I’m behind. This week was my birth week and I’ll be posting on that tomorrow. For now, this absolutely adorable top my daughter had made in Mali (which is in W. Africa for those who’s geography is a bit sketchy) while she lived there. I love how the curve of the lines of the fabric design echo some of my own.
Yesterday, we headed down to a small city/suburb to the south to take in a roving art show that a new friend was in — more on that in a bit. Her work was in an upscale resale shop (my favorite kind) and I strolled around the shop finding lovely pieces. The shop was a maze of small rooms with wonderful pieces: clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry, interspersed with art for the show. In the back, the $5 rack had a trove of treasures including this BCBG dress (which I paired with an long skirt) for an interesting 1890’s look. Should have brought out my parasol and gloves!
Another with more detail of the front.
We were more fancy free than usual yesterday, finding time in the late of the day to visit another friend’s rug sale, the art show, and spontaneously visit with some friends. It reminded me of being younger, sans children, and just doing things because we felt like it. Of course it didn’t hurt that it was a beautiful day, the kind of day that lifts your spirits and makes the whole world feel wonderful.
More about serendipity. My birthday is this month! and in the spirit of having a significant year, I’m doing things out of my ordinary (I went to Disneyland in April). Late in May, I and my dear loved one went to the regional Burning Man called Soak. If you don’t know about Burning Man, well you may just have to visit the website Burning Man for a richer description but the short story is for a week, about 80,000 people gather in the Nevada desert to practice art, love, gifting, self-reliance, music, and a whole lot more. I’ve never been for various reasons (all those people!) but wanted to experience it somehow. So we went to Soak and joined a group called Newbie Camp for, well, newbies. As we were talking with one of the camp organizers, we discovered he had just been to Senegal and Mali visiting his sister — we had just been to Senegal as well in Jan. He shared pictures. We talked places we’d been. The conversation turned to what his sister had been doing and where they stayed in Mali. Oh, the Sleeping Camel. Huh, that’s where are daughter had lived before moving on to Senegal.
We sent Devon a text. Do you know so and so? Of course, they had been roommates.
I gifted poems at SOAK. I hope poetry in sight, sound, or words enters your life today.
Heading to a couple of my favorite blogs:
Style Crone for Hat Attack
Not dead yet style (Visible Monday is on hiatus for a week)
and here’s a link to the fabulous resale boutique Musi’s on Main
National/International Poetry Writing Month just ended with a whimper on my end. May Day (May 1) is a dawn dance out with my dance team to celebrate the absolute end of winter so my ending April poem was not much of anything. In fact I am squeezing in this post as I have an exceptionally busy week so I’m killing two birds with one stone — last NaPoWriMo poem (although not last poem I should think) and shout out to Judith’s May Hat Attack.
First, a Kind of Quatern on the King of Pentacles (from a NaPoWriMo prompt)
The King of Pentacles is asleep on his throne
grasping for all the world, his riches
The fruits of his Kingdom appear on his robes,
he is roused by bull and fruit.
He dreams the truth (or what he wishes)
The King of Pentacles asleep on his throne
that he, like Midas’ in golden glory
will turn ambition into wealth
The King in his counting house
keeps company with money,
His daughter asleep on the pentacled throne
He’ll not take her credit, when the loan is due.
Daughters clutch love for their fathers
the way a miser shelters his pennies.
She’s paid a mortgage on her sorrow.
While the King of Pentacles slept on his throne.
My April 30 poem was rather lame as I was up at dawn, as I mentioned. Morris (a kind of English folk dance) teams all over the world get up too early on Mayday to dance up the sun. You can google Morris dance + Mayday for examples if you like, I won’t bore you with it. But by May 2, today, everything is back to normal and I’m ready in my work clothes to teach this evening.
May your May bring you quick showers and brilliant flowers!
The NaPoWriMo prompt is to write an elegy. I had two (plus the one I posted last about my dad) that have been percolating.
Carol lost Bill
not that she misplaced him
rather he moved himself, or was moved
like his illness moved him,
not of his own volition –
jerking and thrashing against his will.
Sometimes your mind doesn’t obey
Sometimes your body can’t
Against both of those he strove
to contain his self
while muscles melted
all the dissolvings of old age
til this one day when every little thing
What you cannot reach in life,
may you rest, in peace.
April 5 A tiny elevator
PJs memorial is just an old hula hoop
a flag, some fake flowers
a fancy pen, some quarters
a shriveled plant, some Christmas garland.
PJ was six.
the tiny elevator does its thing
ferrying people up and down
slowly in the 6 story building.
some people still refuse to enter
PJ was six.
he and his friend were riding
down,down,down to the street
the door opened on three
and a man with a big knife
sliced his world in two
And the screaming
and the bleeding
and his friend shouting
rang the shaft.
and the iconic smell of blood
warm in the June air
still plagues the neighborhood.
PJ will graduate
to a building with his name on it
with a gym and a dance studio
named after his friend.
PJ was six.
NaPoWriMo is coasting to April’s end. This is a recent addition to my practice for the month.
April 18, 2018
The last time I went to Disneyland
my dad was 80, with my sisters
and his love of roller coasters we rode
as many as he could.
Braided our way between children and families
Coaxed even the responsible eldest (me)
onto the scary rides.
Spending a day in someone else’s childhood
I have a picture of that day taken
with a real camera, the four of us,
my father flocked with his girls,
3 sunglassed sisters with lookalike
smiles and golden hair
all outshining the California sun.
This time I went with
my dad’s love of coasters,
his own love soaring beyond
where I can see.
My sisters have migrated elsewhere,
the pictures are selfies.
Only the California sun shines on
I’ve had fun with various things that have popped into my head for poems. This one was a take off on the Napowrimo prompt of using sayings. I just did a mash up of some.
I’m one foot in the grave
my ear to the ground
listening for evidence of lightening
When it does I’m sure
it won’t rain, it will pour
from clouds that have a silver lining.
It’s not my cup of spilled milk
to drink lemonade made from life’s lemons.
That said, the pig’s in the poke
and not in the fry pan fire, so let’s
make a meal of out of it,
the peas that are the cream of the pod,
cookie crumbles and a hasty cake.
It will be delicious I’m sure.
When we’re done eating,
I’ll get this show on the road
traveling with the horse of a different color.
Traveling to when the grass is greener where the sun shines.
Its National/Global poetry writing month and I’ve been hard at at with my lovely international group of April poet friends.
Between that and the start of the teaching term, I’ve hardly kept up. So today I give you my poem for April 8.
Spell it out
take two parts of your own beliefs
wrapped in someone else’s cynicism
you can’t win for trying
on that woman’s point of view
but you can charm a snake
eyes set of lies.
keep your own bits of hair
to burn, and your fingernails out
of the trash, roving bands of fairies might come
to take a hit out on your life; keep close
your thoughts, closer still
wrap up everything you own
that has touched your clever body
melt your lipstick down when it’s too old
to stain your mouth, keep your teeth
keep your counsel,
this spell is your own.
April Fools. Easter. Third day of Passover. First day of National Poetry Writing Month. A Sunday.
A day like every other and none other.
A day to celebrate the firm entrenchment of spring – witness the acid green of the treetips and the puddles of daffodils echoing the sun. The chill of the air – 48 degrees and damp – belies the wonders pushing above ground.
So I’m a fool for April with its enticing colors and well perfumed air. Even the ground wells up with scent as plants and flowers push forth. It’s no joke that spring is firmly on its way here. My fruit trees and shrubs are budding out, dandelions are taking over the grass and a few clematis vines are peaking their own blooms.
And I’m a fool for words although right now there’s not a poem in sight and I may have to resort, in a good way, to the prompts here.
And of course, this being the first of the month, I’m a fool for Judith and her fabulous outfits at and the monthly Hat Attack. While I’m loathe to rerun a hat, this was the only one that went with my outfit.
I’m hoping for a fruitful month and look forward to posts from around the world in my own (online) poetry group and in posts on Visible Monday.
It’s hard to feel spring here when the temperature hovers in the 30s and 40s. But the garden belies the temp and spring beauties push their way through anyway.
Last week I was helping my mom sort out my dad’s things. Among other treasures that came home with me was an old fedora. My dad was a hat lover (maybe that’s where I got it) although in more recent years he favored the baseball or truckers cap style which I can’t abide. He must have had thirty or more of these, all bound for some charity now. I picked up one of his old fedoras years ago and occasionally wear it. When I found this one in his closet, I knew it had to come home with me.
My dad had a remarkably small head. He wasn’t big by anyone’s standards, 5’7″ at the most with a slight build when he was young. He looks about twelve in a photo while he was in army and his original service jacket doesn’t fit me or anyone else in the family — and I’m pretty slight myself. His hat, however, fits perfectly.
I would say my dad loved clothes, that he was a clothes-horse. He shopped, and he shopped for bargains (though never second-hand, he left that to my mom). In his working days, suits (and wingtips!) graced his form. He was short, but he made sure he was snappy! Back in the day men of his kind wore hats, but it looked to me like he wore them with a special elan. That they added an extra spring to his step and inches to his height.
I don’t think it adds any height to mine, but I like the look anyway.
I love the detail on this blouse:
I almost wish I had pared this fresh color with a shocking green or a soft grey-green like the fedora. Or a deeper purple like the plum in the background. Maybe next time.
And it’s getting on March already. March madness in basketball. The march of the daffodils all over my neighborhood. And always, the march of time. I’ve been spending this past week in the time warp of my childhood home, helping my mom sort out some of my dad’s things. There’s something especially poignant about seeing the rows of socks and neatly folded underwear.
We threw out, recycled, shredded and/or prepared for donation quite a bit of stuff. But there were still a few things I couldn’t yet bear to trash. An empty bottle of Polo, a men’s cologne that my dad would always wear. Some scraps of writing when he was still with it enough to write. A few white undershirts for me and my sisters to wear in the summer when we spend the night.
Because I keep some clothes here for when I travel, I am often surprised (out of sight out of mind) with what I have available. here, this fun striped sweater worked well with a blue skirt I had brought. And then I found one of my mom’s hats.
Like many, many things I owned, the striped sweater came courtesy of my sisters who tend to shop vintage and resale.
It’s still cold here, and I’m ready to head back to the relative spring of the Pacific Northwest. I’m also heading over to a few of my favorite link ups: https://meadowtreestyle.com/ and Visible Monday