Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Man in the mirror

Not Yet

Blue-eyed Old Soul
Dabbling at life
With tattered brush
And shit-stained palette
Smelling of excess
More than success
As he staggers on
A Pentagenarian now
Looking in the mirror
Not seeing life abundant
Wondering if he has
Fiddled his best away
Knowing not what the rest
Of his days may hold
Feeling old, leaden
But not dead...not yet

Image courtesy of:
Thanks for the inspiration, E

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wet and Wild

Young and Mad and Raging

You young river, you!
Rocky-bottomed, trouty,
Fairly bursting with promise;
Hardwood-lined banks,
Built up by loving farmers
Over many, many years
To hold back your rage;
An age ago I would
Have slipped into you
With my red Blue Hole
And ridden you, hard,
Hell for leather,
Withdrawing only
When exhaustion
Had taken me.
Bold I was then,
And strong of arm,
Unafraid of the wet
And the wild,
Child of rivers
That I am.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Comfy Magpie

Poor, White, and Alright

Random red loveseat
sitting on a curb
in this distant, cold
city to which I ran...
away from the hunter
who stalked my nights...
away from the family
that could only see
Preacher Friday
when they looked at me...
away from you, too,
dear brother of mine.
I had to find myself,
be myself...sit alone
in the office chair
of my life.
That does not mean
I do not long for one
last night of sharing
the old sofa we put
out on granny's porch...
smoking and sipping and
annoying the neighbors
with rock and/or roll
and lots and lots
of laughter.

To read more Magpie Tales, click here!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Any way you spell it...

The Rhyne Men

Rhine Legacy

Dying embers...
One by one my family
Is flickering out.
For twelve score
Years we have lived
In the fertile valley
Of the South Fork...
Another score,
More or less,
And this line will be
Broken, leaving other
Branches to carry on
The legacy of Jacob,
Whose very name
Marked him as
A child of rivers.

Jacob Fork and the Henry meet to form the South Fork of the Catawba River, near which my ancestor, Jacob Rein, from the Upper Rhine region, settled around 1760.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Magpie with a view

The Room We Share
by Lemuel Crouse

A kiss? A tryst? Sweaty
Sheets completely undone...
Our love is all that and more.
With you, my forever mate
Have I shared, cared, cried,
Lost, found, lived, mourned,
died and been reborn...
We two know what love is.

And what of you, bloggy friend
For whom I've come to care?
Is love less for never having held
Your hand...touched your face...
Brushed an unruly strand of hair
Back into place for you?
Is there not a space in which
Our love abides and grows?

Or, you, whose gentle hand
I’ve held as tears welled,
Though I stand no longer
By your side, as time
And distance have divided
Us, is our love now less?
My once and always friend,
How can it not be the same?

If not love, what name are we
To give what we also share?
Or do we dare proclaim
What we know to be,
And stand, hand in hand,
Together in this room
We have built, wherein
Our hearts still beat as one?

As my dear Bug knows so well, I am a hopeless romantic, or perhaps Romantic would be more correct, and generally more hopeful than hopeless. I fall in love...a lot. I wrestle with this, with understanding my penchant for tumbling head over heels, with my heart being ever exposed. I struggle with being carried away, in words especially, with being over the top. I am a peculiar soul...old beyond reckoning in some ways, ever an awkward teenager in others. I do wear my heart on my sleeve, and I dare the daws to peck at it. This is who I am.

To listen, press Play:

For more Magpie Tales, click here!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day in the life...

On my way to school today, I saw these lovelies! I've seen them before: meet mom and one of her youngsters...they actually live in the woods near our campus :-)

I drove home through sheep country today. Not surprisingly, there were SHEEP!

 And a cow staring at sheep...
 And a gorgeous gorge...
 And of course autumn splendor!

And last but certainly not least, a spectacular broad-winged hawk checking out an unfortunate bit of road kill.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Vacant Magpie

Empty Chairs
by Lemuel Crouse

I see her alone now
Amongst the empty
Chairs where children
Once sat and sang
Clanging on triangles
And clapping blocks
Of wood in time
Well mostly in time

A kazoo she blew
Carefree swirling
Like the swishing skirt
Of a woman born to dance
As she busies herself
About the house
Singing as she dusts
The knick-knacks

Silence settles over
The scene as music
Fades and grass grows
Where once art
And joyous laughter
Rang free as cow bells
Only a solemn knell is heard
Tolling a conformist dirge

To listen, click the Play button:

To read more Magpie Tales or play along, click here!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Over the Rainbow

My university is hosting a small exhibit this month emphasizing the contributions of Jewish-American songwriters to American popular culture:

There's a lecture series, music (of course!), performance of select scenes from famous Jewish-American playwrights, and more! We do what we can with limited means to bring cultural diversity to our small campus. The exhibit is based on this book: A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs.