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Off to school in this weather! 

I love Michigan though, what I find funny is how many people grumble about it being to cold yet, when summer comes with the 85 degree weather they will be grumbling about how hot it is. You just cant be happy you are alive seeing the beauty of the earth.  

Trying to find the small things in life makes my day, it is so special when you get a glimpse of some animal or plant just saying “we are here too”. 

That may just be the naturalistic talking, but I love how if you catch the image on a camera… it wont look as good as it did in motion. 

 

We just need to take sometime to breathe and smile. There is beauty you just have to look for it. 

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Poetry is my best friend. all in the interpretation

Give Me The Splendid, Silent Sun

GIVE me the splendid silent sun, with all his beams full-dazzling;
Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard;
Give me a field where the unmow’d grass grows;
Give me an arbor, give me the trellis’d grape;
Give me fresh corn and wheat–give me serene-moving animals, teaching
content;
Give me nights perfectly quiet, as on high plateaus west of the
Mississippi, and I looking up at the stars;
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers, where I can
walk undisturb’d;
Give me for marriage a sweet-breath’d woman, of whom I should never
tire;
Give me a perfect child–give me, away, aside from the noise of the
world, a rural, domestic life;
Give me to warble spontaneous songs, reliev’d, recluse by myself, for
my own ears only; 10
Give me solitude–give me Nature–give me again, O Nature, your
primal sanities!
–These, demanding to have them, (tired with ceaseless excitement,
and rack’d by the war-strife;)
These to procure, incessantly asking, rising in cries from my heart,
While yet incessantly asking, still I adhere to my city;
Day upon day, and year upon year, O city, walking your streets,
Where you hold me enchain’d a certain time, refusing to give me up;
Yet giving to make me glutted, enrich’d of soul–you give me forever
faces;
(O I see what I sought to escape, confronting, reversing my cries;
I see my own soul trampling down what it ask’d for.)

Keep your splendid, silent sun; 20
Keep your woods, O Nature, and the quiet places by the woods;
Keep your fields of clover and timothy, and your corn-fields and
orchards;
Keep the blossoming buckwheat fields, where the Ninth-month bees hum;
Give me faces and streets! give me these phantoms incessant and
endless along the trottoirs!
Give me interminable eyes! give me women! give me comrades and lovers
by the thousand!
Let me see new ones every day! let me hold new ones by the hand every
day!
Give me such shows! give me the streets of Manhattan!
Give me Broadway, with the soldiers marching–give me the sound of
the trumpets and drums!
(The soldiers in companies or regiments–some, starting away, flush’d
and reckless;
Some, their time up, returning, with thinn’d ranks–young, yet very
old, worn, marching, noticing nothing;) 30
–Give me the shores and the wharves heavy-fringed with the black
ships!
O such for me! O an intense life! O full to repletion, and varied!
The life of the theatre, bar-room, huge hotel, for me!
The saloon of the steamer! the crowded excursion for me! the torch-
light procession!
The dense brigade, bound for the war, with high piled military wagons
following;
People, endless, streaming, with strong voices, passions, pageants;
Manhattan streets, with their powerful throbs, with the beating
drums, as now;
The endless and noisy chorus, the rustle and clank of muskets, (even
the sight of the wounded;)
Manhattan crowds, with their turbulent musical chorus–with varied
chorus, and light of the sparkling eyes;
Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me. 40 

Walt Whitman

A child said, What is the grass?

 

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full

hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the 
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
luckier. 

Walt Whitman

 

Hard White

The hard white walls are her only company,

As she stares transfixed through the frosty window pane.

Small white crystals dance softly on the dark night’s breeze,

Going this way and that, but always falling down to the ground.

 

She shivers on the cold window sill, leaning against the hard white walls,

Her thoughts take her back to a chocolate brown chestnut bench seat swing,

Gently rocking from a young girls’ swaying legs.

Resting her head in the arm of a man weather gray with gentle wrinkles just whispering in the corners of his eyes and mouth, listens to his chest rumble with laughter so  warm and hearty, causing a caring smile to illuminate her features. ..

 

A moan so deep and sorrowful cries out across the white room,

Startles her from her peaceful thoughts.

She runs to the side of the hard white hospital bed,

Quickly yet gently grasps the clammy swollen withered hand of a man who has seen many years.

His wrinkles around his eyes and mouth have grown deep with the passing of time.

 

With a voice thick with emotion, she lightly gets out “dziadunio I am here”.

But the only response is the irregular wet crackling and labor-some breathing as he continues to lay silently in a coma.

She waits hopeful, watching listening praying for a sign that he has journeyed back from his long slumber, but no such miracles occur.

 

She begins to talk about anything: how the family is doing, the upkeep of his garden, his squirrels.

More for her than him, to keep her mind from the impeding acknowledgment that she is finally losing him after 3 years of his hard fight against the terrible cancer cells sucking his life out of him.

 

Gently laying his hand on his chest, she pulls up the blankets and gives him a kiss on his feverish brow goodnight.  “I love you” were her last words to him as she stood watching over.

After a time she lays back in the chair near his bed, where she falls into a soft slumber.

 

Waking to a eerie silence, the tears she held back for so long threatened to cascade down her pale cheeks uncontrollably.  Her mind drifts to promises that were made in the past that would not be fulfilled in the future: no dancing the taniec ludowy at her wedding, no finishing the bed bath, or the rose flower bed. Because on that cold calm sunny morning with the land covered in a fresh sheet of glistening white snow, the man she cherished with her whole heart, had finally left her side.

 

Her only company were the hard white walls. 

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Michael Wesley Zemanski, passed away a year ago today. I can not believe it has been a year, I still miss him so. 

This poem or short story(which ever it may be) is in memory of him. 

 

 

 

HERE IS MY FAVORITE POEM!!!! I have sang this song professionally three times now, getting an vinyl sticker of it on my wall!

In Flanders Fields 
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) 
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow 
Between the crosses row on row, 
That mark our place; and in the sky 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly 
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago 
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie 
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw 
The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
If ye break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Field - Copy of Signed Original 

Frankie and Johnny (a favorite poem)

 

       Frankie And Johnny

Frankie and Johnny were lovers,
Oh, Lordy, how they could love!
They swore to be true to each other,
Just as true as the stars above,
He was her man, but he done her wrong. 

Frankie and Johnny went walking,
Johnny in his brand new suit.
“Oh, good Lord,” says Frankie,
“Don’t my Johnny look cute.”
He was her man, but he done her wrong. 

Johnny said, “I’ve got to leave you,
But I won’t be very long,
Don’t you wait up for me honey,
Nor worry while I’m gone.”
He was her man, but he done her wrong. 

Frankie went down to the corner,
Stopped in to buy her some beer,
Says to the fat bar-tender,
“Has my Johnny man been here?”
He was her man, but he done her wrong. 

“Well, I ain’t going to tell you no story,
Ain’t going to tell you no lie.
Johnny went by, ‘bout an hour ago,
With a girl named Nellie Blye,
He was your man, but he’s doin’ you wrong.”

Frankie went home in a hurry,
She didn’t go there for fun.
She hurried home to get a-hold,
Of Johnny’s shottin’ gun.
He was her man, but he’s doin’ her wrong. 

Frankie took a cab at the corner,
Says “Driver, step on this can.”
She was just a desperate woman,
Getting’ two-timed by her man.
He was her man, but he’s doin’ her wrong. 

Frankie got out at South Clark Street,
Looked in a window so high,
Saw her Johnny man a-lovin’ up,
That high brown Nellie Blye.
He was her man, but he’s doin’ her wrong. 

Johnny saw Frankie a-comin’,
Out the back door he did scoot,
But Frankie took aim with her pistol;
And the gun went “Root atoot-toot!”
He was her man, but he done her wrong. 

“Oh roll me over so easy,
Roll me over so slow,
Roll me over easy boys,
‘Cause my wounds they hurt me so.
I was her man, but I done her wrong.”

Bring out your long black coffin,
Bring out your funeral clo’es,
Johnny’s gone and cashed his checks,
To the graveyard Johnny goes.
He was her man, but he done her wrong. 

Drive out your rubber-tired carriage,
Drive out your rubber-tired hack;
There’s twelve men going to the graveyard,
And eleven coming back,
He was her man, but he done her wrong. 

The sheriff arrested poor Frankie,
Took her to jail that same day
He locked her up in a dungeon cell,
And threw the key away,
She shot her man, ‘cause he done her wrong.

———————————————————–  

*In the book that is my source for this poem, a note
at the bottom of the poem reads, “This is one of
three hundred versions of the story of Frankie and
Johnny.”

———————————————————–

The song sung by Johnny Cash (2:20) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CvNieSsdQU

And, the song sung by Frank Crumit in 1927 (3:36) –
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwI76gO1v90

Crabby Old Man

This is a very touching and important poem for me. Working in a senior living community for three years, you see some ill treated residents; breaks my heart. What if those were your parents being treated that way?

We are all taught “Treat others as you want to be treated.” But how many of us can actually we do that everyday, every minute?

I have included a little background information preceding the poem.

 

Jeremy, a volunteer at The Dallas VA Medical Center, about the impact our digital ArtBook had on one of his patients.

“‘Oscar’ was a cantankerous old coot; a veteran of WW II, he always seemed to be grumpy and never seemed to have a kind word for anyone. No volunteer actually enjoyed visiting with him, but I always included Oscar in my visits just to let him know that he’s not forgotten, and I’m ready to provide comfort and cheer whenever he’s ready to receive it. Most of the time these glad tidings were greeted with a “bah, humbug!” attitude, but I visited anyway.

Rowing Home, 1890. Winslow Homer. The Phillips Collection

Recently, I decided to show Oscar your ArtBook. When I approached him with the idea, he snapped, “I don’t want to see no “friggin’” pictures.” But I told him we were going to amuseum in Washington, opened up one of the galleries, and showed him a highlight from the collection…a simple work by an artist I didn’t recognize.

Oscar stared, transfixed. Suddenly, his constant bad mood lifted. The lines on his face eased all at once, as if kissed on the forehead by a pretty girl. He didn’t say a word (which sure is unusual for Oscar). And then I saw tears quietly sliding down his aged cheeks…. I don’t really know what happened to him that day, but he’s a lot more welcoming when I come to visit him anymore. And I always bring the ArtBook.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we are spending our time, talent, and money bringing the art experience to folks like Oscar. YOU are the ones making it all happen!

Please ponder this poem I found in my email box the other day. Shortly after his death, it was found among the belongings of the anonymous author in his nursing home room:

Cranky Old Man

What do you see, nurses? . . . . .What do you see?

What are you thinking .. . . . . when you’re looking at me?

A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,

Uncertain of habit …. . . . . . . . with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food .. . .. . . . . and makes no reply.

When you say in a loud voice . . . . .. ‘I do wish you’d try!’

Who seems not to notice . . . . .the things that you do.

And forever is losing . . . . . . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not .. . . . . . . . . . . lets you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding . . . . . .The long day to fill?

Is that what you’re thinking? . . . . . . Is that what you see?

Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . . you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am . . . . . . . As I sit here so still,

As I do at your bidding, . . . . . . as I eat at your will.

I’m a small child of Ten … . . . . . . with a father and mother,

Brothers and sisters .. . . . . . . . who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . . with wings on his feet

Dreaming that soon now . . . . .. ….. . a lover he’ll meet.

A groom soon at Twenty . . . . … . . my heart gives a leap.

Remembering, the vows …. . . . . . that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . … . . . . I have young of my own.

Who need me to guide . . . . And a secure happy home.

A man of Thirty . . . . . . . . .. My young now grown fast,

Bound to each other . . . … . . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons .. . . . . have grown and are gone,

But my woman is beside me . . . … . . . to see I don’t mourn.

At Fifty, once more, . . … . . . ..Babies play ’round my knee,

Again, we know children . . . . . . . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . . …. My wife is now dead.

I look at the future … . . . . . . . . . . . . . I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing . . . . . . young of their own.

And I think of the years . . .. . … . . And the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man . . . . . . . . . and nature is cruel.

It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles .. . . . … . . . . . grace and vigor, depart.

There is now a stone .. . . . . .. . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . . .. A young man still dwells,

And now and again . . . .. . . . my battered heart swells

I remember the joys . .. . . … . . . . .. . I remember the pain.

And I’m loving and living . . . . .. . . . . . . . . life over again.

I think of the years . all too few . . . . . . gone too fast.

And accept the stark fact . . . . . . . . that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, people . . . . . . . . open and see.

Not a cranky old man . Look closer . . . . see . . . . . …. . ME!!