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"As my sufferings mounted, I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force; I decided to follow the latter course."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.


                 "If I said remembering in summer,

                 The cardinal's sudden smudge of red

                 In the bare gray winter woods

If I said, red ribbon on the cocked

                    straw hat

                 Of the girl with pooched-out lips

                 Dangling a wiry lapdog

                 In the painting by Renoir

                 If I said fire, if I said blood welling

                    from a cut

                 Or flecks of poppy in the tar-grass

                    scented summer air

                 On a wind-struck hillside outside


                 If I said, her one red earring tugging

                    at her silky lobe,

                 If she tells fortunes with a deck of

                    fallen leaves

                 Until it comes out right

                 Rouged nipple, mouth

                 (How could you not love a woman

                 Who cheats at the Tarot?)

                 Red, I said. Sudden, red."

                    Robert Hass

                           From Time and Materials:

                           Poems 1997-2005

A FLASHBACK Hesitate, and I may miss it, as day melts gently into dusk, that peaceful interlude when the sky glows in quiet splendor, crystallizing into the palest, faintest, purple, long before the first stars are out. What one of the best gifts mom ever gave me wasn't wrapped in paper, or tied in a bow. It was her appreciation for beauty. Her awareness that art isn't always framed. 

Once again, I've lost myself in the endless wonder of nature. Today, I found a stone every bit as spellbinding as that first faint glimmer of sunshine. What's least expected is often most beautiful...

I can almost smell the rich, brown, rain-soaked earth now.

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