Friday, June 13, 2014

Lots And Lots Of Pictures And One Of My Favorite Poems

It's Friday night and thus, Mr. Moon and I should be on the front porch with our martinis in those rockers which are quite literally falling apart (don't try to move one by picking up an arm) but he is on the island and here I am, on the back porch, instead. 
We frequently take our martinis out for a little stroll around the property on a Friday night. It's one of our rituals if the bugs aren't too bad. So I did that by myself. I took the chickens their cut-up grapes. Nicey and Drogo rushed me, of course, and I have to say that Drogo is not the gentle pecker-of-food from my hand that Elvis is. He nips a bit but not too hard. 

Let's just face it- Elvis is the greatest, best rooster on the planet. But Drogo will be who he is and if he doesn't start chasing the children to peck at their ankles, we shall allow him to live and be the husband of his beautiful sister-wife hens.
And if he DOES start to chase the children and peck their ankles...he's toast. Or to be more accurate- chicken and dumplings.

My phlox has begun to bloom.

It won't be long before my entire yard is pinky-purple.
It's almost the same color as this zinnia which is one of my volunteers from last year's planting.

I swear to you, that zinnia is four feet tall. See the tomatoes behind it? 

My mango that I planted from a seed which came from the mango tree I used to eat from as a child in Roseland, Florida is still living. Two years ago I let it almost freeze to death but made sure to over-winter it inside this past winter. It is coming back. It will never fruit but it is one of my favorite things on earth. A living part of my childhood which I have nurtured into existence as my very own. 

When we were in Mexico, I had no desire to shop for souvenirs but oh! how I wanted to bring back seeds and plants. I did not chance it and yet, I could have gotten away with it. No one searched anything of ours and I think of the giant pods of the Flamboyan Reals, the orchids growing up the palm tree right outside of our patio, even the little cutting I took after the gardener trimmed the potted plants would have thrilled me. 

Ah well. You can't always get what you want. 

I swear to you, I think my Voodoo Lily might bloom this year. 

Remember when I said that when the young hens start laying eggs I'll probably need to have a pacemaker installed due to my excitement? If that dang lily blooms, it's a sure bet I'll need one. Google it if you want, don't if you don't, but stay tuned. 

This is what the huge old magnolia's canopy looked like when I was outside. 

That picture does it no justice. Being underneath that tree is like being in a cathedral of green. And it is still flowering and the air still smells of the blossoms' lemony and spicy perfume. I wonder who planted it here. I would love to be able to thank them. It brings me more pleasure than I can express. 

Do you see that? It's part of an armadillo shell that we found when we were walking back from the post office today, those boys and I. Owen had run ahead of me through the little park-area and missed it but I saw it and called him back to see it. We decided to bring it home and we put it in the little Buddha (click on the picture and you will see him) planter made from an old hollow fallen log. When we walked past the deserted corner store, a guy was sitting way, way up in a truck with some sort of construction monster equipment on a trailer on the back and he waved at us. We waved back and he said to Owen, "What you got there?"
An Arma-dildo shell!" Owen yelled back. 
Oh my. 
The truck driver did not seem to notice that extra "D" in there and we walked on home, Owen carrying the piece of shell so tenderly in his hands. 

He also captured a Katydid today on the swing porch. 

He held that so gently too but I am afraid we may have killed the poor bug with kindness. We put him into a jar with some camellia leaves ("We have to put him back outside soon!" I kept saying) and then an apple core was dropped into the jar too and well...there may have been some smushing. When we let him out, he was still alive but to be honest, barely. 

The boys were so good today. Gibson is starting to walk a bit with the cast on although he is cautious. When he does manage a few steps, he raises his arms in triumph and says, "I DID it!" He wanted to go up into the tower of the play set and so I toted him up there and he wanted me to sit in there with him and so I did. Owen played Tarzan and swung from his rope and when I told him he had his shoes on the wrong feet, he said, "What are shoes?" because you know, Tarzan? Doesn't wear shoes?
We played game after game, we did that walk to the post office, there were snacks galore. I made Owen a package of Ramen noodles, one of his favorite things to eat. He tried them and came running to tell me that they were THE BEST NOODLES HE'D EVER HAD. And he proclaimed me to be The Queen Of Noodles. A few moments later he came running back to inform me that there were ANTS IN THE NOODLES AND THEY WERE YUMMY! 
Oh god. 
Yes. Yes there were. Tiny black sugar ants and how they made their way into the hermetically sealed package of noodles, I do not know but they did. 
And of course I let him eat them. How bad could they be for him? 
But I did throw the rest of the leftovers into the yard for the chickens. 

So. There you have it. And there's so much I have not talked about. The politeness and good manners of Gibson who, if he sneezes and you say, "Bless you!" he answers, "Thank you!" Who woke up from a nap and said, "I happy now." Of the rainstorm that came in the middle of the afternoon with thunder and lightening. Of the anxiety I had today which no, I don't need to discuss now. Of how I told Owen that "make-out" means kissing and stuff while "make-over" means putting on make-up and doing hair. As he stroked color onto my cheeks he said, "This a make-over, not a make-out. We can't kiss. We are not married." Of how Gibson ground his face into my lips for the best, most forceful kissing of all time. But it wasn't a make-out! Of how when I asked him if he wanted me to cook him an egg this morning he raised his hands in the air and yelled, "Yes!"

And more. 
And I am tired and am going to bake a frozen spinach pizza with some of this on it. 

The bounty from our tiny farm. 

Today Owen was scratching his back with his Boppy's wooden back-scratcher and he said, "Mer, why you have the best stuff in the world?"
"I have no idea," I told him. 
"Sometimes you give some of it to me," he said. 
"Yes," I answered. "Sometimes I do."

My dreams lately have been all about houses and houses full of stuff, some of it fairly fine stuff, but it overwhelms me in those dreams and I feel such a need to start getting rid of it. In my dreams I consider garage sales and just dumping it all and it all feels way too real. 

Well, that's another topic for another time. I grow older. And tonight I am thinking of T.S. Eliot's The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock and how, when I was seventeen, eighteen, my friend David used to recite it to us from memory, sometimes as we were tripping and we had no idea but we did have an idea and every year of my life it grows to be more meaningful, more beautiful.

A picture Mr. Moon just sent me from Dog Island.

Sunset. How I love that man. 

Love...Ms. Moon

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats        5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….        10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,        15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,        20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;        25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;        30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go        35
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—        40
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare        45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,        50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
  So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—        55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?        60
  And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress        65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
  And should I then presume?
  And how should I begin?
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets        70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!        75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?        80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,        85
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,        90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—        95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
  That is not it, at all.”
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,        100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:        105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
  “That is not it at all,
  That is not what I meant, at all.”
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,        115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old … I grow old …        120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.        125
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown        130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


  1. Hi Ms. Moon. It felt like I was taking a stroll around the house with you. However, I was enjoying a rum and water instead of a martini. Thanks for sharing all of those pictures and I enjoyed the poem. Please wish Mr. Moon a Happy Father's Day. Take care.

  2. Mr. Shife- I do value our friendship and I do wish you, as well, a happy Father's Day.
    Rum is good. If you get the Bacardi anejo, you don't even have to mix it with water. Just sip and smile.

  3. I love that poem too, more now than when I studied it in school. And mr moon is blowing you a kiss in that picture. So handsome. And so romantic.

  4. You had me at "Arma-dildo." Ha ha ha. Oh my.

  5. Thomas Stearns Eliot--my favorite poet. And that poem especially fine.

    The making out and making up with the boys is funny. Gotta love it.

  6. I didn't read the poem. but the rest of the day sounded wonderful. my garden is a wash this year and don't know why. maybe cause we got it in late but some things planted just never really grew. the tomatoes finally started growing and blooming but not setting fruit. we might eventually get some peppers though. the winter garden will be in the new space if I manage to get the raised beds built in time.

  7. Angella- He's the sweetest man. I swear.

    Gradydoctor- It was a moment I just had to share.

    Syd- Right?

    Ellen Abbott- Most of my garden looks like a damn hay field. I could spend a week weeding it.
    You are so busy! I don't know how you could possibly get raised beds in while doing all that you do. But I know how much you love your garden.

  8. I love the poem, both of them.

  9. Juancho- I wish y'all would drop by again. I'm still thinking of that afternoon. Still making me smile.

  10. Love the mango tree! I need to try to grow a mango sometime to go along with my avocado -- so I can have TWO non-bearing fruit trees that have to stay inside in the winter. Ha!

    Thankfully there are many, many more katydids in the world.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.