Monday, August 31, 2015

The good die young - Patrick Otis Cox - Wendy Davidson - Death of Blogspot Photos - Letter to Editor - Two new poems: The Fading Edge of Light and If on a Winter's Night

No photos on here, Folks, Blogspot has changed their 'photo mode.' Apparently they don't accept a shot from a camera.

Click on this link - it's the website of Patrick Otis Cox, who died last week of a massive heart attack. His wife - Yin Liu - found him dead in the other room. A sight she will never forget.

I apprised my Writers' Group of this last Saturday.

Before the Giant Coffeeshop and Weinrich's Bakery, we met at Le Coffee Salon in Hatboro,  owned by Yin.

Everyone made a comment about dying suddenly. Many said they'd prefer dying in their sleep.

Do we have a choice?

I'd saved so many great photos for my next blog post.

Obviously, though, this is a major loss for me.

Who out there can help me?

Today I had a Letter to the Editor published in the Intelligencer. Hope you don't mind if I print the entire thing below. Scott helped me write it.

I read Mike Fitzpatrick’s Aug. 23 column with incredulity. Like a smooth politician, the Republican congressman from the 8th District writes without saying a thing. He mentions “protecting our nation.”

We spend more than the rest of the world on defense, which needs to be totally overhauled. The VA is woefully underfunded and our veterans suffer horribly. Many are depressed or homeless and end up killing themselves. Will you work on this, Mike Fitzpatrick?

What does Fitzpatrick mean by “growing our economy”? He offers no solutions. We’ve done nothing about renewable energy and getting away from fossil fuels. Republicans like Fitzpatrick are owned by the fossil fuel corporations.

As for his “reforming our government,” the national Republicans want “no government.” They’re almost anarchists. What about a fair tax system? Will you work on that, Mike Fitzpatrick? He also talks about bipartisanship. What planet is he living on?

When Congress returns in the fall, perhaps Mike Fitzpatrick can make a strong stand on these important issues. Dare I say he might follow some of the teachings of Pope Francis, particularly on our threatened ecosystem, when he arrives at the end of September.

Ruth Z. Deming
Willow Grove
Wanted to end the Letter on a hopeful note.

I'm always racing against the clock.

By Thursday I must finish If On a Winter's Night, by Italo Calvino, wrin in 1979. Very difficult to read. Sometimes I luv it, something I hate it.

Look! Photo is straight off the Internet. 

Image result for italo calvino

Image result for patrick otis cox  Here's Patrick and Yin off the Internet at a party at my house.



Well, Calvino, my library club has chosen
your, shall we say, Bach Theme and
Variations, in font form, for our August
selection, fitting, perhaps, as the
leaves pitter-patter to the ground
not caring a whit to dazzle us anymore
just as you, at sixty, lay eyes closed
thinking perhaps of one more book to
write, no use, as rivers of blood closed
the curtains of your mind.

I’m enjoying my relationship with you
feet propped up on my red
living room couch, sipping black
coffee through a matching straw,
“sensitive and sensible soul” that
I am – how kind of you to say that –
jotting down notes for the writing club
a week hence

You’ll appreciate this, Calvino. The
library director thinks “club” has an
elitist meaning, and might change
our name to “group” as in “groups of
Jews riding the trains to Auschwitz”
Your Italian compatriot Levi survived
but then plunged headfirst from his

On to the lovely things of life
Right outside my window a
mourning dove – huge, long-tailed
freight-train gray – sways back and
forth on the branch, we know not

My copy is a paperback. In the
original Italian, the reader took
a paper knife and slit open the
pages “cutting our way through
a dense forest”

We meet Ludmilla, a fine name,
denoting, oh, a tough Russian
blonde, the definitive Brunhilde
in golden armor who – and I’m
turning my head now – has
thrust herself in Siegfried’s
funeral pyre.

There is no end to these tragedies.
We may have succeeded in saving
the monarch butterflies, easier
than the Muslims, Jews, Pro-Choicers,
these quick-flying demigods have
eaten from my milkweed puffs
in the front yard. See them flying
skyward toward the heavens?

Gone in a wink
like life aboard
the trains or
sitting on the
red couch.


I came up with an ending for this poem similar to the "Change your life" ending of a Rilke poem. Our new member Rem Murphy thought of the Rilke poem, which I couldn't remember.

Read Archaic Torso of Apollo here.

And weep, if you're a poet like me. 


That time of night when
the moon plays peak-a-boo
behind Charlie’s dogwoods
and I slip on my sandals
stand watch on the front
stoop, gaze upward for
the stars’ glitter
then take off downstream
on Cowbell.

Pumping my arms
I glide like an ice-
skater down the slope
my shorn white hair
catching the evening
breeze. What will I
see tonight?

A pacifier on the lawn
of the new people. I
toss it toward the door
then step lightly across
newly mown grass
dying in the street.

A huge chalk drawing
in the street shows
a female child with
two large cavities
above her waist.

Is this imagination
I’m seeing on Cowbell
Road? Or a prophecy.

Shall I stand outside
the window on the
lower slope and watch
the Phillies’ work their
magic on the big screen?

Greyhorse has many changes.
“I live in the grey house,” Carol
once told me. Why then the
Dumpster in front? Wayne is
moving her out. Miss Dee Mentia
has moved inside.

Do I have the stamina to make
it up the steep hill of Greyhorse,
this blink of a thought is quickly
changed as I peek from afar
in open windows and then
I see it
illuminated by the moon

A house bathed in light
its whiteness like
marble from the tombs
of Italy, Michelangelo
hovers near.

Who would I be
if I lived in that house?
A grand dame driving a
Mercedes? The leader of
a political party? A novelist
appearing on the Morning

“In other life,” my friend
Pam used to say. I am in
no hurry. Let me stand, in
my blue evening gown,
bathed in moonbeams,
and ask the gods for
an easy exit when
my time comes.

Happy birthday number five
Grace Catherine Deming.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Dave Deming returns to Houston, TX - Photo of Hummingbird

Dave Deming just drove off in his rented Chevy for the Philadelphia Airport, there to have lunch and wait for his 4:30 pm plane back to Houston.

His luggage was a carry-on red backpack. 

First, though, he wanted to see the Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Pennypack Trust for the very first time. I was only too happy to take him on the grand tour.

 I enjoyed cooking him my Willow Grove Breakfast Specials.
 No need to lock, I told him, as we got outa the car, and began circling around the gorgeous Cathedral in the Suburbs.
A veritable Barnes Museum of "everywhere you look, you'll see beauty."

 Dave likes to sit and enjoy the view. I am not a 'sitter' but he taught me something. Sit down, relax, and enjoy!
I mentioned to Dave that I might change my 'screen saver' b/c of the lovely shots I got. Anudder time I changed it, but couldn't find my file folders. I have quite a few.

Sarah and Dan used to run down this steep hill. Here I am in the middle.

Look what I found!

Three quarters, nestled in the grass.

Dogwood tree. I usually don't wear a watch in the hot weather, but needed to track the time all weekend... Kay's Funeral, Our "Art Heals Program" and making the plane.

As I was walking back up the hill, breathing heavily, I thought, This hill is worse than the Cowbell Road jaunt around the block.

What are you doing, I thought. You're no spring chicken!

 Scaffolding. They've been working on the stone for years, if I'm correct. It gets corroded by pollution from the air and from vehicles.
These are lantana, which you can't make out. At one time, I grew em. The blues are unknown to me.

 One of the lovely metal railings hard by a cutleaf Japanese maple.

 Hundreds of bees and other pollinators buzzed around these fleurs.

 We drove to the Admin Offices.

Careful going through the Tunnel of Love.
 Dunno what all these bldgs are. One of em you can visit. I shall... and YOU, Dear Reader, will be the first to hear about.

Now we're at Pennypack Trust. The Bird Blind offered views of more birds than I have ever seen there! Morning? Oh, it was about 11.

Goldfinch. He stayed there a long time. He'd eat and then quickly spit something out... the hard outer covering, Mr. Audubon?

 Messeurs Cardinal and Blue Jay (camouflaged on right) shared nicely. But WHAT are they sharing?

 Okay, let's rest on the bench and then we'll take this path. Two turkeys are 3/4 the way down.

 Yoick! Yoick! Yoick! His cry sounds like that.
 Gentle grasses you caress with your hands.
Can you imagine all this land - some 900 acres - with nary a house or CVS or Home Despot anywhere near.

 These property markers must be ancient. We say bye-bye to Pennypack. We stopped into the office and I introduced Dave to Lauren Steele.

As Dave and I sat on a bench, he brought up "quantum entanglement"  - a theory, probly true, about sharing knowledge.
Finally got a shot of the hummingbird. Click to enlarge. Where is she?

Lower right.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

How Art Heals Adversity - Wonderful performers - Wonderful audience

Just came home from Scott's, my next-door BF, to tell him our program was a success!

Folks were so appreciative of Dorothy Rudolph's candid talk about incest (her late father) and her remarkable art work that sprang from her unconscious and then her conscious mind.

 Om - above. She drew a perfect circle. Read about it here. It's also a mantra used in meditation or chanting.
Female sexuality above. Click all photos to enlarge.
Photograph of a mask she had made. Recently Dorothy threw out all her originals, on her computer, but hasn't emptied her "recyclables."

David Kime was really interested in her mask as he's made many of them.

My childhood friend Nancy, who was 'groomed' by her father since age two, as was Dorothy, made this mask which is at my mom's house. Nancy believes something happened to her dad's brain during WWII.

Dorothy said at the start of her presentation she was feeling a bit anxious but the more she spoke, the stronger she got, so it was almost like a lecture of how to recover from incest. She'll offer members of New Directions a workshop in the near future.

My house is filled w my art work - who else would want it - the American flag I painted over a fuse box I had replaced - the mobile is made of PVC pipes.

An artist says, "How can I use this? What can I do with it?"

Don't you think that's why people paint their nails or tattoo their skin?

Donna Krause in our Coffeeshop Writers' Group has the most gorgeous nails I've ever seen. She does them herself.  She and fiance Denny will leave for Wildwood after our program.

 The poet's job is to tell the truth. Not to sugarcoat it.

Donna has had an inordinate amount of tragedy in her life, which she told us about in her poems, three of them are: Mangled Mess (her mind) - The Fight to Live - Carry My Heart.

As she was reading, I thought to myself, there are many people in the audience - and in the world - who have never experienced the highs and lows of bipolar disorder.

You can read about our illness in books and online but by reading Donna's poems you have the EXPERIENCE of having the illness.  Her metaphors are phenomenal - a dumbwaiter plunging her downward into hell. She was fearless in her portray of her deceased husband and her deceased daughter Mariel who died at 15 from meningitis.

Imagine the mother's sorrow.

Martha is another superb poet in our Coffeeshop Writers' Group. She looked smashing in a comfy loose-fitting jacket she bought at the thrift shop - which one? do they have any left?

The way we dress helps us with a reading. I'll never forget the words of the co-chairman of the Hahnemann program I took to become a psychotherapist:  Women who don't wanna compete with other women make themselves look unattractive.

That's why I didn't appear in my striped PJs.

Martha's poems are also brutally honest. She has an amazing facility to write quickly and to write wherever she is. The Muse seems to dwell within her.

Okay, Linda Barrett where are you hiding?

Linda and her mom, Jane, arrived early. Our friend Judy sits next to them.

 In our theater-in-the-round like the original Globe Theatre


 Out! Out! Brief Candle
Linda moves around so everyone can hear CATS - CHICKEN AND THE BEAR (names of two cats) - and SUMMER STORM.

"Good job, Linda," I said on the phone just now. "Did you like your BarkThins?"

"I'm eating it right now," she said.

This Jewish mother has one package left in her fridge, next to Vita Creamed Herring, a Jewish fave from childhood.

As a person w diabetes, I will NOT eat the BarkThins. Stop over if you want them.

Big Jim McCauley started off the show with his comedy act. I just left him a message on his Facebook Fan Page. 

You can, too!

Oh, you're not on FB? You think it's a waste of time. You think people will steal your ideas or stalk you?

You're right. Just a minute, I'll figure out how to get off.

Ten minutes later.

You can't.

Jimbo joked about taking a couple of cabs to get to the entrance of the Giant. Yes, the Giant is ALWAYS crowded.

He also told us to focus on him, all six-foot-ten of him, EYE CANDY.

His comedy act takes him to various places. Sometimes he might imbibe a little too much, esp. in a dull place like Scranton or one of the Dakotas.

So what does our Jimmy do? He goes to a toll booth, goes into one of the "closed" booths and thinks he's stopped at a red light.

He starts hollering and honking his horn. The State Trooper wasn't pleased.

When you're Jimmy's size, you can barely fit on an airplane seat or go down the water slide at an amusement park.

He lets nothing stop him.

In fact, as his act went on, I wondered if he was gaining weight during his performance.

 In addition to being a funny guy, Jim is also very thoughtful. He brought me this T-shirt. If you're feeling tired, instead of drinking caffeine, just stare at this!
The married couple David and Elsie found us through the Uptight Suburbanite. I wrote the editor Linda to thank her.

Chris readies himself to show us his art work.

 Chris just graduated from Penn State Abington in Early Childhood Education. He brought in a few of his assignments. One was to show him flying. Very cool. Kids would certainly love to draw dat.

David Kime and I hadn't seen one another in five years. He put on his jester's hat that he sewed with tiny scraps of people's shirts.

From Morristown, PA, he runs a Recovery Art Group at Reach-Out Foundation. They make all sorts of creative projects often with 'found objects.'

He's perfected working with papier mache - also with wallpaper paste - to fill his creations, which have been shown at Coalition Ingenue, which just moved to Florida.

Take a look at some of his creations. One, pre-hysteric, is made with melted crayons. 

Read this 1998 story about him in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

David publishes his own zine - small magazine - called Transcendent Visions.

He brought a stack of old copies.

Over the phone David told me he bring me A Frog. It took five hours to make. Like me, he likes to talk on the phone when he's making art.

Here's Froggy's temporary home, atop Richard Parker, who I bought for five dollars at a neighborhood garage sale.

I love pets!

 Teresa Binder showed us some of her art work.  She mails out crocheted Xmas cards.
 She almost forgot about our program today but had set her phone, so it went off to remind her.
The temperature read slightly under 80 degrees. These upstairs rooms are usually chilly.

I was so delighted to see my friend Teresita Pointer, from my Abington Adult Evening Program Acrylic Painting.

  Here's Terry with her son Nicky. They stopped over. She's an ER nurse at Temple University Hospital. I asked her after the show if she saw Stalin Campos who stopped off at the program.

Stalin Campos, MD, originally from El Salvador, was named after

Image result for stalin

Stalin was considered a hero of the Russian Revolution, until everyone realized he led a reign of terror.

Our audience was very appreciative.

 Bob (Maggie's fiance), Maggie - a peer specialist - and Lorraine. Hello Teresita!

What a great dinner I had.... leftovers from Ooka Japanese Restaurant in Willow Grove. My bro/law Dave Deming is in town for the funeral of his sister Kay Deming Graham. She died of emphysema.

Cough cough cough. Don't you dare start smoking.

I read three poems:  The Pope Comes to Visit - Danielle's Dog Tags - At the Foot of the Master (about poet Chris Bursk).

Chris Bursk

Christopher Bursk.  Read a couple poems off his website.

Now, go do something unusual... something you ordinarily wouldn't do, but you've been so inspired you must do it!