Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Poem for the end of summer: Closing the Cabin

Closing the Cabin
by Thom Tammaro
In the yawn of dusk,
We drift home in Minnesota autumn,
Reciting the litany once more:
Dock in; boathouse latched;
Rugs rolled; plugs pulled;
Windows hinged; floors swept;
Pilots out; pipes drained;
Faucets opened; doors locked;
Hummingbird feeder taken down;
Key hanging in its secret place

In the flicker of lights near the city's edge
We talk easily, gather within
All that the summer has given:
A great fish, slender and shiny,
Diving for bottom; loons calling
In the still afternoon;
Stars swirling above the rooftops.
Near home, vees of geese circle,
Circle in the shadows above us.

Later that night, we pause
On the stairs — winterward —
Unlock that other season
Where little puffs of winter dust
Rise when we open the door.
"Closing the Cabin" by Thom Tammaro, from Closing the Cabin. © Stellar Press, 1989.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

quickest ever cold tomato soup

Photo by Flickr user Chiot's Run

If you're also dealing with miles of tomatoes, try this easy cold soup!

I'm part of a fabulous local CSA and receive a ton (well, a bushel. Maybe a half bushel? A lot) of veggies every week. On one hand, I love that it keeps me out of the grocery store for the most part. On the other hand, it's like a weekly challenge--  FINISH IT or drown in rotting vegetables.

Then I remembered the Vitamix can do anything, so I'm putting it to work. Any blender could handle this, though.

Cold Tomato Soup

- 2 cups cold water
- 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes
- half a bunch of beet greens (spinach or chard could work well too)
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled if it's not the Persian kind
- 2-3 small sweet gypsy peppers
- 1-2 radishes, 1-2 inches each
- drizzle of olive oil

Throw it all in, blend till blended. Let it sit a minute, and then eat. Or drink.

I'll probably make all kinds of variations on this every week. I might throw in a carrot or a raw beet or who knows what else. Vitamix has my back.

I didn't add salt because the flavor here, especially with slightly spicy radishes, is so good itself, but you could add a dash and see what happens.

For the kids, I'll probably toast up some bread with butter and a rub of garlic and serve this all together. They're not soup eaters so much outside chicken noodle, but I'm on a mission to convince them.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

#dailypoem: markers

we mark our milestones
her birthday, his passing
fifteen years ago
twenty two years ago
four years ago today.
These spring green trees outside my window,
I see them swaying but there's no wind.

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Thursday, May 01, 2014

California State Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships Are Coming!!

Want to see acrobatic gymnastics competition at its best? If you're in California, put these two competitions on your calendar and join us! 

Our kids compete with the team at WestCoast Training Center (thus the flyer below); athletes from all over the state (and beyond, for the Regional championship) will be participating. There's a wide range of ages and levels, which makes it extra fun to watch.  

And to whet your appetite (or introduce you to this lovely sport), here are a couple of acro videos.

Men's pair from ATA in San Jose:

Women's trio from WestCoast:

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

#ThrowbackThursday, #Iheartacro edition

Love and admire our athletes, and this GoPro video is a fun demonstration of some of their skills, but I laugh at myself when I hear this song because every time, I think, "Kids!! Bad idea to 'make the most of the night like we're gonna die young!' You're probably going to LIVE! With all those morning-after consequences! Just sayin'. Ke$sha doesn't love you like I love you!"

Heh, you know you're getting old, ironically, when "dying young" doesn't sound like some romantic fabulous way to flame out but an actual possibility you would like to avoid thankyouverymuch.

But the point is, come see some acro in person!! The California state championships are around the corner!
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

poet of the week: Ilya Kaminsky

One day in 2004, I was contentedly wandering around in Pegasus Books in Berkeley when I came across a book of poetry titled Dancing in Odessa by Ilya Kaminsky. His poems are so expertly wrought, so tender and alive, it seemed like a book that would be important to me at that moment and a decade from then.

So I bought it and came to an event at Pegasus with the author. I came expecting to be enraptured, and it was in fact church. I still remember the stillness and the motion in the sound of his poetry as he read it. Quite remarkable for a poet whose first language is Russian, not English--and who's deaf.

It's 2014, and indeed, the writing still moves me in both new and familiar ways. Kaminsky creates works that show me how I've changed and grown as much as it shows me who he is himself.

Clearly I'm not alone in my appreciation:
"Like Joseph Brodsky before him, Kaminsky is a terrifyingly good poet, another poet from the former U.S.S.R. who, having adopted English, has come to put us native speakers to shame... It seemed to take about five minutes to read this book, and when I began again, I reached the end before I was ready. That's how compulsive, how propulsive it is to read. It wraps you in a world created by a new and wonderful poet." --The Philadelphia Inquirer

"With his magical style in English, poems inDancing In Odessa seem like a literary counterpart to Chagall in which laws of gravity have been suspended and colors reassigned, but only to make everyday reality that much more indelible.  His imagination is so transformative that we respond with equal measures of grief and exhilaration." --American Academy of Arts and Letters Citation for Metcalf Award

I want so much to share some of his work, but of course can't do that here. There's so much evocative, unforgettable imagery and phrasing that makes me want to read and read forever. Don't forget about this one next time you're in a bookstore or browsing titles online.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

'Gravity' Behind-the-Scenes Featurette Takes Audiences From Script to Sc...

This featurette about the film made my throat close, my eyes tear. I don't know why yet, exactly. I think it's because when I saw the film, there was so much talk about how thrilling it was. And I just didn't connect with that aspect of it very deeply.

But as a metaphor for life, for loneliness, for survival, for growth, it moved me very much. This featurette was the first time I got to hear the filmmakers talk about that. That was gratifying.

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