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9/11/2022

remember—(breathe)–
sky clear crisp blue–
time stands still once again–
ghostname voices–
bone rattled leaves–
bottomless sings the wind

I’ve rearranged some of my previous poetry from 9/11 into a Laurette poem for Muri’s scavenger hunt. Images also from past posts.

Jimson Weed 2022

I missed the flow’ring of the weed–
my photo shows instead the seed.
It did return this year indeed
to Riverside Drive.

You may remember that last year I was surprised to find jimson weed growing by a tree planted near 96th Street on Riverside Drive. The Parks Department cleared all the growth around the trees sometime in October (hopefully wearing gloves!) and I wondered if it would return this year. Below are my first sightings, taken in early and mid-August.

I didn’t get back to photo it until the end of August, when I took the above photos. I had missed the flowers! But there was a seed. Below is a flower photo from last year’s plant.

But my last year photos were from September, so maybe it will have a second flowering this year. I’ll try to check on it from time to time.

My poem, for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Share your Day theme, is an Ovi, as conveniently suggested by Muri in her scavenger hunt of “name” forms.

And here are some other photos from my walk through Riverside Park. That’s New Jersey across the river.

You can read all about jimson weed here.

Poseidon Laughs (Thursday Doors)

Restless, this sea–
rising, falling–
no boundaries.
It has always
been so—always.
Man builds, rebuilds,
makes his own map.
Poseidon laughs.
The wind surges,
the waves reclaim–
restless, this sea.

We stayed in the town of Rodanthe on Hatteras Island this year. It was in the news in May when two houses collapsed into the ocean after a storm.

The section where we were staying was primarily year-round residents, so the houses were mostly set back, away from the dunes. But walking up and down the beach we could see many houses practically in the water, or sometimes actually in the water at high tide. While we were there, the aqua house above was fenced off in preparation for its removal. The house next door had already been taken down.

Here’s one being held up by scaffolding.

When we first started going to the Outer Banks, 35 years ago, the houses were small, and built well off the beach. Now the new houses are all huge, with a premium fee for being right by the ocean. But the coast on a barrier island is always in flux, even without the hurricanes that are becoming more frequent.

Part of the island is a protected wildlife refuge, and the shoreline is managed by the National Park Service, but it’s difficult to control the strain caused by the continued private development. Tourism is the main source of tax revenue for the island, so the local government is not willing to put any brakes on it.

Shoring up the dunes with more sand is expensive and temporary. There will always be more storms.

This is low tide–you have to swim through at high tide.

You can see the houses falling into the ocean here:

https://thehill.com/changing-america/sustainability/environment/3484789-watch-houses-falling-into-the-ocean-in-north-carolina/

My poem is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, where Yvette Calleiro selected a form that Gwen Plano created, called the 4-11, for us to try.

And, as always, find more doors here with host Dan Antion.

June 2022

slipknot
the thought

ready to fade away–
the story lost, mislaid

between image and words—falling,
asking to be caught up, calling—

and if it were–
what then?—now here,

now unconfined, a seed
to open, finally freed—

surprise breaks through
in green and blue

After I saw Muri’s hexaduad the other day I wanted to try one. I took a rough poem I wrote recently, and revised it to fit. It’s a pretty flexible form, despite the rhymes.

We’ve had so much rain and so little very hot weather that it’s lush and green here in NYC to begin June.

Lions in Winter (Thursday Doors)

touch of red
a circle of warmth
offsets grey

I haven’t been taking many photos in the last month–it’s been rainy and gloomy–but this door caught my eye. I also took a few photos when I walked through Central Park to the dentist the last week in December. Luckily I made it home just before it started to rain.

black branches
pattern across clouds
wintering

paths become
unfamiliar, raw,
reseasoned

Haiku written for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday challange.

You can see more doors and join with your own here.

Urban Assembly School for Green Careers Garden (Thursday Doors)

The city is full of sudden plantlife, unexpected oases surrounded by buildings, sidewalks, streets, schools, gates.  A potted plant outside a doorway, a vibrant treewell, a median full of flowers, a community garden.  A classroom for curious students, a delight for the eyes of a walker, a home for busy squirrels, chattering birds.

colors change between
here and now—they are only
made of light you know—

each shining moment has waves–
none of them ever repeat

I’ve photographed this beautiful gate and looked inside at the garden many times, but I never knew anything about it until I stopped and read the sign on the Amsterdam Avenue side. To be fair, it’s partly covered by a tree branch, and the benches below it are often full of people chatting or just resting along their way. What I discovered is that it’s part of the high school down the block, the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers. An outdoor classroom! I like that idea.

The gate itself has wonderful details, reflecting the focus of the space inside.

The students evidently open the gates to the community on occasion to share both their knowledge and what they have grown. I will keep a lookout for announcements of such an occasion in neighborhood newsletters. You can read more about it here.

The poem is my first attempt at Tanka Prose, as prompted by Colleen for #TankaTuesday.

And here’s a look at Riverside Park, which has finally decided it’s Autumn in New York.

You can see more doors and join in Thursday doors yourself here.

Thursday Doors:  Cover the Earth

a rainbow
repatterned into
a grid of
layered hues–
come closer, look inside now–
behind the door, more

The doors and windows of this Sherwin Williams paint store on Amsterdam Avenue always catch my eye and makes me smile.

The actual entry door is to the side, complete with the symbol and motto “cover the earth”.

Sculptured door update: this now appears to be a building lobby, with a central garden/atrium inside. But strangely, not only is there no address number to identify the building, but all the surrounding buildings have their own numbered doors with mailboxes for tenants inside. Is it possible they are sharing the inside space and this is the “package room” for multiple buildings? The buildings are all 6 story tenement-style buildings, most likely walk-ups, with businesses on the first floor, so none of them have lobbies or doormen. I like that idea, if it’s indeed the case.

It’s supposed to get to freezing here next week, but in the meantime the flowers in the park are still blooming.

As always, you can see more doors and join in Thursday doors yourself here.

Church Doors and more

vesper bells—echos
bowed over the door–
luminous

murmured, luminous–
whispered echos
permeate the door

the bethel door
cast in echos–
sacred, luminous

behind the echos the door waits, bathed in light—luminous

Holy Trinity Church has wonderful doors–above is a close up of one of the three main entrances. But the rectory doors are also beautiful–and the gate to the parish center, and the side door too.

One of the homeless men waiting for the parish center to open particularly wanted me to photo the statue inside. So I did.

My poem is a tritina, a form I haven’t attempted in a long time, for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, where Willow Willers provided the synonym words, twilight and hue.

In other (excellent!) news, Nina drove into the city for a visit and lunch–we haven’t seen each other since January 2020. She brought me a wonderful pot of succulents, which I put by the window in my workspace. What a treat, on all counts. She promises to post something soon.

And here are some of the flowers now blooming in Riverside Park. It’s still quite warm, and they seem to like it.

You can join in Thursday doors here.

Autumn door and more

I noticed this intriguing door on one of my recent walks. I wonder what it’s going to become inside? I’ll keep an eye on it.

Everything around here is still green. I was reading that some people think the delayed autumn foliage is due to (what else) climate change. We are still having most days in the 70s in NYC–not normal for October at all.

There’s just a hint of color here and there.

Jimsonweed update–photos from 9/19, 9/26, and last weekend.

open seed pod
it flowered again
just remnants left

The parks department had been hard at work, clearing small growth next to trees and walkways. I hope they were wearing gloves! At any rate, they seem to have left some seeds, so I’ll have to watch next spring to see if something sprouts anew.

And this little dino was left out in the trash looking forlorn. Sometimes the sanitation people decorate their trucks with stuffed animals they find in the garbage on their routes. Perhaps that was what happened to him.

You can find more Thursday doors here.

halfway (Thursday doors and more)

mark not words, but boundaries–
you call them kindred
because they verge on your dreams

waves of receding
spirits returning like stars,
still and glittering

naked and exposed inside the lens of your life

My first sevenling poem, for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge with synonyms for family and peace.

I took the above photo on Broadway, somewhere in the 80s I think. If you look closely you can see my headless figure.

This door belongs to a Con Ed substation at 110th and Amsterdam. The building itself is unmemorable, but I like the design of the door.

I spotted these flowers a few weeks ago when walking in Riverside Park. I had never seen what I thought to be an oak tree flowering before.

I could not figure out its identity until this weekend I saw it had seed pods. They were instantly identifiable online–jimson weed.

A toxic member of the nightshade family, although it does have medicinal and hallucinogenic uses. Evidently animals know to steer clear, but humans fall prey to its effects on a regular basis, not always accidentally.

And I wanted to share the view of the tower of light taken from my window Saturday night.

You can join in Thursday doors here.