Billy Collins’ The Country

I started off the afternoon with a little poem by Billy Collins entitled The Country.

Read or listen to it at The Writer’s Almanac HERE

Here is just a taste

I wondered about you
when you told me never to leave
a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches
lying around the house because the mice

might get into them and start a fire.
But your face was absolutely straight
when you twisted the lid down on the round tin
where the matches, you said, are always stowed.

Listen To This – Flash Fiction

“Here, listen to this,” I say, hearing the silent groans, which I ignore, opening my book, a well worn copy of poetry by a poet laureate, circa 2001.

I have taken to quoting bits of poetry I find hilarious, and while I can sense the lack of interest or understanding, it never stops me from trying. Maybe I have been reading it out loud too often, but I I have to inform people how brilliant this poet is. I mean, who do you know that writes poetry that 1. you actually understand, and 2. makes perfect sense because you relate to it completely?

I finish reading and look up to bored faces. I sigh and close the book. People just don’t get me.

 

Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

I have taken to reading Billy Collins‘s  Sailing Alone Around The Room to anyone who will listen. I rather like his wry take on life and I feel that people, IE my family, need to hear how wonderful he is. I’m sure my family is already quite bored and I’ve only read off bits and pieces of two poems. Sigh.

Signing off

Kate.

How Did I Not Know About The Writer’s Almanac?

English: Mr. Garrison Keillor

English: Mr. Garrison Keillor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you like poetry? Do you enjoy random bits of history about writers? Poets? Things in history?  Do you just adore listening to Garrison Keillor? Do you want a daily audio update about all these things?

Well, you’ve come to the right place to direct you t an even better place. I have discovered The Writer’s Almanac. And what is this, you ask me? Why it’s a marvelous little daily podcast hosted by the most marvelous and talented Garrison Keillor.  Every day Mr. Keillor reads the birthday of one or two famous authors/writers, a bit of history for the date, and lastly a poem. Done in his marvelous voice it can be soothing or just the thing to hear in the morning, taking no more than just five minutes, it’s about the time it takes to get fully dressed, or for you women out there, maybe get half your makeup on.  It’s charming and informative, and well come on. It’s Garrison Keillor and how can you go wrong.the writer's almanacSupported by The Poetry Foundation, it’s a marvelous little thing.

English: Billy Collins at D.G. Wills Books, La...

English: Billy Collins at D.G. Wills Books, La Jolla, San Diego (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How did I find out about this? Surprisingly enough, Wikipedia when was reading about Billy Collins, poet, who has become my favorite modern poet. Within the article about him, it was mentioned that he co-hosted The Writer’s Almanac for the summer of 2013. Well, I just had to find out about it and wow, I’m so excited.

So, I urge you to check it out. It’s quick and fun, and well, we could all use a smidge of literary in our daily lives.

Signing off

Kate

Hearts and Showers – Poetry

Logo-with-Heart-Shape-23She makes upside-down hearts on the glass shower walls

Her rounded buttocks the stamp, the fogged walls her pages

She balances like a stork or crane, No, that’s not right

A gazelle. She is a gazelle graceful as she holds one sleek

leg in the air and with a swipe of a razor, cuts the hair with

a practiced hand. How does she do that?

Fog and mist shroud her in silhouette as she leans back, her topknot of hair

a cushion. A pin cushion she has jabbed two lacquered chopstick in

The mist is heaven scented. Jasmine and spice, or lavender and vanilla

I want to eat the air around her. 

I watch her in reverse, the mirror a backwards world of wonder.

I’m forever nicking my chin as I watch her instead of paying

attention to the razor in my hand and lather on my face.

She is a show, a fascination of movement from one thing to the

Next

And don’t even get me started on how she dries the diamond drops from

her svelte body. I’d be here all day drooling……

 

 

If you, as a woman lean just right against a foggy wall in a shower, you can leave an upside-down heart…. Just some random information that you all needed to know.

Enjoy the open verse.

Signing off

~Kate

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Word of the Day — Whisper

WhisperOkay, so most of you are probably wondering why we are going with such a basic word.  Whisper.  The whisper of a kitten’s whiskers.  A whispering sigh.  “Why do you whisper green grass”, The Ink Spots.  A word that can hold so much in it’s meaning, yet it’s such a quiet word. It hardly says or does anything, but it means so very much.

whisper     verb \ˈhwis-pər, ˈwis-\

: to speak very softly or quietly

: to produce a quiet sound

OR

noun

: a very soft and quiet way of speaking

: a soft and quiet sound

: a very small amount of something

I think I use verb and noun equally.  I use this word all the time in poetry, especially if there is soft movement or a breeze.  It’s a delicate word that floats off your tongue and tastes like ice crystals.  Yes! Words have taste.

Want to see how much I use whisper?  Go to the main homepage of Kate’s Bookshelf and in the search box at the top, type in ‘whisper’.  You will see how much I love using that word.

Signing off

~Kate

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Wordless Wednesday – Stopping By The Woods

This is the light on mysterious clouds last week. It looked like a fire and it moved across the sky, and it reached all the way from horizon to horizon.

This is the light on mysterious clouds last week. It looked like a fire and it moved across the sky, and it reached all the way from horizon to horizon.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost

 

Signing off

~Kate

The Buzz of It All

yellow jacket's dinner

Yellow jacket on a raspberry flower. These are guys I don’t mess with per say, but they are marvelous as well.

The humble, darling honeybee.  There is something so special about them and yet, I think people forget about them.  Right now I find them hard to forget as I am usually elbow deep in them as I pick raspberries.  they fill the rows of canes with their steady hum as they buzz throughout the blossoms.  Reminding my of W.B. Yeats’ poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

The imagery that this poem invokes is utterly romantic in form.  While I don’t live in a bee-loud glade, bees are a constant here.  I wouldn’t know what to do without them around all the time.

honeybee on a rasp

Hanging in there for dinner

I have a very pleasant relationship with bees, absolutely adore them, and probably like them way more than most people do.  I think the bees know it as well. I can thrust  my hands into the canes to pick, bumping up to bees and not having to worry about being stung. Sure, I have been stung, but that was when I rested my hand on a bee.  And the poor dear did not make it out alive.

Glutton resized for Picassa

Gluttonous honeybee on a raspberry flower.

Bumble bees and those beautiful, black, bombing Carpenter bees don’t die if they sting you (love that alliteration) and I have the experience to back that up.  Who knew you shouldn’t pick up Carpenter bee females from possibly drowning in the pool.  It would have been fine had I not used my bare hand.

But I respect bees, and they respect me.  I am forever rescuing honeybees that are half drowned by my watering.  And I hate to see the older girls slowly fade away as they are dying, until one morning you find the still form of one in the dewy grass.  One who will never move again.

Bees are my friends.  A friend of my family is deathly afraid of bees.  She is allergic, I think, so stays far away from them.  It brings to mind a poem I read the other day in  Orion magazine‘s September/October issue about a woman that has an uneasy reltaionship with Shasta daisies and bees.  The bees love her daisises which are around her mailbox, and she’s allergic to bees.  You can read the poem in the picture below.

PerilloI love the line “Going to the bees’.  Actually, I just love the whole darn thing.  I’m fortunate that I don’t have to worry about bees that way.  I putter along, picking berries, brushing buzzing, fuzzy bodies, brandishing my camera when I remember to have it on hand.  I adore taking pictures of bees. I wish I could have a catalog I’ve done of every bee.  As in I want to catalog every bee with pictures and more pictures.  I adore bees.  And I like the thought of going to the bees, when I’m out picking in the hum drum sounds.

And that is itself is the buzz of it all.

Signing off

~Kate

Postage Notes

Postage Notes

I wish I could send you tiny letters
A postage stamp would fit the whole side
Your address only parts of laughter
Words small enough to need a telescope
I’d send them to carry around in a pocket
In your billfold clamped to a twenty
Something you’d find hiding
When you did your laundry
You’d pull it out and remember the words
Words too tiny to say out loud
Thoughts so small you’d need pages more
Words I’d keep hidden deep inside
Until my postage notes shared them

-Katie Lyn Branson

I wrote this for Mrs. Austen and S, a couple weeks ago.  My first thought was for Mrs. Austen, but then I thought about how important S is to me and he needs a copy as well.  So I copied it up for him with my fountain pen and send it off. Poetry is special to me, and I like sharing it with people that are important to me, even if they don’t get the juste of the poem.  Open poetry, free form poetry, is more abstract and not always understood.  So if friends don’t get it, that’s okay.  I just want them to know that it’s my way of telling them how important they are to me.

Signing off

~Kate

© Katie Lyn Branson and Kate’s Bookshelf, 2009-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given toKatie Lyn Branson and Kate’s Bookshelf with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Adult Lemonade – Poetry

Adult Lemonade

If you were here I’d make a tall bottle of adult lemonade

We’d sit out under the pines drinking iced glasses of Rosemary

Ginger, Lemon, Thyme with all the time in the world

Letting the summer breezes sift through the resin and incense

Frosty etched goblets of tonic that told secrets and stories

Girl talk, book talk, gossip talk some serious guy talk

Sherlock would have a whole hour, just for him and RDJ

Throwing in Pip, Kath, and Linds, some Frank and George for good measure

The light would shift, slant and golden as we talked writing

And not writing, with beers discussed

Mumford and Sons might be adored as the afternoon faded

Then things would get silly and overly dramatic as twilight

and the stars came out. . . .

If I made a tall bottle of adult lemonade.

This is for M, who just started a new job, moved into her new place, and left the nest.  I wrote this for you a couple weeks ago when I was flipping through my book that has the recipe for ‘Adult Lemonade’.

For those of you wondering, the recipe is from Barbara Close’s book Well Being.  Barbara Close runs Naturopathica, an amazing holistic health company and spa.  The recipe is nothing more than this marvelous concoction (tisane) of lemon, ginger, thyme, rosemary, (and if I’m in the mood for it to be pink, hibiscus)  M coined the phrase adult lemonade, or maybe I did, but she fell in love with it when I mixed it up the one night we went out looking at the stars and a meteor shower with Linds.  Ah, memories.

So, to M.

Signing off

~Kate

The Shiny Down or The Ethereal Up

Similar to what I was seeing.  c. K. Branson

Similar to what I was seeing. c. K. Branson

Tonight the sky is amazing.  There is an almost full moon and a mountain sky filled with the most beautiful cotton puff clouds.  There is no breeze and the crickets have started their chirping.  I can even here a bird that I have yet to identify but he sounds sort of like he’s laughing.

I am always accused of looking at the sky nowadays.  I’m always looking up, or remarking to someone how beautiful the sky is.  My mother is forever asking me if all I ever do is look up.  I have to blame her though.  For years all I did was look down at the ground.  I was always on the hunt for something shiny.  And the common comment was, “don’t you ever look up?”

So, now I look up.  I still look down.  You never know when you might find that stray dime or quarter.  The common penny.  Heck, you might even find a washer or bit of shiny glass.

I like to think that I can relate to Shelley (Percy Bysshe) and his poetry being ethereal.  While I’ve yet to read much of his, I did find it to be more focused on the air and light things.

I’m not as grounded as I probably should be. I spend way more time daydreaming plotting about things that are far from reality.  Yet, can you name a poet, writer, novelist, etc. that is actually grounded?  They all have their moments of what could be termed insanity, though I would rather say it’s just creativity taking hold.  Take Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite poets.  She was more melancholy than others, yet there were moments of pure freedom.

That’s what I tend to do. I shy away from the gloom and dreary things in life.  I think sometimes it will hinder my writing.  I don’t have enough conflict.

Well, I’ll go back to my earlier statement.  I blame my mother on why I always look  up.