The End of National Poetry Month

To celebrate the end of National Poetry Month, I am posting poems by others that I have enjoyed. Two are from classic poets that you may recognize. Oddly, the poetry follows the theme of life or death. The poem, Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep, was a poem I actually had to memorize for sophomore English in high school. Enjoy!

Untitled

If I’ve been around the block so many times,

how come I keep getting lost?

Then I stopped right where I was

And realized in that moment

That’s where I was supposed to be….

-Helen Cernigliaro

 

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Do not stand there at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die.

-Mary Elizabeth Frye via Poemhunter.org

 

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost from The Poetry of Robert Frost via Poets.org

 

The Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud    That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd,    A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine    And twinkle on the Milky Way, They stretched in never-ending line    Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced, but they    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A Poet could not but be gay,    In such a jocund company: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie    In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye    Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.

-William Wordsworth via Poets.org

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Ode to School Shopping

Today’s poem focuses on the humor aspect. This is an “old” poem but also a tribute to other parents and that special time of year 🙂

 The time is here again

 Two weeks before the bell

 Every parent’s worst nightmare

 School shopping hell

 There’s the supply list

 Scattered throughout every discount store

 Who needs four glue sticks? Three packs of crayons

 And trying to find manilla paper is always a chore

 The best time to go is morning or almost closing time

 It’s easier to shop

 And there’s often a shorter wait line

 Unless the “no tax” holiday is your thing

 That happens every August or July

 The people will be plenty, the parking will be maddening

 Every parent will want to cry

 So off you go, moms and dads

 The early mornings are about to begin

 Keep those initial lists handy

 The kids will probably make you go again!

The Surprise

April is National Poetry month. As a poet, I am sharing some of my works and favorites of others on the blog. This poem is an example of the bespoke poetry that I’ve written since childhood. Enjoy 🙂

 She sped past him at the turnstile

As she tried to catch the Metro train

Her black briefcase in one hand

And a bright pink umbrella unraveled, from the morning’s rain

He could smell her Lancome perfume

And tried to catch up

But people were wall to wall

On their phones, while balancing Starbucks

He got flustered and wanted to scream

His heart beating faster

He took the stairs two at a time

There is something he wanted to ask her

On the platform, she stared impatiently at her gold watch

Wondering where he could be

And that’s when he walked up behind her

Smiling sheepishly

The lights started to flicker

The Metro train was near

He wished he had more time

Damn, an early train was his biggest fear

A concerned look crossed her face

“Are you okay?”

He just took her hand in his, replying “There’s something I’ve got to say.”

“Right here, on the orange line I asked you out on our first date

We had a burger at BGR

That was 2008

So many things have happened since then

We’ve finished school, and traveled some

He got down on one knee

As her mouth opened in surprise

He finally got to ask her “Will you be my forever one?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a Bite Out of the Big Easy in 36 Hours

 

If  I were to give one piece of advice to the first-time traveler to New Orleans, it’s that the city is a food mecca. There are well over 1,000 restaurants to choose from and undoubtedly, you wouldn’t have to eat the same meal twice. Po-boys (or poor-boy sandwich), fresh seafood, steak, even sushi can be sought out (and please, don’t forget the beignets!). I literally spent about three weeks before my birthday searching for the best restaurants because there is no shortage of a good meal in New Orleans. It just depends on the traveler’s budget and their preferred tastes.

On the blog today, I wanted to share with you our culinary travels during those 36 hours. Of course, we did other things but since most of my travels revolve around the activity of eating, I know that readers could probably relate. 🙂

New Orleans is about a 3.5 hour trip for us, so we arrived right around lunchtime. After we checked into our hotel (we picked one in the middle of the French Quarter so that we could go Uptown or to Bourbon Street if we wanted) my husband and I set out for lunch.

Day 1

We chose Oceana Grill because we really wanted a shrimp po-boy. Again, there are numerous places for this dish and we will probably try a completely new place when we return in July. I did not mind Oceana Grill based on the reviews. But the restaurant itself was small and the po-boys took us by surprise. My husband, being a native Louisianan, loves his po-boys “dressed” and with popcorn shrimp. The shrimp po-boys here had large shrimp (at least 6) with sliced onions and coleslaw added on the bread. For dessert, we shared a Bananas Foster cake. It was very yummy, but more a drink with said bananas foster and cake mixed in.

Later on in the afternoon, we went to Café Du Monde. “The” world-famous beignet stand is all over the metropolitan area not just the original location on Decatur Street.  We tried one in Metarie, about a fifteen-minute drive from the downtown area. The beignets are good regardless of location and always come in an order of three. There is never too much powdered sugar either.

To be perfectly honest, we still weren’t quite sure where we were going to dinner by the end of the night. Our trek started out going toward Jackson Square, but we walked a few blocks and decided with night falling fast, to stop into Mr. B’s Bistro. This upscale restaurant was one of the highlights of our trip. The lighting was dim and romantic and the staff was very attentive. During my research, Mr. B’s customers raved about the garlic truffle fries. They weren’t lying. The fries were just the right amount of crispy, topped with cheese and truffle oil. My husband also had their seafood gumbo which proved to be good in helping finish off the fries. 🙂

While we might have gone to the famous Pat O’s on our first visit back in 2001, this time we elected to go across the street to the elegant Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar for drinks. The hotel itself is gorgeous (we spent some time after drinks reading up on the history of the hotel) and the bar was fun. The carousel seats revolved every 14 minutes. The French 007, one of their signature drinks was delicious and lemony. Their Vieux Carre had “quite the kick” according to my husband.

Day 2

Although the strawberry is the native fruit, I wondered why the banana couldn’t also share the prize. I am a fan of all things bananas foster. Breakfast at The Ruby Slipper (so-named as a tribute “to coming back home” after Hurricane Katrina) was no different. Their specialty, bananas foster pain, was a delicious French toast with the added bonus of raisins. My husband’s breakfast of choice? Cheesecake-filled French toast topped with mixed berry compote. It was a decent meal in a low-key environment.

Our plans changed after finally making it to Jackson Square. As I wanted to take a tour on one of the historic streetcars to the Garden District, we never made it to that section of the city. After heading out to City Park for most of the afternoon, our last stop in our culinary adventure was the piece de resistanceNola.

Nola is the less formal restaurant in Emeril Lagasse’s chain of restaurants. It is no less elegant, however. We were elevatored up to the second floor dining room, which had large windows overseeing the colored buildings next door. The meal and staff were wonderful from start to finish. Water glasses were always filled, the yeast rolls were some of the best either of us had ever eaten, and “Miss Hay’s chicken wings” with a side of hoisin sauce? They have been the only appetizer on the menu that hasn’t changed in the restaurant’s 24-year history. I wanted a second order just to take home with me! If you read my list from last week, you know that one of my favorite steak restaurants is in Florida. The steak I had at Nola could very well be tied for first. It was tender and had a very yummy sauce added to it that made the dish. While I’m still daydreaming about this wonderful meal, I also advise on trying Nola’s Banana Cream Pie. It was certainly one of my most memorable meals to date!

Do you have any favorite culinary adventures?