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Sunday, March 25, 2018

How I Hear a Poem Read Aloud, Even When the Hearing Aids Are Functioning

The spoken words disappear into the echo of the space.


It was "the art of . . . something."

The missing word had two syllables

and the sound of a long "a".

Facing? Basting?

Or spacing? Or tasting?


The art of spacing evokes my years of typesetting

with an early computer:

type each line two times—

oh, you really don't need to know,

because them days is gone forever.

And good riddance.


The art of basting.

This must be a domestic poem:

thread that needle (I hope your eyes

are younger than your ears)

and make long running stitches along the seam.

Ease in excess fabric as you go.


Or perhaps it's about

opening the oven to remove the holiday bird.

About tipping the pan and spooning juices

over the thighs and breasts

already halfway to a golden brown perfection.


The art of facing?

This might be more difficult,

depending on whom you're facing.


Let's call it the art of tasting

and be done with it.



Copyright © 2018 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Cellar doors

and coal chutes

used to provide access to basements

from the outside.

A cellar door slanted

from the side of your house

to the alley.

The door parted in the middle,

and you pulled up both sides

and laid them flat

to reveal the entrance.

When the door was ajar

you walked down steps to the cellar.


When the two sides were closed,

you and your playmate slid down the doors

and after sliding

you both climbed on the rain barrel

and became jolly friends

for evermore.


Copyright © 2018 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Learning to love a life because . . .

Because what's the damned alternative? A friend once told me that when he was young he was a very unhappy, grumpy, and mean-spirited guy. And then one day when he was in his thirties he looked at himself and didn't like what he saw. So he changed. He told me he just decided it would be easier for everyone if he were happier. So he decided to be happier.


When I met him he had been "consciously happy" for some 15 years, and I was astounded by his story. I couldn't imagine him as grumpy and mean-spirited. He had learned to love his life because . . . well, he didn't really tell me why. I think it was along the lines of "it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown." (Not that I fully believe that. There are days when my face rests quite naturally in a frown shape and, although I can, on those days, bring a smile to my face instead, it is an actual muscular effort to do so. At least part of the time, I think frowning is easier.)


Learning to love life because . . . because we're here? Because we might as well? Because the Pope wants us to? Because God wants us to? Everyone has an opinion, and everyone is just waiting for the chance to share his opinion with you, with the idea of converting you to his reasons for learning to love life.


Some lucky people don't have to learn to love life; they are born that way. I could continue this meandering, but I've given you four paragraphs already. Now you can come up with your own reasons.



Copyright © 2018 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Thoughts on the Ultimate

I live with a divided mind. It might be what they call—oh, I've forgotten—that psychological state of carrying two opposed ideas in your head at the same time. I know the phrase as well as I know . . . well, you get the idea.


Anyway, here are the two notions, more or less. Oh, this is all about death and suddenly I don't really want to talk about death. But this is my chance to be both brave and boring at the same time. And there's another word I wanted to say it would reveal me as being—but I've lost that, too. I never said I was perfect. I used to think it, but I never said it.


All right. One part of me sees death as the logical outcome of life. As in "duh!" And sees it as not frightful. That part of me imagines the web of the universe, the limitless source that is unconditional love—all those good things we talk about in New Age circles.


When I am in this mode, I can accept the eventual fact of my–of everyone's—death. No big deal, it happens to all of us.


Come to think of it, we really do discount those things that "happen to everyone" as if the ordinariness of the event or the situation makes it less worthy of examination. Except for death. Death is different. It may happen to everyone, we can say to ourselves, but inside we know (until we are, say forty or a bit older) that it will not happen to ME. Ordinary it may be, but I, my dear, am exceptional.


Anyway, I'm past 45 and I know it's coming and on good days that's okay with me. All I can do is live as fully as is possible for me, pushing envelopes now and then, but more often simply staying with whatever it is that's happening without seeking the unusual. As a friend says, just living the brave life of what is and letting the next step come as it comes.


But another part of me resents this inevitability, and I finally realized why. I have a curiosity to see the end of the story. Anyone who is awake knows that the story never ends—but that doesn't change the desire to be around to see at least the next few chapters. The "what will happen next" to this or that situation. Circumstances change at every moment. Things that seem set in stone and settled forever suddenly are unrecognizable. Neighbours move, new ones arrive. Friends become ill, then recover—or not. Divorces divide families and friends. Old friends drift away and new interests bring new friends. And then there are the grandchildren. What will happen next?


And that's what I mean by wanting to see the end of the story. It's that continual desire to be around for "what's next." I know that there's no logic in wanting to see the end of the story, since the story will never end, so I'll let go of wanting such finality. But "what will happen to . . . " is the hook that keeps me going.


I imagine being 90, tired of an aching body, perhaps, but still wanting to know what will happen.


It's all about story.


Copyright © 2018 Ann Tudor
Food blog: