Sunday, December 15, 2019

December shrinking light

Have enjoyed some blue sky days walking with Mr Li and even lying in hammock at the camp site. Two big albeit rotten trees have fallen across the logging road to swimming hole, i crawl under one and climb over the other. Preparing for trip to Dominican Republic over Christmas with sons and their families - beach mind. Time to heal my cold cold fingers, wound from another skin cancer procedure, and generally sooth these old bones. Ah. I am a most lucky one.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

no hens

No Hens

almost nightly as the evening descends
i stop myself from heading to the chicken lot
no hens there
the yard is a cloud of white
tall wild asters
summoning the ghosts of my hens
to a wild reckoning

Mary North

from the motion sensitive camera in the woods

Like a Woman

if I find the words
will I change, will I
not panic at the small
will I not jump
at surprise
if I can speak the lesson
of my life
can I open up enough
to read the hieroglyphs 
on my inner screen
can I wake from
this heavy handed
zen master
with a stick?

Mary North

title is odd, but trying to make suitable for a theme in a journal which i hope doesn't know i have a is a soaking kind of scene outside, an excellent day to seek discipline and work on some scraps of poems. 

Trying a little discipline


my sister wrapped herself in all the family karma
(a psychic said within the womb, you think?)
she gulped the dark, as if the best chocolate
(like granny hid for herself)
she wore the garment drama
(a twin dressed in rainbow scarves on Mardi gras)
false joy, teacher’s pet,
a dare
there was no reward
but death
(the kamikaze suicide, the single car wreck)
I had no words 
but felt the blast of raw undress.

Mary North

Saturday, November 16, 2019

why am I negligent

It is not in my routine, not even with chickens expunged from routine, not even since the grandchildren have with their parents gone to Dominican Republic for the winter escuela and tonic. I have become a prisoner of my own making, fairly prepared for a nursing home with a jigsaw puzzle laid out on a card table. I do walk with my dear dog to the river or up the road daily. I do busy myself with soup making and meetings and teaching qigong, recently adding an evening of qigong class in Floyd. I regularly practice Spanish on Duolingo - hope to try out at least a few words at the supermercado this Christmas. I feel somewhat rudderless. 
And here is a neighbor of the night, coyote, caught on the motion sensitive outdoor camera we have set up by the creek. A here is a bear! Lots of deer and raccoons  have been photographed, occasionally a turkey, blue heron and river otters. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

birthdays and cousins

In a few days, Pearl and True with their parents will be flying to Ethiopia; a trip which includes visits to True's and to Pearl's areas of birth and a donkey ride. I am slow to realize the end of summer is upon us - so much of me wanting it not to be. After a delightful two week visit with Ezra and Sofia, I ended up with Lyme's - i suspect recurrent incident. So I am on doxy and a herbal brew. Ah, so I have been remiss about completing many summer projects (not yet moving the mulch Baldwin brought for my birthday!). 

Friday, July 12, 2019

The scents magnify

Night blooming cereus two nights ago, opening up as the moon brightened a dark greenhouse and this morning, the first gardenia opens. I am delighted and intoxicated. The magnolia still beckons me to pull a bloom to my nostrils as does the frangipani on the deck. 
Meanwhile in New Orleans, tropical storm Barry (which is just off the mouth of the river) threatens to inundate the city. It is a slow moving storm and the river is swollen from the rains in the midwest - levees will be challenged. Pirogues on Coliseum street in front of Commander's Palace just blocks from where I once lived, flooding before Barry, two days ago. What will it take for our government to mount a serious national effort to confront climate change? GOT to vote this dispicable President out!
This morning's harvest from the garden:

Saturday, July 6, 2019

July, the longest day behind us

Rain has promoted many many blooms, the smell I have to bend a branch to inhale, delicious. This morning a walk to the river, where the tale of the day before is marked in the further erosion of the bank from 2.3 inches of rain. The garden benefits from Robin's pony, Joey's droppings - big green tomatoes, I anticipate red with lust. I have been enjoying cucumbers and squash and onions (better than in years past) and Blue house beans and swiss chard. We prepare for Pearl's 11th birthday - I am filling a piƱata. 
I have been meeting with a counselor in hopes of managing my anxiety (anticipatory), a wonderful young woman who reminds me of my friend Diane - (she has a whimsical manner of dressing - all dressed in black one time, sort of vampish - costumes like - as if trying on personalities perhaps inspired by her clients ?). We are just beginning a therapy that goes by the initials: EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). It brings up past moments of stomach unsettling events...and it has made me more sensitive to the feelings. I am more often than I thought of queasy stomach. Hoping to make traveling easier and sharing my kitchen a breeze! ah! 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Reading the Mueller Report

I am reading the Mueller Report online from the NPR website. Quick scan of Part I, now slower read of the case for obstruction. A detailed picture of Trump's paranoid protestations of the Russian investigation - his obsession - unfolds. He acts like a dictator - has little knowledge or respect for our system of government (as seemed obvious - but which is now documented). All elected officials should read this report or be voted out of office. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Thirty Years

The latest data on the state of the climate suggests that we have but 30 more years on Earth, humans will be extinct. Part of me, the part that has become horribly cynical by almost 3 years of Trump's reign, thinks that humans no longer deserve to be residents of this 3rd planet from the sun. 
I feel as if a suck star is gobbling the spirit of mankind. There is a swell of hate and greed licking the hearts of too many leaders. What has happened to us that we who know the fierce danger of a warming globe, find our voices muted. Find ourselves angry but impotent. What's wrong with me????
It will take such a huge wish and such a bright child to wake the frozen leaders. It will take all mankind picking up their trash
it will take the death of plastic
it will take 1/2 the world's land uncultivated
it will take innovation, wind mills and solar collectors
it will take commitment of all nations
and our love for Earth First

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Oh, April Gone

April was lovely spring, especially magnificent red bud bloom, and Baldwin's birthday found us at river to see a dramatic fly over of hawk and eagle. Baldwin gave me a wildlife motion detection camera that we have set up at a creek crossing, capturing footage of deer and turkey as expected, and large coyote!  

Living with Wound

I'm not an especially good nurse, least of all to myself - as growing up with a grandmother who believed in mind over matter (Christian Science), at my base I feel I have failed. But I am charged with caring for this disk about size of a silver dollar and perhaps deeper, a result of MOHS surgery to get the last cells of a squamous cell carcinoma on my right ankle. I have been prohibited from work in the begging to be planted garden in mid May. It is a no go to walk to the river and swim. I need to get off my feet to allay swelling which might hurt chances for a skin graft - altho i am unsure if I will need one - the explanations are slim and unsatisfactory. I am impatient. 
Watched the kids with inner tubes set off for the river with their good friends. Waved. Asked them to splash for me. Sweet ones. At 74 it isn't too hard to settle back into vicarious pleasure. I have walked to the river a few times since the surgery. I like disobeying.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Small Incident with Hawk

Should be photo of hawk, but I have not had a good opportunity to take one. Today Mr Li and I surprised hawk as we neared the last creek crossing before the open field by river. I didn't hear hawk but caught his/her flight as it disturbed the corner of my sight. It left a headless squirrel on the path - reminding of the headless chicken abandoned in the front yard. A serial killer's mark! Hopefully the hawk will return to the kill; if not, coyote or other animal will most probably have a treat.

Preparing for the return of family from their winter in the DR. I even scored a papaya at Aldi's - of course, silly of me, as they have been eating fresh ones almost daily. 

The photo is of the swimming hole, a new addition to the blue slate outcrop by the beach beside the swimming hole. The beach is under water or was when this picture was taken a few days ago. Yesterday I discovered the blood root - profuse colonies on the mountain below the cliffs near the hammock. The spring beauties are out in the sandy soil by the river. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Last days of March

So, so so - I haven't been sick; I've no excuse for not venturing here. Has the river run my thoughts off? Three chickens have been stolen and murdered; I am down to two, red and black. One death I blame on the hawk, whose swoop I caught right off my deck in mid afternoon. Another bird's abduction was interrupted by Mr Li, the chicken's body left in the front yard. Red feathers still mingle with the grass, the body I disposed of on a low pyre up Red Bud. Most recently in the dusk, a black hen who was prone to escaping the yard, was taken - no sign left. I think a coyote. 

Otherwise, a good month, more sun than gray (the winter has been a dark one). And no heavy snow as last year that was so destructive. I do have a continuing skin cancer saga: a squamous cell just above my right ankle (on inside) - first detected around Thanksgiving! Biopsied, than tumor dug out, than when new squamous cell tumor popped up in January, cut out - now pathology report says still cells in area of wound. I am scheduled for MOHS surgery in May and plastic surgery to close wound. Wish it might be sooner, but the doctors are busy. I may have lived too long in this skin suit.

I did complete early a 40 day lent challenge to dispose of 40 items in house. But I am behind in my effort to write a poem a day. Seems my priorities have become domesticated? My paper-mache piece I began in September is as it was in November when once I worked on it. Am I uninspired and dispassionate, or just old and dull? Or despairing of the world?

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Ground Hog in yard this last day of February

I was looking for pictures from my recent visit to DR, but couldn't track down! and found this photo from last Christmas - my three most dear and wonderful grands. 

As Mindy said, Baba's arm is long enuf for a good selfie! so here we are. Two weeks was hardly long enuf. The lack of sun here in south west VA this winter has been damaging to mood and to bones; Sharon in Ocean Springs says that it has been a lugubrious winter on the Gulf Coast. The playas in Las Terranes are perfect; 4 mile walk in  morning trailing Baldwin and Mindy - after school  swim with the kiddos. All my aches were gone under the tropical sun. My plantar fasciitis did not aggravate  even tho I went barefoot or with flip flops. And my stiff thumbs loosened, and my itchy dry skin lessened and my wound healed (from removal of skin cancer). Fresh fruit! ah...
I hope that by next winter I can manage 3 weeks at least. Alma loves caring for Mr. Li. One chicken died on Alma's watch and three days ago the red tailed hawk snatched one of my good black hens. I'm down to 4 hens - Alma could keep them at her house. I can figure out how to turn off the water to the house and leave house in good shape to weather the cold.  Maybe I could do a month.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

red canoe and yellow hammock

So much depends on a red canoe, tied to a tree by the river (knock off - WC Williams):

The river too cold for paddling, at least for these old bones. The hammock too wet for a lazy idle here in the first sun in three days. But I pace and do a small qigong practice:

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mary Oliver died today

Oh, what a poet, voice to our spirit, to our deep connection with this world -- Mary Oliver. Her poems, her presence, invite us to see as she sees in commune with the outside, the pond, the wild geese, the song bird. Oh, what a joy to read her words. Thank you, Mary Oliver. 

I woke this morning in a dream of Van, sharing poems - and I stretched in my warm cocoon of a bed with cat to my right and small white dog to my left and smiled. As if a parallel life that might have been, I seemed to have shifted into this possible story in the night - familiar (as if I have been there before). When I learned of Mary Oliver's death, I wondered if the dream was prescience.

Snow this afternoon.

Friday, January 11, 2019

2019 Here

Months hiatus. Have taken up paper journals - poor excuse. Why not both? Following the forecast for snow beginning tomorrow night; not as heavy a snow this time as in December when we had 14" here in the hollow.
Was lovely light snow. I left soon after for Houston to visit Ez and all before Christmas.
This time we may have some mix and ice accumulation; preparing for possible outage - tho certainly hoping power will stay. Nevertheless, Mr. Li and Katrina and I are ready as can be. Have 3 suet cages filled to hang tomorrow; raccoons have stolen two cages which I left out at night. Now I am retrieving them when I go to close the chickens. 

Pictures from Trinidad where Ez and family spent Christmas - lots of cousin-time, beautiful trio!
And beautiful pictures keep coming from Dominican Republic   where Baldwin and family have a kitten. Kitten they are convinced has soul of Alaska - they may bring him back to Virginia.

Have bundled through some pretty cold days, two days ago the high was 23 degrees. When Mr. Li and I walked down to river today through areas of heaved crunchy ground, I took pictures of ice covered puddles. But before the 20 degree high, there was a 60 degree blue sky joy of a day! Good puzzle time, good books. 

Nursing a wound, which I am focusing healing intention upon - have ticket to Dominican Republic towards end of January - and can't go with wound! Had a squamous cell carcinoma removed from just above ankle on right leg before Christmas. It looks good, was size of quarter and now more like nickel. Didn't realize that wounds below knee take twice as long to heal.

Happily still holding qigong classes twice a week; yet to renew habit of attending Robin's class in Blacksburg. Wonderful group of women, a delight. My week takes form from the two mornings assigned to class - then going into town for groceries and working at library for the children books sale. NAACP monthly meeting and MCDC meeting I attend - wanting to do more, but moving slow into a greater commitment. How did it become 2019??!!