Dirty Enlightenment and Pesto

Pesto StuffA few months ago I saw a tiny article in the local paper about dirt. Apparently, studies suggest a little grime might keep you healthy. Sewer rats showed more vigorous immune systems than their clean, lab rat counterparts. I knew there was a good reason I don’t clean my house! (much)

But, seriously… Yes, I always get serious. Must be my Welsh genes. They even have a word for it over there, Hiraeth, an ineffable yearning, a longing for something, a perennial vision of a golden age at once lost and never found. Poetry and music are highly valued and practiced throughout all Welsh culture. Poetry contests are common, and everyone sings in a choir.

Since I plan to submit my blog to 9rules round 5, I thought I’d say a little bit about my goals in life and dirt and pesto. Continue reading

Tyme to Glitter

Tyme White over at 9rules is posting hints as to what she’s looking for in the next blog submission round. This post, “What is your site about?”, nudges potential applicants to make sure their site has a clear focus. That’s an important consideration. Do you think the “About” intro sums it up? Does this site offer what it claims? At 18 months, this blog has evolved through various styles. Let me know what you think. I like feedback.

I also like back scratching, and at this point, I’m willing to do a little of it for Tyme, because I think my site has value, (though it’s hard to categorize), but also because 9rules offers a high quality list of sites. Hi Tyme. Welcome. Please make yourself a home.


I try to put words to things-
sticky labels
which don’t have enough glue,
so they slide down the wall,
slobbering together.
poetry, cell
Assemble enough of them
into patterns of rubicund cloth
stitched into wet webs
draped over the edge of
a frothing volcano …
(recipes for butter cookies)
(scenes in a kung fu movie)

I scramble to lasso chaos
training it
to stay still, to
stop bouncing around
on the hood of my car.
Clues to answers
wither to road kill in seconds.

Seeing the patterns in the swirl,
(an opera in four movements)
sitting on them with my butt
to fasten them to a scene,
I lie down to watch the movie,
seeing the worm, the ape, the questions
and the askers.

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Grenadilla Tone

Garnet’s poem for the 7th Poetry Carnival. I chose to focus on the sound I make on the clarinet, which is a building block of the music I make.

clarinet, grenadillaBlurted air flaps my reed
to rasp a sneeze across its paper
thin tip, a flag snapping in the wind.
Raw chunks of sound, churned butter
grows mellow with aged consistency,
evolving with me, my lips’ brother.

Together we strive to parse
and rhyme the flurry of shuffling cards
into the deep seated whine
of blurry turbine engine speed.
My gut blasts a gale of excellent force
urging thin veins of cane to squeak.

Balanced scales permit leaning back
like ice dancers who spin ’round
flying out while spiraling in place.
Gymnastic grace settles into my form
as I waltz with my reedy friend
through the halls of my horn.

Raw silk waves are then spun
down rare, black wood
into long, chewy strands of polished
taffy. Syrupy tone stretches along
the quiet inner ears of my listeners,
and sooths their drums with chocolate songs.

notes: Clarinet, bassoon and oboe reeds are made of cane from Arundo Donax, a bamboo like grass which grows naturally along the Mediterranean coast. But it is also an invasive plant in California and the Southwest US.

Clarinets are made from the wood of theGrenadilla, or African Blackwood tree. It is favored for its density, which produces a rich, deep sound. Unfortunately it is also extremely slow growing and has now become endangered.

Wind players often refer to their instruments as “horns”.

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