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Archive for February 6th, 2008

Amethyst, poor innocent, said that she’d like to read some of my poems. And I love her, so I’m posting a few here. Just so you know–I know they’re terrible. I like what I felt when I was writing them, and I managed to catch a glimpse of what I was reaching for. But don’t expect good poetry.

Monday Morning 

I saw him today,

The little old man, bent with age.

He had a water hose,

And was  washing down the pavement.

Rivulets of water trickled between my feet

And the smell of dust pervaded my nostrils

As he carefully attended to his work.

 

I watched the people waiting for the bus.

They avoided him, stepping around him,

Noses lifted high in disdain.

The man wandered up and down the sidewalk,

Dragging the heavy hose behind him,

Impervious to everything but the water

And the dust. He paid special attention

To several clumps of dirt. His glasses

Gleamed with satisfaction as the dirt

Was washed away into oblivion.

 

The bus drove up, and in the rush to board

I forgot the little old man.

When I looked back, he was still there,

Still attending to his task. And then

I got busy with the incessant ringing

Of the telephone and the beeping of the

Computer and the humming of the fax

And the hordes of androids

Coming to me for information and assistance,

And life was back to normal.

 

But still I think of that bent figure

Washing down the sidewalk.

 

Masterpiece

 

The background of the canvas

                Was first painted an improbable blue.

The artist rapidly sketched in great pines,

                Leaning sideways, branches drooping tiredly.

Majestic mountains, great rocky crags,

                Towered behind the wave of trees.

Next a gauzy grey was used to

                Dim the sky’s brilliant blue.

Deepening swirls of grey and black

                Created a massive cloud cover.

As droplets of misty paint shivered off the brush,

                Frigid drops of rain spattered the canvas.

Large, moist flecks of white dotted the pines with snow

                And iced the ridges of the hills.

One tree branch, heavily laden with white, drooped too far,

                And its wet load slid fatly onto the ground.

A quick breath of wind,

                And the landscape was finished.

With an almost inaudible sigh,

                The artist put away his masterpiece,

                                Took another canvas, and began anew.

 

Still-Life

 

Still-life is a misnomer

Life is not

Still is not

Life

The gentle rise and fall

Inhale exhale in bed

In sleep next to me

The teeming of my mind

Through ethics and assignments

And what to fix for dinner tomorrow

He’s still breathing I place

My hand on his chest

To make sure

The fan is blowing

The flowers whisper in the breeze

Still-life

Fruit is rotting

Even while you paint it

Still-life

Life is not

Still he sleeps

Life is

Still is not

Wax fruit not life

Is still

Silk flowers still

Not life

Sleeping still he breathes

Good night

 

Cherokee Indian

 

High proud forehead.

Finely chiseled face.

Fiery eyes flashing.

 

I look at you and

I watch your mouth as

You tell me tales

That make me shudder.

 

My blood runs chill.

 

Sparks fly from your

Glowing eyes as you

Weave your enchanted web

Around my spirit

And hold me captive.

 

I try to escape.

 

Your sculpted face

Haunts my dreams.

 

Cherokee Indian,

Take me with you

Through the realm of your

Fantasies and half-told truths.

 

I live through your words.

Speak to me,

Cherokee Indian.

And I’ll finish off with one that I wrote for a class, and even though it’s awful, it delights me every time. I based it on a story my grandfather used to tell me about something that happened when he was a boy.

 

Chickens Under the House

 

Your mama looked mad when she dropped you off.

What’s wrong this morning?

Oh, you don’t have to say it out loud,

Come whisper in Granddad’s ear.

OH! YOU WET YOUR BED LAST NIGHT!

Now, there, stop your squirming.

What? It was too cold to get out of bed?

Well, there’s worse things than walking

Down a carpeted hall to the bathroom on a cold night.

When I was a little boy we didn’t have bathrooms—

We had to go to the outhouse.

That meant  putting on boots and a coat

And walking outside, just to go to the bathroom.

Well, honey, Granddad felt just like you do.

It was just too cold to go to the outhouse.

Well, our house was built on little legs,

So it stood about a foot off the ground.

Come winter, the chickens used to roost under it.

All us kids—all twelve of us—slept on the floor,

Warm and cozy, snuggled under Mama’s quilts.

Shoot, I didn’t want to go outside and freeze!

Then I noticed the knothole in the floor.

Well! Being an enterprising young boy, I figured out

Real quick that I didn’t have to go outside at all during the night.

It worked well. I moved my quilt over by that knothole.

When I woke up in the night, I’d just roll over and use the bathroom.

Then one night our ornery old hen, roosting under the floor,

Grabbed hold of what she thought was a tasty little worm.

Honey, she would not let go! I screamed so loud everybody woke up.

They were laughing too hard to help me get loose.

When Papa finally quit laughing, he told me it was my own fault

And I deserved it for being so lazy.

After that, no matter how cold it was,

I always went to the outhouse.

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This is getting a little freaky.  It’s 5:04 p.m. I’ve been home from work for about 45 minutes. The dishes Joe left from late last night have been washed. The trash has been taken out. A luscious meat loaf is in the oven. My kitchen’s still spotless, and the Egypt room is still clean and tidy.

Could I be turning into one of those organized people I keep hearing about? Does this mean that eventually I’ll have the whole house clean and lovely?

Tune in for more info.

Also, I just took my first peek at the bathtub since I went through all kinds of torture attempting to refinish it on Monday night. It looks absolutely lovely. You’d never know it for the same tub we’ve lived with for 8 years.  I don’t think we’ll get anything else done on the bathroom until the weekend, because Joe’s not getting home until late. But I’m extremely hopeful that we’ll actually finish the bathroom this weekend. Regardless, I am going to take a long, hot lovely bubble bath tomorrow night at 8:30 (after the 72 hours since I finished putting the second coat on the tub).  And yes, I promise I will post after pictures as soon as the room is ready.

Oh–meatloaf. I like to make meatloaf, too, and it’s a good thing that Joe likes to eat it. Here’s the lastest one I concocted.

  • 1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
  • About half a cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 or 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 small or 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • About 2 small carrots, finely chopped (or 4-5 baby carrots)
  • About 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • Steak sauce, as much as you need
  • Ketchup, as much as you need
  • Whatever seasonings you want-tonight I used Vegeta and Joe’s Stuff.

Mix the bread crumbs and egg together. Then add in the vegetables and seasonings and toss well. Mix in the ground beef and steak sauce and ketchup. Place in a loaf pan or casserole dish and bake at 350-375 for about an hour and a half to two hours.

I have a regular food processor that has sat on my shelf for a couple of years. But the incomparable Izzybella, when she moved out of her apartment, gave me her small Black & Decker handy chopper. That thing is awesome!!! That’s why my last shepherd’s pie had celery and carrots in the beef part, and why I’ve started adding celery and carrots to my meat loaf. They make it so flavourful, and the chopper is so easy to use and doesn’t take up the space my huge food processor does.

Okay. I’m babbling now. Good evening, y’all!

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