Lady’s dream spirits

Lady’s drawing and explanation of dream spirits from last night’s lucid dream:

“Dream spirits I saw last night. I asked them if they were manifestations of my mind or if they were external, but I don’t think they were able to speak, or maybe they don’t speak English, or they didn’t want to. When I confront these things lucid dreaming, they seem startled, sometimes angry, like it is unexpected that I see them. Benevolent or indifferent spirits normally, but odd-looking. Material or old bodies inhabited by spirits of either ancient humans, dolls made by humans, maybe spirits that take on anthropomorphic forms out of bone, sticks, mud, teeth, rags, hair, skin of their own volition, maybe just there.”

new Lady poem this morning

(new Lady poem this morning)

Memorial Day

We were recovering, too weak
to mow the lawn, and it rained
and it sunned, and half the lawn
was grass, and half the lawn was
clover. I trampled a path through
the clover to plant the sunflower
rootings that came in the mail,
the lavender before it was
too late, holding my tummy tuck
lest I bust my stitches

I found a garter snake
under the decaying fall leaves.
It moved like water to the
faucet coming from our
foundation stones and
slipped into a gap

Snakes do not have hands
but we do – here is the church
here is the steeple, here’s some cave
carved from an ancient river,
hand prints paint souls
like leaves on trees. Lay back
and watch the innate kindling
of the TV in the mind
passenger’s trip

We hold hands on the holiday,
the morning walk

Our dog stops at the telephone
pole at the end of the street,
looking for sweet new blades
of spring green grass

A neighborhood dog barks.
Somewhere out there
there’s agreement

On Audible we learned
birds recognize each others’ calls.
The robin hears the sparrow
the jay mimics the crow

They feel like we feel
It’s going to be OK
The mirror in the garden
says namaste

Memorial Day –
the Grand River –
sedimentary layers
clay limestone shale
dog shit on the bank

It’s fecund
it smells like rusted blood
it smells like coffee

We’ve canoed the river and
on its banks I’ve picked up rocks
to find salamanders

I carry the memory of days there
like a lotus of a transcendental sobriety

I found a morel
in our yard by the compost gate.
It came up ready, nary any pull
ripping noiselessly from the ground

It wilted as I carried it
I brought it just to show it
I turned around to put it back
I could not find out where it
came from

What can I say
but clay tests the hand
and it makes a pot

Last year I found one too,
a morel, and I expect next one
next year

This year’s bees are cleaning
out last year’s hive beyond
the grand pine you can see from
the bridge on Pearl

The tree’s how we know
where our house is. Smith wants
to paint the other side of the
picket fence white so we can see
it from Pearl

In July as you step off the deck
you can smell honey from the oven
of the hive’s hot hatchery.
They beat their wings,
keep it just right

The bees give warning bops
but rarely sting. We are in
the flight path to the field
they dance and waggle about

Last year they went up and up into
the trees, half the hive, I watched
them, a dark cloud up and over the
pine until they looked like
gnats in the robin’s egg sky

I watched until the view

This year
regardless of their tolerance
we will check every frame
until we get to the bottom of it
and wipe out the extra queen cups

We keep them –
we are keeping them regardless
of their consensus

Golden and angry
they’ll stay in their nest
and in the winter you can put your ear
to the hive, hear the beating
whir of the lion’s heart, an engine
powered by honey

You know, birds’ eyes have four cones
where we have three. They can see
kingdoms in an ultraviolet canopy

Thoughts are in the trees –
living books, and mycorrhizal fungi
tap out signals from their feet

Every day I thank the Lord
the shape that’s buoyed me
in its volume of ancient
recorded oxygen

Pick up a leaf with the labyrinth
of your fingerprints –
it drains into a palimpsest
the map on your palm,
the rivers on the leaf

~ Lady

latest Lady

Lady’s latest poem

Visceral as a fresh caught cut perch
yearning as the dog looking hours out the window for the car’s return
I love you, I would say to my family
the gulp in my heart tendered between mortar and pestle
like the unexpected swipe of a burnt cigarette on the arm

With some,
we spend more time together in dream
than real life
expansive surprises of rooms
come out of a flap of shuffling cards
like a rabbit out of a hat
We make a cardboard castle
We sit on the patio and watch the backyard pond
the trees as sweet to sight as
fresh washed salad

I know
the knowledge of what the Cuyahoga
has done to its banks over centuries

The accordion wheeze
the new born spring swallowtail
taking its first steps on my patio
we only know where it folds up its
wings to rest because we see
where it’s been

where we are now, where we
have been
Let’s hold it, let’s keep it here

– Lady

the Liberty Lynne Green art corner

Libby’s Poem

The bigger the dog
the bigger the nose
the bigger it smells
the bigger it knows

This is the Liberty Lynne Green art corner post.

Above is her first spoken poem with us. She recited it to us in the car.

The 1st refrigerator poem below she did last visit, and added to it this visit.

Her head assemblage is her non-existent “brother” Bumblebee.

She’s 5 yrs 8 months and obsessed with doing art with her Aunt Kathy (who is obsessed with her).

Lady’s word harvest this morning . . . 2.22.2022

Lady’s word harvest this morning . . .

Some Moments Patched Together

Cleveland for me was the visceralness of crawling on hardwood floors as a baby, late night Shaker Heights apartment stairways – being carried up thumb suckingly asleep – orange lights streaming past dirty car window – the orange Bug with a hole in its floor through which you could see the swish of Saturn rings of salted gray road blurring by and imagine what rust must lie beneath the salting away car. Cleveland for me was Dee Perry, the voice of highest civilization – art and culture coverage. Or boogie in the silver car – Paul McCartney’s “I Love You” and “Staying Alive” and police lights.

When Mom and I were mid daylight returning to find two teens lurching away from stealing the battery from the silver car and Mom’s hot anger, the excitement of riding down Martin Luther King Drive and Dad’s stories of warnings from there, lifeguarding at Edgewater and getting beat up in basement of Shaker Heights High.

Parties where I met a jungle of gigantic adult legs in the pungent haze of undergraduate smoke, Mom parting curtains of their adoration of me to the spare room with a mattress on the parquet floor where I was put to bed, settled among adult things on clean sheets, wondering at Mom’s vicissitudes of high octave laughter behind the beveled panels of a glossy white Georgian door.

Even the daylight out with Mom was exciting midnight and always culture – the squirrelled winding road of MLK with its brown sea fans of tree branches creaking in the shuddering excitement of their candid regard – our shuttle passing under the ring stone of overpasses, bracelets on the legacy of early century greenway. The old homes of Liberty Row, Gordon, Rockefeller, Wade, Ambler Drive, Shaker Heights Tudor, stands of daffodils in springtime.

– Lady, 2.22.2022

polaroid air pulsing forward like liquid thrushings of an ultrasound’s fetus

“. . . polaroid air pulsing forward like liquid thrushings of an ultrasound’s fetus. . .” — from Lady’s pre-dawn word harvest this morning

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The key things I remember about the aftermath of the mid century are the corduroy of my fingerprints sweeping the gritty velvet of dust off Lemon Pledge polished matte walnut finishes. Always more dust to give Grandma something to manage – her dominion less CBS at night – through she watched it. Grandma had the knowhow of her threadbare cotton rags and dessicated cabinet. Lysol for the floor, vinegar on the window.

The sober face of the black and white kitchen clock – abstract mustachioed visage – faithfully ticking its whiskers onward – polaroid air pulsing forward like liquid thrushings of an ultrasound’s fetus – the quantum messiness of the analog pocketed into digital packets of forward progression.

Grandpa’s tobacco hand drank coffee stained depth from a milk glass mug and read The Plain Dealer on a white formica table. His bifocal’s rectangular reflections studied the steady black and white code of newsprint and levied a kingdom of well-considered judgement. Iron steamed condemnation over liars’ crinkly wrinkles and curated truth’s earnest linen.

Liars know better than to posture what they do light of the Waterford bowl of wax fruit, the New Deal and Boy Scouts, the Greatest Generation’s post-war sepia, the plight of the Jews, and our all-seeing God. The end point of the dialectic is obvious to all like the cauterized stamp of Grandpa’s cigarette butt.

The world in all its Dizzy Gillespie gleaminess had gone to bed into the blacks, browns, yellows, oranges and beiges of settled shag. The origami of Jazz from midnight pianos unfolded into the Rorshach bewilderness of a transcendent Klein painting. The balm I’d fallen into on a whim was somber ceiling plaster rosette watching. More dust, evidence of the real, on waxy patina of a striated ribbons of Better Home and Gardens plants, their assigned placements.

– Lady, 2.21.2022

Where does the red brick go?

Where does the red brick go?

My 76th feature past 74 months . . . the usual 9 poems, 10 fotos.

“Smith is here today, telling us about his Lady and the dog and the cat and the house they have in Cleveland. He tells it in true Smith fashion—little snatches of what he calls LIFE (the good and the bad and the mostly in-between). Thanks for your visit today, Steven—always a pleasure!” – Kathy Kieth, publisher/editor . . . send her some stuff, she posts every day.

5 Falls + 1

5 Falls + 1

Well, wife ain’t crushed, and I’m not broken, maybe . . . though yesterday’s +1 seems to have my knee doing a swollen grapefruit impersonation, and one rib shrieking every sneeze or cough.

Many a fall in my life, but past two months seeded a bumper crop.

Cleaned our roof gutter, and as I stepped over the garden fence, my toe caught in chicken wire and I slow-mo fell forward, which gave me time to notice my head heading toward the raised paving bricks.

Hit head and knee hard. First thing I checked for head flesh gash. When 10, I jumped a low block wall and landed on a block behind it which cut my leg in a bloodless V down to sun-bright bone, which in fascination I touched with my finger, amazed how white and shiny it was. I expected to touch skull.

Had head blood, but no gashes, so checked knee. Couple years ago I broke my kneecap and the bone didn’t knit, so kneecap’s held together by fibers, and if I knelt on it, I’d be in eye-tearing pain for weeks. Luckily I hit just below the knee so again spared major damage.

Then two weeks ago a cold snap froze the water running across a Metropark path, then dusted it with snow, so I’m walking the dog an hour before dawn, looking for deer and fotos, writing poems in my head, and — WHAP — foot hits snow-dusted ice and I’m on my back on frozen gravel, in the dark, on a seldom-used path, in considerable pain, thinking it’s too cold to be lying here, let’s see what works, and slowly rise, functional.

Fall 3 is the scariest. Sitting here reading, I hear a thunk 3 feet to my right, look over and see black cat blur racing away and think “oh, she knocked something over,” and then brain freezes trying to understand why the 40 pound ceiling fan is lying on its side on the floor in front of Lady’s chair. The fan had broken away from the cathedral ceiling and crashed into the easy chair in which she’d been sleeping half hour earlier. Had she been there, she’s dead or broken.

Reality really tried with sneak-punch 4 & 5. Snowstorm hit 3 days ago, and I shoveled for hours, safely. Then took the garbage and compost out. At the garbage cans I looked at the 50 foot of snow drifts between me and the compost pit and decided to drop it in the trash instead . . . but then my brain says no, that’s not right, the 8-Fold Path preaches right thought, right action, so I walk through snow, step on an icy flagstone and smash to the ground on my right side. This is hard. Seriously painful. Slowly see what works, manage to rise, decide to dump compost in trash after all, take one step and step into the fish pool that’s totally covered in snowdrift, and smash even harder on my left side, pain overwhelming, knowing pain this intense means bad news because no way you can hurt this much and not be seriously damaged.

I begin to see what works, turn on my side, unsteadily rise, slow-step into the house, and tell Lady I have to sit a bit before I can check if I’m broken. And I’m not. Only damage besides bruised muscles is a 9 inch blood scrape down my right forearm, and a 6 inch blood scrape down the left. Pain is so great I feel nauseous.

The next day is fall free, and I’m exhilarated that I’m alright, absolutely astonished.

And then . . .

Yesterday morning I’m carrying my toasted bagel on a soon-to-be broken plate as I walk through a dark room where our 120 pound golden labrador is lying unseen right in the middle and I smash chest first into the floor, managing to turn my head so I land side-skull instead of face first.

Smashed my never-healed broken knee, which looks quite grapefruitish now, and I bone-bruised or cracked a rib. A cough brings sharp pain, a sneeze tears. Had many a cracked and broken and bruised rib in my time so know you wait them out, hold the rib tight when you sneeze to reduce pain, and take smaller tokes so you don’t cough.

These falls are more worrisome because I have bad bones — osteoporosis.

Before fall 6, I told Lady I was writing this up as Five Falls, and she said better watch it doesn’t become the 8-Fall Path, which brings me to the humor here . . . I decide to do the “right thing” as I see it for the 8-Fold Path, and I get hurt. Something doesn’t gel.

So there, it’s written as 5 + 1 . . . this means no fall # 7 allowed. Time to stop this ridiculous sitcom, the Gods have their portion of laughter.

One odd thought is I’ve been slowly losing weight past year, for no known reason, going from 165 down to this morning’s 149. Since I’m doing these falls from my 6′ 3″ height, those extra lost pounds probably help hurt me less.

Another fleetflash thinking is the film Final Destination where some young folk get off the plane that’s going to crash, which irritates Death, so he hunts them down and kills them one by one . . . spose reality is trying to fall me into quietude?

Maybe it all goes back to Eve and the Snake. Or me on the make.

Half horror, half slapstick, whole Smith.

Lady’s chair, ceiling fan fallen

waterglass window

Commissioned a stained glass piece for Lady’s Christmas present from Contois/Reynolds Studio.

Steve Reynolds and I’ve been friends for 50 years, since Loyola College 1971, which is my seccond longest relationship after Mother Dwarf.

Met Reynolds in Baltimore, then he moved to West Virginia for decades, and finally to Spokane Washington . . . which is funny because I left Spokane in 1963 to join the Navy. What a weird web reality weaves.

It was going to be a flaming sun piece, but Lady requested water because of Lake Network, her web design business (honoring Lake Erie).

Love the piece. It glows in soft light, reflects the fireplace at night in low light, is a major presence, and literally lights up the room.

Here’s a foto tour of our living room . . . art by Reynolds, Lady, Cat Smith, me.

For stained glass —

For web design, enewsletters, and social media services –

Website Design and Digital Marketing in Cleveland | Lakenetwork

maybe not finished, she sez

Lady’s new poem (maybe not finished she sez):

And this morning I am the uterus supporting a placenta attached to a castle in the ether in which sets the nodding crown consternating jewels of tildes and asterisks and beating itself with willow branches.
I am ground talking about itself. I used to think I was grown but I was ground up into this fecund habitat like a good virgin burger.
I can’t complain for the dog and the cat shoot over the cultivated hills like two minnows or the commentary of passing clouds and Liberty runs through the garden, Queen of Nature. Grandma sheds golden coruscations through the mirror’s plasma like the insight of a sparkling veil. Grandpa’s thunder rumbles in the distance.
The Goddess is in the poison ivy again; she so loves her garden for isn’t it bedecking of her feet on the plush flock of moss, her taut arm curling its oval finger to smell the hibiscus’s hymn? Her nose is Mona Lisa. Her mouth is Uma Thurman. Her partner documents the copious comings and goings of seasonal crops.