Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rainy Day in Chicago

Today brings to mind another rainy day, a few years ago:

Rainy Day

All morning the wind

shudders the windows, pushes
a curtain of water against
the glass.  Outside
each creature cowers
in its shelter.  Inside I

listen to the furious

lake and the death-cries

of the wind while words
    one by one
          across the lined pages of
my notebook, its blue covers
thick and velvet-soft.  There is
something desirable
about rain and
the solitude it brings.   The possibility
of hours of un-
interrupted reading; an entire day
devoted to shaping a poem, carving each word
out of the void or simply plucking one
out of the hundreds lined-up at attention
like good little tin soldiers in my brain.

the sky
spent of its passion, serene
after thunder, I walk
into town, a book under my arm,
wet grasses brushing
against my bare legs, crisp air
and vivid blue sky
all the creatures out
again -- 
a red-headed woodpecker
who dives noisily against
the dead high limbs
of a sycamore tree,
its curling bark exposing
the whitish-brown trunk;
a cedar waxwing, his cinnamon
crest darting
  in and out
            of a drenched thicket
of red mulberry leaves, quick
bursts to snack on flying
insects.  I
prefer a cup of coffee, a slice
of peach tart at the Pumpernickel Inn.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

@ home

I think it's time I explain the name of the blog.  It is actually very simple:  I never had children yet I have three grandchildren.  I never thought I wanted to have children and yet, I love my grandchildren; and enjoy caring for them regularly.

Until recently - and for the last four years - I took care of the first grandchild: Oliver.  He was and is a delight, a surprise, an amazing child.  Then came his sister Adelaide: sweet, loving.  When they moved to another city I was sad.  But now I have added a third girl - their cousin - Ezri.  She looks at me with her big blue eyes; she listens to my voice and smiles.

What a serendipitous turn of events!  How fortunate I am!  More later.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

@ the Nature Center

The walk at the nature center reminded me of the days in Union Pier a few years ago.  Here is the first poem I wrote then:

First Day

The season of snow has given way to this month of May
when wildflowers tumble out of the darkness, strutting
their warm purples and deep yellows out on the prairie. 
After this morning’s rain, the sun slices in-between
impossibly-high red oak branches, its lukewarm rays diving
all the way down into the forest floor where
the smell of the wet woods rises
to meet my deep breathing.

Excited --
like children on Christmas morning -- we
descend the rickety, narrow steps to wander
on the wide beach, our bare feet sinking into
the unwalked sand, freshly dried and loose
between our toes.  This is all ours!  All ours
to contemplate and listen to and smell,
a peaceful pleasure for two, a miracle. 
David skips stones into the lake’s shining sheets
but I can’t.  I
don’t know how
no matter how hard I try to hold the flat
pebbles just so, fling them straight out
with a twist
of the wrist, wishing for at least one bounce
or two.  Before long,  the fog -- that portent of cooling
temperatures -- begins to travel slowly overhead.   With the mist
on our shoulders, our backs, we quicken our pace,
craving some warmth in the face of so much dampness.  

And climbing the shaky stairs up to our newly rented cottage I
wonder how much of an urban dweller I am,
needing cellular phones and emails
to feel a part of this world,
a glimpse at a red cardinal perched on the slanted roof,
its black throat gleaming as he takes flight
should be enough,
in the black and quiet night the sound of waves crashing on the shore
should suffice.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

@ home

"don't like anybody" he says
refusing to play with the other kids
standing next to me
piling the rocks and sticks
one by one
adding a seed or two

"don't like anybody" he repeats
when the girl in the green frilly dress
touches his rocks and sticks and seeds
then he shrieks, he pushes,
he cries
I hold him I tell him to be nice

"don't like people" he shouts
when the boy in the blue pants and white shirt
takes his front loader truck away
I hold him I ask him to share
"don't like anybody" he reminds me
I should've known better

He knows what he likes and
what he doesn't: rocks, dandelions,
seeds, pasta, trucks, figs, these he likes.
Baths in the tub with rubber frogs and
yellow ducks, these he likes.
Taking a nap he doesn't.
Wearing socks he doesn't.
He likes blueberries and cherries,
goldfish crackers, lollipops.
He likes dreidles, sponges.
Stickers he adores.

He knows what he likes and
what he doesn't.  He likes his nookies
and his blanky.  He needs them to sleep.
His blue eyes, long eyelashes, dark
blond hair I like.
His cheeks red, his toes and fingers
I like. 
I don't like it when he says:
"don't love nana anymore".

Friday, May 20, 2011

@ Argo Tea

Here I am: fingers poised over keyboard, waiting, waiting.  Police cars, motorcycles, buses, cars, people whizz by the corner of Armitage and Sheffield.  I write.  Yesterday I saw and heard Renny Golden read from her new poetry collection Blood Dessert.  Her poems recover the lost histories of New Mexico.  There were slides too.  Photos of cacti in bloom, painted mountains, big big blue sky.  I think I'd like to live near the dessert one of these days.  It's like living near the ocean.  Wide, open, infinite and blue.  I like open spaces.  They offer the promise of things to come.  They are optimistic.  Full of hope.