Thursday, May 25, 2017

LITHIUM IN A CUP





Let me set the record straight.
Life on a silver platter
Should be fun and frolic
On a treasure island deep in the tropics
Ensconced in the sheen
And shine of a pirate’s find-
Ropes of diamonds,
Emeralds and pearls.
But wait!

My silver platter was only “plate”
And a thin coat at best,
Not up to any stress.
Looking at the decoration
My reflection blurs
As the edges of my reality
Begin to come unfurled.

Do not forget-
Mental illness picked me!
No one in their right mind
Would step to the front of the line and say
“I’ll have your special of a lifetime
That Bipolar Disorder Disease –PLEASE.”

You know the one-
Up down
Happy sad
And just a smidge of rage.
Be sure you serve up side effects
From the pills we pop each day-
And why just a few extra pounds
When forty-two will do-
Definitely the perfect pick-me up
When I’m feeling more than blue.
Don’t mention the lack of Li-bi-Doe.
We don’t want others to know.
It’s pretty hard to strut your stuff
When “just breathing” is enough.

So go the years-
Speeding, sleeping, seeking, adding up a life-
This disease is unkind.
At night the tapes rewind
I remember everything undone forever.
The loss of friends, jobs, pride-
The energy to play with my child.
Yes, it’s a wild ride!
Not easy to be me.
Alone, but I am not.
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
The love of uplifting hands,
The respect of those who see my truth.

Here we go……
Headache for days on end.
A hard to find exit sign
In an overcrowded room.
Din and bustle of a busy place
Standing in line,
And the lady in front of me
With a big purse,
Stepping back in her self-possessing mirth,
Into my space
-three times.
A political Rally at twelve noon
And no trees
In the summer swoon.
Anesthesia.
A full moon.
Generic Medication.
Flying
Hitting the curb
And throwing off my chemical alignment.
Who Knows?

Put me in the middle of
An emergency
That stretches into weeks.
Or the unknown-
The not for sure
And even something good.
I am best- stressed.

I am a column of calm,
Beginning, during and for two or three days after.
When the credits roll
I leave the theater
-and breathe,
Give up the role
As steady rock
And Nike tennis shoe.
I make it through.

And here I am today.
Waiting in line
Biding my time-
To appear
On a mental marathon
To raise a cure.
Until then -

Do you have lithium in a cup TO GO?!!



Amy H Taylor@2006

Monday, May 1, 2017

WHATEVER YOU WANT TO EAT DAY

Ten a.m. and I am just finding out about this wonderful day, May 1.  Whatever you want to eat day!  This is not fake news.  I just saw it on my local ABC station.  Of course, May is an exceptional month for several reasons.  But this May Day is right up my alley.  Probably a combined effort of Southern Living, Bon Appetit and Food Network Magazine.  Or Land of Lakes Sweet Cream Butter, Blue Bell Ice Cream and DiGiorno's Rising Crust Pizza.  Along with Equinox, Maggianos Little Italy and McDonald's.  I'm sure Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri and Martha Stewart/ Snopp Dog are in the mix.  Not to be outdone, Kitchen Aid, Vitamix and Le Creuset are involved in some way.  And I failed to mention Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Creme.

But today is the day!  If I had known earlier, I would have begun my day with six slices of bacon, a cheese omelet, biscuits and gravy with apple butter, fresh sliced tomatoes and hash browns.  Which reminds me of Waffle House's pecan waffles and the best hashbrowns in town.  That is definitely a good start to the day.  Oh, lots of coffee and skin milk.  And o.j.

I don't know about the calories involved today.  Are we suppposed to take them for granted or is it a cosmic occurence which reduces calories to nothing, nada?  Does Whatever You Want To Eat Day only mean all you can possibly take into your body before you collapse into a bacon and Coke induced coma after eating a bowl of semi-sweet chocolate chip cookie dough?

I do not have the answers.  I am just spreading the good word.  Now what shall I have for lunch?  I usually eat a packet of peanut crackers.  Maybe a salad from U.S. Pizza and a Big Mac?

About 3 p.m., I will have homemade popcorn with melted butter and a Frosty.  I wouldn't want to get peckish.  And I'm trying to keep my girlish figure.

Lots of unsweet tea during the day.

I think you are getting the idea.  It feels like I'm adrift at sea or lost and starving in the mountains on Naked and Afraid.  If I were naked I don't know if I would care to eat.  I would definitely request two larger burlap bags and cougar repellent.

Here we are with plenty of time to focus on dinner or the Southern Supper.  Wow.  So much food and so little time.  Appetizers would consist of cheese dip, salsa, pigs in a blanket, and brie with pecans and bourbon sauce.  Even though my stomach wouldn't be trained for this massive undertaking, I would like fried oysters, fried chicken, fried catfish, rib roast and lobster for dinner.  A fine complement of fried okra, fresh asparagus with sour cream, turnip greens with pepper sauce and Party Carrots.  Must have hot yeast rolls and butter.

And as much as I love chocolate, my favorite dessert is anything with Arkansas Strawberries, especially Homemade Shortcake.

It would take me all day to shop for these items.  And hours to carry them from the car into the house.  Take them out of the bags, onto the counter.  Another couple of hours to look for my recipes.  At this point I would no longer be standing up.  I would have to put my feet up for a few hours.  And close my eyes to rest them for this undertaking.  And I would zonk out before a single bite had been prepared.

Thankfully, at some point Burt would arrive on the scene.  He is very, very good at taking charge and whipping everything together.  Eventually, the two of us would get the delicious food on the table.  We would stop to thank God for the abundance in our lives.



While I was writing this, I became very aware this is such a silly exercise.  I am able to eat anywhere I want.  I could prepare every item and not worry about cost.

Arkansas FoodBank.  This is a very worthwhile non-profit.  We have donated to them for several years.  Today, I am going to send them a donation.  There number is 501-565-8121.  They are on Facebook also.  "Creating a community where no one has to go hungry."


Instead of Whatever You Want To Eat Day, I'm changing it to I Just Want To Eat Day.

Thanks.  I hope you can help.














Sunday, April 23, 2017

WHAT TO WEAR TO A SOUTHERN WEDDING



Poetry can be fun.  I wrote this when I was living high as Mother of the Bride.  One of the best times in our lives, full of love and joy.



I would not suggest black lace –
always out of place.
Considering the clime
this is not the time to favor a frock of cut velvet –
you would just melt in it!
If this rain keeps up for twenty-one days
raincoats may be all the rage –
with matching canoes in pastel hues.
Silk never failles but linen does wrinkle.
Why not a jersey knit in a floral print
or back to the 80’s for a lady-like chintz?
Of course,
you must not wear white.
White is reserved for the bride
even if her dress is growing tight.
My Georgia RaeNell has always been a size four-
nothing less and nothing more!
Your options are endless.
The responsibility stupendous!
But since I already have my dress
I am beyond this couture stress.
At this point I’m just along for the ride.
Hugs and kisses,
The Mother of the Bride


Amy Holt Taylor 5-2009


Thursday, April 20, 2017

HOW THE MIGHTY







The saddest sight I have ever seen
because of one word -
no.
The seed of hate
sealed the fate
many decades ago.

I won’t reveal the town’s name.
Actually, many places
have suffered the same,
of their own choosing,
in trying to shut others out
based on race and religion.

A river town
bustling with commerce.
Brick stores and spacious apartments.
Proud city, too proud.
The shiny storefront windows
were used for looking out,
keeping “them” from walking in.

The town looked successful.
A large library
and corners built up with churches.
Did the people go to hear the Word preached
or were their hearts beyond reach?
Was Sunday just a day to pass
their manners around,
among their stalwart like and kind?

They built the town –
monuments to business acumen
and to men.
They bled the town,
one drop at a time
as those who were kept out
 left.

A dying town
 bound together
by the growing measure
of verdant vines
dressed in false buds and trailing tendrils.
Buildings once standing tall,
standing now like ghostly corpses
looking for lost parts,
hope and promise long deceased.

Where does hate start?
I have seen the saddest sight-
a town that hate devoured.
Was there not just one who knew what was right?


Amy Holt Taylor September 2, 2011





Monday, April 10, 2017

POETRY - YEA!

As a trained English Major in fairly good standing with the National English Major Society created by Garrison Keillor, I consider it an honor and a necessity to share Poetry Month with anyone who will listen.  I hear your sighs and see rolling of eyes. I began writing poetry when I was twelve.  I am working on a book in progress, breathing poetry.  I wanted to put all my poems in a notebook so I could see them and have easy access.  I memorized my first poem in grade school, The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson.   

I will catch a phrase in my head.  Walk into a grocery store.  Drive by the Daffodil Lady.  Think on a few lines.  Then find paper and pencil.  I often remember where I was when the idea was birthed. Sometimes I just sit down and start writing. The words and rhymes just happen.  And some of them take my breath away.

I am not perfect or published or the Nation's Poet Laureate.  I have read thousands of lines of poetry. I can walk into Robert Frost's home in Franconia, New Hampshire.  Go up the stairs to his simple room and stand at his desk, looking out the window at his view of the White Mountains and wonder.  What was on his other road?

Whatever my talent, I believe it is a gift.  God has wired my brain a certain way.  He is the creator. My talent is just sitting down to write.   And then He lets me breathe. 



CANTRELL AND KAVANAUGH


Daffodil lady.
A handful, just a few
early season blooms
of yellow and green.

She stands on the corner
trying to catch the eye
of the person driving by.
She steps closer.

Look at me.
Don't you see
what I have to offer?
Flowers for just a dollar or two,
a way to brighten your day.
Dollars to pay my way
back home,
money to buy some food.

Daffodil lady
where do you belong?
With your bucket bouquet
have you paid your way?
Are all the flowers gone?






Amy Holt Taylor