Oddments

In search of story


6 Comments

October 20.20

My house naps quiet

behind the tree;

the world passes by

obliviously.

The grandeur of

my life within,

curtained by

the daily din,

cannot be guessed

by passersby

who see my house

as small and shy.

My stemmed fine art

goes undetected,

like ruby rose window,

unexpected.

A splendid secret:

who could know

my little house

is Chenonceau?

 

 

 

 


4 Comments

September 10.20: Coping

The recipe,

that work of art,

bequeathed from bubbling

kitchen heart,

with stain and splot

of ancient dough,

bringing to Now

the Long-ago.

Penmanship of

floured hand,

preserved on paper

less than grand,

thus creating

choice giftwrap

of what was once

a lowly scrap.

 

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg,

and to Rose Schloot, owner of Cross River Lodge,

Grand Marais, Minnesota,

where this eloquent old piece of the past is displayed.

 

 


8 Comments

July 11.20: Coping

2019

2020

Yesterday I read a blog that asked if the reader has any gardening disappointments this year. Is he kidding? “Gardening” and “disappointment” go together like echinacea and Japanese beetles.

This is my third gardening season here; if you are a gardener, you know the third season is the beginning of seeing the garden as your own. For me, two distinct garden worlds: a bit shady in the front, a lot sunny in the back. Yes, Indiana clay and nasty root systems, exuberant invasives, malicious rabbits and chipmunks. But gradually mine.

Problems with a contractor have made it impossible for me to plant anything in the back this summer. All I have is a struggling collection of gangly seedlings with no place to grow. Empty tomato cages. No frilly yellow blossoms morphing into reds and golds. Not merely disappointment: it’s loss.

Gardeners survive the winter because they know a garden is coming, so when the garden fizzles the gardener kind of fizzles too. She might even let slip an imprecation. Maybe two.

Not everyone is a gardener, of course, but everyone has disappointments. And losses. It seems to me they are all felt more deeply this year because isolation is fertile ground for deep feelings.

So we cope, best we can, with emptiness where there should be life, and watch disappointment become loss, but we should never underestimate the toll it’s taking on us.

 

 

 


8 Comments

March 28.20: Coping

I seem to remember

when every grown-up

would sip something vile

from an everyday cup;

with cute little handle

and familiar old chip,

it was frequently clutched

in morning death grip.

I hadn’t yet learned

the elixir brew

was what made the sun rise

and enabled virtue.

But learn it I did

and in the meanwhile

the mug came along

in new sipping style.

Each mug a billboard

devoted to brevity,

graphics and text

mixing java with levity,

it warms our cold hands

not to mention our hearts,

so here’s to the mug

and the lift it imparts!

 

 

Lifting my mug this morning to you, dear reader,

with wishes for you and your loved ones:

may you be safe!

Saluting also photographer S.W. Berg

and coffee mug aficionado D.J. Berg!

 

 

 

 


4 Comments

March 6.20

Lusty thump

marks application,

with every stroke

fine syncopation,

wood on dough,

performance art,

percussive beat

of kitchen heart,

stretching, tugging,

this way, that,

persuading yeast

or flour and fat

to peasant noodle,

earthy, chewy,

or frail cream puff,

flaky, gooey.

In maestro’s hands

a nimble trill,

here on the wall

lumpish, still.

But regard with respect

the two-handled bole:

even inert

it’s ready to roll.

 

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg

and to la Madeleine, Fairfax County, VA.

 


8 Comments

November 26.19

The road to here

from distant there

is mapped as

greasy thoroughfare.

‘Mid stain and splotch,

old gizzard drip,

evolution in

encrypted scrip.

Notes to self

in mishmashed order

chase themselves

around the border,

not merely scrap,

timepiece instead,

the years piled up

like cubes of bread.

From my neatnik Mom

through freeform me

the family stuffing

legacy,

preserved in splat

of butter, sage,

for, I hope,

another age.

 

There was nothing like it: the smell on Thanksgiving morning. No, not coffee and bacon. Onion and celery and butter! Smells to float on. Dad would go to Mass and some years I went with him, but usually I stayed home to help. OK, so it should be “help.” I was very good at putting things away just before they were needed, and I was very good at reminding my mother how I disliked pumpkin pie. What a model child I was!

I hope your Thanksgiving memories are good ones, dear reader, and that, amid the bleakness of our times, we can give thanks for the things and people we know to be true and good.

I thank all of you who have stopped by my blog and left an encouraging word or like. Writing is ever on the edge of not-writing, and your kindnesses have kept me going many times.

A very happy Thanksgiving to you, dear reader!

If there is travel, may you and yours come and go in safety.