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Oh, my GOODNESS, sometimes chamber music is just… hard. We’re doing a piece by Swedish composer Thomas Jennefelt called “Warning to the Rich,” and … it’s all humming and whispering and discordant chords and semi-choruses shouting and mocking laughter and abrupt cut-offs, and, like, wailing — I kind of hate it, but it’s also kind of awesome. I haven’t decided yet.

When I think over the years how many times I have absolutely LOATHED a song or piece we’ve started, and then come away appreciating the hard work, and absolutely loving the piece, well, it makes me laugh. Why do I even bother complaining?

s i n g

songs discordant, sung
with insufficient drama
sound just like failure
no timidity here –
OWN that harmonic maelstrom!

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Good morning!

This penultimate Poetry Friday in National Poetry Month is graciously hosted at The Opposite of Indifference. Please do drop by and wish Tabatha’s middle-grade anthology, IMPERFECT: Poems About Mistakes a Happy Book Birthday on this its release day, and visit The Mistakes Anthology blog.


Tech Boy has a conference, so I’m going to hole up in a hotel for a few days. We’re going to Philadelphia!

I was excited about my first trip to Pennsylvania, but… Timing is EVERYTHING. I was planning, at least part of the time, on grabbing a seat at a coffee shop and people watching, but, maybe not this …lifetime.

I remember being a small child and having one or the other of my parents remind me over and over and over and over about how to conduct myself in a store – don’t touch anything, don’t ask for anything, stay right with me, don’t put your hands in your pockets, stay to the middle of the aisle. I always thought that it was because they thought I was so bad that I would cut up if they didn’t remind me… but later, after watching their interactions – the one lady who followed my mother through the drugstore, the man who appeared at each of the aisle in the hardware store – I understood. Once you’ve been followed through a store, you realize you’re not a customer, you’re a problem… and some of us learn that very young. Today’s tanka touches on the idea of childhood having a different expiration date for majority and minority children.

Keep Your Hands In the Cart
in particular
hardware stores were the worst –
nails, screws, and washers
beckoning with silver gleam
“Don’t you touch NOTHIN’,” says Dad

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While I haven’t had anywhere near Liz’s adventures with specs this month I’ve been back and forth with them, and start today with a new pair – in a new, much smaller shape.

It’s funny – my first glasses were so big (okay, it was the eighties… all glasses were big. As was hair). As styles grew sleeker over time, I continued to wear mine wide and face obscuring. And now, as styles have widened and broadened so everyone looks like Edna Mode from The Incredibles? I’m going the other way, to try something different.

There’s never a day when I’m going to feel like I need to show off my face… but maybe it’s past time to consciously choose to stop hiding?

[porthole]

“windows to the soul,”
these eyes with their two clear panes
have worn shutters
but now, new day beginning,
we, brave, throw those curtains wide

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Peachtree 112

To all my friends suffering under the nth snowstorm… at least it has a neat name.

blackberry winter (n.): Used chiefly in the southern regions of America, this refers to a period of cold weather in the late spring, more boringly called a “cold snap.” The term is said to come from chilly weather appearing after the blackberry plants have begun to bloom, which Americans will feast on in cobblers throughout summer. Other terms for this are after-winter, blackthorn winter, dogwood winter or redbud winter.

So, take heart… it’s started. If you have to, make your own flowers… but, they’re coming. And then, there will be berries.

mud-time
it begins with clouds
now forming, piling, parting
precipitation
wakens first the weeds. leaves next
slowly greening – and then blooms

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Lynedoch Crescent D 417

Have you ever said just the right thing, and watched someone you love light up? The Biblical Psalms say that the right word is like golden apples in a silver bowl. (Being an imaginative child, I always assumed this was real metal… but I suspect not everyone in Ye Olde Times was running around with the golden apples of myth… and unless they’re stainless steel, silver bowls tend to be a mite pricey, not to mention annoying to clean.) When I said just the right thing to someone who needed to hear it today, I felt like I had been given gold for real. It’s lovely.

shared

“an apple a day”
a saying to keep healthy
imagine the gift
of sending golden apples
showering like silver coin

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My most frequent interaction with my bank is convincing them I exist.

It’s… weird, actually. I use my bank card so much it should smoke. I pay for my groceries online (and then go pick them up, which is a fun convenience). I buy clothes and shoes and jewelry on ThredUp, and visit the terror that is Etsy far too often. I rarely have to stick my card into a reader in a public place, but I have my bank card number memorized. And yet: every once in a while, it doesn’t work… possibly because of that lack of sticking-my-card-in-a-reader thing. I think. Whatever it is, I call the bank to check in. Is there some problem with my card? And then, they scurry to verify my identity, my mother’s maiden name, her great-grandmother’s favorite color, and they look at my records. Oh, they see a move (a year ago), and then say, brightly, “Let’s update that address and phone number!” And then they say, “Oh, we updated that? A year ago? Well, we have no idea what’s happened!”

And yet: it keeps happening.

she tries to convince the electronic overlords she exists
My heart brags, I AM
Pounding in a lively beat
As bank cards decline.
The all-seeing eye, blinded
While reading a dime from space.

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Iona 84

Today we’re having lunch with friends who are going to Iona Abbey this summer. My memory of that place remains close enough to touch – how I want to order up another sun-splashed summer day and return… but you just cannot order sun in Scotland. It’s a gift – you take it when you get it, and celebrate it.

Abbey

this Hebrides isle
with white-sand beaches offers
jaded pilgrims peace
within her mists Iona
wraps kings and princes in sleep