April Under Corona

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Grand Canal, Dublin

Like so many folks, I’ve followed the news, plotted how to best buy groceries, maintain health, and not feel completely stressed at the end of the day.  A few things stand out to me as beneficial highlights.  

Last Friday, folks in my town had a virtual potluck.  We all had our own dinner in our own homes but met online to chat and sup together.

On Saturday, I met with the Inkies virtually, a Dublin based writing group that meets weekly.  I  wrote with them when I’ve stayed in Dublin. It was great to see each other to banter a bit, then share our writing.  It changed something — the constriction I felt in my heart, that while we shared the difficulties of the coronavirus, as also shared heartfelt writing and humor.

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Dublin skyline from the Chester Beatty Library

 Finally,  Monday morning I got up to the usual amount of news implanted on the computer about the virus.  I was feeling stressed about the morning news. And then, I heard a solitary crow.

Oh My! Simply the sound of the crow, as the call grew further away, brought me into a place of deep calm. I put on a pair of shoes and wandered down to the vernal pool and brook. I found some wood frog eggs, first of the season. It changed everything.  Later that day, at early dusk, I happened to look out the window. Eight deer passed by in single file, walking at the edge of the stream, carefully skirting the vernal pool.  They melted into the forest. 

 

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find the wood frog egg masses

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Stay healthy. Enjoy your own company now, more than ever.

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March Madness

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Yesterday from my window watched two adult deer and three fawns walk out of the forest to eat. Later in the day  I saw evidence of beaver snacking, found some scat ( from an animals meal, (by my foot in the photo) watched a rabbit make enormous jumps, and heard the first wood frogs. Groups of ducks splashed in the lake. This morning I woke to snow falling with great gusto, coving the first snowbells, delicate flowers that are now hidden.

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March Madness

Sometimes early spring splatters violets

other times a resurrection of winter

or impassable mud-thick roads

birds beg and search for any

useful thing for nest building

buckets hang from maple trees

when sap runs fast

churches flip pancakes

for mud season breakfasts

deer reach into the front garden

graze on dried grass and weeds

dark clouds heap high

another nor’easter

dumping a foot of snow

breaking tree limbs

downing electric lines

closing back roads

we sit to watch the shimmering

aftermath when soft wind pushes

snow from pine boughs into the sun 

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Posted in Poems | 6 Comments

Lady Fate

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In this time of wondering, worrying, praying, washing hands, sheltering in place and social distancing, I sometimes wonder about karma and fate.  In this time perhaps our kindness, compassion, steadiness of spirit, whatever our spiritual or religious preferences are, can help us all.

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Lady Fate

No moon sails alone in the sky

the Weaver sits

baskets at her feet

creel of silk at hand

Not one to need company

she adjusts and readjusts 

her lengths of silk

eternally balancing

Do not come without your incantation

Do not come without an offering

Spinning life and beyond

measured hanks of silk woven 

now and in-between

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May all beings be safe

May all beings be healthy

May all beings heal

elaine

 

 

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Finding Comfort at Home

We all have some special items that bring us joy or comfort, whether it be an old teapot we’ve inherited, a special pair of socks, or, this case, carpets.  These carpets remind me of my old friend, Cornelious Montgomery, who was an oriental carpet expert.  When I found the Armenian carpet she said I couldn’t pass it up, and we crawled on the floor peering at the knots and colors through her magnifying glass. Cornelia has passed on. Thie carpet will outlast me, and, as Cornelia suggested, be passed on to my grandchildren.

IMG_0006.jpegLike many Armenians,  I’m seduced by beautiful carpets. Carpets are to our culture what hot dogs represent in popular American culture. This is an ode to carpets.

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Persian Carpet

 

The carpet seduces like 

an old lover come to visit

I lift a corner and light

shivers blue and silver from the weave

sheep that jumped and spun the 

mountain air near

Shiraz transformed

hearts beat deep within the weaving

alive and woven into time

heart opens to the story this gabbeh tells

Hands wove and knotted the telling

then open up to let the story go

 

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The two carpets above are Gabbeh carpets.  They are hand made, as is this Armenian carpet below. May we all have health and beauty in our lives.

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Posted in armenia, carpets, Hye, Hyaston, oriental carpets, Poems, poetry, readings | 2 Comments

February Chill

Tonight’s snowy coldness brought this poem to mind.  Today began with rain, then snow, followed by sun and more snow, tumbled together.  The temperature has dropped now, and ice covers the snow.  I’ve just tossed a large piece of oak and cherry into the woodstove, and I’m heating a gallon or raw milk to make yogurt on the stove.

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Below Zero Tonight

 

When it’s below zero and

quiet coldness radiates 

through window frames

Sweep the kitchen clean

load the woodstove with cherry

watch bright flames dance 

roast chestnuts

hold their warmth before you eat

leave cupboard doors open

to heat water pipes

notice a shiver of moonbeam dance

across the glaze of snowIMG_0153.jpeg

 

Posted in Poems | 4 Comments

Camden

Camden is a small midcoast Maine town that I hadn’t visited for years. I was fortunate enough to have a writing retreat closeby in So. Thomaston ME, so I drove north to visit Camden again. This photo was taken above the harbor, last May.

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Camden 

Today I drove up route one to Camden,

passed downtown in the half-sun day, all

cafe lattes, sun hats, soaps, Camden is

a tourist town now, a yacht-filled harbor,

no fish or oysters for sale here anymore.

When we were twenty-one Eduardo and I came,

in 1980. We left Boston after work, got 

the tent up by eleven, under flashlights

and stars, then slept, tumbled close,

covered with scents of pine and salt.

In the morning, sun the harbor glittered. 

Waves sprayed diamonds for us when

we gathered more mussels than I’d ever 

seen, before or since. We cooked them

in a huge pot over the fire. We drank wine, 

laughed, and we were happy.

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Posted in Maine, poetry | 4 Comments

Lovely Book Review

The Greenfield Recorder just reviewed my book, and here’s the link.

Local poet Elaine Reardon’s latest poetry chapbook, “Look Behind You,” is a smorgasbord of flavors and scents, family and home. Evoking a rich cultural heritage, as well as her own familial bonds, she leads us deftly through the …
https://www.recorder.com/Elaine-Reardon-Chapbook-32286723

Look Behind You is available online at Amazon.com, and locally at Petersham Country Store, The Warwick Public LIbrary, Warwick MA,  Dandelions in Barre MA, Oddysey Bookshop in So Hadley, Federal Street Books in Greenfield MA.  Think about gifting a small book of poetry for St. Valentines Day!

Best,

Elaine

Posted in Poems | 5 Comments

Toaster

rectangular pizza

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The Toaster

The toaster, a sleek new model in 1998

lasted longer than the marriage

gleaming new on the counter it pinged

for hot crunchy bagels

for thick slices of homemade bread

and leftover pizza

after that it heated up leftovers for one

at times it smoked and then

small internal fires took their toll

it didn’t perform in a reliable way

I had to stay with it        hovering

so it wouldn’t burn and bellow smoke

Finally too much of a safety hazard

I let it go

bagels and bread

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Posted in Poems | 2 Comments

Imbolc, St. Brigit, and More

The prospect of fishbones stuck in my throat,
 robbing me of the ability to breathe,
 with the offending bone growing larger by the second.
This vision sent me to church on St. Blaise’s’ Day with great urgency. It sent me into the confession box 
so that I’d have communion as extra protection,
 along with Saint Blaise, to protect me from a death 
caused by fishbones stuck in my throat.

In early memories, dad carried me to church, 
and I was two or three years old. Dad had explained about Saint Blaise. I remember the candles crossed at my timid neck as I knelt
 and breathed in a sigh of relief, sure to be safe for another year. I worried that my mother wasn’t with us, her not being Catholic, and hoped my fervent prayer would extend the blessing and protection to her as well.

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Now, the truth is, I sat down to write a piece about Brigit, both Goddess and Saint. Brigit has more fine stories and followers than you could shake a stick at and far more than St. Blaise, who turns out to be Armenian bishop who was martyred, and lived
 roughly a few hundred years before Saint Brigit was in Ireland as a saint. Personally, I find this 
interesting, as I’m half Irish and half Armenian, and here haven’t I split the celebrating and thanking between them, always. One bringing hope and protection, the other to guard my Irish throat against the many hidden fish bones lurking in our suppers. This is a link that will take you to information on St. Blaise:
https://aleteia.org/2016/02/03/the-real-story-behind-the-churchs-tradition-of-blessing-throats/

These days, for Imbolc, I enjoy having some seed packets ready for planting. I’ll say a prayer over them, and light candles.  I’ll give the wood stove a good cleaning, and set a fine fire. I’ll imagine the first stirring of life in the seeds, although it’s too early for planting here, aside from a few things begun indoors.  I sit comfort of the fire, feed it birch so it burns brightly, and make a bit of music to honor the woman who crossed over party lines to work both as Goddess and Saint so powerfully. This year I’ll also remember to light a candle for my cousin Kathleen who recently passed, and who loved  this day. This is a link  to a bit more information:
http://www.angelfire.com/journal/ofapoet/brigid.html

Welcome to my home, hearth, and blog,
 Brigit. And give my best to St. Blaise as well.

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Posted in Brigit, Goddess & Saint, pagan celebrations, poetry, seasonal celebrations

Pizza

agriculture cherry tomatoes cooking delicious

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Pizza

Good pizza

like good love

can be hard to find

It depends on 

expectations

crisp and crunchy

crust stretched thin

melted mozzarella

hissing hot tomato sauce

basil and garlic

that’s how I like it

I don’t bring home

thick    soft     crust

soft   melted cheese

gooey ham broccoli

pineapple pepperoni

return home with

fresh mozzarella

and parmesan in hand

mushrooms and red pepper

organic tomatoes

ripe with possibility 

 

 

white rolling pin

Photo by Vinicius Benedit on Pexels.com

Posted in Poems | 6 Comments