Woefully Neglected Blog!

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.



Wordy Wednesday // Izumi Shikibu

Izumi Shikibu lived in the late 900s in Japan and was a servant of the Empress and had an affair with the Empress’s stepson, which resulted in beautiful court love poetry.

Izumi Shikibu

in this world
love has no color—
yet how deeply
my body
is stained by yours

Wordy Wednesday // Joyce Peseroff

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
too careful.
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
blind drunk
as you were.
You were #11 on the hardness scale
later that night
apologetic as
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.

Wordy Wednesday // Denver Butson

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
Denver Butson

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.

Wordy Wednesday // Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky wrote this about things that were within reach while sitting at his desk. He read it at the NY Summer Writer’s Institute. He had just written the poem and was testing it out on us.

First Things to Hand
by Robert Pinsky

In the skull kept on the desk.
In the spider-pod in the dust.

Or nowhere. In milkmaids, in loaves,
Or nowhere. And if Socrates leaves

His house in the morning,
When he returns in the evening

He will find Socrates waiting
On the doorstep. Buddha the stick

You use to clear the path,
And Buddha the dog-doo you flick

Away with it, nowhere or in each
Several thing you touch:

The dollar bill, the button
That works the television.

Even in the joke, the three
Words American men say

After making love. Where’s
The remote? In the tears

In things, proximate, intimate.
In the wired stem with root

And leaf nowhere of this lamp:
Brass base, aura of illumination,

Enlightenment, shade of grief.
Odor of the lamp, brazen.

The mind waiting in the mind
As in the first thing to hand.

Wordy Wednesday // Pablo Neruda

I first discovered Neruda while watching Il Postino as a teenager.

Pablo Neruda
PUEDO escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Escribir, por ejemplo: ” La noche está estrellada,
y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos”.

El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso.

En las noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos.
La besé tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito.

Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería.
Cómo no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido.

Oír la noche inmensa, más inmensa sin ella.
Y el verso cae al alma como pasto el rocío.

Qué importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla.
La noche está estrellada y ella no está conmigo.

Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos.
Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca.
Mi corazón la busca, y ella no está conmigo.

La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos árboles.
Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero cuánto la quise.
Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído.

De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos.
Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.
Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.

Porque en noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos,
mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Aunque éste sea el último dolor que ella me causa,
y éstos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,’The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. Like my kisses before.
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Wordy Wednesday // Michael Ondaatje

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
before marriage
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

and knew

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.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler’s wife. Smell me.




The “Dirty Dozen” gets an update

There are a dozen foods you should buy organic because of the high pesticide residue levels, recently Kale & Green Beans were added to the list. Just another reason to buy local or grow your own!

Dirty Dozen Plus (Best to buy these organic)
1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Peaches
5. Strawberries
6. Nectarines – imported
7. Grapes
8. Spinach
9. Lettuce
10. Cucumbers
11. Blueberries – domestic
12. Potatoes

Plus (+ May contain pesticide residues of special concern)
+ Green beans
+ Kale/Greens

from Simmer & Boil by Cooking Light

Fixing The Future

Fixing The Future is coming to The Epicentre July 18th at 7:30pm, hosted by Sustain Charlotte. Click here to buy tickets

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.

Festivals Worth Traveling To

Here are a few festivals worth traveling to this summer!

Palmetto Tasty Tomato Fest : July 15th.  5-9pm

$5 -20 depending on when you buy.

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



Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass Festival : If you haven’t visited Spruce Pine, go to the festival!  It’s an adorable mountain town near Asheville off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

downtown Spruce Pine, NC

Friday July 20-Saturday July 21st.  $4 for adults, kids 12-under free

Professional BBQ Competition with $5,000    in awards and Prizes on the Line
Best Bluegrass in the Nation –    Including Balsam Range, Winner of the 2011 IBMA Song of the Year
Opportunities to eat real, Competition-Quality BBQ
Wings Contest
Cornhole Tournament
Traditional Mountain Clogging
Crafts Vendors
Local Food Vendors
Inflatables for the Kids
Skedaddle 5K Run
Much, Much More

North Carolina Apple Festival : August 31-September 3rd

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!

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