Auld Lang Syne

I don’t want to let the year end without saying that, for all of 2011’s sorrows, I am deeply and heartfelt-fully grateful for my family — my boys, my husband, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, etc. — and all my loyal and loving friends — virtual and otherwise. You remind me of what’s true and dear in life, and hold my hand on days when I don’t need reminding but just need a hand. May the new year bring you all and mostly good things.

Baby @ 20 wks
Our new edition, due to be released May 1, 2012...

Happy New Year!

Last New Years I spent in the hospital with newborn Aidan watching a “Project Runway” marathon. In other words, an awesome start. (I haven’t seen any real programs to speak of since. And I happen to like hospital food!)

As kids grow they get ever so much more complicated and harder to please and make more and more demands on your time.  Even so, I have a good life. Lucky to have vivacious & creative boys who are by & large hale & healthy.

My husband’s laid off, and as for me, well, you know poetry has never been famous for its money-making attributes. Even so, I have a good life. Lucky to be with a man who values literature & the written word & my poetry universe.

This year has been, creatively & personally, my most  productive & fruitful up till now — my only wish for next year is more of the same. Blessings to you all in the new year!

What’s Sacred.

Laura Didyk, over on her blog, Outloud, talks about a project conceived by her and a friend: In the Eyes of Everyone: A Project for Everyday Visionaries.  The website won’t launch until 2010, but you can go here to read more about it.

In association with that project, Laura has issued a creative assignment: Take three pictures: 1) something historical, 2) something tasty, 3) something sacred.

Technically, these pictures are for the future launch of In the Eyes of Everyone, but I hope Laura won’t mind if I post them here as well.  In the meantime, go to Outloud, read more about In the Eyes of Everyone, and then go take some pictures of your own to send to Laura — it’s fun!

#1. Something Historical:

The Glacial Potholes.

#2. Something Tasty:

Doughnuts. Home-made by ME. Dairy-free, made with coconut milk. Baked in the oven, rolled in cinnamon sugar.

This description is not strictly by the books in regards to the assignment, but seeing as I’ve been playing with yeast doughs this week and baked my very first loaf of bread, which sucked, sad slab o’ dough, and then my second, which, while imperfect, rocked, and then these marvels above, well, I felt the need to crow.

#3. Something Sacred:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wandering Middle-of-the-Night Thoughts.

A week gone, textbook rush is half-way through…


It was about 3 a.m.. I was sitting up in bed against a mound of pillows, in the dark, unable to sleep due to a bout of heartburn (thank you, pregnancy!), and bad dreams (ditto!). Driving home from the store last night, I heard a Geico commercial on the radio, the first I’d heard in a while featuring the Gecko. I am very fond of the Gecko. I have not done anything so silly as change my insurance provider as a result of this fondness, but hearing that cockney Gecko’s voice on the radio pleases me to no end.

So the Gecko is who kept my thoughts company early this morning — Lance and I call him “Mr. Guppy”, after Burn Gorman’s portrayal of that character in the Masterpiece Theater production of Bleak House:

Burn Gorman as Guppy. BBC picture.
Burn Gorman as Guppy. BBC picture.

I have a fondness for Mr. Guppy, too. And that entire BBC production — it aired on PBS during the last weeks of my pregnancy with Vincent and the first weeks after his birth. The two, Mr. Guppy and the Gecko, are inextricably linked to my memories of that time.


This poem, though it says nothing of seasons, puts me in mind of the seashore in September. September is a melancholy month for me, a bridge between the summer I’m unwilling to let go of, and the autumn I’m not ready for yet. By Helen Farish, this is from her collection, Intimates (Jonathan Cape, 2005):

The Lighthouse of Nauset

was removed to a field.
Visitors wonder

does it miss the tides, living on the edge
of emptiness then fullness?

Here there is only the tickle of a cricket,
an out-of-the-way dusk.

The lighthouse says, Listen.
I thought I had no limits,

could look indefinitely at the longing
light lays on water.

Now I want boundaries;
a hedge, plums, more than enough.

Super-Power Delusions.

I’m a Buffy fan, and once in a while, not often, but once in a while I have these dreams — don’t we all have these unspoken assumptions, when watching shows like Buffy or Heroes that we would be one of the strong ones, whatever the struggle, we’d triumph & survive. So sometimes I have these superhero-type dreams, and I had one the other night:

Every year about this time an Epic Battle is waged between the forces of Good & Evil. Good always wins, but is not without losses. I am, naturally, on the team of Good, and we usually gather a day before the expected Arrival of Evil. Apparently we have no other contact but for the Battle. We don’t call beforehand, meet for coffee & comparisons of our crime-fighting year, or schedule the Battle. It’s a given.

But this year, as the Hour approaches, there are only 3 of us. It seems to have occurred to the other forces for Good that their number could be up should they engage in yet another Epic Battle, and they’ve decided to err on the side of caution & stay home this year. And I’m beginning to feel seriously screwed. Sure, I have super-powers (unfortunately & strangely unidentified), but there are only 3 of us against All of Evil.

As Emma might say, oh dear goodness.

We pace, we mutter, one of us (not me) cried, and time passed without the Arrival of Evil. One of us (not me) checked her Blackberry, and then laughed nervously.

We’d gotten the date wrong. Armageddon isn’t actually due for another month, tra-la!

I think there might be something deeply wrong with me.