Tuesday, July 26, 2011

SNAPSHOTS

What's in a Name?
My daughter asked my 3 year old grandson Denver if he'd like to give his crayon drawing of a house on a hill a name and then she would write it on it and put it on the refrigerator. She was thinking, "House in the Trees" or "Denver's House". Denver said yes, he'd like to name it Steve!           
                                                                                                                     ~Mary Ann Moore

SNAPSHOTS

Generations
I asked my grandson "Is Sesame Street even still on?" He said "I think PBS still runs it -
I'm not sure. I think I quit watching it about the time Mom did."
                                                                                                                   ~ June Sanders

Sunday, July 10, 2011

SNAPSHOTS

Mollie and Me
Grandma was divorced when it wasn't the accepted thing to do. When she seemed like an old lady to me, she surprised me by getting herself a boyfriend. One day I came by and found her alone in her cafe excitedly opening a mail order parcel. She stepped back behind her big candy case that sat on the lunch counter and started wiggling into her brand new girdle. She came out, turned around, and asked me what I thought. I thought she'd lost her mind but I told her she looked real nice.
                                                                                                                     ~Mary Ann Moore

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bubble-Work


Dear Friends, reproach me not for what I do,
Nor counsel me, nor pity me; nor say
That I am wearing half my life away
For bubble-work that only fools pursue.
And if my bubbles be too small for you,
Blow bigger, then, your own: the games we play
To fill the frittered minutes of a day,
Good glasses are to read the spirit through.

And whoso reads may get him some shrewd skill;
And some unprofitable scorn resign,
To praise the very thing that he deplores;
So, friends (dear friends), remember, if you will,
The shame I win for singing is all mine,
The gold I miss for dreaming is all yours.

- Edwin Arlington Robinson

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Found Poem: Wikipedia: Maya Angelou

"She wakes at five in the morning
and checks into a hotel room,
where the staff has been instructed
to remove any pictures from the walls.
She writes on legal pads
while lying on the bed,
with only a bottle of sherry,
a deck of cards to play solitaire,
Roget's Thesaurus, and the Bible,
and leaves by the early afternoon.
She averages 10–12 pages of material a day,
which she edits down to three or four pages
in the evening. Angelou goes through
this process to "enchant" herself,
and as she has said in a 1989 interview
with the British Broadcasting Corporation,
'relive the agony, the anguish,
the Sturm und Drang.' "

Friday, January 1, 2010

Twenty-Ten


fireworks at midnite
watching from the hospital
eighth floor - cardiac
.
monitor flashes warning
rowdy crowds in street below

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Autumn

Couldn't think of any better words to express the breathless feeling today watching the breeze send showers of red and gold leaves skittering and twirling:

God’s World
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

O WORLD, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart. Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Treasure


Autumn’s gold is free to all —leaves that twirl
& swirl & fall, then lie all crunchy on the ground
and make a crackly happy sound when walked upon.
Or raked in piles and burned at dusk bring wistful smiles
when shooting sparks up toward the sky
rival the fireworks of hot July.

Then, as in fairytales, pumpkins turn to gold
creating magic memories to hold. Spicy fragrance
of muffins or pie to be remembered someday with a sigh
of nostalgia for warm tradition known and loved
without condition, save for the wish to recreate
for our own, the good times & good tastes of home.

- June Sanders (many years ago)

Does it matter whose child?

From Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke at The soaring impulse:

"One of my favourite movies is called ‘The Girl in the Cafe’. In the film, a girl describes how she was sent to jail for ‘hurting a man, who hurt a child’. After telling the story her friend asks “Whose child was it?” And the girl responds “Does it matter whose child?”

"As I watched these children clearly malnourished, showing evidence of micro and macronutrient deficiencies, without clothes, or protection, or care in an unforgiving world, I remembered those words.

“Does it matter whose child?” If we saw little feet this dirty, this wounded, this unprotected in our own house would we not fight for them?

"If we knew that there were kids next door who were dying because they needed a meal, would we deny it to them? Then why does it matter if these children live elsewhere? In another house, on another shore.

"I know how the story goes. I know that these children will die if no one helps them. Their only chance lies in someone deciding that it truly ‘doesn’t matter whose child’. Perhaps you and I, can be that someone.

Love the world into the change,
Maithri"

Please visit Dr. Maithri at http://soaringimpulse.blogspot.com/ to read more about this incredible man and the work he is doing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rumi

"With Passion pray. With Passion work. With Passion make love. With Passion eat and drink and dance and play. Why look like a dead fish in this ocean of God? " - Rumi

Sunday, September 13, 2009

On Writing

“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.
How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?”

- Vita Sackville-West

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Still more Rumi

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Rumi

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September

Sun sets a little bit earlier
Each night the moon gets pearlier
Pine nuts make squirrels act squirrelier
Teachers and students grow older
Evenings feel rarer and bolder
Mornings dawn crisper and colder
Bronze, russet, gold turns the timber
“Earth”, signs the burning leaf’s ember,
“Remember”.

- June Sanders

Monday, August 17, 2009

Old House in Bonham, Texas

Rambling two story house with
a front porch encircling it.
I wish that porch swing could talk.

Imagine the stories it could tell
of years that have passed and
people who have shared their
feelings there in that swing.

Maybe a young couple who professed
their love for each other while
holding hands and swinging gently
in the summer night.

Perhaps an older couple who lost
the spark of their love, they thought,
and then realized, sitting there, that
the sum of the whole is worth
more than any of the parts.

Or an elderly couple who are facing
eternity and have so many years between
them that time runs smoothly through
their hands and their hearts.

And that crack in the porch.. there where
you can see the ground underneath...
A tall, gangly teenager whose feet were
heavy, raced up the steps to tell his parents
he made the football team, and fell hard
onto the weathered planks, unphased,
as in life.

And that spot of paint in the corner, blue I think,
where she decided the wicker chair would look
good with a new coat of paint...
After all, with the baby coming,
there'd be less time later for such things.

Porches and swings...
they speak to me.

mary ann moore

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

more Rumi

"We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars...the stars form a circle, and in the center we dance."

.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

...and the last shall be first

You’ve seen a herd of goats
going down to the water.
The lame and dreamy goat
brings up the rear.

There are worried faces about that one.
But now they’re laughing,
because look, as they return,
that goat is leading!

There are many different kinds of knowing.
The lame goat’s kind is a branch
that traces back to the roots of presence.

Learn from the lame goat,
and lead the herd home.

Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Light of Day

After toasting and oatmealing her husband
and kissing him out the door she quickly
pens to paper the floating phrases barely
circling the edges of morning memory
re-types a few older poems scribbled almost illegibly
on old envelopes backs of bills and paper napkins
can they stand erect in back & white on a whole page
checks email morning headlines and overnight lows
compares addresses in three out-dated Poet's Markets
replaces them spine to the wall in their accustomed
position carefully carelessly placed to avoid detection
and after 22 years of withholding briefly considers submitting

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sometimes my heart

Reading this morning about a friend trying to make a tough decision reminded me of these lines I wrote many years ago:


Sometimes my heart
pulls like a tough piece of taffy;
one end stretching east toward Colorado
the other stuck tight
in San Rafael

- June Sanders

Sunday, July 26, 2009

a sort of poem about my genealogy research last week

“You'd had better have stayed home and got it yourself."
or, How I Found and Lost Daniel Boone as a Relative All in the Same Day


Slaving over a hot computer, I did my own tracking
and finally connected Jemima Boone’s husband,
Flanders Callaway to ‘our’ Callaways. Flanders
was the grand-uncle of Ralph’s Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
Ambrose Callaway of Missouri and I had the paper trail!
Then it happened, I had to read just-one-more-story:

from: Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer by John Mack Faragher
"Boone served in the North Carolina militia during a Cherokee uprising and his hunting expeditions deep into Cherokee territory beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains separated him from his wife for about two years. ... Boone was gone for so long that Rebecca assumed he was dead, and began a relationship with his brother Edward ‘Ned’, giving birth to daughter Jemima in 1762. Upon his return, the story goes, his wife reproved him saying, 'You'd had better have stayed home and got it yourself.' Boone was understanding and did not blame Rebecca."


June Sanders

Friday, July 10, 2009

Enough

An innocent question posed indirectly...
"Are you happy enough?"' was the conundrum.
What is 'happy' and what is 'happy enough'?
Chance use of a word or deliberate discernment?

*"When I walk in the rain I feel contentment.
Books keep me company; my house is warm and safe
on a stormy night; my children are my joy.
I have two or three friends with whom I'd trust my life."
*(belva plain)

So yes, I am happy. And that is 'enough', I think,
on most days and almost all nights. Count them again
when life seeps in, and drowns out all reason.
What more do we need, than warmth, and joy, and
friendship, enough to eat, shoes for our feet,
and ... unearned freedom.

-mary ann moore
(along with an excerpt from a Belva Plain book)
Being Grandma's Secretary

Grandma sat in the old lounge chair
with the stuffing falling out of the arm
looking out the raised window
facing the gravel road that led to town.
She was silent much of the time
and seemed lost in her own reverie.

And then she spoke to me -
"Mary Ann, I need to write Mr. Crank,
(he was our state representative)
and I can't see to write any more,
so would you take down what I say?"

After searching the house for her
good writing tablet with the ruled lines
and the ball point pen that wrote black,
Grandma started to dictate...

"Our gravel road here in Arkinda needs
to be black-topped because it is
awful rough and dusty, and what
with election coming up, it'd probably
be a good thing for you to do now.
I know folks would appreciate it."

Grandma was a bit of a politician herself.

-mary ann moore

from Through the Looking Glass

I am real!' said Alice and began to cry.

`You won't make yourself a bit realler by crying,' Tweedledee remarked: `there's nothing to cry about.'

`If I wasn't real,' Alice said -- half-laughing though her tears, it all seemed so ridiculous -- `I shouldn't be able to cry.'

`I hope you don't suppose those are real tears?' Tweedledum interrupted in a tone of great contempt.

`I know they're talking nonsense,' Alice thought to herself: `and it's foolish to cry about it.' So she brushed away her tears, and went on as cheerfully as she could. `At any rate I'd better be getting out of the wood, for really it's coming on very dark. Do you think it's going to rain?'

Tweedledum spread a large umbrella over himself and his brother, and looked up into it. `No, I don't think it is,' he said: `at least -- not under here. Nohow.'
- Lewis Carroll

My sister, LaJuana Jean

SUMMER 1954
Life is good when it is magical and musical.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Wind in the Willows

"One does not argue about The Wind in the Willows. The young man gives it to the girl with whom he is in love, and, if she does not like it, asks her to return his letters. The older man tries it on his nephew, and alters his will accordingly. The book is a test of character. We can't criticize it, because it is criticizing us. But I must give you one word of warning. When you sit down to it, don't be so ridiculous as to suppose that you are sitting in judgment on my taste, or on the art of Kenneth Grahame. You are merely sitting in judgment on yourself. You may be worthy: I don't know, But it is you who are on trial."

- A.A. Milne

ARK 1952



ARK. 1952

On an ancient treadle Singer
my dad sewed for my brother and me,
from a piece of his worn out cotton-sack,
water wings. And we learned how to fly.

- June Crawford Sanders

The Pillars of Eagle Castle



The Pillars of Eagle Castle
Credit & Copyright: Emanuele Colognato & Jim Wood (Backyard Skies)
Explanation: What lights up this castle of star formation? The familiar Eagle Nebula glows bright in many colors at once. The above image is a composite of three of these glowing gas colors. Pillars of dark dust nicely outline some of the denser towers of star formation. Energetic light from young massive stars causes the gas to glow and effectively boils away part of the dust and gas from its birth pillar. Many of these stars will explode after several million years, returning most of their elements back to the nebula which formed them. This process is forming an open cluster of stars known as M16.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What?

What! No star, and you are going out to sea?
Marching, and you have no music?
Traveling, and you have no book?
What! No love, and you are going out to live?

- French Proverb

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cousins Kaley and Kalin

The greatest poem ever known
is one all poets have outgrown:
The poetry, innate, untold
of being only four years old.

Still young enough to be a part
of Nature's great impulsive heart,
Born comrade of bird, beast and tree
And unselfconscious as the bee--

And yet with lovely reason skilled
Each day new paradise to build
Elate explorer of each sense,
Without dismay, without pretense!

In your unstained transparent eyes
There is no conscience, no surprise:
Life's queer conundrums you accept,
Your strange Divinity still kept...

And life that sets all things in rhyme,
May make you poet, too, in time--
But there were days, O tender elf,
When you were Poetry itself!

-Christopher Morley

Monday, July 6, 2009

BURIED TREASURE

Somewhere in the back yard where the log cabin used to stand
are some multi-colored marbles in a Folgers coffee can.
"Our buried treasure," my brother said.
"We'll dig them up in a week or so. We'll draw a map
to mark the spot and no one else will know."
But summer days and firefly nights occupied our minds,
and we soon forgot our treasure there beneath the pines.
We discovered ourselves a "jungle", an overgrown vacant lot
with grapevines just right for swinging tree to tree,
as we acted out the latest Tarzan movie plot.

Wish I could find those marbles.
Wish they hadn't cleared that land.
Wish me back to then.

-mary ann moore

Bill, June, and Rocky

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bill and me

Several years ago, Mary Ann wrote about her and her brother, Cleo - a list of memories. She asked about me and my brother, Bill, when we were little, so I decided to have a go:

                             Bill and Me

1948 we lived in Hooks, Texas. I remember Daddy
taking me to the hospital and holding me up to look
thru the glass at my baby brother just after he was born.
I was three. And a half. Then we got to go see Mother
and I remember her lying in a narrow cot under a window
and she said she hadn't got to see him yet. I felt sad
because we saw him before she did. Later, I remember
climbing into his crib and 'sharing' his bottle; Mother,
who was working at Lone Star, remembered crying
when she got home and the aunt who was babysitting us
told her that she spanked me for it.

In '49 we moved to Arkansas. Beside the house
under shade trees we placed boards across stumps for
a counter and played store for hours and hours.
With cowboy hats, cap guns and stick horses we were
'Dan & Judy' from the B-Bar-B Ranch of a half-hour
children's radio show. Later when we got television,
together we watched after-school kids' shows -
Roy Rogers, Howdy Doody, Mickey Mouse Club,
lying in the floor with pillows in front of the tv that Daddy
brought home one Saturday morning in 1955 or '56
because he watched Captain Kangaroo in a store window
in town and just knew his kids would love that show.

I caught Bill's pet squirrel for him when it unlatched the cage
door and escaped, got my arms scratched bloody up and down.
In the gravel pit across the road, wearing waterwings
that Daddy sewed from a piece of his worn-out cotton sack
on the old treadle Singer, we learned how to swim, With a bar
of floating Ivory soap we had the world's largest bath tub
in the summer and didn't have to carry water for baths.
I learned to play piano with Bill sitting beside me on the bench
playing the other end; Mother thought it had keys enough
for both of us and sure enough, it did.

With our older sister LaJuana Jean and neighbor kids -
Ruth and her brothers and a few others - we lined out bases
in a pasture back behind our house and played baseball
all one summer. He was 13 when I got married; I was 16.
And a half.
                                        
                                            - June Crawford Sanders

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Candle Burning Softly

Rode a dark horse through the night,
saw a lady standing in the light
of a candle burning softly.

Stopped and asked her if she had a need
of a man like me
who could work from dawn to night
for a roof and a candle light...
shining softly through a window.
Promising something I'm not sure of.
Couldn't ask her what I wanted,
Maybe later when I know her.

Maybe later...
when she calls me by my first name
and has touched my hand
in passing food across the table.
Maybe later...
when she knows I'm not insane
and fell in love with her
the first night that I saw her
standing in the light of a candle
burning softly through a window.

...promising something I'm not sure of.
Couldn't ask her what I wanted,
maybe later when I know her...

Like I know her now,
sleeping with her arms around me,
with our baby by her side,
with his baby eyes a-staring wide awake
and mystified by the softly shaded shadow
making pictures on the wall
behind the candle that is burning
softly through our window.

mary ann moore

Quote from "But Is It Poetry?"

A child dances before he knows there is anything that isn’t music.
-author unknown

Tumbleweed Ballad




She wrote about the shimmering stars
So high in the western sky
Her words spoke of beauty and never of need,
Rolling, blowing, pushed on by the wind
And tied to a tumbleweed.

A cowboy stopped by the bar one night
For a drink to cut the dust of the trail
He mentioned the curious message he'd found
And was this how the people here got all their mail?

He wouldn't disclose what the paper said
The words to his heart he had taken
They danced and they sang all around in his head
At night as he lay on his bed:

“The sweet trilling song of the meadowlark
lifts my heart to the sky when I hear.
His golden feathers hold the warmth of the sun
In silence I can sometimes draw near."


The cowboy rode on always doing his job
Never slacking, but sometimes a song
Came unbidden to his lips and he whistled or hummed -
And he carefully looked round him as he rode along.

Hoping he'd find one more ribbon
Wound round a letter and already his heart
His partner wondered why he looked so intent
Whenever they'd hear the song of a lark.

One day while riding up near the north ridge
In search of a lost little stray
Something bright fluttered in a pile of brush
His heart rejoiced that he'd come this way

A thin velvet ribbon the color of a jay
And the sometimes blue of the sky
Bound her thoughts to the orb that carried it here
Where the cowboy now saw it lie

“Aspen, oak and willow -
Their leaves are all turning gold
A touch of Autumn so strong in the air -
more feeling than one heart can hold”


“The dance of the sunlight on water
A rainbow hugging the sky
Moonlight and starshine light up the night
As the wind sings a lullaby.”


Riding a few miles on westward
They stopped at a small cabin to ask
If everything needed for winter was stored
And a lady, unknown to them, opened the door

She invited the riders to come on inside
Tea and lunch she would fix for their pleasure
When the cowboy saw - near a box of writing paper -
Curls of ribbon, he knew he'd found treasure

She explained to the cowboys just how she'd arrived
Many stories she told and complaints not the least;
But the friends who came with her on this westward trek
Had decided to all go back east

“The mountains around hold my spirit so tight
The river, the meadows, the stars every night
I cannot ride away and leave my heart in this valley
I want to stay here for the rest of my life."


That moment he knew that he loved her
Her eyes said that she felt it too
He vowed he'd return when his fall work was done
He'd follow the ribbon of blue.

Now she writes about the eternal stars
Hanging low in the western sky
Her words speak of beauty and never of need,
Rolling, blowing, pushed on by the wind
And tied to a tumbleweed.

-June Sanders

DO RE MI

Returning home I count
eight does and fawns moving
single-file across the yard,

the little ones kicking up their heels
leaping imaginary fences

- June Sanders

Gone: lost poems and...

I
the words you swallow on purpose
rather than choke on;
and the word you swallow accidentally -
because 'it was right on the tip of my tongue'
- june sanders

II
That one you wrote on a napkin
driving down I-30, one hand on
the wheel, because the words,
remembered, never align again.
- Mary Ann Moore

Priorities

"Never make any problem more important than someone you love."

Friday, July 3, 2009

One Summer Time

"One summer time" was how O'Shea started his tall tales at around age three. Apparently that was how he heard, or remembered, "Once Upon A Time".

I don't remember eating grass, but I did have a stick horse.

The Centaur

The summer that I was ten—
Can it be there was only one
summer that I was ten? It must

have been a long one then—
each day I’d go out to choose
a fresh horse from my stable

which was a willow grove
down by the old canal.
I’d go on my two bare feet.

But when, with my brother’s jack-knife,
I had cut me a long limber horse
with a good thick knob for a head,

and peeled him slick and clean
except a few leaves for the tail,
and cinched my brother’s belt

around his head for a rein,
I’d straddle and canter him fast
up the grass bank to the path,

trot along in the lovely dust
that talcumed over his hoofs,
hiding my toes, and turning

his feet to swift half-moons.
The willow knob with the strap
jouncing between my thighs

was the pommel and yet the poll
of my nickering pony’s head.
My head and my neck were mine,

yet they were shaped like a horse.
My hair flopped to the side
like the mane of a horse in the wind.

My forelock swung in my eyes,
my neck arched and I snorted.
I shied and skittered and reared,

stopped and raised my knees,
pawed at the ground and quivered.
My teeth bared as we wheeled

and swished through the dust again.
I was the horse and the rider,
and the leather I slapped to his rump

spanked my own behind.
Doubled, my two hoofs beat
a gallop along the bank,

the wind twanged my mane,
my mouth squared to the bit.
And yet I sat on my steed

quiet, negligent riding,
my toes standing the stirrups,
my thighs hugging his ribs.

At a walk we drew up at the porch.
I tethered him to a paling.
Dismounting, I smoothed my skirt

and entered the dusky hall.
My feet on the clean linoleum
left ghostly toes in the hall.

Where have you been? said my mother.
Been riding, I said from the sink,
and filled me a glass of water.

What’s that in your pocket? she said.
Just my knife. It weighed my pocket
and stretched my dress awry.

Go tie back your hair, said my mother
and Why is your mouth all green?
Rob Roy, he pulled some clover
as we crossed the field, I told her.

- May Swenson

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jennifer, Kim, Tiffany, Kristy

Quintessence

I asked the Lord to give me love
to last my whole life through.
He blessed me good, more than He should -
He gave me daughters. Not one but two.

Kim was born when I was young
and she scared me half to death.
I tried so hard to do it right...
Watched her every breath.

Read the books that told you how
to raise a happy, healthy child.
How to raise her intellect
and how to make her smile.
We spent so many hours,
the two of us alone.
I talked to her about the world
and watched her body grow.

When Kim was four and l/2 years
we shared with her a gift to last her life.
A sister named Kristy, soon to be her shadow,
looking up at her in pictures
"So I'd know if I should smile."

Kristy Jo, second child...
"Daddy, put me on your shoulders."
"Mommy, don't turn out the light."
Impetuous and full of dare...
Big Wheels rolling down the street,
or feet too fast to stay aflight,
tumbling down the stairs!

How did those years go speeding by
Like a kaleidoscope of colors?
Christmas pictures and birthday videos
will keep them in our minds.
But why did it go so fast?
I wasn't ready for babies to grow
into women,
lovely women,
living their own lives.
But then again, I wouldn't change
one year, one day, one moment.
It was short, but it was right.

- mary ann


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Growing Older

Awake, alert, morning light
Let me tell you about my night!
Saw the clock strike 2:00, 3:00 then 5:00
The Sandman and the alarm collide!
All those years of waking early
Off to work, hurly burly
Now there's time to lay in bed
Contemplate the day ahead.
Instead my eyes are open wide
As I toss the quilts aside.
Up and at 'em, bright and early,
Like a squirrel, scurry, scurry.
Crazy woman, where's your mind?
Slow it down, take your time.
Smell the roses, make the toast.
Life's a party. You're the host!
Ten o'clock, evening news
On the couch, off my shoes.
I hear Jay droning on -
Eyes a'flutter... guess I'm gone.

-mary ann

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Little Brother

I learned to play piano with Bill beside me
on the bench 'playing' the other end;
Mother thought it had keys enough
for both of us and sure enough, it did.

- June Crawford Sanders

Grandpa Worked in Timber

and came home sweaty and dirty
and tired. He'd sit in the straight-backed
chair and remove his work boots and
say to Grandma, "I'm goin' to the pool,"
and off he would go to the stock pond
on the lower end of the property.
He'd take a bar of soap and a towel
and dive off the homemade diving board
into the somewhat muddy water and
splash about until he was ready for supper.
Supper was usually pinto beans and cornbread,
maybe fried ham or fried okra and
sweet milk from the dairy cow who drank
from the stock pond Grandpa swam in.
After supper we'd turn on the radio to
listen to the "stories" until bedtime which
usually came around dark. I'd drift off to
sleep listening to "My Little Margie" or
"The Shadow" or "Our Miss Brooks".
Grandpa would rise early, harness up
Bill and Bob and drive his wagon back
to the woods for another long, hard day
of cutting timber in the hot Arkansas sun.
One day when he was bringing his team
home from his workplace without the wagon
I got to ride Bill bareback, my skinny legs
barely reaching across his wide back,
holding on for dear life, although Bill,
after a hard day's work, wasn't interested
in a gallop, at least until he got close
enough to sense home and feeding time
around the bend in the dusty gravel road.
If Grandpa didn't listen to his stories at
night, he read a western novel or from
the Bible until bedtime. We slept with
the doors wide open, windows up, no
air conditioning, only the sound of the
little rotating fan whirling away next
to their bed. The country smells of
grass and the big magnolia tree in the
front yard and dust after a rain would
seep through the torn window screen
and lull me into the best kind of sleep,
expecting no more from tomorrow than
today, the slow and steady uneventful
drone of summer in rural Arkansas.

-mary ann

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sundown in black and white


"All that is gold does not glitter; not all who wander are lost."
-J. R. R. Tolkien

FAIRY TALES

Invitation

Playing, sporting, spinning circles
Setting sail on Autumn leaves
Hear the tiny fairy folk
Catch their laughter in the breeze

Hear the chime of crystal voices
Singing songs of white moonbeams
Melodies on the wind drift by me
Stirring half-remembered dreams

"Come and follow", call the wee ones
"Lay your mortal cares aside
Love and Music are our past-times
No sadness here, what e'er betide"

- June Crawford Sanders


Underneath the Oak

Tiny elves and little men
I plainly see where they have been
They've dropped their acorn caps
While lost in play
And not come back for them today

I tiptoe all around the yard
To find them shouldn't be too hard
Tho I understand they're small in girth
I see more evidence of mirth
A forgotten marble in the earth

Mirrors a small round sparkly stone
Lying nearby. I hear a tone
Of miniature chime, a tiny bell
Provides a clue I know full well
It rings a clear and beckoning knell

Listening hard, I try to follow
The sound, it leads me to the hollow
Moss-filled opening beneath the oak
Peeking inside, I find fairy folk
Laughing as if they've played a joke

On me, I think, the joke's on me.
Wondering if I see what I think I see
I'm much too big to go inside
Even with an elfman for a guide
Unable to stem the foolish tide

Of tears moist upon my cheek
(Are all so near —the dreams we seek?)
Delighting in their simple life
Knowing naught of human strife
They dance and sing, play drum and fife

And always pleasure find in beauty
They work each day but not from duty
Love and happiness directs their day
While only the piper at dawn they pay
Singing as robin, lark, or jay

-June Crawford Sanders



Fairy Favors

Butterfly, Dragonfly,
Firefly, or Fairy
on iridescent wings
of magic you carry
the wonder of mortals
bound by gravity and fear
with you on your flights
thru the atmosphere.
Into the blue, the twinkly sky
riding sunrays in daytime
starshine at night
our smiles soar with you
on your happy flight.
Fly free and fly strong
drink deeply the dew,
sweet nectar of flowers
is life for you.
Broad leaves of the trees
your shelter provide
your small beating heart
in safety abide.
If I make for your pleasure
of a branch from the tree
a wee cottage filled with treasure
that might be useful for thee,
would you grace with your presence
the small rustic home
and invite to live with you
an elf, or a gnome?
I'll make space for two
or even for three
as dainty a dwelling
as you'll ever see.
If you should choose to visit
this tiny abode,
will you leave me a message
somewhere along my road?

- June Crawford Sanders

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

FOUND POETRY

Just in case someone hasn't encountered it yet, 'found poetry' in a nutshell is words found in non-poetic sources, and seen by you (the eye of the beholder, right?) as poetry, and re-written as a poem by adding appropriate line breaks, etc. Here's wikipedia's explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Found_poetry
Just a word of warning - it's addictive. (Sometimes they even hide on cereal boxes and other equally mundane prosaic sources.)
Title, line breaks, arrangements are our own. Words or sentences may be omitted, none can be added.



Found Poem:
SWEET MEMORIES

"Larry has been cleaning out the garage
and he has four or five of my mops lined up
on the patio for me to tell him which ones
he can throw out and every time I look at them,
I think of stick horses and it makes me smile."

- found by june in a letter from mary ann


Found Poem:
BRING ON THE CATECHINS!

Japanese researchers recently noted that
adding catechin-rich green tea to the daily
diet mildly boosted weight loss efforts...

Catechins - a type of antioxidant -
also are purported to provide
heart-health benefits.

Other sources of catechins include
grapes, wine, chocolate, berries, and apples.

- june sanders, - from Prevention.com


Found Poem:
DANCE LIKE NOBODY'S WATCHING

Many honeybees
live through the cold season.
They cluster tightly

in their hives, and a few bees
at the center of the cluster
perform energetic dances

that release enough heat
to keep the rest alive.

- june sanders
- from The Life of the Forest, Science Book


Watery Wednesday: Pacific reflections

Pacific Ocean near Eureka, CA May '08
Click here to see incredibly awesome water shots
from around the world or to add your own.
Ebb and Flow

A decision made not to feel the pain
that washes in like the tide,
sweeping clean the in-between
while leaving trash along the shore.
Instead to walk barefoot
the sandy beach,
looking far as eye can see,
trusting in the possibilities
of ships that may or may not reach
our friendly port.
Analogies for reaching out and holding in,
for finding agates in the sand.
Tossing waves and fears aside
and living life as best we can.

-mary ann
View From an Arkansas Road

How much room does God need to spread his love around?
A tiny, white-washed chapel sitting on a naked piece of ground.
A two-room country churchhouse with a steeple rising to the Lord,
where folks meet on Sunday to sing and read the Word.
They stay well past the noon hour and sing out each request
from the tiny congregation dressed in Sunday best.
Then they linger on the front porch and laugh and talk awhile.
An old man tells a story with a toothless smile.
In the corner of the porchway, with his eyes squinting at the sun,
a father talks about his crops and when the rain will come.
How much room does God need to spread his love around?
A tiny, white-washed chapel sitting on a naked piece of ground.

-mary ann
"Easy, Like Sunday Morning" *
in the Texas Hill Country


Bluebonnets tug at the toes of spikey cactus,
rising and spreading under a gnarled mesquite tree.
Cattle graze the fenceless roadway within shouting
distance of the mighty Colorado River Dam.
A paint-peeled, torn-screened fishing cabin
sits three houses down from a two-story white
stucco windows-to-the lake mansion. As much
of a contrast as the soft bluebonnets and hardy
cactus living in perfect harmony in the hill country
earth. My mind loves the incongruity of it all!
*lionel richey

-mary ann

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Our First Follower, and Our Bio

Hey, Mary Ann, we have a follower! Hi, Becky, I hope you don't get lonely. We appreciate you stopping by and checking on us occasionally.

A bit of background on us: Mary Ann and I have been friends since third grade in a small SE Arkansas town, about 8 miles from the Oklahoma line and 20 miles from Texas. (Actually, the home town of Tracy Lawrence.) We lost touch not long after h.s.graduation in '62 but reconnected in the late '70s and have been having a ball first on snail mail, then email ever since, discovering that we both like to dabble in all kinds of wordplay. She's in TX and I'm in CA now. If Mary Ann ever posts a picture of herself (and if she doesn't, I will) you can see how obvious her Willie Nelson blood is. They are double-cousins, related on the maternal and paternal sides. She blames her writing on the genetics.

Before I say enough to embarrass her - and she decides to reciprocate - I'll stop. We decided a blog might be a good place for us to share some of the stuff we've jotted down over the past decade or two, as well as  poems and quotes we like from others, and to hopefully get inspired for something new.

The Light Fantastic

“In Cameroon”, Trina Schart said,
“silica in the air appears like glitter,
causing everything to reverberate
with color and light.” One sub-zero day
in Rock Springs Wyoming we watched
shimmering ice crystals suspended
in mid-air as far as we could see.
Here in the Sierras on cold clear days
sunlight filters thru snowdrifts emerging
in shadows not dark, but ice-blue,
and at night, lantern, carlight, or
moonlight can set the snow sparkling
like pave' diamonds or druzy quartz.

- June Crawford Sanders

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fantasy Homes

As mentioned in the first post, Mary Ann and I often write on the same theme, usually on purpose, sometimes eerily coincidentally. This is a little writing exercise thing we did after she sent these starter lines:

I'd love to live in a round house with blue windows
in the top branches of a liquid amber tree.
- from Poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge



What fun it would be to live in a tree house
on a bluff overlooking the Pacific ocean. I'd slide
down the slide I use for the exit, and be first
on the beach in the morning to find glass floats, jade,
agates and ocean treasure. I'd build sand castles
and forts with driftwood, campfires to keep me warm
and to cook on, and I'll take naps in the sand.
When I tire of the beach, I'd vacation inland.

- June


I'd love to live in a two-story Victorian house
with a wrap-around porch sitting somewhere
green with soil so rich all I have to do is plant
and everything pops up like a flower garden
out of a magician's hat. My yard is full of
flowering, sweet smelling shrubs and vines
that climb everywhere. There are two happy
dogs and cats on the porch and a couple inside.
My kids and grandkids live within hollering distance,
of course. I have extra bedrooms upstairs
for my visiting nephews and nieces and
my house is always full!

- mary ann

Half-way Between Sunset and Paradise

I.

Little town, across the tracks
winding roads, don't look back.
Battered pickup, friendly wave
Dog rides shotgun, limerock cave.
Swimming hole, Stallion Ford.
Summertime, never bored.

Years go by, theater's gone
Saturday matinee, second home.
Double features for a dime
High school crush sits behind.

Four-way stop, no traffic light
Blink.. it's gone, in the night.
Still it's home, feels so right
Half-way between sunset and paradise.

- Mary Ann

Half-way Between Sunset and Paradise

II.
The Move: Chico Texas 1972

Diving into the Denton motel swimming pool in February,
Blake, ten, broke thru the thin sheet of ice and swam
all the way to the other side. Mark started first grade
and after a few days the teacher called to ask
if by chance he watched Three Stooges cartoons —
I said yes, she said that’s what I thought.
The boys found petrified wood behind the house,
neighbor Melvin pushed Mark off a cliff,
Blake, just three years older, carried him unconscious
all the way home. Summer hail so big it broke the window
Michele and Donna were standing near, watching the storm
Halfway between Sunset, and Paradise, Texas.

June Sanders

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

On the Continental Divide, Yellowstone National Park

Whatsoever things are lovely...

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
think on these things.

- Philippians 4:8

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy June

Happy first day of June to us. It's Mary Ann's turn to post something - I don't want to monopolize - but I couldn't let this day go by without a post in case she gets too busy today.

Here's a favorite quote from astronomer Carl Sagan:
We are made of star stuff!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Laughter

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.
- Jean Houston

Saturday, May 30, 2009

and Birdsong

Western Tanager in Oak in Backyard

"Everything glistens and everything sings"

Looking outside at the wet shiny leaves on the oaks and the sparkling drops hanging from the pine needles after our week of rain - a phrase came to mind "Everything glistens and everything sings" sending me to google to find the source. I would never have remembered, but found it in a Zolotow children's poem:

The Spring Wind

The summer wind
is soft and sweet
the winter wind is strong
the autumn wind is mischievous
and sweeps the leaves along.

The wind I love the best
comes gently after rain
smelling of spring and growing things
brushing the world with feathery wings
while everything glistens,
and everything sings
in the spring wind
after the rain.

~ Charlotte Zolotow

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things--
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise Him.

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1877

Poem

It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;
Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,

But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep,
Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.

--Sarah Teasdale

Bill's Aquarium

Journey:

Toward destinations known and unknown in the new
freedom of the 70s our volkswagen squareback
traded later for a bus held us all six of us a dream weaving
across the road mapped by rand-mcnally and hi-lighted
by dairy queens cool streams and a yellow marker. West
to california disneyland the magic kingdom one magic day
on almost the last tank north to camp in the trees find work
then continue on our way out west where never is heard
but not so often and the wind blows free and so did we.
Rescuing a raft at ruby beach the Children sailed the inlet
in search of adventure thru sunny days tented nights campfires
and stars keeping watch over us all six of us dream weaving.

~june sanders


Journey: II

We were four against the world

and four for each other,
Mom, Dad, me and Cleo, my brother.
Daddy joked and laughed most days
and on others he fought his demons.
And Momma wrapped her arms around us.
The old blue Mercury loaded to the hilt -
we drove it through the radio nighttime
with dreams of better days and better pay
on a borrowed tank of gas all the way to Amarillo.
Aunt Hazel said we could stay with her
till Daddy got a week's work done.
Her husband didn't like that much
but Hazel told him not to worry -
Daddy already had a job lined up.
Two months in Texas was quite enough
so we loaded the Mercury right back up.
Still four against the world,
and four for each other.
Dad and Cleo and me and Mother.

-mary ann moore

Why?

children
when they ask you
why is your mama so funny
say
she is a poet
she don't have no sense

- Lucille Clifton

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Read my mind

Celebrating the sparkling wonderment and bedazzled beauty of light, color, variety, personalities, originality, life, and love that twinkles and shines and dares to exist inside or outside the box.
Come play with us.
June