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"Icy Fingers" (Photo from stock xchng, by foobean01)

I know – I have been away, and when present, rather sporadic in my posting.  If you want to imitate such behavior, I have two quick and easy steps for you to follow in order to achieve such a distinction in the blog world:

1.  Have surgery on your right thumb and then get an infection that makes you very sick.

2.  Have AT&T as your ISP.

I am still angry and frustrated and exasperated with AT&T far too much to be able to blog about it.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?  Some day, maybe.  I could probably do it, but I would go WAAAAAAY over my 1,000 word limit!  (BTW, have any of you noticed my shortened posts since I returned to blogging in October?  I also post my word count at the bottom of my posts – look for the “wc – xxx” notation in parentheses.

Anyway, today there is no “meme-theme,” and unless the current situations abate substantially, my posts will be few and far between.  I am working on getting back up in business, but it is important that I not push myself too hard these days.

I do apologize, but it could not be helped.  AT&T has been throwing up erratic roadblocks to my being able to get and STAY on-line.  As well, a bit of a painful hurdle in re my thumb.  I will not go into great detail, other than to let you know that an infection developed in my thumb surgery site.  I was hospitalized for a few days because of it.  Fortunately, the infection bacteria was not MRSA.  My wonderful doctor did an incision and drainage of the area, and I was on IV antibiotics and pain medication.

I am home now on oral antibiotics, and doing quite well, but I am frustrated to find out that the most recent fusion might not be successful.  Repairing it (again) would be much more difficult and involved (if it turns out to be necessary), and I am doing my best to behave myself. Of course it is painful, and while I am able to do my blogging activities, I really don’t feel like it.  That coupled with the ISP stuff has kept me away, and it will, I am guessing, keep me away from you all, and therefore you away from me for the next several days or weeks.  If all works out well – and why wouldn’t it? – I will be back by the first of 2012, if not before.

So, I am taking this time to wish you all the very best and most blessed of Christmas seasons.  It is always a time of joy for me, and I hope the same for you, too!  In addition, “Here’s to 2012!”  May she one day be known as one of our best years!.  You will all be in my prayers and thoughts each day.  Keep me in yours!  It feels wonderful knowing that others think of you, even when you can’t see them, or don’t really know them!  It is a healing balm.

Now, on to a terrific treat for you all.  I have developed a wonderful on-line friendship with a gentleman known as “Doug.”  You might recall reading some of his fantastic comments he leaves here on my blog.  I met Doug on Goodreads, and he (as have others on the site) has been of invaluable help to me as I slog through the editing process of my poetry collection, which I hope to e-publish next year.  He wrote a wonderful poem that I want to share with you all called “Icicles.”  It is the perfect time of year for this wonderful “imagery” poem.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Please comment about this poem here on my blog.  Doug does not have a blog, but would really appreciate your comments.  He prefers to remain a mystery man for now, but he did allow as to how I could tell you he is from central Ohio.  Please direct your fans to this post as well.  Doug deserves as many readers as possible!  I hope to be posting more of his work here in the coming months.  In addition, if any of you out there would like to have a place to post your poetry, let me know – I would be delighted to have RFACM serve as a venue for your work.  All “reflections” welcome!

(N.B.  From Doug: “In ‘Icicles,’ I am trying to say that when things we love disappear, there is a ‘plan’ for it and it will be missed but replaced.  It’s therapy writing.”)

Funny fellows and lovely ladies
upper world stalactites and stalagmites
devoid of color like their cousins
Yet, they harbor every color in their wrinkly reflections

They come from the world of things-that-can-not-be-kept
the place of sights too beautiful to exist very long
for if they did, everything else would die of inferiority

As a flower picked will quickly fade and whither
an icicle snapped from its clutching root above
will shrink away to whence it came and there to stay
until some cold day when the world needs it again

Those silver daggers dazzling to the dripping point
still will not stab or slice the thinnest skin
but playfully grab your mitten in a grip of death
The sun erases the murals that frost paints on them at night

Blowing wind ripples then and might leave them leaning
sometimes looking as if they drank too much
Others marry up and have children of different ages
great clans standing straight in a row for a family photo

When everything is hiding under a blanket of snow
and the world just a scribble of glazed brown bark
the lake sleeps, the evergreen bows and roofs weep
then the icicles come to our world to live and play for us
though they hum an eerie symphony in the blizzard

Sometimes I caress their slippery tapered shapes
stick my tongue out to catch the cool drops from their tips
while I squint at the reflection of the sky dancing in them

We could fence like knights with gleaming swords
and break off all the silver bars that jailed the princess’ castle
We may have their company for a frozen month

One beautiful day we will return from work or school
to find our lady and fellow friends have taken hurried leave
returned to the world of things-that-can-not-be-kept
the place where all beautiful things must go

Copyright ©2011  Doug.  All rights reserved.

So for today I bid you all “adieu,” as I journey off to my own world of “things-that-can-not-be-kept-silent-for-very-much-longer-she-wildly-hopes.”  I wish you all well, and continue to hope, pray, and wish for you all, my Gentle Readers, enough. . .

(wc 1113)