On Couches

couch cruising
old bookmarks--
a casual narrative
of past pleasures.



The Poetry of Snow

The forecast calls for just a dusting in the northern region of our state, and roughly about six inches through the southern counties especially along the coast. WHEW! Another one bites the dust–snowstorms that is. So far through mid January 2019, enough rain has inundated our area as to cause some severe flooding, however no weather of consequence to cause “let’s clear out the bread, milk and chips in the supermarket aisles” type of forecast. Potential for snow measuring in the double digits has metered into dull winter rain. And for the first time in over six decades–I am relieved. Normally, I look forward to the swirling snow, its softening of the landscape’s edges and the quiet beauty and stillness a snow affords. Also, the adult in me enjoys the change of pace/let’s not go to work today/let’s bake cookies or make soup instead, knowing that for the duration of the storm–there’s no going out anyway. It has always been okay that shoveling snow (my car is not garaged) follows the day off. Recently however, the reality of lifting/pushing/scraping heavy wet snow off and around the car, porch and driveway is in fact very tiring. I am lucky to have machinery at the helm for the big push and cleaning, but there is still much hand-shoveling the tighter areas.

Which brings me to the point here–the wondrous child in me misses the excitement and forecasts of nature blowing and bending the atmosphere and the mind’s eye. I miss the big-kid who always enjoyed the day-after white-outs and slow return of “normal” traffic and daily schedules including bird life. I love the look of snow-covered evergreens and winter tree branches holding and shedding snow and hearing it softly fall. And I know that snow is important to the ecosystem and water supplies–a fact that is too often lost in the current meteorologists lingo until conditions reach critical proportions.

Perhaps it’s about the extreme precipitation and other weather lately that diminishes my desire for a storm or two. My memory still holds the view of one recent winter of shoveling a long path for my large dog to get to get to her relief area over and over. When you have pets that are used to the outdoors–there’s very little wiggle room or time for changing the routine. Still in all, falling snow is magical, represents a change of pace and creates lovely scenery. I never feel cold when shoveling or moving around. Frankly, the cold bothers me more on damp and windy snowless days. Who knows what the rest of the winter will bring here. In my mind though, a few inches of swirling snow now and again in January and February is a welcome friend.


a new pair of boots with cleats in the closet my younger self waits for snow




A Jolly Holiday–Not

Yesterday, on day one 2019, I took a leap of faith and went to see the movie, Mary Poppins Returns. The leap for me is that in the not-too-distant past, the bright flashing lights on screen and sporadic loud bursts of noise due to the showing of multiple movie previews, have triggered migraines. This time I came prepared with eye shades for 30 minutes of coming attractions and it worked–no headache. It was the first movie, in a theatre, that I have been to in ten years because of the migraines. Thus it was a  “new year event” and trial for me. The movie was playing in a very comfortably posh yet cold and charmless uptown theatre. Posh in the sense that the seats were puffy leather recliners with enough space between them to accommodate serious snoring without disturbing the person next to you or a great lateral position for watching a meteor shower. Cold in the sense of “artless.”

The real headache or heartache in this instance is my disappointment in the movie. Somehow I missed this review that appeared in the New York Times:

“Bathed in nostalgia, “Mary Poppins Returns” is being framed as a homage, and there’s clearly some love here. Mostly, it is a modest update, one that has brushed off the story, making it louder, harsher, more aggressively smiley… no, what’s odd here is how closely the new movie follows the original’s arc without ever capturing its bliss or tapping into its touching delicacy of feeling… (or) the songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman — who have done memorable work elsewhere — are the gravest disappointment.”

A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Jolly Holiday,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” and of course “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” — these are songs that get in your head, body, memory, and there’s nothing here with comparable melodic or lyrical staying power.” 

I could not say it better or express my totally unexpected disappointment any stronger. I was eleven years old in 1964 when the original Mary Poppins appeared on the large screen with her umbrella and carpet bag filled with magical and musical possibilities. However, my parents and all other adults were equally as charmed and buoyed by the story and songs at the time, That is why I (maybe too nostalgically) had such high hopes going into this theatre–that despite my social security-collecting age–I could  still trip along the cobble-stoned streets with all the delight of an ageless child. Indeed, I was hoping for a couple of hours of magic to start off the new year. The closest I came to it was when I hit the seat’s recline button by mistake and thought the movement was part of the story magic. (Yes, I can be easily swept away under the right illusions).

It was not my original intention to write a bad review, however I feel sad that the new movie is so heavy on proselytizing and light on sweetness. Speaking of light–the day was very bright and Spring-like. I also had my own dance with tripping lights (please read the previous post) that turn themselves on and off at whim in my house, but that for another post.

In all fairness, the acting was fine if a bit heavy at times, and Dick Van Dyke’s tap- dancing on a desk at age 90-something was special. Meryl Streep played her character with a heavy-hand, however Angela Lansbury showed up at the end with the right touch of British charm.

Re-makes or sequels can be creative and work to enhance the original yet stay true to their own vision. Just not here.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious–the Super Bowl of haiku syllable counting

Haikuey For A Friend

“How would you say this more simply and more haikuey”  –

“Spring Sunset Gold-Yellow Song Upon The Sky Trumpeting Daffodils?”

How would I? (turn this observation and string into a haiku), is the question asked of me about eight years ago when it was queried, and almost five years since she passed and crossed over the rainbow bridge. I may have tried once, however I was none-too successful. She was my favorite poet, even though she hardly wrote any tailored or even casual poetry. Her words just flowed into “raspberry and tangerine images.” Ours was a forty-year correspondence with a shared love of nature and the arts.

I rediscovered the question on a sticky note in her very distinct handwriting this morning and decided to sit down and finish the conversation. I hope that I can do her proud and know that she is smiling anyway.

For Robin, forever friend – I miss you and your words:

daffodils trumpet
sunset’s golden song  ~
a listening sky

ag ~ June 2017

I hope the stars appreciate your special beauty.


I watched a rerun on public tv last night of the 1981 Simon and Garfunkel Concert In Central Park. Mayor Ed Koch introduced them. It brought on a huge wave of nostalgia. They looked so young and still seemingly in awe of their audience, time and place in history.


racing to the moon
wildflowers along the way


as time speeds up
a gentle nod to
Mr. Einstein


time = distance
on the way to a star
and on line for a pizza


The Poetry of Laundromats



My longterm memory is non-existent. Therefore I need other people’s memories, photos and collectibles from happy or special times and places to jog this brain of mine. Bookmarks are one of my favorite of those aforementioned collectables, and I love to pair the book I’m reading (usually three to five at any given time) with a kindred bookmark. Poetry press bookmarks with poetry journals, old bookstore bookmarks with historical novels, recipe books with large glossy easy-to-wipe-off editions etc.

As I was perusing my stock of bookmarks at year’s end during a typical Mercury retrograde look-back-nostalgia, I happened upon some oddball but dear favorites that I will put into my “eclectic bookmark” category:

A wine-hued Caffe-Tasse – Cafe Noir wrapper from a small bar of chocolate picked up in Bruges Belgium in 1997.

A Cirque de Soleil ticket from the performance Varekai on a Saturday night in Boston, September 4, 2004.

A hand-painted purple Volkswagon bug cutout.

DO IT! Let’s Get Off Our Buts – A Guide to Living Your Dreams by John Roger and Peter McWilliams.

Raw NerVZ HAIKU – a haiku, tanka and short poetry journal out of Quebec, Canada that was self-described as “bristling, racy, vital, sizzling, zany, and essential” among other things. I miss this journal – it was always in the vanguard of short poetry.


“Self Serve – the sex shop you’ll respect in the morning” out of Albuquerque, New Mexico (I kid you not) – an impressive and progressive out-of-the-box shop.







late night at the laundromat stories still unfolding 

ag ~ January 2017