Friday, September 28, 2018

Latest News and Poems

What a delicious salad I just finished here on my Red Couch Desk.

The bowl is left over from a party years ago by the mom of one of our New Directioneers.

Her husband had a heart attack at about 38 and from then on, he ate great foods to stave off anudder one. It was their son who came to our meetings.

Where are you now "Bartholomew?"

Here is something I posted this am on Facebook.

I'm a big fan of Nicholas Kristof from the NY Times. Here's part of what he wrote in his latest column
A president who has faced more than a dozen allegations of sexual assault is attempting to appoint a second Supreme Court justice who has credibly been accused of sexual misconduct, and those two justices might well help form a new court majority to chip away at abortion rights in the United States.
And remember that since Clarence Thomas’s confirmation, new evidence has arisen that makes it pretty clear that Thomas was lying and that Anita Hill was telling the truth.
If the same happens with Kavanaugh, one-third of the court’s male justices will have been tarnished by sexual misconduct.

Folks responded with No one cares.

Well, of course you'll wanna read my latest poems.


I wake up and I am cold
How shall I warm myself
Even my fingertips are cold
Shall I paint them?

In my bedroom I have
six drawers of clothing
The first smells of parfum
A long black shirt reading
Grand Canyon of PA struts out

I push it back. Don't like
that tight neck. What's this?
A cape-ish affair from
Banana Republic.

Ever been there?

I slide on my huggin
blue-checked pants,
which catch on my
red-painted talons.

Into my favorite cup
I pour green tea with blubberies
to warm me up.

Finally. Finally. I be warm.


Cream of Wheat!
Cream of Rice!
How I remember you both!
nutritionally worthless
until they add their
vitamins and minerals.

Where is the face of the
Quaker Oats Man?
A ruddy, trusting face.
As a Quaker and pacifist
At meetings, the spirit shines
through him, and calls for
world peace.

By eating his oatmeal this morning
with fresh red raspberries and peanut butter
may the light shine through me too
for world peace.

Two hundred more years.


Sirens, of course, the chug of
a locomotive, and from the audio
book, "Fire and Fury" about
Donald J Trump,
"Trump in his heart was
a marshmallow."

Believe me, I'm not gonna
defile the man and suggest
we roast marshmallows on a stick
over the fire.

I scrape my mushroom cheese omelet from the
copper skillet and stand outside, purple
napkin in hand.

Hot! Muggy! I lean against the rear
of my car. Ever thought to yourself,
"This is the best damn omelet
I've ever had?"


When I worked at the Intell
I read a medical column by
Rachmel Cherner detailing
the complications of diabetes

Thirty years later, after my
kidney tranplant, diabetes
came along for the ride. It was
free, cost me nothing, and is
a killer if you ignore it.

Who wants their toes amputated?
Who wants to go blind?
Who wants pain in the bottom
of their feet that feels like
the fires of hell?

Early morning today, I walked
around the block, arms swinging,
staring at all the garbage,
a green recyclable overflowing
with plastic bottles of water.

So easy, so convenient, but
think twice before you imbibe.
Love yourself, love our planet.


I awoke to Dick Proenneko
just call him Dick
narrating his thirty years
alone near the shore of
Twin Lakes Alaska.

Here comes Babe now, I'd
heard him say many a time.
The twin engine plane
landed gracefully as a
seagull on top of the water.

Babe's wife had kindly
knit Our Dick several
pairs of warm socks.

My warm socks all come
from the knitting mills
of The Sox Lady in
Furlong Pennsylvania.
I've been there many
a time.

Dick, with his narrow
body, bright blue eyes,
and warm cap, is stirring
a pot filled with elk stew,
replete with onions and
carrots and other good things.

The month of March has returned
and with it, the sighting of bears,
a mama and her two cubs.

Dick enters their cave and says
how clean it is, this narrow man,
originally from Iowa, who we
all admire.

He went back to the States
at 82, a bittersweet parting,
and died among people
alone no more, at 86.

I am with you, Dick.
Sitting here in my
warm socks, head uncovered.


Got a great haircut at Hair Cuttery, plus a waxing and great storytelling from Tina.

Dyou think Scott noticed?

Decided to let my hair go white again. It actually looks pink. It's in that awkward pink stage. I'm feeling it right now. She sprayed it with a foam product like Burma Shave or a foam contraceptive.

Image result for burma shave

Image result for casio electronic keyboard  Gonna take lessons on this whatever it is. Sister Donna finally brought it to Mom's house in the car.

Shall I practice now?

I think this calls for a drink! Where's the cold water?

Scuse me while I go offstage and write a poem.


Somehow as a kid of 8 we found Mrs Kultti
to give me piano lessons. A kind woman
of Christian Science faith, if she'd
accidentally bump her leg, she'd break
out in prayer.

Oh, the recitals we played at the Settlement
Music House near Wade Park in Cleveland.
Manly Sims was the best player, he never
touches the piano today. Arlyn Katovsky's
parents, were so proud of her and stood
near a French door, the lovliest people.

If Arlyn plays, it's on one of the moons
of Saturn today.

As a kid I wrote little songs - Heigh Ho
The Witch is Dead - and something about
a Rhinoceros.

I loved playing Brahms and in a recital
Mrs. Kultti had me play a movement from
The Appassionata.

At Goddard College, Ray MacIntyre presented
me with Bach Partitas.

If I were a praying man, which I'm not,
I'd pray, "Please, Dear Lord, let me
rediscover the piano, albeit electric,
and play like a son-of-a-gun, to thrill
myself and the 500 people come to
hear me."

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Part Two - Captions - Poem DEAR HELENE

Used to have dinner with the Demings but with the darker weather coming, I decided to try for breakfast!

Great idea!

Drove over for breakfast. Brought my own, Vanilla Full Fat Yogurt, Brown Cow, with Snyder's Pretzel Rods mixed in.


Upon arrival, Max was in the vestibule playing with his trains.

Grace sat at the filled-with-things dining room table and I asked her, Ever heard of Where's Waldo? She had.

WAL-do?  I say, WAL-do, where ARE you?

Dan was indisposed, if you know what I mean.

Later we all met at table.

Long story short. Grace had Cheerios and milk. Later on I finished them. But they were much sweeter than I reemembered.

Later on we played card games in the den.

What fun! I had absy no idea what I was doing - sadly, true - but the kids helped me.

When it was time to go home, Max begged his dad to play hide n seek, but Dan kept saying no. As a kid, Dan would beg me, his mudder!

All right, Max, I said, I'll play w you.

Hmmm, I thought. He probly has his fave hiding places.

Suddenly I saw a hidden closet adjoining the staircase.

THERE HE WAS!  We both laffed hysterically.

Next it was my turn. I raced into the den, hid under a blanket, scrunching up my body, and he found me after a bit of a search.

More hysterical laffter!

Them kids! Ya gotta love em!

The rain was barely pattering when I drove over
to POWERBACK on Davisville Road to visit my
fallen angel Helene, who was there to get
her power back.
Miserable, she sat picking at her food in
a wheelchair, and brightened considerably
when she saw me.
Deming, she said, looking the same as always.
Her family doctor told her to tell people her
age - 89 - because she looks so young.
What a long life I've had, she said. And a
wonderful life though I've got a nitwit son
who when she was moving from Bauman Drive
threw everything from the house into
the Dumpster.
I managed to grab lovely dinnerware she wouldn't
need at Rydal Park, a few utensils you'd order
online from America's Test Kitchen and photos
that hang in my bedroom.
Lemme just taste your burger, I said, putting lettuce
and tomato on top. Pas mal. Not bad.
Tater tots? Hard as rocks. Bean soup, flavorless.
A fruit compote for dessert. Not terrible, but you
should have tasted Helene's compote she had at all
times in her Bauman Drive Fridge.
Her angels visit her. Nephew Jerry Silbertstein,
Naomi Mindlin, whose husband runs the Photo Journal,
which Helene used to write for.
On the window was a card from Peter Miraglia.
Such fun they used to have!
Oh, Hollis is gone? I exclaimed. One of her many
online correspondents. His wife was Andrea Baldack,
she reminded me.
I think they named a room at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art after her.
I think I want a prune, said Helene, and I pushed the box
toward her on her bed tray, which also contained the Potok
book Davita's Harp, which I'd promised to read.
A manservant entered the room and took her food away.
Wish you could put her in her bed, I said, she's
awfully tired.
Actually, I said, I'll just swoop her up and lay her in bed.
Absolutely, she said, confessing that's her new favorite word.
Her husband used to finish her sentences like a particular family
member of mine.
A family member in Russia contacted them and what do you think he wanted? Money. Somehow Aaron got out of it.
Jigsaw puzzles helped his coordination when he got that blasted Parkinson's disease.
I used to call and invite myself over. She'd threaten me that
if I wasn't there within half an hour, there would be no breakfast, like Davey Ire Pancakes made in the oven.
I'd choose my coffee cup. She'd brew a cup of El Pico or Yuban. Starbucks or Dunkin were unheard of.
We'd talk about Art Matters, where we both worked. The fellows
I'd gotten from there - Chris Ray and Fredenthal - was it
Burt Wasserman who went up to Fredenthal's garrett with me?
Did I tell you I came home just now with soaking wet hair? My wipers
were going full blast and I could barely see a thing.
Imagine, sailing off and flying down Davisville Road
onto the Turnpike like in a film noir.
I kissed her soft skin goodbye.
Yes, she will be up and walking. It will not be soon.

Helene Ryesky at her Bauman Drive home before moving on.

Part One - Breakfast with the Grandkids - Captions on Part 2


Friday, September 14, 2018

Deadline for Hektoen quickly approaches - poem PINK - World's Oldest Cave Painting So Far

Napping is a non-entity now, 12:32 pm. I did just ride bike, tho, to the BeeGees. Scott and I ate at Bonefish Grill. Brrrr! Freezing inside. Had a giant cup of hot water w lemon to warm myself up. All I needed was a roaring fire, a nice warm bathrobe, and a Scotch and soda, and to hear the clink of the ice.

Altho it was good, I won't never order anudder fish taco, everything kept falling out including the sauce. Was wearing a very fancy dress with those odd bell sleeves - not you, Courier Bell - I don't seem able to get out stains anymore.

Mom, in her prime, was a stain master. Am writing about her in several Hektoen stories. How can I put it? Fading like Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard.

After Bonefish, which featured one rich Coconut Creme Pie, Scott and I napped together in his bed.I learned something very important. I often wake up with dry mouth. He said it's from snoring. I'd thought it was another symptom of my body breaking down.

The worst thing about Hektoen is the page numbers and the title page. They want it in a special way.

Rem calls my poem PINK, an aubade. I looked it up but can't remember. Methinks it's a dinner poem.


Viola Wyke
Cinderella Paradiso
Art teachers of the
Long Ago
Are you surprised to find
these renderings of
on dank cave walls
70,000 years ago?

Our Elder Artists
would delight in
outdoor sculptures
at the Michener Museum
not to mention the designs
we paint on fingernails,
Ms. Ruby, and toenails,
a bright red for me
signifying the glory of
J S Bach.



Before dawn I woke and
thrust my head through
the drapes to see if
the world had changed.

Everything was pink.
A frightening pink
that boded no good.

The wildfires in California.
Had their toxins drifted over
to our town to bring forth
newborns of damning deficits?

When Scott and I walked through
Bloomingdales yesterday we saw
pink-bottomed drinking glasses.
So pink you wanted to buy them
immediately, yes 40 percent off
b/c the world may be ending
and we needed these glasses
to drink to that!

AUBADE is a poem about the Dawn.

This blog is tilting on its axis. If I go off it to look up something, I can't get back on. I'd like to show you the beautiful pink drinking glass we saw at Bloomingdale's. (I refuse to say Bloomies.)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Rosh Hashonah poem - Barracoon - Nightmare - Manon Lescaut poem

Woke up at 6 am, went downstairs and pulled out the Rotisserie Chicken from the Giant.

Image result for rotisserie chicken  Yes, it was quite brown like this online foto. Began tearing it apart as if I were a hungry bear.

BTW, I'm soaking still-sore foot in a huge pot with epsom salts in it. And will leave in half an hour for volunteer job at "Second Home."

In the nightmare, which is quickly fading, I was trying to find a room to report to as I was to teach a class.

Panic! Panic!

I could not figure out when Rosh Hashonah was. Finally my sister Lynn said Tonight! She brought her home made matzoh ball soup to Mom and Ellen's.

Wrote this poem about our dinner and put it on FB.


Whoosh whoosh whoosh
went the windshield wipers
as Neighbor Eileen and I
sloshed along the wet roads
toward Mom and Ellen's for
the unplanned dinner.

All I could smell in the car
was the rotisserie chicken
from the Giant, hoping the
juice hadn't spilled onto
the back seat.

Inside we set the table -
what? no newspapers with
coupons around? - Eileen
helped as if it were her
own home.

Mom was disappointed she hadn't
made tzimmes - her carrot dish -
and spelled the word for Eileen, who always
claimed in school she was Irish.

I announced Everyone has only three minutes
to complain and then we'll move on.
That chicken was tender and juicy
The salad had plenty of Dr Joel Fuhrman's
famous micronutrients - he decried chicken
as useless for its lack of same

Absent sister Lynn's matzoh ball soup was
laden with flavor and matzoh balls big
and tender as balls - tennis balls, c'est ca

Fruit in those plastic hard-to-open containers
Watermelon, blueberries, blackberries,
mandarin oranges

And fresh orange juice from the Giant
Hello Jack, I said that morning to the
produce man, L'Shana Tova

Nuffin like it. My late brother called it
Gree. I felt his presence at table.

What's the best dessert in the world?
Banana split we'd have after piano recitals
in our hometown at Howard Johnson's with the
orange roof.

Milano's would do. Mom asked about the
Pepperidge Farm "seconds" store which was
gone a decade now. Oh, those frozen cakes
we'd buy.

We clinked glasses over OJ and hoped for
a good year filled with health happiness
and good minds.

Talk Talk Talk. The art of meeting
face to face. Once Dad sat here
as did Donna Lynn Amy and David.

David would have photographed
the dinner, sitting there in his
Izod shirt. Whoosh Whoosh Whoosh
went the wipers as Eileen and I
drove home.

Mom wanted to make briskit but she needs her hand-maiden to buy it for her. She'll cook it in their new and huge slo cooker.


Prior to that I went to our newly formed New Directions Book Club. We can read anything we wish and chose BARRICOON, which is in the news. We hold the club at Beatriz's condo in Willow Grove, Abington Township.

Image result for barracoon

I printed out notes before I got there. I'd read the whole shocking book. Becky from ND was there and the other woman uncharacteristically did not tell us she would not be there.

Becky, who's white, married a black man and is used to being the only white woman in a crowd.

Still raining and gloomy outside.

Am wearing a lovely Karen Scott purple blouse, that brand from Kales, not the real name, but I can't remember it now.

Feels nice to have on long pants that embrace my legs.

Oh! she said, fluffing up her hair. How does my hair look?

Yesterday I wore my David Smith cap from STORM KING ART CENTER.

View center here.

primo-piano-iiWhen Eileen and I returned home, we went into her house where her son Bill had been downstairs watching football games.

His wife was playing a game with our former neighbor Kimberly.

Bill gave me a slice of cornbread with honey on top. Fab! I had it for breakfast this morning.

He also gave me a taste of cheese that Stacey had bought in Lancaster. Very sharp cheddar that had granules in it. Wowee!

Monday! Have a good week. If you're Jewish, have a great New Year

5 7 7 9

I'm at the Metropolitan Opera
in New York City
An unknown patron
has purchased this seat
for me
Manon, a blonde beyond compare
is loved by many, her golden
curls and voluptuous curves
flouncing along the stage
In this new and modern production
Giocomo Puccini's first real success
a century ago
The love between Manon and Renato
rocks la teatro
He weeps tears upon her face
begging Don't let us die
Don't let us die, Have mercy!
This is opera. Putting my hand
over my eyes, I shake with grief
at the final scene. There is
no escape, no escape, is this
why we love opera so much?
There is no escape.

Image result for met opera photo of manon lescaut

Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor Day 2018, Monday

Scott is always the first one to put up his flag.  I went to the back of my front closet and found my American flags - what? you think I'd post the Chinese flag or Uruguayan? - and stuck em in moist ground in front of my house.

We just came home from the Giant. We wanted to walk somewhere after the heat cooled off.

He saw my new favorite snack

Hershey's Milk Chocolate Candy Bar with Almonds, Giant, 6.8 Ounces, 3 PackGonna go to his house now. Will eat a salad which I haven't had in a couple days and - what dyou think - should I bring over my dessert.

Scott, as you know, doesn't eat dessert.

My sister Donna watched REMEMBER on Netflix which she found compelling. It's a shocker! You can too, Dear Reader. Send me a note on your opinion.

Inspiration for the day:  Look up high in the sky. Say hello to the planets, airplanes, UFOs, and remember you are creating yourself every single second you're here.

Happy Labor Day - Haze due to California Fires - Happy Labor Day poem - Walk at Pennypack Trust

I'm sipping on Pumpkin Coffee, still fairly flavorful after two years in its foil packet, a gift from Iris, the most chatty Facebook friend.

Image result for pumpkin spice coffeeI posted the below on Facebook and got shocked responses.

My friend Helene told me she heard a live broadcast of RadioLab, which I'd never heard of.

They were talking about the wonderful drug LITHIUM, in use in the USA since about 1970. Brought to the US by Mogens Shou from Denmark.

Since then we've learned a lot about the drug.

It causes irreversible kidney disease. As head of a bipolar support group, I know of at least 50 people - if not more - who either died from chronic kidney failure, had kidney transplants and either died or are still living. Several friends are biding their time, eat a kidney-healthy diet in hopes of not needing a transplant.

My own kidney transplant was in 2011.

Ruth Z Deming, MGPGP
Founder/Director of New Directions Support Group


Is your neighborhood hazy like mine is in Willow Grove, PA?

Here's why. Click here.

Some poems for your delectation.


The power of Monday
spent loafing.

Is it possible?
I made up a list
of things I love
printed up on orange
construction paper:

Our Writers' Group at B's house.
Judy Liebovitz fishing through my
fridge looking for snacks.
The curlicue steam coming
from a fresh cuppa morning coffee.

Scott busting into my house
asking, "What we gonna do today?"

Sitting on the front stoop
listening. Listening for God.



Scott and I drove over in the
insufferable heat.
After parking, we had the usual
conundrum - which way to walk,
which trail to take, and agreed
to take the Trail down to the pond.

The Trail had disappeared. Had the
new director imprinted his changes
on our beloved Trust?

Every trail we used to take was gone!

The once useless Bird Blind now harbored five
gobblers, full-grown beauts showing off
their gorgeous behinds.

They tiptoed around strutting their wares
nibbling on crumbs on the dusty ground
shooing away a curious squirrel.

We saw a fast-moving groundhog
But we didn't see David Robertson.

We saw the huge-trunked tree
in the parking lot
But we didn't see David Robertson.

We drove home and I peeked in my
rear-view mirror, hoping I'd
catch a glimpse of David Robertson.

He was nowhere to be found.

Image result for turkeys

Image result for david robertson pennypack

Farewell David and Mary Robertson. They're pursuing their hiking dreams in Colorado.