Instruments of Flight

 

Her wings unfurled at the oddest times.

She bumped her head on the ceiling when it was least convenient.

When

all of the signs flash walk

or stand still,

as if these are the only options,

how could anyone think any differently?

 

Her mother hissed, “walk like a lady.” Read the rest of this entry »

Just as I could spend hours in a library, I can do the same with a great online database.

From The Getty’s Tumblr account, this wonderful collage made with Open Content materials:

Whispering Muse

http://thegetty.tumblr.com/post/67487799884/can-you-identify-the-4-getty-open-content-artworks?utm_medium=email&utm_source=html&utm_campaign=weekly_top_posts_subject_5&utm_term=post_67487799884

Exploring The Getty’s Open Content database is a library lover’s dream.  http://search.getty.edu/gateway/search?q=&cat=highlight&f=%22Open+Content+Images%22&rows=10&srt=a&dir=s&pg=1

The Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose. No permission is required.  http://www.getty.edu/about/opencontent.html

Search or browse and find some wonders:

A Basilisk illumination

http://search.getty.edu/museum/records/musobject?objectid=305961

An 1874 photograph of Sarah Bernhardt

http://search.getty.edu/museum/records/musobject?objectid=62674

A William Henry Jackson photograph of “Old Faithful”.  You can’t get that close any more! http://search.getty.edu/museum/records/musobject?objectid=56705

There are also sound recordings like:

Recording by Dr. Joe Kamiya of Alpha brainwaves

http://primo.getty.edu/primo_library/libweb/action/dlDisplay.do?vid=GRI&afterPDS=true&institution=01GRI&docId=GETTY_DTL5715593

I don’t know why that would be useful, but I like knowing it’s there.

I read a great line in Kathleen Tessaro’s book, The Perfume Collector. In the scene, the character has been trying to hold off drinking.

“That doctor understood nothing.
He didn’t know what it was like to live between memory and regret with nothing to numb it.”

Not only is this a very well crafted line, but fascinating in a book with perfume as a key character. It is well accepted that smell is the fastest route to a memory of all the senses.

I’m a bit of a perfume collector myself. I can’t use just one. My favorite perfume of all time is Deneuve, which is no longer made. I used up my hoard of boxed up bottles last year. I got one of my favorite words, chamade, from the name of a Guerlain perfume. The word means “a signal by drum or trumpet inviting an enemy to a parley.” It can also mean the unique trumpet sound made by a band of knights as they came in view of another. This way you would know from a distance, if they were friend or foe. I think the perfume designer meant it to be that when you smelled this, you would think of the woman who wore it. You would be aware of her even before you could see her.

Perhaps a poem about perfume is in the air.

Writing with structure and rules is always a challenge for me.
I took some pieces of poems I haven’t been able to finesse yet and make tanka with them. The challenge is both the syllable count and the turning point line. Poets.org describes it this way,
“The Japanese tanka is a thirty-one-syllable poem, traditionally written in a single unbroken line. A form of waka, Japanese song or verse, tanka translates as “short song,” and is better known in its five-line, 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count form.
In many ways, the tanka resembles the sonnet, certainly in terms of treatment of subject. Like the sonnet, the tanka employs a turn, known as a pivotal image, which marks the transition from the examination of an image to the examination of the personal response. This turn is located within the third line, connecting the kami-no-ku, or upper poem, with the shimo-no-ku, or lower poem.”

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5793

Kentucky Warbler
trills and sways the coneflower
calling paler girls
and the memory of a boy
too pretty for me to keep

October that year
I missed the leaves turning gold
and never noticed
corn ripe for the harvester’s slice
just your cool breath on my neck

Coyote trots alone
her red bird meal softly held
limp now in her mouth
nodding our heads as we pass
dawn clocks the start of my shift

night sky a-glitter
breath stealing, gasping grandeur
dizzy dreamin’ time

watch this video from Knate Myers. So beautiful, it hurts.
http://vimeo.com/67084613

Thanks to Bad Astronomy for pointing this out for me.

Ciao Bella Chocolate Sorbet

although I think of Elvis as a two-scoop kind of guy. . .

although I think of Elvis as a two-scoop kind of guy. . .


has a dense
chewy

water to chocolate
ratio

as if a whole
devil’s food cake

were dissolved
in each scoop.

Delivers Elvis-like
indulgence

for only 120 calories.
By the last spoonful,

your whole nervous system
and aura

will be permeated
by the ancient Mayan God.

You will see
through the eyes of Chocolate.

Elaine Equi

My thanks to Poem in your Pocket for providing this delectable dessert for me today.

I must find a place in my house to put this!
http://www.moolka.com/jzv/prod/14840/Djeco/Toys/Room+Decor/Wall+Sticker,+Poetic+Tree

lilacsThe wind chimes herald
thunder’s grumbling, rumbling bass
and hail’s tympani.

Bees shelter beneath
a tulip’s fallen petals
wait out the downpour.

Sweeping the sidewalk
after a spring storm has passed:
a rush of lilac!

dancerSo You Think You Can Dance is back! — the best of the dance and the best competition/reality show IMHO.
a few lines from Yeats to honor the occasion.

O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

from Among School Children by William Butler Yeats

I attend my first poetry gathering!  It was a lovely April afternoon (again… finally!!) at the Crossroads Coffee House in Cross Plains.  It was a great venue for the little group – they were hospitable and accommodating.  I had very little idea what to expect.  I am a little disappointed no one in a beret showed up; I guess I’m going to have to pick up that gauntlet.  There were some Birkenstocks, though.

The two stars reading were Marilyn Taylor and David Scherer.  Both read for about 20 minutes a great mix of old and newer poetry (even some racy stuff!).  Obligingly, both stayed on for the open-mic session where about ten different poets covered a wide range of poetry.  A few poets recited other’s works.  One gentlemen recited Frost’s Stopping by a Woods on a Snowy Evening from memory and another woman read Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese.  Both had the crowd chanting along to these favorites.

The other poets read wide-ranging topic’d and sized poems.  A first-time reader (with a quirky sense of humor) was also well received.

I learned the protocol and appropriate responses:  most poems get a nod with a “mmm.”  Funny lines get a chuckle.  Applause is given at the end of each reader.  And… I am good enough to do this, too.  Now that I’ve watched from the shore, it’s time to dive in.