Friday, October 21, 2011

New Poem

The Drowning Woman

has gone under twice.
She thinks how more than two-thirds of her life
has passed, so soon, before her eyes.
Treading memories for a long time now,
she catches pieces of visions at the shoreline,
where flaxen-haired children
wave and call out to her,
rising from the sweet solid ground. Spent,
she leans toward them, willing them to stay.

The present is all deep water
pulling her farther away from that young woman
reclining on a blanket, her skin glistening with oil.
Her husband empties sand from his shoes,
while their children run
through shallow waves endlessly lapping,
lapping where the sand sparkles with seashells.
The sun is butter.
The children wave and call again before her third sinking.
The drowning woman longs to touch them,
can almost reach them with her outstretched arms.
Her legs run in place
as they have always done.

The past is breath in her mouth, opened
in despair, singing the words of
The Grateful Dead: My love for you will not
fade away, not fade away.

The future is light drifting like water,
light emptying itself on the white
beaches of the earth, on the sidewalks of cities,
at roadsides where the dying watch
from the corners of their eyes
their own ghosts rising,
crying out that love, love
will not fade away.

Joyce Ellen Davis 10/18/11

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Family Pictures

A chilly morning. My first taste of the day: warm Coke left on my desk last night. My little dog has trouble getting on and off the bed, so I lift her, and she kisses me. We limp together out into a new day. Sun's up, sky is blue. I see the family pictures we had taken last month when we were all together are up on the computer. I view them twice, they are good, I love seeing them! I love that these are my sons and their wives, my grandchildren, my sweet husband (who I argued with yesterday over trivial stuff, just stupid stuff). I love them all "to the end of every day's most quiet need," as Emily wrote. My whole body warms. ..."with the breath, smiles, tears of all my life...."

Fried Green Peppers

Last night monstrous barrels full of lightning rolled across the sky, scattering bolts every which way, followed by buckets and buckets of rain. It's been like this every night for a week. Days are hot and blue, and the sun's fried my peppers on the vine.

Arrow of Time/Time Reversal

Early this morning, sometime between the hours of 3 and 4 am, I woke up worrying. In that quiet, with the dog snoring softly in the curve at the back of my knees, and my husband's cpap machine inhaling and exhaling on the other side of the bed, I worried and worried and couldn't make my poor old brain let go of it: Newton's Second law of thermodynamics, entropy, and the Arrow of Time. What these say, as I understand it, is that all warm things will grow cold, that over time things break down, fall apart, and ultimately disappear entirely. As in the universe and everything in it.

Now, what I was worrying about was this: there is a law of Conservation of energy which says that the total amount of energy in a system remains constant over time, and that energy can neither be created or destroyed, but only changed from one state to another. Even in the process of Annihilation particles are not actually annihilated, but are changed into new particles.

Then there is the thing called Time Reversal, T-symmetry, T-asymmetry. How do all these things manage to work together? Do they? Sounds like they are at odds to me. I'm just saying.

Can somebody help me out here, so I won't have to spend another sleepless night?

Purity of Opposites

Wasn't home much yesterday. We took the boys skating for an end-of-summer blast. And then had pizza. We got home late, and I stood out and watched the moon. The Moon is truly a beautiful thing seen through binoculars. You can see craters. Shadows. Rings of light. I stayed out a few minutes more and looked at stars and listened to crickets. One of my favorite Summer-Things-To-Do is watching stars and listening to crickets. Simultaneously. I do it every summer. I look forward to it, from June until November. It absolutely blows me away! The extremes of it! Like lounging in a steaming hot tub of water while it is snowing, and drinking an ice-cold glass of Coke. The purity of opposites!

How can I say it? It's looking and knowing that the stars are out there exploding immense fires and gasses thousands of light-years away--and thousands of years ago, their light just now making it to my eyes. And the crickets chirping in the grass. The immense and distant, and the tiny and near, in the same breath. Their reality.

The hotter the night, the faster the crickets chirp. As the weather cools, their chirping gets slower and slower. And finally, it stops, and they are gone. They say you can figure out the temperature by counting the number of a crickets chirps per minute. My brother, with his near-perfect pitch, can tell you, "That one is chirping in A-flat, and that one in C-sharp!"

The Madonnas of Leningrad

Last night in bed I noticed that I was reading about a woman who was noticing: "Finally, and not a moment too soon, a toilet.
It is delightful to make water after holding it for so long. She listens to the music of water on water and feels the wonderful release inside her. And to sit where it is warm and private, not squatting over a chamber pot in the bitter cold. One of the effects of this deterioration seems to be that as the scope of her attention narrows, it also focuses like a magnifying glass on smaller pleasures that have escaped her notice for years. She keeps these observations to herself. She tried once to point out to Dimitri the bottomless beauty in her glass of tea. It looked like amber with buried embers of light, and when held just so, there was a rainbow in the glass that took her breath away. He nodded sympathetically but mostly looked concerned. What would he say if she told him her pee sounded like a symphony?"

Debra Dean, "The Madonnas of Leningrad"

'Til the Sun Goes Down

Saturday, October 1, 2011
'Til the Sun Goes Down

Okay, I notice I feel unsure of myself, because I don't know what I am supposed to be doing here and I wonder if I am doing it right, putting it where it's supposed to be put, and all 'a that, and I know that this is exactly how I feel beginning anything new. Am I trying too hard, or not hard enough?

The air conditioner behind me is pushing out cold air, and I feel the back of my neck starting to ice up, even though it is 90-something degrees outside. I know this because I was just out there to check on my tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers...all those other things are weeds. I do not have a green thumb, I am not an attentive farmer. I suspect I am a really lazy mother for these fuzzy, tender little plants.

I don't know any of you people here. Is this all about Joy? Joy that comes in the morning? Hm. My fingers smell like the tomato vine I just lifted onto a stick. It was growing horizontally like a bullthorn weed. Poor thing, with it's soft, hairy stems and tiny green fruits. The smell is pleasant.

Okay. Now what? The old man next door is mowing his lawn in all this heat. The lawnmower sounds like model airplanes my brother used to fly across the desert. They had little gas engines and were hooked to a wire that kept them flying in wide circles. The airplanes were hand-made of balsa wood and silk. When I was little, our house always smelled of balsa wood and airplane glue.

My husband just brought me a tomato cage, and I'm going out now to prop up my plant. Well, maybe I'll wait 'til the sun goes down.

I Like Spiders

Good morning universe! Okay, I am up. Dreamed I was painting small, stamp-sized pictures with a PIN. I used to keep a dream journal just to see if I could make any sense of my dreams, most of them truly bizarre, in technicolor with a cast of thousands.... As far as I can tell, there are no great revelations here, no gold nuggets to be mined.

Let the dogs out. Someone peed on the just-cleaned carpet. Hm. Bet I know who it was! Ate a nourishing breakfast of Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter, and warm Coke Zero left over from yesterday. No wonder I am fat. :(

Looking at the unused birdcage I have crawling with fake spiders of all sizes.... My grandkids ignore it now, but it still creeps out my daughters-in-law! LOL :D I like spiders.

Total silence (except for the ringing I hear in my ears--two layers of sound, one deeper, a hum, and another on a higher note, very high, oscillating, annoying). I don't hear well. Recently bought two hearing got sucked up in the vacuum cleaner (don't ask). The other still works. So it's only $2,000 down the tubes instead of $4,000.