Thursday, March 18, 2021


For some reason, I felt I had to write today, right now, in fact; but I had no topic, no reason, nothing.... Well, I'm glad that I could count on my old friend poetry to give me an idea. I keyed "poem for a day" into google and I was rewarded - cast your words upon the waters and they will return - tenfold. I read several poems that came up, including Fern Hill - Dylan Thomas is the green fuse that drives not only the flower, but also the heart, certainly the writer's heart. He is the essence of Spring. But we are not there, yet, just a few more days before the eternal equinox, before Demeter rises on her chariot to claim her daughter Persephone from the underworld....and this hiatus, I chose Mary Oliver, the quiet, understated, poet with the female voice...she is the patience, we need to wait for the full onslaught of Spring. 

Here is the poem I chose...

The Trees

Do you think of them as decoration?

Think again.

Here are the maples, flashing.
And here are the oaks, holding on all winter
to their dry leaves.
And here are the pines, that will never fail,
until death, the instruction to be green.
And here are the willows, the first
to pronounce a new year.

May I invite you to revise your thoughts about them?
Oh, Lord, how we are all for invention and
But, I think
it would do us good if we would think about
these brothers and sisters, quietly and deeply.

The trees, the trees, just holding on
to the old, holy ways.

I have "tree people" come in every few years to do the work, my husband and I can't. They will attend to an old Maple...probably as old as I am, that is in decline...go figure. Maples in the city live for about 75 years. In the country they can live for 150 years or more. Makes you think.

I will have my Apple tree pruned, some limbs from a failing Lilac trimmed so it can re-generate, a Yew cut down to let in more light and a Rose of Sharon transplanted. I worry that the trees, which are trimmed, will hurt. I wonder, if a severed limb might have blossomed or borne fruit. Yes, I guess, I worry about my brothers and sisters. But mostly, I worry about somehow destroying the "old holy ways." The ways in which, we once respected trees, fostered them, protected them, helped them propagate. Will I be cursed by the Druids for lopping off a limb?

Just a few thoughts on the sanctity of nature.

The pictures? A few of my friends holding their collected breath

Breathe a sigh for Spring.

Saturday, March 13, 2021


Our writing word for today is "escape" - go figure. After twelve months of various combinations of lock down, I need an escape. I would love to escape to the country; go for a walk in a forest, with a stream maybe, and oh yes, a hill or two. I need a different four walls to look at, different windows to peer from and different landscapes to survey. 

OK, I have been doing virtual escapes almost daily. I've been reading. I finished Dutch House by Ann Patchette and have ordered Bel Canto, which is ready for pick up at the library. While waiting for Bel Canto, I finished Jamaica Inn and read two articles from the New Yorker, which my writing friend forwarded to me, both written by Ann Patchett. They were amazing escapes.

I have been "re-doing" an upstairs bedroom - the whole, patch, sand, and paint (several coats) odyssey. I  have, as result, been able to escape to paint and furniture stores on-line. There, I muse about colours, Iceberg, Palest Pistachio, Snow White. I visualize how furniture will look in the room. Mentally, I add plants and a writing desk. I escape to a Victorian oasis of letters written to imaginary friends. 

Even the building of two new bookcases from Ikea was an escape. The physical assembly of perfectly matched hardware with pre-drilled holes in a kind of braille for wanna-be carpenters was both a mind and a muscle challenge. How will two new beds, with balloon duvet covers look, in the light from french windows, framed by two tall white bookcases against walls of the palest Wedgwood Blue, I ask myself.

Unfortunately, mental, however, possessive it may be for some people, could not hold me for long. As soon as the stores opened, I was at Home Depot buying a few new plants for the bathroom, a curtain rail to keep them in place on a narrow sill and a wrench to fix a squirrel cage, bought to keep the rodents from a feeder. Alas, the birds didn't come either. More on the wrench idea later.

I have escaped into cooking, Rogan Josh, chicken pot pie, a few fancy sauces, and a dessert or two. I browse through old cookbooks, click on dozens of digital recipes and conjure up some concoctions of my own. But these are always done within the repetitive parameters of the home, four walls, locked doors, closed windows...there is no physical escape. Can you hear my silent scream?

Maybe I just need the proverbial "rabbit hole." I need a different kind of imaginary escape, an adventure, perhaps with some intrigue. Unfortunately, the "axe-murderers" across the street have shown themselves to be quite pleasant. And the guy who kept a mannequin at the side of his house, which scared me to death every time I passed it, has moved. There just remains a colourful van decorated with decals, a surf board and a plastic flower or two. Do I wait for the right moment and just hop in or do I knock first?

The pictures? Earlier escapes.

Have a wishful day