Tag Archives: Rhode Island

Fresh Night Air ~ #poem

FRESH NIGHT AIR ~ #poem

fresh-sea-air

There are moments that will always twang a heart –

like the sound of a plucked steel string guitar

echoing far beyond the resonance in a

    fresh night air

 

That was one of those moments,

embraced by winds of an oncoming tropical blow –

day filled with bluest sky, dancing clouds and

dancing crowds     When, unexpectedly, an

invitation is extended and accepted

 

That rhythm that thrums through all of us was

thrumming through a quiet, gentle, loving tenderness

in that fresh night air, as a whisper

    whispered close and low

 

(Time to go     

              Time to go)

 

Steel string echo plucks a heart

  in this fresh night air

 

I am there.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

© Jessan Dunn Otis/September 7, 2016

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Many thanks to Johnny Nicholas, Rhythm and Roots Festival, Charlestown, Rhode Island, Sunday, September 4, 2016; and, to the continued thrumming – “…circle is unbroken”.

6:41 AM ~ poem

 

Early AM Light - Providence, RI - August, 2016 - photo credit - Jessan Dunn Otis, Writer\

 

 

 

 

6:41 AM ~ poem

In this early morning, break-of-a-new day light

In this cooling, new-day air

I could live

forever.

 

(c) poem and photo credit – Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer – August 30, 2016

The Day After Thanksgiving 2015 – essay

blessings

The Day After Thanksgiving 2015 – essay

Today is Friday, November 27, 2015 – the day after Thanksgiving.  Yesterday was a quiet, thank-filled, beautiful day.

As usual, I was up early – before sunrise.  Quiet time.  Focus.  Reflect.

Bright sun.  Dry, crisp Rhode Island air.  Telephone conversations with family and friends.  E-mails to others.  Thanksgiving Day parade playing in the background.

Later in the morning – preparations of favorite dishes to contribute to the shared dinner in the afternoon. Mashed potatoes, with fresh-chopped garlic, fresh rosemary, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper.  Baby peas and pearl onions in a light cream sauce.  My mother’s recipe for pineapple upsidedown cake, with extra maraschino cherries as part of the decoration, begun, and, then, baked in a black, cast iron fry pan – as that’s the best way.  The perfume of fruits, fixings and fresh herbs blending into an aromatic, Thanksgiving day memory.

After we (Al, Gus-The Wonder Dog and I) arrived at my younger son’s home, the first whiff of turkey, with homemade cornbread stuffing, wafted down the stairs. Added to our feast was: Al’s homemade mashed carrots and turnips, with sweet butter, and; Ces’ turkey, stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and brussel sprouts.  What a feast!  All washed down with a glass or two of dark amber Duchesse de Bourgogne.

What was required next was to temporarily step away from that table, with a few remnants of the fixings left on the plates.  One must leave room for the two desserts.

Stepping into the late afternoon air was a welcome respite, all three dogs (Gus, Betty and Lucy) bouncing around, still looking for a bit of extra food and (always) for our attentions.

By then, the day had turned unseasonably mild, with a damp sweetness beginning to come in.  No jackets required.  Sun lowering a bit more in the West.  That certain slant of light.  Three of us talked on the terrace of food and incidental things, attempting to wiggle out a bit more space.

After a sufficient respite, the desserts were laid out – the aforementioned pineapple upsidedown cake (served with Brooklyn Creamery Company’s Extra Thick, Single Cream) and a pumpkin pie, with pecan and praline crumble, decorated with rich, yellow whipped cream edging, courtesy of Pastiche; and, some rugelach, just for good measure.

I cannot recall that last time I was as full as I was yesterday.  One more bite and it would have spoiled everything.

Another retreat to the terrace, sunset by now.  Lights of the city coming up.  The trio of red, flashing warning lights at the top of the three stacks at the electric company flickering like erratic fireflies through the branches of the de-leafed, skeletal trees.  The low whir of other folks coming or going, crossing the I-Way, East to West to East.

More incidental conversations, each happily fed and full, enjoying the evening’s air and city silence.

The divided leftovers are still covered and untouched.  I’m just beginning to feel hungry, again.

A singularly memorable Thanksgiving Day 2015.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As a way of continuing to celebrate a Day of Thanks; and, to return many favors and blessings received, please accept The Thanksgiving Reader, created by Seth Godin and others.  This is a free download; and, can be generously shared, individually and/or globally.  Thank you, as always, Seth.

 

 

 

 

“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” ~ Rumi #quote – essay

"Respond to every call that excites your spirit." ~ Rumi #quote

“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” ~ Rumi #quote

The turn of a page and a new month arrives.  For those of us who live in certain territories, we’ve either “gained” or lost an hour in our day (how is that, truly, possible?).

Leaves turn golden, brilliant red, shades of vermillion and, then, drop resolutely to the damp earth.  Nature taking itself back into Nature – circles within circles.

As someone I know, often, says – “These are the days of the long shadows.”  Sunsets are more intense, as if to linger just a moment or two longer.  There’s a typical New England chill in the air that signals migrations, harvests, a kind of gathering together that, most likely, harkens back to archaic, atavistic times.

Today is, also, All Saints Day, a celebration of all saints, known and unknown – preceded by Halloween and followed by Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos).  These, too, are ancient, atavistic, deeply-held, socio-religious ceremonies.

All of this speaks to me in a language of smoldering embers, after the heat and brilliance of Summer. There’s a kind of “dampening down” at this time of year here.  Perhaps that’s why Rumi’s quote holds a certain meaning.  If it’s true that there’s beauty in everything, even this “dying down” and celebrating saints and Spirits is mysterious and exciting.  This is a kind of “call” that ignites me.

As I move through each day, there’s a singular sweetness because of the drying hydrangeas outside my window, the pungent leaf mold from the cut back urban garden, picking the last of the tomatoes, hearing the migrating calls of flocks of geese heading south, remembering other places, other people.

I hear Rumi’s call to respond to that which excites me, transcending apparent barriers of time and space.

What excites your Spirit?

At This Time of the Turning of the Year – essay

At This Time of the Turning of the Year – essay

At this time of the turning of the year my thoughts go in two directions – turning back and turning forward.  Simultaneously, I stand exactly where and as I am in this moment.

Turning back, 2014 has been another year of continuing to become accustomed to not being able to hear my youngest sister’s laughter, to share a story of our adventures and expectations.  Until we meet, again, Genevieve – I love you and miss you, BabyGirl.  Your children and I will tell stories to your grandchildren of growing up together and of your gentleness and loving ways – part of your legacy.

2014 has, also, been a year of good, sometimes challenging, professional and personal work for me.  Collaborating with clients to create custom-crafted content, strategies, buffing and polishing existing content until it shines and communicates exactly, mentoring and more.  Good folks.  Good work.  Thank you for your confidence and continued support.  My special thanks to Adam J. Kovitz, an extra-ordinary Friend and collaborator.  Get this guy!

My personal work continues to shift, evolve, change, as it has since 1985.  My gratitude to all poets and writers who came before me is steadfast and enduring.  A particular nod of the head must go to Michael S. Harper, 1st Poet Laureate for the State of Rhode Island, through whose work, counsel, teachings and friendship I have been (and continue to be) enlarged, challenged, humbled, sustained.  Thank you, MSH.

Gratitude, also, for the blessings of love from my three SweetMen – Al, Sandro and Ces.  You enrich and sweeten my life; and, are loved more than you know.

In contrast, there were parts of 2014 that I would wish I never witnessed nor experienced.  Continued killings, hatreds, viciousness, turmoil, senseless slaughters, ongoing acts of unkindness.  Heartbreaking.  Destructive beyond all measure.  Repeating history.  Lessons not learned.

Once again I ask myself: “What is my part in this?”  I ask you: “What is your part in this?”

And, so its continues to go – another month turned, another year passes.

At this time of the turning of the year, I remember, rejoice, reflect and rejuvenate.  May the blessings and joy of loving and being loved by someone somewhere follow and sustain you throughout 2015.  May all your troubles be little ones; and, the wind always at your back.

#Happy2015

~ Jessan

#ActsOfKindness – essay

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~ Mark Twain #quote

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~ Mark Twain #quote

#ActsOfKindness – essay

More and more, recently, it seems to me that what’s needed are more acts of simple courtesy and kindness. A smile to a stranger. The door held open for the next person behind you. A call and/or handwritten note to a loved one you know is not in such a good place today; or, to whom you’ve not reached out for too long. The simple “Please.” and “Thank you.”

With that in mind, via various social media, I’ve been posting with the hashtag #ActsOfKindness.

If you, like me, agree that our Big Blue Marble could use just a little more courtesy, a little more kindness, please be free to use and/or post using #ActsOfKindness.

Thanks, in advance and anticipation ~

~ Jessan