Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poem - Mother/Daughter

Say nice,

Nice isn’t known for the daughter

Say compassion,

Compassion isn’t known for the daughter

Say criticism,

Yes! That is known for the daughter

Tell her what she’s done wrong

Tell her what she doesn’t do right

Tell her she doesn’t know how to do anything

The daughter is beaten down, struggles to get up.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Poem - These Days

I've seen the ravages of age
weaken bodies and scatter minds
So Now
Time Is Precious
Time Is Precious
And I have to laugh at the ticking sound
Barefeet Dancing my own rhythm in the grass.
These days I write as though
it were my last act of love
in the rapture of release.

--Terra Rafael

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Homa

The Homa

The other day we had a remarkable Homa on a farm outside of Longmont, Colorado.
A Homa is an ancient sacred Vedic fire ceremony. There are many offerings to the various aspects of the Divine consciousness that manifest in our existence through a wide panoply of forms. There is a progression through the chanted mantras that brings one into deeper states of awareness of our Divinity. The offerings include fruits, rice, milk, spices, and other items, even a sari. The enormous billows of smoke that rise up from the three fire pits waft over the participants who are sitting on the ground around the Homa. Farther back, there are chairs for those who do not want to sit so close. It is extremely powerful and auspicious to sit right up front.

The ceremony is led by Sri Karunamayi, an Indian saint who is one of the leading Vedic scholars in the world. She is the embodiment of Maha Saraswati, the aspect of Divine Mother who holds knowledge, learning, the sciences, and art, and music. The ritual goes on for several hours and Amma (Mother) chants the whole time, all the while being dowsed with the smoke and the heat of the fire.

How amazed I was to see my grandson, Bodhi, sitting right in front of the fire and Amma! He is my seven-year-old redhead. He stayed there for a couple of hours, taking in the blessings and hardly flinching, as the smoke would envelop him.

He is truly Amma’s child.

Eight years ago, his mother went to Amma to receive her blessing. Doctors had told her that she would not be able to bear a child. She asked Amma for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. My son was on his way out of town that evening, but something made him turn around and come back. That night Bodhi was conceived. Our gratitude to Amma for his presence in our lives is immeasurable. Bodhi and she have a very strong connection throughout many dimensions and my devotion and Seva (service) to her increases yearly.

Prema Rose

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Continue

I have to stay with my feelings.

My head tells me let go.

Move on.

Everyone makes their own choices.

And then I hear the child’s voice

in the man

as he calls me Mom

and my eyes fill.

Being a human being

is a lot harder

than you might think

if you were looking

at us from afar.

I write, I breathe,

I continue.

I hope he makes it through

a year in Kabul.

Sleepless Nights

At about age forty-five I stopped sleeping. It is the dirty little secret they don't tell you about  menopause: insomnia. Having meditated for years I had developed a technique for dealing with sleepless nights. I would breath deeply and relax…but I never actually went to sleep. My mind would yammer away all night long… All night long…  I called it the pretend sleep.


The pretend sleep had a certain sleep quality…at least I was flat on the bed. Once a month or so I would get a blissful deep sleep but then the pretend sleep would return. This went on for years. Migraines were a weekly affair. I was irritable, cranky, depressed. I started getting every cold and flu that came down the pike. I knew it was from not sleeping but doctors had difficulty understanding the word 'sleepless.' They don’t like to hear menopausal women talk about insomnia. I tried massage, acupuncture, herbal medicine, flower essences, homeopathic… you name it I tried it.


At my yearly physical exams I would tell my doctors yet again about it. The responses I got ran the gamut from a blank stare to one doctor (and I am not making this up) saying, “Well maybe you should start a middle of the night cafĂ©/salon for other people like you who can’t sleep.” Fuck her.


I don’t see that doctor anymore. She actually had the gall to write me a letter asking why I had asked to have my medical records transferred to my current GP who is over sixty, a woman and post menopausal. She gets it.



Thursday, June 25, 2009

An Experiment in Writing

We were short three women at our writer's group this past week. It was the second day of summer; I suppose it was to be expected. A beautiful day outside, so many different personalities, so many things to do. We quickly caught up on the events of the last seven days and moved smoothly into our now familiar writing routine. Mary read a piece out of Natalie Goldberg's book, Writing Down the Bones. In it she described a writing experiment to help our conscious brain let go, get out of the way, and allow a new perspective to emerge.

We decided to try it. Quite frankly I had reservations about the whole thing which, thank God, I did not express out loud. It sounded kind of dumb to me, but that was the whole point wasn't it? To step outside that part of the brain which makes a living categorizing everything according to is "right-ness" or "wrong-ness". A numbing, limited definition I might add. As I have come to trust our always-present-but-never-met-before-muse, Natalie, I followed the directions.

It was a riot. We belly laughed out loud at ourselves. I participated one hundred percent, as did every one in the room. We read our non-sense verbiage with honest emotion; each reader had their own pure delivery. I read the first sentence of my randomly punctuated word puzzle with great confidence. The second collection of words ended in a question mark? I tried to be true to my hypothetical punctuation and read the piece rocking back and forth from false bravado to deepening confusion. My friend read with a quiet, insistent voice, as if she really needed us to believe the nonsense that she had constructed with random words. It was beautiful, it was real, it was hysterical. Our reading led into a brilliant discussion of how this experiment can guide us in our everyday life. It showed us the importance of looking at one reality; then "flipping the switch" to see another way of being. We traded stories on methods that have worked for us in the past; meditation, deep breathing, and ways to ground our scattered energy.

In thinking of the experiment these last few days, I see how I get snookered into a dull way of being. It is easier. But what the heck, is that all I want out of this time on earth? My voice in the experiment mirrors my life. How many times do move I forward with all the confidence I can muster, only to hear my monkey brain question my own reasoning and end up second guessing myself ad-nausem? Enough!

It is vitally important to remember that I have CHOICE. No matter what I heard as a child growing up, no matter what I hear now on TV, no matter how desperately my frightened inner being tries to convince me that the middle path is right because it is well known and safe. "Just look at all the other people who are already on it", she insists. Be still. FLIP THE FRICKING SWITCH. I am going to write these words on a piece of paper in large colorful letters and tape it above my computer and on the front of the refrigerator. Already this week I have had to remind myself to flip the switch; shed new light on a stale perspective. My old eyes are tired; I desire new vision. If truth be told, and it must be, the old ways are not working. It is a new day. Thank you once again, to our fearless leader, Jyoti, for this writing process which has opened me .....

* annette

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Peace and Love

I recently wrote a story about Fruition. Letting it gel a few more days I realized there was a piece that hadn't bubbled up into my awareness.  We do all this work, in my case four years in my garden, before the rewards of everything coming together are seen. I wrote how important it is to take in the nourishment of enjoying our creation, of enjoying the season of fruition. It can be a long hard season of working in the dark, of struggles you couldn't have predicted; of foes never seen but still they called up a strength and courage you didn't know you had till needed. So much like life I guess. But I realized as we keep working, keep moving forward, keep motivating there is something in us that pulls all this work out of us. A vision of creating something, of a better environment, of moving in the world with some sense of peace about what you do.  It resides within us yet we are pushed forward to create, to allow this thing to be in the world. It doesn't matter if what we are up to is small or big in the world's view.  It may be your energy goes to being with your grandchildren, taking time for an elder or in my case hauling rocks for my garden.  Some guiding force tells you what is yours to do.  And it feeds you, in the soul sense, along the way. The more we align with its voice, even if something isn't always easy, (and trust me hauling rocks is not easy) there is a sense that its right. The more we allow that voice to guide us, to honor it's inherent wisdom, the more we have a life that's opening to something greater, a vision. Vision doesn't have to be huge.  It can be as simple as more peace and love today, through me. 

Peace and love to you. Drink it in. 


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Goodbye

From the kitchen window, the moment I saw my husband lift the little cat over the fence, I knew we had a new family member.
We already had a longhaired gray female, Georgia Precious and a male Golden Retriever, Willie Junior. This cat, being male, became Leo, after my mother-in-law, Leona, who came every summer for several months. She took a special interest in Leo. Several years later, as she began developing Alzheimer’s, I could hear her wandering the backyard calling for “Baby Leo”. She became obsessed with his whereabouts, if he wasn’t with her. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was calling for her Dad who had died when she was two or the baby she had lost at birth.
Leo was a great cat, very affectionate and always careful not to scratch you, unlike his feline sister, who seemed to thrive on using her claws on someone.
I had a shaman once tell me, our animals will take on our diseases, as I had discovered Leo had glaucoma, just like I did. It was impossible to put drops in his eye, his left, same as mine. Consequently, it became much worse through the years. Finally, when he was twenty years old, his eye had gotten so much worse, becoming quite large and bloody, and his nervous system was very fragile. It was time to let him go.
I had become allergic to my cats about ten years after they came into my life. Most of the physical affection they got from me came from my feet. The week I had made the decision, with the help of others, to put Leo down, was a time of bonding and understanding between us. One evening he jumped upon my bed, my cats knew never to do that. He wanted to connect, but in my shock and paranoia, I ushered him down. The next day I spent time holding him in my lap, talking and singing to him, all the while, feeling the tremble of his nervous system.
My now former husband was in town during this time. I was grateful for his assistance and apparently this was something we needed to share together. He drove while I snuggled Leo in a towel. Bill was ready to burst into tears just as we turned on to 55th, nearing the Humane Society.
“No, you can’t yet, you’ve got to hold it together to do the paperwork when we get there”, I said.
When we finally got to one of the back rooms, I held Leo while he was given the fatal shot. Bill let out a howl of sobbing, causing both attendants to jump. I felt little Leo’s body soften and let go as his soul passed on.
After we got back to my house, we both cried and cried. He said I don’t know why I’m crying so much. I said don’t you think Leo represented your Mom, who had just left us a year or so before. And he also represented the last of our family ties, as the other pets had gone long before. It was a sad healing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Poem - Power of Animal

This night
I open my window to the moonlight,
to hear the coyotes calling
across the divides of suburbia
from their open space.
Then I open more and can hear Birth sounds calling,
familiar echoes that our grandmothers heard too--

That indigenous power
straining against the measured and manicured landscape of the fore brain.

Some fear that wild animal
who walks in the dark
to the song of her own breath and moans--
who freely gives life to her child--
by the strength of her in-born hormonal nectar,
well-fed uterine muscles, and
untamed womanly instinct.

--by Terra Rafael

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Funk Shui

Funk Shui

When it's just "off",
And not quite "right",
And doesn't feel the way it should,
The perfect balance isn't there,
You know it might,
You know it could.

This corner is so
Dark and dank,
The cobwebs lurk in hidden spots,
A long forgotten toy peeks out,
It smells so rank,
Like slimy snots.

The dust has settled
On the leaves
Of all the suffocating plants,
They beg some care, some H2O,
To quench their thirst,
To tend their wants.

The toilet lids
Have all been closed,
And ribbons tied in the right way,
And mirrors placed, and altars set,
Yet, even so,
It's still Funk Shui.

Prema Rose

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Filling the Page

I’m taking a sketching class. I feel like a beginning writer does. Do I know what I’m doing? Is any of this any good? What am I doing this for, I can’t draw/write?
The mandate was to just draw what I saw, to narrow it down. To just pick a small section of something and notice the lines and the spaces in-between.
Writing is like that too. You narrow your vision and write what is in front of you. You take that small incident of memory, if you’re writing memoir, and paint the picture you see in your mind’s eye with words. You don’t write the whole book, you just write the piece you ‘see’.
So, in sketching, I’m advised to just pick a part of something. Not the whole wall of mixed-colored stones, and the trees and shrubs rising out of it, and the green railing above it, and the cloudless blue sky beyond all that, all of it running for miles, with a train tunnel interrupting it at one point. So, I just pick a section of the stone wall and begin to notice more than smudges gray stones.
I see crevices, pink stone blending into gray, and one rock places at an angle that is like a burnt sienna crayon.
If I stay with what I see, it fills the page, like the blank page in my writing notebook begs to be filled.
I take out my colored pencils, markers and pens, and begin. My aim is to fill the page.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Scald half gallon of milk in a big pan on the stove. Add to it a pound of butter. Add a cup of sugar and eight teaspoons of salt. Stir it all up to melt and dissolve. Then add about five cups of cold water to cool it down. While that is happening put 6 or 7 envelopes of yeast in two cups of warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. When the yeast bubbles up add it to the liquid, which should be lukewarm. Now you can begin stirring in the flour. You will need about 30 cups of flour. I use part white flour and part find ground whole wheat. When the dough becomes thick and sticky turn it out into two large mounds on the counter to knead. Kneading and adding more flour with take ten to fifteen minutes and add to your muscle mass. When the dough is satiny with air bubbles it is ready to set to raise in a warm place. Turn it out into a well grease bowl. Let it rise to double in bulk before punching it down. While you are letting it rise a second time you can get out your bread pans to grease. This will make about 12 good sized loaves. Leave a nice amount of dough at the end to make a batch of cinnamon rolls.

If you want a richer dough add five or six eggs and more sugar.



Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Mattress

I have been writing stories for years
But now I am in love and all my thoughts feel like poetry.
I know how corny that sounds, but it is also true.

Six years ago, a single woman, I bought a new mattress;
I splurged, it was quite an investment.
For months I luxuriated sleeping right smack in the middle.
I was deliriously happy as the princess of my own realm.

But one day I woke with a thought of the future.
Someday, with any luck at all, I would share my kingdom with a fellow.
I suddenly realized I did not want a mattress with a selfish dent in the middle.
And thus began my semi-annual routine of turning and flipping my mattress, and,
even more amusing, intending to sleep on the outside edge, holding space,
imagining that my prince was already occupying the other side of the bed.

I dozed. I waited.

Not knowing what his response would be,
I am not sure why I told my lover this story a few weeks ago.
But he just chuckled and pulled me close,
“You silly girl, I dreamt of rolling into you, right here, in the middle.”

Maybe this isn’t a poem.
Maybe it is just short sentences, each given their own line.
It seems there is a rhythm, with very little rhyme.
Yet my life, with each breath, now is filled with so much more ….
the passion of a poem infused with grace and magic.

* annette

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Pray

I pray as I walk in the woods

  thanking the sky

for clouds, rain and light


for the wildflowers.

  Varieties of colors splashed upon the


 spilling their spirit for all


Smiles of rocks

  with moss joyously




Bird songs

  sparkle in trees

and flit about


Deer so comfortable

 they barely

look up


A surprise visit,

 hawk moth

drinking deeply in the blue

purple of penstemon



  jack in the box



the temperamental

  spring – flowing freely


my tree friend

  always smiling and loving



I pray as I walk in

  the woods.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Prayer - To Sleep

Sleep, sweet Sleep-
We perform our nightly rituals,
Open up the altar of our bed,
Hoping that as we enter into it,
we can enter into Oneness with you.

You, Sleep, truly rejuvenate our bodies.
You, Sleep, reweave the fabric of our minds.
Without you
we are lost in despair and dreamless psychosis.

May you come upon us at the time of our bedding.
May you remain with us all the night long.
May you deepen in us
so that your renewing powers leave us
fresh and smiling at morning sun and
alert throughout the day.

We praise you, Sleep.
We give thanks for all you give us.
Thank you.
Thank you, Sleep.

-Terra Rafael

Sunday, June 14, 2009



Nothing short of all I have,
One hundred percent of my life,
This is the commitment I gave when I entered
My body for this time around.
What that means is for me to find out
Moment, by moment, by moment.

Am I being fully present?
Am I awake and aware?
Am I conscious of my every word?
Am I responsible for the quality of energy
That my thoughts spew into my surroundings?
What kind of world do I create within my sphere?

I am here,
Therefore, I am committed to being here.
If I were not, I wouldn’t be.
And so, I choose to engage in my existence
And give myself to all I am
And all that I can be.

Prema Rose

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My God(dess) of Now

She lives in my heart,
the ruby light of her
nourishing me,
running through my blood,
filling me with her love,
loving me because I breathe.

I used to look outward,
taught to please
the high-throned God
of my catechismic teaching,
feeling sinful
in my innocence.

Now I sit in her grace,
no longer looking outside,
no more trying to please
the angry gods of my past.
Now I am loved
from the inside.

By Jyoti Wind
1st Prize
‘Trust in God’ Contest
Poetry Society of Colorado

Friday, June 12, 2009

For Dick and George

The River Styx bled itself dry
As we swam in the trees
And dined in the snow
Making lies fit our lives
We watched under God
Soldiers mowing through mountains
In green pools of blood
We saw mothers and fathers marching their young, as
As Children with zinnias over their hearts
Sang songs of thundering silence
Into galaxies…

Jesse Wolfe

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Thursday

Today is my day to enter a piece on our blog.

Last night, my car would not start. She was (and is) parked outside of the Platteville Library. The battery is good, but she will not start !?!?!

Therefore, this morning I am dealing with my insurance company, which has been very easy to work with, and auto repair shops, with varying degrees of success. My sweet Honda, Idgey, so rarely breaks down that I do not have much experience playing this game.

I am wondering if it would be best to tow my dear little car to Boulder, and maybe have to pay extra for the longer tow trip, so that she will be in the hands of my wonderful friends at Hoshi Motors. Yes, even as I write this, I know that is the right thing to do. The few dollars that i may need to spend on the longer tow trip charge will undoubtedly be worth the piece of mind that she is with people who know her!

Thank you for watching me work through this difficult decision. If this is the worst thing that happens to me today, I know that I will be fine. More later.......
Have a great day!


I was standing in front of my desk, talking on phone and throwing on clothes, getting ready to walk back to the library. I suddenly notice the UPS truck setting out in my driveway and I am hoping that he didn't get an eyeful. Geez! I grab my keys, tie up my walking shoes and hurry towards town.

The tow truck guys name is Kyle; he has 5 silver rings moving up from the lobe on his left ear. His head is shaved and he has "LOVE" tattooed in one eyebrow and "Hate" tattooed on the other. Guess that covers allot of emotions !?!? He seems like a sweet guy, really! Very efficiently he gets my pale green Honda up on the truck and takes off.

I walk home, it is only a mile and I need the space. I kind of feel like crying but decide to say a prayer to the angels of Honda's to be with my good friend, and have this be a minor affair, and easy on the pocketbook. I pick up messages and head into the bathroom. I decide to get with the program and the possible theme of the day ~ I plucked my eyebrows. I am ready.

* annette.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Gift

In this death,
there’s been an intersection of beauty, truth and freedom.
It carries me to shores further along
than I’ve been in a long while.

With new views, feelings and certainties.
I am renewed in knowing the beauty of now,
the power of this moment,
and the grace of all things.

I attempt to pick up words to
touch this grace.
Yet here I am.

A humble gratitude pours forth.
I’m in awe of the potent force that
swept clear a lifetime of
false ideas.

I lived within those ideas for so long,
I couldn’t see them.
They become part of the frame
I was looking through.

They limited me, as does this tool of words.
Some gifts are eternal.
Not made for pictures or words,
reserved for new shores and heart to hear.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prose - Sleep

The more we age, the more sleep becomes a luxury. I was rarely one to be able to do without my sleep, especially in my younger days. When raising my daughters, lack of sleep could bring on streams of irritability.
As I look back at my teen years, one wonders now, how we could have slept so late in the day. Growing those hormones takes a lot of rest. Usually, once babies have come into our lives, sleeping in goes out the window, rarely to be experienced again.
As a child, I think between the ages of eight and eleven years, I was known for walking in my sleep. What a bizarre phenomena. I never had the misfortune of wandering outside our home, but was occasionally found roaming through the house. Never once did I have any memory of this. I was always guided back to bed without waking consciously. What emotional aspects causes one to rise up from a supposedly sound sleep to move around?
I sleep so much better when I go to bed early, between 9:00 and 10:00 PM. In the Five Element theory of Asian medicine it is believed we should be asleep before gall bladder time. The reason being, the mind can let go easier before we get into the energy of this time. Our sleep is more restful. For me this is totally true, if I’m up after 11:00 PM I can lay awake for hours, not good, since I don’t sleep in. My sleeping in days have now extended to 6:00 AM, with an occasional 6:30 on an extremely fortunate day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hair, Hair, Hair

I didn’t regularly shave my legs until I was 50 years old. Because I never shaved, the hair was bleached from time in the summer sun. My legs always felt smooth—no growing-out stubble and no tiny cuts from the razor blade. It saved time too.

When I became single again, it was time for a bit of a makeover and that was part of it—shaving my legs. My teenaged daughter cheered me on. “Mom, razors have really advanced since you were a teen. Try it—it’s not so bad.”

So I bought a package of pink plastic Venus razors with disposable heads-- so much for my dedication to the environment. I smeared some shaving cream on and began the gentle scraping. It did feel much better than in the 60’s.

I also noticed that my leg hair didn’t grow as quickly as it had in my teens. In those days I had to shave daily to keep up with it. Now, every few days suffices. I began to enjoy the feeling of my legs sans hair.

This winter, after several years of marriage, I’ve let myself go a bit. I let my leg hair grow, since my legs are mostly covered in the cold weather. But recently I noticed a slight snagging sensation around my ankles due to my socks snuggling against the longer hair and pulling on it. I guess I was used to it all those years without shaving, but now it’s driving me crazy. And the long hairs are almost black.

In ten days I’m taking a trip to the Cozumel beach. I’ll be shaving again soon to enjoy that smooth sensation and hairless look. I never thought that I, feminist Terra, would enjoy being me, femme Terra.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Do not say it can't
Or won't,
When I know it can
And will.

Prema Rose

Saturday, June 6, 2009

It Just Is

That the birds sing the Sun up
That the mountains reach for heaven
That my heart opens in a fragile moment
That the Soul of Creation
yearns for your light to be shone.
It just is.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Dad's Breakfast

Grandparents! This recipe is for you!  

This comes from my dad. It makes breakfast a treat to look forward to especially for children.

Dad used to love to go into a restaurant for breakfast and order oatmeal with two large scoops of vanilla ice cream. Of course the waitress would exclaim that she’d never heard of such a thing. 

With a silly grin Dad would say, “Well maybe you should try it."  

The oatmeal would arrive with the ice cream melting down the sides of the bowl into white pools of sweetness. Dad would dig in while the waitress and the cook would peek out from the kitchen to watch him eat the most unusual breakfast they'd ever served up.

I say try it. Put two large scoops of ice cream on top of a piping hot bowl of oatmeal. 

There is one rule when you make this for your grandchildren: the smaller the child the bigger the scoops of ice cream. 


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Notes from a Canyon Drive

Canyon Chronicles

...heading west and south on Colorado Highway 141 from Grand Junction to Gateway and beyond
...traveling along the Delores River, in Spanish translates to "The River of our Lady of the Sorrows"
...narrow red rock canyons opening up to lush green valleys and then closing down again
...knee deep grasses dotted with shiny horses and contented cows, some sheep
...blue sky with white clouds gathering, caught on the tops of majestic plateaus
...the new green of trees just leafing out, caught in the coy sunlight, is iridescent and magical
...solid rock sentinels, slightly separate from the cliff's edge, keep vigil through years, barely moving
...black "desert varnish" of manganese oxide coat the flat surfaces ~ canvas for imagined petroglyphs ~ a message from the ancients
...lacy tamarisk, or salt cedar ~ one would be beautiful but they have taken over and now obscure our vision of the river
...white and fluffy turns to dark and grey, the sky opens, rain slams the windshield
...waterfalls from above, cascade, searching for the river
...rolling down the windows to let in the lucious scents of juniper, sage and wet rock
...heading home, silent with wonder, blue sky ahead.

* annette

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tea House Article

A friend interviewed me via email today about the Tea and Readings we (A Week's Worth of Women) are doing this coming Monday at the local Dushanbe Tea House.
I'm sending this as a reminder for local folks and as a good read for out of town friends and family...Jyoti


or use http://tinyurl.com/AWeek-sWorthofWomen


The last breath

holds me

takes me

releases me.

How much more can I say about

its far reaching impact.

In the face of pure beauty

all is forgotten,

forgiven and out-shone.

All that is left is one pure

moment, beyond the words

I fumble with,

to try and touch it.

Gifts tumble forth,

the fountain of eternal life

right in our midst

but so often unseen.

Open-palmed I look

into your eyes

close those eyes

and say good-bye


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Holiday Meals

Holiday family meals were rarely high on my favorite memories list. If I really focus intently I can squeeze out lingering tastes of stuffed celery with cream cheese and pecans with a tad of mayo and paprika. And then there were the stuffed prunes with a dollop of cream cheese topped with a pecan or walnut half. Many of us love a moist cooked turkey with a good gravy. My Mom is the Queen of Stuffing, or Dressing in her book. I have yet to taste any better, especially West of the Mississippi. Her simple combination of dried cornbread, celery, onion, sage, eggs and broth, are always just right. The fresher and crisper the veggies are cooked, the better, whether green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, of course that wasn’t the case in my former days in the south. I have yet to understand everyone’s passion for all the carbs, especially at holiday dinners. Mashed potatoes, mashed yams/sweet potatoes, mashed squash of some sort, all in the same meal, when you probably already have stuffing and gravy. Where to put the pie??
My Aunt Mae Ellis was always known as the great cook of the family as I was growing up. The truth was she would starve everyone to death by filling us with alcohol until most any morsel was heavenly. We did love her food though, at those big family gatherings, especially in the summer, when my Uncle Roy would feed us from his abundant garden, of which he was known for his hot peppers. Now as I look back, I wonder if he was teasing those siblings, my aunt, my dad, another aunt, and two step-uncles. They would all see who could eat the hottest peppers, all the while my uncle saying he didn’t dislike himself that much, he never partook. Nor did my Mom. There was wonderful corn from that garden, usually we’d do it on the cob, but sometimes my mom would insist on creaming it, which was always a sugary treat. The corn rarely made it to Thanksgiving.
Even before health food, my aunt’s cooking angel bubble burst, when I discovered her au gratin potatoes we all loved came from a box.
But it was usually a gastronomically satisfying time, unless too much alcohol was consumed, which it usually was, then a family feud of usually the same ole stuff would ensue.
Time to take my tummy full of treasures and disappear.

Monday, June 1, 2009


The hot spring pool was peaceful right now. Other times it's raucous with laughter or rolling with political discussion. But this was a quiet moment, empty of people except for my beloved and me. We merged into the silence of mountain meadow and trees. A benign, juvenile bull snake sniffed the air from under his rock on the shore, wiggling his tongue to taste for the scent of stray spiders or worms to satisfy his seemingly insatiable appetite.

As I lounged, the warm water and sun joined to envelope me in a welcoming womb. I was lulled, in a voluptuous gestation. This amniotic world clothed my submerged, bare skin with uncountable numbers of tiny bubbles, as though I were studded with glass beads. The tiniest of rainbows spilled from the co-mingling of light with water and gas. This delicate aura scintillated and titillated my senses.

My feet lazily danced with some long velvety moss fronds, which languorously swayed from the sides of some larger boulders. I noticed new gas bubbles were being released from the pebbled bottom of the pool. Some stroked my leg along their way as they surfaced. Mmmmm. I liked that feeling. I waited for more. Bubbles gently tickled their way up my calf. They skirted along the skin of my thighs. They softly bumped against my labia. Others circled the curves of my breasts as they moved upward, inexorably upward. After awhile, my nervous system was fully awakened by these bubble caresses. Mmmmm. I liked that feeling.

--by Terra Rafael