march madness

via Assorted


my inspirational 'go to' list ...

Adullamite has tagged me for The Versatile Blogger Award, which comes with among other things, a meme of 7 things about me to complete and post. He is most sweet in selecting me and I thank him. I gave up on blog awards some time ago when Soubry and I had great fun in making and producing our own award banners and then posting them on our blogs. This activity confused some of my faithful readers who began congratulating me on all my fine achievements! One award I've kept is the Hot Mule Award of 2010, seen in my sidebar.

I gave up on personal memes about 5 years ago when a particular meme of mine, 10 crazy things about me, popped up all photocopied and notated in a deposition hearing during my embittered and long divorce. So instead of sharing 7 things about me and picking 15 people to pass this award on to, I will share with you 7 places I like to visit in the blogosphere. These blogs provide me with inspiration, quotables, beautiful images, thought provoking articles, poetry and always a smile or two.

1. Crashingly Beautiful ~ a tumblr blog that combines great quotes, poetry, evocative images and links to other interesting tumblr blogs. It was the first tumblr blog that I had ever visited and springboarded me into this whole new world of image and sound-bite blogs.

2. the beauty we love ~ a gorgeous blog of images and poetry and philosophy. I generally check this blog daily and have 'stolen' a number of images and words from it to post here at the gate.

3. The End Starts Here ~ a quirky blog by well-known photographer Rodney Smith, whose work I am certain many of you have encountered in the blogosphere. Here are a few examples:

4. Assorted ~ a tumblr blog that is pure eye candy and full of great quotes and luscious links. I've stolen so much material from her blog that I finally confessed my thieving ways to her and now have a new blogging friend!

5. whiskey river ~ this blog is in the style of a commonplace book : " a book in which records are made of things to be remembered." It contains quotes and passages and poetry from books and websites with links. It is especially great for inspirational quotes like the recent one I posted about Leonard Cohen.

6. wood s lot ~ the work of Canadian Mark Woods, this website gathers sound bites and images from politics, philosophy, poetry, sociology, religion, art ...... everything! He posts interesting snippets that make me want to follow the amply provided links and 'read more about it.'

7. Crush Cul de Sac ~ a very 'girly' tumblr blog of fantasy images that I discovered whilst browsing about at Assorted. A sample:

In the past, for whatever reason or non-reason, I did not roam about the blogosphere. Instead, I was merely content to swim in my own little pond, here in the back 40. I also tended to start up and then kill off blogs on a fairly regular basis. Now that my paranoid state has subsided to a minimal degree (barely noticeable I assure you), I have stayed with this particular blog and branched out a bit looking for inspiration. Along the way I've collected a few more blogging friends that I adore, re-acquainted myself with my 5 faithful readers, and enjoyed the process of it all much more than ever before. For that, I thank you, faithful reader!




You made me tea
while I shook the rain from my jacket.
You stooped to fit into the kitchen,
but handled the cups as if they'd been
the fontanelles of two young sons
whose picture sits in the hip of your 501s.
We spoke of - what? Not much.
You weren't to know how your touch
with the teaspoon stirred me,
how the tendons of your wide, divining hands
put me in mind of flight.

You wouldn't have known
when you bent to tend a plant
that your shirt fell open a smile's breadth.
You parted the leaves and plucked
a tiny green bud. Best to do that
with the early ones, you said.
I thought of the salt in the crook
of your arm where a fine vein kicks.
Of what it might be like to know
the knot and grain and beat of you;
the squeak of your heart's pips.

~ Tiffany Atkinson
from Kink and Particle



leonard cohen

"I don't know what I'm doing most of the time. There's a certain humor in realizing that. I can never figure out the kind of tie to put on in the morning. I don't have any strategy or plan to get through the day. It is literally a problem for me to decide which side of the bed to get out on. These are staggering problems. I remember talking to this Trappist monk in a monastery. He's been there twelve years. A pretty severe regime. I expressed my admiration for him and he said 'Leonard, I've been here twelve years and every morning, I have to decide whether I'm going to stay or not.' I knew exactly what he was talking about."
~ Leonard Cohen
Jon Wilde

Sabotage Times

via whiskey river


w.s. merwin

"To the Tongue"

Whatever we say
we know there is another
language under this one

a word of it is always
there on the tip of you
unsayable and early
o you for whom
all the languages have been named
who have none of your own

naked sleeper in the cave
where you were born
dreamer without words
who first tasted
a verb of the world
you who speak as though
you could see

you have not forgotten
the serpent your ancestor
its fluttering inarticulate flame
of expectation
on the way to you

~ from Present Company


frivolous friday



francis ponge

Okay, okay --- since you asked, I've posted the rest of the poem, which I really don't like except for the first lines and the last line ....

"Inside the fog that encloses trees, they undergo the robbing of their leaves ..."

Thrown into confusion by a slow oxidation, and humiliated by the sap's withdrawal for the sake
of the flowers and fruits, the leaves, following hot spells of August, cling less anyway.

The up-and-down tunnels inside the bark deepen, and guide the moisture down to earth so as to
break off with the animated parts of the tree.

The flowers are scattered, the fruits taken away. This giving up of their more animated parts,
and even parts of their body, has become, since their earliest days, a familiar practice for trees.

from New of the Universe
- poems of the twofold world
translated by Robert Bly

via the beauty we love


read the writing on the wall, babe ...

Happy Valentine's Day


the Valentine's post I meant to write ...

I've been meaning to write this post for the last two weeks, but I've been sidetracked by Life. You see, MY Valentine's celebration began on February 1 when I received via Royal Air Mail .....

that's RIGHT!!
My very own The Naked Muse 2012 calendar !!

If you remember from my previous post, calendars for good causes, this calendar features poetry written by female poets alongside naked male muses photographed by women. I had suggested that for Valentine's, my male readership should gift their beloveds with the gift that keeps on giving, 12 months out of the year. Most of you said - No way. Even my own beloved was a skeptic. But LOOK what he did ..... yep, that sweet man of mine, without my knowledge, followed the links and purchased for me my very own Valentine's calendar. And the poetry in it is great! I've already shared the first poem from it here at the gate, entitled Lips.

Knowing you guys, however, I bet you are wondering about the NAKED MEN in the calendar. Meh ... That's right, Meh... these are not the hunky models advertising Calvin Klein underwear or the George Clooney's of the world. These are just your average, run of the mill, all ages, all walks of life guys who also happen to be published poets. And the nudes are tasteful (only one full frontal hidden behind a lacy sheer curtain). Of course I went through and looked at all the months - you would too! My 16 year old daughter also grabbed it and flipped through .... Her response ..... Ewwwww! Hahahaha ..... I'm not sure what she was expecting, but be rest assured none appealed to her teenage aesthetic. Except for the dreadlocks. One poet has a head full of dreads, which she finds utterly cool.

What I find utterly cool is the fact that my beloved was Man Enough to purchase the calendar, sight unseen, and send it to me, simply because he knew I really wanted one. Yes, this act scored major points with me. And as I mentioned earlier, the poetry is great. I'm discovering a new world of contemporary poets that I want to read.

Sigh ....... ain't Love just the BEST !!

Thank you, sweetheart !


fred herzog

more here.


a not so valentine's-ish post

I'm not feeling very positive about Valentine's Day this year. I have a lot on my plate. I'm having to adjust quickly to my new 'management' position at the shop. I'm overwhelmed. My beloved arrives in 6 weeks .... and I think I have a total of maybe 8 or 9 days off from work to do any serious cleaning before he arrives. I know, I know - he's not coming to inspect the house, but it does need to be relatively free of dog hair for him. It's that time of year, too, the deep down in the blue funk of winter time of year ..... but now it's all mixed up with my old pal anxiety. I'm not sleeping well at night. I'm not eating well during the day. I should be folding clothes instead of blogging; washing dishes instead of blogging; sleeping instead of blogging ..... and, well , let's face it - I'm not REALLY blogging. I'm just stealing posts from other blogs and slapping them up here at the gate to make myself feel better about not really blogging.

And like a very unlucky penny, a BAD penny, he chooses this time AGAIN, valentine-ish time, to pop back into my life. He, being the biological dad I never knew from ages 6 to 26. Since that first REUNION, he's been dropping out of my life and back into it on a fairly regular cycle ... 4 to 6 years or so. I can always count on dad for two things: He'll be manic, and he will be using. If he's too high, he'll be drinking as well to buffer the edge of the downswing. (He always confesses these things to me after the fact - as if I can't read the signs myself.) He will tell me that he's cleaning up his act (check); he's in love with a wonderful woman (check); he'll be getting married in X number of days or weeks or months (check); and he just wants to be able to hold his little girl in his arms one more time (little, meaning that I'm the youngest of his three biological children) - check.

How do I explain ?? His emotional instability reacts and mixes with my emotional instability to create a madness that I cannot handle, emotionally.

I know I'm supposed to forgive, turn the other cheek .... It hurts to know that this is what my heart wants to do. But my head is saying, "Look, girlfriend. This man has let you down every single time you've taken him back. His track record speaks for itself. Read the signs, dammit: Landslide Ahead!"

While I ponder on exactly what to say to extricate myself from this dilemma, enjoy the poem I wrote to him ..... 6 years ago: which, doing the math, is simply 4 years plus 2.

Volume 4, No. 2

It's been 4 years since I last heard your voice,
and 2 minutes since you said good-bye.

I was 6 when you signed the adoption papers,
erased yourself from my life.

You reappeared suddenly - a secret code broken,
when I was twenty-six.
Which, doing the math, is simply six 4's plus 2.

You spent 4 years drifting away,
leaving me.
An anchor without its chain.

4 more and you dove back into my life.
I, on the other hand, served 4 years stuck in this endless ocean.
Its waters carving me into that universal symbol.
A sign for fuck-off.

It took me 2 years to feel contrite.

Which brings us back to today, Valentine's,
6 minutes after I hung up the phone and
4 minutes after I realized:

I had to say
was good-bye.

rev. 11/2006



wendell berry

Approaching Noise by David Jon Kassan

In this woman the earth speaks.
Her words open in me, cells of light
flashing in my body, and make a song
that I follow toward her out of my need.
The pain I have given her I wear
like another skin, tender, the air
around me flashing with thorns.
And yet such joy as I have given her
sings in me and is part of her song.
The winds of her knees shake me
like a flame. I have risen up from her,
time and again, a new man.

~ Wendell Berry
from Farming


my secret garden

"Gardens…..should be like lovely, well-shaped girls; all curves, secret corners, unexpected deviations, seductive surprises and then still more curves."
~ H. E. Bates
via Assorted


Wislawa Szymborska

Wislawa Szymborska
(2 July 1923 - 1 February 2012)
I’ll never find out now
What A. thought of me.
If B. ever forgave me in the end.
Why C. pretended everything was fine.
What part D. played in E.’s silence.
What F. had been expecting, if anything.
Why G. forgot when she knew perfectly well.
What H. had to hide.
What I. wanted to add.
If my being around
meant anything
to J. and K. and the rest of the alphabet.

“ABC” from Monologue of a Dog by WisÅ‚awa Szymborska.

Go here to read a lovely tribute written in honor of the Nobel prize-winning poet


~ for Roderick

1. Not very significant, you might say. And I'd agree, except that I went to a
shop today to try to find something to make them redder. And that I look for
the colour of them all around me. And that orange doesn't work.

2. One reason: so you know where to kiss. The skin is funnelled, runnelled,
so that like paper folded then unfolded, it creases along the lines into perfect

3. Or: superconductor. There's no resisting your electricity. Whatever you
pass to me I carry, like a string vibrates forever in space, until the other end
touches down, liquefies in the growing heat.

~ by Patricia Debney



frivolous friday

It's been raining cats and dogs all week. I'm dreaming of a pair of red wellies ......



on kissing ...

To me, there is no greater act of courage than being the one who kisses first.
~ Janeane Garofalo

RDG: Yes, being the rather forward American gal that I am, I kissed him first. If I had to wait for him to make the first move, we'd still be trying to hold hands across the Atlantic .... !

via Assorted