Tuesday, November 30, 2010


A young lady has been raising bees in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  Keep that word, Red, in mind. 

Since May, her bees have been returning to their hives looking quite different, with odd stripes of color where a mellow touch of amber usually showed through the membrane of their stomachs.  What always was a honey color, suddenly became a brazen red.  The honeycombs were also strangely red. 

It was thought at first that the bees were hanging around some sumac, or an odd tree or two.  But then a friend suggested (being funny) that maybe the bees were lounging around Dell's Maraschino Cherries Company over on Dikeman Street, in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

It seemed impossible to believe that the bees would travel a good distance, bypassing mother nature, to fill up on junk food.  Hmm, sounds a bit familiar.  We humans seem to favor overlooking the natural for artificial anything!
But bees, too?  What's the buzz here?

An apiculturist found, through samples taken from the bees, that Red Dye # 40, was the same dye used in the maraschino cherries.  And some folks came forth with the news that lots and lots of bees were hanging around Dell's.

It seems that bees will dip into any sweet liquid in their flight path.  It's thought that the bees were slurping up the runoff at the factory.  The question became if the bees would abandon the bright red, abundant sweetness, for some natural nectar.  Perhaps putting a screen around the cherry factory might help to prevent the foragers from hanging around, which is proving to be a huge nuisance! 

It remains to be seen if the best real nectar can be a match for this hot tamale red, excessively sweet, artificially enhanced treat.  Because the yield from this last summer did indeed produce a honey, bright red, that was sort of metallic, and too sweet.  The upside is, that in the evening, the bees glowed a lovely crimson.

Original source: New York Times, 11/30/10


Sunday, November 28, 2010

GREEN THUMB/ Poetry Potluck 12

Another week, another Poetry Potluck....this time it's Nature!!  Plants, Creatures..the Cosmos..what a choice...join in!!


It's clear to me
that I've got a green thumb.
Daybreak comes,
I'm eyeing a dry patch,

watching a drop of morning dew
swell and slip
into the seam
of a leaf
flat as paper,

not even enough
for a hummingbird to sip.

But there it is,
magnifying the distant sun
to focus a ray
that urges
some emergent bud
to make haste.

It might not have anything
to do with me at all,
but I think
that my seeing it

spreads the word
to the universe
that good work
is being done here!

@copyright/all rights reserved/2010


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #42

William Bouguereau  1825- 1905


This year, I don't have to dig into any cliche' to come up with a reason to give thanks.  For the last 3 1/2 years I have been on the outside looking in... mostly at festivities..all those folks..they sure seem to be having a good time!  Turkey, trimmings...Christmas bells, trees...Easter flowers, Resurrection...I've watched, tearing at the heart on my sleeve...return to me, please, less craziness, please!

I do believe in miracles, but not necessarily for me.  I had given up hope.  But I think just a tiny bit of it clung, hidden, like lint.  In of all places, my heart.  So that when the prayer is answered, joy is found immediately, and you know how to use it.

The other day, I was reunited with my 12 year old granddaughter, after 3 1/2 years of being lost to each other.  I believed that the moment would never arrive for us to be together again.  So that out of the cliche' of a clear blue sky, I received that phone call where I pinched myself, and learned to walk on air.

Here is the cup that runneth over..It's filled with justice and fairness, for all our lives.  In return, may we give kindness and love.  Even if you haven't had a miracle lately, it's good to know that someone out there has!

                                              photo/ willow/ magpie tales

Happy Thanksgiving.....a very big thank you.

Thanks, Willow, this Magpie prompt led me in an interesting direction..


Sunday, November 21, 2010


The theme for Poetry Potluck this week is Magic & Miracles, Wonder and Wizardry!  Sounds very tempting!!


We all live in the trick 
of our bodies,
draped in skin
that will fold like a fan.

A radiance resides
within my heart,
it keeps at it
till I head off,

and then it's free
to make the hurdle

into the light
and wait for its next adventure.

My soul is the wizard of my life,
enlightening the way
of all my fancies,
imagined or painted,
or prayed for
or written.

I am my present
and my past,
carrying my numbered lives,
a bundle of used up magic.

And then I see my soul again,
leaving the stage
when I depart.

@copyright/all rights reserved/2010


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #41

                                                        photo/willow/Magpie Tales


They direct us, every year,
to turn it back,
the clock,
to close down the year mechanically.

I want to grasp
on to one more hour,
make it stay,
stand there, don't move,

something I've tried to do
when I'm overly-
or a little crazy.

Find a lifeline to what's gone,
but have to settle instead
to winding the stem in reverse
so that the sun is confused
about when to shine,

but time bounces on
with uncertainty
to engulf us with darkness.

If I dream of what an hour
looks like,
I see a gazelle
leaping through the air.

I will tether it to my bed,
not let it go till springtime,
when I peer into the heart
of its intent,
and watch the flight
of an hour leaping ahead.

@copyright/all rights reserved/2010

Faithfully, I await the Magpie Prompts, am never disappointed to follow Willow's muse..once again..Thanks!!  And one and all...please read the other entries...


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just Dessert....

I'm sure you all have your favorite Pumpkin Pie recipe.  Me too.  This isn't it. 

This is a wonderfull recipe for a Pumpkin Crisp.  With pears.  And caramelized.  Very simple.  I guarantee that you and your holiday guests will be in favor of the substitution.  And you really don't have to eat it first...unless....

Pumpkin Crisp

2 large ripe pears, pealed, cored, and cut into 1/2  inch cubes
14 tbls. unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsps. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2  15 oz. cans pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a nonstick skillet over med. heat, combine pears, 4 tbls. butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and spices and cook until pears are tender..10 minutes.  Add pumpkin and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Place the flour, brown sugar, and remaining butter in a bowl.  With your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until large crumbs form.  Add the walnuts and combine well.

Heat oven to 375 deg. F.

In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, spread the pumpkin-pear mixture evenly on the bottom.  Sprinkle the topping over it and bake until golden brown and bubbling about 40, 50 minutes.  Serve warm, or at room temperature, with whipped cream.  Serves about 8.

Thanks to realsimple.com


Sunday, November 14, 2010


THIS week's Poetry Potluck ...Based on Moods, Feelings, Emotions..plenty there to go around...count me in!  How about you?  So much talent...Please check the site to join in!


Dust falls from
The Book of Demons.
Dead flies shift in the silt.
I remove the tome from a shelf,
delve into lists
of devils I have known,
from A to Z.

When darkness rises,
who will come with me?
Lesser angels
or minor demons,
each owning
half of the other?

Walk with me....

@copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #40

                                      photo/ willow/ magpie tales


I dreamed of Anjana,
cooing to the Monkey God,
cradling little Hanuman,
who was hungry for the world.

She fed him a mango,
with the face of a demon.
Anxious he was
to devour all sin.

He flew out
from the Ram
to hand me some pearls,
a dancing monkey avatar
to conquer all my fears.

I tore the thread
that held the pearls,
that looked to be
his teeth.

They spilled
and rolled like storm clouds
over my trembling knees.

It seemed a jinx
to let them sink
into a crevice,
and find a passage
meant for imps,

when all I want is eternity
to place in a golden ring.

@copyright/all rights reserved/ 2010

Willow, Willow, you've done it again..a not so easy Magpie Prompt..but thanks once more!!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


WHERE DID THE WEEK GO?  I meant to post this much sooner, but time will not diminish the impact of the events! 

If you have been in touch with the excellent blog of ARTIT , you probably are familiar with her exceptional art work, and read about Jeane's visit to New York.  I had the great good fortune to have met her last year, and it was a natural for us to catch up this year.  So last Wednesday we met at the Met!  An easy choice for me, having played in the nooks and crannies of the Egyptian hall since I was about 10 years old.  So off we went, through many dynasties, and the great installation of the Temple Of Dendur. 

Then a very long pause for lunch and more talk than one would think possible.  What a companion.  Please invite Jeane to accompany you anywhere.  You won't regret it.  And when in NY, bear in mind that I can point out the zillion dollar acquisitions that hang at the Met.  Rembrandts Galore!

A walk in Central Park on this sunny, stellar day, allowed me to point out the site of a notorious murder.  (Sorry, I do that sort of thing).  You don't get this info from the Park Rangers.  We had to sit down on a bench, one I intended to claim on NYMarathon day, far removed, to regain our composure.  Yes, I'm a barrel of laughs and arcane information.  Been here too long.  But I can do the A List tour.

And so the moment of air-kissing arrived, and Jeane took her leave to pursue other encounters.  We all are working on getting her to come back soon.  Very soon.

Ciao, Jeane!!


Sunday, November 7, 2010



What Wright had in mind
for the Guggenheim was a
Spiral stuffed with art.

                 It's a building, it's a landmark, it's super monument!!  Come on in!  Potluck Poetry...  Share, it's a good thing!!

@copyright/all rights reserved/ 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #39

                                          photo/ willow/ magpie tales


My cousin, Belle d'Amour, (I'm making up part of her name.  Based on my early tendency for sarcasm), is the family matchmaker.  The lines around her eyes etch her progression to seniority.  She hasn't tamed the years too gracefully.  The bluish skin beneath her sunken cheeks, her alleged Katherine Hepburn look, crinkles when she squints or smiles.  A legend in her own mind.

Shiny pools of olive oil sit in the folds of her chicken skin, a waste of a major ingredient that would be put to better use in a salad.  But the unguent, meant to smooth her profile, can't fool a callow youth such as I.

Her brows flow into pompous arcs when she looks at me.  Appraisal, heaped with disdain, is my due, since the time when I was a babe running barefoot.  Who would ever want me?  My peccadillo?  I am known as the skinny merink in my family.  Therefore the one who doesn't stand a chance for wedded bliss.  Hopeless case.  Not as much as a soupcon of zoftig delight for hands groping for enchantment.

But it's the action of her chin turning into wattles, subject to the motion of every stomp and swish, that hypnotizes me, till her jowls come to rest on her collar, imprudently modeled after an Elizabethan bib.

Once again this Faberge' pullet has been summoned to find a husband for me.  For some arcane reason, Belle d'Amour remains the touchstone for connubial resolution.  We honor tradition.

One has only to look as far as my cousin Fern, inelegantly named after a potted plant, now morphing into an effusive weed, to see that there is indeed a mate for one and all...except if your taste doesn't run to gargoyles.

But I'm the lost cause, stuck in my family's fever dream of Romanov grandeur, waiting for my blind date to take me or leave me.  Now I'm in suspense, waiting impatiently for some photos of my prospect to be delivered.  Someday my prints will come...

Thanks again to Willow for the opportunity to try out this Prompt..fun and games as always..and please check all the rest!!



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