Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving

Sleep and stillness cling to my eyes.

Morning light trickles through pine branches

into the kitchen where yeast has raised 

soft pillows of cherog dough overnight.

I slide the fragrance of warm yeast

into the waiting oven.

I kept the fire going last night

to coddle the dough,

to be kind to myself.

Now I sit at the window as early fog lifts

in wisps and sip tea.

The world here is quiet, aside from

the faucet dripping and the ping of

the oven as it heats.

Strong tea mingles with the aroma of

rising dough.

Do we not all rise with some redemption,

new each morning?

In other homes people move toward family gatherings 

or waking to a jumble of legs and arms in unfamiliar beds

while I sit with my ancestors baking this bread.

I receive the old ones and the fragrance and the taste.

I listen to the small kitchen sounds mingles with the quiet outside—

the complete stillness of each branch and leaf,

a warm cup in my hand.

 

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November

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November

Tail end of autumn

in-between time

bare maple branches

scattered dry leaves

A young bear pushes his nose

into heaped  litter

poking through for acorns

coyotes howl in late afternoon

Scattered red berries

dried purple grapes

winter hasn’t emerged yet

although she’s expected

garden plots have been cleared

in anticipation of her arrival

like the tide line between sand and sea

November separates seasons

Of life pushing out of seed and egg

before returning to ground

November waits for those last geese to fly

holds her cards close to her chest

Listen to water ripple against the shore

and honor Manannán Mac Lir

I have not beaten gold into form

but I place an offering in the water

Manannán Mac Lir is an Irish God, and the small golden boat ( circa 100 BC) is part the Broighter Hoard from the first century BC. This offering was found in 1896. It’s now in the National Museum in Dublin. This beaten gold boat is small enough to fit in in my hand.

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Book Link:  http://www.lulu.com/shop/elaine-harootunian-reardon/look-behind-you/paperback/product-24249197.html

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Readings in November

Thursday, November 7thWarwick Public Library  7pm.

Tuesday, November 26th  The Thirsty Lab, 7pm. 206 Worcester Rd, Princeton, MA 01541

Book Link:  http://www.lulu.com/shop/elaine-harootunian-reardon/look-behind-you/paperback/product-24249197.html

 

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November Poetry Readings in MA

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Thinning Veils Between the Worlds

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Hallowed Night

On Halloween the veil thins

to make ready for visitors.

I find the linen tablecloth, 

place lit candles inside

carved pumpkins,

set a basket of green apples 

from the gnarled tree that stands

in front of the house.

Thick creamy milk from Chase Hill 

cows is poured into mugs,

wedges of homemade bread 

slathered with butter is set out.

Hot teas, both mint and black, 

a measure of whiskey for dad.

This night, a gathering comes. 

I wait with anticipation 

under orange streaked sky.

There’s a shift, a soft hum,

before the air begins to stir.

Welcome the old ones 

this Halloween Eve, the

sidhe and nature spirits,

ancestors who travel through

rivers of blood, others  

who follow the stars tonight,

to join this gathering.

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Rainy Days Call for Tea

IMG_8505.jpgThe rain splashed enthusiastically on the cobbled streets today and kept me close to home.  I went to Cake Cafe for breakfast, just a short walk up Camden Street. Cake Cafe is a place I should have come to earlier.  It’s lovely and worth camping out nearby, so you can have an explanation worthy breakfast, and later have homemade cake for an afternoon treat.  The cafe makes everything from scratch, including their blend of herbal teas for a variety of focuses.  I had a ‘relaxing tea that, as an herbalist, I couldn’t have made better, or had it taste as well.  Very impressive. I sat next to two young women from Germany who were also seduced by their cake.  I wish I had photographed their breakfasts– they were gorgeous.  Thick slices of homemade bread slathered with guacamole, covered by two poached eggs, and cannellini beans over the bread, with two eggs perched on top. I was sorry I had ordered the carrot almond meal pancake with poached fruit. We all ate our breakfast happily. After, they shared a slice of golded orange sponge cake.IMG_8507.jpegIMG_8499.jpeg

In the afternoon, I walked down Lennox Street to the Bretzel Bakery, well known for their bread. Inside was cozy, against the rain outdoors.

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IMG_8531.jpeg  I’d highly recommend both these eating spots if you’re in the city center, near Dublin 8, Portobello area.

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This loaf of barmbrack was made at the Bretzel Bakery.  It’s a lovely thing to have at Halloween.  May all beings be safe and warm. Have a good Samhain & Halloween.

How do you celebrate or connote the turning of the season and this Halloween time?

This ends my trip to Ireland.  Join me in mid-November for a trip to Savannah Georgia. For those who asked, here’s the link at Lulu.com for my book, also available at amazon. http://www.lulu.com/shop/elaine-harootunian-reardon/look-behind-you/paperback/product-24249197.htmlCover.jpg

 

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Happy New Year,

Elaine

Posted in Announcements, Dublin cafes, Ireland travel, Poems | 2 Comments

O’Connell Street/Cassidy’s Pub

The Garden of Remembrance

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Brexit is on every newscast this week. Still, we have no idea what will happen, or when. I toast my Dublin Writers’ Group, The Ink Slingers.  It was great to be back with you.  Frank (Francis), this one’s for you.

Cassidy’s Pub, OConnell Street

It meant nothing more than a pint

in the pub. We chatted over pints,

briefcases and handbags stowed away,

sweaters and raincoats tossed over 

chairs. Francis said Michael Collins 

frequented Cassidy’s Pub. Collins arrived

from Cork and put his own life 

into the wind. Now on O’Connell Street 

people rest on benches and contemplate

in The Garden of Remembrance, created

for children of Ireland in the coming times, 

inheritance for coming generations of hope.

Our mythology, children changed to swans, 

the new peace manifest into form, Word made

Sacred, life sacred. Transformation into peace. 

In these days the of soft border crossings, people

speak of the country to the north. In our time 

of healing, Brexit has come like a fox among 

the rabbits. On both sides of the border, we wonder

will the Good Friday Peace Agreement hold?  

 

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The Grand Canal, Portobello

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I’m sure there’s more than one Grand Canal, but this one is just four doors down from my house, with George Bernard Shaw’s birthplace right around the corner.  I tried my best to sneak up on the swans, skulking behind the palm trees and willows, but found they aren’t camera shy at all.

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Portobello is a great neighborhood, filled with bookshops, small groceries, cafes, second-hand shops, and a bike station, where you can rent a bike very reasonably. The Grand Canal is a great spot for bike riding as well as walking.

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The sun is shining warming this mid-October day.

My new book, Look Behind You, is available at http://www.lulu.com/shop/elaine-harootunian-reardon/look-behind-you/paperback/product-24249197.html, as well as Amazon.com.  I’d appreciate honest reviews posted at either/both sites, or at Goodreads.com. Thanks!

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Best,

Elaine

 

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Walking Dublin

Today’s walk took me back to Dublin Castle and to the History Festival.  These fushsia, namesake of my neighbor Jonathan’s daughter, were the largest blooms I’d ever seen.IMG_8394.jpegIMG_8392.jpeg

Next I came up to the corner of Kevin & Bride Street, where The Garda Station is an inspirational landmark, and I’ll share the outside of the building with you.   Literature can, obviously, be found everywhere. This is the outside of the Garda Station.IMG_8377.jpeg

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Dublin now is a deep blend of an ancient town with cranes that dot the landscape, bringing in new buildings where wherever there’s a scrap of land to build on.

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May you walk in health and strength,

Elaine

Posted in Dublin, Irish Tourism, photographs, Poems | 1 Comment

Visit Dublin

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Today’s walk took me up the road, in Warrenmount,  past the flower shop and St. Patricks Cathedral.  Flowers still bloom in gardens here.

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The spire of St. Patrick’s Cathedral points its nose above the shorter buildings.

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It’s said that Saint Patrick himself baptized people using a well or spring that used to be here. That was back in the fifth century. The church dates back to the 12th century, and has the tallest spire in all of Ireland.

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Continuing up the street, one comes to a local art shop that’s great fun to pop into for a look around. The art here is affordable and made locally.

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Next door is an antique shop of old timepieces and clocks.

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Next comes my favorite florist in this neighborhood.

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