Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Out Back Today

in the parsley patch

Lemon balm, cappucine (not yet flowered)

one-armed Buddha, in the tomato patch


Sunday, June 16, 2013

To, From and About Dads

A reposting of poems collected in 2011 re: fathers, on Salamander Cove :

Sons and Fathers – Brighton Beach

In the palm of his hand
I tried to be perfect and I was. My two sandled feet
the width of his one great hand – my soles rooted
to his life line, mound of Venus, mound of Mars.
Held high, an acrobat stunt, or an offering to the Gods,
I was not afraid of him but perfect in his hand, face, smile -
our same curly hair -
my baby coat buttoned high with one round collar scalloping
my fat cheek. I grew and he had to use two hands
to keep me – one foot in each hand – his balance was my balance.
I grew and he used his feet on my hip bones
to suspend me above him.
I grew and his hand supported my back to push me forward.
I grew and he placed his hands on my shoulders to slow me down.

We have the same ears but it was his brown eyes that held me
brought joy, sorrow, sharpness and obsidian anger. Taller, I grew,
still trying to be approved, to be perfect, always wanting

to be held high again held that sacred again
but I know
if I stood on his hands now
I would crush him.

~ ~ Suzanne S. Rancourt

From Muddy River Review Issue #3 (Fall, 2010).  

"Father and Son"
Photo by Rosemarie Hayes of LifeUnfoldsPhotography

Today's Lesson

I do not have much
of my father left:
a hat, a coat, and some gloves.

They are not him though.
They belonged to him;
they have learned his shape by rote

(tried and true is best)
so when I wear them
I can feel him again and

again. Again, that
is the key word here.
And it should not be a verb.

~ ~ Jim Murdoch

Published in  This Is Not About What You Think   (Fandango Virtual, 2010).  


When I saw
the photo of myself
I squirmed
for only a moment
then looked straight at it.

I saw a gray man
with a crooked smile,
my father’s face looking back at me,
sporting a half-mouth grin
I’d only ever seen in one photograph
from Korea, green before first combat
in his uniform,
his whole platoon around him,
his hair short, his eyes bright,
nine years before my birth.

In the picture he’s smirking
as if he knew even then
that his son would someday come
to a similar moment of recognition
and amused resignation,
a moment of humor
before a terrifying future,
that my face
would inevitably become his
in spite of all my years of being certain
that if I just kept my head down
and did everything he never did,
I could keep such a thing
from ever happening.

I wonder if he knew
that it would take this long.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

People, sculpted

 "Blessed be the Lord, my God, who disposes my arm to war,
my hands at combat", " Ps 143.

One's hands in prayer, one's hands at the ready, for combat
[on plaque behind the figures, the words "à  la guerre ... mes mains au combat, Psalm. 143"]

". . . aux pauvres", Luc 4-18 , preaching to the poor

These sculptures form part of a monument, erected in 1926, to Bishop Louis-François Richer Laflèche (1818-1898) on rue Bonaventure, beside the cathedral across from Parc Champlain in Trois-Rivières, Québec.   [Photos taken with an Olympus SZ-14 pocket camera, during a trip to the public library downtown, April 7, 2013.]

For an interesting (and more detailed) bio on Monsigneur Laflèche, go here.  Son of a farmer,  this  ultra-conservative Catholic clergyman, who traveled the Prairies evangelizing the natives,  hunted buffalo with the Metis, taught math and philosophy to schoolboys, saved his parish from bankruptcy by succeeding to wipe out its debt, was actively engaged in politics, and lectured on nationalism.   Laflèche served as a bishop for 27 years.  

Cropping segments from a group photo to individualize its participants, observing the expressions in their chiseled eyes, wondering what it must have been like to live here then.  Sometimes when you write, paint,  sculpt or photograph  a thing, and return to look more closely at it later,  the words or images or objects come to life in ways you never imagined.  This happened for me when I spent some time really looking at each of these sculpted faces. What would they say if they could talk, I wonder, as pedestrians stroll by, oblivious, as pigeons shit on their heads; the eloquent, impassioned discourses of their bishop aging in some paper or digital archive.  Who were the models for these statues?  What is their story?

 what's left are things . . .
A people comes . . .  a people goes
maps change, wars stay, 
but all the woes  can't cloud the joys
that love still brings
of Life! despite 
what's left are things
Or something like that.  Thank you for visiting this little impromptu photo gallery.   I almost didn't take my camera that day.  Am so glad I did.