Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tears Falling

The city is settling into summer. Clover is on every lawn, and the night sounds of music, flung from car windows rattles the walls of my apartment. Max and I walk slower, during the day, now. There is no icy wind to push us. The cats stretch on the kitchen floor tile, and deeply inhale of the world outside the door.

I suppose birds love basil. My basil plant has been raided overnight, leaving some of its body, stem and leaf, on the deck. There are blood red impatiens and white begonias out there, too. But they are untouched.

Maya Angelou has gone where all good poets go, straight to the side of God, to whisper in his ear.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Local Colors

It is becoming hot again, after a lovely week of cool mountain air. Max pants on his morning walk, and the unicorn meat eating cats are lethargic. My apartment stays cool until about 3 in the afternoon, and then heats up.

I burn sandalwood incense in the kitchen, just because I love the scent. Nothing is on tv, but I do morning reading from BBC and CNN. Not that I think that CNN is dispensing news, but I like to catch up on the latest trends...

I have borrowed the film: 12 Years A Slave.  I can't find anyone to watch it with me, despite the rave reviews. So I will watch it alone. And despite only being on Season 2 so far, I can keep up with Game of Thrones in its 4th season on HBO. A minimum of characters have survived the Red Wedding, so that I can keep up. Thank God Jeoffrey is dead!

The man I love is suffering the same side effect of Lamictal that I did: horrible loss of memory. What is the point of striving to have a good life if you can't remember it?

The last poetry reading of the year at Liminal is over, and the Local Colors festival was fantastic, although I didn't see anyone I knew, except Pearl Fu, who is retiring this year. Local Colors is Roanoke's celebration of residents who are immigrants to this country, or descended from immigrants. Pearl, who is a local realtor, has been involved in some way, with this festival, since 1995. On this, her last year, she wore traditional Chinese dress, and was pulled in a gold 'rickshaw' to the stage.

Of course, there were too many delicacies from too many countries to try, so I settled for chicken tikki marsala, the national dish of India, and one of my all-time favorite foods. But it meant that I had to pass on baklava, Bavarian creme cake, baba ganoush, dim sum, corn dogs, and a host of foods, too many to count, which gave the festival a delicious air.

A friend donated a "new" sofa to me, and the animals and I enjoy it very much. Believe it or not, it's a Ralph Lauren sofa, beige with red flowers. Unfortunately, it's stuffed with geese down. Which means the cushions will never collapse as the 'fill' deteriorates, but it did cause excruciating pain to some geese. I try not to think about it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


There are storms coming, the Weather Channel says. We have strange clouds overhead in the afternoons. Max, the dog, pants and lies on the cool, wood floor of the apartment. The cats fight over me in the mornings. They long to shed their fur under my hand. The water bowls are filled daily with the fresh, clean water that cats and dogs love. Me, too, for that matter.

I never give an animal water that I wouldn't want to drink, myself.

Everything is good in my world: I love and am loved; my companion animals are happy; the weather, though hot, is much more fun than in the Winter. The small Summer flowers continue to bloom, and now leaves twirl in the breeze overhead.

Grass is always cool to the foot.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


One by one, my friends are released from's Summer. Some will continue to teach in shortened Summer semesters, but some will not.

It's gotten hot too quickly for this valley in the mountains. The very early morning is quite cool, though. And of course, it is always cool under the trees.

It's time to eat collations of cucumbers and tomatoes and pasta and mayonnaise. It's time for coleslaw and potato salad and cold ham or hot burgers. Time for feta in my spinach salad, with strawberries and walnuts. It's time to gather by the river to eat.

When I was a teenager, and we had no air conditioner, Mom and Dad would pile my brother and I into our old car and head for a spot on Riverland Road. There was a place to park there, and we would all jump into the Roanoke River after a long, Summer's day, until the river washed the memory of the day's sweat from us.

My Grandfather, Papa, was the first relative to have "central air." It was not a small accomplishment for early '70's Raleigh, North Carolina. And I relished it. He always had central air after that house. I think something in the memory of working in the fields in rural Raleigh, and his World War II service in Persia, made sleeping in cool air the ultimate experience for him.

And I am old enough to remember when the old A & P grocery store in my hometown had the doors flung open to the breeze. You had to go to the drugstore next door, to step into air conditioning. And in the old, old cigar and candy store, the sap would run down the walls in the summer...

Monday, May 12, 2014


A friend sent me the Seals & Crofts song this morning, "Hummingbird", which fits the day. Here is the link:

The lilac and azalea have gone, but the iris and peony are blooming. I got Mother's Day presents from the cats and Max, some oven mitts and towels with, what else, puppies and kitties on them. I also got a potted plant, a vinca with pink hang on the deck.

I spend my days now, wandering the fields near the house of the man I love, who loves me. I let Max go where he pleases, which usually means near a tree: he wants a squirrel of his own. This suits me: I love trees. I feel a spark when I step on a tree root that seems to connect me to the ground, up into the sky. I become the tree.

I prefer to be a Crepe Myrtle, but squirrels don't consider them to be a tree. Their skin suits me, for some reason. But their blooms curl just as my hair does, and the dark green leaf speaks to something elemental in me.

The grass is cool and wet in the morning, and the grasses blow where it isn't mowed. Every leaf twirls on its own, and the shade is cool.

"O Hummingbird, Mankind was waiting
for you to come flying along.
Heavenly songbird we were so wrong.
We harmed you, Oh Hummingbird.
Lift us up to a heaven of holiness
Oh, source of our being. "

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


It's getting hot here, and Max loves air conditioning. My old apartment doesn't have one; I haven't lived without central air since 1976. So a friend is giving me a 'window unit' so I can cool my bedroom and living room.

The man who loves me got heat stroke yesterday, giving out fliers at the polls, for the Roanoke City elections. He is better today...

The lilacs are leaving, but the iris have just begun. You know me, I have to have a garden to play in, and the apartment has no yard. So I have adopted the yard of the man I love, to play in. He isn't sure about my plans, but loves my passion for it. His yard is shaded by a large pine tree, with evergreens and pink azaleas and purple and white violets.

Of course, I will have plants in pots for the apartment: geraniums, zinnia and some tomato plants. 

The unicorn meat eating cats are angry at not being able to go outside. Georgia has taken to biting to show her displeasure.

Summer is here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rain Magic

The sky is dark today, but I love rain, so I will not complain. Max is adjusting to his new medication for seizures: phenobarbital. It makes him goofy and drooly. The cats don't notice a thing; he is a dog, after all.

All over the neighborhood that I walk, people race to cut the first grass of the year. I love to mow grass. It's the scent of the fresh cut that I love. To mow in the soft light of a late summer evening is an experience like no other in this world. And then there are fireflies. How can anyone think we live without magic?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Too Soon

The smallest flowers bloom first, and now, the iris and tulips and lilac. Surely there is no more wonderful scent than that of lilacs. The other night, I took Max out by moon light. The dandelions turn white under the moon, and are as large as daisies.

I love to walk in the moon light, but haven't for a few years. When I am homesick for winter, I walk in the light of the moon, and the shadows I love, appear. The sound of the water at night time, and the mysterious noises of animals slur softly together to create an ocean of sound, that is punctuated by crickets. The leaves rustle over head, and the moon drifts behind clouds and then back out.

I don't feel any different being 50 years of age. My body tells me a different story, but my 'spirit' seems 16. But yesterday, I got my first 'senior' cola. A large, young, timid cashier at Wendy's shyly gave me a diet Coke for $.25. I love getting older.

My head is full with my disorders, but at least I have the temerity to face my computer today.