Tag Archives: writing

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.

 

 

 

 

“The first step is, simply, everything.” ~ jdo – dedication & poem

Today is Sunday, October 4, 2015; and, I celebrate three (3) birthdays.

My mother – Helen Smith Dunn – who loved me (and continues to do so) more than I knew.  Until we meet again…

My sister-in-law – Rita Verardo.

A young one, SweetBoy, gone too soon – Turul Kaan Cilam.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

“The first step is, simply, everything.” ~ jdo

               To His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama

Your raised eyebrow and shy, quizzical half smile     Who

could have known where your boychild would walk and

how far

Circles within circles

High in those isolated, beautiful, brutal mountains

Prayer flags

Meditation

One sought and found

Turning away, finally, from politics to passion, the road

to peace is begun with one step

Turn and turning in a widening gyre, come close in the spiral, into

the center of our truer heart

“It’s as easy to laugh as it is to dance,” she said; as shared laughter

rose up, as if prayers rippling through air as flags, flapping and tethered,

as if we could touch it simultaneously

“Throw sparks.  Create fires.” she said

You said, “Patience and compassion.”

Dream peace

Learn to recreate it within     This is my wish, too     

This moment, this moment,

this moment, only this moment.

Jessan Dunn Otis – (c) 2012 – written at the request of Leon Stuparich, Director, ROAD TO PEACE, with thanks

#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

The Cambridge Poem

T H E  C A M B R I D G E  P O E M ~ #poetry

 

Commencement Address – Class of 1990 – The Cambridge School, Weston, MA

 

Give your regards when you go to the reunion and at the dinner,

say that you were thinking about them     They’ll, eventually, recall

your name; you went to the movies with that one, felt the weight

of their life when they sat next to you – they never said a word

 

All of you are rising friends: one used to play the piano, one once

wrote a play, one even seemed awakened enough to photograph the

fields as the unencumbered with tutored minds and unrehearsed passions

 

Meet them at the door, they’ve brought the souvenirs of time; a seashell

from the Pacific, the nose of a marble saint, and from the field

a spent casing divulged from the flower bed

 

Face a rising world bearing its gifts in its hands, kiss your incidental

dreams – rise, move away, take others

 

Give your regards to the well­-protected; you knew them, you went

to school together     There’s something to bury when you begin

to move away     When you are ready and rich in your wish for the

world, you have a new race to start

 

From the heart of this darkened quadrangle, I hear the library

hum, an immense chorus of writers murmur inside their books along

the unlit, alphabetical shelves; each one stitched into their

own private coat, (you will have to write your own) together forming

a continuous, enormous breath of language

 

I picture a figure in the act of reading, shoes on the desk, head tilted

into the wind, a person in two worlds, holding the nape of their neck

as another’s life saturates the page; or, in the middle of a thesis,

moving from paragraph to verse, touring endless rooms (you will have to  write your own)

 

I hear the voice of my mother and father reading and inside their

voices lie other, distant sounds

 

 

I see us reading ourselves away from ourselves, straining in circles of

light to find more light until the line of words becomes a trail

that we follow across a page and you will have to listen hard to

hear the voices going away (and, you will have to write your own).

 

 

© 1990 Jessan Dunn (DeCredico) Otis

A Story About Fireflies

A Story About Fireflies

The two men walked farther and farther ahead of us, while you and I trolled up that newly black-topped hill, talking of many things in that hot, Vermont early evening.

From time to time we became aware that if we wandered too far left or right as we slowly zigzagged up that hill, the sky becoming darker, that we would be in jeopardy of stumbling over the high edges of that pitch black macadam into the low growth and bushes left and right.

Just at a certain moment, when the sun had barely disappeared but still cast its last light into the coming night, we stopped.  On both sides of that road those dark bushes and low growth exploded with the flickers of thousands of fireflies.

It was like this – rising macadam heat, two voices in the distance, fading light and being surrounded by fireflies, fireflies, fireflies.

fireflies

The only way to change the world is to change the story.

The only way to change the world is to change the story.

eggs

Eggs

The first time I read this sentence I read it, thought I understood it and read on.  That was some time ago.

The next time I read this sentence some time had passed, a few life-changing events had occurred and, while I was the same person, I wasn’t the same person and I began to understand a bit more.

The most recent time I read this sentence I stopped reading and breathed in the spirit of this sentence, as if it was a sweet-scented and familiar perfume or food or light.

The world was still the world, the sentence was still the same sentence; and, yet, everything was changed.

What’s your story?

Poetry as Narrative

THE RISK OF REAL GROUND

 

Stepping into air the woman falls

momentarily catching hair and nails

as on a wing or cliff or webs

 

First this, then that

 

Falling is water washing flesh away

it changes everything

begin to learn, again

 

Earth gives up pieces of itself so slowly

breathing passes through ash or oak or bone

amber perfume fills a room

 

A hand touches and moves away

you meet yourself

passing by a shattered glass

 

Say you understand, say you say

stand up, open your mouth

what are you standing on.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

– for Todd Bartel, Joanna Barth, Miguel Calderon, Sean Coel, Jemima Farwell, Lael Jacobs,

Elizabeth Jackson Johnston, Blane Kieng, John McLaughlin, Anna Regnery, Charis SanAntonio,

and Jodi Schwartz

(c) 1986 Jessan Dunn (DeCredico) Otis

All We Are Are Our Stories

All We Are Are Our Stories

When you look at a person,...

I’ve been told that the first human sound I ever heard was, most likely, laughter; as my mother looked over the drape, surrounded by a bevy of student nurses, and asked, “Over hand or feather stitch?” as Dr. Vorsick repaired her episiotomy.

This is where my story began.  Since then, looking back, there’s no way I could have predicted nor anticipated the journey from then to now – just as well, I suspect.

All posts are my own, unless I invite someone to share their stories – with the exception, of course, of “Comments”.  All credit where credit is due will be made.

There is only one primary and permanent guideline:  play nice with the other children.  This blog is open to all and any comments, opinions and points of view.  However, if what you write is inflammatory, bigoted, narrow-minded and/or hateful, I will delete it.

That rather unpleasant matter aside, I look forward to telling stories, sharing stories, learning and listening as we all journey through this thing called Life.

Welcome; and, what say you, please?

~ Jessan