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Showing posts from June, 2009

friend or foe, The Tiger?

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"THE TIGER," William Blake (1757-1827)

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

This poem has been swirling around in my head lately, mostly in pieces, mostly the first two stanzas. It has gotten in there for two reasons; the first being that I loaned my copies of Songs of …

stuck on the lowest rung

I am praying that Detroit will surprise me; as James Joyce said, There were others who had forced their way to the top from the lowest rung by the aid of their bootstraps." (Ulysses)

I want to keep believing that this once great city of my parents and grandparents will rise again, a phoenix from the ashes, and put forth another great...something. But I am not so sure.

My brother A3 sent me this rather disheartening article today. Thought I would share it in the event that there are other former Detroiters, who are trying to follow what goes on back home--from afar--and who wait and pray for better days.

Retailers Head for Exits in Detroit
by Andrew Grossman
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
provided by The WALL STREET JOURNAL

Shopping Becomes a Challenge as Auto-Industry Collapse Adds to City's Woes

"DETROIT -- They call this the Motor City, but you have to leave town to buy a Chrysler or a Jeep.

Borders Inc. was founded 40 miles away, but the only one of the chain's bookstores here…

who says poetry isn't romantic? nay, HOT?!

i like my body when it is with youri like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs,and possibly i like the thrillof under me you so quite new~ e.e. cummings

in celebration of all things NOT chick lit

In celebration of women:Three Books...
by Lynn Harris

No Such Thing As Witty Women? Think Again"Women aren't funny. Or, at least, so goes the age-old postulation — one that women generally find hilarious. This spring in The Guardian, Germaine Greer wrote an entire column based on the premise..."For the whole article, click here.For the longest time I couldn't find very many female writers who I liked reading (this seemed to happen in my teen years). I am forever grateful for my Undergrad experience as an English major, in which I was introduced to and fell in love with many female writers, all whom I still enjoy! So, in celebration of great female writers, thought I would share some which I enjoy:Kids/YA:Judy Blume
Margaret Wise Brown
Virginia Lee Burton
Beverly Cleary
J.K. Rowling
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Audrey WoodAdult:Louisa May Alcott
Jane Austen
Anne LamottPoetry:Elizabeth Bishop
Emily Dickinson
Rita Dove
Jorie Graham
Sharon Olds
Mary Oliver

The Way Things Work
is by admitting
or …

Where the Wild Things Are

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"The American black bear is the smallest of the three bears species found in North America, and are found only in North America. Black bears have short, non-retractable claws that give them an excellent tree-climbing ability...

Height: 2-3 feet at shoulders
Length: 4-7 feet from nose to tip of tail
Weight: Males weigh an average of 150-300 lbs. Have been known to weigh from 500-600 lbs.; females are smaller
Lifespan: Can live 20-25 years in the wild, although there is increased mortality around 10 years of age..."

Wanted some information about the American black bear, so I did some reading at the Defenders of Wildlife page. For more info, click here.

Why, you ask, did I do reading on the American black bear?

Well, dear readers, the Farm has a returning visitor who likes to climb into our dumpster and pull bags of garbage out and into the woods. Yes, it is a black bear.

The bear has been spotted by various farmers and after repeatedly hearing about these sightings, I was 'a wishi…

tourist for a weekend, St. Louis, MO

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Being in St. Louis for Tizzy and HR on second's wedding confirmed a few things:
1. EVERYONE I know is getting married (this was wedding #6 of 8 in the past year).
2. Weddings make me lonely, and also make me marvel at the fact that people can spend the rest of their lives with one person. I'm not saying I can't (there are a couple people I could imagine spending the rest of my life with: James McAvoy or Gerard Butler, for example), I just can't think of anyone that could say the same for me. Life is a crap shoot that way, no? Two people having mutual feelings of spending the rest of their lives with that other person and it actually working. Don't you have better odds at card games...or horse racing...or guessing what rat with find the cheese first?!3. Our community at the Farm is a very unique and beautiful place that I am always so glad AND thankful to come back to. I love going away to see little slices of the world, but I am still at the point that I love coming …

sowing my isn't

I need to write about SO many things: animal sightings, my trip to St. Louis, life in general, however, I have been really into e.e. cummings poetry lately, so until I have more time I will share this BEAUTIFUL poem instead. “anyone lived in a pretty how town” E.E. Cummings, Complete Poems 1904-1962anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)
they said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can …

Obama food nation

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Food plays a big part in my life these days, since my job is to help put out four meals a day, which is why I found this article interesting.

CAPITAL CULTURE: World hangs on Obama's every bite, Associated Press, JOCELYN NOVECK
"At the bustling Pi pizza restaurant in St. Louis, the staff has come up with a new mantra: "It's just pizza!"
Just pizza, and yet still, they marvel, customers are happy to wait well upward of two hours at peak time for a table. That is, ever since news came out that Barack Obama loved this pizza so much during a campaign stop, the owners were invited to recreate it in the White House ovens.
'We tell them it'll be two to four hours, and they say, "OK!" says owner Chris Sommers, who traveled on his own dime to prepare the presidential meal in April. "This has been our own private stimulus package.' "
To read the whole article, click here.

crack pipe row going green

"The alley behind Motor City Brewing Works near Wayne State University is sadly typical for a Detroit alley: It's ghetto.

The cracked cement resembles a jigsaw puzzle. Trash as big as mattresses and small as crack pipes has been occasionally dumped amid the tall weeds. Some of the graffiti is covered by graffiti.

But if plans work out -- and they appear headed that way -- this ribbon of big city blight could become Detroit's first 'green alley.' "

For the rest of the article, click here!

the root of the root

And to my sister A1 and brother-in-law Mike, I wish you a happy 7th Anniversary! I share with you one of my absolute favorite poems.i carry your heart, e.e cummingsi carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is youhere is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars aparti carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

not so much separated anymore

More to say about our lovely time in St. Louis, until then, I want to offer my congrats to Tizzy and HR on Second Ave. who were married this past Friday! I know no words of my own that are lovely enough to offer you, so I give you one of my favorite poets: Walt Whitman "Out of the Rolling Ocean, the Crowd," Leaves of GrassOUT of the rolling ocean, the crowd, came a drop gently to me,

Whispering, I love you, before long I die,

I have travel’d a long way, merely to look on you, to touch you,

For I could not die till I once look’d on you,

For I fear’d I might afterward lose you.


(Now we have met, we have look’d, we are safe;

Return in peace to the ocean, my love;

I too am part of that ocean, my love—we are not so much separated;

Behold the great rondure—the cohesion of all, how perfect!

But as for me, for you, the irresistible sea is to separate us,

As for an hour, carrying us diverse—yet cannot carry us diverse for ever;

Be not impatient—a little space—Know you, I salute the air, the o…

meet me in St. Louis

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Jet setting weekend coming up. TSO, CJ and I are leaving the farm for St. Louis, to attend the wedding of our friends Tizzy and J. Friends Kt and Becca are also heading out from Oregon and Chicago respectively--looking forward to seeing them both and catching up.
I have never spent any time in St. Louis, only passing through en route to California on Route 66 ten years ago. Though I am looking forward to time away, and any place will do.
The short weekend seems busy: Fly in Thursday morning Rehearsal dinner Thursday night Wedding & ReceptionFriday night Leave Saturday morning
And yet, in those small fluxes of time between events there are a couple of sites I definitely want to see (The St. Louis Arch, The Louis XIV church and of course the St. Louis Public Library), but who knows what we'll have time for, or what TSO will want to see...hmm...just glad to be away from the Farm for a few days. YAHOO! I love traveling.
Now just need to run errands and buy things in those mysterious tr…

walking with a walk that is measured and slow

Was thinking of poetry all week.
Shel Silverstein poetry to be exact.
So, thought I would share one of my favorites by him.

I applied to a program before I wound up at the Farm--a radio program in Alaska--and part of the application process was doing a tape recorded reading of something so that the radio head had some sense of how your voice would sound on the air. I actually read this poem...a random pick at the time. For some reason my mind slips back to this poem quite often.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we&#…

reading the summer away, part 2

Fiction Great Summer Reads from readkiddoread.com

Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: Moving Day by Meg Cabot. Scholastic, 2008. (Gr. 3-5) *S*
Allie’s parents tell her they've just bought a falling-down Victorian house, she'll be starting fourth grade in a new school, and she can get a kitten.

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look. Illus. by LeUyen Pham. Schwartz & Wade, 2008. (Gr. 1-4) *S*
Second grader Alvin Ho, a Chinese American boy, is afraid of many things, including elevators, , substitute teachers, and, most important, school, where he has never uttered a single word.

Babymouse: Queen of the World by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm. Illus. by Matthew Holm. Random House, 2005. (Gr. 2-5) *S*
That endearing daydreamer Babymouse gets herself invited to a sleepover at the house of her archrival, Felicia Furrypaws.

Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel. Roaring Brook, 2008. (Gr. 1-4) *S*
This companion book to Bad Kitty and Poor Puppy is a zany …

reading the summer away

The Summer Reading Doesn’t Have to Be Punishment List from Readkiddoread.com
EASY FICTION / PICTURE BOOKS

Adèle and Simon by Barbara McClintock. Farrar, 2006. (Gr. PreK-2) *S*
Find all the items Simon loses—his books, scarf, coat, and more—as he and his older sister walk home from school through the Paris streets.

Adventures of Polo by Regis Faller. Roaring Brook, 2006. (Gr. PreK-2) *S*
In wordless comic book-style panels, we follow Polo, a little brown dog, as he sets out on his boat.
Annie and Simon by Catharine O'Neill. Candlewick, 2008. (Gr. K-3)
In four charming easy-to-read chapters, get to know young Annie, her doting teenage brother, Simon, and their little brown dog, Hazel.

Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems. Hyperion, 2008. (Gr. PreK-1) *S*
Before Piggy gets the chance to run, skip, and jump outside with her best pal, Elephant, it starts to pour.

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel. Roaring Brook, 2005. (Gr. PreK-2) *S*
She used to be a good kitty, until her people ran out of kitty f…