Monday, May 23, 2022

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Here are a couple of photographs I took at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden this past weekend. It's a lovely place to visit in the spring when the flowers are blooming.

Reflections at the Crystal Springs Lake




Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón

Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon

Bright Dead Things is a book of poems by Ada Limón that was published in 2015. Limón's poems are raw and personal. In reading them, I felt I was caught in an intense flood of emotions.

The title of the volume comes from Limón's poem "I Remember the Carrots" where she remembers ripping up her father's carrot crop as a child and loving her "own bright dead things." This poem was one of my favorites.

I also loved the closing lines of her poem "Outside Oklahoma, We See Boston," where Limón writes about the mud swallows building their nests,

How do they do it? Demand the sweet continuance of birth and flight in a place so utterly reckless? How masterful and mad is hope.

It was a thoughtful, intimate, engaging read.

Purchase and read books by Ada Limón:

Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon The Carrying by Ada Limon


Flowers and A New Leaf

There have been some signs of spring here in Portland though many days have felt as blustery and cold as winter. I brought out my sundresses a month ago, but still have yet to wear them. Today, the sun is peaking out from behind the rain clouds, and I feel like spring is in the air. I'm not quite sure if I'm falling for another one of Mother Nature's tricks or not...

Flowers are blooming all the same. Here are a few recent photos from my walks near home.

A pretty beach strawberry bloom:

Beach Strawberry

A saturated photograph of a little buttercup:


A delicate iris in the park:


A new leaf unfurling in my window garden:

New Leaf Unfurling


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Forever Words by Johnny Cash

Forever Words: The Unknown Poems by Johnny Cash

Forever Words: The Unknown Poems is a collection of Johnny Cash's poems and writings that was published posthumously in 2016. It's a remarkable look at Johnny Cash's artistry and writing process. One of my favorite things about the book is that selected lyrics and poems were presented in his own handwriting.

In his forward to the book, John Carter Cash describes his father's intellectual curiosity and love of reading and writing. Paul Muldoon's introduction describes the rationale behind publishing Johnny Cash's words after his death to "broaden and deepen our perception of Johnny Cash and his legacy." I've been thinking a lot about the quote Muldoon shared from T.S. Eliot's "Tradition and Individual Talent" that, "No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone."

A few of my favorite poems in the volume include "Chinky Pink Hill" (which I discuss here), "Does Anybody Out There Love Me?," "If You Love Me," "My Song, " "I'll Still Love You," and "You Never Knew My Mind."

"Forever" had a profoundly beautiful closing:

The songs I sang
Will still be sung

Johnny Cash's poem "Don't Make a Movie About Me" gave me a laugh with its opening lines:

If anybody made a movie out of my life
I wouldn't like it, but I'd watch it twice

I wonder if Johnny Cash would have watched "Walk the Line" twice.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Forever Words. It's a great read for any fan of The Man in Black.

Purchase and read Forever Words and listen to the accompanying CD:

Forever Words: The Unknown Poems by Johnny Cash Forever Words: The Music by Johnny Cash