Sunday, February 7, 2016

Beatriz's Twin Brooks of Yesteryear - My Tyvek House poem published at last after many a rejection - Feb 7 is the birthday of my daughter Sarah Lynn Deming

Image result for twin brooks condominiums willow grove pa

Image result for twin brooks condominiums willow grove pa

The Twin Brooks of Yesteryear
by Beatriz Moisset

Two small streams traverse our condominium and they give it its name, Twin Brooks. They escape notice by most visitors because they are no more than tiny rivulets that a young person, not me, could cross in a single jump. Moreover, all the landscaping has done much to hide them out of sight. Probably a good part of the water runs through underground pipes. But Nature persists as best it can and a good observer perhaps could imagine what the land looked like before all the earth moving, paving and construction that could place in recent times.

Where the two brooks meet, a small pond is present. Ducks and geese raise their families there some years. An occasional blue heron visits the pond and manages to make a meal of some little fish. Also, a muskrat hangs around the edge of the water.

I wonder what the land was like a few thousand years ago before Europeans arrived and populations grew and grew to what they are nowadays. There were Native Americans then, tribes distributed across the land. The ones living here were the Lenape (or Lenni-Lenapi). Were some of them camped in the Twin Brooks site either temporarily or generation after generation? Do I walk on their steps sometimes?

I search for information on the original residents of this land and learn that the Lenape tribe covered part of Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, all of New Jersey and a southeastern part of New York state. The region was known to them as “Lenapehoking,” which meant land of the Lenape. These Native Americans had a matrilineal system, that is children belonged to their mother's clan, from which they gained their social status and identity. Male leadership was passed through the maternal line and eledr women could remove leaders they didn't approve of. Not exactly equal rights but far better than the condition of European women of those days.

So, I try to imagine the Twin Brooks family or families that occupied this area long before our condominium was built and long before I moved here. Perhaps they built their wigwam at the spot where the two streamlets met. Did they grow the Three Sisters –corn, beans and squash– where we have a parking lot? Are there some broken clay shards buried somewhere? Perhaps a little girl lost her doll exactly under my bedroom, the doll her grandmother lovingly made using corn husks and strings. I have no doubt they hunted deer and turkey nearby. Rarely a lost deer wanders into our property, desperately looking for better cover and finding only pavement, traffic and frightening noises.

They must have gathered berries. Still some berry shrubs grow here and there. Chestnuts must have been an important part of their winter food. It is sad to think that practically no chestnut trees are left because of a terrible blight accidentally introduced from overseas.

European colonists coveted the land when their population kept growing, so they relocated the Lenape Indians a couple of centuries ago. “Relocated” is just a wishy-washy way to say that the original residents of the land were robbed of their rights, uprooted and sent to an uncertain fate to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. There, they had to survive as best they could, making do with limited resources and competing with other tribes already present in the area.

I wonder what we mean when we sing: “This land is my land.”

Image result for pond with ducks


Tyvek is an insulation material applied to the interior of buildings before application of the final material such as wood or stone or siding.

Take this old house by the side of the road
Walk past its leaf-filled ditch and muddy garden
Rip out its walls and doorways
Stay there, don’t move,
Walk among the heaps of plasterboard,
the piles of rubble still unswept
Let it sear you, rush like water through you
And bring you no peace.

Don’t come and fetch me.
I’ll stay here among the ruins,
Quiet, dream-filled,
Lonesome as a stairwell,
Ringing like a bell,
One of a kind,
The house where I live.

Did you mark the days when they
Hammered the outer boards
Across the falling rot of splintered wood?
Did you see how frisky they were
Those laugh-aloud fun-finding fellows
stationed so effortlessly
on tall hinged ladders,
Three of them I counted, workmen
Bouncing words from roof to roof,
Or were they manly jokes,
Nails echoing clang clang
as they went in.
Thick-soled boots snug on tall rungs.

How we couldn’t help but laugh
the day the letters appeared – TYVEK -
blue, dark as mountains,
you’d know those letters anywhere –
ponytailed Y
Take-me-along K pointing off,
Off in the distance at some lonesome star.
How we rejoiced and continue to rejoice
at the coming of the words.

Leave it to us to notice from our
One unstained window
the predicament of the motorists
and the ditch-leaping joggers passing by,

Each one waiting,
querying among themselves,
When will it be finished?
When will the Tyvek be covered up for good?

Didn’t we fool them?
Didn’t we cause consternation?
We simply couldn’t do it.

We let the Tyvek stay.


Millard  "Mike" Grove Deming, died in 2009


Ruth Zali Greenwold Deming

announce the birth of their daughter Sarah Lynn Deming.

Feb. 7, 1974

Image result for ethan iverson


A voice whispered to Mom.
A tiny child will be born
unto you.
You will incubate her while
listening in your small
Texas dwelling to
Miles running the
voodoo down, Ludwig
revving up his Ode to
Joy, while the B&W films of
Kurosawa made Mama
dream of venturing
far from home.

The baby rocked, she
rolled inside, she loved
her dad's Chicken Mole,
Mom's blond brownies,
"chews," a recipe from
Grandma Margie.

Mom swam in the pool
out back under the vast
Texan sky, more sky
than earth, proud of
her burgeoning belly
that she loved unceasingly
surprising herself.

She never wanted kids.

Dr Johnson ordered her
to hospital. Dad drove in
their lime-green Datsun,
there to wait, not long,
before the fruit burst
from her womb.

The baby's eyes followed
Mom's finger, the most
beautiful peach she
had ever seen.
Sweet as honey.

Hello, Sarah, said Dad.
They named her Sarah
with Lynn in the middle
necessary for calling
when in the other room.

The smiling little peach
grew and grew
a daughter most perfect
finding Ethan the perfect
man, the fruit that girded
their loins continues to
unfold: jazz, boxing,
novels, mentoring boxers
at the gym, and Sarah's
own brand of kindness
and delicacy, sweeter than
the Girl Scout Cookies she
sold door to door.

All hail Sarah Lynn.
See the cardinals, the bluejays
and wrens in my front yard?
Their melodious cries shout
Happy Birthday, Sarah Lynn,
blessed among women.

Happy Birthday, Sarah Lynn.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Part Two - Writers Group At B's Condo - my short story The Man Who Disappeared

What a treat to see Fran Bareikis Pulli!  And of course it's always great to see Marf.

Fran read a wonderful poem about her parents' bar called "17th and North Broad, - hope I got that right -  the address of her dad's tap room called "Adolph," short for Adolphus.

Notable lines include "each floor a cosmos to itself" - "I became a dreamer of love stories" - "A cloud of intoxicating smoke" -

The bar was on the ground floor. On successive floors lived members of the family. Fran "adored" her older married sister.

The bar was not co-ed. A separate entrance was for women. "No topknots or tiaras here."

Sometimes "negatives" like the above are very effective visually. Everyone remarked how visual the poem was. At her sisters' she learned to play checkers and cards and even beat her teachers. She also learned to crochet.

Allan Heller suggested she submit her poem to The Sun Magazine. 

You should see the blankets Beatriz made. She has a whole pile of em.

Marf was chilly so put one around her shoulders. Mon dieu, how does one make such a blanket like this?

Fran's poem continued that she fell asleep "when the music stopped" - the jukebox. "A small part of me still lives there."

What's happened to Adolph's tap room?

Image result for condos philly

Martha Hunter's "Jazmine and the Bull Rider" featured the prologue and first couple of chapters of her already written novel of 35 chapters. It's good enough to be a Harlequin Romance Novel. Sure hope she'll submit it.

Very descriptive, lively, humorous and compelling enough to wanna read more!!!

The fellow in the Philly's cap introduced himself as Rem, short for rapid eye movement. He made me copies of the newly deceased Paul Kantner singing in the Jefferson Airplane and in another group.

Most of these artists who used drugs died early deaths.

Murph read a couple of chapters of his novel, based on fake dream sequences, which flowed effortlessly from his pen. He talked about radio stations he would listen to all across the world, including Radio Ankara and Radio Moscow. He listened to the voice of Arabs in Cairo, "on the hour you would hear the chimes of the bell tower of the University of Cairo, which sounded like the BBC's Big Ben."

Had Rem gone overseas for his research? Had he taken time off from the Roslyn post office to fly across the Atlantic ocean to research his novel?

You've got a brain. Figure it out!

His own father had a Grundig radio, while Judy's dad had a Blaupunkt.

Image result for grundig radios   They still make the Grundig.

Image result for blaupunkt radio     Blaupunkt is still made in Germany. Judy's beloved father who died when she was - what? 18 - listened to this. He played with the Philadelphia Orchestra, both violin and viola. I told her I composed a story loosely based on her parents called The House on Lincoln Avenue which will be published in a year or so. Hopefully we'll still be alive, I said, remembering what happened to the main character in Summer Vacation.

One of my fave lines from Rem's story was "Get a life," a friend once told him. "You truly are the king of useless information."

Image result for ramsey lewis   Holy cow! Ramsey Lewis is coming to the Kimmel Center. He's 80 years old.

If I wasn't such a chicken, I'd go see the show. Jimmy Sutcliffe could get me comp tickets.

Hey Jimbo!!!

When I went to bed last night I was exhausted from working on the News Roundup for the Compass. Really interesting stories, all condensed by my colleague Ada.

Wanted to write a new short story for our group today. Had absy no idea what to write about.

While making my breakfast today, I listened to the audio book The Rest is Noise, by Alex Ross. Wonderful true stories about composers.

Image result for alex ross the rest is noise   Jean Sibelius, who put Finland on the map for classical music, went to pieces later in life. The pressure of being 'the best' in Finland and living up to his reputation in general turned him to alcohol for solace. He couldn't stop drinking and he claimed to be working on his next symphony but he contracted composer's block. He disappeared for a while.

That got me thinking and I came up with my story idea.

Entitled The Man Who Disappeared I worked on it after taking a nap in Scott's bed. I was just exhausted.

The group liked it and I'll take a look at their comments now.

Hope I correctly covered the Waterfront, Elia.

PS - Just got an email that The Poets Haven will publish my poem Tyvek House. It's about a nearby house on Terwood Road. I AM ECSTATIC!!!! You have no idea how many times it's been rejected.

Record crowd at Writers' Group at B's Condo - Part One

Bear with me, as Felicia Kelly used to say when we worked together at the Record newspaper in Horsham.

Gotta lot to talk about here,

Monday: A slight chance of rain and snow after 1pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 39. North wind around 7 mph becoming east in the afternoon.  Chance of precipitation is 20%.  Monday

When I went to the Giant to buy a roast beef sandwich due to the power of suggestion, I asked a couple people if it were gonna snow anytime soon.

If so, was gonna buy a carton of eggs. No one knew, but there's a 20 percent chance on Monday. Here's the weather channel I use.

Every single person in our writing group is abundantly talented.

Drove Judy to Beatriz's condo. She had to wait 45 minutes for me as I was doing the second draft of my short story.

Judy's story NO SOLID CRYSTAL (I have no idea what the title means) was about an encounter at a Roy Rogers' roast beef palace. (My term)

If I'm not mistaken my kids and I used to go to one on County Line Road and York.

Written in the third person, one Stuart, age 16, is told by his mother to eat healthy foods. She names some foods fit for an octogenarian. Stuart goes over to Roy Rogers where he sits with an old man with crinkly skin around his blue eyes who looks a lot like Roy Rogers.

They discuss the old TV show, Dale Evans, Trigger, but not Buttermilk, Dale's horse.

BTW, I'm not looking at my notes. Too lazy. Am trying to finish quickly so I can go over to Scott's.

Rem and someone else knew where Roy's restaurants are located. Harrisburg, PA. I just liked it on FB.

Image result for roy rogers  In the car I'm listening to The 60 greatest old-time radio shows of the 20th century [sound recording] / selected by Walter Cronkite.

Am pretty sure Roy Rogers will be coming up. Just listened to ESCAPE, a weekly story program. Tonight's show was about an invasion of Black Ants in South America. Quite exciting. William Conrad, who played Cannonball on TV, was the man charged with destroying the ants.

Very exciting. He was bitten and his bones showed thru but he made himself stand up and fight on.

Using my notes now, Stuart tells his mom he likes the fried chicken and biscuits at Roy's. If that doesn't make you lick your chops I dunno what will.

Beautiful story, Judy, that made me go over to the Giant. I am so stuffed now! Bernadette made me a very thick sandwich - I remarked about this on FB - on rye with thick slices of marbled-with-fat roast beef and Havarti cheese, spicy mustard and mayo, tomatoes, lettuce, spichwe-nichwe, onions and that's it.

Ate it in the beer garden, while looking at the Classified section of some newspaper. Gotta find a job.

Went on bike for 20 minutes after getting home. Spoke to Mom the whole time and told her the PJs she sewed are just fine.

Am wearing em now, as you can see.

Bought em a few yrs ago along with the tiger Richard Parker.

Bob McGlinscky,  Donna's brother, brought a short story called Summer Vacation.

It was the best thing he ever presented. He wrote it in a composition class in college where his teacher said he had a lot of potential as a writer. He revised it and it was quite simply a well-wrin story with a lot of surprises.

What's the worst thing that can happen on a summer vacation.

You can die. That's what happens to the main character. He had a heart attack. In a nice touch at the end, his wife taps him on the shoulder and says she forgives him for dying, instead of being angry at him.

We all respond differently to death. Anger is a common emotion.

"Don't you dare die on me now!"

GONE was Donna's poem. She wished she were gone b/c of the horrible feelings of her depression. A series of six shock treatments brought her back from the dead.

That was one good poem, we'll use it in the Compass.

She also read a letter wrin by Jenny, her boyfriend Denny's daughter. That young woman sure knows how to write a wonderful get well letter. She puts no pressure on Donna to get well and stay well. She knows it's a process. Of ups and downs. Donna will get further treatment at Collaborative Care. Rem approved. 

Temporary floor-sitter Allan Heller read a couple more chapters of his dark fantasy novel The Village of Blood and Stone. I particularly enjoyed a scene where one of the main characters, a gnome, nearly disappears in quicksand, after pulling down his trousers to do his business.

That alone is awful but the fact that he's sucked under is very embarrassing but fortunately his buddies pull his free. His business can wait until the morrow.

Allan was kind enough to refill my coffee cup about 17 times.

A Starbucks house blend. Beatriz was strong enough to make coffee for us - thank you Beatrice!!! - and also to write an excellent true story. See the wrapper of the turtle I ate from Whitman's.

Oh, said Mom, when I was talking to her on bike, in the yellow box? Yay, 93-yo Mama.

BTW, my sugar was low.... 73.... so I'm eating trail mix.

B's true story Twin Brooks of Yesteryear traced the history of her condo. It was so named due to the convergence of two brooks once teeming with wildlife, but not so much anymore.

Muskrats have been seen in the pond.
Image result for muskrats   

Jeez, it does look like a rat. Let's take a Wiki look at the mammal. 

Native to North America. I feel very proud and you should, too!

Donna began singing The Muskrat Ramble.

After ECT, your short term memory is impaired, but she was really sharp at the meeting - really sharp - offering good comments and wholeheartedly taking part in the group.

See how good our minds are when we feel like ourselves!

Beatriz wrote about the Lenni-Lenape, members of the Delaware nation of early Americans, before their culture was destroyed by Europeans and they were banished to barren lands in Oklahoma and Dakota.

She wondered if perhaps an Indian doll - made of corn husks - might be buried underneath her bedroom. And if, below the surface, relics are to be found.

Image result for archeological dig 

 Judy said that years ago she volunteered on a North Dakota Indian reservation where conditions were horrible. Terrible land for growing crops and no clean water.

Please move on to Part 2 of this blog.