Archive for November, 2011

Protected: Poetry Jam XXV

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We don’t need organic massages

We don’t need photofacials

We don’t need Chick-Fil-A blocking a trademark application by Eat More Kale

We don’t need a mini bobble-head of ourselves made in time for Christmas

We don’t need cake balls from Mama’s Cake Balls in NYC

We don’t need children to be obese

We don’t need obese children being taken from their homes

We don’t need Coulter

We don’t need fake boobs

We don’t need male enhancement

We don’t need bad medicine

We don’t need misinformation

We don’t need the sun to go down at 4:30 pm

We don’t need more rain

We don’t need fear mongers

We don’t need to rant

We don’t need to do the dishes that are spilling out of the sink and onto the counter

We don’t need to lose weight

We don’t need to eat the last home-made oatmeal chocolate-chip cookie just because it beckons with a sexy voice

We don’t need Anthony Hopkins or Robert Duvall to get any older

We don’t need a mellifluous voice whispering melty words in our ear all of the time, just some of the time

We don’t need writer’s block

We don’t need sunblock (in the winter)

We don’t need a vacation to an exotic, tropical locale; only a vacation for one overnight, somewhere really close, even if it’s slightly chilly

We don’t need to know our age

We don’t need to act our shoe size

We don’t need to check our site stats more than 25 times a day

We don’t need to see Paris more than at least once before we die

We don’t need politics mixed up with religion

We don’t need the taste of licking an envelope to linger on our tongue

We don’t need the cat to think that every pair of socks left on the floor is a venomous snake from which to leap backwards at the height of 1.5′ and at a distance of 3′

We don’t need to link our accounts, sign up for another rewards card, or see any exciting travel destinations

We don’t need to post naked photos of women with fake boobs to get more readers

We don’t need to think about summer or to love the world any more than we already do

But we think about it

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Protected: Poetry Jam XXIV

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“O dear children, look in what a dungeon we are lying, in what lodging we are, for we have been captured by the spirit of the outward world; it is our life, for it nourishes and brings us up, it rules in our marrow and bones, in our flesh and blood, it has made our flesh earthly, and now death has us.”

Jacob Boehme

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Happy Thanksgiving to you all, but we just found our lovely Willow dead in the street.

She is now buried under the soft soil by the back fence and we will make a beautiful grave for her.

We were lucky to have had her for almost 2 years and lucky that the day is full of bright sunshine, the earth is not frozen, and that her body was whole. Just like that line from the book “The Accidental Tourist,” though, you can see that it’s not her any more, only her body. The essential part of her is gone, it’s so obvious, and there’s some comfort in that for me.

She was the most unique and kind cat I have ever had.

We love you Willow, always and forever.

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Here’s a song from the Harp of Ages (a 7-shape hymnal) and most of these folks sing regularly at the Tuesday night sing which yours truly frequents. And no, the altos don’t usually stand up, but they are having a bit of fun.

Don’t they sound fabulous?


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With this being Thanksgiving week and me not being inspired by much of anything else, I turn to the default setting of the Sacred Harp…

You hear this sung periodically at the singing I go to, though more likely you hear it when someone has a specific thing to celebrate–the birth of a new baby, the announcement of an engagement, a wedding, gratitude that someone has recovered from an illness.

But, as with all songs that may be called at a Shape Note singing, someone might just want to lead it and hear it sung, without a particular occasion in mind.

I am thinking about Thanksgiving, Hubby returning from Singapore after a full seven days away, and about the fact that I’ve missed 3, maybe 4, weeks of my regular Tuesday night singing. I so look forward to going singing tomorrow night–you know the drill, right? 7-10 pm at Helen Hills Hills Chapel, Rte. 9, Northampton, Mass.

Here’s a video of the Wootten Family of Alabama, shot by none other than Alan Lomax himself (!!!). I’ve recently begun to learn about the Wootten Family, but can’t say much because, well, I am just learning.

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On the heels of our smash sketch comedy show last night at the World War II Club in Northampton, Mass, here’s a sketch, from way back in 2007, in which yours truly plays a supporting role. Written by Hubby and starring some of the usual suspects from the sketch comedy troupe “Side of Toast:”

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Or, one of my favorite poems (please be aware that wordpress doesn’t maintain line breaks, so the line “washed out all tracks” is actually indented 4 spaces in the original text):

Women We Never See Again

Three are women we love whom we never see again.
They are chestnuts shining in the rain.
Moths hatched in winter disappear behind books.
Sometimes when you put your hand into a hollow tree
you touch the dark places between the stars.
Human war has parted messengers from another place—
they cross back to each other at night,
going through slippery valleys, farmyards where rain has
washed out all tracks,
and when we walk there, with no guide, saddened, in the dark,
we see above us glowing the fortress made of ecstatic blue stone.

Robert Bly

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Thankful Thursday is meant to be my remedy for this: we are going to hell in a hand basket. On this day (as if I don’t attempt it at other times), I push myself to love the world in spite of the inevitability of death; in spite of politics and fucked-up information put out by the medical industry; in spite of  advertisers who have sold their own souls and ours; the intertwined, enmeshed corporate world in which we all live; the world of disposable packaging and appliances; hypocrisy–yours, mine, and ours; the deteriorating state of our air and water and soil; the increasing ownership of everyfuckingthing by multi-national corporations. I push through my dug-in heels and my myopic tendencies and reach up my hands for something better and more beautiful and for a bit of ecstasy and for the strength to grab it all, take a bite out of its ass, and love it anyway.

I’ve been sleep-deprived this week and finally, this morning, I took an ibuprofin PM. This is a heavy-duty drug for me. I take it when I need it, but haven’t needed to for months and months.

I think I went to sleep around 10 am or a little before. I was fairly stunned when I woke up and looked at the clock–it was already 1:20 in the afternoon. Had I missed anything? What responsibilities did I screw up? Nada, nothing. Just sleep for me. Whew.

Now I can proceed through the rest of my week without hating anything or pining away the hours. At least I think I can.

Thankful for:

Sleep, even drug-induced

All the FANTASTIC music I’ve been discovering lately (you read about Glenna Bell on Monday, right y’all?)

Look what I found. I am blown away by this guy–his guitar and voice and soft presence AND he’s going to be around these parts in December and January. Maybe I can go and hear him live.

Then, this great thing happened. I was just listening to the above Chris Smither‘s version of “Killing the Blues” and I got in my car (abandoning my children and motherly duties YIKES!) to go to a rehearsal and was trying really hard to sing the song. What came on the radio those very 30 seconds after I pulled out of the driveway? Alison Krauss and Robert Plant singing the very same. I KID YOU NOT! I sang along and sounded pretty good, but I know I’ll never be able to sing that song alone ever. Or “Visions of Johanna.” That one is super tricky….Chris Smither does it, too. Really. Oh, the original “Killing the Blues” was written by Roly Salley. Don’t think it’s anyone else, either, ’cause you know how I like accuracy.

I love serendipitous moments like that. I don’t think they mean that I’m saved or something or that I’m destined for a life of happiness or that someone can read my mind, I just love them when they happen. I do think there are currents we forget about…currents of spirit and particles of energy that clash together for the good sometimes.

The way I know the lyric “world by the tail” is from an old Burl Ives album I had as a kid. I can’t find anything anywhere on the web about who wrote that song.

I sang (and still do, but rarely) that song A LOT to my kids, in the daytime, but mostly as a jaunty lullaby at night (I love a jaunty lullaby as much as I love a melancholy one):

Got the world by the tail with a downhill pull and everything is fine/The reason is my heart’s so full of love for that gal of mine/Sing high, sing low, sing hi-diddle-dum/Sing high, sing sweet, sing low, sing tune, sing moon a way up in the sky

Don’t forget to OCCUPY NOW!

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