letter-c day 45

Two days more to go before the initial meeting with the gastric oncologist. This waiting is so frustrating. Time to me feels like pouring the dredges of honey from a bottle. January 8th is when all the crap began. They removed my gallbladder on the 13th. Nothing has been right since.  I’m very aware things take time and COVID-19 has complicated stuff but…cancer works on it’s own schedule not ours.

I couldn’t focus yesterday. I was even sure I would actually get a post for day 44 done but I did. It wasn’t one of my best that’s for sure. Though I did share some beautiful flower pictures from our walk in Lambertville.  The daisies made me smile.

Daisies

When I was young, I used to walk on the Horn of the Moon road in East Montpelier by the Wrightsville Dam picking daisies. I would weave them together and then wear them on my long red hair.  My crown of daisies lifted me from the drudgery. I was my siblings’ parent while our actual parents were in Connecticut running around with their liasons. Yeah, they both had lovers on the side. My father worked nights and my mother days so the timing worked well for their cheating selfs.

My sister used to pluck the petals and ask does he love me, or does he not. I never did. I didn’t want anyone to have that kind of control of my heart. Instead, I wanted to be riding off into battle dressed in armor with a daisy crown.

Poetry:

Apathy and Evil
Under a full moon, the wind ripped silent
that night in the overgrown cemetery.
Headstones cracked and leaned valiant
better than the local constabulary.
The decomposed body lies prominent
exposed, no one cared who did the treachery.
Eyes filled with indifference, so convenient
like everything in this small town sanctuary.

 

The daisies reminded me of the night I snuck to the cemetery for the first time when I was eleven after my siblings were asleep.  The nearest one from my grandfathers camp involved me walking across the Wrightsville Dam  Road and then down Route 12 for about a half mile then up the Bolio Road to the graveyard. I randomly laid daisy crowns on the worn headstones of my family members. That summer the nightly explorations became a favorite thing for me because I used to imagine the person’s life. The stories I would write about them. Writing has always brought me enjoyment.

This poem came about after re-reading my diary stories from my summer jaunts to the cemetery. I had written a story about a constabulary being killed and his body abandoned in the cemetery. No one looked there for his body. It wasn’t discovered until someone had been buried there the following year. He wad so disliked they simply left his body exposed with no investigation to follow.

I did love to wander a lot at night without my parents, or my grandparents ever knowing where I was.  Sleep wasn’t important to me. Maybe that’s why I have such good night vision. When I think back on all the things I did without ever thinking about the danger… I was a fearless child. Sometimes, I wish I had that kind of fearlessness now.

Culinary:

Tuna Casserole on this crazy humid ninety-four degree day.  I’m going to load my casserole with carrots and peas. We’re having a side salad with fresh picked kale, swisschard, and beetgreens with honeydew and cranberries. Yummy!

I wish the thunderstorms would come earlier today and cool things down. I love the energy of a thunderstorms, don’t you?

On Facebook, there’s a Lawrenceville community page and there was a bunch of posts about the firework noise. People need to release some of the tension with all this social distancing but of course some one has to be a downer. I wonder if they want Mother Nature arrested too because the thunder storms we’ve been having since this heat wave began are loud.

I’ll toss a couple more culinary cancer tools for you to know.

Cabbage like the cruciferous veggies, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Bok Choy, Broccoli and Turnip is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. The key is not over-cooking it so you preserve the sinigrin compound that detoxifies carcinogens and inhibits tumor cell growth.

Cantalope is also anti-inflammatory with tons of Vitamin A.

Cardamon is a digestive aid and anti-inflammatory.  It’s great for digestive issues by simply chewing on cardamon seeds. Bonus you get fresh breath too! Cardamon may also reduce blood pressure, that’s an another added bonus.

Carrots are anti-inflammatory and also have tons of Vitamin A. The beta-carotene that gives carrots their lovely color helps us fight against lung, mouth, throat, stomach, intentinal, bladder,prostrate and breast… cancers. We should be eating carrots every day.

We made an early morning trek to the ocean. I really needed to recharge myself. There’s something about having my toes in the salty water and walking on the sand that refreshes me. I realized last night that’s what I truly needed. I hadn’t been in three months which is very unlike me.

One the ride back,  thought about the beach, people were socially distanced this morning. There was one family of three who arrived just before I was leaving that were doing their best to be in the moment. Dad helped his daughter fly her kite. She may have been three or four years old. Her joyous laughter filled the air. I miss the sound of happiness more than anything.

That leads me to my song choice today. Yeah I am very sentimental and sappy. I won’t deny it. It’s not the boy meets girl and falls in love part of this song that makes me smile as much as the perfect moment. Dancing barefoot on the grass, being together in that perfect moment. In the last two days, I’ve enjoyed perfect moments with Vic. We walked hand in hand on the canal. We sat together looking up at the beautiful Thunder Moon. We got up at 4:30 this morning to do an ocean pilgrimmage. We’ve played cribbage with coffee on the deck and in the kitchen.

 

Isn’t that what living in the moment is really about. letter-c , you have nothing to do with these perfect moments. My moments and dreams are mine always and forever.

 

 

Dear Johnny,

107085619_3261096580609741_7268708796319000118_o

Your Dad has grayed a lot in the past year since you left us.  Gramma sees the sadness in his eyes all the time with out you. I thought of you a lot yesterday, you loved the fireworks so much.  Your cousin Olyvia and you share that in common.

If you can find a way, let Dad know you’re with him. I think he really needs a sign from you. Gramma and Grandpa wished we could have been there with him. I hate this virus that is forcing us to be socially distanced.

You’re both always on my mind, always in my heart as are Vic, Jacob, Chris, CJ, Amanda, Olyiva, Lael, Braylie, Mikhayla, Caitlyn, Marcia, Debbie, Janine, Sammy and Logan

oops I can’t forget my beloved fur babies. Fluffy, Quasimoto, Purryl, Angel, Yeats, and Macavity.

The biggest regret of my life is that I have not said ‘I love you’ often enough.’

 

https://www.ramsayhealth.co.uk/about/latest-news/cabbage-anti-cancer#:~:text=Hospitals-,Cabbage%20found%20to%20produce%20anti-cancer%20chemicals,could

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279176#:~:text=lower%20blood%20pressure.-,Cancer,and%20other%20types%20of%20cancer.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cardamom-benefits#:~:text=May%20Contain%20Cancer%2DFighting%20Compounds,to%20attack%20tumors%20(%208%20).

Carrots

 

Letter-c Day 22

It’s now 8 days shy of a month since that face time call and the dang letter-c reappeared in my world. Twenty two days of not sleeping peacefully through the night. Twenty two days of feeling the walls closing in around me.  Grrrr.

We did the early morning senior run to the grocery store, finally the store shelves are beginning to look normal again. Part of me says stock up now because this virus will be back for round two but the other part of me says don’t become one of those who went into full on hoarder mode.

The garden is looking amazing thus far. The seedlings I started in the house are double their size. Now, to keep the chipmunk out of the mix. I was reading that chipmunks are not fond of cinnamon oil and peppermint oil. I’m going to place cotton balls soaked with it near a couple of my plants and see if that discourages the digging he/she is determined to do. It looks like we’re going to have a few comfortable days ahead of us in the 70’s. I hate having the ac on.  I love hearing the birds chatter and the sound of leaves rustling that the ac drowns out.

I finished Langston Hughes  Not Without Laughter. I enjoyed the writing style and visual imagery that moved the story forward. I can’t even begin to comprehend life during that time frame as he shared.  The social injustices of the time sickened me as I read.  Maya Angelou said, “Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.” I believe it is still occurring maybe not as bad as in Hughes time but a lot of the brutality and inequality when it comes to career and income haven’t ended. Why is it unless we see prejudice and injustice with our own eyes we continue  in a state of denial ? The stories in books are dismissed as fiction because it’s easier to dismiss it than to accept the responsibility that all of us are part of the problem. Like the ostrich with its head buried in the sand, see nothing, know nothing. I didn’t intend to go off on another rant. I feel so frustrated because I feel like I am not doing enough.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book immensely and will be updating my reading list and reviewing on Goodreads. I highly recommend reading his work. His poetry is amazing if you haven’t had the opportunity to read it.

Dreams © Langston Hughes

“Hold fast to dreams

for if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

that cannot fly

Hold fast to dreams

for when dreams die

Life is a barren field

frozen with snow

https://poets.org/poems/langston-hughes

His poetry inspired me along with Poe, Plath, Yeats, Whitman, Donne, Eliot, Wilde, Thomas, Bronte, Thoreau, Homer, Shelly and Bukowski. I love how each of them mastered a story or a message within verse.

A Wolf Moon© Lyn Crain
Shimmers across a darkened sky
that halo around it does not bode well.
All the signs are hard to deny
soon stormy weather, or maybe a white spell.
Those gusty raw winds chill to the bone.
Small animals scurry to cover
before the wolves catch them alone.
Palpable fear seems to hover,
the fittest survive, the weak will die.
The laws of nature are not fair,
some will struggle to defy
while others give in to despair.
Maybe some day someone will find my writing as inspiring to them. Like Hughes reminds us all we can’t let our dreams die.
My song choice today is by Kevin Sharpe, who by the way also battled cancer as a teen but unfortunately died at 43 from complications because of the chemo and radiation he underwent because of ongoing complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues.”  His book , Tragedy’s Gift is a powerful read. The Song Nobody Knows discusses the pain felt when a relationship ends and the lengths one goes to keep it secret from others prying eyes by pretending nothing is wrong. My relationship hasn’t ended but I feel like I’m walking a similar path by trying to keep a happy face on for everyone else.

Sometimes I just get tired like today. The four walls close in around me… nobody knows.

 

I keep thinking about the days when the letter-c was just a memory.

 

Self-Promotion

irish dance shoesI was looking in my port on Writing.com when I saw this poem, it’s one of my favorite poems I’ve written. I looked to see if I had shared it here on WordPress and discovered it among my early posts when I had one follower so I decided to share it again since I do have a larger following of poetry lovers.

It is done in couplets with a rhyming pattern on the end.

Love of an Irish Lass

He bowed his head in silence,
allowing his rattled breath to slow.

Closing his eyes, he could feel
the lively Celtic music flow.

He was swept away to days past,
Where her feet moved to and fro.

Oh wee lass, dance for me, I long to
see those ye’s rosy cheeks aglow.

Take me back to those days
Of hornpipes and tapping heel and toe.

Show me again those green Irish eyes
when you paused and bowed ever so low.

He lowered his head in silence again
cherishing his memories of long ago.

The lovely Irish ballad faded quietly away
and with it the old man’s final deathblow.©

As a poet,

I read a lot of different styles of poetry every day. I believe the key to writing good poetry is to immerse one’s self. This particular one by Collins I find stimulating because I love how Collins uses descriptive phrases like sunflash of trumpets, rows of roadside trees, the huge blue sheet of the sky, into a pasture of high grass than drops the reader at the dizzying cliffs of morality. Life is definitely too short to miss all the sun-flash and dazzle of life.

The Parade by Billy Collins
How exhilarating it was to march
along the great boulevards
in the sunflash of trumpets
and under all the waving flags–
the flag of desire, the flag of ambition.
So many of us streaming along–
all of humanity, really–
moving in perfect sync,
yet each lost in the room of a private dream.
How stimulating the scenery of the world,
the rows of roadside trees,
the huge blue sheet of the sky.
How endless it seemed until we veered
off the broad turnpike
into a pasture of high grass,
heading toward the dizzying cliffs of mortality.
Generation after generation,
we shoulder forward
under the play of clouds
until we high-step off the sharp lip into space.
So I should not have to remind you
that little time is given here
to rest on a wayside bench,
to stop and bend to the wildflowers,
or to study a bird on a branch–
not when the young
keep shoving from behind,
not when the old are tugging us forward,
pulling on our arms with all their feeble strength.
My own attempts are feeble in comparison to Collins, but wth practice I will become better.
sunrise_over_water
At The Lake’s Edge by Lyn Crain
The long rocky shoreline had rough water tonight
this breezy spring twilight in April.
I came to watch the evening sun set on the water.
I heard the loons crooning to their mates.
My tranquility was disrupted by a child’s screech and
two young people paddling hard in a canoe.
An elderly man fished on the opposite shore while
a woman read a book in her chair on the dock.
I shivered as the waves swished against the beach
and the cold spray hit my leg as I sat on the rock.
I struggled to regroup my thoughts, to close this day
The peace in my world was jeopardized so
I sought the calm of my beautiful beach haven.
I ached to find my composure once more
As I immersed myself in the beauty at the lake’s edge.
My mind rambled to the times when I brought my children
to swim and play in the chilling water in the summer’s heat.
Those moonlit nights on my way home from work when I swam
successfully working out stress in my own way.
I committed to memory the reasons why I must pick me up once more,
I need another sunrise, to gaze at another sunset on the lake’s edge.
The troubled emotions, I felt when I arrived have dissipated because
the lake’s rippled water refreshed my essence.
I heard the soft call of a loon, the woeful song was
a gentle reminder of my lover who waits for me
Good night, my lakeside haven!
Thank you for giving me sanctuary,
I am okay now because of you.
As you go about your day, I hope you find time to appreciate your surroundings and those in your life. Maybe read a poem while you’re there. ❤

Photography and Writing

 

 dsc_0195Artists think outside the box either by choice or habit.These thoughts determine our actions. Showing up to our chosen canvas sometimes takes a lot of energy. The negative baggage we bury ourselves under like “I really have no particular talent”  sabotages us. I’m sure there are good solutions out there, but for me, I strongly feel that my job is to mind my thoughts and to use my strengths to improve my creativity.  I make myself lists of all the ways I can be inspired and then another list how I can inspire others. I never limit myself to one creative outlet.

One consistent thing that shows up in my lists is photographs, a captured image frozen in a narrow focus. Over the years, when I’ve found myself stuck writing, I grab my camera and just look at things all around me through that closed view. The details in that small glimpse are incredible because I frequently miss them with my eyes.

The pictures I chose today are great examples of looking at a picture differently. The seagull over the vast ocean is what I saw without my lens. Once, I looked at the seagull through the lens I saw his wings and how effortlessly he parted the wind to turn. His gliding motion when he wanted to use the wind to lessen his workload. I studied him until he flew out of my lens range and I moved onto the next one.dsc_0197dsc_0196

I filled my notebook with everything I saw. I  discovered the seagull’s world not just in a picture, but later in poetry as I considered all the things the bird enjoyed and I needed which in turn inspired this.

My Deserted Island Has
Turquoise water swirling, seagulls hovering,
with shallow waves breaking along the reef,
crystal blue streams, and mossy banks in the shade.
A chilly deep pool sparkling with the sun’s glimmering rays,
surrounded by luscious trees with sweeping branches,
that beckon me to climb over a sandy beach.
Wow,  so many seashells scattered on
the glimmering sand. It’s a shell collectors dream,
a painter’s haven hidden from the masses.
Wildflowers strewed randomly along the hillside, bursts of
purple and pink with a bit of orange amidst green grass.
Oh my,  curious creatures peeking from the
rocks, and cliffs that shape the steep top of a mountain edge
where a large bird’s nest looms in a treetop.
I stared at the sail of yacht passing by,
Yes, I think one more day before I signal, I am here.
Maybe two days… I  am content in the peace
I found here on my lovely deserted island.

Contemplation©Lyn Crain

Contemplation

Dresden blue water shimmers with each deafening crash
against field gray stones thrust upright to the sky.
Yellow, orange and red streaks boldly flash
appearing to skim the glorious waves crest high.

Cumulus clouds tinted with fire on the horizon
invite me to pause a spell on the ginger sand.
Dreaded silence, haunts me, so alone… not surprising.
Staring off at nothing while thinking, my life is out of hand.

Sooty darkness succumbs, chilling, salty sprays hit me
but will not hinder my compelling desire for seclusion.
The ocean… like ebony black silk with an irresistible plea
come, my dear, your demise is an earthbound illusion.

Life of a Jack o’ Lantern ©Lyn Crain

Hemingway got his whiskey
Poor Edgar got his nightmares
Jane Austin got Mr. Darby
I got grabbed by strangers

Johnny Cash got called Sue.
Judy Garland got a rainbow.
Elvis has impersonators in Vegas.
My insides were ripped out!

The scarecrow wears cool clothes.
The mighty  raven gets to soar.
The evil witches cackle, not me
I got triangles for my eyes and nose.

Halloween they say is the absolute best.
At least, that’s what all the children say.
Not for me, I got really crooked teeth
and a candle burns my skin.  It’s not fair!

Happy Halloween to you and yours
from a black soot covered jack o lantern
sitting on the stone wall alone
who just wants to go home!

Sweet Harmony©LynCrain

Sweet Harmony

©Lyn Crain

Sweet harmony … joy to the world
Dreams, one must have hope
that all flags can wave unfurled
and mankind can find a way to cope.
Sweet harmony… peace on earth
All violence is a thing of the past.
Religions are respected, each has worth
and ethnic differences are not harassed.
Sweet harmony…joy in our world
Amen!

Ode to John©Lyn and Vic Crain

Ode to John
©Lyn and Vic Crain
exercise in humor
How much time do you waste each day ridding wastes on the porcelain throne
Do you think about the years you’ve spent, or maybe how much you’ve grown?
For the guy this is a reading nook, a place of peace and quiet
For a gal, a quick call or text or maybe the Readers Digest.
At work it’s a place to escape annoying colleagues and of course the boss
It’s a place to decompress and consider your gain and the size of your loss.
At school you might use it to calm nerves before a test, to avoid a bully
Or someone you want to date who scares you, or something else so silly.
On trips you pick your gas stops where you think you might find one so clean
Or where you’ll be safe and not have to deal with boys so surly and mean.
If you have too much whiskey, it’s your sanctuary, a place to kneel and pray
Where no one can see you or hear the promises for the future that you say.
Indeed it is a magic thing, something that can be used for many ends.
Even kitties are now taught to use it, guess they don’t mind the smell it sends.
With the lid down it becomes a seat for a conversation with a shaver,
Or a place against which to brace while a thermometer checks your fever.
On aircraft there are other uses, you know of the Mile High Club?
But no noise lest the knock on the door, aye there’s the rub.
The man who invented this, I hear his name was Crapper.
No puns please, he deserves better, like a song from a famous rapper.
The child, the priest, the banker, the drunk all pay homage to it each day