chasing shadows again

if I had it
I would give you the world and all of the stars
nowhere else makes me feel beautiful
the careless smiles I get here
are not the same
as the triumphant leer of the men who buy me drinks
then try to take me to their beds
which I will leave in the morning with nothing more than what I came with
hollow and sad
as the walls which do not cradle homes
only furniture
walking through this market
feels like coming home
as if the colors and the gravel and the sky can cradle
what the shells of apartments and houses cannot
I can feel the leaves of orchids and rows of Thai silk
reach out to touch the bananas and the old books
who throw spiderwebs of their souls out to
jewelry and crepes and honey and soap
offering to hold the world
offering to hold me
though I know that the closest I will come to that promise
is the brush of fingers
as I pay for orchids and honey
the artwork and the silk and the jewels
that I wrap around me like a quilt to keep out the dark

Walking through the open air market always feels like coming home. This time before the market, we stopped at Sirius Coffee where the same man as last time made my coffee, and I swear that somehow he puts love in it. Or maybe that’s the extra chocolate. This time when I asked for a small mocha after contemplating, he negated that decision with a “how can more chocolate and more whipped cream be wrong?” He wins. I love that place. It has an internet cafe kinda thing, and one day I may go there to write to you, where I can have many mochas. If anyone reading this makes it to Pahoa and does not go in for coffee (and to read the many, many bits of paper and stickers on the counter) you are missing something you should have had. If you never make it to Pahoa, you are doing the same, but more understandably so. I understand that not everyone will fly to the islands, though much like Fuji, it is something I cannot imagine living without. There are some things, some places, that add a kind of richness to the world. I have cherished all of them I have found, though I have found few of them.

Today there were people to say hello to, people who are starting to know me. I was not going to buy honey, but my honey seller (there are two and I only buy from one – he charmed me and I think he may charm bees) had honey sticks! I still had honey for both the altar and the kitchen (and for my Ravyn, I so have to mail you your honey! Remind me!), but honey sticks! I could not say no. Anyway, he always makes me smile. And last time I was there I tasted both his new kinds of honey but didn’t buy any. 😦 I need to make money so I can buy his honey and ship it all over the earth. People who tell me what flowers the bees were eating and show me the different tastes that makes and talk to me like I’m a person should get my money. I just have to have it first.

Again, the man who sells the used books out of his truck was there, and though I have books I still looked and brought home a book on Islamic art. There are other book sellers, but this one has the unusual things, and he talks to people. He does not talk as much to me, but many people he recommends books to. I suppose he has to learn what I like first. That is where I bought Snow Falling on Cedars which I loved for its peaceful kinda sleepy longing and truth. More people should be able to use darkness to show us light. I highly recommend that book to anyone.

I brought home an orchid, who I believe is named Ishmael. He is in my room now and I smile to look at him. Delilah, the night blooming jasmine I have planted in a pot to live with me (Lucien’s sister cutting!) is here too, on the corner of my desk. So is the lumpy lemon tree I planted from a seed, who needs a name. So anyone who knows what a lemon tree might be named should tell me here. Ishmael and the lemon (who I think is also a boy) are sharing a wire basket because Ishmael is too heavy on one side and topples over.

We have a coffee plant too now, and it seems to me that the coffee, the vanilla, and the cocoa plants should all live together. But then, I’m weird. We have a few more cocoa bean I should start. I want to make a shade thing for the cuttings with some mesh, so they will not fry. I need to sort through my books and decide which will be boxed (until I have shelves, at least). And I need a table. I kinda want to make one. Then I can build in boxes to hold pens and plants!

I have to finish my resume and stuff (and do secrets!) and organize and…I’m just full of things to do. But I will leave you with quotes from the two beautiful cards I got at the market today.

“We often confuse spiritual knowledge with spiritual attainment. Spirituality is not a matter of knowing scriptures and engaging in philosophical discussions. It is a matter of heart culture, of immeasurable strength. Fearlessness is the first requisite of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral.” ~ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

“What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. And justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr



{May 26, 2007}   hello to the cosmos

Tomorrow, I should garden. I have successfully not gardened in a bit (by which I mean one day I spent doing laundry, one day it poured, one I was lazy and today I was tired and doing my resume and enticed out for a trip to Borders. I know I need to replant some cuttings because several of the babies fried. (Lucien was fine at last check – it was only the very new cuttings it was too sunny for. He is starting to grow little sproutings, so I should get pictures.)

Borders was fun. I got the most recent Poets and Writers Magazine, Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison (it comes highly recommended from a good friend as a fun read), and Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez (which seems like it will be amazing).

I came home hoping to get settled back into reading and talking to the other participants in the poetry carnival hosted by Poets Who Blog and was immediately distracted by the fact that my screen door was leaning on the balcony rail. It seems my puppy got into my room, the door blew shut to the hallway, and in a panic she managed to knock the screen door out onto the balcony – and excellent escape plan if the balcony actually had stairs. Put the door back on. Noted that she had peed on the floor. Cleaned floor. Sprawled out to do some reading and talking. Decided to take a nap. Found puppy had also peed on the bed! Drug all the blankets and sheets to the washing machine. Wrestled off mattress cover which is now in the wash. Twisted ankle doing so. Determined that anything I write will be extra grouchy and that I will finish after I no longer want to kill the puppy and/or growl at things.

For now, this is the extent of my chattering – I apologize for the fact that I am quiet and grouchy lately. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Coffee and secrets is generally a good morning.


What can I say now
To the woman who understands as I do
That the past must be absolute
I cannot undo what has been done
Years have passed
Wounds that once bled have closed
Even if the scars remain
They remind us who we are
This is for you
I hope it is a kinder reminder than a scar
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
The woman who inflicted me on the world
While people missed their football game
There are times I wonder if you are sorry
If you ever were
This is for you
Whatever the answer maybe
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
The woman who taught me my first words
And hiked with me on your back through the woods
While I was too young to remember
This is for you
So that you know I cherish those things now
This is for you
With all of my love

My father taught me to love the everchanging ocean and that bears are beautiful – he gave me the sense of beauty in finding peace in things that could roll me under and rip me apart.
You taught me not to walk out too deep, to balance my checkbook, to always keep sight of the shore – I realize now that gift was no less.
This is for you
So that you know I am grateful for that
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
The woman who was never afraid
The woman who could do everything
The woman who for years couldn’t tell me that you were proud of me
That knowledge I stole
Secondhand from my father like smoke from his cigarettes
This is for you
So you know that I heard
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
The tiny woman who pushed cars
Who could get Brian’s truck out of the snow
And insisted I learn to check my own oil and change a tire
These were not so womanly as teaching me about painting my nails and doing my hair
But they were the gifts you had to give
This is for you
So that you know I still remember
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
The woman who I swore I would never be
The reason I always wanted to run away from home
Now when I think about leaving
I know there will be this empty place where there was once sound
But you will not be far
You are always with me – your blood in my veins and nothing can take that away
This is for you
So that you know I am proud to be something born of you
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
And some of your faults came to me too
I cannot tell you these things
Just as you could not tell me
I can feel tears threatening as I write this for you
Both because it is at once bliss and anguish
And because I am afraid you will never see these words
But this is for you
Because I’ve always wanted to tell you
This is for you
With all of my love

{May 24, 2007}   Wow.

In which a plan is orchestrated for love.

Aside from the part of me that is screaming ‘but the environment!’ I am completely behind this kind of thinking.  And I would like to share something beautiful with you.  It is, at worst, no more destructive than many other beautiful and accepted things (and probably hurts the environment no more than my share of the last plane flight I took for love, really).

your cities are memories and ghosts to me
your mists carry with them the weight of the dead and of time
the whispers of footsteps up the stairs to greet an empty cage – the memory of feathers and flight
where are those feet – your feet – now
are the shores of heaven soft white sand so fine that wet or dry they suck in your feet as if to taste you
when you look back can you see me across the endless rolling sea that separates death and breath
or is this last distance the only one too far to divide us

even here where my feet touch a different ocean
I think of you as I walk through the market on Sundays
what would you have thought of the old bottles – the jewel-tone fruits – the crepes
in my kitchen at night when I walk
I sometimes wonder if my footsteps are the whispering ones
if I walk through memory and stand at the window that overlooks the mountain eyes wide and worshipful
if it is the clinging of the living who remain and not the dead
who haunt your kitchens and your rooftops
dreaming of your elevated dogs and cathedrals below the surface of the earth

you would have taught me when I married your blood to cook the soups that taste of the earth they came from
in place of my homeless dishes with traces of lands I have never touched or felt – only tasted
as you taught your daughter on whom I could smell your mountains no matter how long she had been away
in the handful of Spanish words I know lurks the word for mother
central to your world in ways I could not accept until I left it
you and I spoke without comprehension but with understanding
what stories you told me as you set out coffee and tea and bread I could not repeat or translate
pressed to answer I would say that you gave me the earth and the sky
taught me to listen to the blood that runs under the lines of fate written across my palm

I do not know how to say goodbye
most certainly not to a woman who regarded me with eyes that could see into hearts
not to a woman whose presence could define the word home
whose secrets I did not know but felt written in feather-soft brushes of truth and ink over my skin
in a language I could not read
for whom I picked out a Christmas card in which I recognised only Christmas and love
not knowing that those words would be the last I ever gave you
save for these
Te quiero. Sueño de los cielos del verano.

Good morning! I am already mid-projects and just doing a quick update. There is much-much-much I want to do and too little time. But…just to teach people tempting me is bad, here is some more playful pirate madness!

Also considering the number of people who get here by searching for all manner of zombies (including cute zombies! I know I’m looking for a precious, rotting, reanimated corpse that feasts on human flesh, myself….) we are overdue some zombie madness too. Lots of things should be done! But for now we cue the playful pirate madness~~~>

Pirate underwear? I went on a quick internet romp to check for some options.
These red and white feminine spin off boy briefs are pretty cute. The black and white from the same site offer the same style with a few more image options.
Loot! These totally make me giggle. Totally, totally make me giggle.

This may be blamed on the very same drugs that inspired the cute zombie thoughts…?

Mmmmmmm…playful, delightful, well worth some poking through.
Coincidentally, my mother and I watched the relevant episode of Wifeswap (the only one I’ve ever seen, I promise) and wow. Just…wow. But ‘piratitude’ is actually used in our family vocabulary. For example last night, just before my mother and I watched Pirates of the Caribbean (CotBP/the first one) she called up the stairs, “yeah, I’m ready. What about you?”-slight pause-“Got your piratitude?” To which I replied that I could change my underwear, but wasn’t feeling the need. Sometimes, my house is entertainment. Generally of the Springer variety.

And, 12:00noon is in six minutes, so to make the deadline of morning…for the moment at least…ciao.  Hope you all have a wonderful day!

{May 21, 2007}   Garden Update!

Today I got to violate the will of God! use chemicals to cause roots to grow instead of leaves on plant cuttings!  Hopefully new plants will be born.  I like new plants.

Because I have some self restraint, rather than make one L-O-N-G post full of pictures you can view pictures of the cuttings here or view pictures of the vanilla root intervention here.

There will be a chatter post later too, I’m pretty sure because I have LOTS I want to say.  However, tradition demands I check out Postsecret (and because I’ve no one to to point to the screen with here, write and link for you).

This week, I will send you to two secrets.  The first is this one, which reminds me that I have quite a long way to go in that regard, but I’m getting there.  As soon as I have the chance, I will try to link to some volunteer organizations for children and get involved in some.  It has been far too long since I’ve done that.  To whoever sent that postcard (and to whoever can agree with the statement, or hopes to one day) my sincere congratulations – you’re becoming the person the world needs and dreams you will be.

The second secret is this one – I dream of being able to say that to someone.  I really, really do.  I hope that I can soon.  If not…ladies and gentlemen…I will get a papillion puppy.  Okay, I want one of those, but I’d probably adopt a rescue puppy.  I would intend to get a small one, but…I am my mother’s child, I would come home with the dog closest to being put to sleep if not adopted.  So far, those have always been good dogs.  (Patch the flying dog, for those of you who know him or know of him, is just such a dog.  And is currently sitting right by me, leaning into the screen door to be as close to me as he can.  The world would not be as beautiful if he weren’t in it.  But back to my theoretical puppy!)  It will think I am its happy ending (because puppies just do that), and if that is as close as I can get…I’ll take it.

And there we have our discussion for this morning.  🙂  Soon there will be chatterings.

Yes, really! My ultra comfy jeans now have a mermaid on them! Check it out!

Mermaid Jeans

This (rather well endowed) mermaid is made of mostly glass beads, notable exceptions include the coppery tips of her tail (copper/brass bells), a strand of hair that is made up entirely of carnelian, and her head (wooden bead). The star she’s leaping to catch is made of turquoise.  I’ll try to get a shot of her on me (the pattern looks a bit more normal that way).

More of these may be in the making (to be sold, no less!) because they are playful, fun, and unique. The jewelry thing hasn’t taken off (to be fair, I barely promote it and need to get my lazy self out to make money) and with so much other jewelry at the markets, I’m looking for a unique thing to do. Gonna see how people respond to the mermaid, and maybe put up some of these guys on the site/on Ebay and see what happens. But first, more jeans (or patches) to sew on are required.

Still, I am excited because this is fun! I like fun!

my muse will be an old woman
skin pulled toward the ground
heavy with the weight of experience and the weight of her lovers’ hands
she will limp a little
the ache serving to remind her of the danger
lurking in dares placed when it seems summer is eternal

she will know precisely when is enough
how long to simmer the stew and when to add the carrots
when the coffee has enough sugar and cream
at what point not to ask another another question
she will know when to file for divorce

her eyes will sparkle like the canopy of stars
and she will know all of their stories
written again and again in her blood until their knowledge is eternal
she will know her history her mothers her grandmothers
stories singing through her blood with mitochondrial DNA
connecting her with the past and future
in an unbroken chain of memory

when she lays over me while I dream
her lips hovering just above mine as she breathes words into me
woven in chains by the weight of our experience and the sky
she will be almost close enough to taste
though her lips will not touch mine until my eyes will not open again
and when her lips touch mine
she will drink my memory
add its weight to hers
before she moves to lie over another
and though I will not know it
when she finally kisses me
her lips will taste like apples and rain

please visit the poem that inspired this poem here if you haven’t already. (And if you have, please feel free to visit again. 🙂 )

et cetera