Locavore Poetry

April 25, 2012 by

 

 Jessy Randall is the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College. She is also an authority on Helen Hunt Jackson (and many other subjects), a published poet, and, as you might gather from Superhero Pregnant Woman, a mom. The poem is from A Day in Boyland, published by Ghost Road Press, 2007.

 


Superhero Pregnant Woman

 

Her sense of smell is ten times stronger.
And so her husband smells funny;
she rolls away from him in the bed.
She even smells funny to herself,
but cannot roll away from that.

Why couldn’t she get a more useful superpower?
Like the ability to turn invisible, or fly?

The refrigerator laughs at her from its dark corner,
knowing she will have to open it some time
and surrender to its villainous odors.

 

Poets know poets and poets KNOW poets. Red Alert by Lois Hayna was recommended by Jessy. Lois lives in Colorado Springs. I really should keep this poem for posting closer to Mother’s Day, but it’s too good not to share immediately.

 

 

 

Red Alert
Lois Beebe Hayna

My mother surely knew the wolf
lurked along that path.
She had to know the world’s
filled with wolves, that their special
habitat is a forest
where little girls walk alone.

She dressed me
in the color of raw meat, she filled
my basket with warm-scented goodies
and sent me specifically
into the woods. A long way
into the woods. For years, I believed
it was wolves
that I had to beware.

Titanic Reflections — Poetry Month, Day 19

April 17, 2012 by

The Titanic disaster of 100 years ago–April 14-15, 1912–was the inspiration for this reflective, clever poem about “the end.” The Titanic exhibit at Denver’s Molly Brown House continues through December 31, 2012.

Titanic
David R. Slavitt

Who does not love the Titanic?
If they sold passage tomorrow for that same corssing, who would not buy?
To go down . . . We all go down, mostly
alone.  But with crowds of people, friends, servants,
well-fed, with music, with lights!  Ah!

And the world, shocked, mourns, as it ought to do
and almost never does. There will be the books and movies
to remind our grandchildren who we were
and how we died, and give them a good cry.

Not so bad, after all. The cold
water is anaesthetic and very quick.
The cries on all sides must be a comfort.

We all go: only a few, first class.

National Poetry Month, Day 16

April 16, 2012 by

Poet Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) delivers a bitter indictive to someone unnamed but close. It’s hard to see how, ‘You’ll be sorry when I’m gone!”could be better said. Ouch!

I Shall Not Care

When I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Tho’ you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough,
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.

National Poetry Month – The Titanic Centennial

April 12, 2012 by

The RMS Titanic left Southhampton, England, on its maiden voyage on April 12, 1912. Late on the evening of April 14, about 375 south of Newfoundland, the ship struck an iceberg. By 2:45 AM on April 15 the ship had sunk to the bottom of the ocean causing the loss of 1492 lives. Thomas Hardy composed this poem later in that same year.

The Convergence of the Twain
Thomas Hardy (1912)

          I
     In a solitude of the sea
     Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.

          II
     Steel chambers, late the pyres
     Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.

          III
     Over the mirrors meant
     To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls — grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.

          IV
     Jewels in joy designed
     To ravish the sensuous mind
Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.

          V
     Dim moon-eyed fishes near
     Gaze at the gilded gear
And query: “What does this vaingloriousness down here?”. . .

          VI
     Well: while was fashioning
     This creature of cleaving wing,
The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything

          VII
     Prepared a sinister mate
     For her — so gaily great —
A Shape of Ice, for the time fat and dissociate.

          VIII
     And as the smart ship grew
     In stature, grace, and hue
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.

          IX
     Alien they seemed to be:
     No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history.

          X
     Or sign that they were bent
     By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one August event,

          XI
     Till the Spinner of the Years
     Said “Now!” And each one hears,
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.

In Tribute

April 9, 2012 by
Emerita Romero-Anderson
March 5, 1948  –   April 3, 2012
Educator, Author, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend, and much more

An Emily Dickinson poem for the day of Emerita’s funeral.

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and Chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity –

Poetry Month, Day 3

April 6, 2012 by

Ahhh! The heady, exhilarating days of early spring. Another poet, another time called these days “mudlicious”.

April Midnight
Arthur Symons, 1865–1945

Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.

Roaming together under the gaslight,
Day’s work over,
How the Spring calls to us, here in the city,
Calls to the heart from the heart of a lover!

Cool to the wind blows, fresh in our faces,
Cleansing, entrancing,
After the heat and the fumes and the footlights,
Where you dance and I watch your dancing.

Good it is to be here together,
Good to be roaming,
Even in London, even at midnight,
Lover-like in a lover’s gloaming.

You the dancer and I the dreamer,
Children together,
Wandering lost in the night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.

National Poetry Month, Days 1 and 2

April 3, 2012 by

Perhaps April was chosen National Poetry Month because Shakespeare was born and died in April. Perhaps it was chosen because T. S. Eliot had a particularly pithy description of April in “The Waste Land.”  Regardless, it’s a relatively new celebration, around only since 1996.

Poetry has many practitioners, but few readers.  We’ll do our part to promote poetry reading by posting old and new favorites throughout the month, beginning with “She Loved Horses” by Laurie Wagner Buyer for April 1, then moving on to Inez Hunt’s “Vista, Too Wide”, as poem # 2, for day two.

She Loved Horses
from Red Clay Canyon, Music Mountain Press, 1999

She loved horses
the way she loved men
the way they smelled
the way they moved
the way they felt under her hand.

It was something in the way
they feared being caught and tied
but came to her anyway
and gave into their need
to be cared for
for tenderness for affection.

She loved the good in them
as well as the bad
accepted their antics
and occasional ornery streaks
as part and parcel,
of the reward she felt
when she moved with them
that flow of freedom
she found no where else.

Most of all she loved
the power of persuasion
alive in her hands
her voice
the way she could coax
them to her will
make them go anywhere
do anything
as long as she honored
with kindness
the awkwardness of
their developing hearts.

Mountain Cemetery
from High Country Poems, Filter Press, 2008

Walk softly here
Where once they tenderly laid down their dead
So far from home.

Walk quietly
And breathe a prayer for peace
For all who sleep in these blue hills.
Straighten the graying picket fence
That stock have pushed in search of greening grass.
Fill up the hole the curious coyotes dug.

Brush back a tear
For one wild fragile rose
That climbs a stone where mother and a babe
No longer look upon a sunlit world
Save through the blue-eyed flax.

Bow with your heart
To all the ghosts of men who lived by code,
Compelled to play each card exactly as it fell–
The unafraid–the strong–the uninsured,
Who died bequeathing to us all
Dim trails that lead forever to a western sun.

Goin’ Up t’ Cripple Creek

December 12, 2011 by

Saturday, December 10, was a mild winter day, perfect for a drive from the Palmer Divide area to Cripple Creek. The winter scenery, carols on the car radio, and a small-town Christmas parade brought on the Christmas spirit.   

By invitation of the Teller County Parks and Rec Department, Nancy Oswald signed her new book Rescue in Poverty Gulch during the Cripple Creek Gold Camp Christmas celebration Friday and Saturday. The middle-grade chapter book  is set in Cripple Creek in 1896 and features the antics of 11-year-old Ruby Mae Oliver and her donkey, Maude.

Click to read more about the book in the review in the Salida Mountain Mail.

Christmas: Read It / Watch It

December 2, 2011 by

Part of the joy of Christmas is repetition. Working the same jigsaw puzzles, cooking the same recipes, baking the same cookies, so this list of books and movies is, to put it gently, ‘vintage’. What’s new can be found at Amazon or by asking the helpful, knowledgeable staff people in bookstores. My recommendations for great reading/viewing —drum roll, please.

  • A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. Yes, that Truman Capote. This is a great read aloud (ages 10 and up and all adults) if only for the line, “It’s fruitcake weather!” Simple, sweet, and, somehow subtlely and powerfully, this one carries an emotional wallop.
  • The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree is perfection. Enchance the experience of reading Gloria Houston’s touching story by sharing it with young children. Set deep in the Appalachians of North Carolina, Ruthie and her mother set out to find the perfect tree Ruthie’s father picked out before he went to WW1. The story is illustrated by the great Barbara Cooney, and makes the strong point that Christmas does not depend on purchasing power.
  • For something completely different there’s Denver’s own Damon Runyan. His short story, “Dancing Dan’s Christmas”  shows up on these lists from time to time and for good reason. You can read P. G. Wodehouse’s  Another Christmas Carol or have it read to you via YouTube posting. Total reading time, 17 minutes. Totally Wodehouse and that means totally funny.

My movie list is almost as dated as the books, I’m afraid. Must see Yuletide flicks —

  • Numero uno – Christmas Vacation. Each year I watch and wait for good wife Beverly DeAngelo to speak truth to power. Fav line: “What can I say? It’s Christmas, and we’re all miserable.” Yep. The antithesis of sweet Christmas books, but I love it.
  • Numero two-0. About a Boy. Cynical Hugh Grant finds the Christmas spirit by saving a youngster from performing Killing Me Softly in his school’s talent show. Now, there’s an act of Christmas charity!
  • Numero three-o. The Bishop’s Wife. The original Christmas chick flick, filmed in 1947. Men do not ‘get’ this movie, so call in your gf’s for tea, sandwiches and 2 hours with glamour guys Cary Grant and David Niven. The plot? Loretta Young makes angelic Grant think twice about his heavenly mission on earth. 

I’ll add to this list throughout December in other posts and award a FP gift certificate to anyone who coontributes a title – movie, book, short story, poem – to it. Merry. Merry. Merry.

 

The Thanksgiving Proclamation

November 2, 2011 by

October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States
A Proclamation

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United Stated States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.