Tiny White Flowers

Tiny White Flowers

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break, National Poetry Month, and NaPoWriMo


I'm just checking in to say that things will be a little slow here on the blog, as it's both Holy Week, and Spring Break! We're heading off to look at the University my daughter is going to in the fall, and just take some family time.

Also, National Poetry Month begins on 1 April, and that also means NaPoWriMo. So, let's all try to write one poem each day for the month of April, and see what we come up with! There are lots of sites that post daily writing prompts. One is Poetic Asides, and another is the Book of Kells, hosted by good friend and awesome poet, Kelli Agodon. Check them out!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Centrum Journal, Part Two

15 March

I ended up sleeping in the Dark Room – the one with the wooden bed and dark floral bed spread. It rained pretty well last night, which suits me. The mattress is firm, and I feel pretty good. It just took me awhile to get to sleep, my heart was pounding. Mostly when I would lie on my left side. Switching to my right side I could barely hear it. My legs were aching, perhaps from Saturday’s walk to and from the Convention Center for Comic Con. And of course I was keyed up, first night here, after a few weeks’ anticipation.

When I woke up more seriously (I never sleep soundly the first few nights anywhere), it was just light. I got up for a few minutes, then decided as it was just before 7 am. I’d go back to sleep. That lasted five minutes. A look out the window at the growing light planted the desire to go for a short walk with the camera. I got dressed, and ate a banana.

My short walk lasted over two hours, and took me from the little brick rental house (Alexander's Castle), down the road to the beach, around the light house, along North Beach to a little community park, up a walking trail through the Madronas, and eventually back here by way of the Copper Canyon Press side of Fort Worden.

Best thing I could have done. I got hungry half way through, but decided to go “just a little further,” before heading back. I was thirsty, too.

The weird thing is accepting the fact that I’m on my own schedule. That’ll take some getting used to.

When I got back, about 9:30, the cleaning ladies had arrived, and are now downstairs. They vacuumed a little while ago, and are now doing other things. Occasionally I hear them talking. I might head over to the Commons as I have two manuscripts to send out, and I need the addresses for the envelopes. That’s the only real thing I need to do today, as both places – one is the Prairie Schooner Book Prize – have deadlines of 15 March. Today.

Then I may look into getting a little frying pan. I used the one large one for my scrambled eggs when I got back from my walk. I could also use a spatula. The large metal spoon doesn’t work so well. I should make a list.

Tentative List for When I Go Into Town:

1. Small frying pan

2. Spatula

3. Butter

4. Fruit

5. Something bread-like; crackers, maybe

6. Veggies

7. Three-prong adapter

These cleaning ladies are really noisy. I think they’re next door, now, in apt. C. Might be a good time to check out the Commons.

Same day, 5:46 pm

Tea water’s coming to a boil.

Back to Swain’s for a spatula, a larger water glass and a fifty cent coaster. Henery’s supplied me with a small frying pan, my “tea pot” (a Pyrex 4-cup measure), a packet of small dish clothes, another (better) spatula, and the three-prong adapter.

I mailed my two manuscripts: one to Prairie Schooner, and the other to Bellday Books. I like the Pt. Townsend Post Office – wonderful old woodwork and old metal mail slots. Even the post office boxes are interesting. And there was a line, probably a 15 minute wait.

My last stop was Aldrich’s, and I stocked up on bean soup mix (without the seasonings and high sodium content), organic chips and dip, just-made sushi, salad, and some fruit.

I’m now drinking tea made in my make-shift tea pot, and trying to get into a groove. This writing thing isn’t happening yet. I’ve been reading a little the book I received from Perugia Press by Jennifer Sweeney, How to Live on Bread and Music. It’s very good, and I find myself once again wondering why I can’t seem to write like that. Randomly I open the book and find the poem “How to Make a Game of Waiting.”

How to Make a Game of Waiting

This is a capsized game

and there is no display of aces at the end.

Buy a rare and expensive plant that never blooms.

Rearrange your books by the colors of their spines.

Bury all your keys that don’t unlock anything.

These are not rules but merely suggestions

of what has worked for others.

For instance, the man who painted landscapes

on his daughter’s sheet music.

Put a big rock on your desk.

Do not name the rock.

Take the numbers off the clock and mail them

to your creditors.

Stitch the hours onto a kite.

Every night, ask until you can hear what replies.

* * *

I need a good office chair. I need to settle down, sleep well. It’s still Monday. I know I’ve got time.

100 Best Poetry Blogs

100:365 - Day 100, originally uploaded by misterpulcri.

Photographer's note:

"My 100th 365 days picture.

* * *

Quite by accident yesterday, I discovered that After Artist's Way - Portrait of a Sometimes Poet appears on the Accredited Online Colleges.org website in the top 100. I am honored that this humble little blog was chosen, and am number 24 under the Showcasing Poems section of the list.

The list is split into various categories, according to each blog's focus, with a little descriptive blurb after each blog named. It was published 21 March, 2010, with this opening paragraph:

"Poets have been some of the most respected and lauded writers in the past and even today hold a special place in society as they speak at inaugurations, commencements and special lectures. Whether you’re an aspiring poet, a college student or just someone who loves a good verse, you’ll find a range of poetry related help, information and inspiration on these blogs. Check them out to see what other poets are up to or just to learn more about the craft."

I thank you. I'm am honored, and hope you continue to enjoy your visits to my site.

Blessings and inspiration~


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Poem for Wednesday

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1918)
Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Centrum Journal, Part one

14 March 2010

Settling in. It feels strange. . .

It took awhile to get ready this morning, and I didn’t get out of the house until nearly three. Of course, I went back into the house three times; once to get my other shoes, then to toast an English muffin, and finally because I’d realized I still had the mail from the PO Box. . . Once I got going, I completely bypassed the turn-off to Port Gamble, and had to turn on Sawdust Hill Road, and get going in the right direction. And get gas. I’d forgotten that, too.

Once I got here, I stopped at the Centrum office and found my envelope with my housing assignment and the key, in the mailbox. I was surprised to find that I’m staying in the four-plex. My apartment is D.

I’ve got a kitchen, which is the first thing I see when I come in the (back) door. There is a front door, too, with a set of stairs leading up to the upper two apts., but I haven’t used those yet. My kitchen has a microwave, and small fridge, coffee pot and tea pot, plates, glasses, cookware, etc. Apparently, I don’t have to clean the place when I leave, according to the bulletin board on the wall next to the fridge. But I need to be reasonable, and take my garbage with me.

I reset the stove clock. There is a stove, too. I didn’t change the wall clock, not yet. It ticks. Hope I won’t mind this. Daylight time started today.

The dining area is next, with a nice little table and eight chairs. Table has room for six; the other two chairs lurk against the wall. The living room has a large cabinet which houses an old stereo, a couple of puzzles, and other oddments. There is a drawer with a torn journal, bits of paper, and on a shelf is a cup with three blue pens, and a pencil, and a couple of binder clips clipped to the rim.

There’s a leather chair and footrest, three glass tables, and padded bench, a large teal-y blue sofa (which could seat four, intimately), and the generous blue and white striped chair and ottoman I’m occupying right now. Two lamps, a pastel floral rug. Wood floors.

There is a nondescript bathroom with a leaky faucet. I tried to stop the drips, even turned off the water below, but the faucet still dripped. I closed the door. That seems to work.

Three bedrooms: two on the water side, one on the hill/blackberry bushes side. I haven’t completely claimed one yet. They all have their merits. I guess it will come down mostly to which bed is the most comfortable. I like the bed with the wooden head and footboard, but I’m not sure I like the room. It’s at the end of the hall. Not that that’s a bad thing. But, I do have the whole place to myself.

This makes me wonder if I’m alone in the complex, or if there is someone else staying here.

I had to go out (or so I thought) to get an adapter for my computer cord. All the outlets here are two-pronged, and my cord is three-pronged. I was wandering around anyway, a bit unsettled, so went to Swain’s for an adapter. I ended up getting a small extension cord, and stopped at McDonald’s for a burger and fries. Went the wrong way into the Safeway parking lot; parked and got two beers, some eggs, and fruit.

Turns out the extension cord is all two- prong, so I robbed the adapter from the microwave, which I hadn’t seen until I got back here. I’ll get another one tomorrow, maybe. I will need to use the microwave at some point, but not necessarily at the same time as the computer. Still, nice to leave the microwave adapter where it belongs.

Out one window (dining room side) it looks like rain. It’s about 6:51 pm, daylight time. Out the view window, it just looks like dusk. I can see the Hostel, an old white van, one of the white barracks buildings, the old brick building we sat near during one of our Grace Retreat outside discussions, the water with a small lighted ferry heading to Whidbey, and three or four grey cabins. I’d thought that being just one person I’d be staying in a cabin, but I guess not. I suppose this is okay. Being up here, I have a better view.

Now, I just need to allow myself to calm down into the mode of doing my work. Both times I was at Soapstone it took me a full two or three days to go through the process. And, I shared the place with someone. We had separate (but joined) cabins, had dinner together, and saw each other a bit during the day. Here, I’m on my own. Which is what I wanted. We’ll see how that feels by tomorrow.

I don’t want to put too many expectations on myself in the first day or so. I’ll read, walk, and do some revision. And calm down. There is a lot of excitement that leads up to a writing retreat, a lot of tying up of loose ends, getting ready, making sure I have all my files and other bits and pieces. Here, I’m not going be reading the comics daily. I won’t check the internet and my email whenever I want to. I can’t get internet from here. I’ll have to go to the commons or to Aldrich’s – somewhere there’s Wi-Fi.

In a way, I hope it is quiet here, that any neighbors I might have won’t make themselves readily obvious. I realize I could possible go through a day or days of total silence. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. And it might not happen here, either, but the possibility remains.

I need to do something different, so I’ll sign off for now.

PS—Its 11:24 now, and I’ve just wasted two hours, at least, playing mahjongg and Spider. And, it’s raining. It’s probably time to figure out what room I’m sleeping in.

Tuesday Musings - Back From Centrum

I'm back from Centrum, located in Port Townsend at the scenic and historic Fort Worden.

* * *

"Fort Worden State Park and Conference Center is a 434-acre multi-use park with over two miles of saltwater shoreline and a wide variety of services and facilities. The park rests on a high bluff overlooking Puget Sound. Many historic buildings remain at this 19th century military fort."

"Centrum, in partnership with Fort Worden State Park, is a gathering place for artists and creative thinkers from around the world, students of all ages and backgrounds, and audiences seeking extraordinary cultural enrichment. Centrum promotes creative experiences that change lives.

Located in Port Townsend, Washington, Fort Worden—a turn-of-the-century army base--offers an unmatched combination of natural beauty and historic interest. Acres of saltwater beaches, wooded hills, and open fields are framed by stunning vistas of the Olympic and Cascade ranges and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s a place where the land stops, the sea begins, and the mind keeps going."

* * *

I was there for a week, Sunday to Sunday, and stayed in the four-plex just above the Hostel, top apartment (D), on my own. I'm going to post installments from my journal over the next few days about how my stay went, as well as photos.

The above photo shows the four-plex I stayed it. Look to the upper left half, and that's where I stayed.

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine

This is so wonderful.

For a link to the page that give info on how this all came about, visit: http://www.okgo.net/this-too-shall-pass-rube-goldberg-machine/

Tuesday Find - the Rolltop?

A friend just sent me a link to this interesting YouTube video:

Interesting concept! I'd love to see the real thing. How handy this laptop would be.

Saturday, March 6, 2010




Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dr Seuss Letter with drawing #1

Interesting note:

"This is a letter from Dr Seuss on his own letterhead. He included a drawing of a Flit gun. This is one of my all time favorites because of the Flit Gun sketch. A lot of people don't know Seuss was an artist and worked in advertising; he drew ads for Flit. This is from a website called www.schulzgallery.com"

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

NEA - Read Across America

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tuesday Musings - a week late

I may have fallen
off the map, although the terrain
remained familiar. It is
a day after my forty-
sixth birthday. I am richer
in compassion, wanting
in fitness, active
in imagination. Ready
for a week at Centrum.


In a way, I'm happy to be released from the grip of the Olympics. I can return to regular (whatever that is) sleep patterns, and hopefully write more again. Although I am looking forward to Centrum, which is in a week and a half. This will be nice - my first time doing a residency totally on my own.

This is short; I'm going to the gym to get cardio in before I teach Pilates. Life is too short to become too soft now. I'll never be an athlete, but I do want to be as healthy as I can manage. And, for my birthday I stopped at Maxx Nutrition for a spring cleanse. A few herb and vitamins to recharge the body I'm living in.

And time to take another look at what small thing I can do now for the people of Chile; and again for Haiti. So important not to forget. My heart is full.

Love, compassion, and birthdays to all~


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