Day of the Dead – Dia de los Muertos

The holiday is celebrated from October 31 – November 2, approximately.  It honors the departed spirits of our loved ones.  I got this idea from my friend Jo who saw the flickering lights in a graveyard.


Day of the DeadDia de los Muertos
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” – Thomas Campbell

the graveyard sparkles at night –
all the little lights, solar powered of course.
at the base of each stone
glows red, blue, orange, white,
some flicker some hold steady
but they light the way
for the departed souls.
all the elements are there –
water, wind, earth, and fire.
a wind whispers through the stones
lifting the paper banners,
bread is left on a plate –
some sweet rolls, some whole wheat,
some crackers, whatever the live person can afford.
water to quench the thirst of the spirits,
bread to sate their hunger.
we celebrate our departed dead
as they return this day to be with us.
throw your kiss into the wind.
shout with joy that they are here with us,
not just today but everyday.



Haibun: June 25th

Haibun: June 25th
“It’s been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” Anthony Bourdain – Parts Unknown

Today would have been Tony Bourdain’s 63rd birthday. But he was dead by his own hand, hanging himself in a French bathroom. But today was a day of celebration. declared by his two closest friend – Eric Ripert and Jose Andres. So I am celebrating it in true fashion. I went to Waffle House and had a pecan waffle. This was introduced to him by Charleston chef Sean Brock. I then went to volunteer at the local food bank and soup kitchen where I have been putting in time cooking for several years. Most people do not know Tony volunteered a lot of his time – teaching, cooking, sorting foodstuff. He encouraged the lower echelons of the kitchen – dishwashers and was their most fierce advocate. After which I went home and began preparing our meal for the night – pommes frites in duck fat, steak au poivre, ceasar salad with an appetizer of uni on toast. His favorite meals seemed to be at someone’s home among the residents of the city or among the restaurant workers. So I lift a beer to you Tony. Happy birthday. You left behind many of us who knew you and loved you, although we couldn’t save you.
birthday celebrant –
another year without you –
here but sadly absent


Although this is from Waking Ned Devine, it is one of my favorite songs, sung at my grandfather’s funeral as his casket was taken out of the church.

#Bourdain Day


Poets United – Midweek Motif

Today on Poets United, the theme is celebrate. Let us join in the celebration. I have written a double tanka.  I shall be wrapped in the quilt of stars made by mother, watching the display the next few night.

stars in their heavens
blast into light – *Geminids
celebrate the birth
of the original Light –
I watch in joy in the cold

I watch in delight –
meteors the size of sand
light the darkness – hums
from the earth – star symphonies add
their songs of celebration

*Geminids – prolific meteor showers that appear this time of year


nbc news – public domain

Wordless Wednesday: Home at last, Sean Duggan

Fireworks – getting ready for 4th of July

From our friends across the great pond = a spectacular firesworks display along with a wonderful performance of the end of the 1812 Overture. This work is one of my sentimental favorites. I was in my high school band. I played several different instruments and performed in the marching band, the show band, the baroque ensemble and on this particular piece of music, I got to play the tubular glockenspiels which represents the ringing of the church bells in victory. I had to have a six inch platform built so I can run back and forth and reach the bells with my percussion hammers. It was too much fun beating the heck out of those beautiful tubes of brass and making that sound fill up the auditorium. Of course, a mistake could be easily heard so I rehearsed and rehearsed. Beat the heck out of playing the bassoon during this piece!

But this is an inspiring piece of music and is perfectly paired with celebrations that involve fireworks. I hope this gets you in the mood for 4th of July – We have something wonderful to celebrate! God bless our military – active and veterans. God bless the USA.

11/16 Society: Happy Birthday!

By the time we got home from Woodstock……Thank you all for showing up for the 11/16 Birthday party. Please don’t swim in the nishikigoi pond. Thank you. and still watch out for the brown acid.

Happy birthday to my dear ones:  to you who have gone one ahead, to those in Virginia, Durham, Hakone, Israel, Knightsbridge,  Noo Yawk City, and N’awlins.  May the year ahead be good to you:  “we few, we happy few”.  I raise my can of Coke to you in salute and wish I could give you all a big birthday hug and kiss. 

Songs today reminding me of you and the years  keep weaving through my head and heart:  a tapestry of light, shadows, tears, laughter, faith, redemption, wildness and peace, but especially of love.  I hear “Seven Bridges Road”, “Born to Run”, “Disco Inferno”, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” Handel’s Water Music, “Jolie Blonde”, …but especially I hear Seven Bridges Road.  

I remember the night we introduced that song to Masashi and how it captured him.  He sat at the piano and the five of us present wove that song for it seems like forever:  alto recorder, violin, guitar, tenor sax, voices.  We wove it until the stars went to sleep and the last note quivered in dying silver. 



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