Showing posts from March, 2012

Today's Flowers: Guard Well

From Flowers Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness.Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness. (George Sand)
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Inbox

Inbox:  What's the Assignment?

These children are new to me
Because I am new to this school.

Still, after nine weeks of traveling together
The roads cleared by Gilgamesh and Sundiata,
Zen priests, the haiku poets of a thousand years ago,
Oedipus, and Nora--
Not to mention God himself
As he is understood by Jews and Muslims
And Christians (who never seem to shut up or go away)--

I hestitantly call them my students.
Anyway, they sometimes read what I ask them to read.

Anyway, together we have smiled and nodded and felt for our
Ancient superheroes,
And we were together freaked out
By Torvald's treatment of Nora.
We were creeped out together
When the light dawned on Oedipus.
We wondered about enlightenment
As a concept that might not safely
Cross the street
At the junction of Marine and Western

And we felt very bad for the Japanese dudes
Whose sweethearts didn't add up to lovers,
Who left them in the cold
With nothing but terse lines.
Yeah.  We felt that cold.

We …

Skywatch Friday: 'In our own Hearts'

"In our own hearts, we mold the whole world's hereafters;
and in our own hearts we fashion our own gods." (Herman Melville)
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: In the Shadow of the Ospreys


Our World Tuesday: Talking Junk

It's March in North Carolina, and summer is coming and going like a dizzy flirt. Cross the bridge, cross the dunes, come to the beach. It's summer.

From March 24, 2012
This is the beach where alcohol and any glass bottles are prohibited in the name of protecting the integrity of this beautiful beach, this liminal space between dry land and that beautiful mystery we call the Atlantic. But who needs rules--especially when the need to get buzzed is so overwhelming?
From March 24, 2012 Look up from the trash as darkness falls and enjoy these guys. Watch them ride the thermals and loop round and round and play in a beautiful aerial dance and then off they go to fish. From March 24, 2012From March 24, 2012
Watch your step, though. You might trip over some non-biodegradable remant of somebody else's happiness, some lethal pile of plastic that just won't go away.
From March 24, 2012From February 26, 2012
Then, there's the McDonald's refuse that will need picking up.…

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

A year ago when my daughter was glued to her Kindle reading The Hunger Games, she was a happy prisoner of a gripping narrative that caused every other task, obligation, and pleasure to fade out of view.
Ever the responsible parent, I thought I'd come up from behind and find out what my daughter was reading.  I therefore downloaded The Hunger Games onto my Kindle, put it up on the elliptical, and found myself exercising my way into near invisibility as I did my best to catch up with my young genius.  In a matter of words, the book owned me, too.
"They've got to make a movie," was my first out-loud thought after I came up from air the day I started the book.
"They are, mom."  My kid knows everything, and she is patient with me.
At its heart, The Hunger Games trilogy asks the question, What happens when you stop doing what you were told just because you were told?  Just how dangerous is the question "Why?", and how subversive is the reply, "No.…

One Single Impression: Transition

The only way around is through.
You've heard that one, right?
It's the roundabout way of saying

Deal with it.

Around is through.


That old chestnut
Conjures for me
The image
Of a high school kid
At McDonald's pulling his
From the self-serve fountain,

And my waiting there
Watching him overfill the
Paper cup not really strong
Enough to tolerate the volume
Though this obvious fact is,


Lost one the thirsty one
Who overfills the cup.

I stand and watch, fascinated
By the sheen of the liquid
Held in delicately
By surface tension,
Those like molecules
Aware of how alone they are,
Clinging to themselves,
Refusing to go, to flow.

The child claps on the lid,
And the pink liquid
Dribbles down the cup,
Down his hand,
Into his sleeve,

Leaving a sticky place for me.

Around is through.

Breaking the tension,
We lap up all evidence of our folly,
Drink up, eat up, and go.

Around is through.

One Single Impression

Today's Flowers: Spring Speaks Softly

From March 24, 2012From March 24, 2012
I stepped out back this afternoon to watch the pelicans diving for their lunch in the Intracoastal Waterway when these flowers caught my eye. My internal Yankee calendar has not yet adjusted itself to take in these marvelous blossoms showing themselves in March. The M-month I equate with color outside is May. It's a happy adjustment. 
 Today's Flowers

Skywatch Friday

From February 8, 2012 When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.(Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being)Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Totem


Our World Tuesday: Swansboro

Last weekend, I visited Swansboro, North Carolina, just to see what was in this little village at the mouth of the White Oak River. I came across this siren wearing a lei of Christmas lights and a memento of a shipwreck, perhaps.

From March 10, 2012 I had a seat at a park near this neat-as-a-pin pier. From March 10, 2012 I stepped aside to let this pedestrian make his way down the sidewalk. From March 10, 2012 From a distance, I admired the clothing on display in the windows of this historic building, once a warehouse for naval stores. From March 10, 2012 Then, because historic is as historic does, I had a sandwich at this diner, From March 10, 2012 where Elvis was waiting for me in the ladies' room as well as at the door. Life is full of surprises. From March 10, 2012Our World Tuesday

One Single Impression: Miracle

From March 4, 2012 Textbook poems loiterThe sleepy child turns away:"It's raining!"

(The miracle in this poem was for me the moment this child lived a haiku poem though she was disengaged from the beauties in our textbook.  She had an enlightened moment, though she didn't see it that way when I pointed it out to her!) One Single Impression

Today's Flowers: Keep off the Grass

From March 17, 2012 Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. (Chuang-tzu)Today's Flowers

Skywatch Friday: A Fine Line


Wordless Wednesday: Peace on Earth


Our World Tuesday: Creating, Remembering

Last week, our school took the sophomore class on a field trip while the juniors took the ACT test. We stopped at a gallery that was showing local middle and school students' artwork. This was my favorite:

From Field Trip Here's a collabortive piece done by our high school students: From Field Trip After that, we moved along to visit some military memorials. A Vietnam veteran and a Marine veteran who was in Beirut, Lebanon, at the time our embassy was bombed were on hand with their wives to talk to us about Lebanon, 9/11, and Vietnam. Here is the local monument commemorating the Marines who perished in Lebanon as well as the four who died in Grenada: From Field Trip The 9/11 memorial was a remnant of the Twin Towers. Everyone touched the jagged edge as he or she walked by. These kids were toddlers on that horrible day, but they know now what they couldn't know then: 9/1l shaped their world. From Field Trip From Field Trip The Vietnam memorial was just as amaz…

One Single Impression: Confirmation

Few voices improve the silence
Like the ospreys'
At sunrise.

They awaken me,
And when I walk toward
Them on my way to the beach

They watch me,

Raise their wings,
Hover above their nest,
Slip into the light,
Slide toward the water,

And glide away from the sun.

Every movement is a note in a song
I cannot hear.

They confirm for me a simple truth:
I was never there.

One Single Impression

Today's Flowers: Graceful Movement

From February 26, 2012 One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.  (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Today's Flowers

Shell Game


Bye, Bye, Arctic Wildlife


Book Review: Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose

Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose

I woke up this morning to the news that Meriwether Lewis had committed suicide, and I could scarcely take it in.
This was the man who had led the Corps of Discovery--30 other men and himself--across the hitherto uncharted North American continent west of Missouri with little more than some gunpowder, dried soup, and some rudimentary navigation equipment now lying dead on the floor after being challenged over a few receipts and a few management decisions as the governor of the Louisiana Purchase.
That's what you get for making walking across a continent with little more than the clothes on your back look easy. That's what you get when the class nerd is also an excellent political sniper.
As a public school student decades ago, I learned that Meriwether Lewis and his buddy William Clark mapped the land that since became the Western United States. End of story.
However, Stephen Ambrose's book Undaunted Courage took this fleeting fact …

Skywatch Friday: Just Wait

From March 4, 2012 Last weekend's rain wore itself out, and the cold and wet gave way to a celestial smoldering heat. It was great. I love the rain; I know when it's over, it's going to be good. 
Skywatch Friday

Spirit Bear


Wordless Wednesday: Butt Shot

From March 3, 2012 To follow the advice, "Just keep shooting," is to take some weird shots.

Wordless Wednesday

Our World Tuesday: A Little Dampish

We had a rainy weekend. The tornadoes making their way east shook out the dirt hems of their dresses over Topsail. I stayed in for most of the weekend.

From March 3, 2012 Friday had been incredibly foggy. The thick air reminded me of the forest fires of last summer and the heavy cloud they had cast over the island. From March 3, 2012 I asked one of the gulls about the weather. He didn't want to talk about it. From March 3, 2012 This guy was tired of the papparazzi and vamoosed when he saw me coming with my camera, even suffering the company of the little peeps for a while. From March 3, 2012 Despite the weather, I took a little ride down to the Quartermoon Bookstore for a smoothie on my daughter's recommendation. It was excellent; I drank the glass dry. From March 3, 2012Our World Tuesday

Belugas Facing Extinction


Today's Flowers: Flowering Sunshine

From March 3, 2012 Near the beach.... From March 3, 2012 ...and inside the supermarket, yellow blossoms light the grey day with the welcome promise of spring.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Underground

There is a river
Running underground in Waterbury.
It didn't start there but was put in its place
By wise men reading from the ancient script for
Planning and progress.

The river is an open secret to those in the know,
Those who have been there for a while
(Even if they come from Massachusetts or Maine),
Or at least are in the habit of drinking wine after hours
In local dining establishments in the historic district--
Which, conveniently is also the technology zone,
Where the reputable restaurants are--
With the right people at the right time.

If you have to ask, you are not on the inside,
Which is the right side.
You don't know where anything used to be;

And, really, should we take the time to explain
As we stand at the window and wonder
How all this progress brought so much traffic
Through what used to be the front yard?

It's how it is in the little ville the rivers of which
Once long ago measured its pulse and prosperity.

When a foreigner stomps his foot near where the…

Skywatch Friday: Everything and Nothing