NOTES, at 11:30 PM

Some days, I live as if it were 2 days in one, or even
1-1/2 days in one, followed by those 2-day days,
and so I get up from an early evening nap, don’t know
what else to call it, and think I’m hungry.

I made myself a sandwich with Thursday’s leftovers.
I also heated some coffee.
And I opened a new poetry book I”d just been given.
Here’s one that I love:

” AT LEAST

I want to get up early one more morning,
before sunrise. Before the birds, even.
I want to throw cold water on my face
and be at my work table
when the sky lightens, and smoke
begins to rise from the chimneys
of the other houses.
I want to see the waves break
on this rocky beach, not just hear them
break as I did all night in my sleep.
I want to see again the ships
that pass through the Strait from every
seafaring country in the world —
old, dirty freighters just barely moving along,
and swift new cargo vessels
painted every color under the sun
that cut the water as they pass.
I want to keep an eye out for them.
And for the little boat that plies
the water between the ships
and the pilot station near the lighthouse.
I want to see them take a man off the ship
and put another up on board.
I want to spend the day watching this happen
and reach my own conclusions..
I hate to seem greedy — I have so much
to be thankful for already.
But I want to get up early one more morning, at least.
And go to my place with some coffee and wait.
Just wait, to see what’s going to happen.”

………….RAYMOND CARVER,
from the book, Good Poems, as heard on
The Writer’s Almanac radio show with Garrison Keillor.

So, starting the left-over sandwich, I read this
poem and sipped some coffee. Yes, coffee at almost
midnight! When I came to those last two lines of the
poem above, I looked at the sandwich, hardly touched,
and the coffee almost gone, and I heated up another
cup of coffee for myself. Whether I then can sleep or
not, it matters not.

All that I’d wanted was the coffee and a good poem.
And I’m having both, as the poet and I wait to see
what’s going to happen.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

OUT OF SEASON

Sometimes I have to remember that what’s ahead,
directly as on a calendar, does not have to be my
primary concern, as in walking forward into the
holidays coming up.

I do find myself singing some old Christmas songs
that merrily play away on radio and mall domain.
Yet today, I’m minded to remember the summer.

Take a deep breath, and step out with me:

“Walked out this morning
into a broad green garden
with the rising sun in my eyes
and the first hint of the day’s heat
touching my face,
feeling as broad as the garden
and young as the day
and soaking up the heat
in my black tee-shirt,
walked straight forward
out of the gate,
through the wood,
along the river,
toward the mountain
and thought of the future
I could make in the world
if I walked toward it
like this,
with my face toward the hills
and my eyes full of light
and the earth sure
and solid beneath me,
walking on
with a fierce anticipation
and a faithful expectation,
with the sun and the rain
and the wind on my skin
and the old sense
I remember at twenty
of many paths
breaking from one path.

As if the body could walk
forever,
as if we all could walk
and keep on walking
from one path to another,
noting and loving again
the wonders
of the turning world….
that’s what we’ll do,
practicing as we go.”

…………….DAVID WHYTE, from his book of poems,
River Flow, 1984-2007

That mention of the ‘black tee-shirt’ is what
caught me, since I do have a favorite short-sleeved
tee that I feel so at home in. It’s sitting on my
summer shelf.
Available.
Any day, any time.
My choice, practicing with a warm sweater over it.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

RIPPLES

Last week I shared a “Daily” called QUERTY, result of a
morning when no poem called to me. A day or so later,
I received this in my email inbox:
……………………………………………………………………………
“Toni!

So I responded by doing a Toni — that is grabbing a
book that caught my eye, and opening it.
A few pages of flipping, and this:

‘While my dust was being tempered in the mould,

The dust of much trouble was raised;

I cannot be better than I am —

I am as I was poured from the crucible.’

…….. the Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam

It sure fit my mood, and uplifted it, after a discouraging
day at work yesterday. Thanks to you, I think I’ll do this
every morning. What a way to get out of our own self-
imposed limitations and open to the bigger stuff.

Thanks!

Love, Susan
…………………………………………………………………………

That’s my friend, Susan Fazekas. So, I emailed Susan
back, requesting permission to share her words.

How could I not! Firstly. it’s a moving and beautiful poem
of Omar Khayyam, and secondly, BRAVO to her for taking
the bit in her teeth and running with it. The best.

Thanks, Susan. You know I don’t expect anyone to write
back, however it’s delightful that you do share what’s
going on with you, any one of you who have responded
now and then.

It’s still dark outside. May the sun be lighting the day as
you awaken and greet this day.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

Photo by Iam Williams

QUERTY

Look familiar? That begins the first line of any
typewriter of any poet and I’ve forgotten what it’s
really called as it is connected to my familiar ‘Mac’
which stands in its solitary splendor, containing all
that boggles the mind.

This morning, a bit earlier, I had pulled out a book
of poetry by Billy Collins, pored over its gathered
contents and found nothing that suits my mood.

So, reluctantly, I closed the book, looked at my
empty monitor, and pushed the book of poetry by
Billy Collins up to the edge of this typing thing that
I cannot remember the name of.

I have this habit of lining things up neatly before
leaving them, like going back to bed, or getting up
and really starting the day.

With wonder and amazement, the width of the book
lined its five and five-eights inches precisely up to
“apple”, “option” and “control”, space, and on to the
next set of three things, like arrows, to push down.

What a sense of order! All’s well with the world for
this lovely moment. It’s obvious to me that somehow
Billy Collins managed to give me something to share.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

It's called a keyboard!

I HAD A DREAM

I did.
I just awoke from a dream in which I was able to create
a diarama, like at a Science Fair, in which I showed the
story of water, for example, in its changing forms, with
clouds made from light-weight material as they moved on
a track under which I could imagine I could walk.

All manner of experiential moments were present to show
how ideas could alter our environmental problems.
As I awoke, I lay there, almost afraid to breathe because
that dream had been so real. And how happy I felt.

Imagine if our politicians had to budget funds to demonstrate
how their proposals could make our lives better, more pliable,
more fun, even. Museums of all sizes would be available to
allow us to walk through a fantastic future, given the creative
help of specialists who could see the value of any proposal
and were trained to run with it.

That would be poetry.

“What if ” would be a way of looking at our relationships with
each other, by the experience of being ‘on stage’ briefly to
test new paths. Maybe we would find what worked and drew
us together a generation ago no longer suited how the
community, the family, the town was looking at as possibility.

I look around me from this vantage point of being about to
celebrate my 93rd birthday in December. Sometimes lately
I have felt the pain of shifting needs, shifting dreams, not
mine, but yours.

What if the emotional winds that impel people to change
and grow apart or together are the means to allow a freedom
of choice that could spur a new sense of purpose. What if
all concerned could find themselves moved to embrace their
own creative contribution to the general welfare because of
this shift in relationship.

What incredible joy, what incredible ever-renewing potential
for being alive that could be.

That dream of just a few moments ago is still with me. I feel
hope for an expansion of the way we could view how and
why we are together.

I’m sure some poet has already captured this. I’m keeping
an eye out for that.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

Touch Drawing by Leslie Prodis