Tuesday, April 29, 2008

suitcase poem IX

there was a switch
first that first that then that
aroma was a reference
slight expression in pocket
salvaged glint
eyes adjust to fresh exterior
newfound canopy flaps open
hint of crescent
all that remains
of grasp

Monday, April 28, 2008

suitcase poem VIII

she stitched a satchel for half finished sentences
it replaced that sinking feeling
a patch or two would mend the pitfalls
she loosed scrawl
wound a skein
certain tangled threads were beyond repair
ever deeper she plunged
there was a sheen to her discovery
it heightened expectancy
buoyancy was essential to carry burden
not viable
yet valid
accurate incision enabled departure

Sunday, April 27, 2008

suitcase poem VII

it wasn’t definite. her decision to ascend had obstacles.
she lifted glass and lit votive. shadows grew long. tossed

rock breaks face on water. intentions scatter. she lay on

lawn gazing at tall locust. the locus had shifted. she sought

peak and vale. values were taking shape. verisimilitude

loosely wrapped. rumpled it lay. shadows flickered. locked

trunk was tempting. she stored folded garment. she settled

to stitch anew.

Friday, April 25, 2008

suitcase poem VI

delicate chain lost in bodice
hint of lace
an ivy tattoo
wrangling tight denim
bangles chime from wrist
voluminous swing linen
rustle and snap
tap of heels
low slung cling in crepe
sheer summer
gathers closed the kimono
silk brocade and wide brimmed hat
whisper of knit tights
warp and weft
bronze toe through black sandal

Thursday, April 24, 2008

suticase poem V

small girl on yellow bike spins toward hollow
she passes grooming business, opossum, new house on hill
blast of silt from bb gun leaves her chaffed
she turns back to brook side
in sneaky light after bedtime
pens bookpage with obsessions
always in addition
a quest for completion
cemetery, asylum, lakeside lot
the random
she seeks

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

suitcase poem IV

when the turn begins
a rounding of the flesh
certain corners now past
questions of vortex and matrix
methods of careful handling
fledgling efforts to fit
when the template is arranged
clock ticks a time not yet told
beholden to change

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

suitcase poem III

there is a pocket
it holds colored beads, wads of paper, dried flowers, an old locket
she reaches in
sifts through sand, rice, pebbles, wheat, quinoa, beans
there is a well
it holds sea glass, fish, echo, shells
she lowers herself
swims through myth, leaf, ice cream, rain, reunions, waft
there is a valley
it holds heavy oak, old homes, tadpoles, crystal, maypole, maples, fog
she descends
wends past chai stand, pine stand, cherry pies, laundry line, chains

suitcase poem II

a mother needs grass
it leads her to other side
where road beckons
her gaze is returned
she remembers something
before her the concerns appear
she chews cud
looks back toward herd
with clarity

suitcase poem I

rose knows red best
fire unfurls and transforms what once
blood blossoms on white linens
ache builds and bursts forth
anger is an angular thorn
it livens dim chamber
where crisp page cracks silence

Suitcase Poems

While I can't enjoy the instant gratification of my digital camera for a couple of weeks while Dan carries it through India, I'm planning to pull some photos from my archive and write some poems that they may inspire. I hope to do at least one a day, but I may do more. Imagine popping the buckles on an old vintage suitcase, opening the lid and finding a loose assortment of photos inside. What stories do these photos whisper as you sift through them?

Monday, April 21, 2008

sew fun

the above picture was taken last week. charlottesville is just bursting with color, even on a rainy day like today. the abundance and diversity of blossoming trees is astonishing. and the leaves are unfurling in a newborn lime green splash.

and since i have no new photos to show you, here is one i took a few weeks ago of yet another bend the rules blanket i made for a mama and her sweet girl who is four months old today!!!! surely they have received it by now. i quite like the design on the flannel, though sadly it became all beaded up when i washed it. blah. nothing like sending a gift of a brand new beaded up blankie.

yesterday i asked tashi what sort of crafting she would like to do. sewing was the answer. she pulled out her DIY Kids book and picked out the stuffed animal pillow. she did much of it, and i helped too. it was a great mother daughter bonding project. since my camera is on a journey through india with my husband, i made some little flip videos of our project. i tried to make it into one film, but it seems like that can't be done on a mac? wtf, i say!

after tashi went to bed with her new flopped-ear-bunny-looks-like-a-puppy-pillow, i watched la vie en rose. wow. i had no idea edith piaf had such a tragic life. it was quite a good film i thought, perhaps mostly because the actress was so awesome. she definitely deserved the oscar for that performance. the back and forth through time made it difficult to really put together piaf's life in a chronological continuum; i couldn't quite keep track of which event happened when and what followed. maybe i'm simple that way.

too late for much of anything now, but more dvd geeking.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

beats me

on saturday there is a big earth day festival fund raiser at my daughter's school. i am wracked with guilt at not really being able to volunteer my time. tomorrow i am consumed with a major event my workplace is putting on, and on saturday i have to cart dan off to dulles airport in dc. so tonight i at least got my act together to prepare some delicious peanut butter oatmeal cookies for the bake sale. i poured the sugars, the butter, the peanut butter into a bowl to cream, but could not find the beater attachments for my electric hand mixer. i searched high and low. where do beater attachments disappear to anyway? hmmmmm. perhaps tashi was licking chocolate off of them in the not so distant past, and now they are buried deep in dust bunnies in some dark corner of our house.

well, thank goodness for the cuisine art.

i generally don't use it for anything but pureeing soups, but in a pinch, it whips up a mean dough. in fact, it probably does a better job than the hand beater. but i do prefer my hand beater. i'm old fashioned that way.

in other news, amanda soule's book is in the house (or in the yard. depending on where you are when it's in your hand).

tashi and i started digging through it, and she was immediately attracted to the section about finding your spot. even though she has many favorite well established spots, it became time to purposely declare a spot as her very own. and so she did.

a fine perch in a stand of scrub and trees on the border of our yard, tashi can watch the street and the neighbors from many angles while remaining fairly camouflaged.

ah spring.

oh and here is the peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe. use which ever kind of mixing device you prefer!

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups oatmeal

preheat oven to 350

Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla and beat well. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix. Stir in oatmeal.

Prepare baking sheets. Using a spoon, place 1 inch spoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 10-15 minutes. Place on cooling rack.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

some thoughts for wednesday

it's bad enough that dan will be gone for two weeks. but gone with my camera, now that's just too much. i guess i will have to resort to lots of little flip videos. and the posting of old photos. perhaps i will dig into the thick archive of 16 months worth of digital photos, feature a few, and include some brooding prose.

but right now i'm just procrastinating on cooking dinner. some evenings i just can't face the wee kitchen. nope. can't.

i will have to set some goals while dan is away, so i don't pull the tv out each night for company. here are some things i hope to accomplish, or at least get started in the coming days:

* figure out how to thread my new antique sewing machine, and then make something on it!
* per tashi's request, sew her a bend the rules baby blanket. she is still my baby after all.
* it's baseball season, tashi's chosen team sport. and baseball games sure are long. time to start embroidering! oh, and, didn't i learn how to knit? i forgot.
* read sense and sensibility. i've seen so many various film versions of it, that it's just time to read the book damn it.
* embark on some craft projects with tashi. she is so independent now, choosing things to do on her own, curling up on the couch and reading entire books in single days. i feel like some good active bonding time is due.
* plant, do, dig something in the yard. something.

speaking of yard. i'm terrified of my cats now because i know the poison ivy is beginning to rear it's oily head. they love to run through it and then nuzzle their furry little tainted soft selves against me. i think i suffered from the rash at least three times last summer, and i'm pretty certain two out of three of those times was secondhand exposure from the cats. one session was so bad that the skin on my arm still hasn't normalized. i have several pale patches where the scaly outbreak was.

yard. cats. kid. luv.

hostessing with the mostessing

a late night post just to say hi. my dad and step-mother have been visiting. we've been doing things like eating virginia fried chicken, talking about films, taking drives in the virginia countryside, wandering in and out of thrift shops, enjoying the downtown mall, and exploring monticello and uva.

tomorrow our guests depart and then we dive headlong into the end of the week. my workplace is putting on several big events on friday and then saturday dan departs for india. yea. that's what i said. not indiana. i'm even going to let him borrow my digital camera.

i promise to check back in with a much more entertaining post soon. for now, this photo will have to do.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

freecycle singer

oh how lovely. today i was gifted with an antique singer sewing machine, through the amazing freecycle program. to add to the fun, the giver was a fellow blogger. equally wonderful to receiving this amazing vintage sewing machine was meeting tracey and her precious baby girl, willa, on their beautiful sugar hollow property. i love it when the online world becomes onland.

i came home and before even unloading the groceries i plugged in the sewing machine and listened to its pretty hum. it works! it has a light! it's so solid and handsome.

i will have to find a manual to figure out how to thread it. hopefully then i will endeavor to make some special items on it. there is something so pleasing about it's purr! its ebony glean. the golden filigree. its iron years.

gazing at it i can't help but wonder whose hands originally worked it. was she a young girl? a grandma? was it given to her as a beloved gift, or did she work hard to pay for this tool herself? did she find peace and satisfaction in sewing garments for her children, cloths for her table? or was she weighed down with domestic demands, this being yet another shackle?

i am so fortunate to have been given this, simply, out of the blue. there are no demands on me to produce from it. with such freedom, its possibilities broaden. my enthusiam grows.

soon, happy machine, you will be threaded and singing your favorite song.

Monday, April 07, 2008


that my friends, is the hip mermade (tashi's spelling). if she is flipping us all off, it is certainly unintentional. tashi whipped this out in less than 30 minutes. i just love it.

last night we were witness to a fabulous free concert brought to us by the uva chapter of spicmacay, society for the promotion of indian classical music and culture amongst youth.

i laughed. i cried. i experienced euphoria and stillness. i walked down dusty lane in loose kameez and ordered spicy chai from ramshackle stall where monkeys danced on tin roof. vishwa mohan bhatt and subhen chatterjee transported me to a place that was sunny, spacious, loud, silent, crowded, spiritual, fierce and placid.

and then i came home to this.

just for the record, wanty:
totally cool laptop lunchbox
a book that probably every crafter but me has by now

Saturday, April 05, 2008

starry eyed saturday

not a lot to write about this week. . . but i thought i should have at least a saturday check in.

today was the first day of the charlottesville farmer's market, but sadly, i realized a bit too late and missed it.

soon tashi and i are going to see the spiderwick chronicles. she read the series of books recently, and so is eagerly anticipating the film. last night i watched atonement. i feel fairly indifferent about the film; in fact, i was sort of loathing it at first. but i found that, more than the story, i enjoyed the filmy-ness of it all, the camera work, the flash forward/ flash back storytelling, the sets & costumes, and in particular, i dug the typewriter incorporated into the soundtrack. so it was entertaining enough.

tomorrow we are going to see a free concert of traditional indian music by vishwa mohan bhatt. now that's something to look forward to!

this week is tashi's spring break. we haven't much planned, a few play dates, a couple bring-your-daughter-to-work days. and at the end of the week my dad is visiting with his wife shirley. that will be good fun!

anyway, i'm off to have my weekend. how's that for random, anyway?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

treasure seekers

today we finally planted some seeds. they are old expired seeds, so we'll see if they produce anything. but it was nice to dig in the dirt, and sit under the nurturing sun. i was pulling some dead leaves from under a plant, when i discovered this luminous plastic goddess playing a lyre. we have no idea where she came from. but i thought it a pretty special find.

we were thus inspired to pull out tashi's swank metal detector that she received for christmas. we wandered around the yard, digging holes whenever the device beeped at us. tashi was getting pretty frustrated, finding mostly nails, bolts and rusted bottle caps. the highlight of the bunch was a dog's vet tag.

and then we found a horseshoe! a horsehose, buried in our town yard. an old, rusty, slightly misshapen horseshoe. could it be hundreds of years old? did horses once graze on our little hill? or was it a child's lucky horseshoe? perhaps forgotten after a game of pitching horseshoes? it's hard to tell. but we thought it was quite a treasure after all the smooshed bottle caps and rusted wires.

what treasures lay under your lawn? in your heart? in the stories of your past? in the fertile field of your imagination?

what a way to start a day


i accidentally put this on my daughter's blog at first. oh my!