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Those biscuit ads from McDonald’s finally got to me so I went in to get a biscuit for breakfast. I also asked for Senior coffee. The young girl looked suspiciously at me and asked if I were really a Senior. I told her I could  be her great great great grandmother. Did she make my day.  I walked out thinking I gotta work harder at making this world a better place for our youngsters. McDonald’s managers out there…please don’t tell me these gracious workers are told to say this to anyone who look 90 and older. Hush.

Happy New Year

2017-kadomatsu

May the year of the Rooster bring you the best of years.

When I’m reading in the middle of the day instead of doing chores or writing, I know I’m in a good book. Here are some of the titles not necessarily current:

A Little Life (read it twice)

Little Paris Bookshop (read it twice)

Hillbilly Elegy

Barkskin

Smilla’s Sense of Snow (read it twice)

Shakespeare Saved My Life

The Underground Railroad

The Bell Jar (had read this in my youth..enjoyed it differently this time).

Am rereading Magic Mountain by Mann because of a funny story attached to this book. I organized  a book club for residents in the condominium where I lived in Honolulu over a dozen years ago. I began with Winnie the Pooh and it was a great success with a math professor, a chemist, a fireman, a high school teacher, a marine biologist, a micro-biologist among others. Other children’s classics followed and discussions were heavy with philosophy and the intellect along with our inner child, until the micro-biologist began to complain and insisted on Magic Mountain for our following month’s selection. So we did. I read the book and appreciated the introduction to this book.  No one showed up at our next meeting except for the micro-biologist and that ended my book club.

Hey, anyone for the Magic Mountain?

A former first grade student of 50 years ago, got in touch to thank me for teaching her how to read and for adding literature to her life. I sat stunned thinking, “I taught her to read. Imagine that.”

WHEN I AM OLD

by Frances H. Kakugawa

 

When I am old, my dearest,

Bring me no flannel nightgowns.

Long-sleeved with buttons up to my chin,

House slippers lined with flannel.

Whoever told you old is cold

Ought to be hung up from an oak.

 

Let me feel once again that red spaghetti strap of

A negligee falling off my shoulders,

As I lay in bed between satin sheets.

(Maybe not satin, as I could easily slip to the floor.)

Let me feel that cold oak floor under my feet.

I want to feel! I’m not dead yet, you know.

 

Come sit with me, even if the cat’s got my tongue.

Just sit and read or do what you enjoy most.

Sharing oxygen in silence brings far more joy

Than a Q&A on what I had for breakfast

Or a game to jump start my memory.

Ah, memory. How I detest that word.

 

But listen. Since I don’t plan to be old,

Delete this poem and let us just be.

Tell me a joke, take me to the mall,

Bring me a red rose, or simply sneak in

A glass of rosé. And laugh with me

For no reason at all, as we sip

Together in our Happy Hour.

 

Somewhere  a child is looking in as I did, at Christmas as it ought to be:Lighted Christmas trees, presents, carolers at the door, snowflakes andSanta Claus with bundles of toys. Somewhere a 16 year old is looking in, as I did, at romantic firesides, two lovers with crystals filled with wine with sounds of carolers at their door. Somewhere a parent is looking in, knowing the ink has run  dry for another loan as flashes of bank ads promise cash to make Christmas right.

Somewhere still, a child is drawn to the sound of bells and puts his last dime into the kettle red. Somewhere a child is visiting the forgotten in nursing homes with cookies of lopsided trees and four pointed stars sprinkled with red and green.Somewhere a child hands a loaf of warm bread and a cup of cocoa to a homeless who blesses the child, then returns home, looking in.

On Sale

I walk the city under neon lights

Watching shoppers dodge and fight

The endless maze of traffic rush.

They toss in pennies

In corner pails

As chimes ring out

All joy to the world.

They hang out wreaths

On window panes

They wrap and curl

Green plastic bows.

They’ve listened good

To the Adman’s soul.

He’s promised them Joy.

Peace. Love.

Happiness. Goodwill.

Hallelujah to all.

I wonder how many people here tonight

Fear the coming of the promised morn.

( From my Golden Spike, 1973)

Bob Dylan, I could have gone for you.

When I was in my 20’s, I earned 7 university credits on this six week tour of Europe.

There were over 50 of us standing before the building in Oslo where the Nobel Prize for Literature is presented.

The host looked us over and lo and behold, he pointed at me and said, “Miss, today you will receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Come everyone, we will go through the exact rituals.” And he gave me his arm.

He explained the very low steps with, “The steps are not high so the women won’t trip over their long dresses.”

My dreams of becoming a writer were still in incubation but I was so sure this was an omen. He took us through the ceremony as it would have happened. . .I alone, was lost in ecstasy. Make that fantasy.

Mr. Dylan, I could have gone for you. I had already gone through the practice run, I would have known what to do. And I wouldn’t have brought you shame by  tripping  over my gown.