Thursday, July 18, 2013

Poetry Jam - Makin' S'more(s)

Makin’ S’more (s)

The view across the camp fire shimmers warmth.
Watching, you tilt your head and smile -
Three little faces grin over gooey sticks.
I plop grahams and chocolate on plates.
“Mom ! These are the BEST !”, they shout.
Toasted marshmallows and rosy cheeks
Shining eyes and sticky lip grins -
Looking over this hot mess of a family,
I bask in the heat of the moment,
Answer your smile with a smirk.
“Let’s make another; whaddayasay ?”

... playing with the words ... and the theme ... is it hot enough for ya ? Such a greeting, but it seems funny that we can be miserable in the heat of the day, but cling to the warmth that comes around a campfire or glory in the hot stickiness of passion, or welcome the warm glow of rosy cheeks from kids hot from play ... heat and warmth ... hmmmm

This week's Poetry Jam theme is full of opportunity! Check out what others have come up with!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Inferno - Dan Brown

I have read Dan Brown a couple other times, but his books always seem a blur to me. Now, that can be looked at as good and bad. On the good side, his stories are always fast-paced page turning novels that are full of references to art and political history. They're very well researched and the famous names and historical events that are enmeshed within the plot are always seamlessly woven into the storyline. The bad side of reading his books so fast is that there is always a lot to absorb and keep straight, and I tend to forget them almost as soon as I've finished them. Sure, I can tell you the basic ghist of the books, but most of the details go by the board; there's just too much stimulus load poured too quickly into my poor brain.

Inferno is no exception. Once again, Robert Langdon finds himself deep in the middle of intrigue and running for his life, as he fights the clock to solve a mystery involving a strange attack that puts him in the hospital with a bullet wound to the head, a bizarre hidden capsule that he has 'muled' in some weird way, a memory loss that is disorienting, strange dreams that are prophetic and somehow tied to what has happened to him during a 'lost couple of days'.  Once again, Langdon hooks himself up with a young female cohort that helps him navigate dangers and sticky situations. Once again, Langdon uses his encyclopedic knowledge of history, art, and literature to put the pieces of his life in order and come up with a solution to a potentially horrific international catastrophe.

No spoilers here ... this book will familiarize you with Dante's Divine Comedy, Italian Renaissance art, and the city of Florence. You'll enjoy padding around after Robert Langdon. He's a likeable protagonist. I can see Mr. Brown making a long series of stories with Langdon as the central character. Detective stories for art and history geeks ... there's a real niche there.

A word of advice --- read the book when you have a couple days to stay up late turning the pages. Sleep deprivation is a drag when you've read half the night away and then, you have to get up and produce.

An aside ---- betting on a movie production ... it can't be too far behind the book. The question is ... will Tom Hanks keep it up as RL or will we see a new face in the role?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Snapshot - Eucharisteo !

Today I am thankful for fresh green beans and colorful garden annuals; every day there's a gift from the back yard garden!  What are you thankful for these days ?

This post is shared with others at Melinda's blog, West Metro Mom Reads - pop over by clicking the link! Take a look at what everyone else is putting up on their sites ... it's Saturday Snapshot day!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Mag 176 - A Lady's Resolve

Image Credit: Super Moon - New York - Julio Cortez

A Lady’s Resolve

She never thought it would be easy -
She stepped into a concept
She settled into a nation’s psyche
She watched nascent dreams grow
She suffered the flaws of fanatics
She shook away the cynic’s acid
She raised the strong arm of resolution
She steeled herself for posterity’s sake
She softened her face for the new
She shook her tablet at the established
She looked up and away

She never said it would be easy -
this welcoming of strangers
this holding high the hallowed lamp
this watching the skies
this picking up rubble
this pushing aside fear
this building anew
this act of forgiveness
this moving on
this raising a new bastion of freedom
this clearing collective vision for the future

Lindquist – 7/11/1/3 

Initially, the second verse was the first verse .... but then ... personifying Lady Liberty seemed a fun way of approaching this prompt. The things that have happened around this monument are stupifying ... if only she could talk to us.

This piece is shared with other writers who visit Tess's weekly writing challenge at Magpie Tales ... this week's challenge can be seen here. Check it out ...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Saturday Snapshot - Remembering Kittens

Almost two years ago, our beautiful little girl cat, Opey had a small litter of kittens. It was such a special time for us, watching her become a mother, seeing her trust us to handle her little kittens, playing with the little rascals, and watching them grow up. I was watching Penn stretch out on the cool hallway tiles this morning and got thinking about how tiny he was when he was first born. Thinking about that brought me to searching up these shots of him and his little brother.

This is Penny ... soon to be known as Penn, as he became a known male at about the three month mark.

This is Ferris, another little male, who has since grown to be a huge boy that resembles a Maine Coon cat. Ferris moved to the city of Boston with my daughter, Sara and makes his home on Beacon Hill.

Kittens, you gotta love 'em!

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda over at West Metro Mommy Reads ... head on over and look at what others are posting today!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

City of Dreams - Beverly Swerling

I love it when I discover a new author, one that I know I will enjoy, one that will make me search out all the published titles, and hang on, waiting for new works. Beverly Swerling is my newest find. It's not like she hasn't been around for a while. Her first novel appeared back in 2001 ... and what a place to start!

The settlement of New Amsterdam was a commercial venture right from the start and with commerce came the wealthy looking to become more wealthy, the adventurers who would explore the new ways of life , the moral and the amoral, the poor looking to better themselves, and all stripes in between. Swerling writes a novel that brings the reader to New Amsterdam through the experiences of Lucas Turner and his sister, Sally. Lucas is a barber and surgeon newly arrived from Rotterdam, Sally is his apothecary assistant. Together, the two hope to make their way in the New World, where the need for competent surgeons is constant.

Lucas and Sally reflect the beginnings of a move within medicine - a time when herbs and simples were becoming better understood, when the concepts of blood transfusion, the practice of sterilization of instruments and bandages was becoming known, but still little understood, when anatomy was still a mystery to some physicians, but slowly becoming known to surgeons, when there was a great deal of consternation about new practices that might be considered unnatural, evil, and even smacking of witchcraft. Lucas and Sally fight ignorance and share their skills in order to make a living. The story follows their settlement and subsequent marriages before turning to their progeny and the further development of the city, as it becomes a colony of the British and is re-named New York ... and so it goes. The book is written in sections labelled Book I, II, III, etc. that cut across the years between 1664 and 1798. Each era deals with members of the Turner or Van der Vries (Sally's married name) families, the further development of the medical field through their experiences, and the development of New York City and the colonial expansion of Manhattan and the environs.

Swerling has done an incredible job of researching and developing her story - rather, stories. It's a saga ... and a good one, indeed. At no time does she compromise the good story to become too didactic about the history and vice versa. The history is never compromised to build the story. She has gone on to write three more books in what has become known as her City of Dreams series. They bring the development of the city up through the Gilded Age and are all meticulously researched as well as having meaty fictional story lines set within the framework of the urban history.

I look forward to finding more of Swerling's books and am thinking of reading them in the order that she published, which means that the next book I'll dig around for will be her novel called Shadowbrook.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Poetry Jam - Babies

Grandmother’s Renewal – A Rictameter

Born of my blood
Suckled nurtured grown gone
Bound in love to another soul
My arms and hands ache with a mother need
I wait and watch and hope until
Two souls create a child
My ache is gone

This poem is being shared with the other writers who contribute to Poetry Jam. Thanks go this week to Laurie Kolp for providing us with our theme ... babies. And since Laurie is celebrating a special birth, I suspect she will relate to my humble offering.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Mag 175 - Mother Love

Mother Love

Tired feet cracked and worn
Brown from the dust
Hot from the road
Step aside to the matted grass

She shifts the watergrass bundle
Switching arms and shaking
Loose a tired shoulder
Before picking up her basket
Moving on toward the village
A shimmer on the horizon
Hummocks to anyone passing
Home to her and others
Eyes scan the humid skies and hope

Come evening the rains come
Grasses soak and soften
Pliant in a tub of the cool water
Along with her tired feet

Her legs swirl the long blades
Gently work flexing toes
Stretching ankles easing aches
She weaves baskets and hats
Staring out at the evening sky
Fingers and wrists move in rhythm
While she dreams of market day  
When she will sit in the sun
Waiting for traders to come

Her hat will shield her eyes
Picking the best will be hard
All are made with skill and love
Her hands will hold the coins tight –

Her daughter will go to school
Wear a clean blouse and shoes
Blue paper booklets a shiny pencil
These will do to help her on her way
When she is grown and far away
Perhaps she’ll remember
Baskets carrying more than dreams
Hats shielding a head full of wishes
A small pouch and coins of passage

Unabashedly sentimental, but I cannot help but crawl inside that woman's skin as she walks along the wayside,  loaded with the makings of ... what ? Is it fuel, or bedding, or the raw materials for a basket like the one she carries ? The photo begs a story.

This piece is being shared at Tess's weekly writing group ...  Magpie Tales -The Mag 175. Others have posted before me, go see what they've written.