Monday, April 30, 2018

Evening Concert, Sainte-Chapelle

Evening Concert, Sainte-Chapelle
John Updike, 1932 - 2009

The celebrated windows flamed with light
directly pouring north across the Seine;
we rustled into place. Then violins
vaunting Vivaldi’s strident strength, then Brahms,
seemed to suck with their passionate sweetness,
bit by bit, the vigor from the red,
the blazing blue, so that the listening eye
saw suddenly the thick black lines, in shapes
of shield and cross and strut and brace, that held
the holy glowing fantasy together.
The music surged; the glow became a milk,
a whisper to the eye, a glimmer ebbed
until our beating hearts, our violins
were cased in thin but solid sheets of lead.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

From Inside My Book Fort - - - Lesa Holstine reads from "Vanishing Ireland"

Welcome Back !

Annabelle and I are very happy to welcome Lesa back to the book fort.

And today she's going to read to us from "Vanishing Ireland" written by James Fennell and Turtle Bunbury.

This pleases me no end because, if you know Lesa, you know how very much she loves Ireland.

Take a listen - - - 

(and that gorgeous black cat you see towards the end of the video is Josh).  πŸ’œ πŸ’› πŸ˜Š πŸ’š πŸ’™

Friday, April 27, 2018

Inaction of Shoes

There are many things to be done today
and it's a lovely day to do them in

Each thing a joy to do
and a joy to have done
I can tell because of the calm I feel
when I think about doing them
I can almost hear them say to me
Thank you for doing us
And when evening comes
I'll remove my shoes and place them on the floor
And think how good they look
sitting?... standing?... there
Not doing anything

   by Ron Padgett

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The New Criterion Enueg by Sarah Skwire

I hate wet feet 
and well-done beef
hypocrisy, conceit.
I hate cold rain
and unearned fame
headaches, fever, pain.
I hate bad dreams
diminished means
and paranoiac schemes.
I hate clichΓ©s
the Roman Plays
all-you-can-eat buffets.
I hate pretension
blind convention
need I even mention
false contrition
salesmen on commissions
T.V. preachers
inept teachers
many-legged creatures.
And jello molds
and summer colds
viragoes, nags, and scolds
and income tax
and unjust acts
ad hominem attacks
and egoists
and narcissists
and also endless lists.
Sarah Skwire is a Fellow at Liberty Fund. She is the author of a collection of poems, The Evening Light (Story Line Press).

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Small Comfort

Coffee and cigarettes in a clean cafe,
forsythia lit like a damp match against
a thundery sky drunk on its own ozone,

the laundry cool and crisp and folded away
again in the lavender closet-too late to find
comfort enough in such small daily moments

of beauty, renewal, calm, too late to imagine
people would rather be happy than suffering
and inflicting suffering. We're near the end,

but O before the end, as the sparrows wing
each night to their secret nests in the elm's green dome
O let the last bus bring

love to lover, let the starveling
dog turn the corner and lope suddenly
miraculously, down its own street, home.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

John O’Donohue ~ “A Morning Offering” – Benedictus (To Bless The Space Between Us in the U.S.)

I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.
All that is eternal in me
Welcome the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.
I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Wave of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.
May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.
May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Utopia by Wislawa Szymborska

Island where all becomes clear.
Solid ground beneath your feet.
The only roads are those that offer access.
Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.
The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here
with branches disentangled since time immemorial.
The Tree of Understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,
sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It.
The thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:
the Valley of Obviously.
If any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.
Echoes stir unsummoned
and eagerly explain all the secrets of the worlds.
On the right a cave where Meaning lies.
On the left the Lake of Deep Conviction.
Truth breaks from the bottom and bobs to the surface.
Unshakable Confidence towers over the valley.
Its peak offers an excellent view of the Essence of Things.
For all its charms, the island is uninhabited,
and the faint footprints scattered on its beaches
turn without exception to the sea.
As if all you can do here is leave
and plunge, never to return, into the depths.
Into unfathomable life.
By Wislawa Szymborska
From "A large number", 1976
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

Saturday, April 21, 2018

From Inside My Book Fort - - - "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin


Welcome to the book fort.

Today we're reading a passage from Gabrielle Zevin's delightful novel, "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry."

Another of my favorite books.

If you're a lover of books, then you're also a lover of bookstores.  I think you'll want to give this one a try if you haven't already.

A.J. Fikry is a lover of books and the grumpy owner of a bookstore on Alice Island.

If you've already read it and love it as much as I do, I hope you'll enjoy the passage I've chosen.

From the book jacket, "As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love."

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Garden Party

The bright sun is shining down
On the party guests milling around.
Everyone has gathered on the stripy green lawn, 
Which, by the gardener, has recently been shorn.

Garden parties are always such a pleasure.
A lovely way to spend a few hours of leisure.
The guests gather round in small mixed groups.
Periodically, there’s the sound of laughter or whoops.

Some people sit and relax in recliner chairs, 
As the soft sound of music fills the balmy air.
The guests are soon engaged in different conversations, 
Exchanging a mixture of interesting and trifling information.

With each other, the guests chat and make new friends.
Those who may have previously squabbled make amends.
The ladies wear pretty, summery, floaty dresses.
Sporting a variety of beautifully dressed tresses.

A trestle table covered in a red gingham tablecloth, 
Holds a variety of inviting food and drink aloft.
There’s a selection of sandwiches: cheese, tuna and ham, 
And fresh scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

There’s roast chicken legs, pies and mini sausage rolls, 
And salad items are laid out in brightly coloured bowls.
There are cocktail sausages and cubes of cheese on sticks.
Of finger food, there really is quite an eclectic mix.

The ladies, who are on diets, needlessly quibble, 
Over whether or not, at the food, they should nibble.
There’s everyone’s favourite drink, Pimms and lemonade, 
And, a large pitcher of alcoholic punch, freshly home-made.

At the bottom of the garden, children play by the old oak, 
And there’s shrills of laughter, as they all share a joke.
From a tiny tot, there are joyful cries, 
As she chases after pretty butterflies.

A toast to their hosts, the guests propose, 
As the party finally draws to a close.
It’s been an enjoyable and successful day, 
And now, all that is left to do is clear away. 

by Angela Wybrow

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ode to a Hat

Here’s my hat.
It holds my head,
the thoughts I’ve had
and the things I’ve read.

It keeps out the wind.
It keeps off the rain.
It hugs my hair
and warms my brain.

There’s me below it,
the sky above it.
It’s my lid.
And I love it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Puppies at Play in Meat Camp

We spent a fun couple of hours at our neighbor's house introducing Annabelle to their newest family member, Alice.  Smudge was there and all three girls had a big ol' time.

So did Donald and I.

Thanks, Jill!

Annabelle says, "Let's do it again!"