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Saturday: Beautiful Things

Early Spring in Neshanic, NJ by local artist Joe Kazimierczyk

Early Spring in Neshanic, NJ by local artist Joe Kazimierczyk

Yesterday on my way to the fitness center, I passed under the branches of some large cherry trees at my worksite and noticed that they are starting to get buds on them. The transition from winter to spring has been slower than normal in NJ this year, making me momentarily question the conventional wisdom about global warming. We should have forsythia unfurling right about now. I expect it will happen within the next week. Some people like the seasons; I prefer climate. But I’m stuck in NJ so I’ll take what I can get.

This morning, I thought I’d step out of the Banzai Pipeline of political, economic and international turmoil that is bearing down on us and enjoy the beauty of the season. It’s a cloudy day in NJ, a perfect day to clean out the clutter and nestle on the sofa with a cup of hot lemon maté and a stack of seed catalogues and shelter magazines.  Two of my new favorite blogs, Design*Sponge and Remodelista are perfect for days like this.  This week’s Design*Sponge featured the house and kitchen of my dreams as well as recipes for a perfect spring brunch.

In the meantime, I’ve been spending 4 days a week at the fitness center, running, spinning and lifiting weights until my whole body feels like it’s coming apart at the seams.  It’s part of a fitness initiative and I’m on a team with 3 other people.  I can’t let the team down.  There are about 800 of us at 3 sites participating in this competition with some nice prizes in store for individual and team winners.  But, man, am I beat by the end of the day.  It’s about all I can do to eat my skimpy dinner and watch a little Star Trek before I crash.  Still, it will be worth it if I can see my cheekbones again by June when the competition ends.

So, for today, I’m going to catch up on the domestic scene, look for more budding plants and smell the earth.

Here’s a poem from ee cummings, one of the BFF’s favorite poets:

r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r
who
a)s w(e loo)k
upnowgath
PPEGORHRASS
eringint(o-
aThe):l
eA
!p:
S         a
(r
rIvInG .gRrEaPsPhOs)
to
rea(be)rran(com)gi(e)ngly
,grasshopper;

Welcome Spring!

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Cocktails on V-day: Poetry Slam

woman-with-cocktail-glass-and-rose-is611-019.jpgThe first Valentine was a martyr. I’ll bet there are a lot of us who can identify with that guy when it comes to love.
But what *is* love? The dictionary says that the words love and belief have the same root. That root has something to do with what is ‘dear’ to us. Why do we love? Is it because as a species we know that it is the small acts of goodness and selflessness, outweighing the acts of destruction that keeps civilization from descending into chaotic violent narcissism? That on this swiftly tilting blue planet, shooting through space to destination uknown, we cling to each other for comfort? To know that we are ephemerons, our delicate lifespans briefer than a blink of God’s eye, full of intense beauty and bleak desolation, craving the union of another’s mind and body and spirit, to share the gray mists of morning on dewy grass or the dark quiet of the night until that final endless night.
Love, belief, union. These are things we hold dear.
Lift a glass of champagne to your nearest and dearest. Forgive your enemies. Love one another.
Here are the two poems that the BFF and I exchanged on our first Valentine’s day. Can you guess which was mine and which was his? Add your own in the comments.
anyone lived in a pretty how town
by E. E. Cummings
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did
Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

Cascando

by Samuel Beckett

Cascando

1

why not merely the despaired of
occasion of
wordshed

is it not better abort than be barren

the hours after you are gone are so leaden
they will always start dragging too soon
the grapples clawing blindly the bed of want
bringing up the bones the old loves
sockets filled once with eyes like yours
all always is it better too soon than never
the black want splashing their faces
saying again nine days never floated the loved
nor nine months
nor nine lives

2

saying again
if you do not teach me I shall not learn
saying again there is a last
even of last times
last times of begging
last times of loving
of knowing not knowing pretending
a last even of last times of saying
if you do not love me I shall not be loved
if I do not love you I shall not love

the churn of stale words in the heart again
love love love thud of the old plunger
pestling the unalterable
whey of words

terrified again
of not loving
of loving and not you
of being loved and not by you
of knowing not knowing pretending
pretending

I and all the others that will love you
if they love you

3

unless they love you