Archives - April 2010

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Apr. 30

Orleanna Price


A Mother's Lament

     The photo on the right is of my mother placing flowers on my older brother's grave, as she has faithfully done for the past quarter of a century.  She gave birth to him when she was sixteen.  She lost him twenty-six years later.  As I have witnessed it first-hand myself, I find myself completely undone by any mother who has lost a child.

     One of the mothers of literature who really breaks my heart is Orleanna Price from Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible.  The novel is narrated by five different characters.  Each of the four daughters tells her side of the family odyssey in each of the sections:  "Genesis," "The Revelation," "The Judges," "Bel and the Serpent" (from The Apocrypha), "Exodus," and "Song of the Three Children."  At the beginning of each section, the mother narrates an introductory passage ...

Apr. 29

Kids Say the Darnedest Things


A Mother's Memories

     No matter the current age of my children (20 and 22), they will always be those little tykes who thought their mother was the most important person in the world.  The one person they could always depend on.  A child may grow up and switch loyalties, but a mother never does.

     That's a picture of me and my youngest son Cody on a family camping trip to Arkansas.  I carried him more miles than he walked when we went on hikes through the mountains.  When he was a little guy, he had some trouble pronouncing his "R"s.  (Unluckily for him, his best friend in pre-school was named Rocky Rudell.)  Worrywart mother that I am and always will be, I worked and worked with him, but to no avail.

     Cody, say:  'Ruh' 'ruh' 'ruh' 'rabbit.'

     'Wuh' 'wuh' 'wuh ...

Apr. 28

New Babies


What's in a Name?

     When I was a kid, my name was always being confused with my older sister Dena's.  My husband Mark had the same problem.  He had an older brother named Mike.  Unfortunately, the name conundrum continued with our own offspring.  We named our first son Corey.  It was an easy decision.  I had heard a singer on the radio with that name and fell in love with it. 

     When I was carrying our second son, the only thing I knew for sure was that his middle name would be Mitchell, in honor of my older brother Daryl Mitchell.  I was adamant about his first name not starting with a "C."  Our boys already had four cousins on their daddy's side of the family who had "C" names, and I didn't want any more confusion than was absolutely ...

Apr. 27

Sylvia Plath



     With Mothers' Day just around the corner, I'm starting a short series on the joys and pains of motherhood.  Why not start right at the beginning with pregnancy itself?  Here is Sylvia Plath's "Metaphors":


I'm a riddle in nine syllables,

An elephant, a ponderous house,

A melon strolling on two tendrils.

O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!

This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.

Money's new-minted in this fat purse.

I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf,

I've eaten a bag of green apples,

Boarded the train there's no getting off.


And it doesn't matter if that child is two or twenty-two or fifty-two, a true mother never de-boards the train.

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Listening to the whispering pines

Hello. My name is Donna Cozart Pauley. Welcome to The Whispering Pines, a literary blog dedicated to my love of the written word. It is an eclectic collage of my life -- from my poems to my stories to my family to my pets to my causes to my photographs to my recipes to my love of teaching to my favorite literature. Please feel free to comment. Words are only important if they are heard or read. Just like those soundless trees falling in the forest.

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