15 December 2011

Time Out For Travel

I'm traveling to Trinidad with my Honey to be with our daughter, her husband and our two grandchildren for Christmas. Internet access is dial up in her Rain Forest village so my postings will be curtailed. My Honey is there for a month and I'll be there for two months training to run a half marathon in Florida before returning home. I hope to start some kind of writing project with my grands while there and I'm eager to see what ideas they may have about this. They're ages 9 and 5 and I'd like to hear any suggestions you may have.
I'm excited for it all.

One of the surprises about friends made in the blogosphere is the importance you now have in my life. I couldn't have imagined this BB (before blogging), but I cherish it now. My life is rich and full with the combination of wonderful adventures in Italy/ Europe and via my blog. I'm grateful.
Please accept my best wishes for a holiday season full of joy for you and your families.

13 December 2011

A Time I Had Magic

A Time I Had Magic

I saved a life once.
On a Nebraska Reservation
a baby was born
blue, silent.

The doctor, a stranger
to these people,
instructed: "Leave him,
he'll die."

His mother cried,
refused to hold him,
begged: "Take him

I was his nurse.
I focused on him,
massaged his feet,
stroked his chest.

Life loitered,
crept in slowly,
he breathed,
    he moved,
        turned pink.

Connected to life,
I fed it to him
     like milk.
It was that kind of magic.

This is for dVerse Poets Open Link Night hosted today by Claudia. She has some wonderful things to say about falling in love with poetry and she's a great example of really fine writing.

11 December 2011

Buried Alive

It's not like setting fire to the rain
as Adele sang when she jettisoned
her guy and friends cheered
images of mystery and catharsis
with symphony accompaniment.

It's more like being buried alive
in sand with only my head exposed
to stare alone at the sea of our love
without arms to take us where
we are meant to be.

This is in response to the visual prompt above posted at Magpie Tales.

09 December 2011

What Choice You Had

What Choice You Had

"Come to my room, help me 
choose the dress I'll be buried in.
Is it too morbid of me to ask you?"
Your first choice a fuchsia dress
silk, long sleeved, belted.
"Is it too garish for a funeral?"

You decided,
at your funeral you would wear
what you wanted,
bright color such a deliberate
counterpoint to your fading.

Final statement
by a legend of stylish dressing.
"Perfect choice, Mom."
"Guess what," you whispered, "it's a size 10!
I've always wanted to wear a size 10."

We laughed at your perverse
pleasure - loss of weight
even if it's to cancer, size 10
even if it's in your casket.

It had its intended effect.
Mourners remarked on how 
beautiful your dress was, 
how so like you.

                                                                                        Mary Harvey Warren
in loving memory of Mary McLellan Harvey

I posted this poem  two years ago for a 100 word challenge. This is its full version posted in response to Victoria Slaotto's prompt at dVerse Poets entitled Meeting the Bar: Writing Emotion.
Check out this great resource blog for poets which contains both information and prompts.

08 December 2011

Don Giovanni and Opening Night for the Opera

Kierkegaard wrote that Mozart's Don Giovanni is "a work without blemish, of uninterrupted perfection." Flaubert called Don Giovanni, along with Hamlet and the sea, "the three finest things God ever made."
Tchaikovsky always held Don Giovanni in the greatest awe and regarded Mozart as his musical god.

Last night was the opening night for the Opera House, Teatro Alla Scala in Milan and they performed Mozart's masterpiece, Don Giovanni. The orchestra was under the direction of Daniel Barenboim and I was there! In a wonderful program whereby the opera is filmed up close and personal and screened in theaters all over Italy, I was able to attend, see everything, from the stunning, sumptuous theater, the people coming in in all their beautiful finery, for example the President and the Prime Minister, the orchestra warming up and then the start of the opera with the gorgeous overture. We had incomparable seats for a fraction of the cost and close to home. What a great idea. 

The quality of the music, singing and performances were astonishing, breathtaking. I located this aria, "Lá ci darem la mano" on You Tube, between Don Giovanni (an arrogant sexually promiscuous nobleman) and one of his many conquests to give you a flavor. He's trying to tempt her and it starts: "There we'll join hands and you'll say yes". They showed subtitles in Italian so it was easier to follow the dialogue and arias. They also had interviews with the director and conductor about their vision and the opera itself at intermission. It was an incredible evening.

To top it off, my friend and neighbor, who loves opera, came with us, as did our tutor and his friend. Afterwards, rather than go out for pizza, which was the first proposal, we all went back to our tutor's house for a late but delicious dinner whipped up by his friend. It was the better way to end such a full evening- in the presence of friends, sharing good food and wine, savoring the shared experience. A perfect evening.

06 December 2011

30 - 30 - 30 - Happy Birthday, Kelly!

From my daughter's birthday on December 6 to mine on January 26 our family ages are: my father- 95, me- 65, my daughter- 35, my granddaughter- 5.

I looked up the meaning for the number 30 and found it has it's own wikipedia page and people called "thirtyophiles" who sing its intricacies and praises, most of which I don't understand. There's even a You Tube video by one of these fellows at the end of the page who goes on for six minutes about the magic of number 30. Amazing!

I just think it's very cool to have this 30 year spread between four generations of my family for these two months, even if there's no cosmic significance.

As for my daughter turning 35, now there's cosmic significance. Kelly, child of my heart, when I became a mother, I thought I was mothering her to life, but in some mysterious real way, she brought parts of me to life that never would have come forth except in response to her. Mothering her is my  favorite life role so far, although I'm crazy in love with my Honey and have great fun as grandmother to her two Dear Ones.

It has been different than I thought at every step of the way and I cherish it all. Well, after I got over myself and opened up to her as separate from me, I cherished it all. I didn't really get that it would continue my whole life, mothering, but I'm so grateful it has. I'm grateful to be Kelly's mother and I thank her for choosing me to be her mother. I admire and love her.

3 + 5 things I love about Kelly:
1. That she exhorts your two children to listen to their bodies and stop eating when they're full.
2. That she breast fed her babies on demand and trusted their wisdom to know when to stop.
3. That she chose where she wanted to live, found a way to finance going there and then followed her passion and lives there.
4. That she chose the man whom she wanted to marry, built her relationship with him, then trusted her judgement and heart and asked him to marry her.
5. That she and her husband built their own home, raise their own food, and always seek ways to strengthen their community.
6. That she knows, loves and preserves the Trinidad rain forest, encourages others to discover its treasures, and fights those who would harm it.
7. That when her son grew to hate school, she removed him and decided, after consulting with trusted friends, to home school him and her daughter.
8. (proposed by her Dad): That despite our faults and mistakes, she continues to love her parents.

Happy Birthday, Kelly!

04 December 2011

Fall Colors in Our Neighborhood

I'm struck by the beautiful colors in our neighborhood these days of extended fall. They're different than the dramatic colors of my native New England, a bit more subtle and subdued, but lovely nonetheless. Much of the color come from the leaves still on the vines after the recent grape harvest that is the source of our wonderful regional wines.

Taken yesterday on a country road down our hill:

Taken from my balcony this afternoon as the sun momentarily broke through the clouds.
Those are vineyards in the distance peppered with olive groves.
The first photo looks west and the second, south:

01 December 2011

What is Poetry?

First it's the words-
green words, ripe words to sip and smell, full
flavored on the tongue to transport,
temper, grip and affront.
Bottled up words concede,
become brainstorms. Words
presage, seethe and shudder, have affairs
with other words, grow gravid with illicit seed, bear
new words with primal screams.
Words smolder and succumb, relent and sulk.
A conspiracy concocted to break open our skull, bartered
to bare our heart, pursued on purpose, built in play to poems.

Ciphers decipher life, shape breath. Given mazes
poems make maps, an overview when view is overwhelming.
Poems elude and denude, invade minds in praise of words, never
inured to their salute. Poems specify new words, ascribe powers to them,
chant them, liken them to purple lupine, cast them on breath's wind,
fingered, picked, an incantation of words to stun and stupefy.
Poems revere words, cull words, draft and give back.
Poems stammer and ado, talk and bicker, clash and cause
a cause celebre. Haggles ensue in a hullabaloo. Some
rebut, some debunk, some quest or pester.
Poems bellow, howl, whoop and shout,
splash speech across the page, gnaw on magic.

This is posted in response to the generous prompt on dVerse Poets Pub by Gay Reiser Cannon on Form For All, Poetic Devices: Image, Symbol, Metaphor, Allegory. 
This site is a great way to learn more about poetry, crafting poems and read other poets.