I have woefully neglected this blog due to a busy fall & winter photography season! Now that the weather is getting warmer expect more posts.
I have started seeds for the spring (lots of heirloom tomatoes, peppers & brussel sprouts) and I’m waiting for this crazy late in the season freezing to stop so I can sow the rest of my seeds. This year we’re expanding our
front yard garden to include 2 Smart Pots garden in a bag systems since the community garden has no spaces available & our neighborhood garden isn’t up and running yet.
I will also be doing some editorials on day trips from Charlotte, attending fun & wacky festivals (Mullet festival, anyone?) and posting all the great opportunities in Charlotte to get out & make a difference.
This is Lucie Brock Broido’s favorite poem, and it’s a favorite of mine too. It is a little racy at the end, so only read if you’re 18+
The Hardness Scale by Joyce Peseroff
Diamonds are forever so I gave you quartz
which is #7 on the hardness scale
and it’s hard enough to get to know anybody these days
if only to scratch the surface
and quartz will scratch six other mineral surfaces:
it will scratch glass
it will scratch gold
it will even
scratch your eyes out one morning–you can’t be
Diamonds are industrial so I bought
a ring of topaz
which is #8 on the hardness scale.
I wear it on my right hand, the way it was
supposed to be, right? No tears and fewer regrets
for reasons smooth and clear as glass. Topaz will scratch glass,
it will scratch your quartz,
and all your radio crystals. You’ll have to be silent
the rest of your days
not to mention your nights. Not to mention
the night you ran away very drunk very
very drunk and you tried to cross the border
but couldn’t make it across the lake.
Stirring up geysers with the oars you drove the red canoe
in circles, tried to pole it but
your left hand didn’t know
what the right hand was doing.
You fell asleep
and let everyone know it when you woke up.
In a gin-soaked morning (hair of the dog) you went
hunting for geese,
shot three lake trout in violation of the game laws,
told me to clean them and that
my eyes were bright as sapphires
which is #9 on the hardness scale.
A sapphire will cut a pearl
it will cut stainless steel
it will cut vinyl and mylar and will probably
cut a record this fall
to be released on an obscure label known only to aficionados.
I will buy a copy.
I may buy you a copy
depending on how your tastes have changed.
I will buy copies for my friends
we’ll get a new needle,
a diamond needle,
which is #10 on the hardness scale
and will cut anything.
It will cut wood and mortar,
plaster and iron,
it will cut the sapphires in my eyes and I will bleed
blind as 4 A.M. in the subways when even degenerates
are dreaming, blind as the time
you shot up the room with a new hunting rifle
as you were.
You were #11 on the hardness scale
later that night
you worked your way up
slowly from the knees
and you worked your way down
from the open-throated blouse.
Diamonds are forever so I give you softer things.
Denver was a writer in residence while I was at St Andrews. I went on spring break with him every year to Manteo, NC to write. This is the poem he’s most known for.
Tuesday 9:00 AM
A man standing at the bus stop
reading the newspaper is on fire
Flames are peeking out
from beneath his collar and cuffs
His shoes have begun to melt
The woman next to him
wants to mention it to him
that he is burning
but she is drowning
Water is everywhere
in her mouth and ears
in her eyes
A stream of water runs
steadily from her blouse
Another woman stands at the bus stop
freezing to death
She tries to stand near the man
who is on fire
to try to melt the icicles
that have formed on her eyelashes
and on her nostrils
to stop her teeth long enough
from chattering to say something
to the woman who is drowning
but the woman who is freezing to death
has trouble moving
with blocks of ice on her feet
It takes the three some time
to board the bus
what with the flames
and water and ice
But when they finally climb the stairs
and take their seats
the driver doesn’t even notice
that none of them has paid
because he is tortured
by visions and is wondering
if the man who got off at the last stop
was really being mauled to death
by wild dogs.
I am a huge Michael Ondaatje fan, his fiction is amazing but I love his poetry even more. I discovered this poem when I was in college and it’s been a favorite ever since. I also love his reading style, so I’ve included a video of him reading the poem.
Michael Ondaatje – The Cinnamon Peeler’s Wife
If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.
Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under the rain gutters, monsoon.
Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbour to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler’s wife.
I could hardly glance at you
never touch you
– your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers…
When we swam once
I touched you in the water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said
this is how you touch other women
the grass cutter’s wife, the lime burner’s daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume
what good is it
to be the lime burner’s daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in the act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of a scar.
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler’s wife. Smell me.
In Fixing the Future, host David Brancaccio, of public radio’s Marketplace and NOW on PBS, visits people and organizations across America that are attempting a revolution: the reinvention of the American economy. By featuring communities using sustainable and innovative approaches to create jobs and build prosperity, Fixing the Future inspires hope and renewal in a people overwhelmed by economic collapse.
The film highlights effective, local practices such as: local business alliances, community banking, time banking/hour exchange, worker cooperatives and local currencies.
Join Columbia’s progressive food community for a family-friendly, midsummer’s evening event with a free heirloom tomato tasting, live music, high quality food + drink vendors, tomato bobbing, tomato potluck, homegrown tomato contest, and old time festival fun!
City Roots urban farm 1005 Airport Blvd, Columbia SC 29205
From August 31-September 3, 2012, you can enjoy 4 days of fun including one of the most best known Street Fairs in the Carolinas with Freshly Picked Apples, Arts & Crafts, Festival Food and FREE Entertainment at the Historic Courthouse on Hendersonville’s Beautiful Main Street. Start your day off with one of the breakfasts and then spend the rest of the day enjoying the excitement ofMain Streetas well as many other activities across the community. And on Labor Day, don’t forget the King Apple Parade!