Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All Things Reveal All Other Things

My poem, Insomnia is featured on Claire Beynon's blog, '...All things reveal infinitude...' Read it HERE. She has a lovely blog where she generously features poets every Tuesday. The picture to the left from Claire's blog is a detail from Peter Nicholls' steel sculpture - 2009.  Be sure to check out Claire's art blog: http://www.clairebeynon.co.nz

Many thanks to Claire for featuring this little-known poet.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"When What To My Wondering Eyes Should Appear...."

...but miniature Carolers! Yes, apparently I've become "that" person to the good folks of the local church - the widow down the street, the old lady who took care of another old lady who died. Whatever the reason, it was a delight last night to open the door to these munchkins singing, "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," each facing lighting up on the asides of  'like a lightbulb'  (please note the shy nose poking out of the red and black parka, lower right).

I'd like to thank all the people who commented on my last tiny poem and the poetry link I put up. I've been contacted to have one of my poems published by an online poetry site and they wanted a link to my other poems, hence, the list. I appreciate your comments so much. That you would take the time to read any of my poems is a wonder to me - a Christmas Miracle. It makes my heart glow.
Happiness of the Season to you all!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


So she took the bud                          
out of her ear
and put it back
on the flower.

It was,
there is,


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1914 - 2010

Carol C. Schoenhals

February 07, 1914 ~ November 23, 2010

Carol Chapman Schoenhals, 96, passed away on November 23, 2010 at her daughter’s home in Salt Lake City.

Carol was born on February 7, 1914, in Salt Lake City, to David Charles Chapman and Hazel May Evans Chapman. She was a lifelong resident of Salt Lake City, graduating from East High School in 1931. After high school she worked for Mountain Bell Telephone Co. for six years. She married Alvin Joseph Schoenhals on June 24, 1940, in the Salt Lake Temple.

Carol was a talented musician. She played the piano beautifully all of her life and sang in a number of choruses. She had a beautiful soprano voice. She was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for eight years. Music was always an important part of her family’s life, bringing enjoyment to her children and to many other people as she often played the piano for Relief Society meetings, programs and groups. She also played the organ for several years.

Carol was a loving and affectionate mother and grandmother. She and Alvin were the parents of three daughters, Carolyn (Robert) Doty, of Logan, Utah; Kristin (Richard) Winterton of Midland, Mich.; and Kathryn Feigal of Salt Lake City. She had 14 grandchildren: Lee Doty, William Doty, Beth Ann Doty, Lynne Marie Kerhin, Matthew Doty, Anna Doty, Elaine Bradley, Marcia Marshall, Jill Campbell, Daniel Winterton, Todd Edwards, David Edwards, Mark Edwards and Mary Ann Edwards. She also had 35 great-grandchildren.

Carol was preceded in death by her husband, Alvin; her sisters, Virginia C. Wood and Esther C. Jensen; her brothers, Eugene H. Chapman and David Marden Chapman; and one granddaughter.

She was a member of Daughters of the Utah Pioneers for many years. Her family members will remember her for her kindness, her devotion to family and her sense of humor. She was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The family would like to thank the many friends in Bonneville Ward for their many thoughtful deeds and loving support of Carol over the years.

Funeral Services will be held on November 27, 2010 at 12 Noon at the Bonneville Ward, 1535 East Bonneview Dr. Friends may call beginning at 10 AM prior to the service.

Condolences may be sent to the family at larkincares.com

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh, The Ignominy of It All

This is a phrase Dad said a lot toward the end of his life, and now Mom says it. She also says, "Old age isn't for sissies." Her moments of clarity about her situation are surprising to me because they are in such drastic contrast to how she is during and after her little strokes (T.I.A.s). We say the aliens have visited her because it feels so other-worldly to both of us. She says it is like dreaming with her eyes wide open and when she tries to express what is going on, it is a word salad of utter nonsense.

I watch the tiny rise and fall of life as she sleeps.
I think the end will come like the boyfriend I'm told will appear when I'm not looking for him.  I know this is a spurious comparison and probably in bad taste, but Mom's departure is on her mind and everybody who attends to her. I'm glad severe is part of persevere because no one is going gently into this good night. Even though she says she is ready to go, I see her raging against the dying of the light.

I see her perk up when visited and fed by my angel friend, Cathy.
I think I look alarmingly like my mother in features and age.
I delight in the animated expressions between brother and sister (Uncle Dave is 95).
I muse constantly about the meaning and grace of all this. I have felt unable to look at or write on blogs for over a month and then several blogging friends inquire about my well-being and I feel propelled toward expression again.

I have an encounter with a friend who is unable to accept my affection and gratitude and I struggle to not blame, grasp and justify either of our behaviors. What I make of the people who appear in my life, as well as the circumstances, thoughts, emotions and contradictions is up to me. I realize the sweet kiss of freedom is a concept in my mind and I can surrender to not knowing how my life will be used. I realize that trusting thoughts, events and people has been disillusioning and part of my story (always the Drama Queen). Most of my story has been a lie of protection and safety. I remind myself of favorite lines from books that encourage me to not identify with whatever is bothering me, but to engage in what is effortlessly present. "Freedom is the essential nature of consciousness, and consciousness is the source of individual awareness." from The Diamond in Your Pocket by Gangaji

No condition can be labled ignominious when looked at with the natural curiosity that develops when old concepts are released. It is just a thought. I can change my thoughts (but probably not Mom's). I can stop searching for something to rescue me from myself. I am free.

(Top picture taken by Dad while serving on his mission in Germany. All other photos, taken by me)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Jim Murdoch's "This Is Not About What You Think"

This is Jim Murdoch.  He's Scottish. He's intelligent. When you read stuff he's written and understand it, you feel intelligent too.

I can't even begin to pretend that I know how to review a book, but what I can tell you is why I enjoyed this collection of poems.

Jim writes how you wish you could write, but not so much that the jealousy prevents you from laughing at the things you wish you'd said, like, "I'd give my childhood a three. That's me being generous." This is from his poem, "Marks."

His poems follow a thoughtful progression with "Advice to Children" interspersed throughout - things you probably are happy to read now, but glad you didn't have to hear when you were a child. This, from "Imaginary Friends: "People leave; it's what they do..."
As you read along, you will be struck by his wit and adeptness. You'll be thinking, "Oh, there's so much humor here. This is a fun book." But at page 39, your breath will catch in your throat. The poem "Still Birth" will make you realize this man can not only be glib, but he has a depth of feeling that transcends gender barriers. Then you will go back and reread his poems with new eyes.

A major theme in Jim's life is THE TRUTH. You will see it here. In his poem "Shadowplay," he says, "What are lies but truths gone rotten and secrets lie in that no man's land between the two." Man, I wish I'd written that, because I think it's so true.  The major theme of his blog and novel, Living with the Truth is found in "Old Flames In the Rain."   
"...and the truth about lies
is we can't live without them.
Not even the white ones."
The title of this collection is ironic because Jim gives you permission right away to make of these poems something he never intended or imagined so it pretty much is about what you think.
 Click HERE to order
to read excerpts - http://www.jimmurdoch.co.uk/think_excerpt.html

Monday, August 2, 2010

Update on My Neice's Band: Neon Trees and "Animal" Climbing the Charts

Utah synth-pop band scores Hot 100 hit and love from the Killers 

Who: Provo, Utah synth-pop revivalists Neon Trees. The all-Mormon band started up in Southern California in 2004 when frontman Tyler Glenn and guitarist Chris Allen's fathers suggested the two play together. "They both thought we were deadbeats," says Glenn. The band migrated to Utah separately and made fans in the Killers, who helped them score a record deal.
Sounds Like: Their debut Habits is filled with Eighties pop meshed with bombastic alt-rock choruses — like the Killers playing backup for Duran Duran. "Your Surrender" is a U2-style singalong, "1983" is a bratty dose of keyboard-driven pop punk and Hot 100 single "Animal" is an irresistibly catchy lovesick dance tune. The band's is pretty clear about its inspiration: "New Wave is basically all I listen to," says Glenn.
Killer Instinct: After playing clubs for a few years, the band got its break in 2008 when Killers drummer Ronnie Vanucci Jr. dropped in to see a Vegas gig. The drummer was so impressed, he offered the band a few opening slots on the Killers massive Day & Age tour. "We've always played like we play in front of thousands of people anyway," says Glenn. But the band hasn't rested on its connection to Brandon Flowers and Co. "We've made a conscious effort to not always associate with the Killers," says Glenn. "Ronnie even said, "I think you guys can stand on your own.' "
Clean Team: The band doesn't preach their Mormon teachings in their songs, but none of them drink or party. "It's funny how backstage, if you say you're doing it for God or doing it for morals or for health, people say, 'That's stupid' or 'lame.' But if you say you've been sober for 10 years, they respect you because you've been through AA," Glenn says. "Half the people think I'm on drugs anyway, I've always had a drone-y southern California voice and worn sunglasses in an airport when I shouldn't."
Bad Romance: Glenn's favorite track on Habits is "Our War," a heartbreaking plea to a girl he dated for two years. He even prepared for marriage by asking his aunt for a family heirloom ring. The song traces the day things started to fall apart, when the couple were supposed to take a trip to Salt Lake City. "I was at a bus stop waiting in the rain all day," he says. "I walked all day in the rain. Looking back on it, it felt cinematic. But since then it's bottled up and made me not trust. Maybe the whole next Neon Trees album will be more angry."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Let me try to put a spin on events that keep crossing my mind...

First spin: It's better to change the nature of a relationship 
than lose significant people in your life.
Event: Two ex-boyfriends and I go to a jazz concert together (July, 2010).
Event: Ex's wife & family & our children and my parents 
celebrate together our son's willingness to serve (1992).
Second spin: Children usually teach us more than we can ever teach them.
Event: Daughter goes to Sr. Prom with a bunch of independent, 
strong-minded girls who are accused of being lesbians 
trying to make a statement (which they aren't and weren't, 
but would defend to a profound degree ~ they just proudly didn't have boyfriends). 
She and her feisty friends, after having to fight their way past 
a bunch of uppity, judgmental people who wanted to send them away, 
are able to have fun and take a group picture (1994).

Third Spin 
Sometimes Everybody Loves Raymond is more important
than Voltaire.
Event: Being drawn into her room every time Mom laughs uproariously (July, 2010).

Fourth spin (borrowed from Michael Ryan):

When the immutable accidents of birth -
parentage, hometown, all the rest -
no longer anchor this fiction of the self
and its incessant I me mine,
the words won't be like nerves on a stump
crackling with messages that end up nowhere
and I'll put on the wind like a gown of light linen
and go be a king in a field of weeds.
                                                                      kassphoto, Midway, UT 7/2010
(this post inspired by Eryl's latest post)

What different spins are you putting on things lately?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Blogiversary to Me

It's My First Blogiversary!

How nice you stopped by to join me in celebrating my first 
tremendous fun, and I’ve enjoyed meeting so many wonderful, interesting bloggers and 
readers that became friends in the process. I especially want to thank those bloggers 
who dropped by to say hello in my early days, followed along and encouraged me. 
These were my first posts:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Luke 8:36

And those who had seen it told how (s)he who had been possessed with demons was healed.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


"Being alone and liking it is, for a woman, an act of treachery, an infidelity far more threatening 
than adultery." Molly Haskell

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Did You Pick Up the Eaves I Dropped?

Overheard at Chico's
Customer: I bought this in another state.

Clerk: ...of consciousness?
Customer: My daughter says it doesn't look good on me.
Clerk: Would you like to exchange it for something else?
Customer: My son-in-law's waiting in the car, so that could be dangerous.

I have several backstories for a lot of what is going on here and I may develop it into something at some point, but for your further eavesdropping pleasure, you may want to sample these posts from other snoopers:

Tell me your own overhearings in comments or link to your blog.

Yesterday's post started a discussion in comments that I would like to continue here. After all, a movie is a form of eavesdropping and that's how I came upon that scene from The Last Picture Show. I dropped in on it while flipping through cable stations, looking for something that would put me to sleep. The first time I saw that movie 39 years ago, I thought each black and white frame was a masterpiece. The story was intriguing, but it didn't slam me like Wednesday night's viewing. Accumulated time just pounded in that final scene with a force that drove home issues I have lived. I think some of you have lived the same issues.

For those not familiar with the story of The Last Picture Show, the Timothy Bottoms character is a high school student who has had an affair with the coach's wife, played by Cloris Leachman. So you were right, 'Out on the Prairie,' she is old enough to be his mother. Timothy dropped Cloris cold when the Cybill Shepherd character swooped in on him and Cloris was devastated. What the movie left out of the final scene, which is in the book, is the narrative of her thoughts when he returns 3 months later. She rationalizes,  "He's only a boy."  

'Standing on my head' commented that Timothy's whipped puppy look would not work on her and that she could forgive, but not continue. Terresa said forgiveness is a gift. Jonas offered a quote about forgiving others often; ourselves, never. Alesa said it depends on the person and the wrong - the face has nothing to do with it. Vicky said she could be shmoozed. Angryparship said a definitive "NO." To forgive her sociopathic X would be to condone his terrible behavior. The "oh woe is me, nothing is my fault" doesn't quite make it anymore. Limes said she is an easy forgiver and that humans are renewable. She has been both hurt and amazed by humans.

My emotional response to the last scene of The Last Picture Show speaks to a common theme that jangles me to the bone. I can't form a cogent sentence to describe the theme, but it has to do with love, forgiveness, boundaries and HOW TO BE in this world. This is not the only movie that has brought up this theme for me.

Have you ever been in a movie theater and upon seeing something, wrenched and shook in your seat with so much emotion, it was embarrassing?

The first time that happened to me, I was 8 years old. It was the last scene of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. Billy Bigelow has come from heaven to try and help his widow and daughter. They are abjectly poor and the daughter, Louise is made fun of for her shabby clothes and pitiful state. It is her high school graduation and she is standing next to her greatest tormentor, the daughter of the richest man in town. Billy has been given a chance to influence her as a mortal and has failed, so as a spirit, he is granted one last chance to encourage her. He whispers in her ear that she should have confidence in herself. The music is soaring (I think it's "You'll Never Walk Alone") and with an assured smile on her face, Louise puts her arm around her nemesis.  I lost it. I mean I really lost it. My little 8-year-old self just wept, and I didn't know why. I think now it was because seeing the extension of love to a tormentor pointed out an earth-shaking truth, one that I needed to embrace to be healthy. But, of course, it doesn't mean we always have to literally embrace our tormentors.

Another time I embarrassingly shook in my theater seat was at the revelation of the underlying trauma in Prince of Tides. This time the shaking was more like an uncontrollable shudder. Too close to home. If you know the movie, no explanation is needed. 

Yes, life doesn't play like a movie and we can't extract lessons as if movies are representative of any depth of wisdom, but they can point out issues we continue to deal with. I continue to be confronted by my emotional reaction to movies, poems, stories - any form of art that speaks to the limits of love and forgiveness - all the facets of reconciliation and redemption, renewal of innocence and HOW TO BE. I guess what really got me about Timothy Bottom's face was how I've never seen that or experienced a man saying he was TRULY, DEEPLY sorry. It's a fantasy, one that shook me to the core when I saw Timothy's face. Oh yes, if I ever saw that, I'm afraid I would be Cloris Leachman and reach out and say, "never you mind, never you mind." I also believe I have hurt people deeply enough that I long to hear those words spoken to me.

Please tell me what movie scenes have elicited strong emotions from you and how you've dealt with it, or address what the limits of love and forgiveness should be - what the facets of reconciliation, redemption and renewal of innocence are and how TO BE (I'm not asking much, am I ?).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

If a person who had wronged you 
showed up at your house with this expression on his face
and reached across the table to hold your hand 
after you had ranted and railed against him,
would you,
could you,
"Never you mind. Never you mind"?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Click icon to view other shadow shots.
Two posts today. Scroll down.

Happiness Is...

There are many prompts that we, as bloggers can use to stimulate us into action.  There's the Poetry Bus, Shadow Shot Sunday, Happiness Is....and many others if you really go searching. This is my Happiness Is...photo essay. I'm not entering it in the competition because I have more than three photos.
Happiness is being able to hang from a tree to stretch out after a bike ride and not caring if your underpants show...
Happiness is buying lemonade at the end of a hot bike ride from cool dudes who are raising money for the poor people. 
Happiness is finding an art gallery in the back yard of someone living on a country road.
Happiness is coming home just in time to see your daughter get the phone call informing her she got a job after being unemployed for a year and a half.
Happiness is being able to go the country because your big sister drove 2 hours to come take care of your mother for 2 days.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

©Kathryn Feigal 2010 All Rights Reserved

Check out the other entries at Shadow Shot Sunday by clicking the above badge.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Body Scan

Today I've gone missing.
I'm hiding in my body,
visiting all the hankerings
I never resisted.

A shrewd and small alien,
I furrow along wiry edges
where edible music
escapes like blood. 

I drain sacs of dark secrets,
splay upon the surface
of sentient cells,
pressing for answers.

I lodge in peevish crevices,
consort with membranes
too permeable 
to hold lies.

I surface to a d minor scale of skin
so tenderized by touch,
it no longer
covers dense, irregular issues.

I wrench through follicles
of foregone conclusions,
hear tiny trickles 
of truth broadcast 

on narrow bands
of breath.
I come clean about being
caught dead

in desires etched so deep
they invert.
Pain accompanies me,
points out the bone-on-bone grindage 
of missteps,  
shows me deposits of fear
where I've been disparaged
into bits.

Arriving at the place
where fantasies dislodge,
I spring open like laughter,
and settle

into myself.

Kathryn Feigal, 2010

© 2010 by Kathryn Feigal. All rights reserved. 

Unfathomable mind! now beacon, now sea.
Samuel Beckett

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Constitutes "BedTime"?

Photo challenge from Brenda's blog.
Mom and Lola are ready.
The necessary items await me.
The sky darkens.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kissing Joy

He who binds to himself a joy doth the winged life destroy. 
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
lives in Eternity's sunrise.
William Blake 
In the time since I last posted, a lot has happened. 
There have been difficult times, hard work, 
and sadness mixed with joy. 
I attended the funeral of a wonderful cousin-in-law 
in a beautiful country setting -
                                      gathered with family on Memorial Day

in remembrance of a loving, 
yet complex father/grandfather - 

- moved my mother in with me
and fussed over all the preparations and adjustments,
including the replacement of my clawfoot tub
with a walk-in shower - 
- watched with amazement at how much my daughter
threw herself into helping me - 
She cooked up a weeks-worth of meals for me to serve 
and painted the bathroom yellow.
My sister came from out of town to help with the move. This is the ultimate older sister, who was a second mother to me growing up. I remember when she sat me in front of my mother's dressing table, fussed with my hair and as we both looked at our reflections in the mirror said, "You are really going to be something special when you grow up. I can just tell."
I've watched my daughter's dog 
tenderly cuddle with Mother. 
For some reason, Lola lies on top of Mom's feet 
when she is at the table. 
I think animals have a special ability 
to sense when someone needs comforting.
My life has changed, but I am at peace.
(the sky last night)