Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Now ya see me - Now ya don't

A couple more days
and we’ll be in the month of May. May has always seemed to be an invisible month for me – the adjunct to a song about April showers. Maybe it’s because April being poetry month is usually a busy time around here or maybe it goes back to school days – May being that last full month before summer break – a time for turning in text books – washing the blackboard – final tests – film strips and thumb twiddling in bare walled classrooms.

Even May’s holiday, Memorial Day, comes at the end of the month skipping over ninety percent of the month’s days like absentmindedly stepping over a springtime puddle.

Maybe it’s the transformational qualities of the month – nobody spends a whole lot of time staring at a cocoon. We predict weather with caterpillars and plant gardens to attract butterflies but don’t notice the chrysalis affixed to a milkweed stem. The bitter cold of February or the melting swelter of an August afternoon can turn our heads – but the not really cold and not really hot sweatshirty kind of weather of this month just doesn’t snatch one’s attention.

The month of May is the low man on the calendar pole, a place holder, the opening band that nobody remembers once the headliners hit the stage.

May – a month to get through.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Food for thought

I have recently begun eating my words
Boiled they slide from the page like a pat of butter
Across the bottom of a heated sauté pan
But their texture and flavor is bland
Like overcooked polenta
Rib spackling filling but overall
So I try again
Chopping and dicing
Spicing them up with chilies and cardamom
Stir frying then serving over saffron rice
They become lost in the seasoning
Artifice masking for meaning
Baking I decide
Three hundred and seventy five degrees
For forty five minutes only left my words dry
Sticking to the bottom of the tin
So I threaded my utterances onto a skewer
An orderly syntax shish kabob
Marinated in olive oil and pepper infusion
Roasted over glowing charcoal briquettes
Of mesquite and cherry wood
But not quite good enough
For dishing up to persnickety company
Finally I just rinse them in a colander
Under the tap
Pile them free of pretense
Raw into the wooden bowl
Sitting on the countertop
To be absentmindedly snacked upon
While reading a good book

Monday, April 20, 2009

Raining cats and...

This is our foo dog Suzi – she is a Papillion. Supposedly Mari Antoinette carried one of these bat eared fuzz balls to the guillotine with her.

What makes our Suzi so special is that she is a weather dog, a canine meteorologist if you will. Her capabilities are rather astounding. Every morning when we wake up we shout “all dogs outside!” and Suzi and her undocumented step brother Hector, the Rat Terrier mix, shoot out of the door like thoroughbreds from a starting gate. When they return one can discern the current weather conditions via a quick inspection of Suzi.


Soaking wet – chances are good it is raining and appropriate actions need be taken before venturing out into the world.

Covered in icicles – It is snowing or very very cold – dress warmly – remember 90% of body heat is lost through the head.

Panting with ears drooped – it is too hot for yard work – make lemonade and find shade.

Blowing down the sidewalk like a hairy tumbleweed grabbing onto then losing grip on mailbox posts and street signs – you just may have a hurricane on your hands – head to the basement.

Corkscrewing a couple hundred feet into the air barking like the horn of a car alarm – you got yourself a tornado going on – to the basement!

Refusing to come in, instead electing to lay in the grass sporting tiny little white framed sunglasses next to the blow up pool – well, you just may have to use one of your “sick days” – grab whatever book you’ve been meaning to read and hit the hammock.

"This has been coordinated test of the Suzi emergency broadcast system in your area. A small self important dog that can quickly warn you during emergencies is being tested. If this had been an actual emergency such as a 'tornado warning or severe thunderstorm warning’, official messages would have followed the alert dog. This concludes this test of the Emergency Suzi Alert System."

Friday, April 10, 2009

For my next trick...

March and the first week and a half of April have been crazy busy. School visits – a couple of teacher conferences, library readings – I’ve been standing in front of groups of folks and speaking from Baltimore Maryland to Dayton Ohio. In the meantime I have been training for the Cleveland marathon (I’m only running the half marathon) nursing a shoulder that feels like I have a knitting needle skewering the joint and doing a bit of side work helping a friend put together some PowerPoint presentations.

All of which coagulates into an excuse for not updating this blog. It’s not that I haven’t anything to say I’ve just been huffing and puffing (at time literally) to catch my breath. Add to that the fact that I have entered the Blackberry universe and haven’t been taking a laptop on the road as a result and well you get the picture.

It’s not that I don’t have some good stories – and I promise once April (poetry month) is about in the books I’ll be back at it.