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>Tenth Stone

>With a 3-5 inch
snowfall forecast,
Atlanta residents
hunker down:
sleds and
fly off
store shelves.


>Fourth Stone


The leafless maple’s limbs
a silhouetted tracerie
a complicated calligraphy
against the deep blue and
washed yellow of early dawn.

>First Stone

9:30 am, Saturday 1 January 2011 – Atlanta

Fallen poinsettia leaves lie on the countertop, shriveled and dark like crusts of dried blood. When I pick one up it rasps against my fingertips, so light that a sudden movement from me drifts it from my hand.

More on words than trees

8: 15 a.m. Monday 18 October, 2010 – Atlanta

Mostly thinking out loud today. I want, ever since following Jessie Carty’s blog, to organise mine in some way, so each weekday has a purpose…the weekends are off! Here, by the way is a link to Jessie’s blog: She writes primarily about poetry, but also shares herself and her life a little. On Mondays she has a shout out; on Tuesdays she has shout outs; on Wednesday she appears to take random topics; on Thursday she has a poem share; and on Fridays she wraps up.

I have the blinds closed at the moment as the sun shines through one of the few holes in my tree’s canopy, directly into my eyes. I love that I see the two trees in all the different times of day and night and that their position is affected by the sun’s swing enough to make them interesting to watch. The red branch on my tree thrusts itself boldly up as if to challenge the rest of the branches to hurry up and get on with the turning. I hope when I finally open the window to listen to the trees that the traffic noise rising from the street does not overpower them. I may wait for a weathery day when people are staying indoors. A storm should be fun, too.

My daughter is looking over my poems that I am going to submit to Origami Poems. I think she will make a good person to have in my reading group. The poems are, of necessity, short and the only theme they share is colour and also that most are like snapshots. I played with imagery rather than message in these, but I want to learn how to pack a message into a short poem.

One thing I am going to do over the next few days is go back over my old poems and see if I can find lines that connect in some fashion from both my poems and prose. I am going to reread my letters that I wrote while taking Jack’s class on poetry, as when I read them for the first time in 18 years, a month ago, I was startled at my eloquence. I don’t usually write with such passion and such closeness to the bone and that shows in my poetry. I would like to transfer some of that intensity, passion, emotional closeness, if I can.




Paris 1

The last time I saw Paris, before this trip with Skip, was 1966, and I was with mom. We were traveling ahead of the rest of the family. The memory is one of the most vivid of all the places I traveled, as a child.

I remember: the tiny room we had in a small hotel near the Louvre; walking through Les Halles [which still existed]; eating at a Chinese restaurant a couple of doors down because we missed Chinese food so much [we had been gone four days from Hong Kong …]; walking; the Metro; the traffic!; The Louvre and the three “gottas,”  the Winged Victory, the Mona Lisa, and the Venus de Milo; the Tuileries Gardens, with the fountains, in which boys were sailing model boats; eating a croque monsieur for lunch, at some outdoor cafe in the gardens ; walking; buying salami and cheese and hanging them in a bag out our window, because it was cool enough to keep them; the Gardens at Versailles; the rose windows at Chartres; San Chapelle’s stained glass; Napoleon’s immense red tomb; did I mention walking?

The Paris I saw in the winter of 2008-2009 has not changed much. A glass pyramid sticks out of the courtyard of the Louvre. There are security lines, so even if you have a museum pass, you will wait in line. The Pompidou exists. Oddly, I think the traffic is better. Fewer cars are on the roads – a lot of them are parked. People must be walking or using the Metro and the buses. And prices are, well, pricey.

I wrote a few notes, unfortunately after we left. I was sick the whole time and didn’t have the energy to write everything down as I usually do. I wish I had, so I can write the details in my remembering the six days we spent there. I am hoping, as I write, some of the details will come back. Memory is a strange thing. We’ll see.