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Sometimes, it’s hard to tell where the earth stops and heaven begins.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them,’ my mother explained shortly before she left me. ‘If you can remember me, I will be with you always.” — Isabel Allende

Daily gratitudes:
Blooming things
Lavender oil
Poetry
Snuggly cats
Peaceful passings

 

Sealongings

Waves are formless and endless,
Their gentle rush and lion’s roar
A sound that fills ears, shells, and spirits.

I think that people who complain
That the sea is too loud,
That it disturbs their slumber,
Must be missing a small piece of their soul.
Perhaps the sea has swallowed it and
has yet to give it back.

It holds mine in its fathoms.
It lets me breathe unencumbered beneath the surface.
It rolls in a rhythm that matches my heartbeat.
It serves as a grateful vessel for my tears.
It cools and feeds my passions.

Far away, I hear that gentle rush
In conch shells on the shelves of coffee shops
And in dreams.
Always in dreams.

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Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the Day: “The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.” — Kate Chopin

Daily gratitudes:
Birds in the trees
Mr. Man’s paw on my knee
Kelsea’s writing and her sense of justice
New tickets leading to new adventures
Not having to shovel my sidewalk

 

 

Mugs
Some days I want to drink my coffee
From a mug that reminds me of my mother.
It’s one on permanent loan from
The work kitchen of a now-defunct employer.

It’s gentle curves are like a mug my mother gave me,
A fine sheen, ivory and green, embossed with seashell art.
I lost that in the divorce, along with many things,
And drawers and cabinets full of pain and dead dreams.

My mother doesn’t know anything about that.
She died before it happened.
I often wonder
What she would think of me,
My life,
My choices,
Now.

But this curved mug
Is brown and green and embossed with trees
Like the ones my mother loved so much.

One of my favorite images is of her
Hugging a pine tree
In Rocky Mountain National Park.

So when I fill
The mug that reminds me of my mother,
With Folger’s crystals like my father used to drink,
It is as if I am having a small cup of coffee with my parents
Each morning.

That is a very fine way to start the day.

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Denver, Colorado. (This is my alternative mug, purchased for
me by MKL. I love it.)

Quote of the day: “I am the way a life unfolds and bloom and seasons come and go and I am the way the spring always finds a way to turn even the coldest winter into a field of green and flowers and new life.” – Charlotte Eriksson

Daily gratitudes:
The flat fall of Snowmaggdon
Favorite movies on a snow day
A super snuggly cat
Experimental eggs
Having a warm spot on a cold day

 

What Makes A Poem?

The question is the title.
Is it the sentiment?
The words?
The lay of lines?
The rhyme? Now unrequired?

I can say
That
This is the longest I have ever gone
Without seeing my daughter
Since the day she was born.

That knowledge hit my heart
This morning
Like the sharp quill of a feather
And became a poem.

I could
Have written
Those same words
– All these words –
In a sentence or two.

You
Would have read them
But somehow, it would not
have been the same.

Those words,
that feeling,
deserved
a poem.

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Ventanas al Mar, Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the Day: “If you want to understand any woman you must first ask about her mother and then listen carefully. Stories about food show a strong connection. Wistful silences demonstrate unfinished business. The more a daughter knows about the details of her mother’s life – without flinching or whining – the stronger the daughter.” — Anita Diamant

Daily gratitudes:
Blooming trees
The mountains today
New travels
Lighthouses
Egg Salad Diabolo with MKL
When Mr. Man is happy to see me

Springs
No matter how broken
Winter leaves me
I find that
Like a bough
Thought killed by the chill,
I recover
Under the warmth
Of the spring sun.

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Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Quote of the day: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” — Rachel Carson

Daily gratitudes:
Working to make things work
That my bout of illness has passed
Faith
Harris Tweed
MKL

40 Years At Sarah P. Duke

Come spring, the siren calls of memories,
Whispers in the wind saying, “Come home,
Come home, the daffodils are rebellious in bloom,
And the pansies of the long gravel walk
Yearn for your gentle touch on each velvet petal.”
Those short stone walls clamber for the feel
Of my shoes balance-walking down them.
The wisteria palace is approaching bloom, vines
Enveloping the gazebo in fragrant violet magic
Promising blosson clusters and later, velvet seapods.
I stand at the edge of the steps, waiting for the view to
Empty of souls, so I can survey my own
Private kingdom.
A descent to the fountains, tricking cherubs
Where my father used to scoop coins from the shoulder-deep pools
Of wishing wells for us on hot summer days.
He is gone now, but the fountains still sparkle.
Criss-crossing rows of bark mulch paths
Through beds of tulips and butterly bushes
Into shade beds of hostas and lilies of the valley.
Still descending, still cross-crissing
To the koi pond teeming with water lilies and dragonflies,
Then up the slate stones, slightly slippery, as they pass
The trickle-down waterfall
To the big sitting rock – the peasant’s view of the garden kingdom.
Down across another little waterfall, through the dark shade
Of climbing magnolias
Into the big meadow beyond
Where Sarah and I drank little bottles of pink champagne
And lay among the dandelions discussing philosophy and world affairs
And boys
While basking in the sun and avoiding the bees.

This haven, with its empty grass hills, where I snuck in
With high school boyfriends for moonlit make out sessions,
With sky-high pine trees where I gathered greenery
For the mantel at Christmas, filling paper grocery bags
And leaving with cold, resin-stained fingers,
With its Japanese garden and arching bridge
Redolant with peace and solitude.

The gardens call to me, with memories of roses and sweat,
Sweetness and spring.

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Durham, North Carolina.

Quote of the Day: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero

Daily gratitudes:
Feeling some better
A talk with Charlotte
My voice when it sounds like Lauren Bacall
Spring coming
Soft blankets

 

 

 

It is National Poetry Writing Month (for any of you who wish to learn more about it go here), and as few of you know, I have been writing poetry my whole life. I go in phases, sometimes publishing here, sometimes elsewhere. Since the muse has been distracted for some time, I have written little of late. NaPoWriMo, which, along the lines of NaNoWriMo, encourages writers to create one poem a day for the month of April, is a good time for me to reacquaint myself with the craft and all of its nuances. I’m a few days late starting, so I’ll try to catch up over the course of the month. Here, I give you today’s offering:

Twins
Ripped from his roots and tossed in the street,
She felt the remains of his limbs at her feet.
His leftover lifelong intertwinedness
Curling around the tender tendrils of her toes,
The nature of the stone in his leftover soul,
Slowly slowly
Stealing away her green, her light, her life.
She died,
Inch by bitter inch,
And yet she did not die.
She stood, her own life crumbling around her,
Her madness and grief on display for all to see
In her wild hair and shattered serenity,
And her untended children.
She caught and cradled herself in her own brittle arms
As she fell, piece by broken piece,
And her heart become dry and hard,
Hard and cold until the day she could no longer
Stand to stand,
The weight of the world too much to bear.
She gave up,
Throwing herself from her steadfast post,
Cathy on the crag ever seeking her lost Heathcliff ,
And pitched in a fit of wind-driven pique,
Collapsed with a hush, wrapped in frozen blankets,
Her descent carefully guided by watchful angels,
Finally to join him.
And yet, some small part of her still fights,
That raging, tangled madwoman, turning on her saviors,
Cutting them to ribbons as they tried to help her move
On towards a transformed life.
Accepting death
Is never easy,
And death itself is seldom
Terribly gracious.

__________________________________________

But, never fear, gentle reader, I shall not deprive you of your daily image, quote, and gratitudes. Enjoy the month.

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Elk and Pines in Snowfall, Estes Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”  — Leonardo DaVinci

Daily gratitudes:
A beautiful day
The velvet of pansy petals
Fighting off a cold (and losing, but still fighting)
Trying to help
Warm milk at bedtime

 

 

It may not have a sunrise like this, and even if it does, I won’t see it, but I’m ready for today to be done, so here we are. Having spent most of the weekend grappling with my fallen tree, I can honestly say that I hate this tree. And if you know me, you know I’m a tree-hugger, and have probably never said such a thing before. This tree is evil. It didn’t want to be here, and it doesn’t want to leave – worst guest ever. It slaps and cuts, it bites and bruises, it’s stubborn and pervasive. It’s a Siberian Elm that really should have just stayed in Siberia. There are logs and branches and twigs everywhere and I feel like it will take forever to make it go away. So I’m calling it a day. As my FB Friend Scott says,  the white flag is up. Tomorrow is another day.IMG_6570
Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “A sunrise shows a new day has started, that whatever happened before is the past.” — Shannon McCrimmon

Daily gratitudes:
Progress
A beautiful day
Being clean after being super dirty
The scent of hyacinths
Oversized T-shirts

For those of you who haven’t met him, this is Mr. Man. He is my constant companion in what we call the “North House” aka, the Bungalow, and keeps me feeling well-loved and snuggled when MKL is in the “South House”. Some people say he has a big nose, but I think it’s beautiful. As a Maine Coon, which people say is “the dog of cats”, he is a vocal fellow. If he loves you, he will give you headbutts – after smelling your forehead to be sure no imposter is disguising herself as his Mom. Mr. Man, also known as Mr. Boo, has only had one other owner besides me in his whole life. I adopted him when he was 13 as a birthday present to myself three years ago. Yes, he’s 16 now, and has had a few problems with pancreatitis, from which he almost died two years ago. That experience – my helping him get better – was a turning point in our relationship. He finally came to trust me, eight months after I’d adopted him. Now, I don’t think we can imagine our lives without each other, though having had cats before (my first one lived to 20), I know that one day, I will have to do so.  But I hope that’s a long time off.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” — Terry Pratchett

Daily gratitudes:
A successful chainsaw massacre with no loss of limb
An old favorite movie
MKL
Strong arms
True love

 

Here’s a quick post to usher in the weekend. I am feeling strangely anxious this evening, and have little to say,  other than that. Tomorrow, it’s the Colorado chainsaw massacre. Let’s hope it’s only the dead tree that loses limbs, not MKL or me.

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Ventanas al Mar, Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.” — Patrick Rothfuss

Daily gratitudes:
Brand new baby cows
The light on the snow on Long’s Peak
How MKL makes me smile a smile that spreads to others
The neighbor’s grandson playing basketball on the back patio
Little girls wearing princess dresses in the middle of the day for no reason other than that they want to, and mothers who understand that and let them

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