"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.

Polly Alice

Friday, January 14, 2011

Petrol or Why ADD Makes Me Tired

The Gift of Adult ADD: How to Transform Your Challenges & Build on Your Strengths
It's five am I think about poetry--
about God, faith, weather, the solar system
and I'm thankful and amazed.

I get out of bed and pull up the quilt
over my pillow.
I think about how great that two dollar
pillow from Wal-mart holds up--
so soft and the case was half price--and it's soft
and it's my favorite color and so is the quilt
and so are the Amish, and my mother-in-law
quilts, and so did my grandmothers and I have
one I'd like to finish someday.  Is there time
for sewing today?

I get dressed and think about my clothes,
colors, prices, dates of purchase, people
I connect them with.  Sheesh.  I forgot
to check on the kids.

I brush my teeth and think about toothpaste
and how it is made and how it used to be made
and toothpaste over the span of the history of the
world and how people view teeth and smiles
and what that means about us.  And how
the tubes are completely non recyclable.
I imagine the tubes from toothpaste filling
up the crevices of the world until
there is no where left to walk.

I run to get the toddler yelling "Mama."
I put aside my everything to dress him and take
him downstairs and I make of list of things
to take with us so I don't have to come back up:
socks, diapers, blanket, sippie cup, toy, my phone
I carry them to the foot of the stairs where
the toddler insists I carry him too.  First we argue
and he cries.  Then I put them all in one hand and
hold his hand down the five steps.  One,
two, three, four five.  Ahh we made it to morning.

Good morning everyone.  And look there are
dishes to do and things on the floor and I
didn't sweep last night.  And oh, look at
my daughter's hair, its a mess.  Let's see I need to
open all the curtains and turn on the lights so
I can think.  Then I'll clean a pot and cook
breakfast.  No, first I'll get some cereal for the kids.
I forget the milk.  Then I forget the spoons.
Then I forget what I'm doing.  Then I take my
ADD medicine.

Then I become like everyone else, sort of.
I take the kids to school.  I don't forget things
as much.  I think about my work.  The day passes
in seconds.  I did well. 

You see my brain sort of works as though it has
a gas pedal.  When I've been all around the world,
history and the solar system and back-- before I'm done
brushing my teeth, you can see by the time
I get to breakfast I'm all out of gas, and you
are just starting your day. 

A rocket ship isn't meant to travel
to the Shopfresh and back.  It's meant
to travel to the moon.  So I'll take
my gravity pills and sit cross legged
in a grocery cart of my mind on
medication because who has the energy
to be a rocket every day?--And maybe
with both I can at least be an SUV.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reasons Why You Shouldn't Exist

To my children:
Reasons Why I Shouldn't Exist
or How plans don't always work out

1918--  Although they planned for the possibility of death after the draft,
a world wide flu epidemic created a lock down at Camp Crowder. 
No one could go in or out.  This flu was not dangerous to the very young or very old,
this one felled the hearty.  My mother's grandfather could not leave camp to fight. 
The war ended.  They opened the gates, and he came home to farm having never fought. 
He married and had two children near St. Joseph, Missouri.

1920's--  Your father's grandparents may have planned to live in Germany forever, but they came to America by steam liner as little children.  Their parents had their own reasons for leaving family and culture behind.  They were raised as Americans near Philadelphia, PA.  Thier escape of coming to age during the WWII in Germany makes you third generation American.

1930's-- My father's father was the ninth of nine children and raised by his oldest sister.
On the day he planned to propose to his first love, they were in an automobile accident.
Later, in Washington D.C. he met my grandmother instead, and they were married. 
She saved her dress, veil, and the couple from the top of her cake from her wedding
for seventy years.

1940-- Your father's grandfather was one of seven children born to Irish Catholic parents.  They planned for the fact that he might not live through his childhood epilepsy.  Not being able to play sports, they bought him a record player.  Bill Haily came over to listen to music with him every day after school.  When Bill started a band he was invited but didn't join in.  He outgrew the seizures and worked his whole life in a quarry near Chester, PA.  He proposed to his wife on the bus at Walnut and 3d streets in front of his mother-in-law.

1948--  My father's mother had the RH negative blood type which made her body
toxic to the children she planned to have.  It was then untreatable. 
Somehow my father was the only one to make it safely into the world. 
After nine days in the hospital they taught her how to make formula,
and sent them home to Kansas.

1950's--  Your mother's mother planned to leave her two girls in the truck for just a minute.  She left the keys in the ignition and walked toward the door.  When that truck eased back on its haunches and rolled down with her babies inside, she grabbed it by the bumper, dug heels into the dirt road, and stopped it with her bare hands.

1960's--  Your father's father planned a trip to Hawaii for his high school graduation trip and wanted to travel the world.  Deep under the water he caught his foot in the coral and couldn't get it out.  A vision of Jesus appeared to him under the water.  He held out his hand, told your grandfather he had plans for him, and pulled him up.   When he rose to the surface, he went back home to Media, PA.

1971--My father planned a three week tour of Europe with a girlfriend. 
They ended up on separate buses.  He was stuck with a traveling high school choir.
He sat next to a girl who could sing like an angel.  Their first date was to eat strawberry
ice cream in Germany.  In the Air Force he did arial photography, and when he was asked to go to Vietnam, another man told him to stay home with his wife then went in his place.
1978-- My mother planned to take me home to her new yellow house after I was born.  But I arrived in a snowstorm, two months early, in Minneapolis Minnesota.  At the hospital my mother told the doctor Jesus wanted me to live.  The specialists weighed me in at 2 lbs and 8 ounces.  They put me in an incubated glass box with a heat lamp, and predicted I'd be blind and deaf with possible brain damage.  When I left the hospital at three months old in a Betsy Wetsy dress, they couldn't guess I was the only family member who wouldn't need glasses, I would pass all my hearing tests, and take all the advanced classes in school.

1998-- I planned to go to Japan and teach English, maybe marry someone dark and foreign then travel around the world painting amazing art.  Asked to help a friend find out about a college trip to Israel, I ended up going too.  I shared a camel in the desert with a blond Irish American.  When I came home, I was hopelessly lost without him.  We married and lived near Harrisburg, PA.

2009--  We left you for an hour with a babysitter and planned to have a little dinner and conversation with your Aunt.  Your father was "this" close to becoming an Episcopal Priest --and planned to take one last test the next day.   When we got a call that the house was on fire, we raced home to find you safe in the arms of a neighbor, fire eating the roof of your bedroom window.  Your pink shoes were on the wrong feet.  After that, we decided to change our plans, but really we just decided to spend every possible moment loving you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fall 2010-- To do

  1. put on clothes from yesterday to save laundry soap
  2. wash laundry on cold to save hot water
  3. put on Birkenstock to spare sore feet and save Tylenol
  4. pay bills online to save stamps
  5. cook breakfast to save milk, use six eggs for four people to save eggs
  6. drive husband to work to save on getting an extra car
  7. talk quickly to save time
  8. run daughter to bus stop to save her from missing school
  9. wave love and smile to spare her from feeling unloved
  10. take son to preschool to save some time for writing
  11. write poetry to save sanity
  12. publish post



Children of storytellers
have stories to tell