Monday, December 7, 2009


When the rain falls in Louisiana, it falls heavily. My patio floods, the glass porch springs a leak, and at breakfast I stare out at darkness, praying that the gray slashes will soon stop. A friend sends me an e-mail, writing that she is lying abed with a virus and contemplating what she wants to do in 2010. Another friend sends me a comment on my blog about living “lightly,” with no attachment to “things” and admits that she would grieve if she had to give up any of her prized possessions. On a gray day, I agree with her, since many of the objects indoors–vases, lamps, rugs–reflect color and brilliance that comfort me. I don’t wish for the friend’s virus, but I feel the urge to return to bed and read.

Instead, I go through more papers and journals. In my great-grandmother’s secretary, where I store some of my writings, I find journals written over ten years ago-journals that contain thousands of entries, some of which became poems published in at least ten of my books of poetry. Great-Grandmother Dora Runnels Greenlaw’s secretary is fit housing for the journals as she was a poet who died the night before I was born, and family members say that there was a literary transference. Such is the nature of superstitious Scots.

I must have had more discretionary money at the time I purchased the journals because they have brown, black, red, and tan genuine leather covers with gilt-edged pages! Such presumption! I leaf through them and find a few readable snippets. I’m passing them on to readers who may be having the same rainy morning and are spending meditative time indoors.


crosses the road,
fears averted;
the small sound of a motor
disappearing his head,
this lover of safety,
shell resident,
who chooses to dwell in isolation.
I watch him practice immobility, thinking,
he may as well stick his neck out…
the road will not change.


All night the acorns rained,
hailstones in a calm night,
season shifting squirrel bounty,
creating the sharp explosion
of too much plenty.

Here’s a newer snippet that I wrote after purchasing the famous chimenea that appeared in a previous blog:


The new pot-bellied chimenea
with its big navel
stands erect in a light rain
pelting the red floor of the patio,
pinion logs glowing hospitality,
burning away anxiety
and bringing comfort in an old blaze,
memories rising in the curl of smoke.

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