Friday, April 30, 2010

Poem in My Pocket..

WHAT A WHIRLWIND OF A MONTH IT'S BEEN.  THE PARADES FOR NatPoMo are winding down, and here we are at the end of a joyous celebration!  Poems have been gathered in bouquets, and everyone became a poet for the month!  Alas, here it is, Poem in My Pocket Day.  I hope you all have one to tuck away, carry with you if you run into a poetry drought.  I have mine, right here, just in case I have to administer a poetry transfusion.


I'll have a word,
that one there,
the one floating through the air.

Disregarding obvious rhymes,
I refuse to pander
to poetic banter.

Offering a place to land
I try to gather a word
that seems as soft as feathers.

I cup my hands and catch,
not a word
but a hummingbird.

I fit it into my pocket
feeding it a nourishing whisper
and hope it bears within,
a poem.
I let it fly away and circle me,
its wings tick-tocking
some doggerel.

It's absolute bliss,
walking through another day
as a poet,
with one new idea
that's landed in my pocket.

c copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


                                                Heaven on Earth

This may seem an odd combination, but that's what the world seems to go for these days.  And no, I'm not doing an ad for Lindt, they just happen to have this dynamite little treat.  Sort of a cha-cha in your mouth.

Adapted from


Cooking spray
2 cups diced onions
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
1  1/4 lbs. ground turkey (for a vegetarian version, 2 chopped carrots, 2 stalks chopped celery)
3 tbls. brown sugar
2 tbls. ancho chile powder
1 tbls. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 (15 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 oz.) can fat free chicken broth
2 chipotle chilies (canned in adobe sauce) minced
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup light sour cream
Chopped green onions

Heat a Dutch oven over med.-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, turkey, to pan, saute about 8 min. or until turkey is browned and vegetables are tender.  Add sugar and next 9 ingredients (through chipotle) to pan, stirring to blend.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer 15 min. or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.  Add chocolate, stir to melt, simmer a while longer.  

Yield: 8 servings
Serve in bowls.  Top each with 1 tbls. sour cream and green onions.

A fruity white wine with a strong body..such as Mondavi Fume' Blanc..goes well with this.  Enjoy!  And if you don't do the recipe, well, just pop some chili chocolate in your mouth when things seem dull!!  And take tango lessons...

Monday, April 26, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #11

                                              photo/ willow/ magpie prompt

TOMORROW AT 11:00 AM, my Grandfather's walking stick is going to be auctioned off at Sotheby's in New York City.  He was a frail man in his later years, had great difficulty walking and relied on his cane to maintain his balanceMeasured, small steps, as if his feet had been bound in the Chinese manner.   

I liked to watch him smoking, and the ceremony that went with it.  He kept the tobacco in a small leather pouch and cigarette papers at the ready to be used.  I missed him a lot after he died rather unexpectedly.  I was about ten years old at the time and missed the tapping sound that let us know he was making his way through the apartment.  We kept the cane in the umbrella stand afterwards and sometimes I would sneak a walk around our apartment, tap tapping and pretending to be lame.

One time the cane fell as my brother Sasha and I were fooling around.  We were very surprised to see the metal top bounce off the wooden stick.  A folded piece of paper fell out.  Unwrapped, it read, "Remember the slain 300".  My Mother just stared at it when we showed it to her and tucked it into her pocket.  Grandmother walked out of the room, a handkerchief brought to her lips.

Much was hidden about my Grandfather, Josef Kasmine-Rashkov.  While my Mother and Grandmother emigrated to New York from St. Petersburg in the 1930's, my Grandfather, scheduled to follow, disappeared.

The report in the Times about the auction of the walking stick revealed the unfolding history of its owner.  Josef Kasmine-Rashkov was one of the most famous Soviet operatives during the 1930'S and 1940'S.  It's believed in some circles that he took a leading role in the assassination of the enemies of Stalin.  He was sent to Spain to monitor the Worker's Party and it was there that he received a gunshot wound in his leg, the bullet shattering and proving to be inoperable.  It was during the process of healing that he found the walking stick in the apartment of a slain Trotskyist, and kept it with him always.  As he tried to do with his new Spanish wife. 

On close viewing, some of the ridges and swirls of the metal head seem dented.  It is thought that more than one collaborator suffered a blow on the head, and the evidence remained on the top of the cane.

Grandfather entered the U.S. under a false identity, after the war.  Of course he left his Spanish wife behind.  He was embraced by my Grandmother, who, after long years of separation, appreciated the large amount of jewels he had brought with him.  

He led a blameless life in New York, gaining popularity as a maitre'd at the Russian Tea Room.  He was the dapper one who always walked with the fancy cane.  Until an old war wound caught up with him, and forced him to retire.  One could say that he died of a bullet that had struck him fifteen years ago.

We expect to get a pretty penny for the walking stick at auction.

Thank you Willow, at Magpie Tales, for this prompt...and do join all the other participants.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

...on the Verge...

I'm always ready to be captivated by a Pedro Almodovar film.  When life itself spins out of control, becomes too much of a farce, I know where to turn for an appropriate antidote.  It doesn't matter  that this movie came out in 1988.  Farce began when doors were invented. 

"Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown", contains the full compliment of dumped lovers, cheating sweethearts, obsessive longings and all the over the top exaggeration that for some reason, heightens, doesn't diminish its humanity.

The great Carmen Maura (Pepa), is dumped by her lover, Ivan, (who's wife is just being released form a mental institution, in a fright wig, no less) for another girl friend. Pepa is broken hearted, contemplates suicide, spikes the gazpacho with sleeping pills, forgets to take it, (but it doesn't go to waste), sets fire to her bed, (accidentally), is accosted by wife with pistol, somehow runs into a very young and adorable and dumb Antonio Banderas, not only pretty, but pretty hilarious. 

Oh yes, and terrorists. Over the top decor, cartoon colors and fashion, and tabloid style betrayal. Great and sincere acting!  That everything comes together at the end is not a spoiler. Just what we hope for from a screwball comedy. 

All this and English subtitles. Well worth it. Remember, this film was made way back in 1988.  Nothing's changed.  Almodovar only gets better.  Nowadays Penelope Cruz is his muse.  What a thing to be!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

FOR: NatPoMo


I thought that ashes couldn't re-scatter,
would stay still in a mourner's urn,

that the earth had buried all departed words.

Why is the ground giving up arguments,
letting them crawl to the surface like red ants,
pushing deceit again,
each phrase not sand
but a prelude to battle?

I thought the end was the end,
but as long as there is one mind standing,
I must watch letters crawling,

trying to sting and kill
or maybe just hurt so bad

one more time.

c copyright/all rights reserved/ 2010


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Here's a recipe for frosting.  It's best on everything!  Too all encompassing?  Well, I don't think have your chocolate and you have your cream cheese.  That covers a lot of craving.  Make enough to spread on your favorite cake, cookies, brownies, can't go's your choice, after all.  Also, remember that you can use low fat cream guilt necessary.  Lick the mixing bowl clean..waste not, want not!

I'm also going to recommend a wine to go with is dessert, after all!  Pairing frosting with wine is a whole new category.  A good hobby if you're looking for one.  A light bodied, fresh and fruity red will enhance the flavor of this more than easy recipe!


8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 lb. butter, room temperature
1 1/2  cups powdered sugar
6 tbls. unsweetened cocoa

In a bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat cream cheese and butter until well blended.
In another bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa.  Beat into cream cheese mixture until frosting is smooth.  Spread at room temperature.

Monday, April 19, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #10

                            photo/willow/magpie tales

Once again, joining Willow at Magpie Tales for another enigmatic prompt!  For a real treat, do check out all the other participants...


I was standing at the edge
of the biggest watch
in the world, which a minute ago
seemed ordinary
when it was tucked into Newton's pocket.

The watch fell out and grew and grew
as if it were a conquering Goliath,
and beckoned:

Have no fear, just fall into me.

So I tumbled like Alice
diving into Mr. Carroll's epic.
As I slid I wondered if a renowned author
was composing me to last forever too.

I asked the cliched question,
"What time is it ?"

Time itself answered me,
chiming a measured beat.
Springs and gears spun under my feet.

I wandered within a playing field
where I twirled on the second hand,
and kicked a minute to outer space.
I got hold of an hour and pulled time to a halt,
causing a breath to die tomorrow
instead of today.

A tiny hammer lifted to strike me,
as I became one with time.
Wound up by God,
I'm still ticking
in the clockwork universe.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter..

 Sharing gratitude, and a loving heart...

I'll be taking some time out..will see you around the middle of April...stay well, friends!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Does poetry enrich your life?  Do you write poetry?  Do you buy poetry?  Do you plead with friends and family to please listen while you read your latest tome?  Well, guess what?? 
HERE IT IS AGAIN, NatPoMo...and everyone is celebrating its arrival. 

Hardly any serious Blogger has failed to mention that this special day, first celebrated and established by the Academy of American Poets, way back in 1996, is the beginning of NATIONAL POETRY MONTH.   Not the first to kick it off, I still feel that I can add a twist, so let me be the first to get you ready for April 30th, which is, "Poem in your Pocket Day".  This is not an April Fool's Day joke.  If you don't have a pocket, clutch it or pin it to your sleeve..just like your Mom pinned your mitten when you were a kid.

Here's a poem that I wrote a while ago, it's in my book of poetry, "Two Ghosts". 


I am made empty between two skies,
the outer infinity of luminous blue.
The ebon firmament within.

I become full
when the universe
twirls its net of quantum jewels
and spins a net of all ourselves.

copyright c/ all rights reserved/2008


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