Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Lanyard

By Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.

Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.

And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Abiding Love

by John White Chadwick

It singeth low in every heart,
   We hear it each and all--
A song of those who answer not,
   However we may call;
They throng the silence of the breast, 
  We see them as of yore--
The kind, the brave, the sweet,
   Who walk with us no more.

'Tis hard to take the burden up
   When these have laid it down;
They brightened all the joy of life,
   They softened every frown;
But, Oh, 'tis good to think of them
   When we are troubled sore!
Thanks be to God that such have been,
   Although they are no more.

More homelike seems the vast unknown
   Since they have entered there;
To follow them were not so hard,
   Wherever they may fare;
They cannot be where God is not,
   On any sea or shore;
Whate'er betides, thy love abides
   Our God, forever more.


Friday, October 21, 2011

and this...

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

After my heart

The Bunny: Mom, you're like one of the best mom's.

Me: How's that Honey?

The Bunny: 'Cause you're like exciting and crazy!

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Monday, April 4, 2011

when i woke up this morning 04.04.11

this was on the dining room table
just another of the reasons I love my husband

Monday, March 28, 2011

simple pleasures 03.28.11

my Bestie Simone 
thought I might like Farm House Musings

needless to say I do

this should be arriving any day now

it makes me ridiculously happy

Saturday, March 19, 2011

stiff competition 03.19.11

after 3 botched races 
a little adjustment made the car fly like the wind

thank you pine car derby gods!