be in silence during their stay I too am in silence by default. Miss Mocha finds this silly and picks the most inopportune moments to take her squeakiest toy upstairs and give it a good workout. So there she is squeaking away and I'm shushing her while the retreatant is giggling in her room. So much for silence!

I had both arms wrapped lovingly around silence today, until about noon. By then, I was about the climb the walls wanting to hear music, dialogue, the sound of a raindrops on the window pane. I'm not sure why today was any different than past times when it was the breaking of silence that unnerved me, but I confess on this Sabbath day that something's niggling me under the surface.

Most likely, the contributing factor to my can't-sit-still-in-my-seat condition is the anticipated death of my biological father. He's been diagnosed with colon cancer, that's spread to his liver, lungs and lymph nodes in his chest. He's under hospice care in Austin, with my sister acting as primary caregiver.

We've been estranged for more than 20 years. I'd like to think I can get to a place of forgiveness before he dies. Time for some meditation and healing and maybe a visit to Austin.

Saturday, December 12

Hoarfrost!


A wet fall and bitterly cold temperatures have resulted in spectacular hoarfrost events over the past few weeks. It's hard to describe and even harder to photograph, but here's my latest attempt at capturing the magical explosion of white ribbon candy along meadow edges and road sides. Enjoy.



Friday, December 11

Back in the Saddle

It's taken a while to get all the gears of my life moving again. The cogs and wheels and whirring things that spin round and round have sorely lacked attention while I've concentrated on LaLaKnee.

Good news...a clog may still slip now and again, but all-in-all the engine of my life is running pretty smoothly.

Here are a few highlights:

1. 12 weeks of physical therapy came to a natural conclusion last Friday. The surgeon is ok with where things are right now but there's still work to be done. So now it's an hour and half exercise routine at home to get more bend, straighten the leg fully and strengthen the thigh muscle. In short, more fun for me.

Anyone have tips on staying motivated?

2. I'm on the radio again in my co-host seat on Queer Talk, which airs most Saturdays on WRVU 91.1 FM (in Nashville) or streams live on the internet at http://www.wrvu.org/. I'm excited to be interviewing author Malinda Lo about her recent book "Ash", a 21st century twist on the Cinderella fairy tale. Even though it's under the Young Adult category, it's a great read for anyone who yearned for a different ending to the age-old tale.

3. I've read a mountain of books, one might say I've devoured them. An enthusiastic recommendation is "What Wildness is This", a collection of intimate portraits of women's lives and the land(s) that have shaped them. Edited by Susan Wittig Albert, Susan Hanson, Jan Epton Seale and Paula Stallings Yost, this collection of essays and poems make my heart sing with images of the American Southwest spilling across each page.

4. Speaking of books....I'M PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!! Recently, the book "Waiting...A Time to Hear God's Voice by Fred Cloud was published by Upper Room Books and I am one of 16 contributors to the project. I agreed to contribute a prayer for this book as I loved the premise. It's a little heavy on the Jesus for my taste, but hey, I'M PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pick up a copy or 10, I'll even autograph it for you.

5. So here's a low light...writing is not going well. Lovely, lush phrases and ideas for poems drift in and out of my mind, but don't seem to culminate into a poem of any substance. Of course, I didn't write at all while recuperating from surgery and am a bit rusty. Other than Facebook, I haven't been writing at all AND the two writers groups I belong to are on hiatus at the same time...what's a girl to do.

The Lovely Linda suggested I get back into the habit of writing every day and see what happens, so...

6. With this post, I commit to blogging daily and moving my hand across the page (or the keyboard as the case may be) to see what bubbles up.

Sorry to have been absent for so long. I'm not sure there's anyone out there reading this blog any more, but if you are, please drop me a quick comment letting me know you're there. Like the daily knee exercises, I need motivation on those days when it seems easier to feed the horse a carrot instead of getting back into the saddle.

Sunday, November 8

The Story I Want To Tell

That last two months have been all about LaLaKnee, the adventure in knee replacement surgery. Do you want to know the most common question I'm asked?

Here it is...

"You just had one replaced?"

For the record...

Yes, I only had one knee replaced. The surgery is debilitating and I can't imagine having them both done at the same time. I know it's common practice these days, but let me tell you something folks...it HURTS, recovery is a LONG and HARD process and physical therapy is a BITCH.

It also takes a village to recuperate. My mom stayed with me for 6 weeks, the Lovely Linda held vigil at the bedside until I could go home and wonderful friends organized and brought delicious meals every day. Two households took in Miss Mocha and cared for her like she was their own little brown dog child. Folks came and laid healing hands on me when my body was doing everything it could to reject LaLaKnee. Volunteers split up my duties at the Retreat Center until I was strong enough to come home and continued to come when I realized I wasn't strong enough to do it all.

These gestures of kindness and love make my heart swell and my eyes water. That's the story I want to tell.

Saturday, October 10

Morning Has Broken

I love sitting in my big comfy chair, watching the day evolve from the dusky blur of pre-dawn to the first rays of golden sunlight setting the multi-colored leaves afire. With the window slightly open, a crisp breeze wakes me from the toes up and makes the first cup of coffee that much more delicious.

Fall is my time of year. I was born on the Autumnal Equinox and have always felt the tide of seasonal change in my bones.

It's good to be home. It's good to be reunited with the Brown One. It's good to see my stuff and it's good to be on this land that sings Autumn (and every other season for that matter).

I won't bore you with all the pre/post surgery details. Here's a thumbnail sketch: surgery was very successful. The new knee is securely in place and has been named...La La Knee. I've had to relearn how to use all the muscles in my left leg. Physical therapy is as tough as everyone said it would be. It's been going well until this week, when we hit a plateau. We made a little progress yesterday, so hopefully, this will continue. My mom has been with me since before surgery and it's been great to have her here. We've not had this kind of time together since I was a teenager. It's been interesting to get to know her where she is in her life now. She's going back to Texas in a week or so. I think we're both ready.

The best medicine has been all the friends who've called, written, emailed and showed up with meals every day. It's good to be a part of a caring, compassionate and loving community. I could not have healed as quickly as I have without their love and support. How to say thank you to these folks in a way that denotes the magnitude of love and gratitude I feel in my heart eludes me.

The Lovely Linda has had her hands full during this time. Suffice it to say, she'd have been a willing subject for cloning. Sadly, her beloved Irish Terrier Kenzie became ill shortly before I had surgery and the vets were never able to determine the cause. After days and weeks of trying everything humanly possible, Linda had to make the heart-wrenching decision to let her go. That I couldn't be with her and Kenzie in her last days lingers as a pain in my heart.

So, morning has broken for us all. Each day a chance to get a little stronger, be a little more joyful, hold everyone with a little more appreciation.

Thursday, September 3

Scraps of Wisdom.16

When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.

Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, August 30

No Time Like the Present

It finally happened, a date has been set for knee replacement surgery. Show time is September 10th at high noon. There's so much to do between now and then that the Blogosphere, Facebook Nation and Twitter World are going to have to live without me for a while.

Speaking of living without me, it occurred to me there's the possibility (slim at best) that I might not wake up from surgery. Like I don't have enough to think about, now I have these passing thoughts about Mocha, the people I love, my stuff and do I need to make amends with anyone before September 10th?

My mom is coming for a month to help take care of me. Should be interesting. I'm looking forward to our time together. Since I've moved to Tennessee, we're not only separated by miles, but by something I can't quite put my finger on. Am hoping we'll get to reconnect in a meaningful way and not just talk about the weather and swap recipes...you know what I mean? Oh that's it, we relate on a superficial level now and I'd like to go deeper. Will stick a pin in that thought so it doesn't float away.

Between now and September 10th, I'll be a blur. After September 10th, I'll be medicated, doing physical therapy and getting my mobility back.

Until next time...take good care and enjoy the gift of today.

Tuesday, August 11

The Great Plane

each morning
i raise the window,
a small part of the day
slides in

with its bent rays of light
or not
its riot of color
or not
its stretching, yawning sounds
or not

each morning
i raise the window
to gently rock my life awake

some days are clear,
on this morning
dew clings to the glass
the tell-tale trail of a snail

who’s crossed the great pane
in the night
loops left to right
or is it right to left?

each morning
i raise the window,
sometimes just a crack
other times fully open

a window a mind
a heart a soul
it’s what slides in
or not
it’s what bypasses reasoning
or not

that sends us looping
across the great plane
left to right
or right to left

Sunday, August 9

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

41.5 million pieces of tesserae were used to create 83,000 square feet of mosaic in The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. Spanning 75 years, three generations of artisans shaped the images depicting faith, history, art and architecture.


Recently, the Lovely Linda and I traveled to St. Louis to celebrate the 25th anniversary of dear, dear friends Larry and John. On our way to the Saint Louis Art Museum, we turned into the parking lot at the Cathedral, "just to stop for a minute and take quick look."


Ha!


This is not a space entered into casually or briefly. When the heavy oak doors whispered shut and our eyes adjusted to the natural light, we gasped in disbelief. Soaring overhead, inlaid under our feet, on virtually every vertical and horizontal surface, mosaic.


As we silently moved into the body of the cathedral, we were cloaked in awe. Not knowing which way to turn or where to look first, we wandered without direction.



Shortly after arriving, we realized a private mass was being held in the Blessed Sacrament chapel. The priest's voice was barely audible, but when the nuns began to sing, I collapsed into a pew and held my breath. Yes, their voices and harmonies were beautiful, but the notes seemed to be tinged in gold, glinting off tiny pieces of tesserae over their heads.






It felt a violation of the sacred to take photographs, so I took very few. Although these hardly begin to capture the grandeur of the Cathedral, they do speak to the intimacy of the moment.


You can see/learn more by checking out their website.

Sunday, August 2

Silence

It just happened, one of my favorite experiences. Sitting in my big comfy chair on a Sunday morning, I am aware the retreat house is bathed in silence. No equipment is humming, no footsteps upstairs, no road noise filtering through the window, just the gentle breathing of a sleeping dog.

These are the moments I cherish, the moments I hold deep inside as a reservoir of calm. These are the moments I pull from my core when all is chaos, all is confusion.

Soon though, I'll want to hear the chirp and chatter of birds jockeying for a prime spot on the bird feeder. The laptop will be set aside, the window raised and a fresh cup of coffee poured. I'll settle back into my comfy chair and let the morning drift past me on a cool breeze.

This is life well spent.

Tuesday, July 28

Rules for the Dance

Scansion, macron and breve...OH MY!

I'm up to my elbows unlocking the door to reading and writing metrical verse. I know, stop with the sexy talk.

Seriously, this is fun and it involves math and maybe even a little music. Anything that can make me buddy up to math isn't all that bad, considering I've held a grudge against it since the 2nd grade.

"Rules for the Dance", a book by Mary Oliver, is both technical and inspirational.

Not to worry...I'll still be cranking out the free verse, but it's good to stretch the brain and appreciate works from another era.

I wonder though which came first...the rules or the verse?

Thursday, July 16

Untitled

Wordle: read write word 19

if my heart did loiter
on the pretense
of the metaphor

it was only
for a summer, lost
under the flaming sanguine sky

intent on blistering
where once
there were soft places

reaching,
reaching,
reaching to an other world



Written in response to Read Write Prompt #83

Tuesday, July 14

You Know You Live In The Country When...

a grasshopper sets off your car alarm.

Yes, while enjoying an unusually cool summer morning in Middle Tennessee, I heard the sound of a car alarm in the distance. Odd...that's not something you usually hear at the Retreat Center. Up the staircase and out the door, I realize it's my car...hmm. Go back downstairs to get the keys and the alarm thingy that hasn't worked in oh...2 years and go back upstairs. The alarm stops blaring all by itself as I'm half way down the sidewalk, but can see I've left the car window open overnight. When I look inside, there's a very large, very green grasshopper walking on the dashboard looking for a way out. Every time he walks across a sensor on the dashboard, the alarm goes off. Quite a rattling experience for us all, I must say.

Monday, July 13

Let Them Eat Cake!

My love for tchotchkes has been rekindled by neighbors Joanne and Kathryn. As a thank you for taking care of Mr. Zito, they gifted me with this:





Whether in her queenly robes or various states of undress she is, in a word, D-I-V-I-N-E.


And don't knock the educational qualities of the blisterboard on which she was packaged. Every inch is filled with fun facts about the beheaded queen (her weapon of choice: cleavage) and bonus guillotine facts, my favorite of which is #8, "It is believed that a victim can remain conscious for up to thirty seconds after decapitation." Yikes!
Thanks neighbors...who needs a stinkin' Barbie Doll?!?

Thursday, July 9

Intuition

when a cloud
eclipses my face
a brow raises, the eyes narrow

so as to see better in the dark

when full lips
stretch into a thin line
the head tilts, slightly to the right

so as to hear the unspoken meaning

you may think
my piercing gaze
the sign of an inquisitive mind

you’d be wrong

it’s the little man,
awakened by your
near truths, your masked emotions

clawing his way to the surface

to get a closer look
so he can touch you, feel you,
taste the air escaping your lungs

his greatest desire

to be birthed
to be fully grown
to live in the light

will never be realized

for what would become
of the whole
without his watchful eye?

little man…intuition
intuition…little man


Tuesday, July 7

Clematis Viorna

Say good morning to Clematis Viorna aka the Leather Flower.


This sweet, nodding flower greeted us on the trail as we walked into the woods this morning. Isn't it lovely? A native vine, it's scarce in the lower mountains and I've never seen/noticed it at Penuel Ridge before today. It looks as if fairies might live inside its bell-shaped mouth.

Saturday, July 4

My Personal Declaration of Independence - 2009

The hamster wheel has spun 360 degrees and it's time to take a dive into the recesses of me. What am I looking for? Evidence of things I allow to hold me hostage. It's pretty easy to spot since I put down the tar paper a few years back. I just look for dark, sticky footprints on my insides and follow them till I find the little bastards in the dark crevices of my spirit. The miner's hat with the light on top helps, but I've gotten so good at this I can see them in the dark, smell their stench that singes my nose, like hot tar on a roof in August.

So, what's on the list for 2009?

In 2009, I declare my independence from:

1. Waiting


and

2. Pain


Waiting may seem to be an odd choice as some might confuse waiting with patience. They are not the same. For me, waiting is a legacy I learned from my mother. It means sitting passively by until someone else makes a decision or takes an action that will fulfill me. It's an act of marking time in place, not moving backward, but not moving forward either.

and

Pain of the physical. It's time to manifest wellness and declare NO MORE PAIN that robs me of creativity, energy and compassion.

So there you have it, my personal declaration of independence for 2009. I'm going to need your help so brace up for a year of liberation soldiers!

Thursday, July 2

Double Take

our desire
to be coupled with others
illusory

when all-the-while

our desire is
to be coupled
with ourselves

pairing the best in us
pairing the worst in us
paring of the virulent
through a shrinking lens

How much to cut away
before you get to the truth
of who you are?


Written in response to ReadWritePrompt #81
Photo Prompt Credit: XX by oncle Jim

Wednesday, July 1

Haiku Contest

Hello pals of mine! We've been without a contest at Texas2Tennessee for quite some time. I guess I was waiting for the right image to come along and lo and behold it appeared in my garden this very day.

I've offered a haiku to capture my delight in picking the first ripe tomato of the season. Your challenge is to craft one of your very own. Please leave it in comments along with a link to your contact information.

Haiku rules are a 5-7-5 syllable rhythm, i.e. the first line has 5 syllables, second line has 7 syllables, third line has 5 syllables. There are other pesky rules, but I want you to be able to create freely.

The prize...a home baked pie of your choosing. I know you out-of-towners are at a disadvantage but I'll be fair and we'll figure out a way to get a pie to you if you win!

Ok...have at it! The deadline is Monday, July 5th.


first of the season
tomato jubilation
boy, is my face red*


*Is that a tomato in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

My apologies to Mae West.

Friday, June 26

Six-Word Memoirs

Can you tell your life story in six words? You can browse my six-word memoir and that of others here.

Laugh outloud today. Go ahead, I dare you.

Tuesday, June 23

Flight Mode

The Shit Fairy laid a big one last week and sent me into flight mode. A typical Libra trait, it means dropping everything and getting the hell out. Luckily I already had a weekend planned with the lovely Linda, so the timing was good.

I threw the dog and some stuff in the car last Thursday and pointed us east through the Great Smokey Mountains and beyond. We played tag with a vicious storm along I40 and pulled into the lovely Linda's driveway just in time to get ourselves and the luggage inside before the sky opened up.

If you have been visited by the Shit Fairy and find yourself in flight mode, here's a recipe to reclaim your joy:

Ingredients

1 - SUV
16 gallons of gas
1 - 50 lb dog (ripe with unconditional love)
2 to 4 lanes of good road

Mix together and drive for 6 hours into the waiting arms of someone who loves you.

Add:

Comfort food (nachos and guacamole are good starters)
Walking in the sunshine
Taking a nap (or two) together
More dogs (as many as your SUV will hold)
Laughter
Shared silence
Waterfalls
Bird song
Rushing rivers
Soaring mountains
Massage oil

Mix 2 or more into the same day and savor until your joy returns. This may take longer for some than for others.

Sunday, June 21

Happy Un-Father's Day Dad

For all the times
you dangled me in front of your friends
like chattel, thank you.

Your willingness
to trade my innocence
for some small measure of acceptance
has made me the woman I am today.

For all the times
you berated me, my mother, sister and brother,
thank you.

Your proclivity
for choosing a public forum
to trumpet your disenchantment
taught us the meaning of shame.

My inheritance from you is rich…
intelligence, charm, distinctive blue eyes,
wiggling my ears and yes,
the ability to hold a grudge.

For all the times
you confided in me
during our private talks, thank you.

Your oratory skills
were unsurpassed
as you recalled wistfully
the women you’d bedded, besides my mother.

For every un-Fatherly gesture, word or act,
I thank you for teaching me
how to become numb.

You’re the best un-Father I ever had.

Yours most truly,

The Absent Daughter

Wednesday, June 17

Seriously Y'all...

Yesterday, I was evaluated for vocational aptitude. The testing took 3 hours and covered math skills, spelling, reading comprehension, vocabulary, spacial relations, hand dexterity skills, etc... Believe it or not, this is part of the a program I've applied to that would pay for knee replacement surgery. It's really a proactive program based on the premise that the state would spend less money providing restorative medical care to folks than having to pay out social security, disability and housing for the rest of our natural lives. Job training and placement after the restorative medical care is part of the program. That's all fine and good except I already have a job and restorative medical care will help me keep my job and housing.

I was concerned about being tested for math. It wasn't my strongest subject in school and I actually considered buying some flash cards to brush up. Pause for a moment and have a seat at the multiplication table without a calculator. See? I shouldn't have been so concerned. I whizzed through the addition, subtraction, multiplication and long division problems. Then I froze. Before me were fractions, percentages, problems involving fractions and percentages, solving for "n", solving for "y", solving for "x" and then the dreaded pi (and I don't mean apple). The room went dark, I saw stars and thought I was going to faint. I looked at the kind-hearted state employee in charge of the testing and mouthed the word "help".

Sweaty palms and a dry mouth didn't deter me. We plowed through his neat pile of papers and then we came to what I can best describe as a questionnaire. A list of 60 or so statements that I would read and then indicate whether the statement was: a) very much like me, b) somewhat like me, c) not like me at all. The focus of the questions seemed to be skewed toward learning/study habits, i.e. "I like to learn in a room with bright lights." or "I like to sit at a desk when I am studying." You get the drift. So I'm plowing through these soul-revealing questions when I get to one that causes me to burst out laughing and utter, "You have got to be kidding me!" Here's the statement:

"Lifting and moving things helps me show others how strong I am."
Seriously y'all...it took a few minutes to recover from that one. I was so throwed off I answered "a" instead of "c".
But I've saved the best for last...the Manual Speed and Dexterity test. Seriously y'all...I asked the dude if I could have a copy of it to post on my blog, but he firmly said, "no". The best way I can describe it is ugly geometric wallpaper from the 70's. A patter sort of like this:
v
^
*
v
^
*
v
^
*
v
This pattern was printed vertically on the page, 28 sets of these inverted V's and 19 rows of them running left to right. (really sorry I don't have the visual for you). Anyway...the instructions were for me to draw a vertical line from the bottom of the v to the top of the inverted v as many times as I could in a 5 minute period. Seriously y'all...I just looked at the dude and asked, "really?" He said, "yeah." So off I went, drawing straight lines, the whole time talking to the testing dude and letting him know what I'd really like to do is draw some diagonal lines, maybe a few flowers and a smiley face. Testing dude was amused.
So...after 3 hours of testing, the end result was I had the greatest aptitude in the following professions:
1. Poet
2. Fish and Game Warden
3. Radio/TV Announcer
Seriously y'all...could that not be more perfect?

Thursday, June 11

Afternoon in the Park with George

you register first
as the sound of gravel
yielding under the weight
of deliberate steps

the cadence of your pace
across the promenade
informs the beating of my heart,
my trembling hand

What does the writer care
of scandal
in the City of Lights?

a wisp of dust rises
from the toe of your boot
as you halt
at the hem of my skirt

the arch of a raised eyebrow
articulates your advantage,
me sitting on a park bench
you standing over me

backlit by the afternoon sun,
you radiate aristocracy
from the cut of your trousers
to the fine weave of a brocade vest,

its onyx buttons gleaming
like the eye of a crow
who’d gladly steal away the ruby pendant
nestled in the hollow of your throat

a pulse point causes the jewel
to quiver slightly
as baron/baroness takes
my gloved hand, upraised

lovers we are not
yet there is an intimacy
the onlooker may infer
as we stroll arm-in-arm

through the park
on a warm spring afternoon,
the sighing of leaves in the willows
co-mingling with our own

passion for words
passing between us…

We cannot tear a single page
from our life
but we can throw the whole book
into the fire.

Tuesday, June 9

Pausing for A Moment

Day 5 of Home Again...Home Again is on it's way. Really. Could use a wifi connection out here in the woods.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 7

Home Again...Home Again

Day 4

Celebration Day

Ouch! Driving a stick shift on Day 3 took a toll on my knee. It was a tough night that pain meds barely touched. When I woke up the morning of Day 4, it wasn't much better.

Leanne had risen early to retrieve Venus and Emma, so it was puppy love all around once they hit the door. Emma is a chocolate lab that's a month younger than Miss Mocha. Thank goodness they were playmates as puppies. I don't think anything chewable would have survived in either of our households had we not had regular play dates with the two of them. Venus is the latest addition to the family and she is a sweetheart, full of play and kisses. Neither dog minded I was piled up on the couch with a pillow under my knee. It gave them easy access for petting and snuggling and that's just good medicine in my book.

We spent a leisurely morning with the newlyweds, hearing more stories about their trip to Niagara Falls and catching up on life since the last trip to the Lone Star State. Soon other friends would be arriving for the celebration and I knew this quiet morning was a gift to be cherished.




The Lovely Linda and I ventured out to run errands and either the meds or the heat and humidity hit me half way through. I broke out in a cold sweat and thought I was going to be sick. We finished up quickly and I went straight to bed for what I hoped would be a restorative nap. This was too important a day to be less than 100%. The nap worked and I awoke refreshed and ready to resume the festivities.

By early evening, we were driving on the Old Galveston Highway to the restaurant where 60 of Holly and Leanne's closest friends and family were gathering to celebrate and bless their union.

***Pausing for a little rant***

It is ludicrous that two people who love each other have to go to another state or country to get legally married. Suffice it to say those who filled the tables that night felt the same way I do...that love is love, this world needs more of it and it's a violation of a person's civil rights not to be able to legally wed and receive the benefits of such a union. One day this will change. And when it does, we will sing a song of emancipation so beautiful the ivory towers built on myopia, hatred, fear and self-righteousness will simply crumble.

***Rant concluded***

Like any wedding reception, this celebration dinner served as an important bridge between family and friends. A humorous, but heartwarming speech by Leanne's sister had us all laughing through tears. This was an "official" welcoming of Holly into Leanne's family and I can tell they treasure and love her as much as her biological and chosen family do. Likewise, Holly's father gave a short but powerful blessing for the couple. Here's a sweet photo of them dancing:


Friend after friend stood up to celebrate the wedding of Leanne and Holly with raised glasses and happy hearts. They have a strong foundation of love and support from family and friends that will help sustain a long and happy life together. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Holly's father and we spent a large part of the evening in conversation. A former major league ball player, I wasn't sure we'd have much in common, but we're both talkers and sure enough we hit it off and I even talked baseball with him. [For those of you who know me, you may now pick yourself and your jaw off the floor.]

The meal was divine and the spirits flowed and as I look back, a poem has risen from my spirit to yours...

To Holly and Leanne,
Leanne and Holly,
your life of wedded union begins
surrounded by your love
surrounded by our love.

There is no force sweeter,
greater or wiser.
There is no force more forgiving,
patient or skin-tingling.
There is no force
more powerful than love.

It is alpha, it is omega,
it is worthy to stand wedded
before those who walked with you,
at times carried you
to this place.

On this day,
and a lifetime of tomorrows,
we celebrate and honor you
as Holly and Leanne,
Leanne and Holly,
on this blessed wedding day.

Day 5

Ride along with us tomorrow on our trip to Galveston

Saturday, June 6

All I Could Do

You knocked the wind out of me
light played golden notes
with your words
on the grass

All I could do was walk,
until music awakened
until white noise
a warm hallelujah
stopped roaring in my head
in my soul

All I could do was fly,
it was then I knew
reaching for the cabin door
the prayer inside me
and freedom from pain
had been answered

A Warm Hallelujah

Light played golden notes
on the grass
until music awakened
a warm hallelujah
in my soul

it was then I knew
the prayer inside me
had been answered
as the words, “I love you”
poured from your lips

Thursday, June 4

Home Again...Home Again

Day 3

The Lovely Linda has an inquisitive mind and likes geography, not just a pinpoint on the map or a collection of stories, but the place itself. What it looks like. What is smells like. The color of the air and the people. The way towns are laid out.

For this trip, she had a request. "Show me where you grew up." She's been hearing stories about Brookshire and Katy and Hockley and Waller and Cypress for two years and even seen pictures, but now, she wanted to see it firsthand.

So Day 3 was about going home.

From the looks of the morning, it was going to be a hot one, so we jumped in Holly's Jeep (which has air conditioning!) and headed northwest. First, we had to wrangle with the soft sided windows, but figured it out and off we went!

Suffice it to say, the small farming communities of my youth are no longer small farming communities. The urban sprawl of Houston has closed the gap between these small towns and the nation's 4th largest city. When I was little and we drove into the city, there was nothing, nothing, nothing and total darkness for the 32 miles between Katy and Houston. Now it's "planned communities" and cookie-cutter subdivisions for as far as the eye can see. All developed on top of once fertile rice fields. And they wonder why it floods so bad when it rains. Here's a tip people...it's supposed to flood.

Rather than bore you with the mile-by-mile trek, here are a few highlights:
  • Heavy industry seems to be grabbing up land and setting up shop out on the prairie just as rapidly as the housing developers
  • The United Rock Salt Mine is still operational in Hockley and is the home of Ranch House Salt. It's at the end of the same road as the family farm.
  • Rice dryers still dot the landscape, but of all the ones we saw only one appeared to be operational.
  • Hearing the hum of a rice well and getting caught by a local walking through their fields in search of rice. We picked the wrong field to drive through, but the rice was there, just down the road a piece
  • Walking around the house I grew up in. It's now a dentist's office. They were closed, so we got to peak in the windows. Although he's done some cosmetic work to the outside, the bones of the house are the same and the pin oak trees are HUGE!
  • Lunch at Dozier's for authentic Texas barbeque
After a late lunch, it was back to the city. Good friends Larry and John were up for a visit, so we spent a leisurely afternoon with them and their 3 miniature schnauzers. Afternoon turned to evening and dinner at a local Mex-Mex (vs. Tex-Mex) place and I was in heaven! Texas barbeque and Mexican food in the same day! And they didn't send us home empty handed. Larry and John are voracious readers and loaded us up with bags of books. Thanks ya'll!

By now, Holly and Leanne were home so we headed to their house, excited to hear about their wedding and see pictures. They were levitating after 5 days on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, which climaxed with their wedding ceremony overlooking the falls. Thanks to the digital age, we were able to view all 500+ photos on their wide-screen TV and hear about their adventures and firsthand accounts of how warm and affirming the Canadian people were.

Congratulations Holly and Leanne...your love it a beautiful thing!

Exhausted, we fell into bed because...

Day 4

Let the celebrations begin!

Tuesday, June 2

Home Again...Home Again

Day 2
After a 12+ hour car drive the day before, we awoke (in Texas) to a morning filled with gentle, cool breezes bird song, blue skies and the possibility of coconut cake for breakfast!

Mom was up first and it was the sound of her tidying the living room that woke me. It got suddenly quiet, so I knew she'd slipped outside were I'd find her tending to her plants. The woman never sits still.

I switched on the coffee pot as I walked through the kitchen and headed for the deck. I couldn't wait to see the view and get a good morning hug from Mom. She is a champion hugger, as was my grandma, and I wasn't going to miss a single one since we'd be at her place less than 24 hours. The view was spectacular as the level of the lake was up from the spring rains and the new owners of the marina had done some long-overdue improvements to the shoreline.

On my second cup of coffee, I heard the Lovely Linda stirring, so went to wish her a good morning. Once she downed her first cup of coffee, we went for a walk around the Marina so she could get a sense of the place. Dropped deep in the thickest part of the Piney Woods at the tip of a peninsula on the Toledo Bend Reservoir, it's a sight to see, with the juxtaposition of deep green forest growing to the shore of a sparkling lake and a variety of water and shore birds to hold any bird watcher's interest. Oh, and there's the fishing.
Photo courtesy of www.toledo-bend.com

This is an aerial shot of Texas Island in the Toledo Bend Reservoir, which runs north to south along the Texas/Louisiana border.

After a leisurely breakfast on the deck, the Lovely Linda was ready to see more, so we hopped in the Mom bus (her beloved Suburban) and headed to Hemphill for an up close and personal look at a small East Texas town dependent upon the timber industry and tourism for survival.

The drive over the the bridge to Six Mile was spectacular with the morning sun creating ripples of silver on the water. The horizon I so deeply missed was before me and my minds eye drank it in. I have to have ready recall of the expanse of the Texas horizon during Tennessee summers, where I can only see as far as the edge of the yard.

There original town square, complete with courthouse was a great place to start on our "tour". We found a parking space under the shade of a pecan tree and headed straight to jail...the Sabine County Jail, which is now a museum and library. One of the few "hanging jails" in the nation, it's been restored by the local historical society and gives one pause to reflect on the wisdom of capital punishment, exacted at the end of noose.


After a sobering visit to jail, we toured the courthouse and saw the handy work of a prisoner who was in for a long stint. Seems he passed the time using his skills in woodworking, building and restoring the banisters, benches, desks and jury box of the courtroom.

No trip to a small Texas town would be complete without a stop in the local feed store. There, we were greeted by the cheep, cheeps of chicks and ducklings and some curious kittens. A little more driving around town, looking at turn-of-the-century homes in varying stages of restoration (or tumbling down) and it was back on the road to Mom's and lunch.

On the way back, we stopped in at Mom's church (Oak Hill Baptist Church). This is a one room church set deep in the woods with an adjoining cemetery where my step dad Bill is buried. A bit of sadness fell around me, thinking of him out there under six feet of red clay soil, but I couldn't bring myself to walk over to his grave site. I think Mom sensed my mood and quickly diverted my attention to the air-conditioned portable building the church moved in next to the sanctuary to house all of her decorating supplies. Mom's in charge of decorating the church on Sundays and holidays. She needs a lot of working space for all her stuff.

Back at the marina, we prepared for a late afternoon lunch on the deck. It was a feast and gave us the energy we'd need to make the drive to Houston.

One of the highlights (besides the coconut cake) was the spotting of a male summer tanager taking an afternoon bath. I wasn't quick enough to grab the camera, but here's a photo I found on the internet:

What a handsome bird!

All too soon, the car was packed and pointed in a southwesterly direction to Houston. Arriving well past dark, we fell into bed to sleep off the road fatigue and prepare ourselves for the friends, celebrations and adventures to come.

Day 3

Tune in tomorrow for the next installment...a trip back to my youth.

Monday, June 1

The Alone Place

You knocked the wind
out of me
with your words
all I could do
was walk,
walk until the white noise
stopped roaring in my head

All I could do
was fly
fly into the night
with my hand
reaching for the cabin door
and freedom from pain

With my hand
grasping the luggage
(they’d bought us for our honeymoon)
all I could do
was stumble
stumble into the waiting car
that would take me

To the alone place
away from you
and the words
and the white noise
and the pain
To the alone place
I'd created

Saturday, May 30

Home Again...Home Again

The road led to Texas and back again.

Along the way, the Universe threw in a few speed bumps so we'd slow down and get a chance to appreciate what was outside the car window.

Day One
A hearty breakfast at the Loveless Cafe to fortify us for the long drive. Those folks know how to bake a biscuit.



Creeping along I-40 for an hour gave us a chance to roll down the windows, feel the morning air on our skin, smell freshly mown grass and take in the beauty of wildflowers along the interstate. So thanks to an overturned 18-wheeler, we drank in what we'd have missed at 70 mph.

A detour through Memphis - The Lovely Linda and I were talking and missed the exit to Little Rock, so a little navigating by the seat of our pants led us to the river, through Downtown and back to the interstate. Saw some beautiful homes and found our way west, despite some bad directions from a local.


At the apex of the bridge spanning the Mississippi River, we could see it was out of its banks in a large way. In fact, it was lapping up against the levee, several miles out of town. As many times as I've driven this stretch of road, I didn't realize there was a levee until we saw it in action.

I was eagerly anticipating the drive from Memphis to Little Rock. The interstate dissects fields of rich farmland growing rice. Yes rice, the crop that sustained my family and my childhood community for generations. Once abundant in Texas, they are now a rare sight, so driving through Arkansas is a joy for me. My sense memories are engaged and this flat farmland begins to whisper of the horizon of my youth.

As I began looking left and right for the finely sculpted fields of curving levees and a sea of deep green rice stalks, I was accosted with the image of empty fields...miles and miles of empty fields. Not fallow, but laid waste by water. The few farmers who managed to get a crop planted before the rains of April and May were rewarded with anemic plants and splotches of growth and bare places where water had redistributed seed.

The building anticipation I normally feel as the Texas border draws near was dampened by the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach for the farmers and their families, knowing full well the devastation they were facing. All I could do was shake my head as barren fields, blurred by tears, streamed past the car window.

Near Arkadelphia, we picked up the signal for an NPR station. Soon we heard a news report that Arkansas Governor Mike Bebe had just petitioned the Federal Agriculture Department to provide emergency loans to farmers in 24 Arkansas counties. I don't think either of us had any idea how bad things were for our neighbors to the west.

The Piney Woods - after a pit stop in Texarkana for dinner, we drove across the Texas state line (with my customary woo-hoo out the window) and into the Piney Woods of East Texas. A few more hours and we'd be pulling into Mom's place at Paradise Point Park and Marina, on the Toledo Bend Reservoir. The thought of a soft bed after 12 + hours on the road was very appealing, but so was a big hug from Mom and a piece of coconut cake!

The Lovely Linda got a chance to appreciate a full-on Texas sky glittering with stars. As we drove a two lane deserted road through the Sabine National Forest, she switched off the car's headlights and drove by moon and star light. Magical!

Even though I'd called ahead and told her we'd crash together in the guest room, she had her own ideas about sleeping arrangements...the Lovely Linda on one end of the house, me on the other and her in the middle on the sleeper sofa! We chuckled softly under our breath and headed for a good night's sleep. Who knew what we were in store for tomorrow...

Day Two

Kindly come back tomorrow for the next installment, which will include a trip to the Sabine County Jail!

Tuesday, May 19

Take 5

Greetings Blogosphere. I'm off to Texas for some overdue rest and relaxation. I'll be back blogging in a week or so. In the meantime, keep reaching for that next good feeling and have a little fun!

Thursday, May 14

Read Write Poem

I was introduced to Read Write Poem during National Poetry Month. Their idea of creating a supportive community of poets aligns with my own, so I have joined. Each Friday, they offer a prompt. Sometimes it's a word or a group of words. Sometimes it's an image. Sometimes it's a challenge to revisit old work and give it new life.

This is good.

Wednesday, May 13

Untitled

She falls softly into sleep
a mosaic of words, sublime
ebbs and flows through her dreams

the guard of consciousness
nods at his post,
leaving them free to associate,

disassociate

from another

until at last they come to rest,
each glyph carved in relief
on the dome of her skull

Saturday, May 9

Achoo Haiku

ligustrum in bloom
an allergist's dream come true
breath at your own risk

Friday, May 8

Answers, I Have Answers!

Show of hands...how many of you sat in Philosophy 101, freshman year of college, pondering the following:

"If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?"

OK...you can put your hand down now. The answer is........NO!

My enlightenment unfolded as follows:

Driving home last Sunday, I was anticipating pulling into the gravel drive to see a herd of deer grazing in the open meadow to my left. This is not a daily occurrence but it was one of those classic Tennessee evenings where mist was hanging thick, turning the dusk-before-dark air into a glowing white billowing sheet. The deer are inclined to leave the protection of the woods when they are shrouded in this mist. Anyway, I pull into the drive, turn on my high beams and what do I see before me, not deer, but a very large, very old tree fallen across the meadow.

Yikes!!!!! My immediate thought was for the safety of the 20 people who had been there all afternoon and evening for a retreat. I carefully drove down the meadow to get a better look, praying under my breath that I wouldn't find a body or vehicle trapped underneath. Hindered by the mist and a soggy meadow from a very wet spring, I decided to retreat to the house for a little fact finding.

All was quiet, everything was in order, there were no notes, voicemail messages or emails announcing that anything out of the ordinary had happened, like the toppling of a 40 foot tree. This puzzled me. I went over the events of the day in my head. Slept in late (till around 9:00), hung out at the retreat house all morning, prepared for the arrival of guests at 2:00, left the retreat center at 3:00 for chorus rehearsal. Yep, nothing out of the ordinary there and no big crashing noises. The sleuth in me deduced that the tree must have fallen between the time the guests left at 7:30 and I arrived home at 8:00. Hmm.

Not satisfied with my sleuthing, I checked in with the guest who was staying in the small cabin at the edge of the woods. I asked her if she knew what had happened and her eyes got big as she said to me, "I heard a big crack at about 7:30 this morning, then there was dead silence followed by a whooshing sound, then a crash!." She continued, "I didn't realize what it was until I went to my car around noon. It's a good thing it fell where it did or my car would be pancake!"

I'm sorry...did you say 7:30 this morning? Holy Nancy Drew, I slept through the whole thing, had gone about my day picturing the world around me intact, not knowing someone had advanced the carousel in this slide show!

Now I have to rethink this whole philosophical question. Is the answer NO? Well, from my experience of that day, YES. From the experience of guest who heard the tree fall, the answer is YES. So I guess the answer is....

IT DEPENDS.

Life's funny like that.

Saturday, May 2

Crossvine

Walking in search of,
I stub my toe on a blossom

fallen in the middle of the trail,
this orange and yellow bell-shaped flower
sits weighty in the palm of my hand

like an engraved invitation
to look up

high, in the canopy of hickory
and persimmon, sycamore
and beech,

whose leaves thwart
my aching gaze

I move on
in hopes of a revelation,
but none comes

so I return to stillness
in the cabin at the edge of the woods

where birds
of brilliant color and song
converge on feeders

materializing from a tangled arbor,
dissolving into it

leading my hungry eyes
to rest on blossoms,
orange and yellow bell-shaped flowers

suspended in the newly-greening air
singing their spring song

and everywhere I turn
they are there,
where my journey began

Thursday, April 30

Cardinal Sign

the fallen feather
silent riot of color
on tender spring grass

Wednesday, April 29

Foreign Tongue

Your common name, fire pink
misleading
as to your true color

Like many labels
put upon,
one size does not fit all


There is comfort
in category, in recall,
but surely there is room


for the heart
to name
what the body sees and feels,


without benefit
of language,
foreign to your tongue.

Tuesday, April 28

Cooking

I stew about the “rules” of poetry,
wondering if my pot of words
is sustenance
or merely palatable.

This whirl of letters
and punctuation,
metaphor and imagery;
a rolling boil of expression

that if tended
with a patient and loving hand
will simmer
to a fine consommé.

Enough?
Or would you care
for a second helping?

Monday, April 27

Song of Morning

I raise the window in haste
so as not to shut out
the song of morning

the ebb and flow
of wind through the leaves
easily mistaken for rain

messages tapped out
by the chickadee,
releasing a kernel
from a safflower seed

bees bobbing curiously
at the window screen,
the drone of their buzzing
a sedative

the faint chirps
of newly hatched bluebirds
safe in the nest

all commanding my attention,
demanding nothing of me
except to sit and listen

and appreciate their voices
as they waft through an open window
washing me clean
with the song of morning

Saturday, April 25

Taste

Words, breath, emotions
catapulting across airwaves,
teeth, tongue, lips, mouth
so close to the microphone
you can taste plastic

There's a staircase
I walk in my sleep
shadow and light play
make every other step
a guess

or an act of faith
that when you put
the full force of your weight
on the foot
something solid
will hold you up

like words, breath, emotions
spoken in truth
in a small room

the taste of plastic
still on my tongue

Friday, April 24

La Luna


La Luna, La Luna
a lyrical moth
in form and color
a surprise
as I stumbled out
in the deep of night
with no reason
to look up, except
the whisper of your wings
broke the silence
as they unfurled,
as they unfurled
in this protected place

Thursday, April 23

Hungry

To awake hungry,
you must lie down
with the memory of
a feast

a handful of warm berries
who leave their mark on your fingers
a handful of air
grasped in a moment of ecstasy

reaching for the pinnacle cloud
with the tip of your toes
as the arc of the swing
takes you higher

until you come full circle
to the familiar,
the starting place
it all began...

the memory
of being born

hungry

Tuesday, April 21

Yellow Throated Warbler - II

Warbler's yellow throat
surprising burst of sunshine
gales of birdsong, Spring

Monday, April 20

Yellow Throated Warbler


a yellow throated warbler
passes through

impressive markings
around the eye and cheek,
a masked bandit
in search of food
and fodder for the nest

he chittles,
he chortles happily

looking up to see me peering
through the window
he flashes his sunny throat
my way and adds a wink
just for good measure

this is spring at its finest

Sunday, April 19

Honey

a raindrop glides
down the windowpane
so too a tear
down my cheek

collecting in the hollow
of my throat
that burns from
holding back the pain

of bone against bone
where once there was cushion
now nerves tap urgent
messages to the brain

cries for relief
no longer stifled
by the small oval pill
once sweet honey,
coating the senses

Friday, April 17

My Big Sister

This is my big sister and me looking cute. We're all grown up now, but when I visit her, we sit side-by-side on her front porch talking, drinking something cool and sometimes holding hands.

She had surgery today and is in recovery. The doctor said everything went well and she's going to be fine. It's a long way from Texas to Tennessee and it feels ever longer today. I hope she knows I'm sitting on the porch, waiting for her to come home.

Thursday, April 16

You Are Appreciated

Yes, today is your day.

A day for me to say 'thank you' to those who have stopped by, left your thumbprint on a page or two of these musings and when so inclined, a comment.

For nearly 4 years, I've littered the Blogosphere with poetry, rants, wonders, photos, joys and heartbreaks. Put another way, what it means to be human.

I often wonder who you are. That's why I put a little widgit on the bottom right hand corner of my Blog. It shows your journey to and your journey away from this spot. Well, that and it helps me feel not so alone when this life begins to feel very alone.

So, here's a Haiku dedicted just to you, dear Blog Readers. Print it out, put it on your fridge, pin it to the wall of your cubicle, know that your are appreciated:

Deep in the dense woods
a solitary poet
thinks of you and smiles

Wednesday, April 15

Quiver


Quiver,
the tender leaves
on a morning breeze
no longer winter
not quite spring

Quiver,
the yellow violas
whose faces
crowd cheek-to-cheek
forming a new sun

Quiver,
the weathered bark
slapped
by wind and rain
ice and snow

Quiver,
a clutch of bluebird eggs
under a brood patch
tapping their way
to life and flight

Quiver,
the tender places
touched
in the early morning hours
asleep, awake, alive

Tuesday, April 14

How Deep the Pool?

Into the looking glass
water tumbles.
How deep the pool?

A hungry lap never says no

to
the
fall

or what may manifest

from
the
fall

like a whirlpool,
or a trapped pod
too delicious to release
spinning round and round
until all that’s left
is right for the feast

that falls from the sky
again and again
singing a raucous melody,
seducing the onlooker

until they cease to care,
how deep is the pool
that holds them
and the trapped pod

enraptured

Monday, April 13

And Now, Back to our Regular Programming

Excuse me for stubbing my toe on the doorstep of National Poetry Month. Yes, I committed to write a poem a day for all in the Blogosphere to enjoy. Little did I realize the pressure, THE PRESSURE that commitment would place on this particular poet. I seized up and sat staring at a blank piece of paper, then a blank screen, then a blank piece of paper. It wasn't pretty folks.

...but I'm back from a wonderful weekend with the Lovely Linda and the sun is shining, the birds are singing and words are flowing. Check back tomorrow for the latest installment AND Thursday is Blog Readers Appreciation Day so you'll want to see the special way I say 'thank you.'

Monday, April 6

Dogwood Winter

creamy petals pause
their ritual unfurling
hail, dogwood winter

Sunday, April 5

Ghost Heron

i welcome the greening
except
i’ll miss
the fishermen,
their knee to chest gait
through the muck

they don’t mind the intrusion
except
they’re pulling the curtain
inch-by-inch
across the stage
of my gaze

until the eye rests here,
at the edge of a thicket
instead of there,
along the shallows
of a meandering creek
where fishermen
dine in private

except,
here i sit
on the other side of waiting
for the fall,
wanting memory’s apparition
to emerge

when the greening
will retreat again
from sight

Saturday, April 4

Mosaic

Bending but not breaking
breaking but not shattering
shattering but not clattering
as I hit the ground

Gathering but not mending
mending but not tending
tending but not nurturing
fragments found

Weathered hands swirl the pan
In sunlight
hungry eyes search murky soup
for glints of gold

Reflecting but not shining
shining but not glowing
glowing but not radiating
from within

Stepping but not dancing
dancing but not laughing
laughing but not crying
where do I begin?

Friday, April 3

Every Drop a Jewel



dew carpets the lawn

every drop a jewel
suspending from the tip
of Spring’s tender shoots

every drop a tear
cleansing the film of winter
from my eyes

every drop a prism
bending morning’s light
into a halo

I raise the window
inviting colors to drift in
on a gentle breeze

every breath a feast
offering sustenance
to the hollow places

every breath a step
ascending from night
onto the plane of a new day

every breath a peal
ringing the spirit awake
from a long slumber

Thursday, April 2

Dream Poem

the best ones
write themselves
in my sleep
whispers of words
growing louder
until their voices
shake me,
wake me
into a kind of
conscious stupor,
groping for pen and paper
gasping for air
they come tumbling out
onto the page

how the hand moves
from left to right
leaving words in its wake
is not a small thing

Wednesday, April 1

Do I Dare?



Or challenge myself to write a poem a day?

The pen has been less prolific of late. By pen, I mean me. It's time to face the blank page (a writer's worst fear or greatest joy) and begin again.

Do you have a favorite poet or poem? Has poetry shaped your life view in any way?

Talk to me. I want hear your story.

Check back each day for a new poem.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, March 29

Cotton Candy


This ornamental cherry tree is a symphony of pink in the front yard at Penuel Ridge. I'd hoped to catch it in the morning sun, when soft golden rays highlight the varying hues of pink. But alas, it's been overcast and stormy throughout the day, so use your imagination. Oh and while you're at it, imagine 1,000 bees swarming above my head as I took these photographs. They weren't the least bit interested in me what with a cotton candy tree in full bloom.

Wednesday, March 25

Intention

  • I want to be able to hike this land with vigor.
  • I want to drive past the handicap parking space and walk from the farthest point to the front door.
  • I want to sleep through the night and wake renewed.
  • I want all the resources to say 'yes' to restoring me to health and wholeness.
  • I want all this or something better I have yet to imagine.

These are my intentions.

Tuesday, March 24

Waking at 4 a.m.

I dream of dancing
until the dizzying effect
of being waltzed around
the floor wakes me

and I lay there, in my bed
wondering how gravity
took hold, again

in limbs that long to sway
to glide in the arms of another
taller, stronger dancer

than me

Monday, March 23

Forsythia

The way the forsythia tumbles at the base of this old stone wall is poetry.


An explosion of yellow
(no Photoshop folks, just pure color)



To Be a Bee

Driving down a hill and around a curve, the sight of this tree back lit by the morning sun makes my heart sing. Every spring, I've tried to photograph it, but either don't have my camera, or the light isn't right, etc..., etc..., etc... On Sunday morning, I awoke to blue skies and brilliant sunshine. Mocha and I set out on road trip to capture the essence of Spring in Tennessee. This was my first destination.

Here's a closeup of the blossoms. So dense you can hardly see the branches and such a soft, subtle shade of pink. I'd like to throw a blanket under this beauty and stay until the last petal falls.

Wednesday, March 11

It Always Come in Threes


It's been a big day at Texas2Tennessee. I'll be concise. If you want more details, kindly leave your questions in the comments...OK?

Here we go:

1. My sister's been having some health problems. Today she had a biopsy and will have the results tomorrow. Nothing like having a big needle stuck in your throat five times.

2. I'm one step closer to being approved for a state program that would pay for knee replacement surgery.

and...

3. My nephew was released from prison today.

I think my mom's been on her knees praying all day. When I talked with her this evening, she sounded completely spent.

More cringe-worthy news to follow as it unfolds.

Hope everyone out in the Blogosphere is doing OK. We're expecting 1-2 inches of snow tomorrow...and I just thought Spring has arrived.