Wednesday, March 27, 2013


for easter celebrations
i should like to invite the heron
his patient noticing and
graceful arch of a neck would be
blessing enough

we would read the river together from
the table of a tree trunk felled
until nature gathered around us to
feast in joy:  wrens, frolicsome squirrels
(for they are not too full of care in this
world and know they are but a part)
and especially

The Lamb.

ls 3.27.13

mending nettie's quilt

"but no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results."  matthew 9:16

i was first to go, at the knees,
from his form of prayer:  fixing.
to say nothing of oil stains, rust or haying season

me?  shy as the crinoline i am
ruffling with her heart in spring breezes
waiting, somewhere between lilac trees and patent shoes

how i loved wednesday wash days though
they wore me thin against the river
my whites crisping on the line

ordinary life tied at her waist
though often i went along delivering cakes
(and babies) chores and sometimes, lullabies

mealtime meant my service, the daubing up
of creams and sauce at Sunday brunch
folded, then crumpled with their satisfaction

i lasted longest, likely from summer storage in cedar
my collar torn and some buttons lost in a snow drift
easily enough replaced

and over all this i dare to place thread count i've never worn
story-less but for the purchase (conventional wisdom even Jesus knew)
hopeful, i add my patches anyway; to strengthen, not to tear.
ls 3.27.13

Sunday, March 24, 2013

a platter of figs and other tales

get out the spring stack of library books!  here is a range from cooking to downsizing you might find interesting.  (not including my eye-candy stack of french decorating coffee table books, ahh...)  the recipe book "a platter of figs & other recipes" especially caught my eye.  the white space therein shows off chef david tallis' favorites from chez panisse which in turn inspired me to microplane ginger, roast garlic in truffle oil and soak plums in blackberry wine.  three words:  a-maz-ing.  also in non-fiction "life below stairs:  true lives of edwardian servants" by alison maloney.  we are, thanks to OPB, fascinated with servants.  (let us not overlook, dear readers, those who serve us in the 21st century every day! service in and of itself is worth taking a modern look at).  after reading about the conditions they worked under, i put the book down and exhuded a "thank goodness i'm not a servant!" not realizing that, in the Christian sense, i absolutely AM a servant, but that's another subject altogether...had i lived during that time period, given my professional life, i most likely would have fallen into the "governess" category anyway.  at any rate, in other news last night i finished tammy strobel's "you can buy happiness (and it's cheap)" about how she and her husband downsized (or "smart-sized" as she prefers to say) their lives. beneficial ideas for sure.  i feel good about my simple life thus far for my current stage and lifestyle, although i'm sure i could always do more.  questions like, "could i really go car-free?" came to mind.  her blog can be found at  "13 rue, Therese" by elena mauli shapiro awaits...happy spring vacation reading to you!

Friday, March 15, 2013


by billy collins
"you are the bread and the knife, the crystal goblet and the wine." --jacques crickillon

you are the bread and the knife, the crystal goblet and the wine.
you are the dew on the morning grass, and the burning wheel of the sun.
you are the white apron of the baker and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.
however, you are not the wind in the orchard, the plums on the counter, or the house of cards.
and you are certainly not the pine-scented air. 
there is no way you are the pine-scented air.
it is possible that you are the fish under the bridge, maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.
and a quick look in the mirror will show that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.
it might interest you to know, speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that i am the sound of rain on the roof.
i also happen to be the shooting star, the evening paper blowing down an alley,
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.
i am also the moon in the trees and the blind woman's teacup.
but don't worry, i am not the bread and the knife.
you are still the bread and the knife. 
you will always be the bread and the knife, not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--
the wine.

saving light

as the sun sets late, later, latest, i thought, "the light will never fall in just this way again..." and a lovely quote by li-young lee "from blossoms" which seems fitting, "there are days we live from joy to joy to joy, from wing to wing, from blossom to blossom to impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom." 

Monday, March 11, 2013

the bespoke maquette

along with the fact that i love star-watching charts and lego kits, i also leaned into a couple of new words this weekend.  namely "bespoke" and "maquette".  how handy also, i noticed, that they can be used together.  bespoke admittedly tripped me up a bit in terms of usage.  it means custom made, and i kept wanting to use it as a verb or add an "n" to make it bespoken.  but the dictionary uses "bespoke suit" and "bespoke shoes" (probably italian leather, i might add), so i'm going with the bespoke maquette.  before i get ahead of myself though, i first learned the latter word at an art gallery wherein a local beach artist's benches and statues are featured.  her smaller models are called "maquettes" which quite literally means "a small scale model" (from the French/Italian--language this time--for macchietta sketch, a diminuitive of macchia).  so, next time you're over at the coast, don't hesitate to order one from her.  mention this blog to receive etymology points.

Monday, March 4, 2013

arabic coffee

it was never too strong for us, make it blacker, Papa
thick in the bottom, tell again how the years will gather in small white cups
how luck lives in a spot of grounds.
leaning over the stove, he let it boil to the top, and down again.
two times.  no sugar in his pot.
and the place where men and women break off from one another
was not present in that room.
the hundred disappointments, fire swallowing olive-wood beads at the warehouse,
and the dreams tucked like pocket handkerchiefs into each day, took their places
on the table, near the half-empty dish of corn.
and none was more important than the others, and all were guests.
when he carried the tray into the room, high and balanced in his hands,
it was an offering to all of them, stay, be seated, follow the talk wherever it goes.
the coffee was the center of the flower.
like clothes on a line saying
you will live long enough to wear me, a motion of faith.
there is this, and there is more.

naomi shihab nye

(from the hungry ear:  poems of food & drink edited by kevin young)

spring speaks for itself

"on our earth, before writing was invented, before the printing press was invented, poetry flourished.  that is why we know poetry is like bread; it should be shared by all, by scholars and by peasants, by all our vast, incredible, extraordinary family of humanity."  pablo neruda

"nothing is so beautiful as spring."  gerard manley hopkins