Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Word Garden Word List--Mary Oliver


Hello my little nature hikers, and welcome to this week's Word List poetry prompt! Recently, Queen Cool Dora managed to get it through my thick head that Jane Olivor and Mary Oliver are not the same person. I had listened to Jane Olivor way back in the day, found her unsatisfying, and forever after ignored both Olivor and Oliver, thinking them the same. D'oh! 

Mary Oliver is, as it turns out, marvelous, and here is a chance for most of you to say "I told you so!" She writes in a deceptively simple style about birds and plants and everyday natural things, but always finds the magic, the beauty, and the universal in them. Her style reminds me a bit of Ted Hughes but kinder, without the edge, and of someone over at Poet Laundry who shall remain nameless cos I am discreet like that. 

What we do here is to use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in a new, original poem of our own. It is not necessary to include any nod to Mary Oliver, though you are free to do so if you so desire. Then just link up, visit others, and then plop down in a field someplace and breathe in the natural world as you feel your heartbeat slow and your nerves relax. This prompt remains active through next Sunday. 

And now, your List:


Maury Wills


When I see the blackbirds and sparrows 
                                          speeding low in the sky
                                          ahead of a storm,
They remind me of a childhood summer
                                         and Maury Wills, the
                                         stolen base king.

I remember my father's barber crowing at the tv,
                                       "What a crackerjack!"
                                       as I waited in a chair, feet dangling.
When I see the red squirrel take over the feeder
                                      despite being smaller,
                                       I think of Maury Wills beating the odds
and the throw to second.

He disrupted the pitcher, catcher, and fielders
                                    like the neighbor cat in the ground ivy
                                    sure to pounce, just a matter of when.
His feet were his fortune, raising the dust sliding in
                                     on legs purple with dreadful bruises
                                      and red with rash, the Dodgers' captain
doing whatever it took.

When I see the grackle strutting with its gotten peanut
                                  I think of Maury Wills'  bright jewelry--
                                  the Hickock Belt, MVP and World Series rings.
The resourceful chipmunk makes me wonder, what is it like
                                to be smaller, quicker, cheeks stuffed
                                 while the circling hawk goes hungry?

Then I realize that I already know these things, even as
                                the years steal on me and I grow slower
                                sitting in my sanctuary, watching the action.

For Word Garden Word List--Mary Oliver

Process notes: Maury Wills is a lifelong favorite of mine, first for his baseball skills, and later for other things as well. He grew up in the projects in Washington DC and had no idea a black kid could hope to play in the majors until a Senators player named Jerry Priddy showed up at his local diamond to talk to the kids playing ball there. Wills never forgot it. Too small to be a slugger, he learned to switch hit and to use his speed, a forgotten weapon in baseball in an era of burly bashers.
   It was a long road to the big show for him, but when he finally got his chance, he ran with it (pun intended!). He went on to become captain of the Los Angeles Dodgers, break Ty Cobb's single season stolen base record, win an MVP award in 1962 and the Hickok Belt for sportsman of the year across all sports. He even made numerous appearances on television variety shows, playing the banjo--typical of him to choose such an instrument. 
   When his baseball career ended, and everything he had worked so hard to excel at was over, things changed. A girlfriend introduced him to cocaine, and Wills fell down, all the way down, into full-blown addiction. It took time, but once again the tenacity and drive that served him in baseball served him again in recovery and like me, he lived sober for the rest of his days. Maury Wills lived by his own lights, found great success his own way, and beat the devil to finish up on a high note. 
   I have tried here to combine Mary Oliver's eye for the everyday wonder of the natural world with the story of a childhood hero, Maury Wills. 

Music: Tracey Chapman Fast Car

Tuesday, June 25, 2024



So here I am in Paris
but it isn't really.
It is only what I imagine Paris to be
or would like it to be
or have hoped it would be.

So here I am, in Paris, with you
but not exactly.
You are not what I imagined you to be
or would like you to be
or had hoped you would be. 

So here I am alone
in a strange place.
I am not how I imagined myself to be
or would like to be
or had hoped I would be. 

I wish I had a loaf of French bread
and a sweet pastry
since even in my imagining, wine is out.
I wish I had a hand to hold
or a book to read
written in both languages.

I wish I had a balcony
overlooking a busy boulevard
full of small cars
and bright bicycles.
I wish there were geraniums in hanging pots
and a flowered gown to wear.

I wish that for a day
I could be not-old again.
There would be an unmade bed,
also a dog,
and perhaps a man, or a woman.
I'd be happy either way.

So here I am in Paris
but not Paris.
Here I am with you,
but not you at all.
Here I am
whoever it is that I am,

leaning out from my balcony
in my flowered gown,
completely mystified like a little girl
giving her dolls names like
Jeanne Marie
or Shay Caroline

calling them by name and serving tea. 

I used THIS list of prompts again, this time #9. 

Episodes of Sea and Sky


I sleep on a tightwire
with a balancing pole
like a pair of oars.

I am busy organizing,
counting, ordering
that only
exist in my dreams.

wearing shoes with grooved soles
making my way to a 15th floor window
all  I 
so want
is to get it all down 
on paper and set in boxes.

it all reduces in an instant
to pointless nonsense.
Ah me.
and silly besides. Sometimes,
someone loved me--they're gone too.

this splitting of my mind
is like an updraft out of my everyday skin.
My useless
looping tasks
give me purpose, and comfort
and favored faces alongside.

morning makes off
with these impossible pufferies
and I
but it feels like falling
very fast, from height.

for Word Garden Word List--Let the Right One In

Music: Bronson Know Me

Monday, June 24, 2024

Word Garden Word List--Let The Right One In


Hello my little scaredy cats! Time for this week's Word List! This time I've decided to do something a little bit different. I've chosen as our source material a novel that I really do not recommend reading! Oh, it's well-written and all of that, but it is definitely disturbing. I'm talking about Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. 

There are two movie versions (one in Swedish and one in English) as well as the book. I have only seen the Swedish movie and was fascinated with it, but when I tried to read the book, I didn't get far. I decided I didn't need it in my head. It's about a boy who befriends a strange girl who only appears after dark and has to be invited in. I think you get the gist. It's also a story about like seeking like. No worries though! The List is as safe as milk!

What we do here is to use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in a new original poem of our own. Then just link up, visit others, and then relax in a cozy room with all doors and windows securely locked, especially if you decide to read Let the Right One In. This prompt remains active through Sunday. 

And now, your List!


Saturday, June 22, 2024

The Bogus Line


You crawl along the marrow in my long bones
and at the base of my skull, whispering in my ear.
You crawl between my legs 
and curl around my teeth and fingernails.

"Let's get fucked up." 
Even after all this time, 
there you are, my old frenemy
offering your false comfort.

I'm not the lonesome kid that I was anymore,
the one who skipped the day when they taught the language
that gets you in and gets you by.
I was with my almost-twin, the future suicide.

"Let's check out," 
The worst I'm gonna do is oversleep,
so save it, killer. 
I know you're lying cos your lips are moving.

You're the dark alley with roses at the way in.
You're the lover with zip ties in the pillowcase.
I'm the woman walking alone for miles and miles and miles. 
I'm the woman who knows your moves and bogus line.

I'm not the lonesome kid I was anymore
but never learned the language, so made up my own--
It's killer stuff and I'm
whistling past the graveyard on my way home. 

I went looking for a poetry prompt and found one HERE. I used #3, to describe the sensation of listening to a favorite song in a language you don't understand. I chose Patricia's Mes Reves de Satin (Nights In White Satin.) I do know some French, but I'm not fluent. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Cinder Ella


Cinder Ella was this chick who was doing some minor dealing in the vestibule of her old boyfriend's building when a snitch turned her in and she got sent to juvie.

Freeeak. So bogus.

The 'rents lost it and so when she'd done her stupid community service, they said oh my, oh dear, you really need some discipline here, and gave her like ten thousand chores to do and she was grounded until she's 75 and everybody in the world is dead from a nuclear accident or something. Yippee skippee. 

So anyway, Cinder Ella had no further forks to give, so she opened her bedroom window and had a smoke in between cleaning all the bathrooms and mulching the stupid garden so the rutabagas would grow ten feet tall of whatever it is that rutabagas do. Kill me now, she thought, don't wait for the Marlboros to kick in.

It was at that moment that this leftover hippie woman flew in. I mean, actually flew and perched her grown-ass self in the window frame. "No wayyy," said Cinder Ella, taking a long drag. "Way" said the boomer in the window. "I am your fairy godmother!" Cinder Ella replied, "Well fork me and feed me fish heads." 

Long story short, Cinder Ella's fairy godmother had seen and heard more than enough of the way Cinder Ella was being treated, by both the 'rents and her social influencer sisters. "Easy solutions for combination skin!" So lame. So, this boomer turned a cat figurine into an Uber driver, and a lava lamp into a Lambo, all so that Cinder Ella could attend the Lady Gaga concert that night. "Fuckinay," said Cinder, stubbing out her smoke on the chore list her mother had left on the side table for her. It burst into flames and suddenly there she was, getting out of the Lambo at the venue!

So, the concert was lit, but she lost one of her Doc Martens when it got to be almost midnight and she had to make a run for the Lambo before it turned back into a lava lamp and the driver became a cat figurine again. I mean, she got that thing at Six Flags when she was like, nine, and she'd look like the majorette of the Loser's Day Parade if she didn't get out there in time. So she did, and came hobbling in the door just in time to sneak up to her room and do some cannabis to mellow out. 

Well, fat chance. Ding-dong, some hopeless dweeb desperately in need of a glow-up was standing in the front doorway when she came downstairs to snob, er, say hello to, whoever it was. Holding her lost Doc Marten in his hands, he smiled nervously and asked Cinder Ella and her sisters Madison and Courtney to try it on. Madison couldn't even begin to get her big boats into it, and Courtney's toenail fungus made everybody gag so she just sort of ran up to her room crying. "Oh boo hoo hoo, I'm stinky Courtney, my feet are soooooo gross wahhhh," scoffed Cinder Ella as her sister swept past. 

"Would you like to try it on?" the boy asked, shyly. "As if," said Cinder Ella, grabbing the Doc Marten out of his hands and giving him a shove out the door. "Try Proactiv!" she said to his back as he stumbled away in bewilderment. She shrugged. "I'm really more into girls lately anyway." Walking down the hall and into the garage, knocking over her dad's retardo golf bag as she passed, Cinder Ella grabbed a screwdriver off of his work bench and hotwired the Mazda. "Happy happy to all and to all a good buzz!" she called as she drove away, swerving to avoid some stupid squirrel that did that changing direction thing that squirrels do, and she just about totaled the Mazda and sustained crippling injuries like in a Lifetime movie, except she didn't, and that's the end. Follow me for more dumb fairy tales if you're, like, grounded until eternity and it's completely unfair and you're  so over it or whatever. 

For What's Going On? -- Unfairy Tales

Music: The Sounds Running Out of Turbo

Monday, June 17, 2024

Word Garden Word List--Gracefully Insane


Hello my little madcaps! It's time once again for your Word List poetry prompt, and today our source is Alex Beam's book Gracefully Insane, a chronicle of McLean Hospital where such famous persons as Ray Charles, Susannah Kaysen ("Girl Interrupted"), James Taylor, and Sylvia Plath came at various times for treatment of depression and other mental disorders. I would give a review, but I haven't yet read it. I just happened to spot this one sitting on the top of (one of my) TBR pile(s). I simply decided to pounce upon it for the List. 

What we do here to use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in a new original poem of our own. Then just link up, visit others (don't be the kind who makes use of the List but never visits anyone), and then let your mind wander, around the room or off the deep end. We're fine with that around here. 

This prompt stays active through next Sunday. Enjoy! And now, your List:


Dear Reader


There you are, dear reader, demanding that I account for both myself and my famous affair with Basil Pennington III, father of the English Haiku-Sonnet. 

Nosy little parker, aren't you? Hmph. My air of mystery is positively in tatters.

You'll have read, I'm sure, my first published volume, Cargo of the Heart (1905), a collection of some two-thousand love poems, all of them concerning my furious devotion to Bazzy (as I called him privately). Tiresomely, most people only know the opening poem, Honeymoon In Hell, which was written shortly after I had sustained a closed head injury. 

My Arrow-collared Adonis stands in fading dusk-light
your chin tipped down, lighter flaring up,
capturing my heart as your pince-nez does your nose
while on Love's nectar'd wine we sup!

Yes, well. My early efforts were heartfelt if a trifle lacking in restraint. But you want to hear about Bazzy (as I called him privately)! You may not know that Basils senior and junior were fierce tyrants, captains of industry, and both afflicted with a ferocious case of skin blemishes in their youth. Imagine their chagrin at the arrival of this perfect, square-jawed, wavy-haired, strapping example of manhood amongst them. Imagine further his utter disinterest in the family undergarment empire. 

Undergarment wizards, bitter devils dancing lugubriously on Profit's stage,
Blind behemoths blundering benightedly
Dismissive of Delight, scornful of sage
poring over ledger books, squalling, squealing and squinting short-sightedly!

I guess I told them ! For months in 1911 we closed ourselves off in a lovely seaside cottage, seeing no one but each other, except for the odd Ouija manifestation or mushroom hallucination, as one will. 

Love! Bliss! Oh Rapture!
the wet raindrop on the stalk
that grows proud and tall!

Of course, my volume of erotic haiku entitled Cherry Blossom Lobotomy was seized by the port authorities in Boston and ultimately banned as both pornographic and jejune. "Everyone's a critic," I lamented to Bazzy (as I called him privately). We were both convinced that Basils senior and junior had had a hand in that nasty bit of business, but we could never prove it, and besides, I was occupied with my hybrid petunias and Bazzy (as I called him privately) was shortly off in France fighting in some silly war. If you like, pick up a copy of my collection of war poetry entitled Ka-Boom! The New York Times reviewer wrote that the collection convinced him that there are worse things than death, but I never understood what he meant. When Bazzy (as I called him privately) was killed, I couldn't imagine anything worse than his having been run over by a Paris taxi while on leave from the Army Bureau of Statistics located behind the lines in wine country. I delve into this terrible period with the epic poem Drunk In Public, which won the Delirium Tremens Award for excellence in incomprehensible gibberish. I've always been very proud of that, though the arcane terminology eludes me somewhat. May I present you with a copy? I can have one of the staff sign it for you if you like. No? Don't be shy, dear--I insist!

Anyway, that's the Reader's Digest condensed version of my sweeping affair with Basil (or "Bazzy" as I called him privately) Pennington III. If you'd like to pry, er, read further, see if you can find a copy of Cornerstone Poems--the "Found" Poems of Constance MacFarquhar-Pennington, A Complete Compendium With Bibliography, Personal Correspondence & Rare Photographs (Crumbley J. Pepperpot and Phyllis Anne Von Vandekamp eds. Redundancy Publishers New York Montreal London Belgrade and Hong Kong 1932.  I saw a copy on the website Remaindered Oblivion not two weeks ago!  Ta now, dear. Hmm. Thank Heaven and Heloise that the little twaddlehead is gone.  For pity sake, I never even actually met Basil Pennington III, or "Bazzy" as I imagined I would have called him privately, had I had the chance. No matter. Time for wine and work! I've got a new book underway and cannot be disturbed. 

My rather lengthy poem (?) for Word Garden Word List--Gracefully Insane.


Friday, June 14, 2024

Back-Up Bliss (Blues Lyric)


You know I love you baby
you know I crave your kiss
you know I love you baby
you know I crave your kiss
so don't act all broken-hearted
when I say that you're my back-up bliss

Slip out the back door baby
when you hear the front door key
slip on out the back door baby
when you hear the front door key
now don't get sad
dontcha get all mad
cos back-up bliss is what you are to me

Come and rock me baby
smooth and sweet as summer wine
come on and rock me baby
as smooth and sweet as summer wine
main squeeze ain't got nothin'
that could make me give up this
time with you, my cool and crazy back-up bliss

Process notes! I was blasting Robin Trower's Rock Me Baby while putting away groceries. Now there is a coffee creamer I just have to have, called Natural Bliss brown sugar oat creamer. The store doesn't always have it, and it lasts for months if it isn't opened, so when I get about half done with my current jug, I buy a back-up before I get too low because running out just isn't happening, not at my house! So, I was putting away groceries and grabbed the new Natural Bliss and said, "Oh yes, my back-up Bliss!" That's when the light bulb came on over my head. Sounds like a blues rock song! And voila! Here it is, with tongue firmly in cheek!

Music: Robin Trower Rock Me Baby

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Gray Cat In the Paperbacks


At the most unexpected time
on the most unlikely of days
I met someone who couldn't stay, 
and yet stayed forever.

I wasn't then who I am now
which is both a good and a sad thing.
I didn't really love the one who gave me a ring
but meant well by them.

No poetry, on paper or in my heart
but I had one regret and so made a wish
to know the real thing with someone, only that and only this.
I knew the weight of asking.

I had asked to know peaceful days
before I grew old, and was given them.
I asked for sobriety and the craving was gone as if it had never been.
Still, out of the blue, out of left field...

I saw green eyes and they saw mine
just walking by at the end of an ordinary day.
Imagine someone feeling the same way; hit by lightning, swept away
from the next morning, for one glorious day.

Would you believe in a love at first sight?
Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time.
Two people utterly bowled over--one day to remember forever--mine.
Talk about the luck of the Irish.

Would I walk away from it again?
Would I be so rulebound? Was I right to head back home?
It doesn't matter now. I'm okay the rest of the way alone. 
I have that day, and the card you sent

to keep and remember what an answered prayer meant.

(Blogger isn't letting me do links normally, lately.) 

Image at top is the card mentioned in the poem. I've kept it for 27 years. The gray cat is because I told them about a poem I had read in which a gray cat is a symbol for randomness and kismet. The poem was "untitled" by Carl Rickert. I would link to it but have never found it anywhere except in the magazine where I first read it. 

Music: Holly Cole I've Just Seen A Face  (If the Beatles object to me quoting Help From My Friends in this poem, I place myself at their mercy. I'd kill me if I were them!)

Monday, June 10, 2024

Word Garden Word List--Night Road


Hello, my poodle skirt poets! (qbit, you in particular look quite fetching.) Right now, I am reading a novel by Kristen Hannah called The Women, which is about nurses during the Viet Nam war. I have only just begun it, but Hannah is a go-to author for me. Occasionally--especially in her early novels--she can be rather Lifetime Movie-ish, but she tore my heart out with Winter Garden, her novel about the siege of Leningrad, and this week's source Night Road. 

Kristin Hannah

Night Road
is about Lexi Baill, a former foster child with a dark past, who finds a new life with her great-aunt and best friend Mia. However, a tragic accident during the girls' senior year shatters everything. It really touched my heart and I never forgot it. 

What we do here is to use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in a new original poem of our own. Then simply link up, visit others, and drive safely on the way home. This prompt remains active until next Sunday. Enjoy!

And now, your List:


Bimbo Season


Summer and I cannot really be friends--
she is tiresomely popular
with her garish daylight that extends
heedlessly into my delicious darkness.

She's the hot girl, skin-deep,
boring me to death with her obviousness
too loud, too cheap,
queen of the surfer boy entourage. 

If only there were some ceremony
that I could perform
to summon chilly winter here for me,
my old bestie returned.

I would live in a bus with bed and blankets
and a storm outside,
all the windows hung with trinkets
and--weirdly--streaming tv.

Yes, an all-comforts bare-bones hideaway
out in the distant sticks
up on four wheels on a winter's day
with soup and chocolate!

Sadly, here I am with this bimbo season summer,
my imagined paradise
far away and impossible--bummer!
White it out winter,

Come back with your cool quiet and I'll write you a killer poem 
to knock your woolly socks off. 

for Word Garden Word List--Night Road

Music: Fleetwood Mac Bare Trees