Tuesday, December 18, 2012

For Those That Know Not Why

Slumber Songs


Sleep, little eyes
That brim with childish tears amid thy play,
Be comforted! No grief of night can weigh
Against the joys that throng thy coming day.

Sleep, little heart!
There is no place in Slumberland for tears:
Life soon enough will bring its chilling fears
And sorrows that will dim the after years.
Sleep, little heart!


Ah, little eyes
Dead blossoms of a springtime long ago,
That life's storm crushed and left to lie below
The benediction of the falling snow!

Sleep, little heart
That ceased so long ago its frantic beat!
The years that come and go with silent feet
Have naught to tell save this -- that rest is sweet.
Dear little heart.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Black to White

Girl is saying: " That is a bad note"

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

(an excerpt from Poet Pablo Neruda)

The photo is from a series put together by Ziba Karbassi, from Tabriz, Iran..  I think many of the photos are from the Iranian earthquake a few months ago which got little notice.  Since US has banned Iran from any outside aid or comfort, the lowliest suffer as well.
Many more photos can  be seen here.

I love the Black and White depictions.  Color is not necessary ; only the meaning breaks through.  And sometimes only the feelings.  How much of the world lives with so little, and then that is taken away, must break their spirit -- would mine probably .
 Be sad for awhile, so that you can be happy . . .

Monday, November 12, 2012

Above or Below

A new view to view
summers stream from above, ripples in color
not quite in focus 
maybe from below to see it right -- 
reverse ripples brings it all clear now
I see the intent, the meaning, the truth
I am all knowing powerful and sagelike

but damn,  now I am all wet and soaky . . . 
(such is enlightenment)
Thanks Sage for having a camera when this happened.

~~~~~~I had to capture this quote for myself::
Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.”

~Voltaire ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A stream in motion  in Michigan.  How could oils replicate the swaggering color and change?

 I sometimes wonder what Jackson Pollack with a camera would look likeOr  Ansel Adams  with oils?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Life

I Want to Live
I want to live with Wu Sung the tiger-fighter
With Guan Yunzhang – red face, black beard
Become a musketeer and make friends with Athos
And his buddies, d’Artagnan, Porthos and Aramis!
I want to find Palestine where Christ was buried
And go crusading together with Ivanhoe
Live one thousand and one nights in the palace
Built by the lamp genie so that Aladdin could get married
Cross over to the American wildernesses
And go treasure-hunting on a sled with Jack London
I want to go to Russia and banquet with the tsar
Converse with Andrei one evening on a river bank
And walk with Pechorin in the Caucasus
Have pistol & sword duels and dance to the last
Meet with Dostoevsky in a sleepless night
Sitting by a samovar and ignoring the snow
Offering words of sympathy to the student murderer
And urging Filipovna to marry the nice idiot
Continuing my travels, I reach Spain
Where I follow Don Quixote on his chivalric missions
After a full life abroad, I’ll come home to our ancestral
Go to Lam Son to seek an audience with the Le king
Sit and fish by Nguyen Khuyen in a country pond
Discuss with Nguyen Du the issue of talent and fate
In the painful and suffering life of Kieu
Then I’ll go to Khan Xuan District to laugh with
Xuan Huong
Visit with Truong’s faithful wife in Nam Xuong District
Listen to the flute playing fellow, Truong Chi,
Sing his pain and dreams
Follow the North Pacifying King as he launches the
To go into Thang Long of the Nung Mountain and the Red
I want to live plentifully & exhaustively
Going back in time and in ancient history
So that I can satiate my love of life
Which in the present is being trampled & crushed
In this life where yam and manioc are coveted items.

By Nguyen Chi Thien

A Vietnamese poet who endured over  23 years of his life in prison ,off and on , for speaking out against power.
From 1960 when he was imprisoned for teaching that Soviets did not bring about the end of WWII  (as written in textbooks) -- that it was the American bombs that did -- until after  1977 when he was arrested  outside the British embassy after delivering over 400 of his poems, which he had envisioned and memorized while being imprisoned, and sentenced to 6 more years without trial;  three of them were in solitary confinement.

He died yesterday at 73 after living the last of his life in self imposed poverty in Santa Ana California.  He would not accept money for his presentations.    There was a nice writeup by the New York Times for his obituary.

More of his poems can be read  here .  Why are those so few that represent justice?

I couldn't find any photos of him smiling, on the searches.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Inner Beauty

I live in an old mans skin
there in the roots growing  beneath the surface
 in secret,   easy in the warm around
intertwined,  with the serpents'-  red eyes peering out      ever watching
safe in the fear of other
we mean no harm . . .
Venturing out once for solace but finding that protector is all--
each is all
I cannot help your belief comforting though is "other" and a better place.
More secure is settling into us all
giving up, conceding breathing
  To knowing and peace

Legend has it that  while Siddhartha Gautama  ( ~ 563 BC) was meditating, a fierce storm arose of which he of course was unaware.  The Naga (snake) Mucalinda rose up from beneath him  spread her  wide hood and protected him from the ravages.
Serpents are typically protectors (save for the Eden metaphor where the serpent was evil.)
In a dream,  snakes are said to represent the creative urge toward wisdom and is a neutral symbol -- for which it  is up to us to assign a slant.

This poem came of a dream I had where the serpents were there in the dark waters but posed no threat and seemed to be protectors;  if anything I felt secure.  I still don't know what to make of dreams and all I can tell of them are the feelings and reactions I have to them and the impressions left.
 Probably no archetypal significance whatsoever to most of them, just flashing brain releases at night.
  But you never know . . .

Friday, August 03, 2012


So how long you have been deserting this pen
To hold and write the stories that keeps you alive
The tangling words where you loved to un-puzzle
That once it was a necesssity
But now time to write seems to be a burden
Now the stories are no longer need to be written
For all what shapes in life, are the breathing stories
The jotting down are no longer narrate the facts
The sound of breath, aren't captured within lines of words
Then silence hush fails to be described with words
For a momentum of silence described in words
Is nothing but loud words evaporating essence of silence
The truth is the pen is just kept there untouched
In fear that inspiration will not rise
Also unable to give it a try for the fear of failure

This with permission and by the pen of    Nasra Al Adawi
a blogging friend who lives in Oman on the Persian Gulf

Writing about not writing . . . 
She certainly does a better job with English than I would with Arabic

Inspiration is breathing  in ~ ~~ Expression is breathing out.  A natural and necessary process.
 I am inspired by images.  Not so much for prose but to try the obtuse metaphoric language of poetry.  I can obscure direct meaning with the best of them in an attempt to expand a thought or feeling  -- allowing a deeper meaning, we hope . . .
I am not so good at the prose: the structure, the prompts for genre, word limits, and topic (1500-word Fridays, etc).  But many are really good at this as I have seen expressed by others here on the blogs.  Must be different parts of the brain involved, the obtuse ammaglia rather than the frontal contextual pocket for example . . .  whatever they be called ?  A break from my logical-mind numeric/engineering training allows the connections which are dusty and untouched for the most part.
Although, how better a metaphor for weather patterns, dissipation of heat from an engine, predictions of human activity,  or flight of the predator drones   than the equations, mathematical models or anecdotal evidence which attempt to describe those realities?

But a question must result:
What could be the best inspiration?  Walk on the beach, trip to the moon, night at the tavern, visit to the gym, a person's statement,  photos and images,  trip to the desert,  or ?? 

Monday, July 09, 2012

Night Roads

I would hate to redrive those miles
but knowing where they ended up made them worthy
trips to new places, usually at night to feel the cool and the quiet
thrum of power gliding us along staring ahead, thoughts drifting
then settling in to the numb meditation
necessary to drive five hundred miles at once.

Roads usually taking us to places we didn't know we wanted to go.

                                                       Ansel Adams  Road-Nevada

No passing -- you must stay and appreciate the view.

"How many times must a man look up
before he can see the sky?"  (Mr. Dylan)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


This is the studio of Francis Bacon, artist, 1909-1992 originally in London but totally moved to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, Ireland his birthplace.  The following  wording from the Hugh Gallery is a better description of the relocation activity than I could ever put together:

"The Hugh Lane Gallery removed the contents of Francis Bacon's studio at 7 Reece Mews ,London, in August 1998. This operation was conducted with the assistance of a team of archaeologists who mapped the space, and tagged and noted the positions of the objects. The reconstructed studio features the original door, walls, floors, ceiling and shelves. Over 7,000 items were found in the studio and these were catalogued on a specially designed database before their replacement in the studio. The Francis Bacon Studio Database is the first computerised archive of the entire contents of a world ranking artist's studio. Every item in the studio has a database entry. Each entry consists of an image and a factual account of an object. The database has entries on approximately 570 books and catalogues, 1,500 photographs, 100 slashed canvases, 1,300 leaves torn from books, 2,000 artist's materials and 70 drawings. Other categories include the artist's correspondence, magazines, newspapers and vinyl records."

He was not a particularly neat person and was never married -- big surprise!
I don't much care for his artistic works; they appear to be reflections of the disorganization in his life, or at least in his studio.  More on Mr Bacon  here.

This is one of the more appealing (to me) of his works.  This  could hang on our wall for awhile, probably in a hallway, where it wouldn't become tiring. That criteria seems to be how I would judge an artistic work: how long could I look at it without it reaching the point where I would no longer see anything new in it.

 This sepia photo by Timothy O'Sullivan about 1872 when he traveled with an expedition to document and explore the western lands.  I like the hats they wear (where did those come from); and the bow and arrow of the guy in the front row.

Some libraries I have been in offer "art" on loan.  Seems like a good idea although have never done it. How about a hanging frame which could display selected pictures, or even moving designs as with a fractal presentation ever changing in color and evolution.  Ultimate impermanence . . .  .

I wonder what would be the factors in deciding what to put up on the wall and how long to leave it there?

Friday, April 20, 2012


Watching: the recorder, the lover,  goddess as part

as time goes on the past looks quaint
but the present will look quaint to the future
the progression of life must be viewed as a flow
yet we are here in the present trying to understand
 maybe help from the observers?

Chagall  "Red Roofs" 1954   from:   poets

Sleeping lady in peace

                                                          Click to embiggen

 I couldn't help but add this to my post.  This is my grandmother and her sister (on the right) in a pre-1915 REO -- I think.  Notice the position of the steering wheel on the right side.  I am told that, until 1915 they were placed such to allow the driver to avoid the ditch on the side of the road and keep the car on solid ground.  Also note the wooden wheels, and lantern which could be taken off to guide one to the house after dark.  This would have been Sandstone, Minnesota I am guessing since that's where she lived.

 Why do old photos and films seem simpler and more basic in their honesty?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spiral Gyra

Spreading out,  unwinding, expanding to explore and live.
A fractal I made.


A spiral galaxy , as is the milky way of which our solar system is a part;  way out on the edge are we.
The older stars are nearer the center with younger stars (ours) way out.  So we are the searchers, out on the edge spreading out into the  vast nothingness of the universe.

But how do we report back?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012


At a distant time ago, maybe pre-Hadean I may have come --

hot rocketing in   in a rock knocked loose from a distant planet under a different sun
thermal-shock explosion from earth impact with swampy  liquid,  the fossil exposed
to be an organic molecule -- maybe many.  A seed.    A friend in the sea of possibilities.

Hence life as plants, animals, souls,  reproducing, dividing,  developing, changing, adapting over 4.7 billion years
blossomed , came and went, and experimented with the laws of life.

A tendency toward kinship develops  --- a feeling that we are one, joined to the past and each other somehow.

But I am not that special
It could have been you!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Be Good

These were the issued behavior guidelines about1400 BC when Moses brought them down from Mt. Sinai to the Israelites,   according to legend.  Apparently he hadn't read them carefully  before he broke the tablets and had the sons of Levi slay  3000 of the flock for:  constructing a calf of gold for  idol worship , dancing  and partying whilst Moses (1525 BC-  1445 BC,  80 years) was up in the hills speaking with God . . .   its OK  he had another set made later.

I am surprised that murder or killing was not mentioned in the Seven Deadly Sins issued much later in time (and shown on a previous post).  Could it be that 1000 years later civilization had learned to respect life and needed no designated sin for killing or "murder"?     I doubt it!
In fact even today in our  times of enlightened minds (?) and history to guide us we still live primitive lives with borders, tribal hatreds, the need for retribution, religious' separation and "my god is better than your god" nonsense ;  we still have not learned and I suspect will not.  Although now most of the killing seems  to be sponsored by  places of military and political  power.   But be careful --  if you are  caught up in that power and singled out by that to engage in their killing and refuse, you may be shackled to a chair in the Company dayroom for 8 hours, made fun of and ridiculed,  and ordered to assemble  and sign pages of testimony and evidence , including backup paper from church ,neighbors, and friends, indicating your truthfulness and honesty.  So for I  it was kind of an "opt out" deal rather than "opt in" as exists with the government today.
I really hate to be an outlier --much easier and safer to fit within the smooth confines of the bell curve.  But I cannot abide being pushed around and I will not be told how to believe --"godless communists" notwithstanding.

What official  requirement or personal situation would convince you to kill another human being?