Friday, November 21, 2014

A Thousand Elements Conspiring

Sharing poems from The Last Girl by Rose Solari today.

Tree House of the Dream Child
by Rose Solari

It has been here forever. Who
built it, nobody knows. Time itself

might have pressed these boards
into rows, hammered home

the nails. Nobody plays here.
Neighborhood boys once hung

their pennants from its windows,
while girls slipped hand over hand

up the rope ladder. How high
the grass grows — no one lives

around here anymore. Come
with me as I walk the perimeter

of this field, and don’t be afraid.
Though the earth is wild, nothing

can hurt us here. And if we’re lucky,
if the light is good and a thousand

other elements conspire, we might see,
moving inside the one high room

of the tree house, the dream child. Hear
the floorboards singing her step, see

her old, new face. Safe in those walls,
plying her solitary art, she is a word

for keeping and losing, a talisman
against this sky, which is red-black,

now, and terrible, and our own.


The Last Girl
by Rose Solari

In the summer dusk, we came out like fireflies,
the neighborhood children, swarming the best
backyards. At the Sedlacks’, a long grassy span
for football. At the O’Briens’, a forest of shrubs
for hide and seek. It felt like freedom, like a taste
of being adult, running those blocks in the almost
dark, at home in the space between homes.

All last spring, the next door neighbor’s yard
was loud with backhoes and workers, building
a basketball court for the youngest. Her mother says
she wants to go pro. At maybe thirteen, she has
long straight hair and serious legs, almost never
smiles. She’s out there every day, and always alone.

And I think, what if children running the streets
are like frogs or salmon? What if their disappearance
means we’ve wrecked the world past repair? What if
she — I don’t know her name — becomes the last girl
left on earth who will play outside? At night, I hear
the shake and swing of the metal basket chains.
Two points, then three. Two points, then three.


Printed with permission from Alan Squire Publishing. Copyright © 2014 Rose Solari. Available for purchase at bookstores and e-tailers everywhere.

The Poetry Friday round-up is at Tapestry of Words.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Poetry Monster Gallery

It occurred to me that my visitors who just come on Thursdays wouldn't have seen any of the Poetry Monster project. This is something that my daughter Elena and I have been making together (she was 12 when we started in April 2014). I cut the paper collages and she adds the words.

Click on a poet's name to go to the poem that inspired Poetry Monster.

William Carlos Williams

e.e. cummings

Walt Whitman

Emily Dickinson

Edgar Allan Poe

Robert Frost

Monday, November 17, 2014

Somebody Holds the Key

This song, written by Steve Winwood, was originally released in 1969. Is it silly that I was surprised by how good he sounds in this video, so many years later? I could have shared some great covers of "Can't Find My Way Home," but this acoustic version was so perfect, imo, that I wanted to stop there:

Anybody remember this album?

Friday, November 14, 2014

dear matafele peinam

Men argue. Nature acts.

A poem by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a 26-year-old from the Marshall Islands:

dear matafele peinam,

you are a seven month old sunrise of gummy smiles
you are bald as an egg and bald as the buddha
you are thighs that are thunder and shrieks that are lightning
so excited for bananas, hugs and
our morning walks past the lagoon

dear matafele peinam,

i want to tell you about that lagoon
that lucid, sleepy lagoon lounging against the sunrise

men say that one day
that lagoon will devour you

they say it will gnaw at the shoreline
chew at the roots of your breadfruit trees
gulp down rows of your seawalls
and crunch your island’s shattered bones

they say you, your daughter
and your granddaughter, too
will wander rootless
with only a passport to call home

Want to hear the rest? Watch the video:

The Poetry Friday round-up today is at Keri Recommends.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pencil Me In

Dance cards today.

Wikipedia explains that these little mementos are "used by a woman to record the names of the gentlemen with whom she intends to dance each successive dance at a formal ball... In modern times the expression "dance card" is often used metaphorically, as when someone says 'pencil me into your dance card,' meaning 'find some time to spend with me.' Conversely, someone's 'dance card is full' implies that even though they may be interested, they have no time."

Dance card
Pierre Aldebert Griot, Berlin 1750-1760
Museum of Decorative Arts Berlin

Société Philharmonique Dance Card

Conversation about the Dance Card preparations for a ball 1882
by Carl Hermann Kuechler

Designed as a miniature lady's purse having attached order-of-the-dance booklet with gilt lettering and attached pencil

Dance card for celebration of the Society for Art and Science in 1883
by Paul Düyffcke

Dance Card, Her Majesty Queen of the Year, 1916
Baylor University

Newport Dance Cards
photo by Peter Lee

Dance card
Jean-Louis Forain


* A Pinterest board of turn-of-the-century dance cards
* Another Pinterest dance card board
* Some dance card info
* Haven't seen the movie, but this ball looks like dance cards would have fit right in.
* Dance cards would work at this Stanford ball too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Other Ways of Reading

Author Avi shared a moving post about reading today.
Unable to read, he would often be discovered in his library walking in such a way that he could pass his fingers over the volumes he had so loved to read. When he came to a particular favorite book, he would pause, and with his hand on the book’s spine, stand there for a long time, remembering the contents of the book.
Read the rest here


Also, I'd like to thank our veterans and their families for their service! I have a number of posts re: vets here.

Monday, November 10, 2014


There are different ways to take over the World. But there is only one way to take over the Universe and that’s through meditation.
~Aishwarya Shiva Pareek

Religion Facts says, "Singing bowls are used throughout the Himalayas in monasteries and homes to aid meditation. The sound of a singing bowl can be used to mark the beginning or end of a meditation period, or during meditation to focus the mind."

You can read more about them here or just take a listen (I think maybe this video is so long so people can sleep with it on):

Tibetan singing bowls give up their chaotic secrets by Jason Palmer (BBC News)