Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fear of Movies...

I HAVE TO ADMIT, I have a real fear of quicksand.  Still.  What brings this to mind is an article in the New York Times about the cultural significance of quicksand and its disappearance from film as an object of terror.  That there are quicksand fans, doesn't surprise me.  I'm sort of an anti-fan.  It was mentioned in the article that a reason for the vanishing of quicksand in movies as a fear factor was the quagmire we got into in Vietnam.  I myself am not smart enough to draw that conclusion.  I think it has more to do with advanced special effects.  Or a more serious blood-lust.

A number of other fright inducing themes infected my childhood.  I grew up in NYC. and the merest possibility of any of my nightmares having a basis in reality is as far fetched as a handsome, virgin vampire seducing me.  Now.

But my list of primal movie fears still has the power of inducing a chill to run up and down my spine on a stormy night.  I must say that #1 is definitely the Hound of the Baskervilles, which successfully incorporates sinking in quicksand, while being attacked by a slobbering mega-hound.  Logic didn't enter into my vision of cracks in cement sidewalks shifting to quicksand beneath my feet, and hounds leaping for my throat. 

Crowding each other for the next place on my scaredycat list, I have to place: Zombies.  Walking dead lurked even in well lighted supermarkets.  Next, Indians surrounding my wagon, thus, either a scalping or a kidnapping.  And, last but not least, a ravenous Lion, leftover from some jungle movie or other, jumping out from the hedge in front of my apartment building. 

I wonder if there are others out there, who have some movie induced hoo-haa's, and are even now running in horror from the Hound of the Bloggyvilles.


Friday, August 27, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #29

   photo/ willow/ magpie tales


Shut up, Hansel and keep walking.  For the life of me I can't imagine that you actually threw crumbs on the ground, and expected them not to be swallowed up on sight by some sorry little critter following a numbskull like you.

And stop shushing me..if you had listened to me, we would have ducked out of the house at the very crack of dawn before Papa, and that Joan Rivers look alike decided to take us for an early morning walk in the woods.  Did you really think that we were going to practise for the Boston Marathon?

Kids like us throw pebbles on the ground, not crumbs, when they're being lured to their doom by their dumb old man and greedy stepmother.  And now you're just walking in circles and of course it's up to me to rescue us, as usual. 

Whoa...will you look at that!  Nice little cottage, a bit shabby chic, but..  Sort of like "before", on an HGTV makeover, if you know what I mean.  A little corny, all those chintzy curtains, but look, a candle in the window!  A nice homey touch.  Well, beggars can't be...you know what...

I must be dreaming..this is one of those gingerbread houses that kids like us stumble upon from time to time.  Have a bite of this window sill..sort of like a Hershey bar.  Look, there's a nice little old lady opening the door.

Smile, Hansel, take your hands out of your pockets, wave, and let me do the talking.  She's probably got something special for us!  Don't be so Grimm.

@copyright/all rights reserved/ 2010

Thank you Willow, for another opportunity to be part of Magpie Tales..a good idea that keeps getting better!!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cold Cream...


I can feel the icy glass
against my pulse even now.
I remember the cold bottle,
one small hand grasping the neck,
the other clutching the flat bottom.
Sometimes the milk had a bubble
rising up the side
when I carried it
from the front door
into the kitchen.

I tried to peel the cap back quickly,
pour only the cream that sat at the top.

I asked my grandmother
to help me decant
the velvety sweetness in a thick drizzle
over the raspberries,
that I had earlier sugared
and piled into a pyramid
in the cereal bowl.

I wanted to eat the berries and cream
with my little engraved spoon,
touch my tongue to the curved edge,
sure that I could taste the silver,

before she shook the bottle,
mixed the suspension,
and added corn flakes to the bowl
for my proper breakfast.

@copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #28

photo/ willow/magpie tales


   Norman Bates fell in love.  Her name was Bonnie.  He tested her name.  What a nice name.  What a nice Mrs. Bates she would make.  Bonnie Bates.  It just rolled off his tongue.  Bonnie Bates.  Not as nice as Mommy's name.  Of course.  Not as nice as Betty Bates.  Of course.  But sort of like part of a song.  Bonnie Bates.  Betty Bates.  His Mom asked him what he was humming.  Just a song I'm making up Mommy, sort of a love song, you know.

   Bonnie was in his senior class and Norman sent her messages that hovered over her head.  Peonies and pierced red hearts, he prayed the powers above would let his love drop into her virgin mind.  Bonnie knew that she would be his bride.  Norman could tell by how she blushed.

   Bonnie came to the Bates Motel.  Norman asked her to wave to Mommy, rocking at the front window.  Dust filtered the view.  There she sat every afternoon.  Her favorite place before the sun went down, and Norman helped her to her room.  But tonight would be different.  Tonight Norman would introduce her to his bride.
   He shifted his weight to open the door, and carried Bonnie across the threshold.  Mommy, he called, I have a surprise for you.

   Heart pounding in anticipation of their honeymoon, Norman had in mind a special treat for his bride.  He hastened up the stairs to prepare a bath for Bonnie Bates.
   Wash away any sins, little Bonnie; he hummed a new part of his song.  He placed her in the bubbles, let her feet rise to the rim, polished her toes like he did Mommy's, and sang the rest of the song.  Bonnie Bates, Bonnie Bates.  Not as nice as Mommy.  Not as nice as Betty Bates.

Once again, thank you Willow for this prompt.  We never know when inspiration will raise its lovely head!!  Please attend to all the other Magpies!!!


Carpe Diem...

                             John William Waterhouse/ 1909/  Gather Ye Rosebuds...

VARIOUS POETS breaking reality to us...but thank life anyway, for being...

Odes of Horace:

   Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero.../ Seize the day and put no trust in the future.

THOMAS JORDAN/ 1637/ Let Us Drink and be Merry...

   Let's eat, drink and play
   till the worms do corrupt us....

ROBERT HERRICK/  To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time...

   Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
   Old time is still a-flying;
   And this same flower that smiles today,
   tomorrow will be dying....


   Present mirth hath present laughter;
   what's to come is still unsure...

           Kick up your heels and dance anyway...getting my tutu back!!




Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Little Pasta Music, Please...

I REALLY LIKE TOMATOES, I like them cooked and I like them fresh off the vine, warmed by the Tuscany sun (I can dream, can't I?) 

This recipe contains everything we all love.  If you don't love this, you're not an earthling.  When we heat the ingredients in an oven, over a thin crust...voila, it's pizza!  And when we cook the pasta, we have this delightful recipe.  Eat it hot, cold, room temperature..your choice.

Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta

1 lb. pasta (of your choice)
1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, halved, seeded, and chopped
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup basil leaves, thinly cut
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tsp. salt and pasta.  Cook until al dente. 
2. While pasta is cooking, combine tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic and basil in a large bowl.  Add olive oil and salt to taste to mixture.
3. Drain pasta, add to tomato mix, and toss.  Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Hot/ cold (as a salad)/ room temp.  Serves 6.

Wine..I've been drinking a nice Syrah lately..mmm...


Friday, August 13, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #27

                                          photo/willow/magpie tales


I used to be a dancer
like the Degas ballerina,
knees and joints warming up,
to perform a plie'.

Lost my footing,
knees collided,
now I'm just an artifact,
overlapping flanges,
no recovery in sight.

Patina gilds my age,
and crumbling toes
dissolve en pointe.

Joints out of kilter,
valves clogged.
Do me a favor
and pull the plug.

I'm zapped,

@copyright/all rights reserved/2010

Thanks again, Willow, for asking us to stretch our imagination in response to your prompt!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Two articles in today's paper about coffee?  That's not a coincidence, that's a blog. 

First, I came across the information that trellis grown coffee, grown like wine grapes, near the Moana Loa Volcano in Hawaii, enhances the natural flavor of the bean.  But this system comes rather dear, a pound of the Estate Reserve goes for $55.  All the way up to 5 lbs. for $205.95, just in case you feel the supply is running low, that someone out there may be hoarding the world supply.  Or planning to stay awake for a very long time.  By the way, the coffee bags contain a one-way gas valve, because amazingly, this intense coffee emits a gas which is able to explode the airtight bag that the coffee is packaged in.  Another item that you better not take on a plane.  Also, the need for an escape valve seems to be a warning (to me at least), of what could be going on in my stomach after I get my caffeine fix.

Which brings me to the second article, about the World's Most Expensive Coffee, also known as Civet Coffee.  Why, you ask?  Well, because the coffee is made from beans that pass through the digestive tract of that particular tropical cat.  Tempted, huh? 

Limited production and a short season commands a very high price.  Again, why?  Because the taste buds of coffee tasting experts say so.  And $30. for a cup of coffee?  Maybe for folks who've just decided to donate half of their billions to charity, or some elitist in my neck of the woods.  Aside from the price of a cup of coffee (refills?), I can't help but visualize some beans passing through my cat's tract, and I'll tell you, there's not enough rinsing in the world that would make me want to roast them for my morning joe. 

One company, at auction, grabbed up a bunch of Civet Coffee, eventually to sell at $75. for a 12 ounce jar.  And this Friday, (in NYC), the coffee is being featured at a weekly cupping.  The cupping is free.  Get on line.  Or you can go to this posh hotel for a cuppa, for $30.  Free donuts? 


Monday, August 9, 2010

Morning Ghost...


Not afraid of cupboards
closing and opening at dawn,

peeling paint,
passe' decor,
chintz roses
torn from the back of a chair.

A stained glass window,
on the high transom,
picturing a cherub,
eyes woven together 
by a spider's web.

Butter churns by an unseen hand,
a gust of wind
flutters a pale curtain
above the water pump,

and I am at the top of the stairs.

The cat goes down below
because that sunrise spirit
has good intentions,

sleeps quietly through the night,
the cat on my left,
the ghost on my right,

who on certain mornings,
rushes downstairs to start the coffee,
both wafting through the empty house,
and me,
not dead as long as she.

@copyright/all rights reserved/2010


Friday, August 6, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #26

photo/willow/magpie tales


Wrapped in wings designed by Daedelus,
Icarus flies,
trusting the father,
seeking the sun.

Wildflowers cushion his feet.
A cold rivulet trickles over the iron lip
of a watering vessel,
a sip for flight.

A moment for the butterfly
to choose a shaded leaf,
alight, or set
its journey on the brink of chance.

Icarus decides
to rise above Crete,
as certain of his voyage
as the moth.

The glowing orb
seals the Minoan's fate.

A glide too close to the sun,

feathers melt,
bare arms flail,
a legend commences.

                                      Daedelus and Icarus

@copyright/all rights reserved/ 2010

Another thank you to Willow for presenting this prompt!! Do check out all the others who contributed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another Buddha Appearance...

Usually I have a funny bone about stuff, having been born under the sign of Absurdism.  On the other hand I'm committed to creating a good version of "me".  So I collect and permanently file all the persuasions I've dabbled in. 

I don't mean to make myself seem superficial, but I have often found the spiritual grass to be greener on the other path.  I drift between the pure masters, grateful to receive the amazing gifts they carry.  I'm pleased to find much that I seek, and to be forgiven by all.  Sacred voices, ohms and hymns, symbols wrought for prayer, find a place in my room.

And yet...many suns to rise, many moons to set....

Perhaps you've been through the experience where you feel you finally "get it"..and here comes that avalanche again. I definitely believe in karma..I mean to burn those bad seeds.


All the evil karma ever committed by me since days of old, on account of greed, anger and folly, have no beginning.  Born of my body, mouth and thought, I now make full open confession of it. 




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