Showing posts from February, 2009

One Single Impression: Circles

One day long ago
I tossed my ring--

That symbol of completion
Of perfection
Of wholeness
Of everything
Of some kind of marriage--

Into the soft earth under the fir trees
Along the stream down this long road.

My ideas of love sank into the soft earth

Where there bloom every spring


Planted very likely
By some diligent housewife,
Years and years ago

Though those flowers would not stay put.

These daffodils
Washed or blew or swam downhill
Through the soft springtime earth
Or perhaps they walked
(I am open to anything)
To bloom where they damn well pleased.

That's the circle I know about
I watch it take shape every year
As I too try to come up for air.

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Happy Thoughts

"Don't let the b*****ds get you down," the text message read. I laughed. Out loud. Alone. In my car in the early morning light. In the middle of a long week.I try not to think of my students as b******s, but there are days Ms. Ubergeek uses those words. I can create whole and correct sentences with those words alone. But I don't usually feel that way.

The text message from my friend who is a war veteran and no stranger therefore to danger made me realize I didn't want Wednesday, the day it arrived, to be a day of running from ankle biters. As I read the message at the red light before I jumped on the highway, I thought, "What kind of a day will I have?" and I meant the question. I was going to make my own day. It would be a good one. And I would laugh in the face of aggravation.

And I almost remembered to.

Later, that got me to thinking of all the good stuff--and there is plenty--that makes my days go round. Carynhad invited me a few weeks ago to go ahead …

Skywatch Friday: The Masons Make a Wave

While my daughter was at choir practice on Tuesday, I went for a walk around Waterbury. The day was bright and clear and my sights were up when I took in this view of the top of what was the Masonic Temple but is now the Mattatuck Museum. The oxidized copper was bright and vivid against the blue of the late afternoon sky.

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Still Can't See Clearly...


My World Tuesday: A Mule, a Winged Woman

Here is the rest of my parents' neighbor featured below. Leaving him behind in the country and heading down to New Haven will put you in the company of this damsel, who is lovely but about as conversant as a mule.

This artist chick hangs around the Yale Art Gallery all the time. She's a liberated lady and doesn't mind if you stare. We did; she didn't flinch.

My World Tuesday

Weekend Snapshot: An Eye for You

On the last day of a short break from work last week, I went for a walk near my parents' home and met this dude. He was quite the flirt; he stole my heart when he tried to eat my coat and gloves.

Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Twilight

I said to you once
That we are old.
We are not old, you replied.
Middle-aged then, I said.
No, you insisted;
We are still young.

So be it.

At twilight I keep watch as
The trees become the rocks become the geese
With the muskrat and beaver
To become the water
That becomes the flicker of light
That falls in on itself
Like grains of sand in an hourglass

I step forward,
Close my eyes,
And become all of this, too,
Become everything I love,
Become you,
Become at once all things
And nothing
In a love that falls
Through the hourglass

In that surrender,
There is no distance
Or shape or form
Only life and a silence
As vast as this universe
That says it's all good
True and out of time
At twilight.

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Chocolate (Leftover)

Chocolate. I love chocolate. Milk chocolate. Because milk belongs in there. You folks who swear by your dark stuff are welcome to your bitter, slick mud and it's strange aftertaste. Milk belongs in chocolate.

Even a child will tell you this.

And for this reason I gave my daughter a heart-shaped box of Dove milk chocolates for Valentine's Day--and thought I was really cool for finding them in a cool metal tin she can keep forever. Yes, I am all over the Valentine's Day gimmick. And my heart melted when my daughter looked up and thanked me for her holiday treat.

So I was pretty surprised when I came upon her the other day with her tin opened and half the chocolates still in there. "I don't like these," she said.

"How do you know?" I asked. They were there, after all. Whole. Or so I thought.

"I tried them. I don't like them."

I had a closer look. Sure enough, she took little bites out of the chocolates, found them undesirable, and put them back…

Skywatch Friday: 5:30? Really?

The days are lengthening, and the difference is noticeable. This was the westward view on Valentine's Day at 5:30 p.m. I am so used to the darkness all the time that I felt like I had found something quite special and all my own that evening.

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Portrait

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. (Henry David Thoreau)

Wordless Wednesday

My World Tuesday: Basketball Hall of Fame

My daughter and I visited the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Saturday. Della loves the game, and she got to shoot some hoops at the museum, even scoring some three-pointers. She also saw a lot of sneakers and jerseys and game balls. The balls behind glass were far less compelling to her than the ones she handled on the court.My World Tuesday

Weekend Snapshot: Flag by Night

The flag for me is my mother, my father, my daughter, my family, my friends, my heart and my soul. It stands for everything I love about home. To paraphrase presidents Lincoln and Obama, it is not that our country is perfect, but that it can be made perfect through the faith and loyalty and labor of its members. So long as we believe in each other, we have hope.

Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Spectral

Laugh lines
Trace your eyes and mouth,
Suggest a nose and chin.
Diamonds in the dark spaces
Deep as the cosmos tell me
About your eyes.
In what remains of you
In this photo
That has been photocopied
Passed around
And left in the rain
You are present.
So many years ago
You slipped through
The photographer's eye,
Through the lens of the camera,
Onto the paper
That became the print
And the photocopy
That flutters in the breeze.
Your spirit passed into that image that
Claimed you and kept you
As the work of art you are.

The breeze will carry
Your smile into the day
And the day will be bright.

In 2003, I visited Ground Zero and spent quite a lot of time looking at the tributes placed on the fence around St. Paul's Chapel. I recall a photo of a father who perished in that horror. His photo had been copied onto green paper that offered a brief tribute. The paper had faded in the two years it had been there, but the smile remained. The man was visible. His smile haunts he me yet. I find this is a strange pheno…

Blog Your Blessings: All That Caring Going On

Early this morning as I was heading out on a quick mission to pick up my handbag from the house where I had left it last night after three-plus hours of a tedious meeting, I found myself slowed to a near-stop over and over again by parents, kids, and school buses.
Not good. But there it was and I couldn't change it, so I learned to love it.

First: stuck behind a neighbor and her father as she student-drove the family's Mazda sedan as if it were a basket of eggs. If we had gone any slower, we would have been rolling backwards, so I had ample time to consider them in the front seat: the young girl handling the car with text-book correctness and her father slouched in passenger seat. Yes: slouched. How cool is that?

Next: no fewer than three school buses scooping up near catatonic high schoolers before the sun had even slipped above the ridge line. We moved from driveway to driveway for all of these up and coming adults. Surely they must feel safe, valued, cared for. What other mess…

Skywatch Friday: Moon over the Feed Store


Wordless Wednesday: Quinnipiac Bobcats


My World Tuesday: Woodbury Shopfronts

These are two shopfront windows in Woodbury, Connecticut, where there is always an ample supply of antiques.

My World Tuesday

Weekend Snapshot: Where to Begin?

This is my daughter's clarinet. Every day when she assembles it, I marvel that she knows what these buttons and levers can do to transform simple breath into the wordless poetry of music. Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Movement

I could move
Could go places--
Would circle the globe
If I had feeling
A pulse
Breath and heart
Call it life
I could move
With the just right
A light touch
To the heart
Just enough
Heat and light
Really that's all
Just enough
And I would go

One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Somebody Has to Kill the Chicken

The story: shortly after a young American boy arrives in Indonesia with his mother to begin life with her new husband, a man arrives at the door carrying a red hen and a long sharp knife. The mother and step-father exchange words over whether the boy should witness what is about to happen. The step-father has the final word, saying the boy is old enough to know where his dinner comes from. Next, the child witnesses the killing of the chicken with one cut of the knife across its throat and the death throes of the animal.

The family share a meal of chicken stew in subdued silence.

Later, the boy lies back, rests, and reflects on the day. He can't believe his good fortune.

"So, what's good about his fortune?

"Good about watching a chicken die? That's gross. That ain't no good fortune. It's sick."

"It is gross. But the boy is glad to have had the experience. Why?"

"They do that in Puerto Rico with the ducks except they tie the feet together and …

Skywatch Friday: We Are So Vane in Connecticut

Many a pundit has pointed out that President Obama is a "we" kinda guy. In the spirit of Dr. King, he knows how to inject the "I" into the "thou" and it comes up "we." Here math meets grammar and we realize anew that we're in it together. I think I was in Burlington, Connecticut, when I came across this vane on the top of a Congregational church. I was at a stop sign and the "we" captured me. We drove round the back of the church to try a different angle, and we were not alone. Strangely, the parking lot was full of people sitting alone in their cars, which were running. Heading out for a drive-through coffee hour? We don't know.

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: All in All, Just a Name on the Wall

The graffiti on this door in a school gym made me think of the graffiti I find carved into trees or picnic tables when I'm out for a walk in the woods. When there's this much, it stops being about the individual but about the group--somewhat contradicting the idea of graffiti's egocentric nature. I liked this door even if the colors are a bit dreary. Made me think of a Jackson Pollock painting with all its energy and immediacy.

Wordless Wednesday

My World Tuesday: Timexpo, Waterbury, Connecticut

You'd wear a face like this:

If your playpen were so close to the interstate

and you never got to go inside.

There. I did it. Every day in life I drive by this Easter Island-style dude who sits outside the Timexpo Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut. I think to myself, "I should photograph that thing," and then I think, "Nah. It's too darn ugly." I don't have to think about it anymore. Now I'll wonder if I could take him seriously if he didn't have such silly-looking eyes.

My World Tuesday

Weekend Snapshot: Origami

A very cool thing about being a teacher is reliving the fun of a snow day. I am perfectly good with staying home and in my pajamas on a cold winter's morning. I don't mind getting out of bed in June, putting on cool clothes, and making my way to work by the light of day. I think it's a good trade. Better than that, though, is the unexpected weekend kind of day with the kiddo doing whatever we please. This week, we had a go at paper cranes. Della's been working her way up the levels of complexity of origami, and she was ready for this bird while the snow fell on Wednesday.

Weekend Snapshot

One Single Impression: Slowly

Every morning I watch the sun rise
Over hills I have watched since childhood.
I have always wondered where exactly those hills are.
Connecticut hills, yes, but which ones--
And how do I get to them,
And how does it feel there
As the sun rises?

I am standing in a cold kitchen
Watching the sun rise slowly
On a January morning.
I hold my coffee mug to my chest,
Warming it
That it might warm me a little,
And I watch as the day comes,
Gently ending a long and soundless night.

The sun moves slowly,
Unimpressed by a wind that rises
Strong and sends a message under the back door
To me:
Come out here
And see for yourself
What it is to be on the eastern hill
That feels the sun first.

Someone who rises just now
Wants to know.

Come and give your answer to the dawn.

One Single Impression