Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thought-Pick at the Bus Stop

 "Now don't go getting any crazy ideas, like
that we all really originally came from outer space or something.
That's a conspiracy theory, man."

"The Philae space probe was powered down earlier than expected, but not before an instrument discovered an organic compound that was first detected in the comet’s atmosphere, the Wall Street Journal exclusively reported Monday.

 "The find is extraordinary considering the organic compound contains the carbon atom, which is the basis of life on planet Earth. Further research is being conducted to see if there are complex compounds like amino acids or simple ones like methane and methanol, considered “building blocks” for proteins.

 "The research “will help us to understand whether organic molecules were brought by comets to the early earth,” Stephan Ulamec, the Philae’s landing manager said, according to the Journal." [Source]

Monday, November 17, 2014

Imagining what it's like

. . . .   to have to run from drones


Sunday, November 2, 2014


So long ago . . . .
Sundays in that drafty loft
reading the newspaper, sipping espresso
and cheap red wine,  the air reeking of Gauloise, 
Hardy's voice charming the pigeons in the rafters.
All the storms we weathered, he and I -
but not together. (Some things are just not meant to be.)
Ah, memories!  Scenes replayed as if on cue
each time you hear a certain song,
reliving faded old snapshots of that long-ago you
who still calls out from time to time
to remind.

Lyrics (en  français)

Beaucoup de mes amis sont venus des nuages
Avec soleil et pluie comme simples bagages
Ils ont fait la saison des amitiés sincères
La plus belle saison des quatre de la terre

Ils ont cette douceur des plus beaux paysages
Et la fidélité des oiseaux de passage
Dans leurs cœurs est gravée une infinie tendresse
Mais parfois dans leurs yeux se glisse la tristesse
Alors, ils viennent, se chauffer chez moi
Et toi, aussi, tu viendras

Tu pourras repartir au fin fond des nuages
Et de nouveau sourire à bien d'autres visages
Donner autour de toi un peu de ta tendresse
Lorsqu'un autre voudra te cacher sa tristesse

Comme l'on ne sait pas ce que la vie nous donne
Il se peut qu'à mon tour je ne sois plus personne
S'il me reste un ami qui vraiment me comprenne
J'oublierai à la fois mes larmes et mes peines
Alors, peut-être je viendrai chez toi
Chauffer mon cœur, à ton bois.

the English version:

So Many Friends:

So many friends have come and gone like you have done
I meet them for a while between the rain and sun
Like birds of passage shelter from a stormy sky
We get to know each other while the clouds pass by.
They always leave a little of themselves behind
A tenderness and sympathy so hard to find.
They listen to my troubles with a look so wise
But often there's a touch of sadness in their eyes

Like you, you came to me, from the storm
You came to me, and I kept you warm

So many friends of mine before have done the same
They go away from me as quickly as they came
Their hearts are full of tenderness and love to share
With all the lonely people they meet everywhere
Who knows exactly what the future has in store ?
One thing I know for certain, I've got one friend more
A friend in need will always find a friend in you
Maybe some day when I'm alone you'll see me through

Someday, I'll come to you, from the storm
I'll come to you, and you'll keep me warm.

 (Gérard Bourgeois/Jean-Max Rivière) English adaptation: Julian More.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Danse macabre

the bones cavort
mock death with mirth, and
hallow we don masks, pretend
(Treat, or get tricked!),
each house feigns fear
as we loot on.
These rituals help
us remember the gone,
 satirize the goneness.
Party on.
For the little ones -
pirates and princesses, 
supermen and goblins,
witches and hobos and
 tigers and bumblebees,
it never gets old.
For me, either.
I dance with those skeletons.
Macabre kollabra,
till death let us laugh.


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 . . .


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


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



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

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