Thursday, November 29, 2007

My birthday saga

Today is my birthday. It may possibly be the best birthday ever. Here is my birthday cake, chocolate of course. I did not have to bake it. I am lucky.

Here are the cards my sons made for me. I am lucky.

Here is my OLD computer. It is banished to the basement. Goodbye.

This is my new computer. Yes, that little bitty thing under the right side of my monitor, a Mac mini. I got this for my birthday, along with my new camera. I was speechless. I am lucky.

This is my bicycle. I went for a ride this morning because my broken ankle is mostly healed. I even made it up the hills. I am lucky, especially because I was afraid I'd never bicycle again.

After my bicycle ride, it rained, so I thought it was lucky I went in the morning. Then the sun came out, as you can see below. Cats always find the sun.

I love to take photographs after it rains, especially if the sun comes out. So I went out to the backyard and found this. I am lucky.

Then I decided to ditch the laundry and drove out to a field I'd been meaning to photograph for years. The sun and sky were perfect.

Then, as I walked back to my car, across the country lane was a last, surviving autumn tree. No other trees have any leaves left that aren't brown, but this one was lit beautifully. Lucky, lucky me!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Last leaf

Last night the wind blew down the rest of the leaves.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Poem Spark Nov. 26-Dec. 10 - Music-inspired poetry

Greetings fellow poets!

Today I sauntered over to's front page in search of an interesting poem spark. Given that I've been writing these things for a few years now, the well of inspiration is remarkably still flowing; I easily found this week's spark: write a poem based on music.

The front page showed me this as soon as I clicked in: The Music Lover’s Poetry Anthology. Ah-ha! What a great idea! I'm always listening to something or other: classical, jazz, rock, hip-hop; it should be easy to find some piece of music that gives me a spark for a poem. I can use the song title as a start, or steal some of the lyrics (one of my favorite things to do). I could base the poem's rhythm on the beat of the song or choose a more syllabic approach based on some arbitrary snippet (perhaps the song track number). The possibilities are endless.

Poetry and music have a long romance going on, as you must surely know. It began way back before the written word was ever put down on stone and continues to this day. There are countless examples of jazz poetry, as detailed in this essay by Sean Singer: Scrapple from the Apple: Jazz & Poetry. How about this famous Langston Hughes poem: The Weary Blues?

Then there are the poems written about music, like this one from Elizabeth Barrett Browning: A Musical Instrument. And lest you think this romance only flows in one direction, here is an example of how music can flow from the study of poetry: David Berman: Poems, Songs, and Psychedelic Soap Operas and David Broza: Making the Music the Poem Wants.

We must also not forget about those brilliant poets/songwriters: Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, not to mention the many modern rockers who continue the tradition.

It seems that music and poetry are everywhere. So, go forth and write a poem, keeping in mind this one warning from Yusef Komunyakaa (from the article Yusef Komunyakaa: An Argument Against Simplicity):

Music provides Komunyakaa with a means to explore complex issues of race and human relationships, while never reducing it through an attempt to reproduce the sounds themselves. "I gave myself a line of instruction a few years ago: 'I am not a horn,'" he explained. "It troubles me when poetry tries to equal music through outlandish mimicry of musical instruments. It is not music or poetry."

Good luck!
PS-don't forget to include the music that inspired your poem.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It is still snowing here

and the leaves are still on many of the trees. The weight of this wet snow is pulling down branches and trees. Still, it's very pretty.

Friday, November 16, 2007

From the top of Shimerville Mountain

This is very near to where I live, but my house is surrounded by trees so I had to go to this busy corner for the shot. You can't tell, but there were cars all around me; this parking lot sits at the junction of two very busy roads. It was very windy standing atop the picnic table!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tulip tree in autumn

Have I mentioned how amazing it is to have a digital camera lens with an f-stop of 22?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Snow peeks through the laundry basket

The Olympus E-510 has NO auto-focus lag, processor lag, shutter lag, or any other kind of lag you wanna bitch about. No lag. None. I am still giddy.

Happy autumn

I am in love

with my new camera, the Olympus E-510. Wow. I don't know what's cooler: the depth of field preview or the image stabilization. I can't decide. I am too giddy to think about it.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Some poems in CSR

A few days ago I received a request from Maurice Oliver, the editor of Concelebratory Shoehorn Review. He wanted to republish some of my poems. Of course I was delighted, particularly because the poems had been published before. It's always great to get your work out there again, especially since there's very little opportunity to republish poems. Thanks Maurice!

If you're curious, go see Issue 11 of Concelebratory Shoehorn Review. It's a great issue, like always. Maurice always finds the best art and photography, not to mention poetry.