Poem for Thanksgiving

Mr. Owl’s Apology
 
High above
the woodland din,
perched on a
listing redwood
limb,
I spy
the hollow
far below
where humble
creeks
and rivers
flow,
where songbirds
flit and
beauty lies,
where greening
trees and
bluing skies
hide forest
creatures
shivering,
their flittering
and fluttering
their wintering
and summering,
set my heart
a spin-owing.

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A Poem for Fall . . . and two free books

Dear Readers,

Happy Fall!  To celebrate, I’m giving away digital versions of two of my children’s books this weekend (Oct. 24 & 25) . . .

Yogabets: An Acrobatic Alphabet

Cover 1200 dpi YOGA single pp for CS - 9 22 15_Page_01
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=yogabets
&

One Charming Cat (Un Chat Charmant).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016B0F6PG?keywords=one%20charming%20cat&qid=1445615776&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

I’d love to know what you think of them!

For Richer or Poorer

A spare red ring
can mean
many things—
from a bedbug bite
to a life-saving buoy,
from the hatband
mark on an old
man’s head
to the salty rose
of a child’s
mouth,
from the
first full chomp
of a ripe red
fruit
to the mulberry
groove on
a widow’s hand—
yes, a deep
red ring can
mean many
things.

Review of The Girl on the Train

Review of The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train has much to recommend it, not least of which is its best- seller status. But I wonder about the recent flurry of “Girl” books, starting with Gillian Flynn’s truly admirable Gone Girl.

I loved GG. It was slick, interesting, surprising. Good plot (excellent plot, actually. I remember thinking you’d have to be a mastermind to plot something as complicated as this.), well-drawn characters, plausible motivations (the minor exception being Nick Dunne’s final dubitable decision).

But then along came Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on a Train, followed shortly by Renne Knight’s Disclaimer, another in kind (though one lacking the eponymous “Girl” title).

Let’s take GT. Similar in style to Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train is told from multiple points of view—four, in fact: three women and one man, all of whom, sounded alike. This was my first problem with the book, which, in the end, had a decent plot. But when all of a novel’s characters sound the same, it’s difficult to distinguish one from another, a cardinal rule in novel-writing being that each character have its own “voice.” So I had trouble navigating GT because I could never be quite sure who was speaking (unless I went back to the chapter heads to double-check), which greatly disrupted the flow of the narrative.

A second confusing issue was the time frame. Like GG and so many other contemporary novels (reaching back as far as Michael Cunningham’s The Hours—which was excellent and warranted the shifts in time—as well as Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife and Sara Gruen’s Like Water for Elephants, for example) GT moves forward and back in time, a technique which has become less ‘novel’ than de rigueur. So de rigueur, in fact, it’s become tiresome, mainly because it’s difficult to follow.

A lifelong reader, I propose a return to the days of straightforward narrative—unless different time periods are truly warranted by the story. Let the story stand on its own merit. Let the characters absorb us. Let their voices seduce us. Let go of the gimmickry of multiple points of view and shifts in time—or at least use them judiciously. Currently they’re so over-used as to become parodies of themselves, serving no other purpose than to confuse the reader—which, sadly, seems to be the sole point of many of the Gone Girl clones.

Rainy Day Blues

Two weeks of rain have come and gone–hurrah!

My head is wet,
my nose is cold,
my feet are
lumps of clay.
A chill wind’s blown
the starlight out
and chased
the moon away.
Fog steeps me
like a bag
of tea
in drizzle, dew
and mist—
so I lift
me up and
squeeze me out
and plunk myself back
in the house.

Goodbye, Summer!

Dear Readers,

Sorry I’ve been away. This has been a busy summer, and I’ve been devoting my energy to One Charming Cat (January 2016).

But here’s my question for the day . . . what is the value of light verse?

In the meantime, here’s one last nod to summer . . .

Swimmin’ Pool

Swimmin’ pool, swimmin’ pool
I’m your local swimmin’ fool.
See your sparkle, see your blue
ain’t nothing comin’ ’tween me ’n you.

Swimmin’ pool, swimmin’ pool,
hot dogs, June bugs, summer school.
Feel your water, feel your ice—
Ooooooh—don’t that feel nice!

Summertime: Beachballs, Bathing Suits & Frilly Nails

IMG_1353

Fergus

A fungus lives
inside my
foot–
he says
his name
is Fergus.

He’s rude
he’s crude—
I hate this dude!
But, worst of all,
he will not move!
And when I
try to rout
him out,
he rears
his itchy head
and says:
“I’d vacate
in a minute,
Sir,
if I could
find
new shelter.
But I’ve
no other
place to
hide.
So stay
I must,
and swelter!”

My voice
grows shrill,
my tone is
short,
I cannot
keep
from screaming:
“My toe shack’s
packed,
my nooks
are booked,
my feet
are raw
and blistery.
So please
get out—
don’t make me shout—
I’m sick
of all your
witchery!”

“Don’t kid
yourself,”
he answers,
“your foot’s
no Grand Hotel—
it’s pink,
it stinks,
it sweats
and swells.
In summertime
it’s hot as h_ll.”

Oh, how I hate
this loathsome
lout.
How much
I want
to
oust him!
But nothing
works—
not soap
or steam
or gel
or cream.
A knife would
do the trick,
of course,
but at
too great
a cost:
because without
my dear, sweet feet
(no matter how infected),
I would not know
which way to turn—
and I would be
forever lost.

Summer’s Here–the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Dear Readers,

I don’t know why, but I’m not keen on change.  Any kind of change.  My mother often says I balked about going to kindergarten. And I remember feeling bad when I aged out of single-digits–worse when I left my teens for my 20s!

So it probably won’t surprise you to hear I’m loathe to change seasons, too–even when that means leaving a ‘bad’ season (cold stark winter) for a lovely one, like spring.  So spring into summer?  Forgetaboutit!  

Still, I have to admit, change has it’s virtues. It just takes me a while to appreciate them.  So here’s to summer–and it’s happy upsides . . .

1.  I get to see my kids more.

2.  We go to the beach for a week.

3.  No more getting up for school at 7 AM.

4.  And no homework for kids to stress over.

5.  Even better, no more school lunches for me to make. Yay!

6.  I get to read books for fun–not just ‘good’ books.

7.  Thunderstorms–I love ’em!  They were one of the things I missed most when I lived in CA.

As for summer’s downside–well, you know–it’s hot hot hot hot hot hot hot hot hot hot hot hot . . . .

Thanks for stopping by.  Here’s a little poem to help you cool off and enjoy this wacky weather–

A Growing Boy

Onions
olives
pickles
pears—
my stomach
is a fiend,
I swear!

No matter
what is
on my plate,
my tummy
craves
another taste.

I feed it
morning
noon
and night,
but all it
wants is
“one more bite.”

So…
though
my eating
never ends,
it’s not for me—
it’s for
“my friend.”