Monday, May 25, 2020

Poem for Monday and Old Disney World

The Dragons Are Singing Tonight
By Jack Prelutsky

Tonight is the night all the dragons
Awake in their lairs underground,
To sing in cacophonous chorus
And fill the whole world with their sound.
They sing of the days of their glory,
They sing of their exploits of old,
Of maidens and Knights, and of fiery fights,
And guarding vast caches gold.
Some of their voices are treble,
And some of their voices are deep,
But all of their voices are thunderous,
And no one can get any sleep.
I lie in my bed and I listen,
Enchanted and filled with delight,
To songs I can hear only one night a year–
The dragons are singing tonight.

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Sunday was beautiful and cool. We baked bread, I did a bunch of scanning, then we met my mother in the parking lot at Locust Grove for a socially distanced walk in the woods. I chatted with fannish friends when we got home, then we had stuffed ravioli for dinner.

We caught up in the evening on Burden of Truth and saw the new episode of Snowpiercer after the Memorial Day concert on PBS, which we watched mostly because the latter was delayed by the Tiger Woods charity golf match. From a trip to Disney World in 1975, before Epcot:

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Poem for Sunday and Barbados

After The Storm
By Derek Walcott

There are so many islands!
As many islands as the stars at night
on that branched tree from which meteors are shaken
like falling fruit around the schooner Flight.
But things must fall,and so it always was,
on one hand Venus,on the other Mars;
fall,and are one,just as this earth is one
island in archipelagoes of stars.
My first friend was the sea.Now,is my last.
I stop talking now.I work,then I read,
cotching under a lantern hooked to the mast.
I try to forget what happiness was,
and when that don't work,I study the stars.
Sometimes is just me,and the soft-scissored foam
as the deck turn white and the moon open
a cloud like a door,and the light over me
is a road in white moonlight taking me home.
Shabine sang to you from the depths of the sea.

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A long Memorial Day weekend just does not have the same charm when we can't go anywhere. It wasn't a bad Saturday: we made two loaves of sourdough bread, got a couple of deliveries, Skyped with Paul's parents and brother with guest appearances at various times by my father, Adam, and Daniel and his girlfriend, and took a walk in the late afternoon in the woods when it was a bit cooler.

We had cassoulet with our sourdough, then we watched Maleficent: Mistress of Evil now that it's on Disney+. I'd heard that it wasn't nearly as good as the original but I didn't expect it to be so dark and to have Maleficent and Aurora separated for pretty much the whole movie, so despite gorgeous cinematography, not one of my favorites. Here as promised are some photos from my family's trip to Barbados in 1980:

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

Poem for Saturday and Squirrel Friends

From "Soft Targets"
By Deborah Landau

A breath leaves the body, and wishes it could return maybe,
the news to the left and right rich with failure, terror, dither,
the bloated moon in constant charge of us like vapor—

and this did frame our constituency, even in our cozy homes
even in a painless state on the downriver, oh oblivion—
sipping champagne as another night brings forth its big dancing plan
        its damage.

I had a thought but it turned autumn, turned cold.
I had a body, unwearied, vital, despite the funeral in everything—
ample with bodies, covered in graves and gardens, potholes and water,

an ardent river we walked together, a wine and rising breeze.
Much trouble at hand, yet the lilies still.
That summer we sat with our backs to the street, letting time pass—

lying all afternoon in the grass as if green and insect were the world.
I am, I am, and you are, you are, we wrote, until the paper seemed a
        tree again
and we walked beneath it greener and unsullied afresh.

Massive powers that be, what will be?
We smoke our pipes to forget you
& mildly now we bide our time

the violence and real cities under siege,
but also filled this morning
with coffee drinkers, office workers, taxi drivers, boys on bikes.

Golden we were in the moment of conception,
and alive, as if we always would be.

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Friday dawned very rainy but turned into a humid yet cool afternoon that was quite lovely. I got to see my father very briefly -- I had bagels for him, he had Beyond Burgers for me -- and my oldest friend for less happy reasons, since her uncle had died of coronavirus and she wanted to use my USB webcam so that her aunt could join a virtual memorial service and sit shiva via Zoom. She brought sourdough starter that has risen a great deal more this evening than our sourdough starter, though the latter made good pizza dough crust when we divided it to feed it and I got to knead it, which is very good for working out the fingers!

We had delicious pesto pizza with that crust before and evening of catch-up TV: Supergirl's season finale, which was mostly good because of the SuperCorp love, and The 100's season premiere, which was pretty good though I will never not miss Marcus and Abby, and Billions, in which Axe is now a much bigger dick than Chuck and I'm only watching in the hope someone else takes them all down. I scanned late 1970s trips to Disney World and Barbados today, so you may get to see those soon, but in the meantime here are some of the squirrels and chipmunks who have been visiting our deck while we've been at home:

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Poem for Friday and Neighborhood Deer

How to See Deer
By Philip Booth

Forget roadside crossings.
Go nowhere with guns.
Go elsewhere your own way,

lonely and wanting. Or
stay and be early:
next to deep woods

inhabit old orchards.
All clearings promise.
Sunrise is good,

and fog before sun.
Expect nothing always;
find your luck slowly.

Wait out the windfall.
Take your good time
to learn to read ferns;

make like a turtle:
downhill toward slow water.
Instructed by heron,

drink the pure silence.
Be compassed by wind.
If you quiver like aspen

trust your quick nature:
let your ear teach you
which way to listen.

You've come to assume
protective color; now
colors reform to

new shapes in your eye.
You've learned by now
to wait without waiting;

as if it were dusk
look into light falling:
in deep relief

things even out. Be
careless of nothing. See
what you see.

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Thursday night feels like a weekend night because Paul's agency gave everyone Friday off, so everyone can have a long Memorial Day weekend not going anywhere! I am feeling pretty bummed, as this was a weekend we'd talked about meeting our kids in one city or another and it's not like we can go to the beach or Skyline Drive instead, let alone make plans with friends. Pretty much all my friends who have kids have at least one at home, which is a mixed blessing but I have no clue when I'll see mine off Skype.

It was a fairly quiet day -- beautiful weather again, Target delivering cat food, putting in a bagel order, lots of scanning -- and since the photos are now from before the mid-80s, I'm not sure of the year for many of the pics so they're harder to sort. We watched two Inspector Morse episodes on PBS in the evening and the sexism really pissed me off, plus "Day of the Devil" may have Richard Griffiths but it has every cliche about the occult too. From the past couple of days' neighborhood walks, the family of deer in the woods:

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Poem for Thursday and The Mammoth Site

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve
By Adrienne Rich

Saw you walking barefoot
taking a long look
at the new moon’s eyelid

later spread
sleep-fallen, naked in your dark hair
asleep but not oblivious
of the unslept unsleeping
elsewhere

Tonight I think
no poetry
will serve

Syntax of rendition:

verb pilots the plane
adverb modifies action

verb force-feeds noun
submerges the subject
noun is choking
verb disgraced goes on doing

now diagram the sentence

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I just typed "Monday was quiet" which should tell you how well I can follow the passage of time right now. It wasn't a bad day -- I did a bunch of scanning from the '80s, I started reading the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds And Snakes, and, since I had laundry to fold and needed distraction, we watched Field of Dreams after we walked around the neighborhood where the bunnies were enjoying the cool weather but the frog and deer were hiding.

I'm quite sad The Masked Singer is over for the season but very happy with the results, and I loved tonight's What We Do in the Shadows -- I love Guillermo's whole storyline this season. I'm afraid to say Run is a trainwreck because that might literally turn out to be true, but I am really disliking Billy now and Ruby only slightly less. These pics are from 1992 at The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, where digging for a housing development uncovered these fossilized treasures:

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Poem for Wednesday and Trip West '92

Heart Butte, Montana
By M.L. Smoker

The unsympathetic wind, how she has evaded me for years now,
leaving a guileless shell and no way to navigate. Once when I stood
on a plateau of earth just at the moment before the dangerous,
jutting peaks converged upon the lilting sway of grasslands, I almost
found a way back. There, the sky, quite possibly all the elements,
caused the rock and soil and vegetation to congregate. Their prayer
was not new and so faint I could hardly discern. Simple remembrances,
like a tiny, syncopated chorus calling everyone home: across
a thousand eastward miles, and what little wind was left at my back.
But I could not move. And then the music was gone.
All that was left were the spring time faces of mountains, gazing down,
their last patches of snow, luminous. I dreamed of becoming snow melt,
gliding down the slope and in to the valley. With the promise,
an assurance, that there is always a way to become bird, tree, water again.

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I spent way too much time on the phone on Tuesday with my sister, an out of town friend, and a local friend, so I didn't get the laundry done or a bunch of other things, but I did get my college graduation scanned and many parakeet photos saved, so all in all it was a good day. Also, it was beautiful and cool out again, so we had the windows open all day and took a walk in the afternoon to enjoy it.

We watched the first episode of Stargirl, which was a bit cliched but I'll give any show with a female superhero a second chance, especially now that Ruby Rose is leaving Batwoman and who knows what will happen with the show. We watched Legends of Tomorrow too, but zombies are never ever my thing! I haven't organized the honeymoon trip photos yet so here are some more from the 1992 trip west:

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Poem for Tuesday and More Goslings

The Laughing Heart
By Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

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It was gorgeous on Monday, cool and breezy, so I had all my windows open while I scanned the proofs from my wedding and the photos from my bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and the brunch my parents had for my relatives the next day while we were driving to Niagara Falls, plus the honeymoon photos that didn't make it into the album which is really more of a scrapbook so I scanned the full pages a couple of years ago. When Paul finished his afternoon phone conference, we went for a walk and saw lots of peonies and what I'm told is clematis emerging now that the azaleas and irises are fading.

Otherwise, it was an upsetting day. In the past week, I had a long-distance friend lose his mother and an in-law lose her father to COVID, and today I found out that a local friend had lost her sister who wasn't even 40. Given the statistics, it was inevitable it would affect people I know, and now more people are shopping and planning not-entirely-socially-distant travel and it's stressing me out. We spent the evening catching up on this season's final episodes of The Flash, and I was admittedly distracted but I think they were pretty terrible. Here are some more photos of Lake Whetstone's geese and goslings:

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