Sunday, February 18, 2018

Poem for Sunday and Lunar New Year

Year of the Dog
By Pat Geyer

as the
last day
sun sets

earth dog
calmly buries an old bone...
a new day will dawn

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We went early Saturday to Lakeforest Mall for the annual Lunar New Year celebration, which kicked off with a dragon dance, a lion dance, and speeches from many politicians from the Governor of Maryland to the county executive and local delegates. We watched some of the martial arts and folk dancing and we visited the art show before doing a bit of shopping in the mall and having lunch at the House of Kabob, which serves food from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh as well as kabobs, so I got to have chana masala and pakora.

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It had started to snow by the time we left the mall and went to Strathmore, which had two small but enjoyable art exhibits -- one on impressions of Shakespeare and Poe by local artists, the other sacred geometry shapes in glitter by Bethesda's Jordann Wine. We had to stop at Giant for a couple of necessities and it was really snowing by the time we left, so after a quick stop to catch a Castform in its snowy shape, we have spent the evening indoors, eating sandwiches for dinner because we were full from lunch and watching the Olympics!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Poem for Saturday and Brookside Heron

Lightning Haiku
By Matsuo Basho
Translated by Harold Henderson

A lightning gleam:
into darkness travels
a night heron's scream.

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I started the Year of the Dog with a Pokemon raid at the nearby Buddhist Temple, which none of us attending stopped to think might be mobbed with celebrants, which it was. The rest of my day was unexciting, apart from seeing snowdrops blooming and the first crocuses coming through in my neighborhood, until dinnertime, when we went with Maddy to my parents' house.

Now we are watching the end of the phenomenal men's free skate at the Olympics, in which I was rooting for Chen to come back but not to medal because that would have required either Hanyu, Uno, or Fernandez to fall apart and I love all of them (and they were wonderful). I was sorting photos earlier today and found these of a green heron at Brookside in the summer:

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Poem for Friday and Musée des Docks Romains

Bath
By Amy Lowell

The day is fresh-washed and fair, and there is a smell of tulips and narcissus in the air.
     The sunshine pours in at the bath-room window and bores through the water in the bath-tub in lathes and planes of greenish-white. It cleaves the water into flaws like a jewel, and cracks it to bright light.
     Little spots of sunshine lie on the surface of the water and dance, dance, and their reflections wobble deliciously over the ceiling; a stir of my finger sets them whirring, reeling. I move a foot and the planes of light in the water jar. I lie back and laugh, and let the green-white water, the sun-flawed beryl water, flow over me. The day is almost too bright to bear, the green water covers me from the too bright day. I will lie here awhile and play with the water and the sun spots. The sky is blue and high. A crow flaps by the window, and there is a whiff of tulips and narcissus in the air.

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It was nearly 70 degrees here on Thursday! Which is a really lovely break in February! I needed to stop in Target so I went to the one in Gaithersburg so I could walk around the lake (there were lots of happy geese and ducks, including hooded mergansers, which are rare there). We had a few minutes of rain and a hint of a rainbow, then nice warm winds all afternoon into evening!

We're watching the men's skating short program, which has been somewhat uneven in terms of the skating and coverage, but it's much happier than the news and the bullshit of prayers instead of gun legislation. I am also cranky because a year ago today, Paul and I were here at Marseille's Musée des Docks Romains, and I really want to go back and do that whole trip again!

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Poem for Thursday and Yuri on Ice Valentine

Amoretti: Sonnet XXX
By Edmund Spenser

My love is lyke to yse, and I to fyre;
  how comes it then that this her cold so great
  is not dissolu'd through my so hot desyre,
  but harder growes the more I her intreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
  is not delayd by her hart frosen cold:
  but that I burne much more in boyling sweat,
  and feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told
  that fire which all things melts, should harden yse:
  and yse which is congeald with sencelesse cold,
  should kindle fyre by wonderfull deuyse.
Such is the powre of love in gentle mind,
  that it can alter all the course of kynd.

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My Valentine's Day started with two Rayquaza raids in Cabin John Park and a Kyogre raid at Starbucks, followed by lunch with raiding friends (we were joking that others might be looking for love but we were looking for Luvdiscs). So I got some exercise and some bagels, then came home and did work for a few hours before I got distracted talking to Deborah and Emma on the phone. I saw the horrible news about the Florida shooting and just have no words, since no one wants to listen to the obvious solution to mass shootings.

Paul took me to Not Your Average Joe's for dinner, because I love their goat cheese and raspberry salad, and gave me the card below plus a deck of Yuri on Ice playing cards, chocolate, and a necklace with Thor and Loki-colored Swarovski crystals. We tried to watch the pairs skating long program though NBC only wanted to show the top five couples and made us sit through a lot of time-wasters about weather problems affecting the giant slalom instead, but I love the top three couples and the married American pair, so it's all good.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Poem for Wednesday and Mardi Gras

Skiing
By Marchette Chute

I'm very good at skiing.
I have a kind of knack
For I can do it frontways
And also on my back.
And when I reach the bottom
I give a sudden flop
And dig myself in sideways
And that's how I stop.

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I had a nice Mardi Gras -- work, bagel lunch with a friend, a walk in the park, quality time with my cats while watching the Olympics, Paul made gumbo for dinner, we watched Shaun White's triumph and the pairs short program. I'm sure there are other things I could say but it's nearly midnight! Happy Valentine's Day if you're celebrating it, have a meaningful Ash Wednesday if you're observing that, enjoy getting ready for Lupercalia and the Lunar New Year if you observe either one!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Poem for Tuesday and Washingtonian Sunset

Mirror Theory
By Lucia LoTempio

How-to
with a wolf head
in it: magic

says rub
tooth to your gum, sleep
with cheek
matted to your

sweat—first you
must kill it.
Post

a letter of carved
wood that sings
like howl.

What happens after
the cast—where
to dispose
of used up

fur coil
and red.

Kept saying
new when I had

looked for nothing.
There’s a whole

word for wind
in France,
northeast and dry;

I have not been
given one
to say how

canvas cuts
a tree’s bottom
and top
with grey poplars.

My stretch of cells
still repeating.

The nuns
made my body
a holy cathedral,
impenetrable—yet

a temple is a widest
entrance; place
of herded into.

Still have
a wolf and it’s still
breathing. From its mouth
crawls another.

Then from that,
it happens again; throat
combed by teeth.

It became
we and I was

a portrait
with many hearts in it.

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"I had been reading through the archived letters of Vincent van Gogh’s brother, drawn to the intermingling language used to talk about art and desire," LoTempio told Poets.org. "This poem came out of a concern around the difficulty of approximating a self-portrait, how the first step of pinning down a shifting self requires a messy trickery." Seemed like a good Lupercalia poem.

I had a busy Monday -- work, laundry, a lunchtime Rayquaza raid, stops at a couple of stores, then since I was meeting Paul plus Karen and Jim at Tara Thai, I took a walk around Washingtonian Lake in the still-lovely weather that is now getting cold again, saw many geese and the sunset, and caught 10 Wailmers. We had a nice dinner, then came home and watched the snowboarding competition!

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Poem for Monday and Great Falls Walk

Argyle on Knocknagaroon
By Thomas P. Lynch

Because he barely heard the voice of God
above the hum of other choristers—
batwing and bird-whistle, gathering thunder,
the hiss of tides retreating, children, cattle;
because he could not readily discern
the plan Whoever Is In Charge Here has,
he wondered about those who claimed to have
blessed assurances or certainty:
a One and Only Way and Truth and Life,
as if Whatever Breathes in Everything 
mightn’t speak in every wondrous tongue;
as if, of all creations, only one
made any sense. It made no sense to him. 
Hunger he understood, touch, desire. 
He knew the tenderness humans could do,
no less brutalities.  He knew the cold
morning, the broad meadow, the gold sunset.
One evening on the hill of Knocknagaroon,
the Atlantic on one side, the Shannon
on the other, the narrowing headlands
of the peninsula out behind him,
the broad green palm of Moveen before him,
it seemed he occupied the hand of God:
open, upturned, outstretched, uplifting him.

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Unexpectedly, we got to spend a bit of Sunday with Adam, who came back to the house to sleep after 2 a.m. last night since he was nearby with Daniel W who has now gone back to Oklahoma. Adam didn't get up till after noon, but he stayed for lunch and we took a walk at Great Falls since the pouring rain had stopped and it was 65 glorious degrees.

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Then Adam went to meet friends from work and we went to the food store, plus I did a couple of Rayquaza raids at the mall and the park so I finally have one! Now we're watching the team skating competition; Nagasu and Rippon are lovely and Virtue and Moir are fantastic, but I can't stop thinking about how much I love Kana Muramoto's cherry blossom dress.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Greetings from Richmond

We spent a very lovely Saturday in a very rainy Richmond with Cheryl plus Lin, Kevin, and two of Kevin's kids, meeting them all at the very crowded VMFA, which was having a Chinese New Year celebration in addition to hosting the Terracotta Warriors from Xi'an, and we went to see an exhibition of Steinlen (of Chat Noir fame) cats. Then most of us went to Kitchen 64 for brunch, after which we went with Cheryl to Maymont, which was having a Victorian Valentine celebration. Now we're watching the Olympics and have Adam here for five minutes since he came to pick up Daniel W who's in town for one more day!

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Chinese New Year celebration at the VMFA

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Steinlen Cats with friends

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In the Egyptian gallery at the VMFA

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Terracotta Army

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Kevin's sons mimicking a Terracotta warrior

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A Maymont docent explains what different uses of a lady's fan signal to admirers

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A display of Victorian valentines at Maymont