Saturday, February 24, 2018

Oh no! More Poems - Washing my Face - Happy Valentine's Day to the Garbage Cans - What a Breakfast


How fine it feels to use
my fingers to wash my face
I close my eyes and feel
my cheekbones, forehead
lips and neck, all the
while, outside my
bathroom window, a
red-headed woodpecker
plummets, searching for
his toast and jam.


If I've forgotten to thank you
let it be now, o squirrel-proof
garbage can I bought at Village
Hardware in Hatboro, maker of
revolutionary hats - doff doff -
feathers and all
for the War of Independence.

The Adams Family, the Myers Family,
the Kiernans, the whole lot of us
getting rid of our weekly detritus
just as I'm sure you know by now
the heavens shirk off theirs by
sinking it down black holes.

Live in the moment, shall we?
Wayne Dyer has passed, so has
Louise Hay, let's drink a
cuppa tenderness, with both
hands and wake up refreshed
in the morning.


Back to the old peripatetic
breakfasts when the sun shone
its glory over our little
patch of paradise

I walked along my front yard
staring at Helene's beautiful
china, breakable, composing a
quick short story where plates
are thrown by the disgruntled couple

Last night I ate a frozen dinner
Marie Callender's meatballs and
sausage in marinara

While watching 31 Days Leading Up
to the Oscar. So that's what
BUTTERFIELD 8 is about! The face,
the curled up body of Elizabeth
Taylor is something our generation
will never forget.

Max? I muse to my grandson, four.
Liz Taylor? No, it's not a backhoe
or front-end loader.

Hold on while I pour another cup of tea.
Tangerine and orange from the one and only
storyteller Marf! Goes down smooth as
honey or mashed bananas for babies.


I submitted something on LUST to Pure Slush. Matt wrote me back. Apparently I only submitted half of it.

Where's the other half? Lemme go out back and see if it's blowing across the back lawn.

Just got anudder cup of Marf's Tangerine Tea even tho there's no caffeine in it. I needed a change.

Dig that color! Hawaiian Punch Red.

I called Helene to tell her I was emailing her the pic of her old china, gorgeous, n'est-ce-pas?

Scott's dad is living at home in Northeast Phila with his mom, but he's not doing well. Dementia.

Looked up caregivers for Alzheimer's. There's a daytime group I may go to. Why? For my volunteer job at an adult daycare facility.

Par example, one woman I'll call Mrs. Chekhov. She has no frigging mind, tho she looks around with interest and they bring her to the potty.

She lives at home with her daughter. How does her daughter deal with it?

Did I tell you this horrible thing that happened? I lost half the stuff for our Compass magazine. Must be a virus.

Look, I'm not panickickcing.

Gotta finish a new short story IF it's still there.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A'Compassing we Go, cough cough - Poems: Garbage Night - Breakfast at Helene's - Night Houses

So, when last we spoke, I was having trouble sleeping, which might explain why I'm up at - lemme check the time - 3:22 am, tho I certainly slept quite a bit.

Sarah Lynn had called me at 11 pm. Said she finally got my Valentine.

I'd eaten at a Chinese rest. and the waiter gave me a take-out carton of white rice.

She's finished with the revisions of her book, so can come and visit! The little girl who left for Brown and never came home again.

When she called, I was up in the bedroom watching the Nutrition Shows. This one guy, Michael Gregor, MD, is very funny or as Dan would say, Hilarious.

Image result for michael greger md
But the person who introduces him feels he's gotta tell us he's funny.

He's a vegan. Cluck cluck cluck! Would I have to give up my chicken soup?

Oh! The worst thing he said is Don't eat eggs!

I've eaten at least 730 eggs this year. The reason I'm not dead is it hits you later. And he tells us the diseases that will kill us all.


Was talking to Nancy on the phone
when I remembered, "Nancy," I said,
"gotta get off. Tonight is Garbage

The squirrel-proof garbage can
I bought in Hatboro stands sentry
next to the plastic green "recyclables."

Like those Russian kachina dolls, I've
placed in one salad container, an empty glass
container of cinnamon sticks, the plastic
lid for chicken soup, and a plastic tab
to pull open the olive oil.

Papers. Papers. Papers. All in cartons
from the Giant I've begged from Joe from Hungary and
Jack the Produce Man.

Not a word to my son-in-law Ethan, but
he lent me a book on our Caribbean
Cruise. Obsession was the name. I fanned
the pages one last time and threw it
in the trash.

Whenever I come downstairs in the wee hours of the morning, I open up my front door and look at all the houses on the street. All dark except for Carol. She may sleep in her BarcaLounge chair.

Image result for barcalounger

I try to visit her every month or so. She has a great gift of gab. Last time I was there I got a neck-ache
from looking at her from the side.

My friend Harriet sent an email about The Great Influenza Pandemic. Read about it here, from Stanford University.

  An emergency hospital.


Well, you better get here fast,
she humphed over the phone.
Maybe she'd make me those
Davey Ire Pancakes you bake
in the oven.

I parked in the drive and
came in the door by the deck.
The dead hosta were swinging
into life and songbirds
soared hither and fro.

Aaron was at his usual
place at the table, finishing
the crossword. He barely
looked up as I yelled Hello,
so into his own world was he.

"Pick out your coffee cup,"
said Helene, so I did from
a white drawer. "May I pour
it myself?" I asked.

"If you don't make a mess,"
she said.

Hard to believe but her entire
family is dead. Aaron, their
two children, and she, Helene,
biding her time at Rydal Park.

As my sister Lynn says, Live,
love, and be happy.


Scott and I watched the 2012 film CARNAGE, I checked outa the library.

Image result for carnage film
I'd never heard of David C Reilly before. Roger Ebert gave it a good review.

Okay, I'll open and close the front door once again, to see if all the houses are still there, and then I'll call it a night.


One little head pokes itself out the front door.
As dark as coffee grounds.
Inhaling, she smells the good aroma
of the neighborhood. Everyone's
light is off, except Carol's. Bill's
been dead five years now.

As always, when she looks outside
in her polka dot PJs, she wishes she
could run away. Anywhere will do.
The library to return the movie,
to Helene's old house in Maple Glen,
to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania
where you ride the old steam train
that serves a magnificent lunch
with black coffee and dessert
while you try not to fall
over people's knees.

Click here for the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.

How bout dat?

Entrance to Views
Entrance to Suicide Cliff
Entrance to Hell
Entrance to buried stash of 300 million guns owned by 350 million Americans

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Poems: When you can't sleep - Something as simple as a walk around the block


What was the last good thing
you watched on Neflix? I came
downstairs, trailing my favorite
blanket, settled on my red couch,
and began a night of film.

I'd see them all.
Jaws, Goodfellas,
Godfather. Chris Rock's new comedy special sucked.

I did like when Chris said, "What if some white
bitch were shot by a black cop and they'd all
be moaning in the middle of the suburban street."

"A Serious Man" came first, overly
long, redolent of Isaac Bashevis Singer
but not half so good, followed by a
British spy drama called Fear, what a
mistake I thought as the beach ran
red with blood.

The kid's name is Nikolas Kruz, filled with
pride for what he did. Loved his killing tools.
Took an Uber to school, pulled the fire alarm
which screwed up the "school-shooter

What if, right here, right now,
on our quiet street, a 19-yr-old with a shotgun played cowboy
and Indians, and shot 17 of us down dead.
Blood in the snow.

Took a break between kills. Walked over to
McDonalds, got some salty fries and maybe a
burger or two. No pickles please.
A cop recognized him.

Half hour later he was behind bars.
Nikolas. Cruz. His last name could've
been Tesla. But it wasn't.


Spoke to Phyllis Katz, formerly of Goddard College,
this morning. She's married and loves living in
her home in Puerto Rico, where they're still
recovering from the hurricane.

Quelle tragedy!

I have eaten everything in my cupboards in preparation for writing a poem about a former slave - hear that, O Muse! -

 Ate the last of my vegetarian bean soup in my favorite bowl - Goodbye Elinor Schuler goodbye!
Scott's tea roses are doing well.


All over America - oh, say
can you see! - thousands, if
not millions of Americans, say
I'll be right back. Just going
for a walk around the block.
They may pick up a carton of
cigarettes, a gallon of milk,
the newspaper they can roll
under their arm and bring home.

I said nothing to nobody and
struck out, winged sneakers
on my feet like a Valkyrie,
walked down the street, avoiding
the puddles, the disgusting
garbage on the side of the street,
rounded the bend to Sleighride
and with a huff and a puff
marched up this high slope,
oh don't you worry, not one
of them Olympic slopes in

And pride mounting
as I neared the summit
then trotted downward
and burst into my house.

The slo-cooker was making
chili for me. Vegetarian.
With everything in it,
especially those Udon
noodles I can't get
enough of. Which lovely
dish shall I serve it in?
Helene's. The blue thatch
pattern I snatched from
her house before she
left for the old ladies home.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mmm Good, This Earl Gray Tea


How delightful it is sitting on the veranda
here in Calabria, Italy, the warm temp is
simply divine, this tea has a flavor as sweet
as the songbirds flitting all about.

Scuse me as I take another sip, pinkie lifted
in this fine blue cup. Amazing how the Oil of
Bergamat makes it safely throughout the world,
do they drink Earl Grey at the Pyongyang Olympics
where the wind often blows skiiers off course?

Ah, time for me to start my day. Won't you join me
here at my yellow house? I'll put the tea kettle on.


Just came home from eating at the COLONIAL QUY BAU restaurant.

Image result for colonial buy restaurant willow grove
My sister Lynn picked me up. I said even tho Mandarin Garden is closing, let's go somewhere else.

We both loved it. Kelly was our waitress. She wore dogtags around her neck to remind her of her late father.

Then she insisted we go to the Willow Grove mall.

Off we went!

Neither of us have been there in ages. First thing we saw was a gelato place.

I had a Raspberry Cheesecake Gelato, Lynn had a Carrot and Orange atop a chocolato.

We walked around the mall for exercise, me wearing my Chinese slippers.

Lynn is currently under the influence of the late great Louise Hay, who can be heard on YouTube. She listens in the car.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Official portraits of Michele Obama and Barack Obama - Unique Valentine Card

In the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, here are two unusual and modern portraits of the former First Lady and the former President of the U.S.

Image result for barack and michelle official portraits

Image result for michelle obama official portrait      The portrait artists are award-winning African-American artists.

View here.

Here's a poem I wrote this morning before leaving for my Monday Volunteer Job at Adult Daycare on York Road.


The dead autumn leaves are racing each other
up the street, the backpacked school kids have
left to pursue the world of eraserboards
and laptops, and I am listening to Billy Hart
on drums in the kitchen, an Ethan Iverson leftover
(he's on there, too)

Awaiting the moment to crack my first egg to make breakfast
Dinosaur? Grace would laugh. Peacock? Didn't we have the option at The Pennsylvania State Fair?

Make mine a plain ole white egg. Such stories carried
within there! Must I remind you that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny"

A gust of fresh air enters and sends me off to the kitchen
there to crack the first egg of a million years ago.

We are doing well on The Compass. Front cover will be a Marina in Key Largo.

Back cover a melange of Superbowl Photos.

As always, Mark Amos of Buxmont does a great job telling me what pix will or won't work.

Sent a Valentine Card to Sarah and Ethan today. Made the card with the Rice Carton from Mandarin Garden.

Was on the way to the PO, when at the bottom of my street, was a mailman, Chinese, I believe. He assured me it would arrive just fine. 

 Made it in the kitchen with scissors and Scotch tape. Then ran upstairs to type a note on my new HP printer.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Days of Blueberry Blahs - The Letter to the Editor that Never Was

What in tarnation?

Into my egg a little white rice must fall. Leftover from Mandarin Garden. And then the usual .... whole egg (quack quack) garlic, frozen spinach, and onions.

I like to eat while doing something.

Terrible news on the Times...what's that idiot gotten us into now.

So I checked Netflix and am still watching Fred Amisen, the drummer, but then he says, Ruth Deming, who dat? Original and funny.

Armisen speaking at Cinequest film festival, San Jose, CA 2017

But that was this morning. Now it's afternoon. Just woke up after the friggin sound of a phone call.

Oh no! Who could that be? Lana, Anna, Danielle, Dana, Superman, Candace.

Konk! I'm back to sleep again.

It is POURING outside. Just came down and ate a Mandarin orange for my cold.

My forced forsythia in a corner of the kitchen on my decorated ladder.

So I call Dan.

Bubby's on, he calls. Who wants to talk to her?

Max is gets one.

What's doin, kid?

I'm building with Legos.

Are you building a tower?

No, I'm building a house.


Dyou have a cold, Max?

Yeah, but it's getting better, he says.

Daddy and Grace have colds but not Mommy.

And, we're trained to say, It's getting better.

Then I call Mom and tell her the story.

This has been laying around the kitchen for about 5 yrs.

John M, designed them for our then writing group. I listened to him endlessly when he was going thru a divorce. His wife had already picked out his successor. Why not?

The guy 'owed' me hundreds of dollars of therapy fees so I asked him to print us out a hundred brochures.

Extremely well done! He's an artist. Bipolar.

So I went over to his apt in Jenkintown to pick em up.

Went into the baffroom, and locked myself in there.

Pull pull pull


Now we're getting THE COMPASS ready. I have no idea how to write now that I'm sick. This is no joke.

Did I tell you the rice was crunchy? Too crunchy? Or did I tell that to Mom or Nancy?

Am going back to bed.

Scott stopped by this morning. He too is getting better.

Should I have anudder Mandarin orange?

Sometimes there's just no one to ask.


Blueberries have not helped
nor strawberries either though
they twinkle on the plate
and do their best to please

My bags are packed, I check
my watch to see when the limo
will get here

for I'm foreign bound
a little cafe across the
sea, Renoir's Cafe, tis true

And there I will sip my cafe au lait, just so,
bask my head in the sunshine, flirt with
the garcons, and walk along the swirling
Seine, forgetting all about home. 

Image result for blueberry crunch


"Of Gods and Men" was the featured film at the Upper Moreland Free Public Library on Sunday, Jan. 21. The third Sunday Cinema brought out 30 people for this intense and mystifying film about Trappist monks in Algeria.

Discussion leader Maurizio Giammarco, PhD, asked pertinent questions from the audience to get us thinking, even as we mused about the Eagles playing the Vikings that evening.

Giammarco, a slender, casually dressed film teacher at Temple University, always brings "treats" for the audience, reflecting his Italian heritage. Think: cannolis and powdered sugar cookies.

Those are simply the frills. His choice of films is always superb. A visionary, he has pondered and reflected on the films and wants his audience - of mostly seniors - to find deeper meanings, such as the music, the dialogue, the lighting.

He remembers our names and insists we think on our feet.

On Feb. 18, join us for "Carnage."

Ruth Z. Deming
Willow Grove, PA
215 659 2142

Image result for of gods and men

When I took my laptop to be fixed, Joe said, "You write all these emails?"

Then he advised me to put things in the trash.