Saturday, August 17, 2013

Coffeeshop Writers' Group - My poems: The Unhurried - I Watch for Meteor Showers on the Back Porch

 I always enjoy chatting with our writers before we get down to business.

We discussed pens. Each one had their favorite. I tested them all out and still like my
Black Bic best of all.

Beatriz wrote one of her fascinating pollinator essays. She gets 2,000 "hits" on her pollinator blog. Today's essay was about the bumble bee and all its imitators. There is one rapacious fly who grabs tasty insects on the fly.

We also discussed carpenter bees who drill perfectly round holes in wood. My colony appeared about five years ago, below my front window. I had no idea they were there until I heard buzzing within my living room walls.

Only the female has the stinger.

Beatriz told an awful story about hummingbirds being eaten by a preying mantis. 

Scott and I each have a hummingbird feeder. The little birds made dozens of appearances today.

The mantis, holding stock-still, suddenly pounces with her serrated arms which pin down the bird so it can't escape. Somehow it gets et, after, ugh, the feathers are pulled off.

Lord have mercy!
Here's Allan sipping his coffee.
 This photo is titled:  Allan with Folded Hands

Allan read two poems: "The Perfect Poem" and "Legacy."

"Legacy" was about the effect of wars on us - we have war heroes, statues, parades, cemeteries, so "Let us be thankful for war and carnage."
Laffin' Carly was dressed in party finery, as she and hubby will attend a party tonite. She wondered what our group would think about her short story "Nails," which she put in the 'bottom drawer' for a few months.

Carly read an obit about a roofer called "Nails" and fashioned a short story around it. I think she was really surprised when I said, "Carly, this is really really good."

Scenes take place in a brownstone mansion where "Nails" fell off a roof and in the waiting room of Abington hospital. Altho it's a complete short story with a fitting conclusion, she may expand it into a novella.
Linda shared a rewrite of Chapter Four of "A Time for Love." Each time it gets better. As Carly said, you got me to like science-fiction, even tho I don't read science-fiction.

Yeah, said Linda, I want it for the general reader.

This general reader is currently reading....

Rings of Saturn by W G Sebald for my library reading group - his odyssey across the UK
The Examined Life by psychoanalyst George Grosz - great stories about very difficult patients
The Charm School by Nelson deMille
and six months of New Yorkers

Last nite I watched "Ferris Buehler's Day Off." And enjoyed it once again. It's a happy, funny movie. The house where Ferris lives is humongous. It's movies with rich people in them that give people the idea we've gotta live in huge houses.


The Perseids I have missed
there was no cloud cover
I simply forgot and was in bed
with a thriller
locked in a POW camp in a forest
in Russia

Every day in August
we’re given a second chance
I stand on my back porch
in the darkness
the hornets are gestating in their nest
in the corner
I am their caretaker
as their fetuses form
beneath a cotton-soft quilt

Gazing upward I see something
moving across the sky
it flashes
on and off
on and off
tiny as a poppy seed

A plane or a spy satellite
is not my second chance in August
Defeated, I sit on the stair
and glance at the whiteness
of my arms
my legs
as the moon rises over the house next door
my silver maple
almost a goner from the hurricane
has been resurrected
she smiles at me with a
shake of her leaves, black in the night,
but heard.

The cicadas are loud as the
Philadelphia Orchestra
playing the Ninth
I listen in darkness
in my nightgown
all alone
a small figure
created for what purpose
six billion years ago?  

My hornet's nest. See the white-cotton batting? It's actually produced by the hornet itself.

We are not like hornets. Our bodies produce nothing like nesting material or spider web material.

The last silver maple in my back yard. Note tiny occupied birdhouse near tree trunk and bird bath.


The universe expands
with the pace of a marathon runner
we too feel the pull of Hurry
“faster faster” demands our planet
our government
our businesses
our fashion designers
creating next year’s fashion trends
oh, the blousy sleeves,
the loose-fitting grey trousers
that swoosh when you walk

This is the world I was born into.
The world of hurry.
Now I revolt.
Do the poppies hurry?
The petunias or chrysanthemum?
The flowers, flowing from the
gift of the sun,
take their time.
Does the baby in the womb hurry?
The soft grass upon which I lay
to watch for meteor showers in August?

“Change your life!” cried the poet
I have!
I promise!
I’m as obedient
as the Chinese woman with bound feet

When I water the purple verbena
I listen as she gulps in her sustenance
When I drink my Earl Grey
the sweet taste warms the globe of my mouth
Everything we do must be meaningful
Everything we do must count
If I may dare to instruct you:
Read good poetry
Remember the tomb.

I picked up Allan from his home at Moreland Towers. The back is beautiful. You can barely see on the right, the tall, striking pink cleomes. When I was 10, I planted them from seed and they grew next to our jalousied back porch in Shaker Heights.

The part in my poem about the hornets reminded Carly about her then-two-yo son getting a painful hornet bite.
Look, Allan, you've got a corn stalk growing in your back yard.

Why do people insist on putting out the American flag?

Theories, anyone?

I think it all stemmed from 9/11, when the world got worse, and people began hating in earnest.

After the Writer's Group, I drove to Mom's, where I gave her back the book I got for her 91st - Love, Laugh and Eat, by an Australian physician.

Pretty darn awful.

She told me to watch a Dr. Nubb (?) on Channel 12. Arthritis advice.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ruth, et al. My poem "Legacy" is online at