Merry Summer Solstice!

Merry Summer Solstice!
El Sol

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Here's to the end of a year and the beginning of a new year! And to Venus, the brightest point of light ~

The Year's Awakening

How do you know that the pilgrim track
Along the belting zodiac
Swept by the sun in his seeming rounds
Is traced by now to the Fishes' bounds
And into the Ram, when weeks of cloud
Have wrapt the sky in a clammy shroud,
And never as yet a tinct of spring
Has shown in the Earth's apparelling;
  O vespering bird, how do you know,
     How do you know?

How do you know, deep underground,
Hid in your bed from sight and sound,
Without a turn in temperature,
With weather life can scarce endure,
That light has won a fraction's strength,
And day put on some moments' length,
Whereof in merest rote will come,
Weeks hence, mild airs that do not numb;
   O crocus root, how do you know,
      How do you know?

Thomas Hardy


Snow at Night

I prefer it even to love,
alone and without ghost
it falls a hard weather,
a withdrawing room
that revives me to stolen daylight
in which I feel no wish
to brush a gleaming finish
over the sheen-broken glass
I've arranged and rearranged
as apprentice of mosaics
who will not be taught but asks
to be left alone with the brittle year
so carnivorous of all I'd made.
But the snow I love covers
my beasts and seas,
my ferns and spines
worn through and through.
I will change your life, it says,
to which I say please.

Katie Ford


How to Love

After stepping into the world again,
there is that question of how to love,
how to bundle yourself against the frosted morning —
the crunch of icy grass underfoot, the scrape
of cold wipers along the windshield —
and convert time into distance.

What song to sing down an empty road
as you begin your morning commute?
And is there enough in you to see, really see,
the three wild turkeys crossing the street
with their featherless heads and stilt-like legs
in search of a morning meal? Nothing to do
but hunker down, wait for them to safely cross.

As they amble away, you wonder if they want
to be startled back into this world. Maybe you do, too,
waiting for all this to give way to love itself,
to look into the eyes of another and feel something —
the pleasure of a new lover in the unbroken night,
your wings folded around him, on the other side
of this ragged January, as if a long sleep had ended.

January Gill O'Neil

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Happy birthday Emily Dickinson and Micah Bernard!

A Route of Evanescence

A Route of Evanescence
With a revolving Wheel 
A Resonance of Emerald
A Rush of Cochineal 
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts it's Tumbled Head 
The mail from Tunis probably,
An easy Morning's Ride 

Emily Dickinson



Oh the Spring
A good time

We can enjoy the summer...
Oh mighty rain
Says the desert man

Oh Spring finally you,
No more Winter

Micah Joseph Bernard
(Age 11)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gratitude & staying rooted

Gate A-4

Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning
my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement:
“If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please
come to the gate immediately.”

Well—one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there.

An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just
like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing. “Help,"
said the flight agent. “Talk to her. What is her problem? We
told her the flight was going to be late and she did this.”

I stooped to put my arm around the woman and spoke haltingly.
“Shu-dow-a, Shu-bid-uck Habibti? Stani schway, Min fadlick, Shu-bit-
se-wee?” The minute she heard any words she knew, however poorly
used, she stopped crying. She thought the flight had been cancelled
entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for major medical treatment the
next day. I said, “No, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just later, who is
picking you up? Let’s call him.”

We called her son, I spoke with him in English. I told him I would
stay with his mother till we got on the plane and ride next to
her. She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just
for the fun of it. Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while
in Arabic and found out of course they had ten shared friends. Then I
thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian poets I know
and let them chat with her? This all took up two hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling of her life, patting my knee,
answering questions. She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool
cookies—little powdered sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and
nuts—from her bag—and was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the mom from California, the
lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same powdered
sugar. And smiling. There is no better cookie.

And then the airline broke out free apple juice from huge coolers and two
little girls from our flight ran around serving it and they
were covered with powdered sugar, too. And I noticed my new best friend—
by now we were holding hands—had a potted plant poking out of her bag,
some medicinal thing, with green furry leaves. Such an old country tradi-
tion. Always carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and I thought, This
is the world I want to live in. The shared world. Not a single person in that
gate—once the crying of confusion stopped—seemed apprehensive about
any other person. They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women, too.

This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

To November, and the good things around us

Around Us

We need some pines to assuage the darkness
when it blankets the mind,
we need a silvery stream that banks as smoothly
as a plane's wing, and a worn bed of
needles to pad the rumble that fills the mind,
and a blur or two of a wild thing
that sees and is not seen. We need these things
between appointments, after work,
and, if we keep them, then someone someday,
lying down after a walk
and supper, with the fire hole wet down,
the whole night sky set at a particular
time, without numbers or hours, will cause
a little sound of thanks--a zipper or a snap--
to close round the moment and the thought
of whatever good we did.

Marvin Bell

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

For Alvaro...Feliz Cumpleaños!

Soneto IX

Al golpe de la ola contra la piedra indócil 
la claridad estalla y establece su rosa 
y el círculo del mar se reduce a un racimo, 
a una sola gota de sal azul que cae. 

Oh radiante magnolia desatada en la espuma, 
magnética viajera cuya muerte florece 
y eternamente vuelve a ser y a no ser nada: 
sal rota, deslumbrante movimiento marino. 

Juntos tú y yo, amor mío, sellamos el silencio, 
mientras destruye el mar sus constantes estatuas 
y derrumba sus torres de arrebato y blancura, 

porque en la trama de estos tejidos invisibles 
del agua desbocada, de la incesante arena, 
sostenemos la única y acosada ternura.

In the wave-strike over unquiet stones
the brightness bursts and bears the rose
and the ring of water contracts to a cluster
to one drop of azure brine that falls.

O magnolia radiance breaking in spume,
magnetic voyager whose death flowers
and returns, eternal, to being and nothingness:
shattered brine, dazzling leap of the ocean.

Merged, you and I, my love, seal the silence
while the sea destroys its continual forms,
collapses its turrets of wildness and whiteness,

because in the weft of those unseen garments
of headlong water, and perpetual sand,

we bear the sole, relentless tenderness.

Pablo Neruda
Translation by A.S. Kline

Monday, September 21, 2015

Happy Fall Equinox!

The Beautiful Changes

One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides   
The Queen Anne’s Lace lying like lilies
On water; it glides
So from the walker, it turns
Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of you   
Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes.

The beautiful changes as a forest is changed   
By a chameleon’s tuning his skin to it;   
As a mantis, arranged
On a green leaf, grows
Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves   
Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows.

Your hands hold roses always in a way that says   
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes   
In such kind ways,   
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose   
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Here's to September, wind-shifts, and my Mom's 82nd trip around the sun!

Ps(alm) for Departure

I take comfort in more than one
traveling alphabet
The text will (go with you) come with me
Come go anywhere
Take these words (which are emblems)
Place them everywhere
You who are beyond words
Contained in every ambling scrawl


Monday, August 24, 2015

To swimming and the call of water ~


On nights like this we used to swim in the quarry,   
the boys making up games requiring them to tear off  the girls' clothes   
and the girls cooperating, because they had new bodies since last summer
and they wanted to exhibit them, the brave ones   
leaping off  the high rocks  bodies crowding the water.

The nights were humid, still. The stone was cool and wet,
marble for  graveyards, for buildings that we never saw,   
buildings in cities far away.

On cloudy nights, you were blind. Those nights the rocks were dangerous,   
but in another way it was all dangerous, that was what we were after.   
The summer started. Then the boys and girls began to pair off   
but always there were a few left at the end  sometimes they'd keep watch,
sometimes they'd pretend to go off  with each other like the rest,
but what could they do there, in the woods? No one wanted to be them.   
But they'd show up anyway, as though some night their luck would change,   
fate would be a different fate.

At the beginning and at the end, though, we were all together.
After the evening chores, after the smaller children were in bed,   
then we were free. Nobody said anything, but we knew the nights we'd meet   
and the nights we wouldn't. Once or twice, at the end of summer,   
we could see a baby was going to come out of all that kissing.

And for those two, it was terrible, as terrible as being alone.   
The game was over. We'd sit on the rocks smoking cigarettes,   
worrying about the ones who weren't there.

And then finally walk home through the fields,   
because there was always work the next day.   
And the next day, we were kids again, sitting on the front steps in the morning,   
eating a peach.  Just that, but it seemed an honor to have a mouth.   
And then going to work, which meant helping out in the fields.   
One boy worked for an old lady, building shelves.   
The house was very old, maybe built when the mountain was built.

And then the day faded. We were dreaming, waiting for night.   
Standing at the front door at twilight, watching the shadows lengthen.   
And a voice in the kitchen was always complaining about the heat,
wanting the heat to break.

Then the heat broke, the night was clear.   
And you thought of  the boy or girl you'd be meeting later.   
And you thought of  walking into the woods and lying down,   
practicing all those things you were learning in the water.   
And though sometimes you couldn't see the person you were with,
there was no substitute for that person.

The summer night glowed; in the field, fireflies were glinting.
And for those who understood such things, the stars were sending messages:   
You will leave the village where you were born   
and in another country you'll become very rich, very powerful,
but always you will mourn something you left behind, even though   
you can't say what it was,
and eventually you will return to seek it.