Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cracks in the Wall



Some photos I took yesterday of some cracks in a wall
along the sidewalk down the street.


Original photo of section below the area
shown in the photo above



Experimenting with different color schemes:
  



         "Four Deer Dancing"



Cropped, enlarged, turned upside down, inverted,
the deer 's legs become - a lamb sleeping.


 Repositioned, retinted -
it reminds me of ancient cave wall paintings.


Enlarged, rotated and I changed the color. again:

"Accidental Abstract Stonewall Art"

~ ~ ~

Sometimes your camera doesn't cooperate:

Leaf on pond water, and assorted detritus, at Park Chenaux
Way too blurry - what can I do with it?


Rotate, crop, enlarge, tint, invert -
 it's a Halloween ghostie, waving!

 Isolate a different section - and out come
two heads, back to back,  in profile, 
the woman on the left, slowly disappearing.
(Rorschachian interpretation #4)

but  . . .

Let's go with that profile on the right,
expand rightward, and tweak some more:

"Old crone smiles, talking to her skull"
[You can tell Halloween's coming.  It's coloring my imaginings!)
This  might work as a book cover for a little handpubbed chapbook . . .

nah!

Who knew noticing a few cracks in a stone wall and a leaf among pond scum would generate such a flurry of experimentation and discovery!    I wish I could  take really good Black & White photos and knew more about cameras.  It's more fun (and challenging) though, to see the possibilities of what can be done with what you've got, coaxing imagined specialness out of the "what it is".  What's surprising was how enjoyable it can be.

~ ~ ~


Okay, enough crazy imaginings.
Some other photos taken on the same walk, at the same pond:

He kept walking around, as if lost.


 Optical Illusion:

Three gulls, mirrored

 Then there were two

"Are you done photographing us yet?!"


  Dreamlike, upside down


Mr. Egret is bored.
He suggests we both call it a day.

__________________________________________________________

Photos were taken with an Olympus SZ-14 pocket camera (14 megapixel).  Tweaked with Picassa3.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Postdictables







  
Comparing something you wrote 25 years ago
 to something penned yesterday -
different fabric
same feel.
A voice in search of its

voice

____________________

postdictable = obvious in hindsight; predictable after the fact
[a word found in the Urban Dictionary]


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Traveling south to meet North


Brief hiatus of a few weeks down to the States and back.
Some  photographic highlights of the trip.



Mural across the street from the bus station in Montreal

En route, passing through Vermont

The newest little grandbub

Welcome to the world, North!


Returning, stopover at Burlington, VT - UVM campus (from window of megabus)


 
bussing back home, goodbye wonderful mountains


Autumn surprise. "Maurice" our tree had green leaves when I left.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A shaker-upper eyes the ring



Interesting.  This video was just posted a few days ago  to YouTube and already has over 75,000 viewers.

In this interview Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, an Independant,  echoes citizen anger over economic injustice, corporate corruption and lack of financial regulation/accountability vis-a-vis Wall Street, and the interviewer keeps trying to change the subject to . . . Hillary Clinton.

I'm not the only one to wonder, if Bernie Sanders does, indeed, run for president, what effect that might have on the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election. Judging by reaction to his announcement, not a few are saying he would definitely get their vote, and, as many have suggested, a Sanders/Warren ticket would pull in even more.  It does remind voters of the difficulty of someone outside the two main parties getting elected president, much less granted equal media coverage.  Maybe it's time for a change.

Who knows.  It will be interesting to watch the reaction from certain quarters as this all plays out. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Turtle and the Inkpots


On top my computer desk, every morning - that smile.
Meet Turtle, of the Blackfeet Tribe,  photographed in the 1950s, in Wyoming.
Saw this card on Ebay and that smile got to me.
When down days come, sometimes a single, simple image can pick you up again.
Turtle,  some little happy folk dancers, a tiny Buddha or miniature rhino - personal
brick-a-brack that say stay on track, no matter what.  What floats the boat.


But this is new:  The ink shelf, housing 4 blacks, 2 browns, 1 red, 1 blue-black, 1 Prussian blue, 1 Veridian, 1 India ink, and 3 especially designed inks for the rapidograph. 

I've become interested in ink wells lately, their shape and size and style.  I began to develop a preference.  My old Shaeffer, Parker Quink, and Pelikan bottles, while of interest to many collectors, didn't especially grab me esthetically.  This one, however, did:


I loved its size and shape and simplicity.  It was intended, or so the thrift shop keeper told me, for serving  compote, those little fruit-in-sugar syrup desserts.  I got 8 of them, still in their original package, for a mere $2.00. They were destined, however,  not for compote, but for my inks.  

I felt a bit guilty not labeling which was which--for example, which was a Parker, which a Pelikan and which a Shaeffer,  as if the emptied bottles would be offended if I didn't.  Now the inks all sit next to one another, unidentified--even as to color--and it's hard to tell now which is black or blue or brown.  I have to open it up and dip my pen inside to test it out.  What was I thinking?!  (I know which is which by how they're placed on the shelves.  Of course if someone comes along and mixes them up - well, let's not go there.  The deed is done, as they say.)

I love that they're all together, each in its own special place, each of equal importance. The inks are no longer scattered,  in some desk drawer,  the closet, or an old shoebox from 10 years ago, waiting to fill the fountain pen, a supply that will last a lifetime, and several beyond.  But then I discovered sketch doodling and gathered them all together,  began seeking certain new colors, and the nibs to try them out with.  The desktop, alas, has not been the same since. 

Turtle smiles from the upper corner.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Poets and their places





T.S. Eliot's family's former 7-bedroom/ 3-bath  summer house in Gloucester, Massachusetts is up for sale, for $1.3 million.

Do I dare to say a thought?

He might've worn white flannel trousers, and walked upon that beach
and heard the mermaids singing,
though probably not to him.
I’ve not lingered in the chambers of the sea, like he.
Human voices wake us, t’is true
but they also put us to sleep 
(except those of certain poets)
And dare I say,
what we ultimately drown from
differs.

Who couldn't write in such a space!
(says my awe-stricken imagination, comparing . . .)
but muses choose the time and place, 
and circumstance; don't
forget the prevailing whateverelses.

Apologies to T.S. Eliot for borrowing some words here.
The pruf is in the frock
Either it fits or it
doesn't.   But that thought about
our old houses and their handed-down rooms, as
shrines -
I hear some mermaids leaving

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Already?

 
awynfoto
 
 geese flying above the house this morning
heading south

flannel shirt needs  new button


Thursday, September 4, 2014

When Imaginings Stun



  War Child. .  Artist:  Michael D. Edens

Imagine

Imagine nothing to read or write
no way to watch your saffron thoughts
unfurl in gray graphite on pristine sheets of white

Imagine loneliness without solitude
no way to swim between friends and lovers
and the treasured company of your own secret muse

Imagine only filthy, brackish water
or no water at all to cleanse your body, inside or out
no clean springs in which to play by graceful glades

Imagine children conceived in rage and revenge
mothers without means to provide, to protect,
endless explosions stilling life on killing grounds

Imagine knowing only
war
poverty
ignorance
powerlessness
hunger

Imagine dying before you are old enough to know who you are

~ ~ Jamie Dedes

First published in Poets Against the War (February 2010).

_________________

Words and an image -- from poet  Jamie Dedes and artist Michael D. Edens, who once gave me their kind permission to share their creations on my poetry blog over at Salamander Cove. I would like to re-share them again today.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Birdchat




 Yesterday
outside,
  about 80 birds,
  loudly chattering 
inside the
 tallest 
cedar tree, suddenly descend as one, onto the front lawn  
and   frantically   begin   picking  at the  grass.  Then, in a 
millisecond
 fly   off   in  a
 single dark swirl
  directly over to the
 telephone wires where
 they    abruptly  go     silent.  
A minute or so later, as if on cue,
 they  head back en masse to the cedar tree
and resume their  loud, shrill cacophony, before
 bursting out of the leaves in a single blast at bullet-
speed, and disappear.from view. All that's left, a gentle
 breeze and eerie  silence --  the calm before the storm.
Here are          for the
 53 of              second
them               chat
when                fest
 they                  in
  got                  the
     the                 cedar
    call                 tree


_____________________________________________________ 

Nature's metaphor for how I've felt all week, reading about Ukraine, Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Ferguson, ISIS/ISIL, Ebola, bombings, beheadings, surveillance and war. Under a darkening sky,  watching in fear, everyone nervously chattering, or numbed into speechlessness, huddling together (like those birds in the cedar), or scattered, directionless, waiting, wondering how to weather  the storm we all sense may be coming.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Summer Morning's Harvest

awynfoto2014

Photo taken outside in the back yard this morning after putting the tomatoes on the bench and noticing the play of yellow/ red, the insistent little "rudi's" poking through the lattice, and the smallest tomatoes seemingly collectively turned to greet them.  I imagined them . . . conversing.   Only later did it occur to me how different are their lifecycles.  The tomatoes have to be planted anew  year after year after year, while the rudbeckias,echinacia, strawberries, raspberries, lemon balm, lavender, chives, mint and parsley all just automatically arrive and claim their usual spaces.  Some, like the raspberries, insist on 'traveling'.  A few even migrated into the tomato patch this year.  The strawberries, I see, are moving as well, beyond their designated borders.  Encroachables on the march.  And don't let's even talk about the mint!  My perennials continually surprise me. 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Next Door

On the old woman's clothesline:

Doll Baby

it will never grow up,
or not need her to care -
or leave, or ever
disappoint


Monday, August 25, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Trench Art


 "The Best Time of Day"
A postcard from the Trench Art Exhibit
"Dear Irma, the mail has been delivered. Good cigars. A letter.
 But in the newspaper there is nothing about peace?! 
1000 greetings, your Otto."
December 26, 1915


To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Postcards from the Trenches: Germans and Americans Visualize the Great War centers on the art created by German and American soldiers on opposite sides of No Man's Land.    Hand-painted trench postcards, sketches, ink drawings, and graphic works made by soldiers in the midst of the conflict, juxtaposed with mass-produced postcards and government propaganda, movingly illuminate the personal landscapes and bitter truths of the Great War.

In Washington, D.C. - Aug. 19 - Sept. 27, 2014
In Houston, TX - Oct. 23, 2014 - Feb. 14, 2015

Saturday, August 16, 2014

When Knowings Visit


awynart

Even those wired to feel perpetual astonishment,
awed by life despite its darkest overwhelmings,
could face a time when wonder ceases -
and at that moment wonder
if it matters.  And if so,
what then? 
    And if not, 
        what then?
In either case, an astonishing conversation might take place
within
of what one can live without, or in spite of,
or without which life's not "Life",
as Life waits listening at the side,
its bag of gifts and horrors, 
never-to-be's, unimagined possibles,
opening and closing
opening and closing
opening and closing..

Such wonderings arrive,
on reading how others have met and dealt with
the cloudy grey of life's tossed mix
of the ever-meshing Dark and Light,
'mid one's own 'knowings'. 






Monday, August 4, 2014

100 Years and our wars


[Harry Patch died in 2009 at the age of 111.]
 "No war is worth the loss of a couple of lives, let alone thousands."
~ ~ Harry Patch, former soldier



100 years after the "Great War"
and all those other wars that followed
. . . and continue,
some will turn off the lights tonight and light a candle and
pause for a moment of silence,
say officials televized visiting the graves of the 'fallen'
or giving speeches to honor the soldiers who fought.

What of those others, though,  who did not fight or serve,
those millions of citizens whose lives were also taken?
Mothers, babies, old folks, children, nurses, grocers, teachers, farmers,  bricklayers,
clerks and cooks and artists and scientists and students?
Nine million soldiers died in the fighting, 6 million civilians died from disease or starvation
and 1 million more as a direct result of military operations.[1]

"One million died as a direct result of military operations."
The military has a name for this latter group. "Collateral Damage."
Collateral means 'additional but subordinate; secondary; supplementary'.
Collateral Damage is damage to things that are incidental to the intended target.
Things like . . . people.
The intended target at Hiroshima was Hiroshima, the city.
A single bomb instantly destroyed the entire city.  And most of the incidental people therein.
The intended target in Gaza this past week has been schools, a hospital and buildings
full of refugees whose homes had been bombed, in this latest 'little' ongoing regional war.

Big wars and little wars, declared or clandestine, defensive or punitive, death is death.
We 'war' against crime, and drugs, and poverty - there are always, it seems, the need to
"fight a war on". 

In a dream I imagined an international  public memorial commemorating the
brave and the fallen due to war--any war--where instead of famous officials and military images
media-blasted to remind us of our war history (uniforms, medals, rifles, tanks, troops, battle scenes, trenches, etc.), where the focus is War--I imagined instead a sea of ordinary people, each holding a photo of a loved one lost to war, or the after-affects of war, assembling to remember not war and death (the how and where) but the life of the person war took, the focus on why.  Why war?  Why did we have to go to war?  Was there no other option?

The military rewards those who are exceptionally brave in war by giving them medals of honor.
What reward of honor to the mother caught in a war who meets a bullet head-on, rather than let it reach her child?  To the mortally  wounded brother who'd insisted that his sister be saved first.

In my dream there was no distinction among the dead - of who'd fought with a rifle
and who'd died as part of the group referred to by military strategists as "collateral damage". 
You don't have to have been there to be a victim of war. Ask the dead soldier's widow and children, the slaughtered parents' orphaned child, the nurses who take care of the returning war wounded.
Life, for them, goes on, but not without having gotten war's scars.  You just can't always see them.

Only when the second massive global war came along a few decades later
did The Great War ("the war to end all wars") start being called "World War I".
World War II showed that even "the most devastating war the world has ever known"
could not convince humans to end all wars.  Au contraire. 

The next world war won't be fought with soldiers on a battlefield. (The AI progammers haven't yet figured out how to get the future  robo-grunts to think like humans.)  Battles will be waged in a control room. Someone will just push a button and Poof!  the world as we know it will disappear, thanks to our evolution from crude canons and muskets to swift, precise nukes.


Imagine . . . a world without "war".
Our Militaries would become obsolete.
There would be no need to amass more sophisticated and more ingeniously concocted lethal weapons to keep up with other players in the race for better national defense. Departments of Defense could become Departments of Peace.

In my dreams.

___________________
*
An interesting observation - while commemorations commence on this 100-year anniversary,
reminding ourselves of the horrors of war, the focus should be on how to not let this ever happen again, right?
Without realizing it, I'd relegated Peace to being a fantasy.  That was . . . sobering.

I further note that in the above piece I've referred to war 23 times; to death or dying, 13 times; to the military, 6 times, and twice each to targets and bombs.   And only once, to peace.    (The part about lighting a candle, in a moment of silent reflection - is only performed for one minute, out of respect for each nation's warriors, rather than as an urgent call for peace.   Perhaps because in so many parts of the world, peace just can't take hold yet.)  I wonder, on the 200th anniversary of The Great War, if we will have finally figured out that war is not the answer.  If we make it to that time, as a civilization, that is.   I prefer to remain optimistic.  I don't know the answer (if war isn't 'the answer'), as to the exact  "how".   But maybe we'll get there "yet".  If not in my lifetime, another's.