Hello — is it Fauci you’re looking for? (+ a summer blog break)

 

I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile
He’s all you’ve ever wanted
And your arms are open wide . . .

 

via Andy Andersen/Instagram

 

Thought we needed a little Dr. Anthony Fauci fix today since we haven’t been seeing as much of him lately.

When it comes to the pandemic, he’s the voice of calm, reason, and truth. He’s the one we trust, the one who makes us feel better even when the news is bleak.

 

hubba hubba

 

More than a brilliant public health expert, Dr. Fauci is now a pop culture icon, a sex symbol, and a personal hero to many. Brad Pitt played him on SNL, and Julia Roberts was totally starstruck when she interviewed him on her Twitter account. There’s even been talk of a Nobel Prize and Time Magazine Person of the Year. Oh, and did you notice he has blue eyes? All the best doctors do. 🙂

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“Dr. Fauci Starry Painting” by haris0250

 

THE NIGHT OF CORONA
by Ann Barber

‘Twas the night of Corona when all through the world
Not a creature was stirring as the nightmare unfurled
The face masks were missing, the gloves and the gowns
The nurses and doctors were all falling down
The children and old folks were scratching their heads
To wonder what mayhem this virus could spread
Pa gathered his strength, Ma stuffed down her worries
Pulled courage together to start their new journey
When throughout the world there arose such a clatter
Of singing, and loving, though hearts were in tatters
We stood at our balconies, doorways, and windows
To let out the love Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus
The moon lit the green of the fresh budding Spring
Giving Hope for Rebirth we yearned it would bring
We opened our hearts and expanded our characters
Knowing our children would be the inheritors
When who to our wondering eyes did appear
But the good Dr. Fauci dispelling our fear
A lively old doctor so truthful and wise
We knew in a moment he’d tell us no lies
More rapid than eagles his interviews came
Knew we needed to hear him so he could explain
The virus, the distance, how not to transmit it
The challenge we’re up for, no doubt we can do it
The world just got smaller but we’re growing bigger
Our hearts and our souls demonstrate we’re no quitters
Our Heroes are Healers, not killers of Life
And many strong Women in the thick of the strife
May All who draw breath see God in Each Other
Embracing Our weakness As Sisters and Brothers
Stronger Together

~ Adapted on April 10, 2020 from “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” by Clement Clarke Moore, via Daily Hampshire Gazette (4-27-20).

 

“Faster Than a Speeding Fauci” by Andee Axe

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strawberries: a taste of something wild and sweet

“Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.” ~ Pema Chodron

 

Hello, good-looking friends. How are you holding up?

Hard to believe it’s already June. It’s certainly been a trying three months! Time to anticipate summer with a little strawberry love. 🙂

As we hunker down in our private spaces, our strength, resilience, faith and patience are being tested as never before. Each day brings a new concern as we reassess our priorities and consider an uncertain future.

Rather than perpetually bemoan forced confinement, we can mindfully pause to carefully consider, with humility and gratitude, the time we are actually being given and the challenge to use it wisely.

I’m here to tell you there is good news: Today, it’s your turn. Wherever you are standing right now, I give this to you:

 

“Strawberries” by Alexis Kreyder

 

WHAT IS GIVEN
by Ralph Murre

The likelihood of finding strawberries
tiny and wild and sweet
around your ankles
on any given day
in any given place
is not great
but sometimes
people find strawberries
right where they are standing
just because it is their turn
to be given a taste
of something wild and sweet

 

“Strawberries on Spode Plate” by Jeanne Illenye

 

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the green stuff: a poem and a rant

“I don’t care too much for money; money can’t buy me love.” ~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney

MONEY IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS
by Susan Firer

I wake to money, and take my money slow
I watched for money, lights turned low

One must have a kind of money . . .
Money that is not there and the money that is

The art of money isn’t hard to master
. . . The money surrounds us . . .

Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet money
Money on a wet, black bough

Do not go gentle into that good money
The pure products of money go crazy

Money sweeping out from us to disappear
Oh Money! My Money! our fearful trip is done

I myself will die without money
Money, Money, you bastard, I’m through.

~ from The Transit of Venus (The Backwaters Press, 2016)

 

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honoring our elderly with a pair of poems (+ a special birthday!)

“We’re all just walking each other home.” ~ Ram Dass

“Holding Hands” by Suzanne Summers LaPierre

 

TEA AT JUBILEE MANOR
by Linda Crosfield

Every afternoon at two-fifteen they come,
a procession of chairs and walkers,
or unaided in a slow and ponderous shuffle,
backs hunched against the unkindness of time,
to assemble in the great room for tea.

They enjoy this ritual —
the sturdy cups of Orange Pekoe,
cookies and squares that break up a day,
words exchanged, sometimes even heard,
by folk whose paths might not have crossed before.

It’s a slow dance, led by invisible partners.
It’s the last dance, and they’re saving it
for every afternoon at two-fifteen.

~ Posted by permission of the author, copyright © 2011, 2020 Linda Crosfield. All rights reserved.

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“God Bless the Caregivers” by Pami Ciliax-Guthrie

 

Nursing homes have been in the news a lot lately. After all, it was a nursing home — the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington — that first warranted our serious concern about COVID-19’s community spread in the U.S. back in late February.

We learned that the elderly were the most vulnerable, and that many residents as well as caregivers had been lost or were fighting for their lives across the country.

When I stumbled upon this lovely poem by Canadian poet Linda Crosfield recently, I couldn’t help but view it through the lens of the pandemic. The cherished ritual of afternoon tea took on an added poignancy as I thought of those who no longer have the joy of a “last dance” to look forward to.

As it turns out, though, there was a bright spot, a glimmer of hope.

When I contacted Linda to ask for permission to share her poem, she provided a little backstory about it:

I wrote “Tea at Jubilee Manor” when my aunt was living there. It’s a nursing home in Nelson, BC. She died at 102 in 2012. Now my mother is in the same place and she’s turning 100 on June 3rd. Sadly, it won’t be quite the celebration we’d always planned. Can’t see her in person. No hugs. No flowers. Gifts frowned on. But we can send in one of those little airline-sized bottles of gin and some tonic and we will toast her over the fence on the day. 

Now the poem is even more meaningful. Though I was sorry to hear Linda and her family won’t be able to celebrate this landmark birthday in person, I was so relieved that her mom is okay and would indeed be observing a rare milestone next week.

Would you like to meet Daisy? Here she is:

 

Linda’s mother Daisy, the birthday girl!

 

Have you ever seen such a beautiful face, such a wonderful smile? Oh, the people she’s met, the things and places she’s seen, the love she’s shared in 100 years! And she’s given us a poet!

Oh, look — it’s 2:15! In honor of Daisy’s birthday on Wednesday, we’ve set up a little afternoon tea. Please help yourself to some marble cake, dark chocolate pretzels, lemon, oat, and chocolate chip cookies, and of course, a warm cup of Orange Pekoe.

 

 

 

If not for Linda’s poem, our paths might never have crossed. Just as her heartening words suggest, we must follow the lead of our wise elders by rejoicing in simple pleasures and cherishing each moment as it comes, with gratitude that it’s been given.

 

Mr Cornelius wants you to try a Tunnock’s Tea Cake, a special treat from Scotland.

 

There’s much to be said, especially in tough, unpredictable times, about treating each slow dance as your last.

 

 

While you nibble and sip, enjoy this mini gallery of seniors and Samantha Reynolds’s poem, as a way of honoring those we’ve lost, those we’ve found, and those we’ve yet to meet. Not to be forgotten, devalued, discounted or sacrificed, but revered, respected and treasured.

 

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[review + giveaway] Illusions: Poetry & Art for the Young At Heart by Charles Ghigna and Chip Ghigna

“Everything you can imagine is real.” ~ Pablo Picasso

 

Not too long ago, I featured a few word-gems from Charles Ghigna’s, Dear Poet: Notes to a Young Writer (Resource Publications, 2019). When I paired Charles’s words with his son Chip’s art, I didn’t realize that just a short time later they would publish a book together!

In Illusions: Poetry & Art for the Young at Heart (Resource Publications, 2020), these two incredibly talented creatives explore their fascination with dreams and illusions, as they delve into the mysteries of creativity and champion the innate ability of each individual to shape his own reality.

Geared towards tweens and teens (and as the title suggests, anyone who’s young at heart), the 22 poems and images encourage readers to think outside the box, celebrate the fine art of play, and be bold in envisioning all the possibilities.

If there is any “secret” to creativity and courting the muse, perhaps it’s all about accessing one’s inner child, for therein lies openness, intuition, spontaneity, and a direct line to the imagination.

 

Cover Art: “Tree of Hope” by Chip Ghigna

 

These are poems where daydreaming is actively encouraged, and communing with nature is a holistic, spiritual experience, rich with “Inspiration”:

It is the sound
of the wind
and the silence of the night.

It is the sun
and the moon
and the memory.

In the lyrically beautiful poem, “One,” we are reminded of the interconnectedness of all living things, that time is a continuum, and that there is wisdom to be gleaned by choosing to remain aware, alert, and engaged. Glory and wonder are ours for the taking.

There is clever wordplay, too, like in the whimsical poem, “Art”:

Art is undefinable,
A mystery of creation
Inspired by a pigment
Of your imagination.

Makes me smile every time. 🙂

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