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3794 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2009 :  22:03:17  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
"If I listened long enough to you...
I'd find a way to believe that it's all true..."

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San Diego

515 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2009 :  19:11:58  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
I drove by today. That little border chicken town where we used to play weatherman. 76 and 67. Back to you, Blaine.
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Doug L

5446 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2009 :  19:54:53  Show Profile  Visit Doug L's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Driving the motorway south from Belfast back into the republic,
the rain coming harder, the sheep huddled in their sheds,
we talked of fire, how children are drawn to it with wide-
eyed fascination, how old people are drawn to it by need,
the desire for warmth in the last damp seasons of their lives.
The house we had just visited in Belfast had a fireplace.
I'd marveled at the shiny black peat bricks stacked near the
hearth, inhaling their distinct scent as we drank strong coffee.
That hour and a half in her friends' house was dream-like.
"Often," she said, "the grandmothers were the ones who sat
near the fire, and part of their vigil was to keep the young
ones from allowing their fascination to cause burns on their
inquisitive fingers." She spoke a while then of her own mom's
mother, nights when the room was lighted only by the flames,
how they'd found her one morning, dead, her feet near the ashes.
"Tus agus deireadh an duine tarraingt ar an tine," she said,
in her native Irish language, then translated: "The beginning
and end of one's life are drawn closer to the fire."
I had nothing to say, waiting to see if she'd say more, but
she fell silent and manouevred along the roadway as the rain
pelted the windshield. After a period of silence, she turned
on the radio. There was a man reading a poem. She let out a
sigh, pulled to the side of the motorway, stopped the car and
turned up the sound. The poet's bog-steeped voice said...

People here used to believe / that drowned souls lived in the
seals. / At spring tides they might change shape. / They loved
music and swam in for a singer / who might stand at the end
of summer / in the mouth of a whitewashed turf-shed, / his
shoulder to the jamb, his song / a rowboat far out in the
evening. / When I came here first you were always singing /
a hint of the clip of the pick / in your winnowing climb and
attack. / Raise it again, man. / We still believe what we hear.

It was the great Irish poet, Seamus Heaney. The program, as it
turned out, was to celebrate his 70th birthday. We listened as
he was interviewed, as he spoke of his childhood, his life and
travels, his journey in the language's mystery. He was born
in the County Derry, in Northern Ireland. He had been awarded
the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, but you could tell
in the way he spoke of the island that was his home that it,
Ireland, was the prize he loved best. We sat there listening to
the warmth of his voice beneath the tin clatter of the rain.

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San Diego

515 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2009 :  15:54:00  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
It's a few miles from Moonlight to Eden. A long, flat beach where driftwood and slippery shoe-sized stones collect against the crumbling sandstone. Occasionally a house slips into the sea. It's a scary walk at night. Far out on the ocean ships are blinking, but there are several places where you're wading through waist-high water with waves pushing you against the cliff. Nothing but black water ahead. And a roar that never quits. If there's a moon out it helps. Unless it's a full moon. Then the tide is higher. Usually there's a mist on the water. Which makes it feel colder and more surreal. My friend Mirella lives in Moonlight Beach and I live in Eden. We take turns walking back and forth. We have for years. It's shorter than if we drive the bright Pacific Coast Highway. But we're both becoming more apprehensive. Mirella believes my imagination is too "lively." She thinks in terms of twisting an ankle or breaking a hip. I think of other things. It's my turn tonight. Sunset is at 7:42pm, and the winds are at 6 knots with swells 3 to 4 feet. There's a Radio Shack somewhere on the PCH. I need an OFF switch for my imagination.

Edited by - San Diego on 03/21/2020 19:34:55
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Doug L

5446 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2009 :  06:47:57  Show Profile  Visit Doug L's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Nil tuile nach dtrann ach tuile na ngras...**

The first walk I took in Dublin outward from my hotel
led me to Raglan Road where there is an iron sculpture
of a man resting on a bench. It's of Patrick Kavanagh,
the man who wrote the poem after the street.

On Raglan Road on an autumn day
I saw her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare
That I may one day rue
I saw the danger yet I walked along the enchanted way
And I said let grief be a falling leaf
At the dawning of the day

There is the saying in Ireland about saints and scholars,
but one of poets and rebels, too. That old folk proverb
- about the wooden barrel keeping a drop of the wine
in its staves long after it has been emptied - reminds me
of how traditions are never lost in Ireland.
When it comes to poets, the barrel is never empty.

The same goes for the poetic eye and impulse.
We were sitting in the town square one Sunday morning
in Lisdoonvarna, a few guitar players, a piper,
and Richie with his accordion. Jerry was reciting
one about a lover who'd drowned and joined the seals,
and Hagan was up hugging the dancer's statue.
When the nearby church let out there came a woman
with dark hair and evocative brown eyes, her walk
so graceful, her hair catching the morning light.
I looked at Richie and let my mouth fall open
in appreciation of her beauty. Before I could speak,
he was playing, on his accordion, the melody
to Raglan Road, and my eyes began to shine...

Here's a bit of Kavanagh reading and Luke Kelly singing
the great Kavanagh poem called Raglan Road...

** Every tide has an ebb, save the tide of graces

Edited by - Doug L on 05/18/2009 10:20:55
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147 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2009 :  14:19:30  Show Profile  Visit old5n10er's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
although i'm quite sure it's heresy, my favorite version is by an american, a KY grrl, joan osborne. with the Chieftains, does that save me?


it's the aching quiver in her voice that puts it just a notch above Mary Black's version for me.

"I've spent a lifetime making up my mind to be
More than the measure of what I thought others could see"
~Billy Joe Shaver~
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3794 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2009 :  19:09:58  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Blackened Talapia tonight...day off on the bike.

3 TBS paprika
2 TBS garlic powder
2 TBS onion powder
1 TBS cayenne pepper (or to taste, depending on what latitude you live)
1 TBS course salt
1 TBS course ground black pepper
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried thyme
2 TBS olive oil

5-6 Talapia fillets

Mix the spices in a shallow dish. Coat the fillets with the seasoning mix. Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add the olive oil. Add fish and cook 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until white and the spices are toasted. Transfer to plates and serve.

Serve with rice pilaf and fresh greens. Chardonney or Pinot Griggio is a plus.

(30 minute total prep time to serve)

~ Craig
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United Kingdom
50 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2009 :  18:01:33  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Click to see bobaz's MSN Messenger address  Send bobaz a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply

BobbyBlueBoy Bazley
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1825 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2009 :  21:59:37  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
He ran inside. "Pa!!! Paaaaa!!!" Only eight,
Ryan was staying with his Nanu and Pa for two weeks.
His Pa came running down the stairs to see what
he was so excited about, worrying a little with
each step. Ryan took his Pa's hand and led him
out on the porch. Lying there, muddy from the
day's showers, was the mangiest and thinnest
old dog he had ever seen.

It was really hard to tell what breed the
dog was, but he would guess it was a Cocker
Spaniel. He knew that no one he had ever known
loved dogs quite like Ryan did.

"Pa? Pa, can we do anything for her?".

The old man took a long look at the dog,
and waited a longer time before he answered the
boy. He wondered how he, himself, had made
the trip down the stairs as fast as he had.
His arthritis had been acting up like crazy
with the moisture in the air. Just about
then, his wife came up beside him. She
took in the whole scene with a learned wisdom
in her eyes. She stopped, but for only a second
or two.

Sitting down beside her grandson, she pulled
him close and spoke love and only love to
him. There was no hopelessness and no giving
up in her voice.

"Ryan, son. The only thing we can do is try.
That's the best we can do for her at this point.
She's had a long life, I think. But, that
doesn't mean that she is doomed to die in the
state that she is in. She walked up onto this
porch of her own free will and under her own
power. So, she's here for a reason. I don't
know what that is, but there's a lesson to be
learned. We'll just have to see what it is."

His Nanu went inside and brought back out with
her a big washpan full of warm water and lots
of big washcloths.

"The first thing we have to do is get her warmed
up, and I want you to help me do that."

Ryan picked up a soaked, warm cloth and began
to rub it all over the dog's face and chest.
He thought to rub her feet, especially, for some
unknown reason. He began to talk softly to her,
and hum a little tune that he knew. She began
to respond to his touch, and looked into his
eyes that were filled with tears. But, he
kept on humming.

His Nanu and Pa stood back, observing. Pa
said, "Let him do it. Look at her, honey.
She's coming around. It's for Ryan that she's

Ryan had been so unhappy for so long, it seemed.
His Cocker Spaniel, Goldie, had been taken
from him when she was six years old, after having
slept in his bed from the time she was a puppy.
But, his baby sister was allergic to Goldie.
For the sake of his sister and her horrible
rashes and breathing problems, it was the
only answer. Goldie had to go. His heart
had been broken ever since that terrible day.

As he began to wash the dog, they could see
that she was, indeed, a Cocker Spaniel, with
the biggest brown eyes that locked with Ryan's
while he worked. He lay down beside her, and
held her close against the warmth of his body.
Nanu and Pa were taken aback at the scene
unfolding in front of them.

Ryan began to talk to her again..."Goldie,
my wonderful Goldie. You've come home,
haven't you? It's so good to see you. I've
missed you so much...I've looked for you on
every corner since you left. What took you
so long to find me?"

Things like this seem to happen only in the
movies, or in a storybook. But, suddenly,
the dog got up and stood on her own and began
to wag her tail. What little strength she
had arrived with had returned to her. It
was clear to them that she was a survivor,
sent from Heaven, even, to this little

And, the wonder of it all was that Ryan's
little sister had been tested and she wasn't
allergic to dogs anymore.

Ryan looked up in the sky to see the biggest
rainbow he had ever seen in his young life.
It was like a sign. He didn't know how long
the dog would be around, but he knew he
would be with her, however long.

It was a good day to be alive.


Edited by - BarbraG on 05/31/2009 11:43:45
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Doug L

5446 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2009 :  04:57:32  Show Profile  Visit Doug L's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
when they close down the last shopping mall / crickets will sing through crumbling walls / termites will eat through the doors / as rabbits hop round the shop floors / empty shelves will swarm with bees / cash machines will sprout weeds / lizards will crawl across the parking lot / as birds fly around the empty shops / there will be peace in the valley once again / wild flowers will grow up the mannequins / painting them with a leafy skin / their plastic eyes will fall to the floor / to be gathered by wild boar / mirrors will crack in half / as wild horses gallop past / wild doves will build their nests / on the escalator steps / there will be peace in the valley once again

the handsome family
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2249 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2009 :  15:47:33  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
We talk through the dirt when our shoes and wings are broken.
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2249 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2009 :  16:04:43  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Sticky web-lace in a corner of the screen where a spider spins silk through the jasmine. There's a house on Poe Street at the edge of North America in Point Loma, California where the sun is setting beyond the beautiful Coronado Bridge. Two hundred feet high with a ninety degree curve and two hundred and thirty-six suicides. (Demons in the mirage.) The view of San Diego's skyline is bathed in ambient light. Blinking aircraft are stair-stepped over the fault-fitted high-rises. A fugue of words skim the star-scarred tarmac at Lindbergh Field. Variations on hello and goodbye. Planes rattling in and out of the sky. Blue hearts and contagious candles. Much silk underneath. Hear the rustle.
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Doug L

5446 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  12:20:11  Show Profile  Visit Doug L's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
The birds began at 4:22 a.m. One piper, then the band.
Saying here is the day, here is the day.
You worry, you die. You don't worry, you die.
Why worry? Why worry?
All those songs...
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1825 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  13:15:25  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Love the stories you write about your trip.
When you take a notion to write more, I'm
ready to read. Touched me about the beautiful
woman that crossed your path.

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2249 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  16:03:16  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
"...to days gone by..."

It's a few minutes to midnight. We've staked out
the best spot in the Park. Between the Grandstand
and the Porta-Potty corral. The cops are on one side
of the barricade and we're on the other. We've been
settin' up since noon and now we get the OK. The trucks
are loaded but not iced down. That won't happen 'til
morning. Crash nods to the greasy sleeping bag. "Roll
'er out, kid," he says, "you're on the grill."
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Doug L

5446 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  20:13:40  Show Profile  Visit Doug L's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
"I sit in the dark in the back of the saloon..."

It will be five years come September, Henry. Five.
As many detours as leaps forward, but a vigil all the same,
for night, the moving shades, for those who are pulled
from the line, for those who sleep, when they sleep,
in the bed below the bed, intimate with dust, tasting
the crumbs of pollen bees are too few or dutiful to find.
Here's something I didn't write...

Facing It (Yusef Komunyakaa) read by Michael Lythgoe
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2872 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  14:29:15  Show Profile  Visit buckman's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Too many times I thought I saw the light and walked away.

Well, most of the time I crawled.
It never gets easier on your knees,
but you do get used to it
after awhile
and think that's
the way it's always been and always will be.
Until you stand up.

The view is so much better from here.
I think I see something off in the distance....
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1825 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  15:56:28  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
It's your heart, Hank. Go and get it,
and keep it safe.

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733 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  16:14:37  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
.....I thought I saw angels....but I could have been wrong"...
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1825 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2009 :  19:44:54  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Being a little girl, then a teenager,
then a woman .... Wow. I would love to
be able to explain to a man what that
feels like. Longing for that first
kiss, and then the second ... and
then, finding that a kiss can often
be just a kiss ... without the meaning
that a young girl wants it to be.
Looking at every male I was attracted
to with the question .... can it be him?..
Can he be the one? Could I spend my
life with him ? Could he spend his life
with me? Enchanted with the very idea
of the word .. love.. But, with all of
that wonder and hope also came the
heartbreak that I managed to live through.

My wedding day ... oh, my gosh ...
the dreams and schemes and plans were
once laid to waste even before I
walked down the aisle. But, one day --
I was granted my hopes and dreams ..
...and the life that I dared to
take a chance on .. came true.

The man I gave my heart to is a good and
decent man, who lives for no other reason
than to love and be loved by .... me.


(Yes, I plegiarized(?) a line from ....
Annabelle Lee..)

Edited by - BarbraG on 06/04/2009 19:48:43
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