A Sonnet for Monday

Countee Culeen was born in 1909 and won acclaim in academia, yet strongly felt his roots in the world of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s. Here is a delicate sonnet of his, and if you want to hear a truly moving reading of it, click here.

Yet Do I Marvel

I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind
And did He stoop to quibble could tell why
The little buried mole continues blind, Continue reading

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Planting by the moon

I have read that planting leafy vegetables at the new moon increases their productivity, but I never tried it until Monday, which was the new moon this month. I prepared about 100 little peat pots and planted lettuce, bok choi, tatsoi, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, marigolds… By Thursday, I had the
first baby seedlings.

A Continue reading

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After all this rain…

the green of the hills reminds me of Ireland, except they are so smooth here in Northern California. They make me think of this poem by Kay Ryan.

Green Hills

Their green flanks
and swells are not
flesh in any sense
matching ours,
we tell ourselves.
Nor their green
breast nor their
green shoulder nor
the languor of their
rolling over.

Kay Ryan

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The exemplary sentence

I’ve been reading Tim Gautreaux’s work for years now, and recently finished his latest book, Signals: New and Selected Stories. His books deal with the everyday travails of the lower or middle class. This excerpt is from a story about a junk yard operator whose life if altered by finding a stunning, jeweled demonstration sewing machine with a needle with the engraved message: ART STITCHES ALL. You can read that story here. This paragraph occurs before the transformation: Continue reading

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Valentine’s Day poem

I know I’ve posted several poems by Marie Howe before, but this seemed perfect for today. And if you can, there’s an event at Senator Feinstein’s San Francisco office today at noon–a rally of constituents requesting a town meeting.  Another good way to observe Valentine’s Day.

The Kiss

When he finally put
his mouth on me—on

my shoulder—the world
shifted a little on the tilted

axis of itself. The minutes
since my brother died

stopped marching ahead like
dumb soldiers and

the stars rested.
His mouth on my shoulder and

then on my throat
and the world started up again

for me,
some machine deep inside it

recalibrating,
all the little wheels

slowly reeling and speeding up,
the massive dawn lifting on the other

side of the turning world.
And when his mouth
Continue reading

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Bounty

Between poetry and politics, I haven’t updated my garden posts in a long time. But the garden has ignored everything but its delight in rain, and has been yielding potatoes, fennel, spinach, collards, garlic, peppers, onions and the delicious Yacon.

 

All this wonderful produce, plus the hens laying again makes for the best breakfasts.

And did I mention I’m replacing the labyrinth with a waterfall and herb garden? More on that later.

It’s good to remember that life goes on, despite politics…

I’m putting in new seed orders today.

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Poem for My Daughter

A friend mentioned that she loved Charles Bukowski’s poetry. I’ve never been that fond of him myself, but this is one poem of his I liked and saved:

Poem for My Daughter

My girl is 8
and that is old enough
to know better or worse
or anything.
so I relax around her
and hear various
astounding things
about sex
life in general
and life in particular.
mostly it’s very easy
except I became a father
when most men
became grandfathers. Continue reading

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hacked By Fallag Gassrini

Hacked by Fallag Gassrini

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Are you a centrist?

Not everyone who is protesting is a leftist. Many are simply appalled at the first acts of an out-of-control ego maniac. I think if my mother-law were alive she’d say, “That man swats house flys with a sledge hammer.”

If you are a centrist, I urge you to let your voice be heard, to balance the right wing view that we’re all liberal Commies (or whatever they call us). In any case, and still in the hope of providing some respite, a poem by Danusha Lameris:

Small Kindnesses

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
Continue reading

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Activism and perspective

It was great to participate in the Women’s March this past weekend, and I am planning to follow through with Indivisible, going to my senators’ local district offices on Resist Trump Tuesday. If you want to know more about this, check out www.moveon.org/indivisible.

Here are my grandson and daughter-in-law who also marched in Oakland.

But it’s also good to keep it all in perspective. In this I am helped by this little gem by Sara Teasdale:

 There Will Come Small Rains

There will come soft rain and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Continue reading

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