“Ode to Browsing the Web” by Marcus Wicker

“Ode to the Browsing the Web” by Marcus Wicker

Two spiky-haired Russian cats hit kick flips
on a vert ramp. The camera pans to another

pocket of the room where six kids rocking holey
T-shirts etch aerosol lines on warehouse walls

in words I cannot comprehend. All of this
happening in a time no older than your last

heartbeat. I’ve been told the internet is
an unholy place—an endless intangible

stumbling ground of false deities
dogma and loneliness, sad as a pile of shit

in a world without flies. My loneliness exists
in every afterthought. Yesterday, I watched

a neighbor braid intricate waves of cornrows
into her son’s tiny head and could have lived

in her focus-wrinkled brow for a living. Today
I think I practice the religion of blinking too much.

Today, I know no neighbor’s name and won’t
know if I like it or not. O holy streaming screen

of counterculture punks, linger my lit mind
on landing strips—through fog, rain, hail—

without care for time or density. O world
wide web, o viral video, o god of excrement

thought. Befriend me. Be fucking infectious.
Move my eyes from one sight to the next.

Posted in Books, Poems | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something to Aspire To

“Sonnet 2:  Not That I Always Struck the Proper Mean”
      by Alan Seeger
Not that I always struck the proper mean 
Of what mankind must give for what they gain, 
But, when I think of those whom dull routine 
And the pursuit of cheerless toil enchain, 
Who from their desk-chairs seeing a summer cloud 
Race through blue heaven on its joyful course 
Sigh sometimes for a life less cramped and bowed, 
I think I might have done a great deal worse; 
For I have ever gone untied and free, 
The stars and my high thoughts for company; 
Wet with the salt-spray and the mountain showers, 
I have had the sense of space and amplitude, 
And love in many places, silver-shoed, 
Has come and scattered all my path with flowers.


Posted in Poems | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Bad Company

I hosted about 30 guests—Hubby’s relatives—at my house last weekend. That’s a huge and undesirable accomplishment for me. I don’t like to entertain. Truthfully, I wish no one would ever come over to my house. Whenever anyone drives up the driveway, I know I have to stand on ceremony until they leave. It’s just not Home when we don’t have the place to ourselves.

All of the people who came over last weekend are nice people. I even love some of them. But a few things went wrong that demonstrate why I despise having company:

  • Hubby’s uncle showed up at 3:30 with 2 granddaughters in tow. He’s a very nice man, but we weren’t expecting anyone until 6:00! I had worked at the office until 12:30 that day, and Hubby had worked until 2:30. We weren’t just waiting around for someone to visit; we were madly running around, putting ice in coolers, cutting up fruits & veggies, putting out fresh hand towels in the bathrooms, doing last-minute vacuuming, etc.—all those things you can’t do until right before people arrive, and all those things that don’t mix well with socializing.
  • Then uncle wanted to visit, and couldn’t seem to see we had to keep working around him. Uncle is retired, and maybe has forgotten that people who work have limited time. He’s also of the generation who probably never cleaned house before people arrived, anyway–Aunt probably did it all. So, Hubby would work at something while I visited with uncle, then I would get time to work while Hubby visited with uncle. At one point, Hubby rescued me and I said, “Uncle, I need to finish cleaning up the bathroom,” and he laughed, waved me off, and exclaimed, “Oh! You don’t need to do that!” (Yes, I do!)
  • And uncle did not watch the young granddaughters, so they ended up “playing pool” while leaving behind new scratches on the pool table and also several crumpled Ping-Pong balls. Nice.
  • Sister-in-law from Big City showed up. She is a nice woman and a great mother. Most important is that she loves Brother-in-law, and he loves her. The problem with her coming to my house is that she thinks country homes are dirty, she is afraidoff of bugs, and she is allergic to cats.
  • She got out of the car with a can of DeepWoods OFF! in her hand, although it was a perfectly pleasant, non-buggy day at the end of August. Both boys got thoroughly sprayed down. She was then worried about her kids coming into the house because they “might” be allergic to cats (they both did fine).
  • She had brought along a bottle of a unique kind of soda that she liked, and I told her to help herself to a glass and ice cubes (I was waiting on others in the chaos, and it was an informal gathering). Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her locate the wine glasses in my kitchen cupboard, remove one from the cupboard, walk it over to the kitchen sink, rinse it with water and then dry it with a paper towel, then pour her drink into it. Inwardly, I was stunned. I never realized that my glasses are too dirty to drink out of without rinsing them out first! (Rest assured, I have a clean kitchen with clean cupboards and clean dishes in them.)

Luckily, by 9:30 or 10:00 PM, all the children started crying and the adults started yawning. Most everyone left by 11:00, and a few favorites stayed until 11:30. No children were killed by mosquitoes or killer housecats. No pool tables were gravely injured. And the amount of food those people ate, WOW!

The entire experience helped me greatly appreciate events planners and people who host company often.

Hubby and I were in bed by midnight. It all worked out OK. I mumbled to him, as I fell asleep, Please, let’s not have company again for a long time.


Posted in Country Life, Ranting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Day for the Cat

Hi everybody, it’s Sagan here. Today was such a beautiful day! I got to sit in the garden for as long as I wanted, then I came inside and took a nap on the big bed with my person! Then I came inside and there were treats and the other cat who lives here, Moe, had to be outside!!! I was so glad! I didn’t have to worry about him eating from my dish, playing with my new catnip cigar, or jumping on me. Tonight we are going to relax and read. I always sit with Mary when she reads in our chair.

Here are a couple photos of me out there today. I sat in the sun for an hour or so. Then I got too hot, so I sat in the shade on top of the silver mound (Artemesia, my person calls it) that I love to smell and nestle into. It’s sort of like catnip. It makes me feel all funny inside.

Me in the Sun

Me in the Sun



Me Relaxing with the Silver Mound Plant (see me? I’m way over on the left!)

Posted in Cats, Country Life, Gardening, My Photographs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Happy Poem on a Stormy Day

Here’s a love poem that I could have written when I adopted my cats in 1997.

“The Orange” by Wendy Cope

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange–
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave–
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.

The rest of the day was quite easy,
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.




Posted in Food, Gratefulness, Poems | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Springtime (?) Poem

Today was only about our third warm day in Minnesota for the season, so I took advantage of it by doing some spring cleaning out in the garden. Mostly I raked out old leaves that blew in last fall and that provided some insulation to my babies as they started to grow this spring.

Raking old leaves off new plants is bittersweet for me. This year’s perennials are popping up, which is thrilling to see, but last year’s remains are so . . . dead. While changing seasons are the most natural thing in the world, they also bring a constant cycle of birth and death, then rebirth and death again.

For the Anniversary of My Death
by W.S. Merwin

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what


Posted in Country Life, Gardening, Gratefulness, Just Thoughts, Poems | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Springtime Hurrah

It’s too stormy and rainy here to take photos of my own garden which is becoming slightly green in late April, and I’m not a poet, so I am borrowing a photo and a poem for today’s post. It’s probably an overused poem, but it’s one of the first poems I ever read as a child, and to me, it’s still perfect:

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,spring II
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.



Posted in Gardening | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment