Tag Archives: poetry

Friday Link Love

The First Supper by Jane Evershed

Perhaps the World Ends Here — Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

Susan Olson recently linked to this poem and it’s been echoing in my mind. Reminds me of Bruce Cockburn’s song “Last Night of the World”:

If this were the last night of the world
What would I do?
What would I do that was different
Unless it was champagne with you?

I’m thankful that our family is in a season in which all five of us eat together at least six nights a week.

It will not always be thus.

~

The Most Astounding Fact — Neil deGrasse Tyson

This has been making the rounds, but if you haven’t seen it:

Bonus link: Listen to physicist James Gates’s interview on On Being. I didn’t understand a lot of it. But I liked it nonetheless.

~

The Six Secrets the Girl Scouts Have Kept for a Century — WSJ

How is this single-sex organization based on principles begun before the first World War able to remain vital in the twenty first century? How much of it would Juliette Gordon Low recognize? What are the secrets to the continued success of Girl Scouting?

One thing that was not mentioned in the article is that the uniform is updated regularly. I’m not kidding. That seems very superficial but it is a huge symbolic statement that the Girl Scouts are not stuck in the past.

~

Do As Franzen Does. Do What You Like — Roxane Gay

Alas, there’s been yet another installment of Famous Author Disparaging Social Media. I love this response:

Is anyone really using Twitter to craft complex rhetorical arguments? What does responsibility have to do with chattering online? It’s like Franzen is saying, “I cannot swim in my car and therefore my car is not useful.” He doesn’t understand what Twitter is for. Of course he dislikes it. He’s working from a place of profound ignorance. His stance is one of those things where you have to say, “There, there, Mr. Franzen, here is your Ovaltine.”

Heh.

~

And lastly, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, my friend Stacey posted this recipe to Facebook earlier this week:

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

I’m still not eating dessert during Lent, but o frabjous day, every Sunday is a mini-Easter! And Oh Em Gee:

These cupcakes consist of a Guinness-chocolate cake base, which has a wonderful depth of flavor and is also supremely moist. The centers of the cupcakes are cut out and filled with a chocolate ganache that has been spiked with Irish whiskey. And to top it all off, the frosting is my favorite vanilla buttercream that has been doused with a serious amount of Baileys Irish Cream.

I’m eatin’ that.

May you too have a delicious weekend.

Birthday Thanks

I’ll be honest. In terms of actual birthdays, it hasn’t been the greatest ever—we drove all day yesterday and for half of today, and it’s always a big fat bummer to come home to the Christmas stuff, and all the mess of unpacking the car, getting ready to go back to work tomorrow, making sure we have food in the house, etc.

We are all super tired too.

But that’s just the way it had to be, you know? I’m not super anal about celebrating on the actual day. Robert and I had a great dinner with my siblings last Thursday, and will celebrate more this weekend. There are other little dinners and things planned with friends, and I suspect there will be some revelry still to come once Caroline and Robert get home from the grocery store and vague “errands.” But still—kind of a blah day. A day in transit and transition.

So I appreciated today’s offering from the Writer’s Almanac. Inspired by that poem, as well as my life (which is pretty darn awesome when I take a step back)… I give you “Birthday Thanks.”

To the newly knitted mittens,
made with a little of this and that
over late-night vacation conversations.

Praise the cold that received us
as we drove north, and to
the bushel of red navel oranges in the trunk
to make that cold more bearable.

Praise the homecoming, like walking into a museum of our life,
everything untouched.

Praise the dot matrix paper, unfurled,
with H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y scrawled across it, praise the
barefoot six year old, now coloring between each letter.

Praise the cardboard box
which has become a ramp for the Matchbox cars.

Praise the tuning fork
which became the most beloved gift
for the eight year old who always whistles.

Praise the speakers in the kitchen
playing all the right music
while the boxes get flattened and the Monopoly put away.

Praise the counter, crammed with groceries:
bananas that will be perfectly yellow by morning,
and sliced bread in all its preparedness,
ready for tomorrow’s lunchbox assembly line
even if I am not.

Advent: Waiting

I wrote this six years ago when I was pregnant with Margaret.

talk to me about the waiting…

mostly I crouch, head bowed, eyes closed
against the soft black, safe in liquid suspense.
but even in the nothing there are constant somethings:
a fluid symphony, simmering, rolling, rushing past;
a metronome beating out the time,
world without end—and a voice:
hushed murmur, burbling laugh,
distant yet irresistible.

and then, at certain times,
I am bathed in thirsty, throaty songs:
o come, o come,
long-expected one;
rejoice, rejoice,
prepare the way;
comfort, comfort,
alleluia, amen.
and these reverberations of hope
shake the cradle that holds me,
and I stretch the kinks out of kneeling legs,
raise my arms in praise,
then bow and wait, again,
for that time when we will sing
Joy!
To the World!
together.

“Autumn Daybreak”

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

Posted this week at the Englewood Review of Books. I love this poem, especially the last line. From my desk in the Blue Room, there’s a window that overlooks a large tree, and behind it, my neighbor’s house, which is where James goes during the day while I work. I love it in the winter because the leaves are gone and I can see him as he plays outside.

Cold wind of autumn, blowing loud
At dawn, a fortnight overdue,
Jostling the doors, and tearing through
My bedroom to rejoin the cloud,
I know—for I can hear the hiss
And scrape of leaves along the floor—
How may boughs, lashed bare by this,
Will rake the cluttered sky once more.

Tardy, and somewhat south of east,
The sun will rise at length, made known
More by the meagre light increased
Than by a disk in splendour shown;
When, having but to turn my head,
Through the stripped maple I shall see,
Bleak and remembered, patched with red,
The hill all summer hid from me.