Wednesday, August 29, 2012

For Those Of You

Who request I post a poem or two, now and again...

Always the Chef Poet
I always and still do
want a goat
to make my own cheese...but
it is easier to buy goats milk at the market
come with it cheese cloth and an additive
to help separate

taste the green grass on the meadow
as it bends
bowing to the clouds
pouring down in late summer weakness
over rocky landscape-- what hooves conquer

wetness for appetites rolling down dirt paths
picket fences leave dents near the elbow
moving on the breeze dies down
leaving cotton dresses to rest
around hips and thighs
matching shirt made of hemp
growing just down the road

is unbuttoned to accommodate heat rising
the sweater around her shoulders
soft angora with paisley patterns
a gift always worn with lots of thought

brings around an arm
in turn it gently nudges urgency
time for a picnic lunch in a coming meadow
in the distance a rushing brook turns
and whispers wildly

underfoot pebbles screech on a sudden twist
a surprise lingering summer's kiss
velvety texture always welcome
as chèvre is on the tongue.

This was an email to a poet foodie friend in the PNW. Turns out I kept going and it became long enough for another purpose.

How are things? Busy with me, how about you...

We did Six Flags Monday. My son and his girlfriend. We had a storm hit, BOOM! They closed the rides, but we made our own fun. Eventually they opened back up and it was non stop roller coaster heaven for my son. He hadn't been since before Anelisa passed away twelve or so years ago. I realized it was fun to remember, but I'm too old for those bumps and bangs. The ole mule just ain't what she used to be. So I'll take a goat!

Peace friends and family, we love you large chunks!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


...just really never know someone right?

This is my friend/poet/singer song writer Andrea. Love her style. Free thinker. Fellow Cherokee sister. Mother. And so much more.

We took a trip into Philly on Sunday to explore the burbs and starting a Storytelling and writers group between her south Jersey and my central Jersey digs.

Her and I have been friends for about five years. We met at an open mic her hubs hosted in Collingswood, after being invited by Vito, a singer/songwriter who came all the way up my way for my open mic at the coffee house. Her and I hit it off from the get go. I love her way of thinking.

We had to drag her son along with us, as well as my own kid, but they entertained each other in the back seat. Boys never really grow up you know. After taking Joyel, my son's Liberian African co-worker to have a cheese steak, we were all amused by the local park. Andrea especially. I thought this was an interesting photo op.

During our discussions she challenged me to write a boast. We are exploring ideas to get the group going once we meet. She had wanted to do a photography retreat a few years back, but we discussed how not everyone has the equipment and the cost to cover her time. I think this will be much better and she is always talking about our heritage and old native practices or oral storytelling.

Here is my boast draft-

I, Elizabeth Ann of the Akin clan,
born in the land of sandy loam, pecan, and sage brush
descendants of Scottish poets and Cherokee warriors
 tender of pots and child of food and fire stoking women
I daughter of old west pioneers, stand before you,
a modern-day culinarian poet preserving kitchen tradition; orally and fireside feast.

Oceans grow shallow for this earth-stepper
as my feet travel distant lands
by soil of Ireland, Holland, Spain, Korea, and Italy have a I also trodden
through gypsy dances, pagodas, canal drifters, and castles
jewels of experience to turn over in the light of memory
daily I dream of other destinations to feed my desire
to see and know this mystical world is my destiny

I have made mighty music with my fingers on the page
rode bareback and walked rocky trails along great rivers
pursued the prize of motherhood bearing great heirs
taught my native tongue to those in my new north east home
claimed my gold in poetry competitions
won the heart of a mighty king upon third times charm
and returned to tell the tale to those who have ears to hear

Now, I will face the fierce crowd before me
offering up my wit and words
I will take care of what and who are mine
unwilling to be ambushed and backed into a corner by buffoons
or waste my time slinging rattlesnakes across thresholds
I’ll make good on my boast and talk all the louder –
poets will celebrate my actions with rousing cries
shaping my deeds into timeless songs.

 I looked up boast and found a few examples to follow...most are my own, a few are not...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Time Bandits

Who is stealing all of our time?

Two weeks go by so fast these days. Its not summer's fault, because of the rain I find days do go by faster. I'm not outside as much due to my asthma, but we have been running here and there.

What's up folks?

I was published again, and will be again September 1st and will post the link when they let me know. Last night I was honored at a reception for fiction writers and poets. A bunch of nice people. Many of whom I know or have seen on the writing circles in Princeton. I got up and read my poem 'A Summer's Kiss' from memory. It is a piece written almost five years ago. Glad everyone enjoyed the surprise ending. I dedicated it to my mammaw who taught me to love home grown tomatoes.

My son loves tomatoes. We go through them like crazy! Above you see him in his usual white t-shirt which I cringe. I often tell him to go put another shirt on over his wife beater shirt and then both hubs and him bark at me about how it is not a wife beater shirt and blah blah blah. I know it's not, but he is so handsome, I'd prefer him to show off in another shirt. Oh well, gotta love'em anyway...

He starts full-time college classes pretty soon. We are all excited he will finally get it all behind him. The sad thing is, the college here is not taking many of his credits from St. Louis. Sucks, but he will be fine.  We teased him and said it was practice. No smile though, just a look.

Well have a great weekend, and hope you are all fine and well. I'm going to Texas soon and am pretty excited about my visit with friends and family, and then its onto a writing retreat on beautiful Lake Travis in Austin. Then back home, and...hubs surprised me with a trip to Hawaii! My poet and musician open mic friend Jennie lives on the big island. She is an observatory operator, a degree in Astronomy, and has offered us her house for two weeks. Oh the fun and the about the time bandits hitting me hard...POW!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Desolation Row

I'm listening to some Bob Dylan (a borrowed lyric). Head pressure is trying to keep me down a few notches, otherwise I'm fine (hands in the air mom Val).

Not much to catch you up on. Quiet writing weekend. Did have an interview with a monthly music, arts, and poetry magazine, 'Lamplighter' email sent to me from June this year. The PDF file, which included page 26 where Annmarie Lockhart and another interviewed me. Not the whole thing, but parts of it. It turned out pretty good. No link though, you just have to believe me.

My son begins his studies at Rutgers University in a few weeks. He could only do a few years of on-line classes, and he had to switch, since his major requires what they offer. Sadly he lost quite a few of the credits from St. Louis University, but he will manage. He will live with us until he completes it all. We have given him the chance to be free of rent and etc. He has to help around the house and cook and other errands we need.

Other than that things are fine. Hope you are all fine. I'm going back to my writing, talk to you all later!