Books and Magpies

I just found this post (unpublished), so I shall combine it with Tessa’s picture challenge at Magpie Tales as the second part of the post. It has simply been so long since I have blogged that I had forgotten how to actually enter a post! I hope that this finds my friends in the blogosphere well. I do believe that I have finally settled in and actually “feel” this to be home for a change.

I am excited about a project for which I have volunteered. I hope to be doing a writing project with a group of veterans should our Central Library be able to pull together a group. This is meant to take place during January and February. I was also to be a part of a new Haiku Group, but I have found that my commitments are def (as Brian would say) too many. As a result – no haiku group.

When I was a child, I read Mummy’s books. Her book plate stated: “Books Are Like Friends”. And they, (books) have been that way for me for a lifetime. We grew up with a library. It was the most beautiful room in the house. It was filled with leather bound books from the 1800s. They had been my great, great grandfather’s books. I never met him. The books were meant for me one day. Unfortunately, my mother chose not to heat or air condition this room, in Vermont of all places. The books were a complete loss – except for a very few.

David and I bought our first house in 1983 because it had a library. Well that is overstating it a bit. It had significant shelving in one room that became the library. I do not have that here, as we are only 3 rooms, albeit more square footage than our first home. I do have bookshelves enough to place one half of my library into. Leaving the other half of my “friends” behind was difficult. Choosing who to take along was very hard indeed. Quite! Anyway, my books are all in the shelves hodgepodge. Now that I am finally feeling at home I look forward to organizing them. Below please find two haibun. The second is for Magpie Tales.

Books have for so long been such very good friends to me.
Leaving one half of them behind during our move was
gut wrenching, like leaving family or old friends. I do
so hope that they feel at home with their new owners.

I have forgotten
yes forgotten my friends
left to dustiness

For Magpie Tales # 247:
Thank you Tess for Maurice de Vlaminck’s Snowstorm. Unfortunately I cannot seem to upload it – ah well.

I grew up with snow. A lot of snow, in Vermont. In 1965 when I was 19
I moved to NYC. The biggest snow storm of my life took place. My family
sent me photos of snow above the roof line as they tunneled out.
This is November of 2014 and there are places today
that have had this kind of snowfall.

thick strokes of snow
brackish sky dwindling lights
in the outer world

For Magpie Tales # 247

140 – The Mag – October 21st 2012

What a fascinating prompt from Tess at The Mag! Wow! I really look forward to how others respond to this prompt. To be found at Magpie Tales or The Mag.

The Eye

for me
it started in
seventy three
yes a conspiracy
i had become
mind you

it was the year
was published
i was hooked
it was good
it was bad
it was not the

was the beginning
in the twenties
with rockefeller
he and bilderberg
or was that the

greedy pigs
carlyle group
the cfr
today led
by a high school
of my husbands

the evil eye
the eye of god
what is it

all those links to
the new world order
the canadian us mexican pipeline
the nau
one standard
one currency
no standards
no currency

i know its real
but today
i am not sure
that I can
be bothered
there is too
more in life
to focus upon
that is good

The Mag – 139 October 14th 2012

What a cozy, warm and safe place this feels. Perhaps it is all the light within, all the dark without. This marvelous photo simply made me feel secure, warm, content – but made me a woman of few words.

Thanks again to Tess at The Mag for a marvelous and unique prompt.

Midnight Snack, 1984, by Curtis Wilson Cost


my cabin
at the end
of the
at the ends
of the earth
my home
and my haven
nothing is perfect
like all good
there is a danger
there is an
edge that you
do not wish
to fall off of
as long as you
remain on top of
the world
as long as
you stay away
from the edge
you will be
drink a cup
of tea
curl up
with kitty
open a box
of chocolates
stay warm
stay safe
be sane
you deserve
this and so
do i
please say

The Mag – 138 – October 7th 2012

The waiting room had emptied out by now. I have been in this chair all day, cramped, such a long wait. But I have no real complaints. I have been given all the necessary comforts. They have brought me pillows to lay my head upon, a cup of water and a blanket. Now the doctor is here. No, I have no complaints for I am here while others are ill without these comforts, without the means for a doctor as they languish in cold doorways.

golden skirt warms me
my head upon a pillow
wild aster dying

I realize that one does not point out a kigo or really even discuss the term. However when I have a prompt, there are those times when I just dive in and forget about the kigo until the end. Today I chose to use Yuki Teikei Haiku Society in my search for an autumn kigo to use in the text. I found so many that actually took up the entire last line. I found this unusual, especially as I really appreciated how they worked right into the language of the haiku. I chose instead “wild aster.” It gave me what I needed even visually.

Shared at The Mag with pleasure and gratitude to Tess for the prompt.

The Mag – 137

It Must Be Time For Lunch Now, 1979 – Francesca Woodman


not here
not now
it’s a constant failing
of mine
i have tried suicide
it was my last
big attempt
i wished for success
just this once
it didn’t work
i kept tripping
over the silverware
mason was
coming for lunch
the need to impress
was great
so much
so many patterns
forks kept falling
knives clanging
to the floor
soup spoon
desert spoon
i no longer
know where
to begin
life has become
too much
i would jump
5th floor walk up
14th and park
out the window
the shade fell
catching me
i slipped to the floor
failed again
covered in

Sometimes, being silly is an absolute necessity!
Thank you Tessa for another wonderful prompt at The Mag

The Mag 136 – Haibun

Flying Down 2006 by David Salle


In the middle of this painting is the swirl.  It dominates the painting and my psyche, taking me back to a second spiritual experience that I had within my lifetime.  As you can see in the painting … this experience turned my life upside down, represented by the duck.  I became very focused and I began to see life differently as defined by the women in the painting looking clearly back at you.  The first actual and real response to my experience was to make myself learn to fly at sixty years of age.  Flying, something that at that time I did regularly, was beginning to frighten me more and more.  This fear began after 911 … and I might add is not unusual after one reaches forty years of age.


flying 1947 luscombe 8 tail dragger – no fear

Linked back to The Mag 136 (photo prompt from The Mag)

Magpie Tales # 129

Sargent, John Singer, A Dinner Table at Night, 1884 – The Mag’s 129th


Dinner done I felt sated.  The glow of the red lamps reminded me there was more to come.

How I longed to settle down.  Oh, how I wished that this was my own dining room and that my beloved and I would arise from the table to take a relaxing drink in the library.  But my library would not have red walls, they would possess the calmness of blue.  And my beloved dead of tuberculosis these many years would be dressed in an artist’s bohemian attire, not stern, cold black.

My dining partner arose signaling that my work for the night had just begun.


smoldering heat

reddish light bordello

a nights work ahead

Linked to Magpie Tales #129


Haiku for Magpie Tales # 128.

I have been away and not writing, keeping my hand in the game by reading some of my favorite poets here upon the Internet.  Sometimes I get caught up in the cycle of writing … reading, reading, reading and writing.  Even though it is a definite cycle, it often feels incomplete and unrewarding because one feels stressed and pressed to get around to everyone.  However, while away, treating myself to “no writing” I was able to read and digest with leisure.  Of course that old guilt crept in because I was not doing my one haiku a day.  however a walk to the ocean quickly washed that away.

Image by Zelko Nedic – poetry prompt at Magpie Tales.

Today at Magpie Tales we are inspired by what appears to be a faithful “Black Lab.”  The Lab looks on intently at whom I presume to be his master, nearby a potted plant empty of its leaves.  The dog’s master is a working man.  There are above the man’s head what appear to be two ghostly hands creating a halo of light.  There are words ( “HANDS WE WILL” ) written on the background barely discernible and words written upon the masters apron, unreadable.  The dog is waiting upon his master who looks intently into the dog’s eyes.  I know nothing of this painting, but flowing from it is a sense of goodness, a sense of trust and waiting.

I chose today to write three haiku, unrelated, each a different take upon the painting.  Currently most of this country is experiencing a deep drought. We are no different here in St. Louis.  We are however experiencing a gentle rain; oh how I hope that it lasts.  For those unfamiliar with haiku, something I have been studying this past year, I do not write 5 – 7 – 5 haiku.  I attempt to always use a “kigo” or seasonal word.  In the following haiku the seasonal words (all summer kigo) are: 1 = drought, 2 = midsummer rain, 3 = midsummer darkness.

leafless plant deep drought – he walks with me

midsummer rain falling gently on the pavement – black dog

midsummer darkness – waiting patiently for his walk

Haiku associated with Magpie Tails # 128 found here.

Magpie Tales … #124

Ophelia by Odilon Redon prompt from Magpie Tales

i see the round watery world woman’s peaceful world of ophelia
the greatest form in this world is ophelia breathing life into all that is about her

how different from our own world a picture of shrinkage shorelines treelines
a world daily destroyed by man who does not care for anything but money

ophelia gives life to the plants and flowers through her breath
she casts a heavenly net over the earth as she fuses heaven and earth one spiritual entity

mans world is one of starvation death an assured system of suffering
the net cast by man is a fortress against the spirit turning earth upon its head

ophelia eyes closed has created a world of beauty expending her life energy
man with his eyes open has expended his energy on war death waste evil

NaHaiWriMo – May 6th prompt: the Sea and Magpie Tales


Haiku – for NaHaiWriMo

barefoot in the sea – hermit crab tickles my foot


Gogyohshi – for Magpie Tales

serene and scenic the river is peaceful

i dangle my toes into the water’s coolness

i know that today is for thinking of peace

i wonder

will there ever be peace in sudan

Photo of Stainforth River by Irwell prompt for Magpie Tales