where the writers are
Irish Christmas Day

Merry Christmas to all my Red Room Friends!



Boleybeg Christmas

Blinis (Buckwheat) for Breakfast

Milk is sour so Baileys has to do for coffee

the smell of cloved ham frying in the pan

birds swoop on oatmeal scattered on the lawn

and I scold bare-footed sons with sleep in their eyes

so be-dazzled by baubles from the moon that hangs in the clouded sky

that the icy floor does not even penetrate where they have come -

Scrabble and all my letters vowels

and smoked salmon on my mind -

capers and avocados, slivers of anchovies

Flat Bread with Rosemary from Piedmont

and a bowl of tangerines  spin in my mind

Roast turkey drenches the room stuffed with mother's

dressing - rich with butter, thyme, sage, parsley

and bacon steeped in cider and juice and clove and plums

awaits the unveiling

The sun is way too big on this day and the sight too brilliant

and all of the sun is in the fireplace that warms two dogs by its


and the letters scramble on the table, no one has put them away -

they lay there like broken words that must mean something and yet

there is still so much to come of this day that all my sentences must meld 

together, must convey, must matter like sauce in a pan thickening with each

stir, each time the wood on the spoon wears down just a little, just without

even anyone noticing.

14 Comment count
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Merry Christmas Mary.

Merry Christmas Mary.

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Merry Christmas Jitu - I

Merry Christmas Jitu - I addded a song for you too. mx!

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That is a lovely song Mary.

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Tender As She Goes

A Christmas thick with memories and wishes, words and repeated conversations that stir in our minds just as the spoon stirs the gravy.

Merry Christmas from Monterey.


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Ah! The lady in the great

Ah! The lady in the great hat!!! Nice to see you Christine - out of touch with Red Room - too many pots on the stove to keep an eye on just now but it is lovely to see you and to know that you took the time to leave me such a lovely message. Happy New Year from Galway. Mx

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Christmas cookery

I could smell the ham, and was awaiting the bacon too. How lovely, Mary. I missed the smell of turkey this year...and passed on the stewed goat.

Thank you for the song. I have sung it every year at the Veterans hospital. It always brings a lot of emotion from the vets. This is the first year I wasn't there. It was nice to hear it again.

Merry Christmas, Mary. I don't think the letters will remain broken words for long.

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Dearest Sharon, I think of

Dearest Sharon, I think of you often, inexplicably really - I could be folding clothes or stirring a sauce and you will come to mind and I think it strange and yet, nice to know that I think of someone I have never actually met and I think how wonderful life is that we can connect with people who come to mean something and we don't know why if you know what I mean.

As for my words - well, I call this a hiatus. I am in the throes of culinary art and it will go on for a while and I just read about Elizabeth David and I wonder if you know her? If you don't Google her, I think you will like her philosophy on food - she is my new guru! Keep stirring Sharon, keep up the spirit. Love from Ireland. mx

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Thinking and stirring

Mary,I know exactly what you mean of connection. And how blessed I am to know that you think of me; and I of you... Especially when I see fog, rain, or a new green something sprouting, or even the lonely cow on the side of the road.

 I think of you when I write, and especially when I cook.  I did google Elizabeth David, and immediately was struck by the romance she had with food. I read a snippet of her "Italian Food" and loved the history and back story. My favorite cookbooks have more than just recipes.  I have been known to "read" cookbooks just  for pleasure.

I just ordered South Wind through the Kitchen: The Best of Elizabeth David, perhaps a good way to get to "know" her.

 Best to you and your family this year, Mary. I am looking forward to you recounting a recipe or two.

 Love from Uganda,


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That is great Sharon. I

That is great Sharon. I might order that too and we can swap notes. I did think about ordering her French Provincial Cooking but I am not sure if it includes her essays on food and that is what I am most interested in.

 I hope that Santa was good to you even in Uganda and that all your treasures arrived to brighten up your new home. I light so many candles these days just to ensure the house is always welcoming and, in a way,  gentle.

I will recount some recipes. I made a Tiramisu today - it took forever but it looks pretty decent. For some reason I thought New Year's Eve to be tomorrow and now I think I might have a difficult time keeping the Tiramisu intact for the big night as intended.

 Cheers Sharon - cheers to friendship and life and how small the world is- in the end.


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Broken words waiting for your return...

Powerful ending: each time the wood on the spoon wears down just a little, just without
even anyone noticing.

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Thank you Sue - love to

Thank you Sue - love to Woodsong - our spoons wear down and we don't notice until they eventually break. mx

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missed you and your words,

missed you and your words, m. hope you had a wonderful holiday and wishing you a stupendous 2011.

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d - how wonderful to see you

d - how wonderful to see you again! my god you must be on your tenth book by now...it is strange but today i was thinking about my writing and how i've missed it just by not doing it. i mean writing helps you see things more clearly and with it comes fresh eyes that can go cloudy very quickly without use. i miss the words and i miss seeing ordinary things in a special way. when i write the ordinary usually turns into magic and even one damp wet field that today looks sodden and dead can become a glistening magical place full of possibility just by the writen word. happy new year dear d - i hope life is good for you - you deserve it. best always, m

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been doing more promoting

been doing more promoting than writing as of late, but finally getting back into a normal writing routine again.  and yes ~ your writing the ordinary does turn into magic.