Sunday, October 31, 2004

Poem for Monday

My Blue Piano
By Else Lasker-Schüler

At home I have a blue piano.
But I can't play a note.

It's been in the shadow of the cellar door
Ever since the world went rotten.

Four starry hands play harmonies.
The Woman in the Moon sang in her boat.
Now only rats dance to the clanks.

The keyboard is in bits.
I weep for what is blue. Is dead.

Sweet angels, I have eaten
Such bitter bread. Push open
The door of heaven. For me, for now --

Although I am still alive --
Although it is not allowed.


Another from Poet's Choice in the Sunday Washington Post Book World, in which Edward Hirsch wrote about Eavan Boland's collection of post-WWII German poems by women, After Every War.

Today was one of those absolutely perfect days weather-wise, perhaps 70 degrees, maybe a little more at mid-afternoon, and warm enough in the evening for me to wear short sleeves (namely my Sirius Black prison shirt) while taking the kids trick or treating. Before that, however, we went to Scotts Run, Virginia, where the leaves are somewhat past their peak but still lovely. This is the point where the creek reaches the Potomac River, so there are people fishing and bird-watching and letting their dogs swim in the shallows and taking photos of the waterfall like me. I wish I could say that the woods smelled as good as they do at Great Falls, but the creek parallels the sewer line and occasionally you get a whiff of reminder. Even so, it's quite lovely to experience.

We came home, watched the end of the Redskins game as already reported, had our pumpkin soup, lit the jack-o-lantern and various candles to mark the boundaries of our stoop, got the kids dressed and took turns walking around the neighborhood with them and giving out candy at home. There is an ungodly amount of chocolate in the kitchen at the moment -- enough to last till Valentine's Day, when it will all start over again. In a way I'm grateful my stomach has been off because except for a bite of a Hershey bar, I didn't eat any, making this the first Halloween in living memory when I did not indulge like a pig.

The kids have no school tomorrow because of a teacher training day, nor Tuesday for election day, so we are going to Pennsylvania to see my in-laws and coming back Tuesday to vote. I think the leaves are mostly gone at Gettysburg but we'll see.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!.

My kids. I feel quite safe posting this unlocked because it's not like anyone's going to recognize them from this.

Sequel to this photo, the one I was trying to take last year when I got the blurred one instead.

The trees aren't as red this year, but that may be because Hurricane Isabel changed things last year.

The view of Maryland across the Potomac River is still pretty spectacular.

Here's the waterfall where the creek flows down into the river.

Wildflowers at the creek's edge.

And here's the river's edge. Those little white bits in between the leaves are shells.

Poem for Sunday

My Nightingale
By Rose Ausländer

My mother was a doe in another time.
Her honey-brown eyes
and her loveliness
survive from that moment.

Here she was --
half an angel and half humankind --
the center was mother.
When I asked her once what she would have wanted to be
she made this answer to me: a nightingale.

Now she is a nightingale.
Every night, night after night, I hear her
in the garden of my sleepless dream.
She is singing the Zion of her ancestors.
She is singing the long-ago Austria.
She is singing the hills and beech-woods
of Bukowina.
My nightingale
sings lullabies to me
night after night
in the garden of my sleepless dream.


From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in the Sunday, October 31 Washington Post Book World, this week on Eavan Boland's After Every War, a collection of the work of nine German-speaking women poets who wrote in the decades surrounding World War II. "The title," notes Hirsch, "comes from the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska, who notices with a kind of wry domestic wisdom that 'After every war somebody must clean up.'" The women poets "have a particular angle of witness that comes from powerlessness, from being vulnerable, injured, marginal, excluded. Most were exiles...dispossession is a key theme. They recognized what they had lost." Ausländer is also represented by this poem:


My Fatherland is dead.
They buried it
in fire

I live
in my Motherland --


Had a quiet family day today. Went to younger son's soccer game at a gorgeous park where the field was surrounded by colorful trees with softly falling leaves, then came home and carved pumpkins with both kids before taking the older one to a friend's for a sleepover. But I was also quite sick to my stomach; still not sure whether this is from leftover sushi, possible flu or just stress. We were supposed to go to a party tonight at the home of but I couldn't even keep my head up by late afternoon, which I feel terribly about as I have not seen her husband since a science fiction convention before they were married. Out of desperation I napped for a couple of hours and am going to bed early, despite the time change, as soon as this is posted.

The Halloween plan is to retrieve older son and go hiking at Scott's Run, then have pumpkin soup for dinner (and summer sausage but I doubt I will be up for that), and then trick or treating. We take turns taking the kids out and staying home to give out candy. Plus my parents are getting home after a week in Florida and I am sure we will take the kids over to show off their costumes. So tomorrow there may be colorful leaf photos, river photos, jack-o-lantern photos or all of the above. Happy Halloween and Good Samhain!

My younger son's school class in their Halloween costumes.

Here is my son and his friend at the school costume parade, which had to be held indoors due to inclement weather.

Here he is again, the happiest boy in the world for the moment because he came closest to guessing the number of candy corn in this jar and won it. He has been very generous about sharing with his parents...he let me have three.

He also specifically requested that I take this picture of their class fish, which lives beneath the roots of a plant.

Our pumpkin, mid-carving and scooping. When my stomach is better I will be eating these seeds, which I toasted.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Poem for Saturday

By Lissar

let the night fall
for i am not afraid of the dark
or of imaginary evils
or of myself
and my own power
let the night fall
let it come with its dreams
its mysteries
its wonders
let the night fall
let the goddess drape her scarves of black
around me
and clear the cauldron's surface
so that i might remember


Here's 5 Things You Need to Know on Election Day and Why They Matter, courtesy the League of Women Voters. Worth reading even if you already know all five things and then some.

Enterprise review: "Borderland". Brent Spiner is great.

Yesterday when brought over George, my younger son was leaning over the side of my bed pesking the kitten with a yellow string while Cinnamon watched. Today the yellow string had somehow ended up on the floor downstairs, and Cinnamon sat by it mreeping expectantly until picked it up and started waving it around, and then...

...the cat jumped over

And went over to inspect the string...

...and followed it back across the cat again...

...and was prepared to do this all day long, until Rosie and both decided they had had enough.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Cute Kitten ISO Home!

performed a rescue several days ago of this adorable toddler, whom she has taken to calling George (as in "I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George"). However, since she already has three cats in her abode and I have two in mine, neither of us can welcome another kitten into our home, though George is litterbox-trained and has not shown a propensity to claw.

If anyone in the Maryland-DC-Northern Virginia area is looking for a sweet-tempered silver tabby or knows someone who is (outside of area fine if transport can be arranged) please leave a comment here, write to me at my username @ livejournal, visit in her LiveJournal or send her e-mail at perkypaduan @ livejournal!

This is George with my cat Cinnamon, getting along perfectly well. We believe George would do fine in a house with other cats!

Poem for Friday

By Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Listen: there was a goat's head hanging by ropes in a tree.
All night it hung there and sang. And those who heard it
Felt a hurt in their hearts and thought they were hearing
The song of a night bird. They sat up in their beds, and then
They lay back down again. In the night wind, the goat's head
Swayed back and forth, and from far off it shone faintly
The way the moonlight shone on the train track miles away
Beside which the goat's headless body lay. Some boys
Had hacked its head off. It was harder work than they had imagined.
The goat cried like a man and struggled hard. But they
Finished the job. They hung the bleeding head by the school
And then ran off into the darkness that seems to hide everything.
The head hung in the tree. The body lay by the tracks.
The head called to the body. The body to the head.
They missed each other. The missing grew large between them,
Until it pulled the heart right out of the body, until
The drawn heart flew toward the head, flew as a bird flies
Back to its cage and the familiar perch from which it trills.
Then the heart sang in the head, softly at first and then louder,
Sang long and low until the morning light came up over
The school and over the tree, and then the singing stopped...
The goat had belonged to a small girl. She named
The goat Broken Thorn Sweet Blackberry, named it after
The night's bush of stars, because the goat's silky hair
Was dark as well water, because it had eyes like wild fruit.
The girl lived near a high railroad track. At night
She heard the trains passing, the sweet sound of the train's horn
Pouring softly over her bed, and each morning she woke
To give the bleating goat his pail of warm milk. She sang
Him songs about girls with ropes and cooks in boats.
She brushed him with a stiff brush. She dreamed daily
That he grew bigger, and he did. She thought her dreaming
Made it so. But one night the girl didn't hear the train's horn,
And the next morning she woke to an empty yard. The goat
Was gone. Everything looked strange. It was as if a storm
Had passed through while she slept, wind and stones, rain
Stripping the branches of fruit. She knew that someone
Had stolen the goat and that he had come to harm. She called
To him. All morning and into the afternoon, she called
And called. She walked and walked. In her chest a bad feeling
Like the feeling of the stones gouging the soft undersides
Of her bare feet. Then somebody found the goat's body
By the high tracks, the flies already filling their soft bottles
At the goat's torn neck. Then somebody found the head
Hanging in a tree by the school. They hurried to take
These things away so that the girl would not see them.
They hurried to raise money to buy the girl another goat.
They hurried to find the boys who had done this, to hear
Them say it was a joke, a joke, it was nothing but a joke...
But listen: here is the point. The boys thought to have
Their fun and be done with it. It was harder work than they
Had imagined, this silly sacrifice, but they finished the job,
Whistling as they washed their large hands in the dark.
What they didn't know was that the goat's head was already
Singing behind them in the tree. What they didn't know
Was that the goat's head would go on singing, just for them,
Long after the ropes were down, and that they would learn to listen,
Pail after pail, stroke after patient stroke. They would
Wake in the night thinking they heard the wind in the trees
Or a night bird, but their hearts beating harder. There
Would be a whistle, a hum, a high murmur, and, at last, a song,
The low song a lost boy sings remembering his mother's call.
Not a cruel song, no, no, not cruel at all. This song
Is sweet. It is sweet. The heart dies of this sweetness.


I can't decide whether that is one of the saddest poems I have ever read, or oddly hopeful. It haunts me, anyway.

Nicked from because it is a great idea to get this information out there (she got it from Electoral Vote Predictor 2004):
Several lawyers have contacted me about the issue of what to do if you show up to vote and the election officials say you are not registered. Here is the procedure. First, be absolutely sure you are in the correct precinct. If you are in the wrong precinct, in most states, your vote won't be counted. If you are not 100% certain of your polling place, go to and check. Alternatively, call the toll-free number 1-866-OUR-VOTE or your county clerk. If you are sure you are in the correct polling place and the officials claim you are not registered, ask for a provisional ballot and fill it out correctly. You are entitled to one by law. Politely, but firmly, insist on being given a provisional ballot.

That site and this morning's New York Times editorial page both have interesting explanations of possible scenarios if the vote is nearly too close to call, like how we could end up with a provisional President Cheney. On a quasi-related note, because I have not been having the best of weeks, I did not hear about 's Secret Service troubles until last night. This upsets me greatly, not because the Secret Service were doing their job -- I understand that once a threat has been reported, they are obligated to follow procedure to check it out -- but because someone was vindictive or spiteful or ignorant enough to report a fellow LiveJournal user for writing a mock-prayer wishing harm on the President. Don't get me wrong: I am not in favor of death threats even in jest, as I spent a great deal of time explaining to some of my British friends after the Guardian editorial incident a few days ago. But this was not even a mocking death threat; this was a vocalized wish for divine intervention, as I understand it (the post in question has been removed for obvious reasons). I know that people on the internet, whether they're anonymous or something akin to friends, can be vicious and petty and resentful, but now this girl is going to have an FBI file to follow her through life because of one such person. It makes me sick.

On a happier note, Happy Birthday ! And is doing a brief survey on fan fiction and slash if you'd like to help her out. And this is relevant to nothing, but a woman I know somewhat from an internet group has written an article on the differences between kabbalah, Kabbalah, cabala and quabalah. I know a couple of people here may share my interest in this.

Am sending love and vibes to , and for conversation and fun and reality checks, and I just want to announce to the world that my friends here are the best. Truly, I have felt so uplifted and supported and stunned at the generosity of so many people -- some people I've met in real life, some people I may never get to meet because of physical distance -- you are remarkable and wonderful and have changed the way I think about what I've been writing of late and whom I've been doing it for. I'm still having moments of thinking that one can't really trust any correspondence in this medium, but then I think of the cases where that is so evidently not true.

Sox fans: you might be interested in this story on a movie rewrite based on the assumption that Boston would not, could not win being proved wrong. And now I have to tackle the enormous amount of work that has been dumped on me before getting dressed for an afternoon of Halloween with children. No photos till tomorrow as I am sure I won't have a chance to resize them till after I get Enterprise reviewed tonight. Have a great day and if you're off for the weekend, Happy Halloween and Good Samhain!

This is the same tree pictured in this entry, third photo down, taken by the friend in front of whose house I took my photo, but at a much earlier hour when the sun was not as direct. Isn't this tree gorgeous?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Poem for Thursday

Sonnet 107
By William Shakespeare

Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
Of the wide world, dreaming on things to come,
Can yet the lease of my true love control,
Suppos'd as forfeit to a confin'd doom.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd
And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd
And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Now with the drops of this most balmy time
My love looks fresh, and Death to me subscribes,
Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme,
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes:
And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.


My pleasures yesterday consisted of eating tortilla soup plus cruising a bookstore with and , finding pink fuzzy-lined sweatpants and a pink and black fleece jacket cheap at Target, taking a long walk, munching Halloween candy early, finally sorting my kids' clothing and giving my younger son half the sweatshirts buried in the drawers of my older son (some of which still had tags, as older son tends to want to stick to the same five things over and over), bagging for charity everything less than a boys size eight, Swedish meatballs for dinner, Lionel in Clark's body, The West Wing, the Red Sox victory followed by phone calls to and from in-laws far and wide, and our neighborhood standing together in the parking lot watching this:

Last night's lunar eclipse, through a light haze of cloud cover, halfway to totality...

...and very nearly there. The moon looks a dull red when the reflected sunlight finally vanishes but I was unable to figure out how to set my camera to capture it. (Here are photos of last November's lunar eclipse.)

And since I'm spamming with news events, The Washington Post's photo of USS Constellation and Pride of Baltimore heading to Annapolis yesterday for the Constellation's celebration of her 150th birthday, the first time she has left the harbor of Baltimore since she arrived 50 years ago:

Congratulations Boston fans! Am bracing myself for the next sign of the apocalypse. *g*

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Afternoon Science Update

Regular tea drinking improves your memory and may offer clues to fighting Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists say they have uncovered the bones of a human dwarf species marooned for eons on a remote Indonesian island while modern man rapidly colonized the rest of the planet.

And, interested lunatics with appropriate light conditions for viewing, don't forget about the lunar eclipse tonight!

ETA: Bush voted year's top film villain! He beat Gollum!

Poem for Wednesday

Breaking Old Forms
By Pattiann Rogers

One way it's done is by a self-dividing
black seam showing itself across the sphere
of a cave swallow's brown-spotted pink egg,
the splintered cracking commencing,
the shell and its form falling further,
splitting into thin shards like a skim
of ice parceling over shallow mud in March.

Yet this tracery of shattering
shell itself has a form in lines
I could draw with one hand, take apart
again with the other.

Or breaking an old form
might be like lifting the naked
network of a spring sycamore explicitly
out of the field, moving it straight
into the body, creating a new union
thereby of branching bone-twigs
in the breast, an arboreal tangle
of sustenance in the blood-rooting
vesself of the breast, the old ways
of grief or joy in the breast breaking open
like the red softness of buds in April.
Even the habitual breathing
of April itself could be paced anew
by this repositioning.

Is the decrepit pattern of winter
realigned when two eagles, screeching,
feathers erect, clasp claws mid-heaven,
latch and fall, spinning together
momentarily upside down inside
a harsh, grey wind of snow?
This very question might be broken also
into pieces by the piercings of a thousand
perfectly aimed summer stars demolishing
immediately any winter drama.

If the old form of death could be fully
understood -- a form like naked claws
latching together mid-breath, a structure
of falling like furled ice closing
around the blood of a red blossom --
then someone might break death apart too
with a thousand lines aimed perfectly
at the welds of its network. Or someone
might simply shatter its structure
by lifting it carefully with one hand,
moving it, as if by love, right into the body
with the other, its decrepit habits
taken in, encompassed anew, surprised
by this endearment, coaxed to yield
to such a gentle form of union.


From Pattiann Rogers' new book, Generations. I am sure I've mentioned before that she is my favorite living poet; "Trying Magic", for instance, was one of the first poems of the day I ever posted in this journal. Generations is absolutely wonderful -- I just got it, haven't even read it all the way through -- and this poem pushed so many of my buttons today that it made me cry after I didn't think I could cry anymore.

I got only a couple of hours' sleep last night so I don't have much energy to talk about much of anything. 's HP fic "In the Turning" was my catharsis for the morning, recced by ; the pairing very nearly made me not read it, but I am so glad I did. It's pretty devastating.

I owe about a hundred comments and I have two articles to write before I get to those but I wanted to get this posted before running out -- I'm having lunch with and , because there is nothing like discussing politics and perversion in a Mexican restaurant to restore one's equilibrium. I want to say a huge thank you to various people who commented and sent notes yesterday but I particularly want to hug and . Also, the LJ Fairy visited me in the form of , who is also my source for Russell Crowe squeeing -- someone recommend me a gift for the Highlander fan who has everything. (, am counting on your help on this; will talk to you tomorrow.)

My Tarot card today from Arianna's Daily Tarot: The Hermit: Today we focus on self-reflection. Make time in your busy life to focus on you. Go within to see your motivations, decide why you are doing the things you are. It is a day to take a step backwards, slow life down to make sure you are going in the right direction. Even surrounded by people you can feel spiritually alone, take time to see the restrictions in life and face these challenges head on. Go forward seeing clearer by taking time for reflection.

A snake we saw at Washington Monument State Park, dug out of the earth by the park crew that was rebuilding the flood water diverters and left exposed long enough for us to admire it. I've never seen a snake this blue out of a zoo. Once again I must show my ignorance (I will never be Pattiann Rogers at this rate, let alone Stephen Maturin) and ask: Anyone know what kind it is?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Poem for Tuesday

A Flower Given To My Daughter
By James Joyce

Frail the white rose and frail are
Her hands that gave
Whose soul is sere and paler
Than time's wan wave.

Rosefrail and fair -- yet frailest
A wonder wild
In gentle eyes thou veilest,
My blueveined child.


I am very frustrated with The Snape Story (likely title of the whole damn thing: Animi Causa) for a whole host of reasons. But I feel like kicking it to the curb for a month to try to do NaNoWriMo is just going to make things worse: I'm going to have Snape giving me guilt, talking over the voices of my own characters, and I really want to finish the first draft of the whole damn thing while I still have a clear image of where it's going. To that end, since I was tired this week of struggling with T&C 13, I went back and worked on Initiation 6, which I will post later today (likely title: "Gamesmanship"). It's not betaed, not polished, mostly Lucius/Severus PWP, sort of there as a placeholder so I can post parts 7 and 8 and T&C 13-15 in logical procession. At that point I will be able to say that the whole damn thing is finished and just needs to be revised -- "just," I know, ha ha, but I have always been very good at revision (obsessive even, I have never gotten past chapter four on a novel because I rewrite the first parts over and over), so I know I can do it from there. I want to be able to say "I wrote (well, co-wrote) a fan novel." I am operating under the perhaps delusional belief that if I can do that, writing an original novel will not daunt me in the same way.

Yesterday...was a Monday. Did work. Did laundry. Drove carpool. Took brief diversion to put my out-of-town parents' trash cans back in their garage after the trash was picked up in the morning. Showed the kids parts of Bob Roberts relevant to the upcoming election, marveling anew at how the parts of that movie that seemed really excessive and over the top when I first saw it now seem absolutely prescient. Wish Tim Robbins would run for president on the side of the good guys (of which he is one) because he has that politician persona down pat.

Right now I am going out to lunch with , the lunch we were supposed to have for her birthday except we both had children with us. Today we don't!

The goats at Phillips farm...

...named Clark and Kent... well as turkeys and chicks...


...calves (that word looks funny! calfs? baby cows?)...

...and a bunny.

Plus a barn to keep them all in.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Poem for Monday

By E. Ethelbert Miller

after dinner
you have the habit
of curling up in
the couch
like a tube of
toothpaste all bent
funny and nice
I like to brush
after every meal


I discovered this poem in Chris King's review of Miller's newest book in yesterday's Washington Post Book World. "Contrary to the sentiment expressed in its unforgettable title, How We Sleep on the Nights We Don't Make Love is irresistibly sexy," writes King. "Miller doesn't need to disrobe to make the kind of love you find in this poem, or throughout the book, in which he sings the praise of cunnilingus. He also writes a tiny, tactful poem about fellatio and even lends a moment of erotic dignity to the seldom-sung art of petting and sweating. In 'Kiss,' his beloved's nipple wears one of his hands 'like a hat,' which makes him wonder 'what should my/ other hand wear?' It is a question put to bed by the concluding couplet: 'my fingers so wet/from your rain.'" Miller, adds King, "contends that there should always be a place in poetry for a big, soppy spot on the sheets. As a big, brutal world is momentarily put aside in favor of the warm, small space of the bedroom, the poems shrink as well -- to great effect."

Today the rain reasserted itself, but we had plans to go hiking at three state parks so we went anyway. It was actually perfect hiking weather, mid-50s at the tops of the mountains, and early on there was more mist and fog than actual sopping precipitation, but that changed late in the day, when we bailed out of hiking to the Blair Witch church from Gathland State Park and went directly to the Chinese buffet in Frederick.

We started by meeting my in-laws at High Knob at Gambrill State Park in Frederick County, which has spectacular fall color on a steep cliff overlooking the surrounding countryside...not that the surrounding countryside could be seen at all in the fog. There are several overlooks, and a stone tea room with a gorgeous balcony that we could not go on today as there was a wedding inside. From there we drove to Washington Monument State Park over the Washington County line four miles from Boonsboro, with an 1827 stone tower at the top of a hike marked by milestones from Washington's life and crossing the Appalachian Trail.

It was raining quite hard by the time we came down the mountain, so we skipped playing with the kids in the large playground there and continued on to Gathland State Park, of particular interest to 's parents who are Civil War history buffs since the southern extremity of the Battle of South Mountain was fought here. "Gath" was the pseudonym of George Alfred Townsend, a Civil War journalist who had a home here, the ruins of which can still be seen, as well as the restored War Correspondents' Arch and a walk-through tour of the battlefields. The nearest town to the Gath estate is Burkittsville, best known as the locale of The Blair Witch Project, so we drove through there but due to the pouring rain we did not stop on the way to Frederick and dinner. I know I promised animal photos but I think I am going to hold off on them for the night and post damp fall foliage instead:

View from High Knob at Gambrill over the valley. Frederick City Municipal Forest and Crampton's Gap are usually visible from here, but as you can see, visibility was not at its finest.

The tea house at the top of Catoctin Mountain. The first time I was ever at this park, someone my husband worked with had reserved the teahouse and it was very similar weather to today's, perhaps even a little colder; there was a fire in the fireplace inside and the smell of wet leaves.

The Washington Monument at Washington Monument State Park. On a clear day, you can see West Virginia and Pennsylvania from the top. This was not such a day.

Instead the view looked like this -- treetops, and then a vast whiteness where one would have expected fields, hills and forests to the horizon, as in this photo from last year.

The leaves, however, were undiminished by the fog and rain.

Here's the ruins of the Gath mansion through a line of trees. Some of the buildings on the estate have been restored, like the ones on the other side of the street which house the little Civil War museum, but not this one.

Here is the War Correspondents Arch, which is in magnificent condition -- the names of all the journalists honored on it are quite visible on the plaques. Here are photos of this from last year. who's doing NaNoWriMo? Or, more to the point, who's not doing NaNoWriMo but might be willing to read bits of an original WIP that will not necessarily appear in any sort of order?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Poem for Sunday

Letter to the Front, Part VII
By Muriel Rukeyser

To be a Jew in the twentieth century
Is to be offered a gift. If you refuse,
Wishing to be invisible, you choose
Death of the spirit, the stone insanity.
Accepting, take full life. Full agonies:
Your evening deep in labyrinthine blood
Of those who resist, fail, and resist; and God
Reduced to a hostage among hostages.

The gift is torment. Not alone the still
Torture, isolation; or torture of the flesh.
That may come also. But the accepting wish,
The whole and fertile spirit as guarantee
For every human freedom, suffering to be free,
Daring to live for the impossible.


From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in this morning's Washington Post Book World on Rukeyser, whom he describes as "one of the most engaged and engaging modern American poets." Hirsch believes that there have been few American poets "with such a deep moral compass, such a keen historical sensibility and such a committed social consciousness," making note of her self-identification as a woman, an American and a Jew and saying her way of blending the personal and the political "looks backward to Walt Whitman and forward to Grace Paley, Jane Cooper and Adrienne Rich." I reviewed her wonderful book on Puck Fair in Killorglin, County Kerry in Ireland and this reminds me of everything I loved about it.

As anticipated, we did a Borders run to get one son a Redwall book, the other son some manga, and me (with a 25% off coupon that expired today and credit from an exchanged book burning a hole in my pocket) the two-disc edition of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which has three long inserted scenes that are all Alan Rickman chewing scenery like no one has ever chewed before -- though this film is shockingly anti-pagan, extended edition even worse than the original, I expect many people to be offended as hell by it. After Borders we went to pick pumpkins at Phillips Farm, where we also got cider, went to a hay maze and walked through the petting zoo. Animal photos tomorrow (including the goats named Clark and Kent). Pumpkin pictures today.

But first I must report that has killed me. I had asked her where she found vid clips of Jason Isaacs' West Wing episodes, and she led me to The JIF Page, which has this clip from the shoot of Divorcing Jack in which Jason plays the harmonica while David Thewlis watches and giggles. Now don't expect me to write any Lucius/Remus conflict in the next few days because all Lucius and Remus want to do in my head is giggle and shag. (Also, , note this amusing blooper in which Jason gets The Snakehead stuck in Daniel Radcliffe's costume.) And I haven't even looked at the "Gaza" clips yet!

Love and adoration to and for St. Paul and vitamin C and sage respectively. Yay Red Sox! And one more *squee* to for reasons of which she is all too aware.

Phillips Farm has a hayride out to the pumpkin patch, which is actually mostly overgrown with vines at this point and appears to have had pumpkins artfully placed there in the morning so animals don't get at them at night.

Thus there is a lot of beautiful fall color on the ground, and little mud.

I love how phallic the stems are. *g*

For those who don't want to trek out to the pumpkin patch, there are large piles of pumpkins at the farm store, as well as cider, barbecue and caramel apples.

There are also a variety of other squash, plus potatoes, green peppers, gourds and the rest of the fall fare.

The corn has been harvested, but the stalks remain.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Tree Pics Owed From Photo Meme

The trees across the street from the boy with whom we carpool to and from our older son's bus stop.

The maples around the tennis courts and soccer field at my old middle school.

Here's another tree from between our house and the house of the boy we carpool with. I have told myself every day for a week to remember a camera to take a photo, and of course the day I remembered it, it was no longer drizzly but so bright that the upper part washed out.

Here are the leaves up close, green-yellow-red.

You can tell which direction is east right now from looking at the trees and the patterns of red and yellow spreading across them.