Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Maddie

My Maddie by Sparky2*
My Maddie, a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
This was a "throw-away" that wouldn't let go of my heart. It was one of the final shots ... she was so over playing model and threw herself down on the floor in a heap of skirt, backdrop and floordrop. One of the very few times we see our little spitfire so still and contemplative. ;-) It's blurry, a bit double-exposed, etc., etc. But her relaxed arms, those eyes and mouth - made me play with it until I got something that at least pleases me. A guilty pleasure.

Sorry I've been out so long, my friends! I know I have so much catching up to do ... soon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Door to a Temple

Door to a Temple by Sparky2*
Door to a Temple, a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.

"The poem is not the world.
It isn't even the first page of the world.

But the poem wants to flower, like a flower.
It knows that much.

It wants to open itself,
like the door of a little temple,
so that you might step inside and be cooled and refreshed,
and less yourself than part of everthing.

. . . ~ Mary Oliver, from "Flare - 8." The Leaf and the Cloud

Soft Summer Rain

Soft Summer Rain by Sparky2*
Soft Summer Rain, a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
... a welcome surprise ...

Wishing the same for all of you who need it so desperately!

Mom's watch, pearls and crystals ...

My mom wore this watch
throughout the 50's and 60's -
her late 20's and 30's.
I loved it on her slender wrist
against her iodine and baby oil tan.

In evening dress it competed with the
sparkle of crystals at her ears
and moxie in her eyes.
For a couple of years,
it tolerated tendrils of smoke from her cigarette.
She smoked to "keep my dad company"
but didn't care for the way it made her feel.
She smiled gently at him with raised eyebrows
at the surgeon general's report -
put the last one down with a defiant stomp of heel.

The watch's bangle style faded with her tan
as new reports had her hiding from the sun
and the watch was mine to adore.
I wore it throughout high school,college ...
it survived hippie, grunge, preppie, career ...
my constant ... my talisman ... my tennis bracelet statement
ahead of its time or mine.
Then I disappointed myself
and there came a day
I shrunk so small the bangle watch
slid down, down - into a dark box - and away.

And then again ... when I became a mom and feeling strong
the nights with babies grew too long
and, bored, I stumbled upon - the box.
With trembling hand and smiling eyes
I recognized; it sympathized -
I came undone - slipped it on .... once more.

When I wore it I felt fearless ... controlled ... contained
It seemed to tick and tock my name
in my mama's voice and it sounded like love.
I wore it most every day ...
until my near-divorce
and again I hid it in the dark box and away
- my connection to who I've been
and who I am and how I've loved
and been loved along the way.

I found it again today.
It feels glorious and at home upon my wrist
reminiscent of my mama's smile
I hope and pray it's here to stay..

© Susan M. Kennedy 2012

so fine a guest ...

so fine a guest ... by Sparky2*
so fine a guest ..., a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
"Dragonfly" is a song written by British musician Danny Kirwan with lyrics taken from a poem by Welsh poet W. H. Davies. It was originally recorded by Kirwan's band Fleetwood Mac.

And when the roses are half-bud soft flowers
And lovely as the king of flies has come
It was a fleeting visit, all too brief
In three short minutes, he had been and gone

He rested there upon an apple leaf
A gorgeous opal crown sat on his head
Although the garden is a lovely place
Was it worthy of so fine a guest


Dragonfly, dragonfly ...

Small, available things ... that nobody owns

Small, available things ... that nobody owns by Sparky2*Summer Story
. . ~ Mary Oliver ~

When the hummingbird
sinks its face
into the trumpet vine
and the funnels

of the blossoms,
and the tongue
leaps out
and throbs,

I am scorched
to realize once again
how many small, available things
are in the world

that aren’t
pieces of gold
or power–
that nobody owns

or could buy even
for a hillside of money–
that just
float about the world,

or drift over the fields,
or into the gardens,
and into the tents of the vines
and how here I am

spending my time,
as the saying goes,
watching until the watching turns into feeling
so that I feel I am myself

a small bird
with a terrible hunger
with a thin beak probing and dipping
and a heart that races so fast

it is only a heartbeat ahead of breaking
and I am the hunger and the assuagement
and also I am the leaves and the blossoms,
and, like them, I am full of delight and shaking.

Mystery Flower Solved ... hypericum

Mystery Flower Solved ... hypericum
These were fillers in my Mother's Day roses (see the little bud to the left) and to my surprise and delight several of them bloomed a few days later ...

CUSP: a point of transition

CUSP: a point of transition  by Sparky2*
CUSP: a point of transition , a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
cusp noun \ˈkəsp\
Definition of CUSP
: point, apex: as a : a point of transition (as from one historical period to the next) : turning point; also : edge, verge

My McKenzie at her graduation program ... in a few months she'll become a teenager - next year is middle school! Wow, do I love this amazing, loving, smart, talented, funny young woman - can't wait to see what she does next.. :-D

Down the road ...

Down the road ... by Sparky2*
Down the road ..., a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
I've not yet met these wonderful people ... but they live a few blocks from me. There is only one road in/out of my neighborhood and so I pass by their home each day - and always look forward to it.. Each year they have their huge back lot filled with wildflowers -- from spring throughout summer. They've sprinkled the area, too, with rusty antique farming tools -- so it's not only quite lovely - they aren't faced with mowing this large area each week!


by William Cullen Bryant

A power is on the earth and in the air,
From which the vital spirit shrinks afraid,
and shelters him in nooks of deepest shade,
From the hot steam and from the fiery glare.
Look forth upon the earth—her thousand plants
Are smitten; even the dark sun-loving maize
Faints in the field beneath the torrid blaze;
The herd beside the shaded fountain pants;
For life is driven from all the landscape brown;
The bird hath sought his tree, the snake his den,
The trout floats dead in the hot stream, and men
Drop by the sunstroke in the populous town:
As if the Day of Fire had dawned, and sent
Its deadly breath into the firmament.

I've not yet met these wonderful people ... but they live a few blocks from me. There is only one road in/out of my neighborhood and so I pass by their home each day - and always look forward to it.. Each year they have their huge back lot filled with wildflowers -- from spring throughout summer. They've sprinkled the area, too, with rusty antique farming tools -- so it's not only quite lovely - they aren't faced with mowing this large area each week!


In Summer

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
And a mantle, too, of the skies' soft blue,
And a belt where the rivers run.

And now for the kiss of the wind,
And the touch of the air's soft hands,
With the rest from strife and the heat of life,
With the freedom of lakes and lands.

I envy the farmer's boy
Who sings as he follows the plow;
While the shining green of the young blades lean
To the breezes that cool his brow.

He sings to the dewy morn,
No thought of another's ear;
But the song he sings is a chant for kings
And the whole wide world to hear.

He sings of the joys of life,
Of the pleasures of work and rest,
From an o'erfull heart, without aim or art;
'T is a song of the merriest.

O ye who toil in the town,
And ye who moil in the mart,
Hear the artless song, and your faith made strong
Shall renew your joy of heart.

Oh, poor were the worth of the world
If never a song were heard,—
If the sting of grief had no relief,
And never a heart were stirred.

So, long as the streams run down,
And as long as the robins trill,
Let us taunt old Care with a merry air,
And sing in the face of ill.

Monet, Rembrandt and Picaso were also once three ...

I wonder if he'll remember anything ...
of being three and unafraid to stand tall
in practically nothing at all but warm sun
letting brand new notions go,
flow unchecked, unapologetic.
For now he knows only the touch of soft wind on his back
the sounds of water and birds and barking dog
the scents of rosemary, gardenia and purple sage nearby
the taste of apples and cinnamon still sweet on his tongue
He sees the rich browns of chocolate in his cookie, fire engine reds
the perfect light that shines back at him from our eyes -
and there it all is ... captured on his canvas.

. . .© Susan M. Kennedy 2012

Art Class
. .by James Galvin

Let us begin with a simple line,
Drawn as a child would draw it,
To indicate the horizon,

More real than the real horizon,
Which is less than line,
Which is visible abstraction, a ratio.

The line ravishes the page with implications
Of white earth, white sky!

The horizon moves as we move,
Making us feel central.
But the horizon is an empty shell—

Strange radius whose center is peripheral.
As the horizon draws us on, withdrawing,
The line draws us in,

Requiring further lines,
Engendering curves, verticals, diagonals,
Urging shades, shapes, figures…

What should we place, in all good faith,
On the horizon? A stone?
An empty chair? A submarine?

Take your time. Take it easy.
The horizon will not stop abstracting us.


Sing by Sparky2*
Sing, a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
Te Deum
by Charles Reznikoff

Not because of victories
I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largess of the spring.

Not for victory
but for the day's work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.

[ from early June ]

Happy Frog

Happy Frog by Sparky2*
Happy Frog, a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
... my long time froggy friend waiting patiently to have his arms filled with something nice.

[ from early June ]

Old Apple Box ...

Old Apple Box ... by Sparky2*
Old Apple Box ..., a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.

...Score! Found it at a garage sale ... ♥♥♥ "Canadian Apples" - makes me think of all my Canadian friends! :-)
[ from mid May ]

Mother's Day Gift of Lilies ... :-)

The butterfly bush is now ovr 15ft tall - and solid with blooms, and bees and butterflies!

Repurposed ...

Repurposed ... by Sparky2*
Repurposed ..., a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
... my little home made fountain - this year. Last year's pot shattered in the cold and so this one is a little different and probably won't last because of kiddoes and Krypto. lol!
At any rate, the tiny seed starter pot on top still reads "Black-eyed". I didn't have time this year for doing anything at all with a thought toward spring in my backyard so at least the pots aren't sitting idle; they're simply making lovely water music instead of flowers! ;-)

(from April)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Waiting for Spring

Waiting for Spring by Sparky2*
Waiting for Spring, a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
How to Make a Game of Waiting
by Jennifer K. Sweeney

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 color of the 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.

Thanks AGAIN to SkeletalMess for the amazing texture; it's one I love!

Two more incredible poems by Jeniffer K. Sweeney

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spring is Peeping in my Window ...

Unbelievable how heavy and exhausting a camera can be to hold steady after a two week bout with the flu!! That I even had the slightest interest in trying tells me that I must be on the mend, lol! Caught this from my kitchen window and it was just what I needed to pull me outside to notice all the new backyard birds and budding signs of spring. Ahhh, the healing nurture of nature ...

Answer to a Child's Question

Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove,
The Linnet and Thrush say, "I love and I love!"
In the winter they're silent—the wind is so strong;
What it says, I don't know, but it sings a loud song.
But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,
And singing, and loving—all come back together.
But the Lark is so brimful of gladness and love,
The green fields below him, the blue sky above,
That he sings, and he sings; and for ever sings he—
"I love my Love, and my Love loves me!"

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Friday, February 17, 2012

Backyard Beauty

Backyard Beauty by Sparky2*
Backyard Beauty, a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
Haven't had many opportunities for new shots lately. Now I'm finding some free time ... I should be doing many other things - adult, responsible things - but I would rather play -- need to play - ;-) - and the weather isn't cooperating - so I'm just archive diving today ... reviewing old pics from around the same time in previous years. I didn't realize how very many I never used for anything at all!

Daily Life
by Susan Wood

A parrot of irritation sits
on my shoulder, pecks
at my head, ruffling his feathers
in my ear. He repeats
everything I say, like a child
trying to irritate the parent.
Too much to do today: the dracena
that's outgrown its pot, a mountain
of bills to pay and nothing in the house
to eat. Too many clothes need washing
and the dog needs his shots.
It just goes on and on, I say
to myself, no one around, and catch
myself saying it, a ball hit so straight
to your glove you'd have to be
blind not to catch it. And of course
I hope it does go on and on
forever, the little pain,
the little pleasure, the sun
a blood orange in the sky, the sky
parrot blue and the day
unfolding like a bird slowly
spreading its wings, though I know,
saying it, that it won't.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Whomperjawed by Sparky2*
Whomperjawed, a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
Urban Dictionary's definition of a word we use often around here when things don't go according to plan - when the world feels a little skewed or tilted ... ;-)

1. whomperjawed
Southern term referring to an object or person that is out of sorts.
Ex: I got out of the car and the wind was blowing so excessively that my hair got all whomperjawed.
"messed up" "jacked up" "screwed up" screwed twisted

We kids would all laugh hysterically when my grandmother used the word "whomperjawed" - she said it in such a fun way ... usually in reference to something like a crooked tablecloth or picture frame on the wall (or a chore we'd done poorly in her estimation!)

Interesting bit here ... evidently Molly Ivins used it frequently when discussing politics .. ;-)

Then I stumbled on this poem - made me laugh ... perfect!

By Howard Nemerov

You know the old story Ann Landers tells
About the housewife in her basement doing the wash?
She’s wearing her nightie, and she thinks, “Well, hell,
I might’s well put this in as well,” and then
Being dripped on by a leaky pipe puts on
Her son’s football helmet; whereupon
The meter reader happens to walk through
and “Lady,” he gravely says, “I sure hope your team wins.”

A story many times told in many ways,
The set of random accidents redeemed
By one more accident, as though chaos
Were the order that was before creation came.
That is the way things happen in the world:
A joke, a disappointment satisfied,
As we walk through doing our daily round,
Reading the meter, making things add up.