Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick-or-Treat, Grandkids Are Neat!




And, in case you missed it, here's my creepy ghost story...
in poetic form, of course.

(photos of my two youngest grandkids, courtesy of Heather at Tendershootz)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Alphabet Rebellion

Apparently, Jenny Matlock wants to drive us crazy with this week's random Saturday Centus prompt and its mandated restriction to 50 words and reference to Abraham Lincoln. I think it worked! (The prompt, as always, is in red.)

Alphabet Rebellion: 55 (oops!) Wasted Words

Just returned from heaven;
well, it might've been a dream.
The people there were different than
their earth life made them seem.

Abraham Lincoln was a lot shorter
than I thought he would be...
At least, he was a whole lot shorter
than I thought he should be.

I'm a lot shorter than I oughta be, too.
I guess I'm as short as I gotta be. You?

I needn't tell you, my enlightened readers, that this poem is fraught with deep significance, carefully woven into every turn of phrase and word selection herein. Please feel free to discuss the overlying symbolism and underlying themes of this work in the comments section below. Perhaps the following questions might serve to steer you in the right direction and facilitate discussion:

What does it really mean to be short in a society where height is valued so universally...and (arguably) capriciously? And, given that reality, what are the implications and ramifications of seeming to be taller than one really is? Finally, how does the use of Abraham Lincoln as a focal point strengthen the context of this poem?

Bonus question: Does the individual reader's concept of "heaven" add texture to this piece, and if so, in what way does that construct inform or fail to inform your own interpretation of "Alphabet Rebellion?"


DISCLAIMER: Judging from past experience, I should probably add that these questions are definitely tongue-in-cheek. I AM KIDDING HERE! (In blogging, I am frequently taken seriously when my post is anything but.) I think I may need some humor lessons. Or maybe mine is just a bit random and twisted...kinda like this prompt... ;)

PS. If you haven't had a chance yet, please take a look at my story-poem, A Halloween Tale of Terror that I wrote for my grandkids. It's downright spooky! (And I'm NOT kidding on this one!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Halloween Tale of Terror

©2010 Susan Noyes Anderson (poetry only)
Suzy McMurphy loved Halloween fun.
She loved scaring her friends most of all.
She gave them the shivers. She gave them the creeps.
Suzy spooked them and made their skin crawl.

She was never a princess, a frog, or a nurse.
Ghoulish costumes were all she would choose.
Her Halloween glee came from tricks, never treats...
and from scaring folks out of their shoes!

Of all trick-or-treaters who came to their doors,
parents dreaded sweet Suzy the most.
Each year, she turned into a demon or witch, but
this year, she turned into a ghost!

Suzy left her warm house with a flashlight in hand,
then she started to slither and slide.
She met up with the neighborhood kids on the street.
They were walking, but she seemed to glide.

It was only pretend; she was wearing a sheet,
but as Suzy swooped up to each door,
she was moaning and wailing and haunting so well
that her pals couldn't take any more.

They said, "Stop it, Suzy! You're freaking us out!"
But she only smiled bigger...groaned louder.
By the end of the night, all her friends were a wreck.
Knees were knocking! (She'd never felt prouder.)

Her bag was full up; it was time to head home;
Suzy sent off her crew with a shriek.
“Say good-bye,” her friends begged. Suzy just shook her head.
As a ghost, she preferred not to speak.

When she turned up her street, Suzy felt a slight chill,
and a gust of wind swept down the lane.
Did the street lights seem dimmer…more ghostly, somehow?
Was that mist?...Was it starting to rain?

Suzy shivered. She knew it was not from the cold
that the hairs on her neck slowly rose.
She tried to quit gliding and run for her door,
but that isn’t the way a ghost goes.

A ghost goes straight up, and that’s just what she did.
Suzy rose, then she floated away.
She skimmed through the treetops and crept like a cloud
to a place that was cold, damp, and gray.

At last, she was home. As she reached for the gate,
it creaked once and then swung open wide.
She gazed at the graveyard in horror and moaned,
but a strange power pulled her inside.

“Welcome home,” the wind whispered, or was it the spirits?
She knew them as voices of doom.
But never had fear known a fear like the one
Suzy felt, when she saw her own tomb!

She reached for the roses that someone had placed
at the foot of her newly dug grave,
then looked at the words on the headstone and read,
while the dread hit her heart like a wave.

“Suzy McMurphy,” it said. “Here she lies…
And forevermore, here she will lay.”
As she felt herself shifting and changing, like vapor,
the ground started calling her name.

In terror, she screamed. “Suzy...Suzy...” she heard.
“Suzy, wake up. It’s just a bad dream!”
The sight of her mom at the side of her bed
was the sweetest thing she'd ever seen.

Her Halloween bag, filled with treats, was right there
where she’d left it a few hours before.
Suzy smiled with relief and then laughed right out loud.
But she froze when Mom said one thing more...

“Here’s the rose that you left on the floor.”

This Halloween tale is dedicated to Jeremiah, Carli, and Bryce...
the most spook-tacular grandkids in the world.

with lot of love always
from their scary old Grandma A.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

On Friends and Fondness

©2003, His Children, Susan Noyes Anderson (poetry only)

My friend and I go all around;

together, we are always found.

Sometimes we run and shout and play;

sometimes we sit upon the ground.

My friend and I could talk all day

or just be quiet. Either way,

we always find enough to do;

we always find enough to say.

My friend and I are tried and true...

when skies are gray, when skies are blue.

We don't give up. We laugh. We cry.

We love each other, through and through.

We're lucky ones, my friend and I.

We watch the golden hours fly

and earn what only time can buy,

and earn what only time can buy.

Thanks to all of my friends.

For more "F" posts, just click below to visit Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oh, My Stars! And I Do Mean Dancing with Them

It's official. Dancing with the Stars has gone the way of American Idol, voting contestants off and on by virtue of looks and personality, with little or no consideration for ability.

But hold your horses dancing steeds for a minute; Audrina's got it all: looks, personality, AND ability. That girl has some major talent going on! So what kind of star-crossed voting managed to get her kicked off the show last night? I HAVE NO IDEA. There is no explanation. Sure, she needed to learn to let her feelings flow through her movement, but she was working on it...And she was improving, too. What's more, she was likable. So likable. Even her farewell speech was kind and gracious.

Of course, the judges lambasted her Monday night, so maybe they bear some of the responsibility for her demise. (They did look more than a little chagrined at her departure, and rightly so.) But even taking their uneven judging into consideration, I can find no reason why either the professional athletes or Bristol Palin should have outlasted her. In fact, my call for the finals would have been Brandy, Jennifer, and Audrina. So much for that scenario.

Ah well. Such is life in the TV world. Which begs the question, "Why am I even surprised?"

"Television––a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done" (Kovacs).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Evening Falls, Spirits Rise

Evening falls like gentle rain
upon the weary day.
The colors fade, then flash once more
before they pass away.

The darkness brings tranquility,
a velvet peace of night,
rich blackness that is gently breached
by moon and starry light.

I love the silence sheathed in grays,
as purple shadows fall.
Each sacred sunset speaks of God,
Whose hand is over all.


I really do love the way the world feels to me at night! Soon we will "fall back," and Daylight Saving Time will end in the United States. Unlike most of the people I know, this makes me happy––not because I don't like the daylight (I do!)––but because I have a medical condition that does not allow me to spend time in the sun. This means that I am freer in those months when evening comes early and invites me outside to enjoy the sunset or walk beneath the stars. As the old Swedish proverb says: "Those who wish to sing, always find a song."

The night is one of my songs. Only one. But a good one...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rockin' the Weekend with Neil & the Giants!

I caught Neil Young's Bridge School concert Saturday night.
(The proceeds, every year, go to his autistic son's GREAT school.)

This dude was my date for what always turns out to be
the best concert of the year. And this year was no exception.

Strike that. James Taylor and Carole King tied Neil this year.
But this was some line-up! Great company, too. Our son arrived...

with seven of his best kick back and enjoy the cool vibe.
(Lucky for them, we went early and saved a big, hard-to-defend space.)

This particular friend was especially welcome. He brought produce.
(I even scored a tart but tasty little tangerine from him!)

The crowd was a friendly one...just kickin' back and waiting
for the rain...comparing stories of prior years at the event.

Finally, the stage lit up! Neil started things off with a bang;
then an obscure (to me) folk group, Grizzly Bear, began to sing.

Modest Mouse and Jackson Browne were next...and the audience
was in the groove by the time Emmylou Harris showed up.

She harmonized with Lucinda Williams, greeted the autistic kids
seated onstage (having the time of their lives!), then hung around...

to sing with Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, and Neil Young.
Billy Idol and Pearl Jam jammed without her. Eddie Vedder rocks!

(And so did the audience, even though it rained cats and dogs.)
Buffalo Springfield tied up the evening, along with a Giants win!

Now, THAT was a group celebration. Can't think of a better way
to win the National League pennant than at a concert!

We came home and watched the DVRd game and interviews,
finally hitting the hay at 3 AM. A glorious day all around!

(Nice winning home run, Uribe!)

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our son Matt, who is
unimaginably old today. (But he's lookin' good!)

PS. Wish you could have been with us last night, Matt. Eddie is my new hero.