Friday, March 31, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

"Plain as a needle a poem may be, or
opulent as the shell of the channelled
whelk, or the face of the lily, it matters
not, it is a ceremony of words, a story,
a prayer, an invitation, a flow of words
that reaches out..."

- Mary Oliver

Thursday, March 30, 2006


San Juan River, Utah - photo by S. Auberle


There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so
great and swift that there are those that will be
afraid. They will try to hold onto the shore. They
will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer
greatly. Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off
into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open
and our heads above water. And I say, see who is
in there with you and celebrate. At this time in
history, we are to take nothing personal. Least
of all ourselves. For the moment that we do,
our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and
your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done
in sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for!

- Joshua Canter 2004
Hopi Nation Elders
Oraibi, Arizona

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


photo by S. Auberle

Tanka (5-7-5-7-7 syllable lines)
These tankas work individually
or as a complete poem.


old man sits alone
a seawall holding his bones
heart hammered in stone
old woman laughs on a bench
the ocean sings beside her

surfers blade the waves
sleek as seals in morning light
they laugh at dying
the next wave will always come
they will always conquer it

wedding by the sea
Annie and Jeff are their names
keep laughter alive
the priest says and blesses them
against whatever may come

the grey dread-locked man
steps out from under a pier
sleeping bag held tight
racing a laughing seagull
to someone's abandoned lunch

old man and woman
side by side on the seabench
she touches his stone heart
they laugh at eternity
the next wave will always come

- mimi


digitally-altered photo - S. Auberle


for my grandpa

He never said much, this quiet man
and even less, after his stroke.
I don't remember any talks between us,
me on his knee or cuddled in his lap.
He called me, in German, some
long name that meant little sausage
even when I grew taller than him.
But oh, there was love.
I saw it in his eyes. I saw it when
he saved me the ripest peaches,
I felt it in his rough hands
guiding me over rocky paths
those summer days of fishing, and
hunting morels in the spring woods.
I saw it in his face the night he left this earth,
so quietly, just as he had lived,
all his unspoken words lighting the way,
shining like those new pennies he would wrap
in my hands when I cried.
Sometimes, for some people, it may be
that love is too large to fit into words.
Watch for these people. If you're lucky
enough to find one your life
will be immeasurably blessed.

- mimi

Monday, March 27, 2006


- Poster by Fred Calleri

Ted Kooser will be here! After reading
his beautiful poetry every granny and
old man I loved, who lived on those green
Ohio farms, is back again, their songs and
stories alive in me like they never disappeared
so long ago and far away...


He had the bluest, laughing eyes,
my favorite great-uncle, Edward,
and died of stomach cancer
from rubbing DDT on the backs
of his cows to keep the flies away.
Edward's passing was announced
to my grandma, his most beloved sister,
by three knocks of the death angel
on her door the night before he died.

Ed's wife, laid back Clara,
was forever getting lost or left behind
but never got upset about it and I loved
her dearly for her slow, gentle ways.
Their barn had such a lovely dusty light,
streaming golden through the loft windows
that I thought heaven might be just above
that high blue door where hay was
tossed in for the winter.

Uncle Ben, with his gentle face
and tremoring hands, shook all the days
I knew him and Annie, his stout, kind-hearted
wife, played the most bingo cards, fiercely,
of anyone I ever knew.

There was aunt Lizzie with her wide smile,
though mostly toothless, most of the time,
uncle Albert, the town elbow bender,
and sweet, worried Helene, his twin,
who married Joseph, a black-haired, ornery
devil of a man, still riding his Harley at eighty.

Fastidious Henry I never knew, but became
acquainted with his ancient, perfect Oldsmobile
that resided in the barn among nesting chickens
when it was rescued by my stepfather
who taught me to drive in it, that long
gear shift lever rising up from the floor
squealing and grinding at my touch, till
I imagined uncle Henry spinning in his grave.

Pete and August and Jules, the baby,
I didn't know well, but who could forget
Ruby and Pearl, who once had a fight
in the funeral home as their sister Jessie's
body lay in the casket over who was going
to remove and wear her glasses, because
she wouldn't need them where she was going,

and last comes my beloved Clarence, the
stepdad who never went beyond eighth grade
but ran a farm, a grocery and bootleg whiskey
to put food on the table in the Depression
and loved my mother like no one ever had.

Some good and gentle days these old ones
come to you, if you're lucky, like this fine
afternoon at a concert in Heritage Square
(music, if nothing else, calls them back)
where Miss Gypsy Blue is wailing her songs
and I'm sitting in the sun in my western town,
while spring winds whistle down
from steep mountain passes
and light touches me, tenderly, for a moment,
then disappears into the high blue beyond.

- mimi

Sunday, March 26, 2006


digitally altered photo - S. Auberle

There have been 2,509 coalition deaths,
2,314 Americans, one Australian, 103 Britons,
13 Bulgarians, two Danes, two Dutch, two
Estonians, one Hungarian, 26 Italians, one
Kazakh, one Latvian, 17 Poles, two Salvadoran,
three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and
18 Ukranians in the war in Iraq as of March 17,
2006, according to a CNN count. - CNN website

A London-based human rights group called
Iraq Body Count estimates that at least
33,638 Iraqui civilians have been killed as a
result of the war and up to 37,754 may have
died in the conflict, based on the group's
independent tabulation of deaths confirmed
in media reports. - Cox News Service

May they rest in peace.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


digitally-altered photo - S. Auberle


"I quiver as a body in rapture, I quiver
as a wing, I am an explosion, I overstep myself."
- Anna Swir

And now
in this decade,
in this light,
all the selves
I've forced into seclusion,
banished without a trace,
are suddenly waking.
All the selves,
shouting, celebrating,
the ones I labeled
not good enough,
didn't fit, deleted (I thought)
are dancing, racing
through that wide blue door
where the world opens
enormous arms and asks
what took you so long?

- mimi

Friday, March 24, 2006


photo of Italian poster - S. Auberle

just because she is so beautiful
and because I want to do my part
in sending beauty out into the world
because there is never enough...

- mimi

Thursday, March 23, 2006


"Perchance to Dream" Collage - S. Auberle


Sometimes words
that never see
the light of day,
the ones we hide
at the back of a closet,
under our pillow,
in our heart,
say more than words
shouted from a pinnacle,
these shy words
that speak the eloquent
language of silence,
yet reveal more
than we ever intend

- mimi

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


photo of Italian restaurant sign - S. Auberle

With thanks for yet another snowstorm, here is one more
winter dish. I have no idea who created this hearty soup,
but I can assure you it's great on a wintry night...


- some olive oil
- (1) large onion, cut into dice
- (3) carrots, peeled & sliced
- (3) celery stalks, sliced
- (1) bell pepper, red or yellow, diced
- (2) medium potatoes, diced
- (1) 16 oz. can diced tomatoes w/roasted garlic
- (2) 15 oz. cans cannellini beans
- (3) cans chicken broth
- (7 oz.) baby spinach leaves
- (1) cup frozen green peas
- (8) oz. smoked turkey sausage or regular, or Italian
sausage, crumbled (meat optional)
- salt and ground black pepper
- prepared pesto (found in grocer's refrig. section)

Toss everything into crockpot, except peas and spinach
and cook on High about six hours. Last five minutes,
add spinach and peas, cook just till spinach wilts.
Season w/ salt and pepper. Add a spoonful of pesto,
to taste, to each serving of soup. This soup is so
colorful you don't know whether to eat it or
photograph it.

Serve with antipasto, good bread and flavored olive
oil, for dipping. And afterwards, you MUST have a
bite or two of chocolate to complete the evening.


- mimi

Sunday, March 19, 2006


"Canticle" 11 x 14" watercolor - S. Auberle

"Rise up, my love, my fair one and come away.
For lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
the flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."

- Song of Songs

"There is no way of telling people that
they are all walking around shining
like the sun."

- Thomas Merton

Friday, March 17, 2006


photo by W. Lowe
yes, I know it's blurry, but this photo is taken on top
of the castle where I kissed the Blarney Stone.
Notice the words on the sign next to my head, a
crucial factor in the setting of the photo, unbeknownst
to me, by my very straight brother-in-law...


to my half Irish love, an old poem

Will this make me a better poet
I ask myself, climbing the one-hundred steps
to the top of a castle, round and round
she goes, where she stops, who knows
and of course, I'd get stuck
behind this tourist icon, complete with
his non-stop jabber as we inch our way
to the top and my fear of heights
ferociously kicks in, but what the hell,
anybody dumb enough to fall for this blarney
deserves a little fear, so straighten up,
I order me, cause it's gonna be worth it
and the line crawls toward assuming the position
of upside down where a person could,
if she slipped just so, fall through the iron bars,
land on my head four stories below, but
don't be ridiculous, and damn,
the wind's picking up and here I am
hanging out on a fourteenth century
stone ledge that could crumble at any moment
and no, I don't live in Phoenix
but tourist-man goes on blabbering to me
as he adjusts his shirt in his Versace jeans,
adjusting his camera as often as himself
so as to be sure of recording the
precise instant of this momentous occasion
though his NewYorkese hardly needs more
blarney, but hey, I'm no different and
finally I unglue myself from the ledge
I'm sitting on to stand and look out
over the castle battlements because the man
I love who stands behind me said it's a great view
and so an inch at a time I move closer to the edge
and without missing a beat, he gently holds me
by the waistband of my jeans and oh, who needs blarney
when you've got this real love--someone
knowing exactly what you need
exactly when you need it.

Pionta Guiness, le do thoil...
(a pint of Guiness, please)

- mimi

Thursday, March 16, 2006


digitally altered photo - S. Auberle


Taking advantage of recent snows, there are prescribed fires
burning around the mountains this week, to minimize the danger
of later forest fires.

I'm in a slash and burn mood, myself--of my words, of
past writings. Some days I look at old work and I'm pleased.
Other days--today for example--I'm appalled. WHAT was I
thinking? This is junk! Only one thing to do--get rid of it. Every last
piece, start over fresh. A clean slate--(I usually manage to talk myself
out of it, but one of these times...)

This presents another problem. Words are not cooperating today,
haven't been for some time now. Instead of tangoing brightly
across the page, they slump in corners--weary, insolent, defiant.
Don't even think of getting us to move, they growl.

I try to use a metaphor--after a long productive spell, the well is dry.
Needs time to fill again, recharge. And what, I ask myself, am I
supposed to do in the meantime?

Two things sometimes work: I turn to my art--image making--at it's
most simplistic level, drawing a single pear, for instance. Over and over.
Nothing more complicated than that. Or I try stream-of-consciousness
writing, which can produce some pretty weird stuff, making me feel
more frustrated than ever. To be perfectly honest, I'm getting a bit
tired of this artistic roller coaster. I know I'm not alone in this, artists
have always lived in the country of peaks and valleys. Some cope with it,
easily or not. Others turn to alcohol and drugs and various other self-
destructing habits. There must be a better way. Any comments from
other writers, artists, poets out there? What works for you in dry spells?

Next life I'm going to be an engineer like my level, left-brained, steady
mate. Only problem is, like him, I'll probably end up living with an artist,
which is almost as difficult, though never dull, depending on your viewpoint...

- mimi

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


photo by S. Auberle

"If we're not supposed to dance,
why all this music?"
- Gregory Orr


I awaken sometimes
on a snowy night
and wonder
for a moment
what lifetime is this
what place
what season

and was there
once a moment
among bees
and golden flowers
when someone
caught a glimpse
of my soul?

I question
did the trees
that day
really hold
so much light
and why
with all this music
are we not
supposed to dance?

- mimi

Monday, March 13, 2006


photo by S. Auberle

beauty before me
beauty behind me
beauty all around me
everywhere I go
I walk in beauty

- Navajo prayer

- mimi

Friday, March 10, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

Almost two feet of snow and still falling!!!

train whistle in snow
muted tapping at the heart
memories rush in

- mimi

Captain's Soup

Watercolor by S. Auberle

I'm pleased to present a new recipe from Mimi's Cafe:
an original creation by friend, poet, artist, philosopher
and chef, Ralph Murre...
(aka Captain Arem)


(1) butternut squash, medium (butterNUT, not buttercup,
acorn, hubbard or anything else!)
1/2 of a large white onion
only about 1 clove of garlic (sorry)
lots of celery (like most of a stalk)
lots of hot Madras curry powder
lots of ground coriander
chicken broth (veg. types could try vegetable broth, what the hell)
white wine
a very little bit of tomato paste

*NOTE: This recipe may sound imprecise, but if it calls for lots of
something, that's just what it means: LOTS. More than you think.

Cook the bejabbers out of all those ingredients, then allow the
whole mess to cool overnight.

The next day--cold and overcast, but you know spring is on its way.

Puree everything in a blender and begin to heat, gently stirring in a
can of unsweetened coconut cream. Bring it up to serving temperature,
but DO NOT boil. Garnish with something bright green (or red, or both.)

This is a pretty rich soup, so will feed a small crowd. It will go nicely with
most Middle-Eastern entrees.

Bon Appetit!

- mimi

Monday, March 06, 2006


- photo by S. Auberle

They called her the Matriarch,
these small humans who think
they can play at being gods
and they captured her,
placed her in a zoo,
mated her to Igor, for babies
which she produced
for a world that, mostly,
didn't care--she was,
after all, only a bird
and ten years later they
set her free, her job done,
her wings no longer clipped
until a pig hunter soon
blew the Matriarch away.

He said he didn't know
the bird with the giant wings
was a California condor.
Why must people destroy
the splendid beings among us,
the ones with ten foot wings,
the nameless ones, the tender-faced ones,
the ones with souls that soar high above?
Is it to bring everyone down
to their level, down to the muck
of a world gone increasingly numb?

I've seen a condor soar above me,
above the temples and spires
of the canyon, with majesty
only a Creator could have designed.
I've seen pictures of the innocent ones
in Iraq, Afghanistan, in Africa,
the nameless ones, the babies and children,
and I've wept for joy and pain.
I have watched light rising ever so slowly
out of a night as black as the Matriarch's wings.

- mimi

Sunday, March 05, 2006


- photo by W. Auberle

One of my favorite Mary Oliver quotes:

"Poets must read and study, but also, they must learn
to tilt and whisper, shout or dance, each in his or her
own way, or we might just as well copy the old books.
But no, that would never do, for always the new self,
swimming around in the old world, feels itself
uniquely verbal. And that is just the point: how the
world, moist and beautiful, calls to each of us to
make a new and serious response. That's the big
question, the one the world throws at you every
morning. 'Here you are, alive. Would you like to
make a comment?"

This blog is my comment though I am sometimes
described, by those who love me, as listing
through life, rather than tilting & whispering...

- mimi

Saturday, March 04, 2006


photo of a pin purchased at Disney World 2004

Lest we take ourselves too seriously...

- mimi

Friday, March 03, 2006


"Every Drop of Rain Has Its Song."
- Hopi saying
drawing/photo/collage - S. Auberle 2005

In this eleventh year of drought bears, deer,
javelinas and mountain lions are beginning
to move into Arizona towns in search of water
and food. Herds of elk are already here, in my
backyard and everywhere. Plans are being
made for transporting water to the animals
this year. The forests are parched. And yet,
the insanity of unrestricted sprawl and
building growth continues.
Where will it end?

In this dry time, when the rains and snow have
forsaken us, the shells on my windowsill remind me
of water and how precious it is. I didn't know how
important water--rain and snow, lakes and rivers
were--until I no longer had them.

Isn't that a universal truth we all end up learning?
You never know how important something or
someone is. Until they're gone.

I thought I was prepared for my mother's death. I told
her so, said it's okay, you can go home now. I'll be fine.
She didn't believe me, but she was tired. Eighty-six years
is a long time on this earth. And maybe she missed rain too.
She had moved to Arizona at the age of eighty-one to be
with me. All those years before she had lived in one small
part of the world--western Ohio. A world of green: grasses,
trees and rain. Maybe she longed for that landscape, as I
do now, in these years of drought. But still, she didn't want to
leave me. I said again, it's okay. And she slipped away one
January night as a dry wind beat against my windows.

It's been six years now. My mother is gone, the rain and snow
are gone. I pray, I write, I hold my husband, children and
grandchildren close. I keep working. I keep dreaming. I dream
of my mother now--sometimes she is dancing. The dreams of
her are precious to me and I wake, smiling, happy to have
visited with her.

Almost every night I dream of water--snow, clear green lakes
filled with leaping fish, rain sliding down a night window.

But now I know. Each moment with loved ones, each dream,
each raindrop is precious. What do we have, but
this moment?

- mimi

Thursday, March 02, 2006


"Zoe's Dream" - Collage/Painting - S. Auberle 2005

I drift
through sunlight
and shadow,

poems like clouds
on the sky
of my eyes

till light fills them
and I awaken,

am I the dreamer
or the dream?

- mimi

Prayer for Village Earth

- photo by S. Auberle

In this time of drought, global warming,
catastrophic winds and floods, every small
prayer helps...

O Mother Earth, we pray today to link our spirits
to all those brothers and sisters with whom we
share this web of life. We will not take from you
lightly, nor do harm. We will respect those creatures
with whom we share this sacred place.

Wolf, Hawk, Snake and Bear, we honor you. Bless
us please, you Flying People, Crawling People,
the Swimmers, Plant and and Tree People, and
all our four-legged brothers and sisters.

Father Sun, we beseech you to shine down
your love and light upon us.

Sister Rain and Brother Wind, walk softly here,
for we are small beneath your mighty power.

Sister Moon, shine gently as you guide us into
dreamtime, and when you journey across the
world, send your stars to light our way home.

O Mother Earth, accept our prayer, bless us
with your energy and healing. Help us remember
that we are connected to all who share your sacred
web of life--past, present and future, that in
divinity and grace, we may exist as one...

(previously printed in WomanPrayers and Common Ground)

- mimi

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fabric Phobia

"It's A Choice" - S.J. Richards
Discharged cotton fabric, hand dyed silk
15" x 24" collection of the artist

Want to introduce a brand new
blog: Fabric Phobia, the creation
of friend and fellow artist,
Sharon J. Richards, who not only
does fabric art, but also collage,
pottery and any other art form
that strikes her fancy. Fabric is
however, her first love.

"We can bomb the world to pieces,
but we can't bomb the world to peace."
- author unknown

- mimi


- photo by S. Auberle

This was written last year when our mountains
were blessed with an abundance of moisture...

Snow on the south side
is melting tonight
in brown patches scattered
among the white.
A thread of smoke rises
from the neighbor's house,
joining a cloud
drifting over the mountain
where snow, they say,
lies ten feet deep and I imagine

Ryokan, the Zen monk,
two hundred years ago
in his solitary hut,
his fire made only of leaves
his brush shivering across the paper:
Evening in the deep mountains
all covered in white snow,
I feel everything vanish,
yes, my soul and body, too...

The snow is melting tonight
in brown patches scattered
among the white.
Smoke vanishes into a cloud.
Why should we lament their passing?