I Write, Simply Write: Memoir from 2005 Thursday, Jun 28 2012 

I drafted this piece in New Mexico in June 2005 at a National Writing Project professional writing retreat.  Ah, what memories!

I Write, Simply Write

Sunrise Springs, New Mexico. An oasis on the high plains desert.

Composed At Sunrise Springs, New Mexico

June 2005

Out here on the veranda overlooking Sunrise Springs

I’ll just write for me …

But I don’t know what.

I don’t know what because not a sorrow

Disturbs my peace.

My soul is fat,

Sleek,

Blessed beyond measure

Because this heart

Feels no hurt that God cannot heal,

Weighs no grief that hope cannot bear,

Knows no longing that love cannot satisfy.

 

So be it sufficient

To write about idle things, like . . .

 

Shimmering aspen leaves touched by the sunswept breeze.

Glistening trinkets splashing in fountains,

Dancing on ponds,

And ripples scurrying shoreward

Beneath over aching boughs of willow and cotton wood

Under a cloudless canopy

Of blue mountain sky

As I write,

Simply write.

Thank you, Lord, to be so blessed.

Monday, Jun 25 2012 

Louisiana Live Oaks make good subjects for poetry. This flashback to 2007 returns in rich memories of an almost sacred time for Louisianians.

Inventio!

menu01.jpgI like to look back in the journal at what I was writing and/or thinking about in the past. A couple of years ago, we were still shell-shocked by hurricanes–Katrina and Rita extracted their toll.

I had called on a local high school on business around this time of year but ended up out in the front lawn under the Live Oak trees for which the school is named (“Beau Chene”), writing with the students during one of my good friends’ English IV(AP) class. The following is the result of that writing exercise.

Everlasting Arms
Composed at Prairie Basse between Grand Coteau and Arnaudville
at Beau Chene High School, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, October 2005

Prologue
I came here to work . . .
The state paid the way!
And what am I doing on taxpayers’ time?
Writing poems!

 

(Tell not the governor.)

Yes, writing poems—
Under this grand…

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Country Roads, Acadiana: An Early Summer Epiphany of Place Wednesday, Jun 13 2012 

Pavement turns to gravel on Schule Road through the German Roberts Cove community in Acadia Parish, one of many picturesque Prairie byways.

This morning late I eased through the big “S” curve on the west side of Scott, Louisiana, Pandora Internet radio filling the cab of my Tundra pickup with the raspy strains of Lawrrence Walker’s 1965  Cajun classic “Valse de Reno.”

On the way to Lafayette for a meeting, I had elected to travel back roads into town, and that moment and that place and that song just kind of came together into what I call an “epiphany of place.”

Yes, I realized this was a bright, early summer day imposed upon a picturesque rural landscape oozing the cultural riches of South Lousiana.  (Summer doesn’t officially arrive until next week, but in Acadiana we measure the season not by the comings and going of the vernal equinox, but rather by the comings and goings of heat and humidity.  It feels like summer down here weeks before the calendar says “It’s now summer”).

On the way home, I paused at a couple of places along the route to capture some images of the bucolic Cajun prairie to present as a blog commemorating not just this day, but any day that I drive across the sprawling open places of South Louisiana.

The Prairie here is certainly flat, but the flatness of the expanse is hardly boring because the land is rich in features: soy bean and rice fields bristling with early-season seedlings, watery crawfish ponds spreading along the roadside, homesteads and farm buildings dotting the openness, distant tree lines following  winding creeks and bayous, and the roadway occasionally dipping beneath the flatness to curve  through lush overgrowth at occasional crossings of these same creeks and bayous.

Roberts Cove Road turns off White Oak Highway just north of Rayne, LA., winding though rice fields and crawfish ponds.

For me, the flatter the prairie, the better, because the farther I see, the more features in view.  This is  an elegant, charmed countryside.

I can’t replicate the 80 or so miles of coming and going for my readers, but I can provide a couple of photos from the way of today’s journey and include a link to “Valse de Reno” to commemorate today’s early summer epiphany of place.

The Beginning of the End: Light at the End of the Retirement Tunnel! Tuesday, Jun 12 2012 

I set forth my retirement in motion today.  I deferred my official retirement date of July 26, 2012 for no more than 3 years by making application for the State Teachers Deferred Retirement Option Plan.

“Deferred” means I can retire any time after July 26 if I want!

But three more years will add to the kitty, and then  I’ll think about calling it quits.

But it is comforting to know that any time after July 26, if I feel fed up enough, I can thumb my nose to the powers that be and head for the house!

Ah, this is what I’ve worked for lo these many years?  Thank God for Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana!

Celebrating the LSU Eunice Bengals 2012 Championship: Don’t Turn Out the Lights, Coach! Saturday, Jun 2 2012 

LSU Eunice fulfilled this blog’s prophecy! Geaux, Bengals!

Don’t turn out the lights, Coach.

Not yet.

Let us walk across this green field together,

One last time

Wearing purple and gold.

Side by side,

Arm in arm,

We are teammates.

 So let’s walk slow—

Make it last as long as we can.

Leaving will come soon enough.

And leaving will surely last long enough,

As we move on

To green fields somewhere else,

To bright futures yet imagined.

But let the bright future wait until tomorrow.

Tonight, let us hold memories fast

Of wearing our numbers one last time,

Of the field lights outshining the darkness,

Of the flag fluttering high in the center field breeze,

Of walking in cleats on this soft Bermuda carpet,

Of the mingled smell of leather, sweat, and dust,

Of playing this little boys’ game . . .

(And best of all, how sweet!)

            Of winning the national championship!

But most of all let us hold memories fast

Of one another.
Yes,

We are 2012 Louisiana State University Eunice Bengals.

National Champions.

Thanks for leaving on the lights, Coach,

This one last time.

Bengal Ball Rulz in Oklahoma: Hey, my strong tower! Friday, Jun 1 2012 

Another run rule win.  Another dominant pitching performance.  Another offensive display of discipline, power, speed, and timing.  Another defensive display of hustle and big plays in key moments.   Another display of frenzied fans supporting their boys the best.

One of LSUE’s strong towers, Dalton Herrington

Can anybody beat this Eunice team?

I doubt it.

But we’ll see tomorrow night when all the marbles roll.

Hey, Dalton Herrington: “You are my strong tower!”  Love that walk-up song all season long.  Let’s lean on it now, guys.

Geaux, Bengals!