pegkerr: (I need hardly add that I have rarely bee)
I'm listening right now to Rez reading his long poem "Cataloguing the Flow: Elegy." There is an .mp3 embedded in his Star Tribune obituary.  It is comforting to hear his voice again, and so sad to realize I'll never hear it again in real life.

I'm going to miss Rez terribly, especially at Minicon. He was one of the favorites on the Lady Poetesses from Hell panel which performed on the last day of the con every year. I have many a fond memory of him in a granny shawl closed with a brooch and a silly hat, reading from his hilarious chapbook "One and Twenty Poems by Grace Lord Stoke." And trying (and failing) not to crack up.


(Photo credit David E. Romm [ profile] barondave . Used with permission).

Rez, I lit a candle for you at the All Saints service at my church today. I will miss you.

pegkerr: (candle)
At 5:00 a.m.
the old Buick growls to life
surly at being roused from winter hibernation
for a predawn appointment ninety miles away.
We drive through the silent streets
past the light rail station
past the Falls
over the Mendota Bridge
past the highway fork where the oil refinery
flings its lurid glow against the sky.
The curved streetlights hunch
broodingly over the road
meditative as monks at Lauds.
Swirling fog and icy spindrift shines against the darkness
in the cones of light falling away from their burning eyes.
He sleeps beside me as I drive
the once crisp line of his goatee blurred
by the grizzled whiskers
growing out over the biopsy scar.
And the light sweeps over him
again and again
mile after mile
a benediction and a blessing.
All shall be well
All shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well


We drove to Mayo for a surgical procedure today, to have a port put in for Rob so he doesn't have to keep getting IVs in his elbows for the infusions (the veins in his arms are very bad).

I write very little poetry, and I don't follow formal forms, and since I'm so ignorant, I don't consider myself to be any kind of judge of what's good and what's bad.


I kinda like this.

I blame the fact that I had to get up at 4:00 in the morning.


Dec. 2nd, 2014 09:34 pm
pegkerr: (A light in dark places ice candle)
A college classmate, Ann Harrington, had a poem selected for the Writer's Almanac a couple of days ago.

That sound you hear comes from the collision of the written word with my solar plexus.
pegkerr: (Default)
From one of my favorite poets, Elise Matthesen ([ profile] elisem), a poem in honor of the team that brought you Curiosity. Reposted with permission (original link here):

Now, gather round, younglings, a story I'll tell
Of the smart careful humans who staff JPL
All humans have missions, and these sure had thars:
To get Curiosity safely to Mars.

To go very far takes a wonderful mix:
Some humans who build, some humans who fix,
Some humans who watch and take copious notes,
Some who grew up dreaming of airplanes and boats,

And some of them dress like the person next door
And others like nothing imagined before.
Some paint up their hairdos with colors from jars,
and the Bobak Ferdowsis have stars upon thars.

Now all of these humans use science and math
To keep Curiosity safe on her path
Combining their knowledge, invention and skill
And in the control room, they work with a will.

You can see them, intent on their consoles and charts,
With bright shining eyes, with hope in their hearts,
They come in all colors, all shapes and all sizes,
And so do their hairdos -- they're full of surprises.

We thank every one as the roll is now called,
The long-haired, the short-haired, the fuzzy, the bald;
They sent Curiosity safely to Mars.
(And the Bobak Ferdowsis have stars upon thars!)

(Elise says: "link away with gladness, and reprint if you like, but please credit Elise Matthesen. Thanks!")

(and for those who don't know, re: Bobak Ferdowsi)

Edited to add: Also see the Tumblr NASA needs more mohawks (*Sporfle*)
pegkerr: (Default)
I asked an attorney to sign a couple pleadings today as he was passing by my desk; they had been prepared by one of the associates for whom I work, who said we'd be filing them in federal court today. The attorney told me that he was still working on the related brief, and wasn't sure it would go out today, but that he'd get back to me.

"That's okay, I'll be here," I said as he walked away from my desk. "They also serve who only stand and wait."

And then it occurred to me: how many legal secretaries routinely quote Milton in their day-to-day working lives?

I looked up that particular sonnet, which I hadn't read in several years, although I do often quote that line. I had forgotten how closely it tracks a problem I have often thought and written about. Milton was speaking of his blindness, and I was speaking of writers block, but we both suffered from the same result, the gnawing feeling that God would call us to account for not using the talent He had given us. Given that Milton so clearly understood how I feel, I find the conclusion of the poem deeply comforting, which is probably why I have remembered it and quoted it so often.

Tell me a line of poetry (or perhaps a song lyric) you often quote to people in your daily life. What poem is it from, and why does it speak to you so strongly?


Mar. 7th, 2008 06:20 am
pegkerr: (Default)
Haiku2 for pegkerr
to reach me you'll have
to place the order before
the coupon expires
Created by Grahame
pegkerr: (Default)
An Earl Grey day
mist like light through pewter
I bicycle to work
the knees creak
breath burns in the lungs
life is hard
mud and grease
and ingratitude
weariness that cuts to the bone
and home
and cook
and clean
eat a chocolate-covered coffee bean
pegkerr: (Default)
After shoveling snow in the dark
coming in and shedding coat boots gloves
reddened cheeks runny nose
chunks of snow melting into puddles on the kitchen floor
it is pleasant
to pull the pesto from the freezer
put up in the summertime
two minutes in the microwave
pour it over pasta
and there it is immediately
garlic and basil and olive oil and parmesan
the sun hot on the shoulders
the smell of vine-ripened tomatoes
the red of the geraniums spilling over the white edge of the planter
warm earth curling between bare toes
the humming of bees over the coneflowers


Jan. 29th, 2007 08:37 pm
pegkerr: (Loving books)
Mark Tiedemann, a friend I met at Clarion, sent me this poem, "Library," by Albert Goldbarth:
This book saved my life.
This book takes place on one of the two small tagalong moons of Mars.
This book requests its author's absolution, centuries after his death.
This book required two of the sultan's largest royal elephants to bear it;
this other book fit in a gourd.
This book reveals The Secret Name of God, and so its author is on a death
This is the book I lifted high over my head, intending to smash a roach in
my girlfriend's bedroom; instead, my back unsprung, and I toppled
painfully into her bed, where I stayed motionless for eight days.
Read the rest of the poem here.
pegkerr: (words)
I got this from [ profile] lifehacker_rss, which got it from Curbly here:

Love those magnetic poetry sets? Curbly shows you how to whip up one of your own.

All you need is one of those magnetic calendars that tend to show up in the mailbox this time of year, plus a sheet of Avery labels. Print, stick, cut and you're done. It's a fast, fun, why-didn't-I-think-of-that kind of project.

As one of Curbly's commenters mentioned, you can save a step (and get better overall results) with an inkjet-compatible magnetic sheet, which is printable on one side. Staples, for example, has a four-pack, enough to make a boatload of magnetic words, for $11.98.
pegkerr: (candle)
Light a candle
Sing a song
Say that the shadows
Shall not cross
Make an oblation
Out of all you've lost
In the longest night
Gather friends
Cast your hopes
Into the fire
As it snows
Stare at God
Through the dark windows
Of the longest night
Of the year
A night that seems like a lifetime
If you're waiting for the sun
So why not sing to the night time
And the burning stars up above?
Come with drums
Bells and horns
Come in silence
Come forlorn
Come like miner
To the door
Of the longest night
Deep in the stillness
Deep in the cold
Deep in the darkness
A miner knows
That there is a diamond
In the soul
Of the longest night
Of the year
A night that seems like a lifetime
If you're waiting for the sun
So why not sing to the night time
And the burning stars up above?
Maybe peace hides in a storm
Maybe winter's heart is warm
Maybe Light itself is born
In the longest night
In the longest night

-- Peter Mayer, Midwinter

A blessed and bright Solstice to you all.
pegkerr: (Quill)
[ profile] papersky, in response to my reminder that Saturday was Miss Jane Austen's birthday, posted the poem that she wrote in 1999 after visiting her grave. MUST READ.

(I wish Kipling had had the chance to read it.)

Edited to add: I fixed the link. Sorry!
pegkerr: (Default)
no sun
no shadows
drape the air with cloud and mist
gray soft cool
mist softens the silhouette of the charcoal gray smokestacks
enshrouds and dims tops of the skyscrapers
the summer crowd that walks the bridge during the sunny days is gone
only me
a woman walking a blanket-swathed baby carriage
a man in a pea coat staring through the viewfinder over the river
austere gulls flap
jagged parentheses, slate against the sky
gray and ebon-tipped against the snowy foam of the falls
white against the pewter river
spray from the falls breaks the water surface
black silver gray pearl white
shadow in the lock of the dam reflects white of the sky
foam from the falls roars into shadow
pegkerr: (Default)
Snabbled from [ profile] matociquala


So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...

la la la )
pegkerr: (Default)
[ profile] aome has written me my very own poem!

*falls over laughing* Thanks, [ profile] aome. What a lovely way to start the day.

In other news, yesterday was my fourth anniversary on LiveJournal.
pegkerr: (Shakespeare)
Since [ profile] scott_lynch and [ profile] guipago got me When Love Speaks, I have been listening to it over and over, and reading Shakespeare's sonnets, with commentary, on this website. Ran across this one, Sonnet 20, and it seems appropriate to mention on Blog Against Heteronormativity Day.


1. A woman's face with nature's own hand painted,
2. Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion;
3. A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted
4. With shifting change, as is false women's fashion:
5. An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
6. Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
7. A man in hue all hues in his controlling,
8. Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.
9. And for a woman wert thou first created;
10. Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
11. And by addition me of thee defeated,
12. By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
13. But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure,
14. Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.
pegkerr: (tree of Gondor)
We went back to the workshop for the Heart of the Beast to work on the May Day parade. Fiona repainted her book, because she changed her mind about which book she was doing. Then she repainted it again because I pointed out that she had placed the book title on the wrong side. Then she repainted it yet again because someone stepped on it and smeared it. I hope the poor girl will not have to repaint it yet another time. Four times is enough! I have a picture of her showing it off, and once I figure out how to download pictures from my camera phone, I'll post it here it is. I had reminded her of the mistake she made at the last workshop, painting in her windbreaker, and asked her to remember to take it off before she started. I went to check on her a half hour later and discovered, yep, she'd forgotten to take it off, and it was covered with paint. I squawked at her, stripped her of the jacket and washed it off in the sink; we carried it home in a plastic bag. Fortunately, since I washed it while the paint was still wet, I was able to get most of it out.

I took another cute picture of Delia crouched in the center of a cardboard box, contemplating how she was going to turn it into a blue giraffe costume. She enjoyed the paper mache very much, but needed my big girl hands when it came to wielding the staple gun.

I wandered restlessly from one table to another, trying to decide which section of the parade to work on, and indeed, whether I even wanted to be in the parade at all. I have so enjoyed watching it for so many years. Did I really want to give up the fun and ease of being a spectator? C'mon, Peg, I told myself. Break out of your old comfortable pattern, here. Participate, don't just watch. I had thought of joining the books section, with Fiona. I was uncertain whether I really had time to start a costume for myself, especially since I was periodically helping Delia.

There is another section of the parade which is featuring ravens and cranes. One raven was already made, a paper mache headpiece with attached black fabric wings, mounted on a corner of one of the tables. I kept staring over at it. It made me think of the "ravens of unresting thought" which have loomed so large in my life in the past year, in the Yeats poem "The Two Trees," one my favorite poems. I went over and asked the artist for that section of the parade about it. "Oh, that's a piece that a woman made for another event, but we need someone to operate it. Would you like to do so?"

I looked up at the raven, which seemed to be cocking a baleful eye at me, and I smiled. What better way, perhaps, to exorcise those pesky ravens from my life?

"Yes. I will."

The workshops are great fun, a cacophony of excited noises, color, and new ways of looking at things. It is amazing what these artists can accomplish with clay, cloth, shopping carts, cardboard, paint, whiffle bats, flower pots, plastic cabling and a staple gun. I spoke with minnehaha K. for awhile (she was helping Fiona paint grass as Fiona was waiting for her book to dry again). And I had a nice conversation with Aaron, who popped up on my journal for the first time recently, although he has been lurking reading my entries for several years. See lurkers? If you know that you are going to be somewhere that I will be, please introduce yourself, and I will be happy to make your acquaintence.
pegkerr: (The beauty of it smote his heart)
Gacked from [ profile] coffeeem: The Endicott Studio is celebrating National Poetry Month with a different e-postcard each day, featuring excerpts from poems and delicious art. Send them to all your friends and give them a moment--just a moment--outside the rest of the day's concerns.

Take the time to check these out; they are truly beautiful.

Other ideas to get your daily poetry fix: you can read a poem each day at the Writers Almanac. Or check out some of the offerings at the Magnetic Poetry site. Or friend [ profile] cruisedirector's journal.

What's your favorite poetry site?
pegkerr: (leaf on white)
Twigs, barren of buds
As the breeze tosses branches
The shadows tremble
pegkerr: (leaf on white)
Louring clouds, gray and flat,
Obscure the pale spring sunlight
Stealing all shadows


pegkerr: (Default)

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