Today is the day, around the world, to walk against Monsanto. Please find a demonstration in your town, wherever you are, and attend. This is one of the most serious issues in the world. Do not let them take away our right to grow our own food!!!!
I was late for an appointment in Ajijic, but nonetheless, I couldn’t resist pulling my car over to snap a picture of this beautiful sunrise to which this picture does not do justice!
Please help me name this newest retablo, just finished today. (Think of a retablo as a box containing a story.) What story do you see?
(Click on this second smaller image to increase size of picture. You should then be able to Zoom in and use your scroll bar to see different parts of the image close up. Use + and – to zoom in and out.)
The Dogs Are Barking
They break the morning––a daily rite.
It’s just a warning. The dogs won’t bite.
Two strangers talk but pass unseen.
I doze, they walk, with a wall between.
I lie here posed between thought and sleep.
My eyes still closed. I’m swimming deep.
I resist the trip––that journey up––
preferring to sip from the dreaming cup
whose liquid darker and bitter thick
reveals a starker bailiwick
than schedules, crafts, menus, schemes.
Much finer draughts we quaff in dreams.
I try to sink back into sleep,
once more to drink of waters deep;
but the dogs still bark. They leap and pace.
My dreams too dark for this morning place.
Those dreams lie deep and intertwined,
wanting to creep back up my mind.
But its slippery slope is much inclined
and provides small hope that I will find
again, that world well out of sight
where truth lies curled, still holding tight––
as oysters cleave and then unfurl
with mighty heave, the priceless pearl
of that other mind that slips the knife
beneath the rind of our daily life.
Time is a brew of present, past
and future, too—whatever’s cast
to stew and steep the story rare
that’s buried deep in dreams laid bare.
Dreams are stories we tell ourselves
that draw our quarries to bookstore shelves.
Pinned to the page, they reach their height
and bring our sage self to the light.
But the dogs are barking. They’re hungry, cross.
When I rise to feed them, the poem is lost.
Uncaught, dismembered, it blows away.
Like petals, scattered in the light of day.
Give Me Blue
If it is a blue with no sadness in it:
the blue of the sky above Colima Volcano
with no other clouds in it except one puff
of earth’s hot breath becoming visible
in the cool morning air.
If it is a blue
with no middle ground of safety,
nothing that makes it ordinary.
No hue of boredom
or gray cast of age.
No tint of ever ending––
just pure blue
holding its mood in,
letting you feel however you want to feel.
The blue of glass that reflects the sky.
Iris blue and periwinkle.
Cerulean and cobalt.
If it is a blue with not a smudge of green in it,
or yellow or white or black.
Blue-blue like my sister’s daughter’s eyes
and like the color that a blueberry Popsicle
should be its blue dusted by nature
as though frosted, even in the heat of summer.
Like blue caught in icicles.
The color of a jellyfish
or Noxzema jar.
Bluebottle fly, tenacious,
only its color not annoying.
Blue as a shiver. Blue as blood. Blue as Hawaii.
Not the blue of a heart before forgetting.
Not that blue with a lot of
dullness soaked into it.
But if you have Blue as in Australia.
Blue as in a first place ribbon.
Blue that if it’s ever had one gram of sadness in it,
doesn’t show it.
If you have that blue,
and you want to give it to me,
Give me blue.
. . . very far from the tree.
My sister sent me this message and poem that my mom wrote for her egads–over 50 years ago!
I was looking in a box of letters & memorabilia (including my Salutatorian speech from high school, of all things) that Mother gave me years ago, and I found this poem she wrote for me on my birthday one year. It’s so great I have to share it.
I’ve used my best china,
Which I’ll wash–I bet.
I made you a cake
Which you already “et”
I’ve washed your clothes
And made your bed,
But please let this all
Not go to your head
Today is your birthday
But tomorrow is not,
So you’ll do your own jobs
You little–darling girl.
In regards to your room,
I had meant to do more,
But I took one look
And made for the door.
She was so clever; I wonder if I appreciated it then?
It floated off to the side,
disappearing when I turned to face it head-on.
It hadn’t his features, really,
but I felt his presence a dozen times after—
something floating just off the corner of reality.
Then, weeks later, in the bedroom—a bat.
It flickered against the white curtain and then disappeared.
Moments later, there it was again.
I jerked my head quickly around, flipped the curtain out,
examined its other side.
Moments later, there it was again.
Then a circle floated across to join it.
A hair floated down from above and stuck, center-vision.
A few hours later, the fireworks started—
flashing corollas of light just to the right of me,
like subtle flashbulbs going off.
This was when I decided I needed to see a specialist.
Yes, a retinal detachment, he agreed,
but not yet perforated.
Now, my movements curtailed,
I await that new cloudy ghost
that will be a harbinger
Every tope, every cobblestone
brings a new flash of light—
a signal to still myself.
No jumping. No Zumba.
No jogging. No lifting.
I wait, inactive, watching floaters
move to the center of my vision
and off to the side again.
I practice various levels of exertion,
waiting for the flash that signals rest.
I wait for words to float
across my vision,
to rend my inactivity
and prompt me
to pin them to the page––
to stitch them together
into a clearer sight
of what is there, invisible,
inside me, waiting for the tear
to let it out.
They are the ghosts
of the future
and I am the one
who seeks to gather them,
to mend the tear
these slippery ghosts.
Someone on a social site I post on once stated that he couldn’t understand the contradiction between my statement that I was an agnostic and the fact that a number of my retablos made use of images of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
I answered that for me, she was a symbol of that gentle, loving, peaceful, motherly, female side of Mexico that balanced the macho, warlike, violent male side. He didn’t understand this and actually ended our correspondence—a perfect example of that force I sought to counterbalance. I have just finished a retablo entitled “Macho” that demonstrates the male side of the dichotomy.
I also have a sculpture I completed over a year ago entitled, “Anima/Animus.”
Since first reading Jung 32 years ago, I have been almost constantly engaged in examining that force which seems to drive the world—that shifting between anima and animus that the I Ching might call yin and yang and that religion might classify as good and evil. Not that either the anima or animus is purely good or evil, but certainly all is a matter of trying to balance. This is a simplistic statement of a very complex matter, but one I often deal with in my work. This statement is being made after the fact as I very rarely have a concept in mind when I begin a work. I like to see where each piece leads me and I’m as surprised as the viewer may be at where I am led by the process.
When I came into the kitchen to make our smoothies this morning, I noticed there was a candle burning next to the virgin of Guadalupe statue on the island divider between my kitchen and dining room. I didn’t say anything about it, but later, Yolanda said, “I lit a candle for your mother today.” Today is mother’s day in Mexico. So sweet. I went and got a pic of my mom to put next to it. This is one of the things I would miss so much if I ever left Mexico. What would replace this special sweetness in the States? My life is so enriched by it.
We have been told our electricity (and thus, our water) will be off all day, so I’ve filled all the sinks and the tub and every pitcher in the house with water to aid in rehydration, flushing and dirty dishwashing. Now, an hour and a half past the time I was told we’d lose power, we still have it. Strangely enough, last night I found my bedroom door was permanently locked and could not be opened by key or turning the knob. Same was true of my back door…and my kitchen door knob is about to fall off. I finally had to take my bedroom door off the hinges as I had to go outside to get from my bedroom to the rest of my house. Everything seems to be going on strike at once. I’m waiting for the third shoe to drop.
Update: Give me a hammer! Give me a screwdriver! Give me an ice pick! Give me some WD-40! Give me some muscle! Give me two magazines and one copy of Three Cups of Deceit (which is exactly the same thickness as the crack under my bedroom door). And what have you got? S-U-C-C-E-S-S!!!!! I fixed both of my doors. Took one off the hinges, rejigged the doorknob (thanks, ice pick), WD-40’d it excessively, realigned the door with a lot of muscle and various combinations of the book and magazines and hammer, and got the pins back in and the lock works—and opens! The back door just took WD-40 and the hammer. I’m still not so sure that someone didn’t try to jimmy it open as I had to pound the lock plate back flat, but—the third shoe that dropped was, I hope, the fact that I did two of the repairs myself and I am now able to freely move through my house…. Applause, please. Comments will do!