Monday, August 29, 2011

Time to Rhyme

Ta Da! Time to Rhyme

I think it’s time
I returned to rhyme
Forget that I’m still bemoaning
The toss of my will
& the loss of the thrill
It’s time to cool down the groaning.

If John Dunne can write
With a meter in sight
I can surely let loose and start playing
Let the words rock and roll
Far into my soul
And let it be my way of praying

I’m told to remember
From June to September
That poems should never be dire.
They must dance the two step
Bounce with grace and adept
To nuance and rhythm and fire.

I stopped for a while
My heart raced a far mile.
I lost all the fancy and fun
Of choosing the words
That together are heard
With a twinkle and wink of the sun.

How does one become
So stuck and so glum
That silliness goes out of season?
Is living so tough
When the going gets rough
That a poet stops rhyme without reason?

No, No, I will say
I won’t have it that way
Any longer, any deeper, any how
I’m a fool starting fresh
Confused with the best
And I’ll start with the rhythm of now.

I admit it. I have become self conscious. Writing is in many ways is different than painting or illustration or photography because it requires more from a viewer. For one thing, it's most often not a quick hit: it takes time to read a poem or a story.

I hereby announce I want my spark back for the sheer fun of poetry. Even agonizing poems can be fun to write.

So here I am, posting this poem, letting it serve as an introduction that it's time for me to rhyme again, time to write poems again.

Now where IS that poetry muse? She's opinionated and a tough nut to crack, but I kind of like having her around.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just-in-Case Hurricane Planning

Hello everyone, it's me, Emily Rabbit. kj told me that she has received several emails and messages hoping she is okay in the hurricane that is supposed to swish and blow in Sunday morning and she said it is so nice to hear from friends here and there and everywhere and of course I agree even though no one wrote to me specifically and no one sent me jelly beans for comfort in case we lose electricity but I am not complaining because I made my own arrangements.

Anyway, yesterday kj and JB walked around the yard and moved anything that could fly and they put things into the garage and this got me thinking about what to do in a hurricane and I have advice which I am providing as public service and I won't charge money for it this one time.

1. Since the wind is probably going to knock everything around anyway, cut as many flowers as you want and spread them all over your house:

2. Take some money from somebody's wallet if you don't have your own and buy two pounds of multicolored jelly beans. Then hide one pound under a sandbag in your yard and hide one pound inside a winter coat if it is summer or one pound inside a bathing suit if it is winter. That way no one else will find them but you and besides for having an emergency supply, you won't have to share.

3. Don't think about jumping off a roof and hoping the wind will let you fly like a bird because it won't work.

4. A hurricane is a good time to have hot biscuits with raspberry jam for breakfast.

5. Oh and kj is like a broken record about having a flashlight and batteries and water and peanut butter just in case. I don't agree with those priorities but I didn't say anything since I am not worried because my jellybeans are safe.
kj says the the weather reports say that it will rain alot for 24 hours and the winds will be very pushy. She is not very worried about a tree falling on the house, she is only alittle worried about losing electricity, and she is not one bit worried about herself and her family and her friends. I told her she is smart not to worry because really, anyway, why worry until you have to worry and right now there is no hurricane and only a little rain and there are all these flowers in the house and some of them look like they're dancing. Plus I know kj has asked someone she calls a higher power (is that a big chandelier in the ceiling maybe?) to watch over certain people on the east coast and in New York and in Rhode Island and Maryland and New Hampshire and at Mr. Ryan's house and of course here at # 9 too just in case.

Sincerely Yours,

Emily V.V. Rabbit

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

26 years

Today is our 26th anniversary. It could just as well have been May 3rd when we threw a weekend celebration in honor of ourselves for 45 of our friends and family. It also could have been a date in September neither of us can remember, when we two women became the 1006th couple in Provincetown to legally marry one another, finally, because we could.

Together we have lived in three houses in three places, one affluent, one ocean side, one rural. We have raised a phenomenal and vibrant daughter even though sometimes we were all more triangles than circles. We've loved three dogs and two cats and one white bird. We've lived apart and commuted to and from Maine and Massachusetts every week for five years and we grown into ourselves and with each other over the years, together, separate, together. I have always felt loved. There was a time now five years ago when I was sure that love could multiply and when I found that could not be, it was she who told me it was not my fault, she who had been hurt the most, who stood to protect me when arrows broke my skin.

I found a card leaning against the coffee pot this morning. Inside it said, "I am not always perfect in my love for you--but always know that I love you dearly and always will." She will be embarrassed and maybe even upset that I have shared something so intimate on my blog. But it says so much about her.

Tomorrow night we will dine at a rare elegant restaurant and include dessert. Chances are we will toss our heads back, laughing and remembering when we first met, when we first knew, why we still honor this day as the first day. I don't thank her enough. I hope she knows.

Happy Anniversary JB Ms. Petunia.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Thoughts on the End of Summer

In less than a week, the air in the Pioneer Valley where I live has changed. It's become crisp and breezy, still August warm, but summer is making way for another season

New Englanders begin to lament the loss of summer the day after the 4th of July. By now we are actively thinking ahead to September. The leaves will turn from green to red and yellow and orange and then the trees will be bare, the ground will harden, the temperatures will drop.

But I'm in no rush. I'm still appreciating. I've figured a few things out this summer, returned to Cape Cod and my ocean, let go and leaned into the life I have and the life I want. Soon I will be writing poems again and polishing new and old words and spending time in the magic land of small children. I will do all this while I begin my escalating grumble about the winter and snow to come.

But now I'm reminiscing: here, some snippets, my summer, 2011.

Madly in love with my new kitchenA child and a dog madly in love with each other
a return to Provincetown after five years of only visiting

good goofy times with good goofy friends

a new love: photo of four day old Logan James taken by aspiring photographer, all by himself, Mr. Ryan, age 4

and last weekend, as evidence of another season, a visit to a local orchard

and finally, two little boys meet their brother:

Dear god, let me be giddy. (a pilfered word from a dear giddy friend). I've reread the poem in my last post several times now. I know that my own vow is that I not waste my life wishing for different or clinging to then. My own vow is that I not waste my life, period. If you ask me I will tell you this should be easier than it often is, although I can't tell you why. But I know this: I am damned and determined to wear myself out. In time. No rush.



Friday, August 19, 2011

All the True Vows

I only needed to read the first four lines of this poem by David Whyte. How much time and how many years might a person spend, hoping for someone else's approval, seeking evidence and confirmation that what is felt, what is known, what is honored is good and right if only because it belongs only to the one who owns it?

I am a strong and reasonably healthy person. I'm not perfect, but I know how to live and I don't hold back love. And yet, that is my public self. That is how I try to be, how I want to be seen.

This poem pushes and prods me to face and be sure how I see myself. What could be more important?

I offer it to you for the same purpose. I hope you will find it well worth the read.

All the true vows
are secret vows
the ones we speak out loud
are the ones we break.

There is only one life
you can call your own
and a thousand others
you can call by any name you want.

Hold to the truth you make
every day with your own body,
don't turn your face away.

Hold to your own truth
at the center of the image
you were born with.

Those who do not understand
their destiny will never understand
the friends they have made
nor the work they have chosen

nor the one life that waits
beyond all the others.

By the lake in the wood
in the shadows
you can
whisper that truth
to the quiet reflection
you see in the water.

Whatever you hear from
the water, remember,

it wants you to carry
the sound of its truth on your lips.

in this place
no one can hear you

and out of the silence
you can make a promise
it will kill you to break,

that way you'll find
what is real and what is not.

I know what I am saying.
Time almost forsook me
and I looked again.

Seeing my reflection
I broke a promise
and spoke
for the first time
after all these years

in my own voice,

before it was too late
to turn my face again.

"All the True Vows" from The House of Belonging by David Whyte. �Copyright © 1997, 2004 by David Whyte.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This week is an auspicious week in every way.

May I first introduce Logan James, my third grandson, born to my favorite son-in-law and my daughter Jessica , for whom I would face the fiercest dragon, walk a mile on hot coals, even pass up a free meal at my beloved Mr. Sushi.

Logan was born barely hours after I returned from an exhausting exciting weekend trip to Provincetown with two of my writer-friends. It was a trip that had been planned for months, we three traveling from different states, and I had been nervous about canceling at the last moment. The universe saw fit to make it all work. I had been home again only hours when I heard my daughter say the contractions were serious, and moments later I knew a healthy baby had been born to a healthy Mother. Another person I will commit to, easily, and love for all of my life.

My trip to Ptown included a six hour drive when it should have only been four. Cape Cod August traffic is painful. But that didn't deter us. We pulled on the main road in favor of back roads and in the doing I found myself taking my friends to a place visited long ago. We walked through a shady grove until we came to a rope bridge. My friend Melissa had brought Chester Miller with her and throughout the weekend he would be photographed in all kinds of places and spaces.

The bridge required that we cross one at a time, holding tightly to its side ropes as it swung up and down and side to side with every step.

At the end we found ourselves in an open field, quietly watching the herons and cormorants and one agile hawk, who did not mind us intruding as long as we respectfully understood we were visitors.

That night we watched the moon paint silver lines on the ocean waves at Herring Cove just before midnight. Actually, only Lora and I walked along the sand: Melissa elected to stay back and shower. But as soon as we arrived we decided this was something she should not miss so we drove back and kidnapped her, in her pajamas. We then woke ourselves up at 5 am and headed out to watch the sun rise at Race Point.

I am exhausted. In less than a week, I have been in the splendid company of the most creative friends (and JB), I have along with JB cared for two special little boys, I have kissed the softest baby skin and toes, I have watched my daughter and son-in-law deliver and cherish their third son, I have seen the moon glow and the sun rise, I have written along side two esteemed writers. I have laughed until it hurt, I have driven in pelting rain.

And for the first time in my entire life I have slipped on a banana peel. I'll be damned, they really are slippery! I'm glad for the experience.



Friday, August 12, 2011


This weekend, starting last night, I am in the company of friends who create and paint and write and see. All day today we played art. and tomorrow, two of my big yellow writer friends and i will head to provincetown for the weekend. they won't mind hearing me read parts of my book in progress and i will love to hear theirs. We will also walk the beach and see sunrise at race point. and swim and talk.

And ahhh today:

Today JB and I had the most perfect guests: good friends. friends from the blogs. friends who mingled so effortlessly and joyfully. we dabbled and sculpted and ate lobster rolls and cupcakes and just delighted.

JB had a zillion doodads to share. She provided empty plastic boxes and said take what you want. This is suki's. i marvel at her design sense even in filling this box.

And this is lo's. i wonder what she will make from this stash.

Mim taught me how to make a bowl using paper clay. I added lichen to the bottom and I will varnish it before i paint it, if i even paint it. that is seran wrap you see to make the bowl crinkle and it all sits inside a real bowl to give it its shape.

this is mim's bowl. I learned alot from her today. ♥

lo brought cupcakes to celebrate our birthdays

mim and I bought a dozen super large sunflowers and at the end of the day we each had three.





Don't be telling me it's not possible to make true blue friendships from blogging (i know you won't be telling me that). I have friends in my life, I had friends before i started blogging. but these guys are keeper friends. we have so much fun together.

and to my partner JB: so so glad to share this with you ♥

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I Spy With My Little Eye...

I celebrated a birthday this week. JB told me a week ago to leave all day and night Monday open. I knew that meant she made special plans. She scattered mysterious envelopes around the house and one by one I discovered we would walk out the door and not return for a fun filled twelve hours. This was an absolute act of love and I knew it.

On this day I was also given gifts in plain sight. All I had to do was look:

Last weekend Mr. Ryan saw an audio greeting card at the grocery store and wanted it badly. There were four superheroes inside, each mumbling a happy birthday in some macho way. I told Ryan I would buy him this card for my birthday.

"No Gram! I don't get a present for YOUR birthday!"

"Yes you do, Ryan. I'm sending you this card for my birthday."

When the card was ready to mail, I told him it would arrive in a yellow envelope. He was so excited he asked his Mother if he could wear a matching yellow shirt when it arrived.

I sent his brother Drew a card too: monkeys who turn into kittens and meow the entire verse of 'happy birthday to you". I have decided from now on I am going to give the boys a present every year for my birthday.

Made by my Grandfather. I can feel his energy in the cement.

I planted this climbing hydrangea two years ago and it has rewarded me with wide spreading vines and delicate pink flowers. I find this amazing.

When I die, I'd like to be remembered with pink zinnias. They are my favorite of all flowers. Lately my dog Stella tries to eat them and I knock knock on the kitchen window shooing her away. I consider myself the temporary guardian of the zinnia patch.

It was a mess of weeds and now it is a neat space of orderly mulch. With an obvious exception, this is the area in the back of my house that I use as a holding area for plants I don't know what to do with yet. I live in a valley and my yard is one third of what used to be a working farm. The soil is unbelievably rich. Things GROW here, even me.

One lonely tomato from the garden for my birthday. I just said things grow but not my tomatoes this year. I can't say why, but it might be the lack of attention while I have been gallivanting in Provincetown. In any case, eating this tomato, salted, was.....orgasmic :^)

And finally, every year I get a sign from my Father. He died twelve years ago but he never fails to assure a flower or plant growing where there should not be one. This year, on my birthday, he sent a chipmunk. We share the yard with a very active family of chipmunks. They scurry from one place to another all day. One day I came home to find one on the kitchen steps holding a cherry tomato with both paws and chomping away. It was a sight that will make me smile always. But this year a chipmunk appeared at the kitchen window and turned straight to me when I appeared. Eye to eye. For a long time.

And then, when I went outside, there he/she was again, greeting me again, staring head on for as long as I stared back. Not a usual occurrence by any means, and I actually think related to my Dad's way of wishing me a good day.

I had a good birthday. I am very thankful, very grateful, very hopeful.

The world is a mess, that's for sure. But I have a small world too, and this week it offered me its very best.