12 October 2009

08 October 2009

07 October 2009

Haunted by Willy Wonka in Reverse

Truly terrifying. The wierdest part (for me) is being almost able to understand English in reverse, which sounds like some Scandinavian language I haven't picked up yet.

06 October 2009

Haunted by a Past That Surely Can't Get Much Older Than This

They've found a mummified baby wooly mammoth, still in excellent condition -- for a dead mammoth -- even down to the mother's milk still in its stomach.

05 October 2009

Haunted by Non-Existent Past

We never actually danced like this; what would the world be like if we had?

04 October 2009

Haunted By the REEEALLY Old Past

Not that many rune stones show up in Norway these days -- the last one found was discovered in 1947 -- but there's one that turned up in a garden in Mandal, -- it's on the southern coast, the lowest tip -- one of our ancestral hometowns. Still have cousins there. Lovely place. It's in Vest Agder. It has three salmon on the coat of arms. Now I'm homesick, just thinking about it. Which is odd, since I've never lived there. Just seen the cousins, and the ruined foundations of the farmstead where my great grandmother lived...Where was I...Oh, right, rune stones. There are about 3,000 in Scandinavia. Mostly carved in honor of dead men. The one they've found is a pretty early one.

03 October 2009

Long-term Hauntings

For a very long time the main ghost that haunted me was the poetry I wasn't writing. Towards the end of the summer, though, I started writing about 3 or 4 poems a week. After classes started, my output went down -- about one a week now. Not bad, though; that's 52 a year, if this keeps up. And it's a lot more than none.

02 October 2009

Annoying Hauntings

If you're in my Horror Lit class, you're having a nice lot of ghosts to consider -- or, sometimes, maybe ghosts, as in the case of Turn of the Screw -- but generous helpful ghosts are not appearing in our texts this semester.

However, they do, apparently, exist.

And then you have to get rid of them, just as if they were the nasty sort, cause they cause terrible problems, giving all your goods away.

01 October 2009

Haunted: Day 1

The theme for NaBloPoMo this month is Haunted, and I signed up. Because, really, mostly what's haunting me is this blog. Yes, I think. Sign up to write something every day. That'll get it jump started again.

Good plan.

That's enough for now, though.

11 August 2009

Ravens and Dogs

Deeply entertwined. Who knew.

A Cento

A few days ago Paul Hoover posted "American Gestures," a poem of 100 lines, all of them taken from other poems. Delicious. I liked coming across Dante, there all of a sudden, in the middle of the dark wood.

10 August 2009

Conversation in the Back Seat

We were driving back to Albuquerque from the Grand Canyon, in a minivan with my two brothers, and my child and my brother Jim's two kids, and heard this, from the far back:

13year old girl, to 11 year old brother: Are you wearing one of my socks?
11 year old brother: I found it.
My child, 12 year old cousin: It's pink!
11 year old brother: That doesn't matter. Boys can wear pink.
13 year old girl, exasperated: That's not the point! You're wearing my sock!

Oh, right. Saturn Return.

I posted earlier today about terror, and writing, and writing anyway.

And then I worked on the blog.

And then I remembered that I had, essentially, blown up my life so that I would be ready for the second Saturn return.

And then I realized that I'm beginning to go into the second Saturn return.

Got sober for the first -- getting real for the second.

Oh, damn.

Invoking Writing

I suppose if one invokes poetry long enough one has to sit down and write.

I've been doing that for a while -- I asked Laura how long has it been? and she says sometime in late June.

I started getting up and making tea and taking it upstairs, and just writing. Every morning. Although apparently I didn't do it every monring when we were at the Grand Canyon. Fair enough. I was keeping it together.

And so now I have things I have written and am writing and am going to write -- that is, finished pieces, drafts, and notes.

And what I find is that I'm terrified. There's not even an "of what." There's just terror.

So tomorrow I will get up and do it again.

02 February 2009

The Brigid Poetry Blogathon

Officially, the poetry for Brigid (Irish goddess of smithcraft, midwifery, and poetry) is today -- my entry, for reasons explained in the entry, was posted last night, close to the time border. So either scroll down (if you're on the main page) or go here (if you came to this post specifically), and then you can read my offering to Brigid. Which this year is not written by me, but by Somebody Else.

01 February 2009

A Poem for Brigid

Oak calls again for the yearly poetry blogathon in honor of Brigid, started a while back by Reya.

And I am delighted and amused, as a priestess of Brigid, that today is also the day I signed the book over at the Sunnyhill Unitarian Universalist church. (Brigid of course is also delighted and amused.)

So my poem offering for Brigid today -- with many thanks for the interesting paths she leads me on -- is by the Unitarian poet e.e. cummings:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;
this is the birthday of life and love and wings:
and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

15 January 2009

Hmmm. How do I feel about this....Hmmm.....

Well, I don't know whether I'm saddened or amused by the news that Morris dancing is facing extinction.

Brought into England to the royal court in the late 15th century, it became a national fad, inspiring such hilarious artistic endeavors as William Kempe's "Nine Days Wonder," wherein he danced the Morris from London to Norwich in 1600. Many people danced part of the way with him. He wrote a pamphlet about it. Then he went back to being a famous actor in Shakespeare's troupe.

Even though it was originally a court dance, its faddishness in rural areas caused it to become a target of satire and jest (I like that phrase, "satire and jest"; nice to have a chance to use it), such as in Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle (first performed 1607), with its apprentice-playing-a-knight, who gives a stirring speech to his fellow Londoners whilst wearing both armor and morris dancewear.

And then it was rediscovered, and declared to be one of the ancient pagan dances of our ancient pagan peoples, in honor of the wheel of the year, or the fecundity of the crops, or whatever, and so it had a new heyday. And this lasted for a while, so you couldn't go visit any tourist sites in England without running into morris dances.

But now, alas, it's going the way of all flesh again.

Not to worry, though -- I expect it'll be resurrected in a few decades, under yet a new guise, so all those ribbons and bells won't go to waste. Keep them in the attic for your grandchildren.

14 January 2009

Bitter Cold. Let us have Gratitude for the New Furnace.

It's cold today, so cold that the dogs didn't want to stay outside. And it'll get colder over the next couple of days. Very nice to be able to come in from the dog walk and stay inside.

Luckily for us, over the past few weeks Nutwood has been visited by the heating and air conditioning guy, who has already put in a new furnace downstairs, and added duct work to two of the bedrooms on the second floor.

Because of the decades of changing uses of the house, the duct work (and the plumbing, and the electricity) is insane -- ducts going all over the place, often nowhere, heat sent to nowhere, where it stays. So this major renovation, though it doesn't make the house LOOK any better, is crucial to the health of it and its inhabitants.

Later this week, the heating guy and the contractor guy are going to start fixing up the third floor attic, with insulation and heat and even a bathroom, so that guests have a place to stay. And be warm.

On the 27th of January -- in completely unrelated news -- bloggers are exhorted to celebrate the birthday of Lewis Carroll by blogging about a reality that isn't there, on Rabbit Hole Day.

So we must all get ready to be someplace else in cyberspace.

03 January 2009

Not going to S-C-H-O-O-L

An elementary school in Sheffield has named itself "Watercliffe Meadow" -- a "place for learning," and insists that it not be called a school because the word "school" has negative connotations.


Naturally, The Campaign For Plain English is annoyed, since, except for the facts that everybody will be wearing soft shoes and there will be no school bells, the place will be in actuality what the rest of us might call a "school."

My issue with "a place for learning" is that it's not specific enough, since pretty much all that exists is a place for learning, but The Campaign For Plain is on the alert A Lot:

Among examples of confusing terminology the campaign has fought against in recent years was the widespread rebranding of lollipop ladies as "school crossing patrol officers", teachers being known as "knowledge navigators" and the emergence of the "education centre nourishment production assistant" - otherwise known as dinner ladies.
It follows efforts to rebrand libraries as "idea stores", dustmen's trucks being referred to as "provider vehicles" and a recent high-level attempt to ban the use of the word "inmates" for prisoners in case it offends them.

This week, over at the place for learning I'm working at, I'll be your knowledge navigator, if you signed up for the Pearl Poet Seminar or the Political Drama class.

(Link from Arbroath)

02 January 2009

Best News of the Year So Far

Well, you wouldn't want to burgle a house whilst Thor was occupying it, for sure.

But I'm especially happy to learn, from the picture, that Thor dresses up in tin foil.

Who knew.

01 January 2009

In which we say happy new year and contemplate a scary new resolution:

Surfing through the blogs, I find that Cynthia, who'd gotten tired of making lots of little resolutions that she can't keep (cause if she did, since they involve daily activities, she'd never get anything done but the resolutions, which in themselves would take up more than the waking hours she's got), has decided to do one big ol' honking resolution, and Blog 365 Days Straight.