Do you remember?

The sentiment behind this remembrance, a play on Delft blue porcelain, made me smile. I love the feel of the memory. It was featured on an AirBnb blog post from London today, but I wish I knew more about it (is the artist Robert R—-? is it a print or a plate? where is it […]

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“The Lanyard” by Billy Collins

Former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins first captured my attention with his wry reading of “The Lanyard” delivered at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and recorded for PBS’s Poetry Everywhere. His deadpan delivery cracks me up.

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

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I only ever wished I looked this badass and beautiful when I boxed. :) Here she is below on a June 16 visit to train with super bantamweight world champion Nonito Donaire and the unrivaled strength & conditioning coaches at Undisputed Boxing Gym in San Carlos, California. More on Marlen: “Marlen Esparza: Going the Distance” […]

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Originally posted on parlafood:
One of the reasons I love farmers’ markets in the Bay Area is that they remind me of the базары I knew and loved in Ukraine. These images remind me of those markets…and of the бабушки at the train stations selling cметана thicker than the richest crème fraîche I’ve ever had in the States. I […]

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Originally posted on Flandrum Hill:
Whether you’re six or sixty, if you don’t already have a secret place where you can be uninterrupted by yourself, perhaps it’s time you found one.  Either in nature or near it, such a place offers you the opportunity to escape from the world for a few minutes and just……

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