Archives for category: Poems

Stevenleocampbell.wordpress.com-Thank you Steven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He  gave out Reader Appreciation Awards to 7 people – My blog was one of them!

I Googled the award today, looking for the bright sunflower, and didn’t find its source. So Reader, this is what I think it is.  We bloggers, who run across out computer keys at night when the earth sleeps, play word games in the velvet ether of the night, toss out sorrows, hug happiness, create metaphoric mountains and potholes, and all the while race towards the world and each other in a prepublishing, I’m going to publish this tomorrow on WordPress!  We all fall into this category.  We who blog.  Those who read blogs.  Both, all, none, many.

The rules of the Reader Appreciation Award:

1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog – check center photo above.  Ta da!!

2. Answer 10 questions (listed below) for fun if you want to.

3. Nominate 6 or 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy

4.  Provide the links to these blogs and let them know they’ve been nominated

5.  Provide a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you —- http://stevenleocampbell.wordpress.com

10 Questions and my answers for the Reader Appreciation Award

1.  What is your favorite color?

The color of the current book I am reading, or the wine colored cover of Gleanings, Baha’i Writings.

2. What is your favorite animal – no need for me to answer; everyone who reads this post will roar back.  Pug Dogs.

3.  What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Lemonade, don’t drink Alcohol

4.  Facebook or Twitter

FB, my home away from home, the entrace to the train station called my life!

5.  Favorite patterns?

Pattern of oneness and connectedness in relations throughout the globe.

6.  Do you prefer getting or giving presents?

Giving, giving.

7.  Favorite number?

Nine (9)

8.  Favorite day of  the week?

Wednesday

9.  Favorite flower?

Purple Iris

10.  What is your passion?

Giving people opportunities to discover and/or develop their voice – teaching creative writing.

My 8 nominations for the Reader Appreciation Award:

http://normanpickles.blogspot.com/  – Pugs, pugs, and more pugs.  Enchanting when the heart is orphaned      and one’s physical space not allowed this type of 4 legged package of      entitlement.

http://pagesforsmallwages.wordpress.com/  Gwendolyn McIntyre – perceptions on      writing, life, things that go bump, keep the writer going!

http://www.bahaithought.com   Phillipe Copeland is author of the blog, “Baha’i Thought” which offers commentary on issues of religion, society, and culture based on the teachings of the Baha’i Faith.

http://mrslittlejeans.blogspot.com/,      mrslittlejeans is a scientist and offers enchanting views of her two      felines, photographs of same, and a sharing of mystic perceptions.

http://writingasasacredpath.blogspot.com/   Jill Jepson – I have her book, the back cover of which reads in part, “Discover the Soul of Writing,” writing medications, prompts, rituals, exercises all drawn from traditions of Buddhist monks, Navajo storytellers, and much more.

.http://www.studiomorran.com/  Studio Morran, dogs, crafts, art, visual whimsy!

http://gerrygwilson.com/about/  A published writer, writing teacher of note, an encourager to all

http://whimsygizmo.wordpress.com/  prolific poet, enchantress with words …

http://wordrustling.wordpress.com/  metaphors and smiles – enchanting poetry-Hannah Gosselin

http://swthink.blogspot.com/  so whatcha think  – Brooke Ryter – a book, an impact, soon to be revealed – check it out.

http://arachnoidcystsupport.blogspot.com 

Maria McCutchen has written a book, It’s All in Your Head, and I think her story should be widely read.  I’ll show image. I got my book at Alibris, an online bookstore, which sometimes has prices less than Amazon.  At any price, this is an important book.

http://lublenok.blogspot.com/  Leonid’s World  is the name of his blog.  We met him inMinsk when we gave English Club sessions.  He’s fascinating, innovative, and dear, and he speaks of past history and his family.

Love and best wishes to all.

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Wednesday Mel posted a blog by me, and I was the guest blogger.  Today and a few days ago, this blog went out with Mel as my guest bloggerhttp://melwalshjones.wordpress.com/tag/guest-blog/

Reader, junior learner here.  Baby Lois Lane.  Blogger in apprentice is reblogging this very same post, because I get the feeling, people think I, esther, aka sorrygnat, wrote this blog of Mel’s.  Hmmm I wish.  Mel is an accomplished writer, and yes we are bookends this week and yes, she’s from Boston, and yes, she teaches writing, but her influence is much broader than mine.  I bow to her good writing.  So, here t’is, so Mel gets the credit.!

 

P.S. we  all met on the I Am Not Bob April Challenge, a generous and life changing encounter with writers. 

 

 

Mel Jones is a native Bostonian. She grew up on the Irish Riviera –The South Shore.

As a child, she spent many hours sitting in trees reading books and writing poems. She had her own newspaper column at fifteen and was determined that she would be the next Shakespeare or Tolkien. She was educated at The College of William and Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Antioch University, Los   Angeles. She holds degrees in History, English, Rhetoric, Literature, and Creative Writing (Nonfiction). Yes, she is overeducated. 

She has done extensive genealogical research both for her own family tree and professionally

 Mel edited a now defunct literary journal, The Sylvan Echo. She’s taught children from kindergarten through college in a variety of public and private settings.  She currently teaches College-level Composition. Mel is the founder of The Midlothian Writers’ Workshop.  She offers a variety of services for writers, including retreats.

Publications include, a book of poetry, Between the Lines (2005), and essays in The William & Mary Gallery, Sherwood Forest,and online at Little Seal and r.k.vr.y. She recently had an epiphany, if she sent her work out more, she would be published more. She’s working on that. She maintains a sometimes snarky blog, Mel’s Madness, which is more Erma Bombeck than William Shakespeare. Mel lives and writes on a small leisure farm west of Richmond, Virginia with her partner, parrots, and progeny.

Country Sunday Drive.

This morning I had to run to the store. Now for those of you who live in the real world that entails a 1/2 mile, maybe a mile’s drive. But not here. It’s eight miles to the local grocery store (national chains like Food Lion or Kroger are longer drives).

I pulled out of my driveway—watching carefully—because I live in a curve. My up-the-hill-neighbors apparently forgot that at some point last night; their cute little blue rag-top was sprawled in the ditch in front of their house. It took out the little green phone box. I knew my internet would be down. City folks! They moved here because they wanted “life in the county.” That’s what they told me in the one conversation we had over the old rusted barbed wire fence that separates our two properties. I’ll bet they have had more country than they can stand at this point. At least that’s how it looked as I drove by the stranded car.

I briefly wondered if they had swerved to avoid some sort of animal. I did that once. I slammed on the brakes when a rabbit hopped out in front of me. It was the first country lesson that I learned: do not slam on your breaks on a dirt road. Bad things happen. The rabbit hopped away, fine.

I totaled the car.

Anyway, I made my way up my windy road without incident. I stopped at the red light that annoys the locals so badly, Damned city folk! Who needs lights? All anyone’s gotta do is look both ways! That’s what the old folks said. It was a big deal when they put that light in; the county has six traffic lights now. Down right depressing.

I picked up the things I needed and started my trek back.

Now one would think this too would be uneventful. Au contraire. Once I turned at the traffic light back onto the road that leads home I had to stop to let the groundhog pass. I sighed. Then I had to stop and let the Sunday riders on their quarter horses pass, and then there were deer. I watched as two hawks swooped into a field for breakfast. They were successful. I was beginning to think, aaahhhh, were it not for the traffic light, this could be heaven.

But then I came around the curve. And there he was. A Black Angus bull in the road. In the road my poor little Mercury Sable was driving on. I was sure my car would lose a battle with him. I was sure I would just piss him off. And then I would have to get out of my car and face him. What was I to do? There was no cell service on that part of the road, not that I would know who to call about a bull in the road anyway.

I confess, my first thought when I saw the massive blackness in the road was that perhaps it was, I dunno, not real. It was a shadow or something. Maybe this one was of those flashbacks I had been warned about. But then, he snorted at me, just like in the cartoons with his flared nostrils steaming.

I slammed on my brakes. Thankfully this road was paved.

I have lived here for twenty years, but I have never encountered a raging bull in the road before. I’ve seen them in fields – safely behind electrified fences. I’ve seen farmers scurrying away—running for their lives. Once I even watched as the county deputies were chased out of a field. They were tracking a runaway. A bull snorted at them while he pawed the ground. They ran: deputies and blood hounds. The Bull treed the runaway, who was grateful when the farmer brought feed for his herd. One has little recourse with a bull.

I beeped my horn.

He snorted. Round one to the bull.

I inched forward.

So did he. Round two to the bull.

By now there were three or four vehicles stopped in each direction. No one wanted to play chicken with a bull. Several young men in fancy pick-ups were collectively shaking in their boots in the northbound lane.

Then, just as we were all beginning to feel a little bit desperate there in the morning sun, a little old man in a woody-style station wagon came along, got out of his car and hollered at the bull, “Get the hell off of the road! I’m a-gonna be late for church God damn it!” He took off his hat and swished it at said bull. Then punched him in the nose.

The bull skulked away. Round three to the old man.

My neighbor’s car was still in the ditch and my other neighbor’s pigs were scouting it out—they were inside the car and nosing around in the front seat. Pigs are curious animals. The neighbor should have put the windows up. Maybe the bull had been in the road when my neighbors were coming home last night and they too thought he couldn’t be real. I don’t know. But it would be less than a month before that farmhouse came up for rent again.

from You Carry the Heavy Stuff, Lulu.com/Amazon, the author’s garage….. ISBN 978-0-557-20933-0-essays, poetry, observations from a twin’s dying to cubicle despair in a corporate world with voices of buoyant pathos, mystical reverence – you catch my drift

Why do I write?  Like now, when the dishes sit orphaned in the kitchen sink because I, the washer, am typing, sharing, breathing, living, putting off the inevitable, because once a long time ago, I was so hurt, I couldn’t breathe.  I carried that hurt with me forever, until I found out that sensitivity is the price and the prize for being able to write, for being able to read people, to Braille the unsaid.  I write to a lady in prison, who said “I liked a phrase you wrote, “The language of God is a tear running down someone’s cheek.”

I write because I read, insatiably, gobbling, inhaling, filling myself with the human condition; splat on the floor some days, like a big old squishy bug, flattened, dead, its body swept up by old straws on a broom; and then I write to show the magic of St. Theresa’s Snow Queen Altar when I was young, and how everything looked like a wedding cake, and I write to tell how when I was younger, and so needy I could have impaled myself on a stake wide and big, sort of like a meta-letter holder, except the stake would run through my insatiably needy heart, and a note on my back would read “loves too much,” and that was before the book Women Who Love Too Much.

I write because I have gone beyond Medieval Posts puncturing my despair and loneliness and have decided Men Who Love too Much is here too.  Maybe we all love too much, and I write because maybe none of us love too much, for we are told by images in advertising, that we should be thin, jaded in the eyes, like the look of models for Vogue or whatever, who probably could shoot up heroin on their lunch hours, and because despair is trendy and nihilism and materialism and not giving a damn might be the language of the hour.  But then there is the lonely, little, big, young, old, trembling, brassy, you-catch-my-drift-writer who writes because he or she must, and words have a visceral effect upon her, him, the dog, the surrounding room.  I write of hopes for the world, and a good ham sandwich or description thereof on a sour dough roll, with slabs of mayo, and a bed of lettuce, and curled pink ham,  ready to go into someone’s mouth which is opened to the size of half a ladder, is  a good thing, a good description.

What this nation needs is a good ham sandwich and a Pepsi without the aspartame and some down to honest to goodness honesty that is the natural condition to communicate, to be real, to be afraid of bugs in knotty pine walls when the walls come alive at night; to watch an elderly blind woman, clutch the corners of her walker, take a breath and remain a sweet sweet spirit, knowing that her condition, her tests are the divinely calibrated kind, even though trucks have run over her emotionally, and I write to tell of the anonymous amongst us, the bravery, the small acts of courage, kindness in this nation where the world is narcissistically checking its derriere in the mirror, and no one or precious few are listening to the “midnight sighing of the poor,” and where we must have immense courage and speak up; talk, yeah, walk the talk, be it; speak up; tell future generations who we were, wanted to be, became anyhow and our hopes for the future; because someday we will all be sensitive, spiritually inclined, aware of our oneness,  and otherness will go on a back shelf like Twinkies, no longer approved of by the American Heart Association, and writing will be celebrated by hoots and hollers and a piping or two from a medieval horn or Siberian throat, and the arts will have a way of grabbing our soul’s innards and carrying us through the day.  These are some of the reasons I write, but there are others, but today is Wednesday and those are my Wednesday’s writing reasons.

Five weeks ago I had a steady Sorry Gnat blog following of about 7 people.  People know me a bit around the City of Pasadena.  A few months ago my Irish Mug was on the cover of Pasadena Weekly, because I teach writing at the Women’s Room in Pasadena, a workshop for volunteers, homeless women, and women in transition.

I also teach a couple of other  writing workshops in the Pasadena- mainly at the La Pintoresca Branch, and conduct a small one, for donation only, in the basement of Ten Thousand Villages, the most fantastic and aesthetically snappy fair trade store, located on Lake and California.

I felt stagnated by my inadequacies with my blog.  I had a major friend who has helped me a lot.  The fabulous Mizz V – shrunk my SorryGnat banner, twiddled and twaddled comments and headings appropriately, but she got a job, and I ordered 10-12 books from the library on Blogging.

I need to stretch I thought.  This is how I get creative thoughts.  They nudge me or pop up when my nose is halfway down my first cup of coffee in the morning.  Along came #@MNINB, and I was a hashtag apprentice, a Linkedin Babe, a Twitter type of gal.  I’m already on FB with people from around the world.  It helps to travel and live in other countries.

A few weeks ago someone sent The Versatile Blogger award, and I have still to figure out how to affix it to a margin type area so it hangs out in the neighborhoods of facts and figures about this writer who’s up there in age, but has the writing voice of a 35-year old.

This week, of which Monday seems a 100 years ago, 2 of the #MNINB recommended me for a Liebster because for the month of  April MNINB challenge a goodly amount of writers scattered from Massachusetts to Malta (not really) connected, with a spirit of oepn welcome and we cheer each other on.

So thank you to  Susan Craig, http://bysusancraig.wordpress.com/ .  She’s a scientist with a background in neurobiology, and studied effect of Alzheimer’s disease proteins on brain cells for over 10 years.  She currently teaches college biology.  Her favorite thing to do is write books about strong, smart women and men who love and appreciate them.  Her blog reveals true stories, science material, fiction, inspiration, and you name it.  Lucky us.  Lucky me, I subscribe to her blog.

And also, another blogger nominated me during the same week of 100 years:

Thank you Kristi Carver, http://kristicarver.blogspot.com/2012/05/  Kristi is a writer, small business owner, and Registered Nurse.  My twin was a Registered Nurse, and believe you me, I felt safe with her in my life. Thanks Kristi.  When you visit her blog, you fall into a heavenly photo of a lake in Colorado, and all tension slips away.  Colorado beauty, plus aspiring author, who is a blueberry fanatic, wine enthusiast, and constant reader, and a memoir addict.  Be still my heart.

Now, I pay it forward and nominate up to 5 blogs with less than 200 followers, and let these nominees know they’ve come under the Liebster shadow by leaving a comment on on of their posts.  I added the Liebster image, so I’m okay ont hat.

My nominees are:

http://kofeart.wordpress.com/category/doodles/ – what can I say? When the world gets too lurchy, self-absorb, insane, I click on Kofeart’s site and her art enchants me.  I hope you like it too!

http://blackwatertown.wordpress.com/ I don’t know if he has 1,000 followers, but he was one of my original 7 devotees, and he’s special in my blogger’s heart; funny, current, aware, and enchanting.

 The blog & the book – are by Paul Waters from Northern Ireland, writes, makes radio & telly shows, blogs and footer about with social media. Get in touch if you’d like me to do it for you, either here or at paulwaters99 at hotmail.com .  It’s not a kangaroo, it’s a horse’s head, which might be from The Godfather. The pith helmet however, definitely used to sit on the head of Spike Milligan.

http://krpooler.com/feed/ (Memoir Writers Blog)I need all the information on Memoirs.  I don’t know if she’s widely blogged, so I added her, because I learn from people like this blogger.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-of-cake.html – okay, okay, the blog is about depression – but to a writer, artist, or whatever creative type, depression is a fantastic topic, and I am sure she heals herself by her work.  Her images are enchanting.  I adore her post.  What can I say, check it out!

http://swpulley.wordpress.com/ – Artist, writer, traveler, whimsy, E.B.-White-wit goes outer space, early member of CHPercolatorcoffeehouseforwriters.com, incredible friend, encourager, and lives next town over.  His Uneasy Rider posts are terrific.  He’s the reason why I write better than I used to after my first book, and why I published (he helped-bless his saintly soul) You Carry the Heavy Stuff, and is just all in all an enchanting wit and fried of both myself and Bill and so many others.

So that’s it. Now they check out The Liebster Award, and sally forth.  Gratitude to all who labor! Smile.

The theme was forgiveness, i.e., “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”  Luke 23:26-34

First a group poem – in a writing session each woman took 2 lines and voila:

Friday, April 6, 2012 – Women’s Room Group Poem – Jennifer Robinson read:

 

Women Speak

Voices from the Women’s Room, a Group Poem

 Forgiveness is such a big word of many colors,

bruise yellow, anger red, wounded blue, white hope.

Most of the time we feel unforgiven.

The world would be a better place if we acknowledge we are forgiven.

“Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”  Even their

unforgiveness causes us to be unforgiving.

Forgive us, Father, for we sometimes know what we do.

Though my flesh is torn and our hearts are broken.

Forgiveness comes from love we received

when we were made in God’s own image.

I see the world of peace within my eyes growing together as we do our part.

The days seem long, and the nights seem short.

and

FORGIVENESS      by     Esther Bradley-DeTally  For Good Friday Service April 6, 2012

To everything but anguish the mind will soon adjust…Roger White

 

After a great wound no feeling comes,

But, a white hot pain settles upon you.

You stand shivering in a fire of agony,

“Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do,”

is a whispered voice, hidden deep within cumulus clouds,

blocked tributaries of feeling, your heart a mere stump.

Enough, enough, enough.

The well-intentioned speak of forgiveness.

Skippingly on the tongue they toss

“Turn the other cheek” which produces

a yellow, curled up feeling within.

You’ve turned the other cheek so much,

you have whiplash, and your chiropractor

is upping his fees.

You are so done

Chumped out by the world

Sick of greed lurch on the planet

Numb to the scalding rhetoric of gossip,

absolute abandonment of your Lord’s teaching

on mercy, on love Thy neighbor,

Dormancy pokes its head up, a tickling feeling

Your nerve endings prickle, and you realize

not wanting to, you are coming to life.

It’s a crucible this world, and you have

gone through the white heat of change

Ignorance and love will not cohabit within

You cast away the purple bruise of resentment

Which led you to the heart of your journey.

Your crucible.

You will no longer resent

You will not forget

Never forget

But, you are a leaf in the wind

Of the Will of your Lord

And you will love again.

It was a good day.

First, gratitude for the hard work on behalf of Altadena Library and the Friends of the Library for making these workshops possible.   Okay boys and girls, or girls and boys, we didn’t get to a couple of other exercises, so as I promised, here they are:

1. Name your writing after this place or situation:  In the Dean’s Office, Talking to My Boss, At Lunch with My Mother-in-Law, On the Bus Going to Work, In the Dentist’s Chair, Cleaning My Room, The Job Interview, or whatever comes to mind.  It’s your mind reader – go for it!

Write a dialogue in which an annoyingly powerful person speaks the way he or she normally does.  For internal dialogue, after several lines of this person’s dialogue, say to yourself in the form of a tired cliche or some slang you use, what you really think – consider these:  Your mother eats kitty litter, or praise the Lord and pass the Butter or Walk with me Jesus, or sticks and stones may break my bones, or are you with me; how bout them Dodgers, you can’t please everyone, or Lucy and Ethel in the Chocolate Line, or Gal, don’t call me Gal, or Boy, don’t call me Boy, or job schmob, I’m out of here!

2. Think of something you believe in/wish for. Write 5 or more passages, start with same line, I believe in running free and fast, or I have a wish to swim in the ocean, or If I could talk with my mother for just one moment more.

After you have written the passages, end by repeating the one repeated lines 3 times in a row. (From Creative Writing DeMystified, Bender, p. 31)

Here’s one we did in the 90s at Jamestown Community College’s the Courage to Write Workshop:

3. Suddenly there is a knock at your door.  A trusted friend enters to warn you that the Dream Police will arrive in 20 minutes.  Everything, everything in your life that you have not written down will evaporate upon their arrival.  You have a short time –twenty minutes—to preserve what is most precious in your life, what has formed you, what sustains you.  Whatever you forget, whatever you have no time to record, will disappear.  Everything you want must be acknowledged in its particularity.  Everything, to be saved, must be named.  Not trees, but oak.  Not animal, but wolf.  Not people, but Alicia.  As in reality, what has no name, no specificity vanishes.

We are what matters to us.  Our identity materializes through images, memories, events and through things.  In the above exercise we select what is essential us, what has formed u, what we cannot live without, this as often includes grief, losses and failures as it does joy and triumph.

Some time after, look at this list; put it aside, and then later, examine it.  Imagine you are an anthropologist who has unearthed this list of “possessions” that once belonged to some “unknown” person. Write a portrait fleshing out that person, speculating on his or her character and life.

 

FINALLY, some books which you can get from a library:  mine – Without a Net: A Sojourn in Russia, and You Carry the Heavy Stuff, Esther Bradley-DeTally.  If local, i have some.  If not, Lulu for You Carry the Heavy Stuff, Amazon too.

Creative Writing DeMYSTiFieDm Sheila Bender (I used this).  Soul Pancake Chew On Life’s Big Quesitons, Wilson, Gundry, Lucina, Mogharab(Rainn Wilson from the Office, one of the authors, and the GRAPhics are fabulous)

I loved Spunk & Bite also.  Read everything, fiction, non-fiction.

Journals – Writer’s Digest, Poets & Writers,

Online writing group:  CHPercolatorCoffeeHouse for Writers (Yahoo)

I have only touched the surface.  Stay tuned and happy writing.  Esther

 

Girls with Pink Lipstock
(from Miss Halloran, You Carry the Heavy Stuff, p. 53)
By Susan Zucker – June 6, 2011

Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.
They have their beach towels and bathing suits.
They have money for their lunches.
Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.

Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.
They wait in front of the house on Clifton Avenue.
It is the most central, after all.
They wait for that one mom to drive them to the beach.
Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.

Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.
They have arrived at the beach and the ocean is tame.
It is low tide and they spread their blanket and move as one to the sea.
Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.

Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.
After getting wet they will dry in the sun.
They will apply their pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, and clump together as one.

Susan Zucker attends my writing workshop, “The Courage to Write,” held Monday nights at Ten Thousand Villages store, a fair trade store and a visual poem in surroundings. Susan is a writer and a friend. She grabbed a line from my latest book, You Carry the Heavy Stuff, opened to an essay on Miss Halloran, and girls coming of age theme and took the line, “Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together,” and wrote her own take – I loved it, still do; hooray Susan.

Writing Workshop-collective voice/group poem
In an elongated white walled basement room, tinges of odor seep through of chicken feed, dog doo, or whatever, from a puppy mill next door, but the writers, the writers say, over the feelings of nervousness, of never having done this, or of just breaking the silence of a Monday night Courage to Write workshop:

I write for necessity,
the beauty of my darkness,
fragments of feelings
connect with my heart,
feel the grace of God’s love.

I write to empty words
out of my head,
dig deeper and open up,
journals, maybe essays,
to do just what I’m doing,
a manual overcoming betrayal,
things I have not said before.

Start my voice, tell a story.
I’m courageous, caring,
do anything with grace,
with God’s help, to share,
heal, teach, grow, express,
play, and read Save the Cat .

I want to create wild art,
film and heal kids, self, and act more.
I want to be a spiritual director, to journal
and develop courage to write,
articulate my reflections,
draw them to deeper levels.

I want to help others
sharing experiences and
work on a biography about my
Finnish American mother-in-law
and my own mother’s
best friend.

I want to teach Science, and I write
to see my friend develop, help friends
invent, enjoy learning.
I read Billions and Billions
Carl Sagan you know.
I want to develop my own voice
and lots of poetry, but slowly
I’m working on a children’s story.
I’m lucky to be an artist, working
on two books, one poetry, the other
my life story.

By day I write
And produce music,
but I really want to be
A screenwriter, a filmmaker,
and I read Story by Robert McKee.

I write because I can,
one of the few things
I do well.

My friend Pili Pili Saka who is on my blog roll is prolific. There’s a sort of cool breeze to his thoughts, his prose, and I find myself admiring his mind a great deal. He wrote about Salvation, and I had been at a discussion regarding that same term last night; not the literal, cause hackles on the neck arise, type of discussion, and then he discussed north and south, and in this case Africa, calling to my mind the different young authors of incredible talent I have written, one of whom wrote about Biafra – north and south, and then finally the tennis balls Pili Pili speaks of call to mind a piece I wrote after my twin’s passing. So I offer it here:

Lobbing
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
i sorrow for a twinging tooth
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
a back tooth like an old couch waiting for Goodwill

sorrow was two weeks ago standing in front of
my twin’s coffin, she in her blue bridal dress of old
me, alive, sorrowing for the little girl on a tricycle
sorrowing for her life of dripping Rorschach ink

wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
sorrow has gone up like a balloon on a helium sortie
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
thwatting away epic events tumbling through and around
the people on the earth’s stage

order, thwats, pops, bops, all metronome-like
in their reassurance, the steadied beat of routine
comfort, sorrow, joy, laughter, anger, all runs together
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents

ON THE LIGHT SIDE OF LIFE

Have you ever tried elephant kisses? You have a long sleeved sweater on; pull your arm back and hand so it disappears, and nothing is left but several inches of a flopping sleeve, and then brush flopping sleeve over child’s nose and say, “You just received an elephant kiss.” While I’m on that, here’s some things to pass on at an appropriate age. THEY CAN BE RECITED AS DRAMATICALLY AS YOU WANT! STANDING ON CHAIRS, TABLES, FLOOR-WHO KNOWS!

Icky Gooey was a worm
A mighty worm was he
Sitting on a railroad track
A train he did not see.

Icky gooey!

This is the story of William McGory
And now my story has begun
This is the story of William McGory
and now my story is done.

A Dog

A dog is made of bones and meat,
his body’s kind of long and round
and at each corner’s there are legs
to keep this body off the ground

A head and tail at either end
we’ll find if we search with care
and all these different parts of dog
are neatly wrapped in skin and hair!

the last one written by Uncle Bill Johnson, an adopted uncle who left a deep stamp upon my soul because of his EB White wit and his terrific love for me and kindness!

Went to Open Mic Night at La Pintoresca Library. Fantastic. Wonderful poet who does performance art knocked my socks off. Tamara Blue. Just Google her name, and you’ll see her perform.

This is what I read:

Children of the Stolen OnesFor Gloria Haithman December 2, 2004

“Greens” makes me think of
Ola Mae’s Greens, down in my
belly, in Olean, New York, as
crowds of us burst into Ola Mae’s
Restaurant on a regular basis
to shoot the breeze; eat her
famous Greens and just to feel
all’s well with the world.

Here in Pasadena, California,
the subject of greens and chitlins
came up. I thought of Ola Mae, the camaraderie,
her corn bread too, and just feeling part of the woodwork
welcomed by her open heart and Best
Greens-Cook-In-The-World Self.

Wednesday night Gloria talked
about the same thing but went a step further.
She spoke of soul food on another level,
the spiritual teachings of love, hope, faith
She spoke to our insides
where there are no colors
Gloria said, “We were not colored
when we were born; we came in
that way,” and I thought
no one crayoned some in, or
bleached others out.

What if, instead of thinking about
The dark ones, the Negroes, the People
of Color, names given by the Takers,
think Black or African-Americans?
Then a phrase measured out, came quietly
into the room, in the midst of a story of
the sisters; the African-American Bahá’í
women who went on a tour of South Africa,
and met some African women who didn’t know them.

These African women, they looked at Gloria,
and Joy and Iris, and Aurore and Beverly and others.
The “Who are they,” question came into their eyes
till one of them said,
“They are Children of the Stolen Ones.”

Back in Pasadena, sitting on the orange
velvet couch, those small noble words,
“The Stolen Ones” bombarded my heart,
as I felt my soul sink into a place of
utter knowingness, of reverence
and majesty revealed.
Yes, the rightful appellation.
Measure it out on the tongue, slowly
“The Stolen Ones,”
“Children of the Stolen Ones.”
Feel your heart melt as if
a great and timeless grief has
finally been acknowledged.

My heart bowed a humble bow to
to the true nature of an incredible people,
their majestic endurance,
their ancestors;

I’m no artist and don’t know my colors.
I live in a world that thinks it knows
its colors, and colors inside the lines
not outside; the “lines” being
the operative word.

Well, I’d say in this year of 2004
Maybe we should hear the Sister’s,
our sisters’, call from South Africa
and use lines to wrap around:
Majesty
Dimension
Endurance
Courage

Name every quality our sisters
and brothers, of African Heritage
carry with fortitude,
and you come up with,
in my book,
“The Chosen Ones”

And what if God and his Messengers
and Prophets saw that
these Chosen Ones
endured trials similar
to the Minor Prophets?
And what if the Ancient Beauty
knew His love for
His Chosen Ones,
knew they suffered,
the banishment,
the chains,
the whippings,
as He,
in the Path of God?

And what if this planet
really was a testing ground to see
who could show
courage under fire,
love of God, love of people
despite that the Stolen Ones
and their kin were also robbed?
But wait, here’s another view:
I think the Children of the Stolen Ones
are the Morning Glories of our age!
Their children; their children’s children
It’s the story Morning Glory

Let’s proclaim, let’s shout,
and let us bow
in reverence to our ancestors,
ransomed so we might reframe our hearts
and join each other in history’s future
where lines are a thing of the past
and colors are
loved-filled stripes of every hue.

Language After the 100 Year War

The Nouns were in control in the neighborhood of Verbiage. Adjectives were forced to end their 100 Year War. This war was known as the Great War of Planet Earth in the Days of Rhetoric Only. Verbiage, like a fireplace bellows of yesteryear, had simply exhausted its wheeze and could no longer control the Nation.

Politicians would no longer be described adjectively. Thus, our President could be described by the Press as, “A man whose eyes narrowed when a syllabic word entered the toy store of his mind. A man whose Rubber Ducky drowned when his bath water became higher than what is necessary for the average leader. A man who could bob eternally on the Ocean of Platitude.”

This leader called up his country’s Reserve Marines again. These Marines were sent to a land which resembled a cannon to which they would become fodder. They would obey their mission, climb into these cannons, and be shot out over the land of buildings which no longer resembled buildings. Naught would be seen but structures of rubble which resembled cookies crumbled in the hand of a monster as tall as the sky.

The Congress would not be allowed to use descriptives in the form of the much abused adjective. This caused some consternation, for our Congressmen knew of the paucity of adverbs when running for election. The Congressmen would no longer be able to crawl into that vat of adjectives filled with words guaranteed to portray an individual Congressman righteously and puffily. These adjectives, I might add, are thrown carelessly into this vat, like screen plays in Los Angeles, like potato chips in a Lays truck which had escaped from their Bag Containers.

The Nouns issued an edict: “Stick to the Facts Jack. Straight Facts for a Straight Land,” a land which had lived adjectivally and splendiferously for too long, thereby wreaking a knowledge gap which had caused the five years of last of destruction upon the planet.

Politicians had appeared on the News Hour program with Jim Lehrer, and on what used to be Peter Jennings’s Newshour, and on Tim Russert and explained Sunday after Sunday, or was it Monday after Monday, of their importance, the importance of their minds, the nuances of their minds. These very same politicians verbally gamboled along to thinly expand titles such as “Theatre of Operation, War Games,’ and last but not least, the most abused noun in the world, Democracy – Democracy became a gutted, slutted word, misused, stretched, liked hardened taffy in a candy machine after the summer crowd had gone home.

A rape of the Nouns had occurred. What choice did the Nouns have but to take over the Nation? They cried out, “Aack, aack, aack! No more.” And so as this tale is difficultly told, but blessed for its attempts, all the while failing in adverbial splendor, time will tell how language controlled its environment so that facts and integrity might emerge again before the children of the world forget that “Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues.”

one last one

Before the Golden Age

Elizabeth Vargas bids goodbye
from the news –Wait,
how is Peter Jennings?

Now I know
of his kind heart, his last days,
his frailty-but what of his regrets
about those last cigarettes?

Nine eleven – my fingers
probe memory’s silt,
Braille the reality of those days,
find Terror’s Dullard Cousin Disbelief

Our earth stood still on nine eleven.
Together in cylindrical need
we lurched towards one another
a oneness prayer,
no words or syllables or sounds

United, until the politicians
like Crows from New Jersey,
fat cigars hanging from their mouths,
carped, scavenged and hawked
their way up ladders of
avarice and greed.

“The necks of men are stretched out in malice.”*
Crows cavorted long back halls
of politically elite and
Power’s salacious divide.

Language used for
dark reptilian thoughts
separate, the enemy, the other

The Crows, did I say crows?
I meant Boys, Boys at play,
like Gargoyles in a game
Crocodiles shopping for dental twine.

*Baha’i Writings

wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
i sorrow for a twinging tooth
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
a back tooth like an old couch waiting for Goodwill

sorrow was two weeks ago standing in front of
my twin’s coffin, she in her blue bridal dress of old
me, alive, sorrowing for the little girl on a tricycle
sorrowing for her life of dripping Rorschach ink

wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
sorrow has gone up like a balloon on a helium sortie
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
thwatting away epic events tumbling through and around
the people on the earth’s stage

order, thwats, pops, bops, all metranome like
in their reassurance, the steadied beat of routine
comfort, sorrow, joy, laughter, anger, all runs together
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents


In honor of Kurt Vonnegut who has instructions or someone does; they are up on my blog, and last night i wrote a longer poem; is four lines a poem – guess if a person can be a poem or a room like Sandra Cisnero’s longing for a white room as pure as the paper before the verse is on it or something like that, i can write a 4 line piece which i did and here it is; it’s great fun; what a remedy for the blahs, writing; wonderful!

Today I write to the end of the line of paper which is white and blank
And I feel that you – forget you – I, I have to be willing to go to end of the line.
Face my courage and galvanize myself into action, a mere walking in
Blank space, that’s really what we do, we walk in blank space, heavenly.
esther bradley-detally



Write about ….

Something sacred

the last light of day

promises broken

seeing someone for the last time

B. Shelley

CCXLVI. Ozymandias of Egypt

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,

Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown

And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,

The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear:

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains: round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Man in Space

by Billy Collins

All you have to do is listen to the way a man
sometimes talks to his wife at a table of people
and notice how intent he is on making his point
even though her lower lip is beginning to quiver,
and you will know why the women in science
fiction movies who inhabit a planet of their own
are not pictured making a salad or reading a magazine
when the men from earth arrive in their rocket,
why they re always standing in a semicircle
with their arms folded, their bare legs set apart,
their breasts protected by hard metal disks.

From The Art of Drowning, Billy Collins

On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I’m coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light—
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
But that is because you have forgotten
The perfect simplicity of being one
And the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
By drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
Watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
Against the side of my tree house,
And my bicycle never leaned against the garage
As it does today,
All the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
As I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
Time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
There was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I would shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

p. 49 – The Art of Drowning, Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate

I had a pug dog who died; I love this

Where did that dog
that used to be here go?
I thought about him
once again tonight
before I went to bed.
–Shimaki Akahiko

from the Hopi Elders 2001 via email to esther from friend in Ohio

To our fellow swimmers. There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift, that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold onto the shore; they will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know that the river has its destination. The Elders say that we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our head above the water. And we say, see who is there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personal, least of all ourselves, for the moment that we do, our Spiritual growth and journey come to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves. Banish the world struggle from your attitude and vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

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Writing Soup

By Esther Bradley-DeTally

(for Donna with regard to writing and all our archetypal Stews)

I am confused and bewildered
as I sit in a house
whose furniture sprawls
like forgotten toys from GoodWill and
whose books give off a musty smell which eclipse
blonde blue-eyed, strong white-toothed actresses
who are slim and young and who can write.

My eyes travel down to a patchy wood floor
My guts, no longer tensile, stick together
like an old sandwich
pressed too hard by the grill

I feel as if I am in a stew or soup
Jack is the cook
But he isn’t the cook; he is the Chef
With a Capital C

I feel as if I am in a stew or soup
Jack is the cook
But he isn’t the cook; he is the Chef
with a Capital C

He seems hot and fussy as if
he’s cooked soup for a long time
he stirs some long leggy carrots recently
shorn of their leafy green tops
He pokes sprawling “Hi I’m fresh from the farm”
tomatoes into a plankton shape
and he flicks hot juice at the parsnips
who turn into ciphers.

None of us move because
we feel like bumpy vegetables
I feel like a turnip, a rather purplish solid
turnip from New England
as I tilt from the Cook

He takes a two pronged fork and
prods the parsnips and carrots again
Then he spears a medium sized white potato which
grows soft and splits and sort of crumbles

A zucchini leans into my purple side, but
I feel contained and don’t want to go near
The Chef or the fork
I want to simmer and bob when
a chunky, juice dripping piece of beef
floats to the center and waits for the Chef
who lifts up the beef with a slatted wooden spoon
admiring its contours its bursting juices

He dips the beef back into the soup where
all the vegetables seem to get caught up
in the juice’s circular movement as
the water around me gets browner and
Chunks of flattened red tomatos float by and
miss his hand which spears and hauls me up
dripping with the soup’s flavors

He puts me on the slatted spoon and turns
me over slowly, reflectively
I am still a turnip, but I have become
softer, more yellow-orange on the inside
ready to slough off some purple edges
I get put down again near the beef and tomatoes
I move closer to the carrots and the parsnips
We all mix with the broth

The guy with the ice cream cone next to the dog who is bronzed, but looks like he could eat the cone anyway, is coming over tomorrow to help me figure out how to spiff up my blog and get websites in their in one spot; always recommending something of interest. Quiet night; the temperature dropped; crickets not as noisy; no skunk smells, I stayed home, Bill went out to Baha’i Feast; Watched part of Dateline about the kids whose father’s had died; and here they were 4-5 years later. Heartrending some of it; meanwhile rhetoric flies re war.

9/11
by Esther Bradley-DeTally-(wrote this a year ago)

Elizabeth Vargas bids goodbye
From the news -wait
How is Peter Jennings?
But now I know

Of his kind heart, his last days
His frailty, and what of his regrets
about those last cigarettes?

9/11 – my fingers
probe memory’s silt,
Braille the reality of those days,
find terror’s dullard cousin
Disbelief

Our earth stood still on 9/11.
Together in cylindrical need
We lurched towards one another,
a oneness prayer,
no words or syllables or sounds

We united until the politicians
Like Crows from New Jersey,
fat cigars hanging from their mouths,
carped, scavenged
and hawked
their way up ladders of
avarice and greed.

“The necks of men are stretched out
in malice,”*
Crows cavorted long back halls
of politically elite, and
power’s salacious divide

Language used for
dark reptilian thoughts
Separate: the enemy,
The other

The Crows, did I say crows?
I meant Boys, Boys at play
Like Gargoyles in a game
Crocodiles shopping for dental twine.
*Baha’i Writings

Still a lot to be grateful for; gotta crash!