Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer Wanes

Summer wanes
but it’s doing it with some
some splash and flair.
Thunder storms crackle,
summer annuals are rich with
flame-colored blooms,
and while the cicadas
are winding down (the husks
of their huge green and black
bodies are sadly starting
to litter the sidewalks)
their confreres the snowy
tree crickets and katydids
are thrumming in the tree tops,
squirrels are scurrying
(there’s a little black one
dashing along my fence
right now), and the farm market
overflows with goodness,
corn, peaches, tomatoes, herbs
and greens, so death
is just a whiff, a note in
the singing symphony so full
of life and juice and the
tap-dancing celebration
that is summer’s end.

August 23, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yoko Ono is Following Me on Twitter

Sunflowers at the farm market

Have you tried Twitter yet? I began tweeting this summer as an experiment, doing research on social networking on behalf of the non-profit I work for. Twitter content can be inane and totally disconnected, as if each person is chatting to the universe with no response, over and over-- “I wish someone would buy me sushi” or, “I’m giving a presentation on 21st century algorithms”.

But there have been some highlights. The way Twitter works is that you find people who’s thoughts interest you, and you follow them. Ditto for others who find your thoughts interesting (or who want you for their sales lists). Then whenever someone you’re following posts a thought, it appears on your list. You might follow the BBC (too many tweets for me), the White House or Number 10 Downing Street. I recently discovered the Joint Chief of Staff is tweeting!

My top 3 highlights so far : A poem of mine was re-tweeted (RT for short, i.e., shared around after I had tweeted it) on Poetry Central, by a medievalist at Yale; Yoko Ono is following me (of course, I ‘followed’ her first); and Greg Mortenson just joined twitter, and is tweeting from Afghanistan! He happened to start the day I finished reading his greatly inspiring book Three Cups of Tea (see previous post). How utterly thrilling! Rather like Mother Theresa tweeting.

Yoko Ono, by the way, tweets lovely things about world peace and love. On August 11th she wrote, “The town is shining, sun, rain, or snow. We live in a beautiful universe. Enjoy the miracle you are part of.”

RT: All you need is love.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Three Cups of Tea

How many people in this world do you truly, deeply admire?

Gren Mortenson has just risen to the top of my list. A few days ago, I finished his utterly amazing and inspiring book Three Cups of Tea, about his work building schools, primarily for girls, in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A mountain climber, he found himself lost on his way down K-2 and wandered into his life’s work—a remote mountain village with girls studying in an outdoor classroom, on bare earth, in the freezing winds. Such will to learn caught at his heart, and he eventually returned with the supplies to build his first school. He’s now built over 130. Dr. Greg, as he is fondly known in the region, constitutes an entire second front in the war on terror and grinding poverty. Educate a woman, save a village. This is the kind of war I want to engage in.

The book itself is one of the best I’ve ever read. The story is totally gripping—a real life heroic narrative. Greg Mortenson, who’s been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, has listened well to his heart, and teaches each of us to do so by example.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Life Experience Waiting for the Bus

I sat on a bench in the shade
in Lenox town square, waiting
for the Peter Pan to Providence.
Two benches down
a noisy family shouted to
each other rather than spoke.
They seemed kind of crude,
even vulgar.
They picked up all their things
and joined me,
kind of engulfed me, a mom,
an unidentified man, and a teenage
girl (who could have been a boy,
with androgynous length hair)
large, wide people, waddling my
way. With an unexpected,
uncalled for sweetness they
took it upon themselves to
ascertain my level of experience
with the Peter Pan bus line,
and to provide me with
all the information necessary for
my comfort as a traveler, most
especially the important fact that
the bus driver on this route is fond of
air conditioning and I might freeze
without a jacket handy.
The girl, who lives in some kind of
home and travels to her real
home on the Peter Pan bus line
Insisted on carrying my heavy
suitcase for me and is not entirely
100% with us, but is as sweet
as can be and
looked so joyous
running back and forth to
the corner to watch for the bus
with her mother’s big old
sweater flapping around
her waist.

April 21, 2008

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summer Green

Don't you just love the green of summer?
Dream-like and deeply serene...

Images from a recent walk on the canal with Trudy.