Showing posts from April, 2016

The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes

I’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset. I’ve known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the

The End of Law A novel of Hitler's Germany by Therese Down

"The End of Law : A novel of Hitler's Germany, is a sad and horrible time in Germany of 1933. Families are destroyed because of Hitler's belief that his ethnic group is the master race. It is a time when the unthinkable occurs in one country. This is not the first time I've read about Hitler and The Third Reich. Since History can repeat itself, I can always learn more about this period.. Malice towards a fellow human being is a subject that no one book can cover completely. As one bit of hate is uncovered, another form appears somewhere else in the same vicinity. After readingabout Ireland in  Only with Blood: A Novel of Ireland, I definitely wanted to read another novel by this author. Her blend of Christian literature with History is fascinating.

The  novel includes moments of prayer and struggle and continued love and endurance in a time of  anxiety. This is not a novel of hate for one country or people. For me, it is a cautionary tale for all mankind. Without God,…

Well by Therese Down

Therese Down is one of my favorite International Christian authors. Aware of her power to make History come alive, I had not read her poetry. This is one of her poems that spoke to my heart. One that I will read and reread once again.

John 4: 15: The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water
so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
An ordinary day. Wake late. Usual tomb-close gloom.
Striped split of light, stale meat stink on my tongue.
Him, still sleeping but the snoring just a goat snort now,
not the camel calls of younger hours.
I twist my hair into a snake and wind it round itself,
stoop to grasp the pitcher, grudge into sandals,
tread through dust, push the door onto more dust,
swat stares like flies. Now I only burn beneath sun.
A man is sitting on the well. It’s too early
for the up down eyes, tongue dart through bearded lips.
I smell. Haven’t washed the sweat away or him.
I just wanted water. Wasn’t planning on living forever.

Book Beginnings

"Hedda Schroeder had no reason to doubt she was content and no idea that Berlin in 1933 was becoming a very dangerous place for thinking people. Her father was extremely wealthy. Her mother wafted about their magnificent nineteenth-century house in the salubrious Tiergarten district in a state of agitation, as though she just knew she'd left something somewhere."

It's a strange time in Germany, 1933. All hell is about to break loose. People like Hedda Schroeder have no idea what will happen. Neither have they experienced what will come. So, life goes on until....This Historical novel is definitely making me think and to remember never to take peaceful times for granted.

The Children During World War II

I have a favorite character from Everything Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. Little Zachary is one of the many children who is sent somewhere safe during the bombing and hard times of England. Sadly, Zachary loses touch with his dad and his home and must face the ugliness of racism at such an early age. Chris Cleave puts, it seems, his whole heart into this character and the other children too. Zachary is so innocent. He is Black. His new friends, white, also face a new situation. Who is this child who looks so different from themselves? Their questions to Zachary were painful for me to read. Zachary answers their questions as best as he can without a shred of anger.

Zachary's attitude might seem too goody two shoes or angelic. I don't think so. Like grown-ups all children do not face strange, new situations with anger. However, this attitude could change later as a child grows up. I don't want to give away all of my feelings or the plot in the novel. I just wanted to wr…

The Gardenia by Cornelius Eady

The trouble is, you can never take That flower from Billie’s hair. She is always walking too fast and try as we might, there’s no talking her into slowing. Don’t go down into that basement, we’d like to scream. What will it take to bargain her blues, To retire that term when it comes to her? But the grain and the cigarettes, the narcs and the fancy-dressed boys, the sediment in her throat. That’s the soil those petals spring from, Like a fist, if a fist could


Death comes alive in "Everyone Brave Is Forgiven" by Chris Cleave." It is World War II in Britain. No one knows how long a friendship will last or not last at this time. Everything is changing. Like old people use to say, "here today and gone tomorrow."  I think of  understanding one another, the intimacy of conversation and the pure beauty of romance. During such wretched times like war, I think we must love one another with a deeper love. Simply because time is like the wind. You can't see it, but you will experience it if it disappears too quickly. It's rough, ragged like a roaring ocean.  Love past, love gone and the wonder of memories. Perhaps, this is one of the themes I would like to focus on while reading this novel.


and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating plantations,
the darkness perforated,
with arrows, fire, and flowers,
the overpowering night, the universe.

And I, tiny being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss.
I wheeled with the stars.
My heart broke loose with the wind. Pablo Neruda

It's About Beauty In Differences

You are why I love diversity.

It's About Orange Blossoms

This morning a quote took my fancy. Sadly, I went some where else on the internet first. Came back for the quote, and it had disappeared. My heart fell. I wanted to name the author of the quote and give my blog readers a chance to read the quote. Have you ever had that to happen to you? One thing delights you on the web, another item or idea takes your interest, then you lose one or both or....
So, I have a photo of orange blossoms;I hope. These are so pretty. I didn't really know what orange blossoms looked like. They are very pretty. The orange color reminds me of autumn.

Now, I've tried to get the photo out of my folder. For some reason, I can't retrieve it. Oh, oh, oh, oh, I feel like crying. However, I am determined to have a good day. Cross your fingers. I hope you have a good day as well.

It's About Cat Love

As a cat, I am happiest.
Please do not make me sour.
Regular naps on my rug I take.
I promise not to drool and snore.
Love me or leave me, I'm here until the end.(hn)

The End of Law by Therese Down A novel of Hitler's Germany

At this moment, I have so many good books to read. So, I had to settle my mind and focus on reading one.Because of a blog date I have chosen to read The End of Law by Therese Down. Thankfully, I had already started it. So, I just picked it up and began reading again. No matter how much I read or hear or see about Hitler's Germany, WWII I am still stunned by the horrors that took place during that time. I am also grateful that this novel is written by Therese Down. She really knows how to write  Historical Fiction. If it seems like I am going all over the map to make one small point, it's because this isn't a review. It's a comment about what I'm thinking about while reading the book.


Blake is a disturbing poet.
Over whom I haven't wasted a night.
Over his drawings I've agonized.
Kicked away a book or two. (hn)

Book Beginnings

"Hedda Schroeder had no reason to doubt she was content and no idea that Berlin in 1933 was becoming a very dangerous place for thinking people. Her father was extremely wealthy.'

This is the frightening part. So many people in Germany had no idea that horrible impossibilities were about to happen in their

Niagra by Emma Lazarus

Thou art a giant altar, where the Earth
Must needs send up her thanks to Him above
Who did create her. Nature cometh here
To lay its offerings upon thy shrine.
The morning and the evening shower down
Bright jewels, -- changeful opals, em'ralds fair.
The burning noon sends floods of molten gold,
The calm night crowns thee with its host of stars,
The moon enfolds thee with her silver veil,
And o'er thee e'er is arched the rainbow's span, --
The gorgeous marriage-ring of Earth and Heaven.
While ever from the holy altar grand
Ascends the incense of the mist and spray,
That mounts to God with thy wild roar of praise  Emma Lazarus

I only think of her poem about The Statue of Liberty. How unfortunate, the woman wrote so many poems that we can read and remember.


I am dull.
Can't follow your lead.
What are you saying?
Whisper louder! (hn)

Teaser Tuesday

"He had wanted to write a note back to Simone but he had been ashamed. He didn't know whether he likked, likede or lyked her, to too or two. Instead he had slowed by her desk, just for a moment, when he came into class the next day."

These three sentences remind me of the love letters I wrote and that were written to me in elementary school. Wonderful lines.

Book Beginnings

Everyone Brave is Forgiven a novel by Chris Cleave ARC

 War was declared at eleven-fifteen and Mary North signed up at noon. She did it at lunch, before telegrams came, in case her mother said no. She left finishing school unfinished. Skiing down from Mont-Choisi, she ditched her equipment at the foot of the slope and telegraphed the War Office from Lausanne. Nineteen hours later she reached St. Pancras, in clouds of steam still wearing her alpine sweater. The train's whistle screamed. London, then. It was a city in love with beginnings.


Sun shines on the lake in the morning.
Prunes and orange juice are eaten by the patient.
Rainy afternoons splash a soul in water.
In the afternoons, ships ply the Atlantic ocean.
Night-time the stars rest upon shoulders.
Glass crashes to the floor, falls backward. (hn)

Forgiving My Daughter's Killer by Kate Grosmaire

The author, Kate Grosmaire, is truly heroic to write about a very painful situation. Kate and Andy's life changed dramatically. For me, the book had twists and turns. At first,  I read over the words "killer." Perhaps, I couldn't fit the two words together, forgiveness and "daughter's killer." Now, after reading this book, I question my ability to forgive more than ever. I also hope to walk more carefully through each day. Not knowing what might happen next. The book, memoir, is so honest and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing your grief with me. I hope to never forget your daughter,

The Debt by Paul Laurence Dunbar

This is the debt I pay Just for one riotous day, Years of regret and grief, Sorrow without relief.
Pay it I will to the end — Until the grave, my friend, Gives me a true release — Gives me the clasp of peace.
Slight was the thing I bought, Small was the debt I thought, Poor was the loan at best — God! but the interest!

The Sea of Glass by Ezra Pound

I looked and saw a sea
                               roofed over with rainbows,
In the midst of each
                               two lovers met and departed;
Then the sky was full of faces
                               with gold glories behind them.


Speak to me, poet.
Tell me there is a Starling
coloring the edges of this poem purple.


I've never lived in a "lifeless house." Ghosts were always there. In the kitchen, in the living room and in the bedroom of the old house on the corner. I will return one day to the home of my birth. I know  the spirits never meant any harm. Their desire was to nurture me with their gifts of insight, a listening heart, the willingness to count the petals of a red geranium and the ability to look at the ugly while not showing disdain. Also, the strength and willingness to rejuvenate the earth with new lives. All the while knowing at some time my ghost would inhabit their minds and homes.

My Dream About Time by Lucille Clifton

a woman unlike myself is running down the long hall of a lifeless house with too many windows which open on a world she has no language for, running and running until she reaches at last the one and only door which she pulls open to find each wall is faced with clocks and as she watches all of the clocks strike                                              NO                 _____________________________________________________ Yes, just like me. I've been running all my life. From where? From one place to another place. Sometimes I ran while standing still. The reason why is that I had become afraid of myself. A self that was too large for life or too small for life, never a perfect self. Lucille Clifton definitely knew about me. Although she never met me. Perhaps, she knew all women. Did my mother have a running spell? How about my grandmother or the other generations of women in my family? I can say some of us stood still long enough to…

Hope in The Land by Olivia Newport

In Lancaster County, it is the time of the Depressionduring the Thirties. Hope in The Land by Olivia Newport is mainly about two Amish families: the Grabills and the Swains. The Grabills are the biggest family of the two. What makes the novel interesting is the relationship between Minerva Swain and Gloria Grabill, how people lived through the Depression and the values of the Amish in their community. Growing up, I lived only a couple hours from Lancaster County. So I felt a bit homesick remembering my father's visits to the farmer's market when the Amish came to town.

In the novel, it's surprising to see two women acting out against one another especially since one woman is Amish. Gloria is Amish. Minerva is English. They have known and disliked each other since school age. Still, it is hard for each to come together in one room together. I felt that Minerva came across as the coldest and the grumpiest and the one who seemed very sensitive. Gloria seemed more easy going. …

When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad

In this Christian fiction novel, When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad, there is mystery, romance and plenty about the struggle to do what pleases God and not what doesn't please Him. Hannah often prays about situations, and I could really see how God can intervene in horrible situations that can happen in real life. The novel takes place in 1908 in Iowa. Both parents of three sisters have died. Hannah, the oldest, Charlotte and Tessa. Hannah takes her responsibilities seriously. She goes back to school to become a telephone operator. After getting the job, she finds out how hard it is to live without parents and work on a job where every move she makes is graded.

Hannah is spunky. That's why I liked her. She doesn't give up easily. She helps a friend get through legal problems due to a labor strike at the Western Union. There is bloodshed during the strike. That doesn't scare her. At home, she tries very hard to keep up with Charlotte and a beau. His name is…

The Lamplighter by Robert Louis Stevenson

My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky. It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by; For every night at teatime and before you take your seat, With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street. Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea, And my papa's a banker and as rich as he can be; But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do, O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you! For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door, And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more; And oh! before you hurry by with ladder and with light; O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him to-night!

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

Tea Norman I find myself sympathizing with Agnes Grey, the governess. While on the first job, I empathized with her. Now I am doing the same on her second job. The story is told from her, Agnes Grey's, viewpoint. If I read a true account by the children or charges, would I feel the same way about Agnes Grey? I'm wondering if she is not meant to be a governess. Of course, there weren't many positions for women at that time. What positions did she have to choose from?

A boy~

Little black and yellow bird saw a boy.
Without a thought or word the boy ran with joy.
His chocolate milkshake fell to the ground.
He didn't care. He had found a new sound.
Chirp! Chirp!  chirped the wind-up toy.(hn)

Everywhere I Go (hn)

Is it true?
They talk about my children lost
everywhere I go.
Is it true?

They talk about my cold love
everywhere I go.
Is it true?

They talk about my greyed, patched hair
everywhere I go.
No, it's not true.

The town continues to love me
everywhere I go.
Refuses to look at all my flaws
just prays me, they do
everywhere I go.

Still reading Limericks, at least, until tomorrow

It's the beginning of National Poetry Month, 2016. I'm still enjoying Limericks. They really jiggle my funny bone.  Yesterday I read one from Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The subject is a crocodile. Then, I tried writing another one. At this very moment, my fingers want to write another Limerick. These short verses make me feel free and full of laughter. There are rules but not so many as a sonnet. Did Shakespeare ever write a Limerick?

I think of my grandchildren. I can see them sitting down with different colored pencils or crayons writing Limericks on yellow, purple, red or even black construction paper. Fun! If they would decide to write one or two Limericks, I would like to receive them in a letter. Does anyone write letters anymore? I'm thinking of the ones delivered by a mailman.

What better gift for Mother's Day than funny lines from the smartest children in the whole wide world? I know ; It's too early to think of Mother's Day. It's just a…


I've always known Limericks were funny. Since my funny bone is slim, I would skip over Limericks written by famous poets in Literature anthologies. Silly me, I thought reading these short, humorous lines a waste of my time. Now, I'm dying to read more of them. I also think these poems are difficult to write. Happily, I am cheered up by reading these lines. They are good medicine.

Kettle blows steam high.
Bumble bees go by in the sky.
Many robins make a nest.
Flies land on bread and rest.
Mothers look at toys to buy.