Monday, May 31, 2010

The MV Rachael Corrie flotilla, Gaza


My heart is heavy, all I can do is to sing songs in Irish w/ Skara Brae. My hands—small wings of grief. Thalatta, thalatta—the sea weeps. The Irish humanitarian aid flotilla is surrounded. At the UN, Britain has just said that the only response to the attack is to end the blockade of Gaza. It’s so ironic, that the Irish fought for an Israeli free state (against the British) and now Israel has traded places with the British and has become the oppressor, Israel has crossed the line at Gaza, and because of that crime against humanity, now many of the Irish are in solidarity with the Palestinians. Full circle. As Colin O'Herlihy pointed out: This has nothing to do with Israelis, it is the government. There has long been a great movement for peace and justice there but it rarely if ever gets noticed by western media. (This editorial reiterates Colin's point.) Israel blocking humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is a crime against humanity. The Israeli military killed Rachael Corrie, they ran her over with a bulldozer, and now they will destroy the humanitarian aid ship, the MV Rachael Corrie named in her honor. For what? What kind of monster?

 Irish Boat the MV Rachel Corrie proceeding to Gaza #flotilla
Belfast Palestine Solidarity Committee has received word from the Free Gaza Movement that those aboard the Irish vessel "Rachel Corrie" have decided to proceed to Gaza. A full press release is expected shortly. Niamh Moloughney of the Free Gaza Movement sent the following message: they have all agreed to take the Rachel Corrie to Gaza as intended she's 2 days away, it's a Malaysian & Irish partnership on board we have Denis Halliday, Mairead Maguire, Derek & Jenny Graham, Fiona Thompson (film) and Mathias Chang human rights lawyer,  Malaysian MP & media -  The Malaysians are serious contenders- they are very close to their government & have FULL support. We have 2 days to turn this outrage into a victory & get the Rachel Corrie into Gaza with the support of the world and open this sea route. It's vital that we now give full support to this ship reaching Gaza.
 Niamh

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Visiting the old schoolhouse


I was up in Alexander Valley—pasting up the kids' poetry & art book for the past few weeks. Sonoma County is uber-glorious this spring. We got to visit the old ALexander Valley school house, where we held the third grade poetry reading. Katie Murphy took us inside the old rancho adobe, so tiny, and hiked up the hill to the grave of pioneer Cyrus Alexander—the Wetzel family graveyard with its old wrought-iron fence. The hills are covered with Mariposa lilies and pink owl's clover, we also saw a golden eagle sitting on her nest, and lots of tiny grape flowers. Can't wait for the end result! (Wetzel Vineyards). There were gnarled Russian apple trees—cuttings from Fort Ross ca 1830s— still producing after all these years. Truly a blessed spot.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Camomile, Geyser Peak (photo)


Camomile grows profusely between the rows of grapevines, Geyser Peak

13TH GUEST AT A DINNER PARTY FOR 12

13TH GUEST AT A DINNER PARTY FOR 12


The table was set.

The cutlery gleam adamantine 
on a field of snow white linen. 
She thought, pearls tonight
with the black dress. 
She practiced a dramatic pose 
to stand by the chair 
at the head of the table 
where her husband would sit 
taking his rightful place. 
The guest list was carefully vetted, 
they had grand plans. 
She gazed out the window, 
the horse in the paddock,
a big bay dressage hunter
felt her presence, intently watched 
through the French doors. 
His ears pricked forward, as if on alert. 
She knew he couldn't see her
but he was ever hopeful for carrots 
or for her touch—not like that man who… 
Better not to dwell upon it, she thought. 
They were strangers in a strange land. 
The seething California hills of oak 
and blonde grass were aliens – not like home. 
She planted delphinium and Canterbury bells 
to see if that would stave off the distance. 
She surveyed the room one last time, 
readied herself for the guests, 
the zipper of on her shift severing the silence.
In the hall mirror she surveyed the black sheath, 
checked the pearls inner glow. 
Dinner went off without a hitch, 
everyone marveled at how the Pinot Noir 
complement the steak perfectly. 
She marveled at how it resembled old blood 
stark contrast against the table cloth. 
The rental maid topped up her glass, 
Mrs Raynes cut a piece of steak, 
poised the fork to her mouth, 
surveying the tranquil scene, took a bite, 
laughed involuntarily, and breathed in 
her last breath of triumph and death. 
Not the pose she had envisioned.
The guests gathered round, shouting advice —
not one new the Heimlich Maneuver 
that could have saved her life. 
The black sheath, the coroner's bag, 
the final zipper closure.
The uninvited guest paid
his compliments to the hostess. 
Slipped out into the night.
She thought who would feed 
the horse his carrots now? 
The horse whickered 
and leaned toward the light.


5/10/2010

rev 10/22/2015 

BLUE-EYED GRASS



BLUE-EYED GRASS

On the cusp of this hill 
where pieces of blue-eyed grass 
fall from heaven and no matter how 
I try to approach that epicenter 
of blue verging on violet, 
that elusive crest of blue 
moves to the next rise, 
and the next, like a skittish rainbow 
elusive to the end, like my life.

Who will even read this? 
I have long since lost faith.
I have no evidence.
It has eluded me 
like those thick concentrations 
of flowers on distant hillsides, 
painting bright idyllic pictures, 
and bucolic landscapes, 
but just under the lens.
They are not stars.
Still, I marvel when I find 
a mutant strain of blue-eyed grass 
devoid of color, quite like the stars, 
or snow and I think 
maybe it was all worth it after all. 
A patch of blue 
in the field of consciousness. 
And blue equals luck: 
it wards off the evil eye,
it wards off death 
and mishap.

May 10, 2010

CATHEDRAL OF LIGHT

A CATHEDRAL OF LIGHT


A riot of sunlight falls
on islands of wild mustard.
Tide's out, saltmarsh and mud flat 
reflect the sky and clouds.
A cathedral light of light falls 
on the Fireman's Fund building 
in Novato, and of course, today
I have no camera, only my eyes, 
a sleepy mind, and this pen.


May 10, 2010


SURPRISE ROSE


SURPRISE ROSE

Yesterday, while weeding,
I found a lone white rosebud on a branch
I'd shoved into a pot last fall & forgot about it—
so I was doubly surprised.


5/10/10

Sunday, May 9, 2010

ALL MY MOTHERS



ALL MY MOTHERS

All my mothers are long dead
(my grandmother raised me,
my artist mother was far too crazy
for the mortal chains of domesticity).
So I was raised by a periphery of den mothers
(aunts and neighbors).
And I was also raised alone.
And I never was a mother.
No sentimental Hallmark solipsisms need apply.
They never wanted any of that, TG.
Unconventional women, all of them.
honor them all this day for that.


5/9/2010