“I’m a ‘blue sky thinker’ and dream big.” ~ Hilary Knight
Hello Cutie Pies, and Hello Brand New Year!!
Yes, we’re back. Actually, we’re back and BLUE. Once again.
It feels good to open a new calendar and be a member of the Clean Slate Club. As Anne Shirley said, “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.” Oh, the possibilities!
Come what may, COOKIESare always a good idea — along with warm cups of tea, a comfy chair, and a good book or two or five hundred. 🙂
We’re all bears here (oh, you’ve noticed?). Hibernate is the name of the game. 🐻
So, did you have a good holiday? One of the nicest things to happen here was welcoming a new resident, BLUE BEAR.
He arrived on our doorstep thanks to the kindness and generosity of dear blogger friend Linda Baie, who hangs out at TeacherDance. Not too long ago, I stumbled across a photo of Big Blue Bear online; those of you who are from or have visited Denver are probably familiar with him, as he’s been peeking into the Colorado Convention Center since 2005.
But until a couple of months ago, I did not know he existed! Yes, I lead a sheltered life, but one would THINK that since Len travels to Denver sometimes on business, he would have mentioned Big Blue Bear at some point. He’s lived with over 300 bears for 30-odd years and knows very well I would want to know about this cool 40-ft high, 10,000 pound sculpture. Men!
#58 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet
Ho Ho Ho!
To celebrate the season, here’s an old fashioned Christmas abecedarian by American poet Carolyn Wells. This verse was first published as a picture book by McLoughlin Brothers in 1900, and describes how many of us still define Christmas more than a century later.
A CHRISTMAS ALPHABET by Carolyn Wells
A is for Angel who graces the tree.
B is for Bells that chime out in glee.
C is for Candle to light Christmas Eve.
D is for Dreams which we truly believe.
E is for Evergreens cut for the room.
F is for Flowers of exquisite perfume.
G is for Gifts that bring us delight.
H is for Holly with red berries bright.
I is for Ice, so shining and clear.
J is the Jingle of bells far and near.
K is Kriss Kringle with fur cap and coat.
L is for Letters the children all wrote.
M is for Mother, who’s trimming the bough.
N is for Night, see the stars sparkling now.
O is for Ornaments, dazzling with light.
P for Plum Pudding that tasted just right.
Q the Quadrille, in which each one must dance.
R is for Reindeer that gallop and prance.
S is for Snow that falls silently down.
T is for Turkey, so tender and brown.
U is for Uproar that goes on all day.
V is for Voices that carol a lay.
W is for Wreaths hung up on the wall.
X is for Xmas, with pleasures for all.
Y is for Yule log that burns clear and bright.
Z is for Zest shown from morning till night.
We would look up at the stars — the stars were our soup
I first became acquainted with Jorge Argueta’s work through his delectable cooking poem books (Sopa de frijoles/Bean Soup, Arroz con leche/Rice Pudding, Guacamole, Tamalitos, Salsa). Of course it felt like he had written these books just for me — how could I resist the playful language, mouthwatering imagery, and charming magical realism? Each poem, a spirited, sensory feast with a lasting, distinctive flavor, made me hunger for more.
Two years ago, I discovered another dimension of Jorge’s brilliance when he wrote about the heart-wrenching plight of Central American migrant families in Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds (Groundwood Books, 2016). Winner of the 2017 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, these poems express the child immigrant’s point of view and show how an arduous journey marked by danger and uncertainty is also a testament to courage, hope, resilience, and optimism.
“Pie, in a word, is my passion. Since as far back as I can remember, watching my mom and dad make their apple pies together every fall as a young boy, I have simply loved pie. I can’t really explain why. If one loves poetry, or growing orchids, or walking along the beach at sunset, the why isn’t all that important. To me, pie is poetry that makes the world a better place.” ~ Ken Haedrich (Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie)
Imagine what it must be like to have everyone squeal with delight upon seeing you.
You look soooooo good, they all say, you’re exactly what we wanted! You remind us of Grandma and all that is right with the world.
So you bask in the glory, maximize your flake. Living a life of applause is the only way to go.
PERFECT FOR ANY OCCASION by Alberto Ríos
Pies have a reputation.
And it’s immediate — no talk of potential
Regarding a pie. It’s good
Or it isn’t, but mostly it is — sweet, very sweet
Right then, right there, blue and red.
It can’t go to junior college,
Work hard for the grades,
Work two jobs on the side.
It can’t slowly build a reputation
And a growing client base.
A pie gets one chance
And knows it, wearing as makeup
Those sparkling granules of sugar,
As a collar those diamond cutouts
Bespeaking Fair Day, felicity, contentment. I tell you everything is great, says a pie.
Great, and fun, and fine. And you smell nice, too, someone says.
A full pound of round sound, all ahh, all good.
Pies live a life of applause.
But then there are the other pies.
The leftover pies. The ones
Nobody chooses at Thanksgiving. Mincemeat? What the hell is that? people ask,
Pointing instead at a double helping of Mr. “I-can-do-no-wrong” pecan pie.
But the unchosen pies have a long history, too.
They have plenty of good stories, places they’ve been —
They were once fun, too —
But nobody wants to listen to them anymore.
Oh sure, everybody used to love lard, But things have changed, brother — things have changed.
That’s never the end of the story, of course.
Some pies make a break for it —
Live underground for a while,
Doing what they can, talking fast,
Trying to be sweet pizzas, if they’re lucky.
But no good comes of it. Nobody is fooled.
A pie is a pie for one great day. Last week,
It was Jell-O. Tomorrow, it’ll be cake.
Are you swooning over “A full pound of round sound, all ahh, all good”? 🙂
Must say, haven’t seen rhyme used to such tantalizing effect in a long time . . .
This poem made me an instant Alberto Ríos fan. Nothing more delightful than celebrating pie while contemplating larger truths tucked beneath the crust, such as — seize the day, easy come-easy go, aging and invisibility, the inevitability of change.
I’ve been thinking about the leftover pies, the unchosen ones. “Leftover pie” is not really part of the Alphabet Soup vocabulary — “disappearing pie” is more like it. 😀
The poet also implies that there are some pies that have fallen out of favor — once chosen and enjoyed, but somehow no longer appreciated. I suppose there are some vintage pies we don’t see as often anymore — remember lemon chiffon, grasshopper, vinegar, or chess pie?
And I don’t really mind mince pie because it makes me think of British Christmases. 🙂
BUT. The thing about pie is that the more “old fashioned” it is, the more we love it. Sure, there are some cute ‘n sassy hand pies making the rounds these days, but nothing comes close to a homemade deep dish apple pie, or other perennial faves like pumpkin, blueberry, peach, chocolate cream, and lemon meringue.
Because pies, are, you know, FOREVER.
What’s your favorite pie? Do you have a fond pie memory to share?
Alberto Ríos is the author of 11 collections of poetry, including Whispering to Fool the Wind (1982), which won the Walt Whitman Award; The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body (2002), which was nominated for a National Book Award; and, most recently, A Small Story About the Sky (2015). He has also written three collections of short stories and one memoir. Ríos’s work has been included in over 300 journals and over 250 anthologies, and he was featured in the documentary Birthwrite: Growing up Hispanic. His awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NationalEndowment for the Arts, as well as the Walt Whitman Award, six Pushcart Prizes, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Latino Literary Hall of Fame Award. In 2014, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Currently the first state poet laureate of Arizona, Ríos is also the Regents Professor of English and the Katharine C. Turner Endowed Chair in English at Arizona State University in Tempe.
The lovely, lithe, literary and eminently likable Linda Baie is hosting the Roundup at TeacherDance. Tiptoe on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared in the blogosphere this week. Enjoy your weekend. 🙂
“The sandy beach reminded Harold of picnics. And the thought of picnics made him hungry. So he laid out a nice simple picnic lunch.
There was nothing but pie. But there were all nine kinds of pie that Harold liked best.
When Harold finished his picnic there was quite a lot left. He hated to see so much delicious pie go to waste.
So Harold left a very hungry moose and a deserving porcupine to finish it up.”