Friday, December 31, 2010

poetry cups

My heart, in hiding, stirred for a bird.
gerard manly hopkins
(Now thats poetry for you)

I've been making poetry cups over Christmas. Its really because of those car trips back to Milwaukee to see my grandparents. After a group sing- a- thon of every song in the family canon my dad would lean back, settle in, and begin to recite poetry. He was fond of Carl Sandburg , Edgar Allen Poe, and Robert Service. Sometimes the words floated around the inside of the car like butterfly wings, but then when Dad started 'Chicago! Hog butcher for the world! City of the big shoulders!' I'd have to roll the window down and let those words hurtle outside and clomp off down the highway.
Sitting there and listening to dad's beautiful , animated voice, as farm houses , cornfields and masses of birds passed by, I mostly felt jubilant about the world and its possibilities. But sometimes the poems were about loss.

I shall never see you run
through the orchard anymore,
or hear the scratching of your paws
in early morning at my door.
I shall never watch your tail
saying you are glad of me,
Or know at meals your eyes are turned
Upon my plate reproachfully
I shall never see you sleep
like a ball curled in the sun
Or feel your nose pressed in my hands
Now all your dear dog days are done.
rachel field

reverse of cups

The whole world was a vast moving screen of snow
but even now it said peace;
It said remoteness,
It said cold,
It said sleep.
conrad aiken

Over Christmas I had a momentary sink-me-down, so I crept off to the bedroom and laid on the blue flowered spread and pulled out this book. I was thinking about how people I loved were either in transit, or out of touch, some under a blanket of earth covered by an inch of snow. But by the third poem an inchworm of promise began crawl inside me. I picked myself back up , combed my hair and decided to make butterballs. They are a family tradition. Along with the lopsided angel at the top of the Christmas tree, a drive around town to see the lights shine against all those pine trees, and the best one of all, poetry on car trips.
Happy New Year dear readers!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Donkey Christmas

I mean that in a good way. Donkeys play a big part at Christmas here at our house in the pines
Here is one destined for the Christmas tree
And a friend from Sweden on the mantle. A photo by the wonderful Becky at Vintage Fairy Tales. If you haven't visited her blog, you should. Its a very happy place ~

Here is a donkey clomping through suburban neighborhoods, dining on thier lush lawns.

And on the hutch with his friends, waiting for Santa.

Can you see him in the forest of pines?

After all, a donkey attended the very first Christmas.
"I" said the donkey , shaggy and brown,
"I carried His mother uphill and down,
I carried her safely to Bethlemen town,"
"I" said the donkey, shaggy and brown.
From the Christmas carol, 'The Friendly Beasts' with a little spun donkey from Russia.
Happiest of holidays from the donkeys in the pines!

Animals who garden

Animals who garden
Donkey with green paw