Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

I'll be back posting after the weekend. If you could wish one thing for the new year, what would it be??

In the meantime, visit Twenty-five webcam Views of Times Square this evening if not near a TV. This is Kim Komando's 'site of the day'.

...and Google shares what what caught our interest in 2005


Friday, December 30, 2005

If you like Enya...

I hope you can get this beautiful video from her website. Sometimes it takes two tries for it to load for me and give it a minutes. Also, sometimes, it comes up the first time with no sound, but on the second try the sound is there. If you hate Enya, well...write me a poem:-)

The site, itself, is interactive and fun to visit. Look for it at Berenice from Poet at Rest was kind enough to share this with me.


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Poems by young people with CFIDS

I found the poems and narratives written by these young people with CFIDS both moving and honest. It's been hard enough for me to deal with CFIDS and I had time for a good fulfilled life before I got hit with it. I can't imagine getting this illness as a child and losing my childhood. I've read some horrifying accounts from as early as ten years ago of the abuse some children with CFIDS went through with their classmates who didn't know anything about the illness and weren't educated by their teachers, who didn't know about it or believe in it, too. One young teenager struggled to keep up with schoolwork, but couldn't. She told her teacher she couldn't concentrate, had no energy, was tired all of the time. One of her classmates said 'If it's that hard, why don't you just go kill yourself?'

She did.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Feminist Artists of the Twentieth Century

Some time ago, I featured artist self-portraits. One reader commented that most were men. With the exception of Frieda Kahlo, that was true. Now, to balance that act out is this link to Feminist Artists of the 20th Century.


Now, which of this group is most to your artistic taste??


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Haiga Online Journal is up and WOW!

Read Haiga Online for some of the best haiga you've seen online. Want to understand haiga? You'll get a feel for that here. If you don't know what haiga is, google the word. MANY good articles out there. More than I can name in links here.

I know many of the people in this journal and they're tops in talent. Look for Jerry Dreesen, Laralee Frasier, Shane Gilbreth, an'ya, Carol many more. Perhaps the most emotional page is a series of haiga by Ron Moss, created from photos taken on his return to New Zealand on the occasion of his father's death. Ron is among my 'heros' when it comes to excellent haiga.

This makes two journals this month that have a wow rating with me!

Monday, December 26, 2005

PS If you have a high speed connection, check out..

Revival Press, John Korn's blog. He combines Ron Androlla's words with his own vid skills comes up with a good, fun series of shorts. The post is on top of his blog today.


Hard Call

(response to Michael Parker's December 7 call for poems in reaction to a photo of Mammatus clouds)

These decisions that come
hard as a whore's breath,
fast as a fall face-down
onto an unforgiving walkway.
My never born son's curled fetal
body lies hammocked in multiples
in the Mammatus clouds hanging,
like guilt, over my cowering rooftop.
They remind me that one slide-trombone
moment can mean either a uterus
sucked dry as an old sock or
a newborn's long screaming ride
down to a mother's quiet lullaby
and bluebells, yet to be picked.


Mammatus are pouch-like cloud structures and a rare example of clouds in sinking air. Sometimes very ominous in appearance, mammatus clouds are harmless and do not mean that a tornado is about to form; a commonly held misconception. In fact, mammatus are usually seen after the worst of a thunderstorm has passed. For more information, read HERE

Saturday, December 24, 2005

One more Christmas Eve Post (click to enlarge photos)

taken from a letter i just sent out to cousins, old friends from childhood days who knew my family, and some current friends.

My mother's last christmas alive was in 1995. We gathered at this table, as family did when it was in my tiny Carolina hometown for many years. I've not had it opened and decorated, with Aunt Orpha's Haviland china on it in all these years since. For one thing, the only family who's been able to come since her death has been a much loved third cousin, but not at Christmas. For another thing, for so many years I was too sick to even think about doing this. So...this year, my husband's mom and her husband are coming from a their home an hour away for dinner. I asked my husband to lift the leafs, as the room is small, as you can see, and the table generally stays folded down. Those are mother's mats, table clothes and napkin holders.

Family will recognize the old chocolate set that sat in the Dillard household when mother was a little girl, with her sister, Orpha, and brothers, Harry, Archer, Baylis, and Herman. Her great grandparents, W.B. and Ann Dickson, lived with the family and also gathered in these same chairs , but this is a smaller table. The original table of my mother's childhood was too big for mother to keep. The smaller sideboard is the Dillard one (my mother's family) and the larger one, with the chocolate set, came from my father's grandparents and is hand pegged.

So, ten years later, I'll have Christmas at this table again. Yes, I'll think of my parents. I'll think of my Aunt Orpha and Uncle Jim who often gathered there when I was growing up. I'll think of my cousins Marion, Ginny and Lisa, of Sam, my cousin, Agnes, my mother's first cousin of Uncle Herman and his family, of Archer Jr., my mother's nephew, Ruth, his wife, and their family, though I didn't get a chance to share many meals in Pageland with them since they were close enough to visit summers after I'd left home for college and graduate school. The last time the largest group of family was around the table was when my father died the day after Christmas in 1986. The dining room was packed with people. But of all these things, I'll think most of all of my good luck in being born into a family that was close knit, loved well and took care of its own.

For friends and readers of this blog who don't know me, this is an event that may not register in meaning for you. You had no way to know my family but, if you look closely, I feel sure that you'll their memories living on in this space.

Lastly, this is my 'hurricane' cat, Sabrina, taking a nap at the foot of the bed while I put the table setting together.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Night Divine.

That Santa in the seedy suit,
shaking the Salvation Army cup,
leers at me through yellow teeth,
pulls out a flask. Tipples.

Songbooks mold in cold cellars,
while woulda-been carolers
hunt wide screen TVs and
Victoria's Secret push-up bras in hopes
that this eve they'll get lucky again.

ohhhhh night divine!

I force myself to forget days of...

yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

cookie dough still coating my mother's hands,
the scent of old Christmas trees, bent
with homemade soldiers and angels, waiting
for us in the front parlour.

Come, my sweet. Lead me from
graveyards littered with
fake floral remembrances to the
ones we have loved, who no longer
can rise to sing with us on this day.

Art: Herbert MacNair. The Sleeping Princess
From the ArtMagik site

Thursday, December 22, 2005

You'll lay an egg if you don't lie down while the man is laying bricks!

Lie/Lay...two of the most misused verb forms in writing. Thanks to a note from Michael Parker, I began harping on my favorite grammatical question. Go to this site for more pointers. It's worth a read. I see the words misused in posted AND published poems all of the time. Once you get the basic rules down, you'll never make the mistake again! I promise.

I'm just (lying/laying) around the house listening to music.
Don't know which is correct? Check those rules for sure!

for those of you checking on how I'm going, I'm hanging in. Saw the doc and am dizzily surviving the med so far, but the brain still is swimmy. Resting a lot.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Curiosity didn't kill this cat! (One I've had in my drafts folder to post for a while)

In a special collection of articles published beginning 1 July 2005, Science Magazine and its online companion sites celebrate the journal's 125th anniversary with a look forward -- at the most compelling puzzles and questions facing scientists today. A special, free news feature in Science explores 125 big questions that face scientific inquiry over the next read the rest of this online article about these issues, click HERE.

So, what questions about what makes the universe/human life tick most interest you and why? Pick one (or more) or the top 25 questions on the first page of this article. Pick before you read the answers.

(I'm off to the doc today. Been staggering about from the med and sleeping. Sigh...)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dealing with Frustration

I'm writing this post and dating it for tomorrow, since by tomorrow I may be too dizzy to post coherently. My doctor's office just called. Another of the infections that have recurred over and over and plagued me since March is back again. Two bacteria this time. I have a reaction to nearly all antibiotics. Different reactions to different ones. This one makes me so dizzy for the first few days I barely know where I am. Nauseated, too. Then it generally levels out to a dizziness level that's no fun but I can deal with. This time, they're taking me up to the highest dose of the med, though, and I just hope that it doesn't mean the reactions will be worse.

My CFIDS doctor is an immunologist but he's not been able to find a way to stop these. I've been to a good urologist and been tested up the kazoo. In fact, my follow-up appointment had been set for this Wednesday when I last saw him for testing a month ago. Everything checks out normal, save for the enormous amount of inflammation in my system.

I haven't been comfortable or painfree even in the lulls since March. I'm having trouble dealing with this again.

Especially at Christmas.

I may delete this. I haven't decided yet.

dance in my eyes
christmas tree


Monday, December 19, 2005


..and who could speak of those days;
the trees carving gray slashes into
an indifferent sky, cat cowering
on our back patio, the tic of my den clock 
mocking me as I sat, fingering
poems into the air?

He never could tell me, you know,
tell me that all I would have of him
was a mist of breath on the bathroom
mirror, the chance glimpse of a receding
back, his best shirt flung to the floor, 
still warm with his angry sweat.

I walk out into the scent of Jasmine,
dress dew-damp at the hemline, think,
who can know of that kind of death
that ambushes us while still living,
or how long one can endure chaste limbs
blackening and tumbling off for
the wolves to carry away as bounty.

My laughter once rang like fine church bells,
but his shadow has pressed me flat.
I've forgotten my name, my mother's name,
the town of my birth, the face of my first
lover, the color of my father's hair.
I've forgotten it all.
Every single bit of it.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Oregon Literary Review

Charles Deemer, screen writer, novelist, and editor has launched the first edition of the Oregon Literary Review. Several of my previously published haiga and one unpublished one (credit is given to those earlier journals) are in this issue, along with fiction, absolutely wonderful art, a mind boggling selection of links to original music and creative videos. .I have the feeling that this is going to be a journal that will soar right up there with the top ones. A true multi-media experience!

I realize that everybody is getting ready for the holidays now, but take a peek, then bookmark this journal to come back to some lazy evening when you want to give yourself a real treat!


Oh, Christmas Tree!

(click to enlarge)

Temperatures are up to the eighties again and this is how we celebrate Christmas, South Florida style.:-)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Catting Through The Night...

As some of you who follow my blog already know,we adopted a stray cat after she dragged her newborn kittens into our garage before Hurricane Wilma hit. She's become more and more comfortable with us. Night before last was a bad pain night for me because of a lingering infection. Sabrina (our cat's new name) came in and jumped up onto the bed. As I tossed and turned, feeling pretty desparate, she walked up next to my head where I was lying on my left side with my hand tucked partially under my cheek. She reached out her paw and pressed on my little finger, forcing the hand down onto the bed. She then sat there for a minute kneading my finger with her paw before she curled up next to my feet again and went to sleep. I had the definite feeling that she was comforting me. Whatever her intention, it worked.

Animals are amazing. Care to share an animal story of your own in the comments? They love and love well and when they finally die, it can break your heart.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Ghost Riders

Hands stroke under my sheets,
drawing lost loves
back to haunt.
They piggyback old wants
onto your cries.

You say the forever words
when your lips cover mine,
yet when I'm astride
I see ghosts
ride you, too.

Pris Campbell

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Talk to me, Santa!

(I posted this briefly yesterday and then put it into my drafts folder and put up the poem instead, soooooo...Santa's baaaaack!!!)

Red suit out of style, his cholesterol probably too high from that jolly belly, a man whose companions are 12 dwarfs and a reindeer with a nose replacement, he's packing his bag to go out into the skies again this year. What do you want put on the sled for you? Can you write a poem for Santa to entice him??

fat man
on a sled
reindeer grumbling

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Best American Poetry 2006

Go to Reb Livingston's blog and read her Monday post. Billy Collins selected one of her poems published in MiPo for the above honor! Congratulations, Reb and congratulations, MiPo!


Monday, December 12, 2005

When kids grow up to be Rock Stars...

When I moved to Hawaii and was waiting for my car to be shipped to the state so I could begin working and move into my own place, I shared a second bedroom with a wide-eyed, big lipped adorable nine month old. He was the son of one of the navy wives. Her husband and my husband-to-be were good friends on a supply ship based off the coast of Vietman. I watched Chris grow older over the years the four of us remain friends, saw his 'terrible twos' when 'no' was his favorite word. Divorce split , first, my husband and me, then Chris's parents and the four of us drifted apart. Years later, I heard from his dad that he was making good money as a rock star. It wasn't until another navy friend recently sent me a link leading to the name of his group, Spin Doctors, that I discovered how well he'd done. Here's to you, Chris. I doubt you'll remember your first 'roommate', anymore, but it's good to read about your success!
This is Chris as I remember him, taken at a park in Hawaii after the ship came back from its tour of duty in Vietnam. Wasn't he adorable?? Click to enlarge.

An interview with Crhis can be found HERE. Chris is the blonde to the far left in the upper band photo.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

By Popular Request...

An alternative self-portrait in haiga format. Haiku on the haiga courtesy of Michael Rehling, webmaster of Haiku Hut. Thanks, Mike! (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

saturday nite free associating with pris... (this is also my Sunday post)

just past sunset...saturday.....I'm on my puter music box listening to the mamas and the papas sing 'dream a little dream of me'. the dog is asleep by the door, the cat on the sofa. the house is dark except in the kitchen and back here. husband isn't home yet. i don't mind. I've been eating my seeds and nuts from my trip to the health food store (yes, my second outing now in 8 months on my own after this long horrid health seige...hooray!), and one dip with spinach and artichoke hearts in it.

i remember the summer the mamas and papas were especially big. it was my last summer of grad school. I'd finished my prelims, my internship and had to write up a few last things on my dissertation, but basically it was the first free time I'd had in four years. I was living with P, my ex roommate who lives in St. Louis and is now dying of cancer. The other half of the house was rented by three service guys. they loved music, just as I did, and would invite me over ever so often just to listen to music and drink cheap red wine. none of us had any money and lived on macaroni and cheese most of the time. we played the mamas and papas a lot.

it was that summer that i met H., who became my first husband midway during his tour of Nam after I'd moved to Hawaii to work and wait to see if the 14 months apart had changed our minds.... i'd decided before then that i'd never meet anybody i trusted enough to marry and , god knows, i'd had enough proposals.

the only reason i went on the blind date was that a young secretary there had befriended me and she was just uncomplicated and fun to do things with. she'd dated one of H's friends and got pregnant. this was before legalized abortions. the guy had already stopped dating her, but he didn't step in and try to help , either. K begged me to go out with H on a double date and maybe she could win this guy back. she was still crazy about him. reluctantly, i did. their relationship didn't go any further than that night. she tried to abort herself with a hanger and nearly bled to death, but didn't. i never saw the jerk again, but did continue to date H and somehow sensed that i could marry him. the music of that summer weaves in and out, reminding me.... 'father and son' is coming on. Cat Stevens.... i was living in the commune by then with R after my marriage ended. i so identified with that song..... my parents wanted me to settle down and be 'normal', ie live in a regular house, remarry. i remember playing this song over and over...son sings...''how can i's the same old story...from the moment I was born I was ordered to listen....I know I have to go away..." music bridge..... father now.."It's not time to make a change..sit down and take it're so young, it's not your fault. find a girl..settle down..look at me..I'm old, but I'm happy"...son responds..".......there's a way..I know I have to go away. I know I have to go.

now..'morning has broken' , also by Cat Stevens, one of the most beautiful songs written "..morning has broken, like the first morning....mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning....."yes.

ELO starting "'s magic....ohhhhh.....higher and higher,'s a living thing. it's a terrible thing to bridge....making believe this is what you can see from your worse day....." I'm in a car with B, a mental health tech from the ward across the hall from where I work at the VA, and we're driving to lunch. this song comes on the radio and I turn it up. LOUD! it's such an exciting piece of music. he says 'i've never met anybody like you!' and later falls in love with me. who knows why? i was a dream. he didn't even know me. didn't have a clue.

and now coming on....'I don't want to talk about' it by rod stewart...from the 'slow side' of his album, popular, again when I was in the commune with R.... we would light candles and listen to that album a lot..and dance was in the golden days when i still believed he loved me. in all honesty, i'm really not sure he ever did..."...I don't want to talk about you broke my heart..what if I stay here just a little bit longer...won't you listen to my heart..." we lasted five and a half years. haven't seen him now in almost 25 years.

well, husband is home and the trip down memory lane is over.

(from a letter just written to an unnamed friend)

***Name two or three songs that bring back the most vivid memories for you. If they're not too private, share them?****

Didi Menendez , Publisher of MiPo, interviewed online

Most poets would rate MiPo Journal as among the top five online journals today, if not higher. The quality of this magazine is due to the driving energy and talent of artist/poet/digital designer Didi Menendez. She works hard, is dedicated and that dedication has paid off.

Want to know more about what makes Didi tick? Take time to read a recent interview with her HERE. Click on Didi's face in the link to go directly to the interview. Leave comments on this post, if you like, and I'll direct Didi's attention to them.

I should mention, too, that Didi did the complete layout for the calendar in the poet's calendar post below. Were it not for her, it would've never turned out so well!


Friday, December 09, 2005

The Most Intriguing (and Sensual) Male Poets of 2006 Calendar

Follow THIS LINK to my original post about the above fantastically hot calendar. This is THE calendar you'll want on your wall for 2006. Trust me. By following the link, you'll see the cover again, featuring Richard Blanco (who could not want to see that face over and over again??), along with purchase links.

Let's get the word out. These poets gave their all to offer their photos and poems for a good cause and they're the greatest in my book, not to mention gifted in their field! Tell everybody you know. Tell the lady across the street. Tell the mailman. Tell the man fixing the telephone pole. Tell Donald Trump!


Thursday, December 08, 2005

A means to what end??

This isn't a political blog, but, while there's a lot of controversy over a poet's role in politics, if our poems are one more way to let others see the world through different eyes, this issue is certainly one to deal with.

This LINK leads to a page of some of the disturbing torture photographs released in various news sources as early as 2004. I emphasize that they are disturbing, so please be forewarned before you look. Almost as disturbing are the smiling male and female 'interrogators' giving thumbs up signs in the midst of this mayhem.

Can we really expect to have crossed the Geneva Convention guidelines on torture and still retain our humanity??

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Featuring Li-Young Lee, Asian American poet

Li-Young Lee was born in Djakarta, Indonesia in 1957, the son of exiled Chinese parents. His mother came from a noble family; her father, Yuan Shi-kai, was the first president of the Republic of China. On the other hand, Lee's father, Lee Kuo Yuan, came from a family of gangsters and entrepreneurs. Their marriage received official disapproval; moreover, Lee Kuo Yuan attached himself to a nationalist general in the Chinese civil war. During the course of the war, the general switched sides and Dr. Lee found himself in the position of personal physician to Mao continued here. The photo is also from this site.

The following poem, one of my favorites can be found on the Moonrabbit Blues site, one which features Asian American poetry, as well as in his book.

I've been a fan of Li-Young Lee since I read his first poem. I have the book, Rose, and would highly recommend it. There is a gentleness about Li-Young's poetry and a poignancy that makes something sigh deep inside of you, reading it.

From Blossoms
in Rose, by Li-Young Lee
Boa Editions, Ltd.

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

(I'm curious. If you were to feature a poet, whom would you choose? Michael Parker has introduced me to two excellent poets on his blog. I'm always looking for more)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dare I ??? The Looking Glass Redux

Okaaay. This is my 'self portrait' for the day, inspired by the below post. A webcam shot, digitally modified in layers and then layered onto a premade background. Think Chagall will lose his place in history over this one??:-)

Into the Looking Glass

Here's a link to artist self portraits that I find intriguing.

This series of self-portraits by Edvard Munch and one by Frida Kahlo (with monkey) are fascinating, too.

Which self-portrait or self-portraits appeal to you the most?

Which one/s is done in a style you would most like a portrait of yourself created in, if you had your choice?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Puter .....yes, again, but Lloyd be my hero!!:-)

(I think Lloyd deserves another picture!)

1:20 update to the post below:

My friend, Lloyd, called me over his lunch hour and told me to sign onto MSN to give him remote control of my computer. He's the only person on the planet I would do that with. At any rate, I watched my browser move all around my screen (while I just sat here dizzily), go to RUN and from there into the registry. There, he made a few edits, my two drives are back! i've tested and retested with music and data cd's and it all works. I even again shut off the puter and turned it back on and they were STILL THERE.

Lloyd, how can I ever thank you enough? You're truly wonderful! Smart, too.


original post:

In attempting to update my music player, I lost my CD ROM and DVD drives. GONE from Windows Explorer and My Computer. Control Panel /device manager says the drives are corrupted, but every attempt to install a different drive just gives me a default message saying 'the drivers you have are the best'.

Ever feel like you were on a treadmill??

I had help troubleshooting. I'm sure Lloyd is ready to throttle me by now.

Am exhausted. Computers can be like a bad marriage when they go wrong. Sigh.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

THE calendar

I'm seeing mention of it pop up everywhere. Which calendar? Is there any other than The Most Intriguing (and Sensual) Male Poets of 2006 Calendar??

For the latest post on it, go to Martha Schwer's Blog, second post down, as of right now. She already has hers and features a pretty sexy photo of Bill Allegrezza that you might want to see.:-)

She has a great blog, too, btw.


Beaches (click to enlarge)

This was taken in a coffeehouse in Cambridge, MA, when I was around 30. The print was stained, but I like it, so...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

a senryu

unopened note
on the cold kitchen table
door slamming

Friday, December 02, 2005

Crash and burn...crash and burn

Today I'm trying to get the basic programs that I use back onto my computer, then can reload other stuff in dribs and drabs and fix settings.

I'm so bleary from looking at the screen all you would get is babbling from me today. Maybe a better post tomorrow??

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Quiz Found on Michael Parker's Blog...his link is in my links section.

You are Form 6, Elfin: The Wyld.

"And The Elfin saw the evil and
misjudgement in the world and shot her arrow at
the sky. Bolts of lightning struck the earth
and gave the world balance and

Some examples of the Elfin Form are Demeter (Greek)
and Khepry (Egyptian).
The Elfin is associated with the concept of growth
and balance, the number 6, and the element of
Her sign is the half moon.

As a member of Form 6, you are a very balanced
individual. You can easily adapt to most
situations and you may be a good social
chameleon. You aren't afraid of changes in
your life, but sometimes you evolve too
rapidly, leaving others to think that you are
leaving them behind. Elfin are the best
friends to have because they are open minded.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

PS So far, so good with the power holding here.

Quick Note from Electrical Siberia

This was written late little 'date' setter has disappeared from my blog.

First of all, thanks for the comments below. The utilities people finally got here at the end of the day only to assess the problem. This, by the way, isn't a problem a generator or solar panel would handle. It's a problem of fluctuating power. Right now I have it. It could start into brownouts unexpectedly, flicker, or just go. The brownouts put a tremendous strain on appliances and even the computer despite the surge protector. As my friend Lloyd said, the brownouts are most likely what fried my first computer. The problem is a bad electrical connector on the two poles behind our house which pipe power to our house and also one wire is wrapped around another wire. Theoretically, a crew will come today to fix it, but they were supposed to come to assess AND fix early yesterday, so we'll see.

I'll be back when I know I won't kill a puter. Best off for now.:-)

11 a.m. update Thursday:
I hope the power problem is now fixed. The power people were just here. They fixed a connection on a pole, untangled the twisted line and checked voltage. These two were older and seemed more experienced than the two who were here each of the last two days (and they're heard nothing of yesterday's visit or the guy's report..they came because I again called first thing this morning to verify the appointment and--big surprise--no, nobody knew about it. I'm typing this and then keeping my husband's puter off for the day just to make absolutely sure no other problems pop up. If the power stays okay all day, my life saver, Lloyd, will come tonight and get me back online with my own computer...well, I'll be on with the basics. Next will be the job of reloading programs, fixing settings, getting address books back in etc...step by step.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Message from Pris...posted by Berenice.

Pris asks me to post this. She is having major power fluctuations at her house. One trip from the utility hasn't fixed it. Someone will go up the pole Wednesday. If not that it will be Thursday or Friday before the electrician will be there. She can't use her husbands computer till problem is resolved, and there is the possibility it was damaged during one of the fluctuations.

Watch this spot. Pris will eventually reappear.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Last Rites

I have often paddled
past my margin of safety,
once fucking a madman
in the lull of a hurricane's howl.

I have splashed eagerly
through baptismal pools, immersing
myself in sins shed by others,
to sample ungodly fruit.

I have seduced liars,
beggars, rich men, & priests,
stolen chocolates from
old ladies, and called
evangelical talk shows just
to rate my last bedded lover.

I do not come seeking
absolution, confessional wafers
or prayers for salvation.

My only request is that
I exit this lifetime
straddling the lap
of a warm, lusty man,
muscatel tumbling empty
from one fading hand.

Pris Campbell

Published in Niederngasse Journal

Art by Gustaf Klimpt

*My computer is still away, so I'm posting some things from my website that I had on my husband's computer before I passed it to him a couple of years ago.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Hard Drive goes belly up

I can still post and respond to comments to my blog from my husband's computer, but they may be more sparse until I can get my own computer back together. First step is getting hold of my tech friend today. We were afraid this would happen, there was so much damage on the hard drive when he was here last.

If you've recently sent me an email, I wouldn't have saved it yet, so write me again. I'll retrieve it off the main bellsouth site.

Thanks and wish me luck!

Tracy Chapman brings it on home.

I was first introduced to the singer,Tracy Chapman, by the teenager who grew up , also as an only child, in the house I was also raised in, years earlier. My parents had built a retirement home when I finished grad school and this girl was the daughter of a boy who was about six years behind me in school. She had dropped over to see my parents and invited me over to see my old home. Her room had been my father's. Mine had been across the hall. She dragged out tapes and one was Tracy Chapman.

When my father was dying in 1986, I had made several trips to Pageland, my hometown. He was on oxygen in a hospital bed at home, with Hospice helping. It was Christmas and we knew he was close. The teenager invited my cousins and me to come walk through the house again if we liked. I remember walking up the stairs and seeing the bathroom on the landing with the old fixtures where I'd so many times seen my father shave, when I was a child. We walked on back towards the pond. An old board hung on a rusted nail in the trunk of the Chinaberry tree along the way. It was the last remnant of the 'ladder' that led up to my treehouse where I spent some warm afternoons reading. Then...the woods, the pines where I ran many autumn afternoons , the only sound being the swish of my feet on the pine needles underneath.

Back home again, my father had gone into a state between awake and coma. He was talking nonstop to people I couldn't see. He did that all of Christmas day and drew his last breath as I stood beside his bed the following day. It may sound crazy but I felt....well special to be with him as he died. I wanted to be there with him all the way.

I hear Tracy Chapman and I not only hear a singer I admire. I hear my memories.

This is the Amazon Linkto that first music of hers I heard. I still think it's her best.

This is a Lyrics Page from that album. Well worth a looksee.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Kitty adoption time (Click to enlarge)

A poem by Robert Frost, posted in honour of the kittens leaving home. I know, I know...don't say it lol.


Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

by Robert Frost

from theFamous Poets Site

The kittens are weaning off. These left for the same home yesterday. That's the garage workbench they're on, their favorite place to doze during the day. The mother cat and the other two kittens were definitely affected and have been searching. I can't keep five grown cats and they went to a wonderful home. The couple has an aging cat already and so had toys and food alread waiting for the babies. So why do I feel so guilty??

These two will go to separate homes by next weekend. The mother gets fixed on Thursday, so all off and on nursing ends then. The house is going to seem VERY empty. The kittens have been scampering everywhere now and are adorable.

If you know a well-known cat poem , for adults or children, post it in your comments. Google, if you don't know one. It would be nice to see a few of those. Originals would be great, too!


Friday, November 25, 2005

The Most Intriquing (and Sensual) Male Poets Calendar of 2006 is out!!

And it sizzles! Click on the below for a larger preview of the cover.

This LINK describes the calendar and takes you to the sales link where you can view all pages in miniature and, hopefully, purchase one.

These poets went all out for this calendar and for a great cause. Support them. Support CFIDS research. Enjoy yourself with this great calendar.

Richard Blanco graces our cover.

Ps Please note that these can take up to SIX BUSINESS DAYS TO ARRIVE, just in the U.S., longer for International, so order early. Thanks

Revelations Two

The horizon opens like
a zip-lock bag, spits
out the sun, closes again.
Sometimes a stray Spirit
slips out along with it,
given 24 hour reprieve
from the other side.

Elvis popped into my
kitchen yesterday dawn,
sans sequins, hands
moving like graceful
swans as he spoke of
his hip-swiveling, Ed
Sullivan pre-army glory
days; Priscilla; long
blacked out nights with
bought friends and
pink Caddys at Graceland;
his mama...

He told me to set it all down.

He said I should be sure
to add that the best drug
is innocence and that fame
only digs empty holes in
the ground for thousands
to weep over needlessly.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Turkey Day

Since I imagine nearly everybody in the U.S. will be with family/friends and stuffing themselves with turkey today, no long blog post. I'll be home alone. Health problems prevent a ride up to the in-laws and their extended family/friends, so the husband is going up to join the festivities there.

Alone today, too? Add a comment about your favorite thanksgiving, OR a short poem, haiku..whatever means something to you.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Odilon Redon in the spotlight

Odilon Redon has been one of my favorite artists since I first saw one of his paintings in the Art Institute in Washington, D.C. back in the seventies. His subject matter ranges from boats to people to flowers to abstractions, all rendered in a symbolic style. He lived and painted just past the mid eighteen hundreds, and some of his gaunt, haunting drawings, rendered well before Picasso, clearly influenced that artist in the creation of the gaunt figures of his Blue Period. Hold them side by side and the similarities are striking, right down to positioning of the figure at times. Unfortunately, I've never seen those drawings on the Internet--only in a book of his works that I own. Redon never made a huge name for himself and, still, many art appreciators aren't familiar with his work.

Most of his paintings were quite dark, with a dreamlike quality to them. In fact, he wrote that most of his art came directly from his dreams. It was only later that more light entered his paintings.

If you google his name, you'll find more of his artwork on the web.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Not to slander, but to warn...

If you've written a novel and are looking for an agent, this was my co-author's and my experience with The New York Literary Agency. Two days after mailing an inquiry to them, they wanted to see our full manuscript. My friend did some further research on them and message boards were filled with warnings about them, much as with for poets. The warnings stated such things as 'they accept your manuscript then start charging all sorts of fees for this or that and never make an attempt to sell it' and 'nonsense inquiries have been sent and accepted' and 'they claim to be New York based, but only have a mail drop there and are actually in Boca Raton, Florida'. Literary lists of agents said 'definitely NOT recommended'.

I submitted the following information about a mythical book titled Dracula Nights to them two days ago, intentionally misspelling the words in the description.

This is a whale of a story about a women who meets a vampire one night who turns out to be her dead husband brought back to life. She wants to fell in love with him agin, but she gets scared that he might bite her and make her a vampire, too. The novel is about their growing passionate love and how she finally has to decide whether to drive a steak through his heart or to let him bite her and become a vampire, too. Surprise ending!

Where it asked how long I'd been writing, I said 'since I was little and I finally decided I ought to submit one'.

Two days later, they were 'very interested' and wanted me to mail them my manuscript.

I'll let the post speak for itself. you think... maybe I have a potential for a best seller here and was just too blind to recognize it?? :-)

All fired up, I submitted this one Nov 18 under the name of the 'husband' of the first author since I had to use the same email address.

One Lifetime

I think you're really going to like this book. A ninety year old man meets an alien. The alien tells him he'll make him young again for 24 hours if he will make love with the ugliest girl in the world and he shows the man a picture of this girl. The trick is that the man can live until he finds her. The book is about him traveling from country to country looking for this girl, but not too hard. When he finally finds her, she has a grate personality and he falls in love and tells the alien he won't make love to her, though, so he can still stay young.


I'm a plumber ever since I got out of high school. This is my first book, but I think it's pretty good.

It took four days this time, but I just got a request for my manuscript on this one, too.

Now, if I let my dog walk over the keys and send that in, think they'll want one by him, too??:-)

NOTE: See Brian Campbell's post and look esp for the link to 'flarfing', the name he tells me that's been given to all the nonsensical poems sent to to prove it's a scam. An interesting post. An interesting link!


Monday, November 21, 2005

The man who saves my skin constantly:-)

This was taken a couple of weeks ago. By now, the beard, remnants of no power from Wilma, will be gone and the hair will be about a half-inch shorter, but this is Lloyd. I met Lloyd online when he was a tech on the Windows Forum about five years ago. I owned a computer that everyone on the forum agreed finally had a witch living in it. No other explanation. If anything could go wrong, it did. If I added a new program, it froze. Finally, when the tech who'd built that machine wanted to do something drastic, Lloyd, whom I'd discovered by then lived about twenty minutes from me, offered to come look at the computer. Everybody who knew him told him he was crazy. I could be a mass murderer. My friends told me the same. Instead, in walks this man with an infectuous smile, an easy manner about him, and a solid knowledge of computers (including those inhabited by witches).

Long story short, Lloyd eventually built me another computer and has always been there for me when I needed him, either refusing to take money for his work or taking significantly less than the time he's put in. Yes, there have been marathons lasting hours with the old computer. He does all of this with good humor and graciousness and , while we only see each other at computer fixing time, we stay in touch and I regard him as my friend.

He'll be changing my hard drive tomorrow night after his work day is over and helping me get at least the basics set up so I'll be rolling again, meaning a long day for him. He didn't have to do it, but he does it because ..well, he's Lloyd.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Degas Self Portrait

I love this painting.


You remind me daily
of your clay feet,
that you inevitably err on
the wrong side of prudence,
that you're the first
to duck when the west
winds blow hard, rousting
out cowering cave dwellers.
You say you have corners
I will never turn, or
enter, or poke into should
I choose to lie in your
bed, break bread with
you each morning. But,
you have cried in my arms,
made me smile in black nights,
held my hand when ghosts
popped up to say boo & so
I will follow your bread-
crumbs till the bag runs
to empty and still press
on waiting for eulogy or
vow at trail's end.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

twenty-four years

for 24 years you have
lived only ten miles away,
past row after row of brown
shingled houses, one honda
dealership and at least four
cuban restaurants and i know
you still play our scratchy
rod stewart, or maybe cat
stevens and i turn, think
your hand will grab mine and
we'll pretend for one long,
back-paged night that you didn't
leave me for a woman with peter
pan hair and that i stayed
the angel with henry moore
thighs who fucked you till
time came and went and
there were no more nights
to forget or remember-ever.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Ice King

That year, like others when
sleet found our obscure
southern town, limbs cracked
like old bones and birds skied
down iced slopes of sagged
telephone lines. Huge bags
of rock salt were dug from
their cobwebbed hiding places
by cold fingers and spread carefully
across steep steps and walkways.

Only bald Mr. Peterson, the
transplanted Yankee from Boston,
with chains for his tires, dared
that treacherous mile long ride into
town in search of a morning paper.

Mrs. Smith's monkey, Harold, got
loose late morning. He rushed between
houses, terrorizing both rabbit and
possom. At noon, he climbed the First
Presbyterian Church steeple, ringing
its bell incessantly, in claim of his
throne as King of this strange iced-over jungle.

School closed, we played cards, ate
red-eye ham, warmed hands
over fireplaces and stoves, pleased
to be freed from lectures of other
cold wars and from plump knees bruised
by kneeling too long beside desks,
prepared, lest the bombs come flying tomorrow.

By morning, we slogged through dank
puddles under still bomb-free skies,
books clasped to wool chests, unaware
of dogs howling and cats meowing
about yesterday's clear, silent miracle.

Small Potatoes

Read Michael Parker's Blog Post for today. He provides a link to the first issue of Small Potatoes, which is dedicated to the survivors of Katrina. He also gives a short review which is better than what I could try to duplicate here.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Who's linking to your blog???

A friend just sent me this site. Type in your blog URL in the box up top and the display will show you in several search engines where a link to your blog is found. It's mind boggling how links can spread...and thanks to all of you I found who have a link to my own blog!

Go to Wholinkstome.


The author in her youth:-)

Seated second to left with the awful glasses. This was my junior year and I was junior editor of the school paper, due to be editor my senior year, but I ended up skipping that year and going on to college. To think, what great tomes I might have written?? Click to enlarge.

Small town living is special. Links between people last since most of us returned to Pageland over the years until our parents died. I just got an email from the person in plaid standing, just over my left shoulder, yesterday. The boy in glasses, far left, grew up two doors down from me and, while he's not a great correspondant, we've also stayed in touch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Watch this spot!!!!

It's almost out! The Most Intriguing (and Sensual) Male Poets Calendar of 2006. It sizzles. All that's left to do is proof the print copy and they'll go on sale. Save room on your holiday shopping list. You're gonna want this calendar. It sizzles. It sings. It's hot! A copy of the cover and the sales link will be on this blog and other blogs over the net as soon as we approve the print. We should be ready to roll within a week. Maybe less.

Calendar created by Jenni Russell, Pris Campbell and Didi Menendez.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

In Memory

Ernest Walker, my first father-in-law. I just received word from my first husband that he died last Friday. I never lost my bond with my first in-laws. Denise, his wife, died a few years earlier. Rest in peace, Ernie.


the candles
are doused on his old mantlepiece
white doves singing

Almost adoption time

These are the kitties who, just born, weathered Wilma with us, first in the garage and then into the house. They're growing daily and are now eating solid food, as well as nursing. Best estimate is that they'll be weaned in a few weeks. We have a home for one and have finally decided to adopt all out to good homes, as cute as they are, and just keep the mama. We already have a dog and two pets are about all we can handle right now.

I'm going to miss them rushing into the house from the garage, their primary home (since they still aren't potty trained, but are learning), though.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Black Russians and memories

The end of our wedding party in Hawaii. Some of the ship's officers and wives are in the photo. Stan and Sharon, the subject of this post are standing, to far right, with Stan's head partly chopped off. Ken and Toby, also mentioned are left, on the sofa. Toby is wearing her maid of honor dress and Ken is the one with the tiny round glasses. Click to enlarge.

A good friend of mine and I are writing something together and, last night, we inserted a passage where two of the characters are drinking Black Russians. For those of you who've never had one, the drink is a deadly mixture of chocolate flavored brandy and vodka, made even more deceptively deadly since it tastes like a sweet chocolate soda.

The last time I had a Black Russian was years ago and the night was memorable. But first, some background.

My second year out of graduate school, I moved to Honolulu to work and live while I waited for the man I'd met that last summmer to return from his first tour of duty as a junior officer on a supply ship in Vietnam. Our wedding party, held at one of our navy friend's base apartment, also marked the first party since the ship's return. Four of us couples had become tight. One of those ideal situations where we four wives liked each other and also liked the husbands and vice-versa. All of us around the same age. All of us eager for war and danger to be over.

About a month after the wedding, Stan and Sharon were transferred to California to another ship. The crushing news came, not long after that, that Stan and Sharon had been in an accident following a party with too much drinking, much as the parties we had trying to live life while we could and forget everything else. It could have been any one of us, but it was Stan and Sharon. Stan was hurt, but Sharon was killed instantly. They were a couple who laughed a lot together and loved well. Letters were all we could do. There was no internet. No way to have immediate contact.

Ken and Toby were the next to be transferred. Newport. Before the ship went back to Nam. My husband had seven more months in Vietnam before he, too, was transferred to Newport and we renewed our closeness with Ken and Toby.

At some point, Stan's ship was docked in Newport for a time and so we arranged our first evening together. We all went out and ordered Black Russians. After a couple of drinks, Toby and I went with Stan out to the car where the three of us wrapped our arms around each other, Stan in the middle, and sobbed about Sharon. Stan was like a brother to us both and that time, though sad, was good, too.

Stan's ship left, though we'd seen quite a bit of him while it was there, and correspondence petered off. Howard and I eventually got a note that he was out of the service and working on his B.S. in business at the U. of Illinois, the place I'd received my own Ph.D. and met Howard who'd started grad school in Philosophy before the war days. Howard's parents also lived there, so the next visit out, we arranged to see Stan who'd remarried by then. Knowing the new wife would be possibly intimidated by old friends of Sharon's, we'd talked about ways to make her feel accepted. We wanted Stan to have happiness again.

We were met by a woman with a hostile look on her face. Instead of a hug, as was usual, Stan quickly thrust out his hand for a handshake. For the next half hour, time dragged, Stan looking to his wife for approval before he said anything, while she sat there glaring at us. We'd intended to invite them for dinner, but it was clear that this half hour would be all we would see of our friend. We said our goodbyes and left.

"That's how Stan is punishing himself," I told Howard as we left.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"He's made sure he can't be happy again by marrying this woman," I told him.

Yes, Stan had changed. The twinkle had gone from his eyes. The old Stan was no more. We'd seen the old Stan emerge during his time in Newport, so it wasn't just Sharon's death. It was how he had decided to let it take its toll.

He later sent a note that he had taken a job in New Jersey, just across from Manhattan. By this time I was working to put Howard through law school in Boston and Ken and Toby were living near Manhattan, Ken having found a lucrative job in advertising in the city.

Ken saw Stan once when Stan came into the city for lunch. He told us the same thing. He didn't really recognize the man he used to be friends with. No more laughter. No jokes. No lightening up. The lunch dragged and they never arranged any more of them.

So, when I think of Black Russians, I think of that night when Stan was still Stan, when we all held each other and cried, so full of love, so full of the belief our friendship would hold, no matter what.

I still wonder what happened to Stan sometimes. I still remember his laugh. It came from his heart and you couldn't help but laugh with him and adore him.

Note: We've scattered now. Ken and Toby later divorced. She lives in Sydney, Australia. I don't know where he is. I'm still in touch with the other close couple on the sofa. They live in Albany where he's a lawyer and their one child multiplied to four and they now have grandchildren. Nancy, mid-bottom, was the ship's captains' wife. Career. We lost touch, too, after transfers. The Hawaian woman to the right was killed shortly after this photo, too, by her nephew when she spent the night at her sister's home, sleeping in her bed. The son, who was mentally disturbed, thought he was killing his mother in the dark room. He got Gladys, instead. Howard and I divorced after law school. Something just went dead between us, too. We still exchange a sparse e-mail note occasionally and I saw him when I returned to New England three times in the eighties before I got CFIDS and couldn't travel. He remarried finally in around 1990 and has adopted a Chinese daughter. He's also done very well for himself as a lawyer, both monetarily and in his work. I'm glad about that. I like success stories.:-)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Want to see if you're being plagarized??

Kim Komando to the rescue again. If you take a phrase from one of your poems, essays, short stories or whatever, go to google and PUT IT IN QUOTES, google will search for that exact phrase. I just tried it. I copied and pasted not even a complete sentence from a poem and boom, there it was on Google with a link to where it was on my blog.

I remember a while back someone was posting plagarized poems on a board I posted to off and on. Wish we'd had that tool then.


Friday, November 11, 2005

A Tribute

The Kim Komando newsletter today featured this site, In Remembrance. It's a page of names with vidoes of music and photographs of young men lost in battle. You click on the name to see each video. I've watched only a few. More than that is just too much to see right now. Having had a husband in Vietnam on a ship and a brother in law in the jungles in that same war, you feel the pain of knowing you could very easily lose someone you love. Both, unlike the men on this page, survived their war.

To Howard, Paul, Ken, B.J. and to my online Vet friends, I'm glad you made it through. To the relatives of those on this page, my condolences.


Blood Is The Sinner's Revenge

Thorns slung 'round my neck,
I wait for that kiss
of betrayal,
the silence between
jagged breaths,
that soft clearing
of a throat ready
to speak about coinage
or refuge in Stockholm.

Here in my blue garden,
filled with the footprints
of whores and lost Jesuits,
my tongue has been
                          fed to

& weeping mothers...
a delicacy.

I bleed, but my tormentors
all face east, already blind
from the sun's cruel, scorching reality.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

By the way...

If you haven't seen the movie, Crash, I'd recommend it highly. I rented it from Netflix. Stars range from Sandra Bullock on to other excellent cast and is one of the best statements on the complexities of both race relations and human love I've seen in a long time. It'll surprise you and move you. It did me. I just read that it has a shot at an Academy Award nomination. Hope it gets one.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sunday Means Forty-Second Street

(an older one)

Kneeling in the Forty-Second street alley,
cord tight above elbow bend,
vein swollen and ready,

Mother, on his arm,
watches and patiently waits.

Sundays, it's always the Square,
flashing sign drawing his eyes
briefly towards heaven.

His church.
She always told him to go.

Hard to remember her clearly now.
Life eats his childhood daily, fogging
memories of a figure in blue, scent
of gardenias in damp air, heels
clattering over hardwood floor.

She would like it that he comes here.
Everybody needs remembrance
of a mother's cool hand.

Pris Campbell

Published in Lotus Journal, June 2003

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mice Sing!

Everyone knows that mice squeak and squeal, but few realize that mice also communicate in the ultrasound range, at frequencies far higher than the human ear can detect.

Now scientists conducting the first detailed analyses of those vocalizations have concluded that these sounds are much more than a high-pitched version of the simple hisses and grunts produced by many other animals. Rather they are complex patterns of chirplike syllables that meet the scientific definition of "song."

To read the rest of this article in The Washington Post, click HERE


what do they sing when
    given lupus
      lathered with cosmetics
do they sing dirges,
compose symphonies of sadness,
or do simple tunes of longing
escape for their mates,
keening outside
on the dying grass?

Monday, November 07, 2005


How many of you have heard about them?

Go to this Things Southern site, for a photo and discussion. You'll find a comment from me near the end. They grew behind my house in the Carolinas and the golden ripe fruit are to wallow for!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Just to keep things in perspective....:-)

(click to enlarge)

A photograph of the new men's loo at the Sofitel in Queenstown, NZ, sent by my friend, Kit Wilson of Katikati, NZ. What do you think, guys? Opinions of the decor wanted.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

More Wilma Damage

(click to enlarge)

This is a photo of one small part of the extensive damage in a small airport in the area, taken by a friend who wants to remain unnamed. It's an example of the scattered damage all over South Florida. Intact buildings can be right next to one with no damage. A church about two miles from us that has survived every hurricane over the years was completely smashed. The pews under the fallen debree were all that were left. Many still without power. No, things aren't back to normal yet.

My tech friend comes sometime this weekend to checkout/replace the power module in my puter. Those problems are in the post below.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

On the Rocks

(click to enlarge)

This shot was taken along the Intracoastal Waterway near our home. For those of you who aren't aware of the Waterway, Mile One begins at Norfolk, Virginia and continues on down, around through the Keys and then up the west coat of Florida in parts. I remember entering the Waterway on my long ago boat trip from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. It was already fall and the winds/waves were high. What a thrill to see that first marker!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Do I want to go or do I want to stay??

We lost power again this morning. It's back now, but, should I disappear, that's why. Cross your fingers and toes!

Now, a few storm shots. Click on photos to enlarge....

This shot was taken through the one back uncovered window. When rain was driven through the edges of the pane, we started to reconsider the wisdom of leaving that one open. We were lucky. My husband had thought about not shuttering a side one and that's the one the tree top from next door hit! This photo can't even begin to pick up the power of those winds.

The cat and kittens had moved into the garage before the storm, but became terrified, so here she is, moved inside the house right after the winds started howling. The kittens are growing daily, btw, and are back living in the garage again. No way to potty train an unweaned kitten and they're moving around like wildfire now.

We were fortunate this year to actually have cool weather. Last year, it was first ten days, then four of lying or sitting in sweat day after day, panting for breath. Sleep? Almost impossible. This was my improvised outfit for the coolest day. Hey, those socks with the sandals. Pretty cool, eh?? :-)
This was the sky the morning after the storm passed, taken from our back patio.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Different Tomorrow

You imagine it will be like a kid's
pop-up book--tomorrow morning, or the next,
or, perhaps, the day after that.

New Orleans will unfold like a butterfly
in Joseph coat colors. Whalloped houses,
toppled trees, snapped poles will jerk upright
from the Gulf, on down through Florida and out
across the blue, chastened waters to Mexico.

The dead will rise chanting on broad-shouldered
horses, break bread for the hungry, throw
kisses to those left behind weeping, only to fade
as the sun does, come evening.

Perhaps, the morning after this happening, this
undoing, this back slap at Revelations, a photo
of a young man in Vietman kaiki will implode
from its mud grave. Thought swallowed by the storms,
it will wash clean, reclaim its place on that carved mantle
it now seems to have never abandoned.

~help keep my knees from knocking when the winds
howl, the house shivers, and tree tops fly~

I'm back...kind of..

Power down our street was just restore, but we're still having flickers and several people I know got it only to lose it again. Things are still very unstable. I'm exhausted literally, but have read all the caring comments and want to thank all of you for your notes and well wishes. The eye went right over us, so the power outages are still extensive. Grocery chains are open on generator power and have canned good. Most street lights around us aren't working yet. Lines at gas stations that have power to pump can run blocks long.

I'm getting more flickers and will post this and hope I'm still on later today.

Keros and Didi...if you happen to check in, I'm thinking of both of you. Keros, you got a lot more damage than we did. We had a tree top bounce off the house, but it didn't hurt anything. We lost most of our tree limbs last year, so not much had grown back to break off in our yard, but everywhere else, a lot down.

will post this and hope for the best!!


Hotline from Wales...Tuesday update.

I've had news from Pris via our friend's email. Things seem to be very slow in progressing. As far as I can gather Pris doesn't get her power from FPL. They are the main ones and are getting power restored. I wish I could bring you more positive news. I really do. Hopefully there should be better news soon. Berenice.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Update from Pris...via Berenice, Wales.

I've just phoned Pris. She is still without power. It's looking like friday of next week or possibly longer. The problem is the damage to the power station serving her area. That is going to take some time to repair. I've told Pris of all your kind replies and she says to tell you that she really appreciates what you have written.

Update via email from a friend. "She has luke warm water for bathing, a camp stove (gas) to heat food, and canned goods. But she is cut off from the world she knows best- her computer, and will be for several more days it looks like at the least. Her voice is pretty shaky, but she's holding up."

I miss Pris hugely and every snippet of information is of great comfort. This is one heck of a tough time for you Pris, I hope you get to read this soon...very soon. I feel honoured to be caretaker of your wonderful blog and to be passer on of news to your friends and readers. Thank you for the privilage. And thank you Joe for keeping me updated with the emails.

Okay...I'm going to put down the duster before I knock another ornament off the shelf and wait patiently for some more news :-) Berenice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hotline from from Pris.

My name is Berenice, and Pris has asked me to post this on her behalf. I've just been talking to her on the telephone. At this time Pris has no power. The power is out all along the east coast, 100 miles north, down to Miami and around to the west coast. The power people are going round her area assessing the damage. The latest is that it could take from a few days up to a month to restore power, depending on the area and damage. In Pris' local area there aren't any poles down, so that is promising.

I'll be phoning Pris in a day or so, and also have email contact via a friend who will phone her. So I will post here every few days to keep you updated. I am very glad, more than I have words for, that our dear friend Pris made it through this hurricane.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Wilma rapidly approaching

Even though it's just now reaching the west coast of Florida, about four hours from us, tthe wind is gusting outside already. The storm has picked up speed and a few tornados have set down.

Here's the morning Washington Post Online.

I don't know if we'll lose power or not, but the odds are that we will. Yes, I'm nervous. No, I didn't sleep well...not at all since around 3 30. Last year did a number on me with two hits in my area. I hear the word 'hurricane' and my stomach tightens up.

The lights are flickering again. I'll post this and sign off.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

The 'stray' makes more inroads...into house and heart

(click to enlarge)
That stray...the one we weren't going to become involved with? The one who brought her babies into our garage? The one who is now being fed beside her bed in there? Well, here she is inside, confidently drinking from the dog's bowl. Sigh...I think we've adopted a cat.

Wilma due tomorrow. Could be power outages so if I'm not online, I'll be back!


We are made of stardust...

My special anniversary issue of Smithsonian magazine came yesterday, featuring people over the years who made and are still making a difference. Margaret Burbidge, astronomer, was one of those people.

I quote: Burbidge and her colleagues had provided a map of the routes by which elements heavier that hydrogen and helium are forged within the fiery bellies of the stars. The calcium in our bones, the iron in our blood, and the oxygen we breathe all came from the ashes of ancient stars, which had either exploded as supernovae or died slowly, releasing their matter into the air.

This was verified both in theory and in laboratory experiments.

We are made of stardust. I find this to be a magical statement!

a newborn
cries in the night
twinkling star


Read more HERE

Friday, October 21, 2005

Small Potatoes

Sirrus Poe, Fiction Editor at Verse Libre and author/poet has a review of my chapbook, Abrasions, in today's Small Potatoes. Thank you, Sirrus. You captured the essence of what I set out to do in this collection very well. I hope each of you will take the time to read his review and to read more from Small Potatoes while there.

Sirrus Poe is also the generous webmaster of Poets Who Support Survivors, linked in my right-hand column, which has already raised a significant amount of money for victims of Katrina. If you click the link and read his offer to poets, you'll see why I use the word, generous.

By the way, for anyone who might be interested in owning my chapbook, it can be ordered from Rank Stranger Press. I should mention that you'll also find excellent books listed there by Jim Chandler, Ron Androla, Carter Monroe, D.B. Cox, Tim Peeler and more.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

What Animals Know

Click to enlarge this wonderful photo of a wild gorilla using a stick to measure the depth of a portion of water before she crosses it. While Gorillas who've been captured have demonstrated amazing feats, including both a recognition of human language, as well as an ability to use particular tools or hand signals to communicate back to humans. we continue to see ourselves as the superior race. We continue in too many cases to not give enough credence to the intelligence of the animal kingdom because it cannot speak our language, cannot build rocket ships and bombs, cannot pollute the atmosphere to the point of global warming. Yes, this bothers me. To read more about these wild gorillas, go to this article in The Washington Post Online.

If you could communicate with any animal in the world right now, which one would it be and what question/s might you ask?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Featuring Jim Fowler, the winner of my halloween challenge!

I've always admired Jim Fowler's poetry, anyway, so this is a marvelous 'excuse' to post one of his poems. Thank you again, Jim. Jim has the remarkable ability to write about subjects ranging from painful to sensual and reach in and touch the human essence in his writings. I always look forward to seeing his poems whenever they appear on the net.

Survival Rate

They took the lump and nodes
she said with a twisted smile.
Widow slim and gray, no man
to rest on the missing breast.

Hopes for a cure, lies down
weakly to radiation, her deadbeat
brother-in-law, a reluctant chauffeur
to medicine's assignation.

She returns to the daily casserole
uneaten, wonders why he doesn't
care for her cooking. Instead,
Jack D. and bags of Doritos,

a new pain in the missing flesh
once in her husband's hand.

James Fowler

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Not again!!! Hurricane Wilma

Well, it was just on the news. Hurricane Wilma is forming in the Caaribean with a track up first through the lower Gulf, then northeast across Florida and is coming across West Palm, where I live, on Saturday. They're expecting it to build to a Category III. Already, the pit of my stomach is crawling.

We'll see what it does in reality, but we have food, hurricane shutters that are easy to put down if it follows the projected tract and, this time, a hand cranked flashlight and a hand-held battery operated teeny fan (yes, it's still in the eighties down here, folks!).

At least mama cat and her kitties are safely ensconsed inside our garage and we're as ready as we'll ever be.

How do I tell my tummy that, though??

P.S. If I can be grateful in the face of a possible hurricane, it's that it's not now predicted to go straight up the Gulf and hit the New Orleans area again. They've had enough!

Have you ever thought somebody was still alive...

...then found out they'd been dead for almost nine years? When I first moved to Boston to put my first husband through law school, I found a job under T.X. Barber at the Medfield Foundation, an institute dedicated to collating pain research and debunking most of the myths about hypnosis. My friend, Barbara (in the lower post 'What are friend for?') and I were the only females in an enclave of some pretty bright men who still at that time thought women could NOT think or properly do research, including our boss. Why were we hired, then? Who knows??It was an uphill battle for us and crazy times.

Recently, the man in the bottom of the photo (John, who was the only one who didn't treat Barb and me like idiots) and I exchanged a couple of email notes, which led me to wonder where the one in the middle was. Nick Spanos was wild, brillant and did or said what he thought--and yes, he bulled a lot, too, and considered you a fool if you believed him. His car was a garbage bin, as was his office and his apartment there near work. He went on to an outstanding career. I'd heard about him from time to time. It was only when I googled him that I learned he'd died in a small plane crash in 1996. Here's to you, Nick. You're up there with the Big Bopper, probably bulling him, too!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Are YOU ready for Halloween??

(click to enlarge)

Now...the first person who can tell me in a comment what is in the graphic on the left, I'll post one of your poems, rants, mental meanderings, etc (within size limits and nothing porn)as soon as the right answer comes through and you then post in a comment what you want!


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Want to hear me read?

Click HERE for my Ipod radio channel. If you don't have Ipod, by clicking on the poem name in the list, you can download. I don't have Ipod, so by downloading, it loads into my Music Match Music Box (my MP3 default player) and then I listen at my convenience. Dial-up users may find this time consuming, but with fast speed access, it goes quickly.

Created through MiPo and Didi Menendez. She's in the process of setting this up for a large number of poets who've been invited to read on the shows she and Birdie create, a time-consuming task. Thanks for all of your hard work, Didi!


Saturday, October 15, 2005

What about them bananas??

Another one in my 'white space' series. I couldn't resist making another humorous one while other multimedia members are making these wonderfully beautiful creations.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (Click photos to enlarge)

For some time now, a scrawny half-grown cat has been hanging around our house. We didn't know at first if she belonged to somebody, but couldn't find an owner. If she did, she clearly wasn't being taken care of, so my husband started feeding her (yes, I know. don't say it lol). About the time he considered taking her to the Humane Society since we simply can't take on another pet right now, she was pregnant. Well, then of course we couldn't take her.
She had her litter. We couldn't take her in with a litter depending on her. We wondered where it was until last night. Suddenly, waiting at the front door was 'mama' with one of her brood, apparently to show us, since after a short visit, she disappeared with the kitten again. After that, she kept desparately trying to get into the house. This morning, my husband found out why. While the garage door was open, she brought the rest of her brood in, unbeknownst to us, though she didn't finish, since kitty number one is missing and must still be at the original haven.

So, here are the dinner guests. The garage door is left partway open and locked at that point so she can come and go. She has water. She's been fed. Now what do we do??

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Inexplicable Disappearances

Rainbows settled in silent flares
around our faded bell-bottoms and
defiant hair, igniting us.
We were the Revolution, the
torch clutched in Lady Liberty's hand.

King's dream led us to Selma,
to Washington (and oh, dear God,
when will the Dream come true)

Where did we go? We of the burnt
draft cards, the discarded bras,
we with the voices of a thousand trumpets
and aching breastbones, hoping
to turn water into wine and so transform
the multitudes.

Questions and more questions...

Maybe our dreams ran through our fingertips
until the weary fires finally died.
Perhaps disappointed tears doused them,
bright vibrant colors running down
through dead uneven grass
to the seas where even the dolphins
have grown oddly quiet.

Pris Campbell

Two Haiga In White

(My multimedia group has set itself a challenge this month of creating haiga using white space as a primary part of the image. Click on the image to see full size. Remember, Windows resizes, so you may need to also click on the orange square in the lower right-hand corner to take the size on up)