April 18, 2014
native plants, photos, poppies, spring, yucca
Several years ago I planted Mexican primrose. I thought I had killed it after a year. There was no sign of it the third year, nor the fourth. If I had known it could still come back, I would not have planted the chamisa bush quite where I did. But it turned out that this was just what the Mexican primrose wanted. Native plants do not need to be spaced. In fact, they are happier in each other’s shade. And the Mexican primrose sends its stems in all directions to take its flowers to the sun.
Other native plants have been active. Poppies come up where ever they choose. This one is sharing space with a plant I know as “wire lettuce.” It has a small pink flower, when it decides to bloom.
Yucca plants which spent years squeezed by a prickly pear cactus have taken advantage of the space in the course of the two years since the cactus collapsed in an unusually deep freeze.
The yucca is the state flower of New Mexico There are many varieties and the legislature neglected (or perhaps refused?) to specify which one is the official one.
April 14, 2014
Quite a lot, it turns out. Kind of a Hurricane Press has just come out with a 200 page anthology on the subject. 86 writers, plus the editors, are represented. Coffee has a lot to do with daily life and relationships, and there are many ways to talk about it.
A poem of mine, “Coffee in the Cup” is included. My poem is about colors. Have you ever tried to name the color of coffee with skim milk? I came up with “French beige,” a new term for me this past year, or “taupe.” But is either quite right? It’s a very muted, dull color, distinctly different from coffee with cream.
The anthology, titled Something’s Brewing, is available from Amazon for $8.50, which is a good price for a 200 page book. Kind of a Hurricane Press has anthologies planned to come out about every two months. Submissions for the theme “Candy” are due May 31, for “Amusement Parks” July 31. and there are more to come. Check out: http://www.kindofahurricanepress.com/ for more on submissions or about the coffee anthology.
March 25, 2014
new year, religion, seasons, spring
In a recent post, Marylin Warner pointed out that today, March 25, is Old New Year’s Day. She posted this information a few days ago so that readers might think about what they would like to do over from the January 1 New Year. A New Year is an opportunity to make a fresh start, to correct past mistakes and begin again. You can read her post at: http://warnerwriting.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/unfinished-business/
I was aware that March 25 is the Feast of the Annunciation, honoring the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to Mary to announce the incarnation of Jesus. What I did not know until I did some research is that there is a direct connection between the Annunciation and the old New Year.
The Christian scholars of many centuries ago understood that the incarnation of Christ marked the beginning of a new age. They set the beginning of this incarnation at conception, nine months before the birth of Jesus. Since a new age began on March 25, so must the year of the new age’s calendar, the Years of Our Lord, from which the suffix A.D. (Anno Domini) derives. To know which year it was required starting the year on the same day as the day of the incarnation.
It makes as much sense to start the year a few days after the Spring Equinox as it does to start it ten days after the Winter Solstice. Any day makes a good day for a fresh start. But I’m glad we don’t start our year on March 25. For me, the Feast of the Annunciation has a different significance. Coming as it most often does before Easter, it suggests to me that things have a way of beginning again before the last cycle is over. This is how ritual includes a whole lifetime in its rhythm of days and seasons. It is also a reminder of our human condition. We believe that one thing should end and then another can begin. Things often don’t work that way.
Whether you celebrate a new year, a new season, or a new day, take time to make something right if you are aware of something that is broken.
March 23, 2014
childhood, memory, photo, tanka
Our dolls and bears
bicker and pout
as we play our way
This tanka is for Sally. It was sparked by the discovery, last year, of letters from our childhood. We wrote to each other about the adventures of our stuffed animals, of which we each had a whole community. I put the poem of this long ago experience in the present tense because I hope it continues to be part of children’s growing up.
The picture shows a gathering of my bears and dolls, my brothers’ bears, and my cousin Linda’s bears and dolls. I have been trying to remember whether she came to our house or we went to hers to create this version of “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic.” I’m thinking the chairs must be ours, because my cousin had no siblings, but I don’t recall. An interesting case of what we remember and what we forget. And the way photographs both help and confuse the issue.