Coffee Read No.3 & Rosa's Poem

Cosmic Tilt

Can I get a message from space-
Standing here with lifted face
To recall the cosmic tilt
From true north's polarity
-just 23.5 degress-
Freed from winter's finality
And the death of green leaves.

And where is the finger that pushed
Mama earth off her axis?
And will it push my dull praxis-
Set it spinning, crazed and wild,
Not unlike a small child
Dancing on her Papa's shoes?

Heed now the signs
Swelling bud, arching stem
-behold the greening of the world-
He cometh now, with spring in His hand:
The Final Word, the First Fruits
Judging the quick and the dead.


I am such a sucker for spring's rebirth and renewal, we're supremely gleeful at this time of year, and I've got chaenomeles japonica (flowering quince) right outside my door. Every day I'm checking the bare branches, looking to see if the buds look any more swollen, impatiently wondering when they will burst forth. (Not this year, probably, I just transplanted them and I don't think they're over the shock.) It's been good to think about this poem, about the earth's tilt on it's axis bringing the seasons, and how God similarly pushes me out of my comfortable places. And how in the end, Jesus is going to bring another kind of rebirth and 'greening'-when He comes to make all things new.

Coffee Read

The Coffee Read is now available, it's a $1.00 per copy and all proceeds benefit a local family who is trying to raise money for their infant daughter's surgery. If you want a copy, let me know and I'll snag one tonight: a poetry reading in the Brickhouse coffee house after the 7pm service. (Starts maybe 8:30?) Later I'll review the thing properly, the quick read-through B and I did last night after I got back from a long production night (think: lots of folding and stapling), revealed many gems, and I've got my eye on a few that I want to post here.
I'll say it again and again, how extremely.....nourishing it is to be a part of a a church that views poetry and the arts as a natural extension of itself, not an 'edgy' add-on for the young people, or merely a tool for evangelism. It's part of letting your light "so shine, that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

(And thank you to JunBear for your beautiful photography!)


Susan Harwood said...

Dear Rosa

I am worried by your silence.

I have wracked my brains to see if I may inadvertantly have offended you in some way - but can't think how!

But, if I have . . . perhaps you would let me know . . . because I would be truly sorry if this is the case.


heidi anne said...


thanks so much for beach+coffee, which i am now officially dubbing "beaffee," which is even funnier when you say it out loud, AND was a really wonderful time. you help water my soul. thanks for that.


**Ms. Franklin** said...

Dear S-I-L,

I was reading the latest issue of Domino and Flora Grubb was featured. Not sure if you know about her or not. Check her website and look under "press". Anyhow, the article made me think of you. I think that you should come up one of these days and we'll head over there.


rosa said...

-Susan, glad all is well! It's one of the things with the internet, there's so many ways to contact people, but equally so many ways to miss each other! B & I share another email address, and have forever, so I forget to check the rosatoast account as often as apparently I should!

-Heidi, yes 'beaffee' was fun, though cold, and we must do it, maybe with more jackets? Or a bigger fire? Or, wait a minute-then it's warmer!

-Ms. Franklin, it's funny, Mum calls B S-I-L too so I was confused. Yes, flora grubb! what an inspiration! that's the good me talking, usually I'm jealous and inferior-feeling about flora grubb. I'd LOVE to come up to SF to soak it up!

Katie Hund said...

i love your thoughts on spring. i forget to check out your blog...but when i do, i am baffled by the simple wisdom that comes from your experiences.

rosa said...

I wonder if you know just how much we miss you! Gracie is over 3 now and we owe so much to you and your excellent care over her and all the other Vintagelings......the Contessa keeps us updated, but we miss you still! I might just have to pop into Peet's....

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.