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Posts Tagged ‘leather button’


It is mid-evening and I am sewing the spine of my book, sliding my linen thread and needle through the signatures carefully. It is a book of food and love, for what is one without the nourishment of the other? The page with the Roman cheesecake recipe from Valentinians personal chef, Celerius Tuber faces a poem by Katherine Mansfield. Taking the hint from the poem, I fasten the turban’s head knotted brown leather buttons of my oatmeal and brown double-breasted tweed waistcoat, and wander into the kitchen to prepare a hot cup of tea to wind down the night.
“Outside the sky is light with stars;
There’s a hollow roaring from the sea.
And, alas! for the little almond flowers,
The wind is shaking the almond tree.
How little I thought, a year ago,
In the horrible cottage upon the Lee
That he and I should be sitting so
And sipping a cup of chamomile tea.”
Light as feathers the witches fly,
The horn of the moon is plain to see;
By a firefly under a jonquil flower
A goblin toasts a bumble-bee.
We might be fifty, we might be five,
So snug, so compact, so wise are we!
Under the kitchen-table leg
My knee is pressing against his knee.
Our shutters are shut, the fire is low,
The tap is dripping peacefully;
The saucepan shadows on the wall
Are black and round and plain to see.”

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The merest hint of spring is seeping through the cracks, and that tiny breeze is enough impetus for me to start redecorating. I have reupholstered two twin small tufted chairs in soft suede the color of Greek honey, and am preparing to accent the chairs with top-stitched detailed leather buttons. I am getting my collection of Persian miniatures depicting pastoral scenes and Hafiz’s poetry re-matted and re-framed, and have sent the carpets out to be cleaned and re-fringed. Although it is excessive, I have bought whispery Italian 1020 count Egyptian cotton sateen bed linens. In the case of sheet thread count, bigger is better.
“I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:
Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
And nose.
Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.”

(From I Heard God Laughing – Renderings of Hafiz, translated by D. Ladinsky)

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We are taking a slow nighttime stroll in the park. The playground slides and jungle-gyms loom in moonlight dabbled spirals and swoops, and the bushes along the walkway are dark and shadowy. We walk arm-in-arm, sharing sticky bits of saffron-infused almond brittle that you’d made the day before, chattering softly, and decide to take a seat on one of the worn and splintery wooden park benches. I fasten the leather buttons of my sienna corduroy jacket to keep out the night’s encroaching chill, and a herd of scraggly street cats circle around our bench begging for tid-bits. You quote the song of mehitabel to them, but they are disdainful.
“i have had my ups and downs
but wotthehell wotthehell
yesterday sceptres and crowns
fried oysters and velvet gowns
and today i herd with bums
but wotthehell wotthehell
i wake the world from sleep
as i caper and sing and leap
when i sing my wild free tune
wotthehell wotthehell
under the blear eyed moon
i am pelted with cast off shoon
but wotthehell wotthehell”

(By archy….or maybe Don Marquis)

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I remember strolling through Golden Gate Park on my way to meet you. It was dusk on a Thursday in the early spring, and the gardens were starting to bloom in a profusion of greens. We were rendezvousing near the Moon-Viewing Garden, where we planned to share a wee park bench picnic. A delicate, warm spring drizzle started, so I threw on my brown corduroy newsboys cap, and fastened my olive and tan Glen plaid rain cape’s olive green leather buttons. Blinking, I skidded to a sudden stop; there was a posse of grey squirrels with their short furry arms linked to form a barrier across the walkway. Would I make it on time, or would I be delayed by bushy-tailed bandits?
“Every time it rains, it rains
Pennies from heaven
Don’t you know each cloud contains
Pennies from heaven.
You’ll find your fortune’s falling
All over the town
Be sure that your umbrella
Is upside down.
Trade them for a package of
Sunshine and flowers
If you want the things you love,
You gotta have showers
So when you hear it thunder,
Don’t run under a tree
There’ll be pennies from heaven
For you and me.”

(By J. Burke and A. Johnston)

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It has been bitterly cold these days, and although I realize that this is normal for winter, I can’t help but shiver grumpily. Even Lulu and Francy have taken to avoiding the chilly slate kitchen tiles if at all possible, however they must traverse this culinary Siberia in order to eat their meals. This has caused much feline dissent, but despite avid lobbying, I have thus far refused to set them a place at the dining room table. I have set the table for one, and they are glowering at me and my warmth from the doorway as I cut into my Arepa-style black bean cakes topped with delicately oozing poached egg. I’m wearing a plethora of tweed consisting of an olive green and brown tweed Norfolk jacket with woven leather buttons, a waistcoat in shades of tweedy toast, plus-fours in olive tweed, thick woolen argyle stockings, and purple suede monk’s shoes. Lulu and Francy eye my warmth disdainfully as they wash the fur between their toes.
“Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
wo sind sie geblieben?
Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
was ist geschehn?
Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
Maumldchen pfluuml;ckten sie geschwind.
Wann wird man je verstehn,
wann wird man je verstehn?”

(By P. Seeger)

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I like the intense frothiness of crushes, and how magical ones beloved appears, each of their attributes testimony to their fascinating newness. What does this feeling segue into? How long will this swooning last? Is the transition from puppy love to something else always a rough road, or can it be traveled smoothly like a waxed ride down a playground slide? I wonder about love as I stand over a cutting board strewn with Swiss chard leaves that I’m chopping up for spicy tamarind soup with chickpeas, and think about us as I remove each tough rib and slice the chard into strips. I stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, vinegar, tamarind, brown sugar, and broth, and then wander into the living room to read a book while the soup simmers. The chill of winter is upon us, so I grab my new brown cable-knit wool sweater with grey suede elbow patches and embossed grey leather buttons to keep me warm. Patsy Cline’s sweet singing keeps me company during the quiet evening.
“Crazy, I’m crazy for feeling so lonely
I’m crazy, crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you’d love me as long as you wanted
And then someday you’d leave me for somebody new
Worry, why do I let myself worry?
Wond’ring what in the world did I do?”

(By W. Nelson)

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Everything changes. It is mid- November, and 2010 is swirling down the drain like so much dirty bathwater. It is midnight in my dark apartment. Both cats are sleeping on the leopard throw and the usually noisy outside streets are silent. I lay supine in my enamel tub; the scent of sandalwood and amber diminishing, and the water becoming cooler and cooler. I stand up, cold water dripping from my shriveled fingertips on down to my toes, fetch my worn, soft brown corduroy full-length bathrobe with over-sized espresso leather buttons and wrap myself in its comforting warmth. A steaming pottery mug of ginger tea and two cats to snuggle with will insure that I am prepared for the remaining 45 days of the year.
I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace I’m going through”

(By D. Jones)

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