Thursday, January 18, 2018

Poems: If Only I Could Stay Awhile - A Good Death - For Tree: Let it Snow, Let it Snow - My New Reading Chair - Short story Japanese Doll


Let me perfect the art of
relaxation, as I sit on
my red couch with tiny
crumbs from pretzels
and peanuts.

I look around and see
all the things I love
my Christnas cards on
the wall

My blue shovel, two mobiles
hanging from the rafters,
a fancy chandelier a la
Liberace that needs a
good dusting and a
colorful wall-hanging
from Ecuador.

And there's Denis, not
dead yet from kidney failure,
and a long turkey feather
I could use as a quill if
my pens go dry.

Seen any good films lately?
Read any good books?
Tell me if you know.


The poem below was just published in Kaleidoscope. It's an online magazine by people with various disabilities, or caregivers of same.  Click here. Very fine writing.  Theme is Unpredictability.


The doctor told me my kidneys would fail
I wanted to know when
so I could start practicing being dead

Empty house
filled with things
my jar of feathers
the bird’s nest
pine cones and shells
on the windowsill

She loved nature so much
someone would mutter
The rosebush I clipped
so the mailman wouldn’t get bit

the maple I watched from the high
bathroom window
framed just so
a Van Gogh

From my bed with the cool
breeze caressing my hair
I sniff the smoke from
the furnace that dispenses
with the little girl that

loved her bike and
rode no-handed down the hilly streets
and back home to feed her fish

Summers, she would ride to
Uncle Marv's
read gloomy Dostoevsky
on the porch steps
and dream of
George Gordon, Lord Byron
in love with a dead man:

The girl was finished
kidneys useless as if
raisins grew there
she was not old yet
still enjoyed snuggling with the
one she loved

he would get her ashes
as would her children

Toss the red berries on her windowsill
the feathers, the shells
the Christmas lights
into the landfill

Still she sees the moon
shining on the For Sale sign
of her yellow house
swaying in the breeze.

As my many readers know - how many are we now? speak up! - I stay in bed awhile and read. Oh shoot, just checked my chart. The Pope book was due yesterday. He's got some great parts in there. Women, he says, should play much more important roles in the church. He travels around the world giving talks.

He spoke about genital mutilation in countries that don't respect women. He's very psychologically insightful. Puts it to a false sense of power when it's really fear.
Image result for pope francis book 2017    Here's his photo, but my book is called Happiness in This World.

My friend Harriet wanted to buy me a new bowl bc the one I use has tiny cracks in it. It's from my late friend Elinor Schuler. She and hubby George moved to Ann's Choice and both conked out for good. Shhh! Don't tell anyone but that's gonna happen to us.

Oh! I almost forgot. Was listening to WRTI-FM, when a phenomenal piano piece came on. Then the guessing game began.

Brahms? Certainly as b'ful as, but not the tinge of melancholy. Schubert?

Greg Whiteside announced the name. It was by Beethoven but was never given an opus no. b/c it was not one of his favorite pieces.

Here's what it's called. 

Beethoven 8 Variations on a romance by Gretry 

Listen to it here.

Oh, so I told Harriet to send me a book instead of a bowl. Now the hunt for the right book. I did find it on Amazon. I goggled 'the best stories ever written about sports.'

What I'd really like are two little Golden Books, one about Jesus, and the other about Life on a Farm. When we moved from Village Green to my own home I left them on the high shelf where my kids couldn't get em.

Have the very best day you possibly can!

PS - My friend Tree sent me a wonderful gift. To thank her, I wrote her a poem.


Mailman Dante wrapped up for
the cold like a babe in a snowsuit
drops the mail in my hand-painted
mailbox that says Hello when you
open that.

You did that for me? said former
mailman Ken, before he retired.
He couldn't stand happy people
but I paid no attention to him.

In my warm blue diabetic socks
from the Sox Lady in Furlong,
I padded into the kitchen to
dispense of the mail.

Into my carton go the huge
cartoon-like ads, the
envelope for my healthcare
payment - already? - and next
a fat pillow-puffy letter
from Bennington Court.

I'd know that address anywhere.
Trudging through the caves of
Altirmira, with bison on the walls,
dining in style with Sarah and Ethan
at The Reading Terminal - save room
for Bassett's Vanilla with Chocolate Sauce

Tree's gifts are always practical, usable,
surprising. They make me wanna do my best
with what I've got. Such smarts she's got.

She'll be happy to know I've made an appointment
with one Daniel Paul Deming, mon cher fils, to learn
how to use APPS.

The fear will fly away from me like sparrows
on wing and my head held as high as Madame
Bovary before she flung herself in front
of a train.



What is purple
and swivels
and is as
as if it were
fitted just for me.

Why have I never
thought of reading there?
Old habits are hard to
break. For years I
read in my messy

Lying down, so I always
fell asleep.

Now, sitting up I will
finish at last Happiness
in This Life by Pope
Francis. His faith
is unshakable, as is mine.

I will tell you this: While
I read his book, I'm a
Catholic. When I put it down
I'm a child of god,
a Jew living on borrowed time
under the roof of heaven. 

Click to enlarge the photo on the side of my fridge of Walter Straus. Once we were pals. Now I have no idea where the man is or if he's dead or alive.

Actually I did find the married couple he's living with - I think they live in Germantown or Mount Airy - to think he'd end up living with them. To me, it's tragic, but I ain't Walter Straus, born in 1918.


A friend of mine doesn't drive in the dark. Not surprising at our ages. 65-plus. I emailed her my short story The Japanese Doll, which evoked fear in her. That's good. She felt my own fear. Click here. It's from Bella Online.

Mommy? Are you home? Gonna stop over.

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