...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )
Archive for the ‘Conversations’ Category
Friday, April 10th, 2015
Stuck in some rut
I lay my rode out to accompaniment
of my narrator’s soliloquy telling the audience
of my mind this is what being adult is,
what being self-sufficient
So I prepare the scope measure by measure
it’ll pull me where I’m going–I put out the hard dinghy,
set the anchor in it, row the rode to my determined vantage
drop the kedge, row back, pull myself to the new place
getting to it with will, with logic, with my ambition,
with whatever, whatever it takes
Monday, March 16th, 2015
Laying flowers side by side on the table
to array the palette of a bouquet, my jackleg fingers
in this matter remembering the words of
Thich Nhat Hanh, “leave space in
Looking towards learning skillful compositions,
juxtapositions of color and shape and mood, so many
ways to make and discover frontiers
Which reminds me of you–how you
would have every day novel, a zany birthday party
on a dance floor platform for whirling happiness, your
camera curiosity seeking out photos like the world
is full of easter eggs, and it is
Yet sometimes the spicy lightning
of your attention’s like you’re zapping barbed xrays
of unjust situations with moralizing words–promising
them their comeuppance
Condemnation of entire domains
heuristically earned yet with wild daisies of grace
sprouting exceptions to the rules and you smile with
surprise like the cheer of holding my hand and running
through a sprinkler
I’m growing a whole bunch of exceptions for you,
a lawn, a street, a town, a county, a country, the world–
I’m gathering them and the other flowers
for the fiesta of our lives
Sunday, February 15th, 2015
In the picture
an African-American in gaiters drives
an Indian motorcycle with a Winter-Weise
platform sidecar carrying a gigantic Macon
Pure Milk Company bottle, the legend
of the motorcycle as hailed as the
chrome of a Coca Cola label
packed in spangled spurs
Critical musings like Leonce Gaiter’s
spill my stomach and heart like airless
horror, my testimony of which’s like
showing off having touched a sore,
see if it still hurts
Privilege leaps around my mind
caffeinated dolphins bobbing and
wading through a swirl of rose petals,
not knowing how to be both totally correct
and compassionate at the same time,
a whimsying finger dallying over
a plate of appetizers
the candy of
I wonder–do Native Americans
identify as “Indians,” and if one must
deliberate and be educated, where does
that leave the ignorant and those mired
in the labyrinth of the narrative, those
who haven’t yet pulled up
And why use “white trash”
and “hillbillies” yet deride Indians
Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
We’re wife and husband like warm pillows,
or a crocheted blanket around my shoulders
soft enclosures making love and peace
in the ladles of a womb
Our circumstanced duality is a conversation,
like hands on either side of the examined
In a close gestalt I am alone, unceilinged
on my constitutional save for animals,
Spirit and Mother Earth
Umbilical cord unafraid knowing
you’re back home in your chair
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
TALKING WITH THE ANCESTORS
Today is Samhain, the ancient Irish holiday
in which fairy folk (I’m part fairy)
and “dead” kin can connect
even more readily
with the living
Honoring relationships & valuing Reality
is what it’s about, as are most
so I’m compelled
to do stuff for Reality,
help it work stuff out
I welcome this time to celebrate the harvest,
note the hastened shortening of daylight
& the bundling up of consciousness into
more introspection, the kitchen rituals
of domestic life
And of course this holiday is
for honoring ancestors who are
no longer in the flesh as we
commonly know it,
I address Grandma & Grandpa Ireland
every day in my morning letter
to the Universe
& they talk to me through the radio
of sound and signal that abounds around us
They give advice, say hello–mostly say hello
& don’t worry, be cheerful & Grandpa says,
“Hey, when are you going to work on
my memoir again?”
I ask them about Heaven, God
oft get some answer about Energy & Christ,
Buddha & Hindu mantras, Universal Mother
& a panoply of references,
Lots about Energy
and lots of “I love yous”
(God is pretty OK)
Sunday, October 13th, 2013
THE THINKING CLOUD
She’s very much like us,
I told my husband, who was
holding our companion cat
She has feelings too,
and she is sitting there thinking
while in your arms
I don’t know if she has any words
in her head, I said
But she thinks–be it in
words, image, feelings
I wonder what she thinks about,
I think she thinks about what
we think about, I said, and we’re
actually in a thinking cloud
The thinking cloud is around
us, I said, and we just operate
Do we have any different thoughts?
We might have individualized takes
on the topics that the
thinking cloud is thinking
but much of it is the thinking cloud
there might be some unique stuff though
depends on what we tune in to
Aliens stole my brain, he said
Ah, no worries, I said
It’s all in the cloud
Monday, March 25th, 2013
I am not a robot.
“How do I know?”
“They program robots to be gooshy now.”
“They program robots to be complicated, too.”
I have a complicated personality.
“They do that, too.”
“Robots can bleed, too.”
My thighs look like chicken.
“They can very cleverly do that, now, too.”
~ Smith & Lady
Monday, February 11th, 2013
Smith is getting his eight remaining upper teeth pulled Wednesday, the day before Valentine’s Day. I’m glad that he’s getting this done because it’s been so hard for him to chew properly. When he gets used to the dentures, this will be easier.
I asked how it is he got such tooth problems:
“Number one,” he said, “I have small teeth. Number two, we were poor. Couldn’t afford much dental work unless we had to. Number three, from ’53 to ’60, I was raised on a farm with well water. So I didn’t get the benefit of the fluoride the government started putting in the water ’bout then. Number four, when I went into the Navy, they pulled some bad teeth and said they’d replace them. They lied. Number five: when I finally had some money and started going to dentists, I got stuck with some really bad ones. One dentist even took my straight bottom teeth and made them crooked with a retainer. Number six: since I was a contractor, there were times when I didn’t have any work, yet I had to get teeth fixed. So instead of getting crowns I couldn’t afford, teeth were pulled that shouldn’t have been. Finally, I just had bad luck with teeth. My karma; seems to be.”
“How do you feel about Wednesday?”
“Oh, I think getting false upper teeth is a setback to me. It’s a line I didn’t want to cross. But I’m not worried about it. They’ll pull them, they’ll give me pain pills. The only thing I’m worried about is the temporary upper denture that won’t fit well, won’t feel good, and I have a very high gag reflex. So… it’s not going to be fun.”
I’d not really given much thought to dentures prior to hooking up with Smith. My first memory of them was Grandpa Ireland popping the teeth out at us to freak us out. Grandpa ate anything. He ate salad, he could tear at steak, he could eat corn-on-the-cob. He had dentures most of his life due to having had some kind of illness in his teens.
“I’m not worried about eating,” Smith said. “It’s just a line I didn’t want to cross, losing my teeth.”
As a forty-year-old, witnessing Smith’s tooth problems helps keep me in line brushing my teeth and seeing the dentist regularly for cleanings. Being so much younger than my partner has had some costs but has also helped me to prepare better for the future. I’m starting an IRA, I’m taking care of my teeth, I’m really working on my diet and exercise with my comfort in the long term future in mind.
The downside of being with someone who is so much older is that there is a lot of worry over my partner’s health and sadness over the thought of losing him before I die. And the mysticism of older people is pretty much gone… my parents don’t seem much like parents to me anymore in terms of authority–now they are more like peers.
Thursday, November 22nd, 2012
At Thanksgiving I think about the abundance that will be on the table, interacting with family members and the bustle of preparation. I think about pleasing people and pleasing my stomach. I think about symbolism and pleasing tradition while making progress.
I remember Thanksgivings past, the huge table and commotion at Grandma and Grandpa Ireland’s house. I imagine my Grandparents looking in on these words and looking in on us and helping when they can. I’m looking at a photo of them as young adults and I wonder what it was like for them–they must have been almost as responsible as they were when I knew them. I imagine them being much like my brother Jonathan and new sister Dedra setting up business. My grandparents were industrious.
And the holiday’s about giving thanks for the harvest. We have so very much abundance here that it’s a concern that we do not overeat. How fortunate we are. Even very poor people here quite often have enough to eat, although there is much to do to make sure that healthy food is affordable and accessible to everyone.
How can we work our harvest better? By making the healthy stuff more prevalent, by being more ethical in how we grow it and what we consume. By being kinder to Mother Earth so she can provide harvests for us in good health.
Reaching into the gist of the moment, putting my hand into the gist of the moment, what I’d like to do is really make stronger connections. Not to be poignant for poignancy’s sake, but to make progress.
Progress in our relationships–fulfilling the promise of how we thought we were going to be as capable adults now that we are older. Progress in my relationships. So Thanksgiving is not just a time to give thanks, but to show action concerning our thanks. To work on relationships. To use the dividends of our continuing maturity. To be what we can be.
I remember a family meal Smith & I were invited to in Mexico by a serious young man who practiced English with us. He addressed everyone around the table individually and thanked them for how they contributed to his life. This was during a dinner he put together because he was leaving Mexico to be a student in Canada.
I would like to do this at our gatherings, foster this kind of serious joy in recognizing each other’s importance. Perhaps some formality or format helps, even a game? We can foster this.
At Thanksgivings at my Aunt Jan’s and Uncle Jim’s, we have gone around the table and individually articulated what we are thankful for… can we take this opportunity today?
Monday, May 21st, 2012
I’ve been thinking about getting more involved in the dialogues and projects on the Civic Commons. In my inbox today I received an e-newsletter inviting people to participate in a project by America Today. They want people to answer four questions: How did we as a nation get in trouble economically? Who do you blame? How do we as a nation solve our economic problems? What are you doing differently to get through the downturn?
What I really like about the Civic Commons is that the philosophy of the project involves polite dialogue oriented around making the change we want to see.
Here are my answers:
How did we as a nation get in trouble economically?
There are multiple factors. The situation that allowed the disparity of wealth to grow way out of balance was one major one. Military spending rather than focusing on developing our strengths through education and investment in people and small businesses was another one. The way Wall Street and the banks focused on nonproductive speculation was another.
Whom do you blame?
I blame lack of citizen involvement and lack of transparency and too much corruption in the system–people not using it properly. I blame the Supreme Court a bit. I blame apathy a lot.
How do we as a nation solve our economic problems?
1) Stop killing people–defund the military and instead get those soldiers working at home on infrastructure building for a green economy.
2) Believe in a better future–the power of belief is amazing.
3) Follow up words with action. Don’t just protest–do community projects to help change the situation for the better.
4) Work on making sure our business actions follow our ideals more and stop the cynicism.
What are you doing differently to get through the downturn?
1) I’m working on better business practices–making sure our business is doing business well, ethically, honestly. This does translate into more opportunities. Our business is actually growing through this period, and the latest news shows Ohio is recovering as well.
2) I’m investing time in educating myself on current trends in my business and also am reading books on how to grow the business.
3) I buy locally whenever possible–“vote with your dollars.”
You can post your own answers to their four questions here…