Image

sun images

yesterday, gazing up


sun a white lit probe in the thick membrane of stratiform sky


today, bathing in warmth


sun a fine dessert wine muscat sweet on my body on my fingers dancing on the keyboard delirious words dancing to husky smooth leonard cohen
Comments (1)

Writer's Almanac: It's the Birthday of Franz Kafka...

From The Writer's Almanac:

It's the birthday of Franz Kafka, (books by this author) born in Prague (1883). At the time, Prague was part of the Hapsburg Empire of Bohemia. He grew up in a Jewish ghetto in Prague, speaking German, in a family that identified themselves as Czech. He lived almost his entire life with his parents, even after graduating from law school and holding a steady job at the government-run Workman's Accident Institute — a place where he oversaw the implementing of safety measures. His work helped prevent lumber workers from losing their limbs.

His family's apartment in the Jewish ghetto in Prague was tiny, noisy, and subject to the rule and whims of his tyrannical father. Kafka once noted, "I want to write and there's a constant trembling in my forehead. I'm sitting in my room which is the noise headquarters of the whole apartment, doors are slamming everywhere. … Father breaks down the door of my room and marches through with the bottom of his bathrobe dragging behind him. Valli shouts through the foyers as if across a Parisian street, asking if father's hat has been brushed. The front door makes a noise like a sore throat … Finally, father is gone, and all that remains is the more tender, hopeless peeping of the two canaries."*

In that noisy claustrophobic apartment with his parents and three sisters, Kafka would hypnotize himself to get in a frame of mind to write. He said, "Writing … is a deeper sleep than death … just as one wouldn't pull a corpse from its grave, I can't be dragged from my desk at night."

Kafka was terrified of his father, who convinced his son early on and again and again that he was a failure in life and would never amount to anything. Kafka stuttered around his father, but no one else.

Kafka spent his life steeped in self-loathing, and he had a number of psychosomatic illnesses. To cure his perceived illnesses, he tried all sorts of herbal and natural healing remedies. He went through a phase where he chewed each bite he put into his mouth a minimum of 10 chews. And he became vegetarian, eating mostly nuts and fruits, and followed a regimen of doing aerobics in front of an open window. He was actually a physically robust and healthy young man, but he was neurotic in a number of ways. He confessed that he had "a boundless sense of guilt," and one of his friends wrote that Kafka was "the servant of a God not believed in."

He was engaged to a woman in Berlin for five years, then broke it off with her. He wrote to her, "After all, you are a girl, and you want a man, not an earthworm." They were engaged a second time, and broke it off again. Their distant relationship was carried on almost entirely by writing letters. He once said: "Letter writing is an intercourse with ghosts, not only with the ghost of the receiver, but with one's own, which emerges between the lines of the letter being written. … Written kisses never reach their destination, but are drunk en route by these ghosts."

Kafka died of tuberculosis in 1924, a month shy of his 41st birthday. All of his sisters later died at concentration camps in the Holocaust. Not much of Kafka's work was published during his lifetime. Kafka had instructed his friend Max Brod to set his manuscripts on fire upon his death, but Brod refused, and instead edited and published Kafka's work.

Kafka's best-known work is The Metamorphosis, which begins, "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning after disturbing dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous bug."

His book The Trial begins, "Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one morning."

Kafka has been made into an adjective, "Kafkaesque," a literary allusion dropped into conversation from time to time by people who may or may not be familiar with his work, which is actually full of humor. "Kafkaesque" has come to be used to describe things of a gloomy, bizarre, eerie, nightmarish, or doomed nature, and is often applied to bureaucratic or institutional situations.

Kafka once wrote in a letter to a friend: "The books we need are of the kind that act upon us like a misfortune, that make us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we were on the verge of suicide, or lost in a forest remote from all human habitation — a book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us."

* All quotes by Kafka are translations of Kafka's German into English by David Zane Mairowitz, except for the final quote ("The books we need …"), from a translation by Willa and Edwin Muir.
Comments

Where has poetry gone?

Jay Parini, Why Poetry Matters

Where has poetry gone?

Oh, fads and fashions. Poetry was once a dominant art form and ordinary people memorized long stretches of Tennyson... or Keats... It wasn't Pound's fault, forgodssake, there'd always been 'difficult' poetry, but a change most likely brought about by the expansion of the media through radio, silent movies, records... and so on.

Whereas once people were brought to their feelings - ok, ok, interjection - I do believe that we watch movies, read books, etc. to feel, that we want to feel our feelings strongly in safe ways and we do this through our art- the best art calling out the best in us -

And of course our art teaches us about our history and our culture -

Whereas once people were brought to their feelings by the graceful language of poets, they are now brought to the currents moving within by the heart awakening blinding lyrics of a music of so many strains and varieties and so rich across the globe it makes you want to weep.

That's where poetry went, into song -

The poetry that stayed on the page became for an in-focus group of mainly other writers and students/academics, which is fine, we live in a complex society made up of many, many groups all carrying and exploring different facets of the rich world we live in.

If poets want to be heard by the great and massive public again, really & truly turn to the old forms of the troubadour: let the music of language sing.

If most poets are quiet and solitary by nature, then let their beautiful words of pain and ecstasy be sung by those who can.

What I'm saying is that the art form evolved into something more expansive and larger, and many musicians really need the half decent lyrics that on-page poets could provide if they would share.

Perhaps it's like the miser holding on to the goldmine sitting in the corner commiserating on the dearth of poetry! Rich gold veins of poetry in our world are of inestimable worth but they need to be shared, given, offered, allowed to go out freely into the world, circulated, this currency of the heart, used.
Comments (1)

Mantra to sleep by...

Even with hefty long walks yesterday to and from the mall where the No Frills grocery store is, about two hours of walking I guess, and then a dog walk, exercise usually helping with sleep, I was still awake at 3 or 4am, and knew I would get up at 7am (even though it's Canada Day, a national holiday).

For the past 13 years I've used mantra to sleep when I know I need to... and while I've been trying to let my mind be the wild place it naturally is, last night I succumbed.

What did I silently intone as I drifted off to sleep?

I love you, I love you, I love you...
Comments (1)

Light Catches Diamonds (4:18min)



Light Catches Diamonds- DSL or Cable

Light Catches Diamonds- Dial-up




















While I simply cannot record this again, won't tell you the story though you can surely guess, and I dearly hope the volume is high enough (I'm using Audacity on a PC rather than SoundStudio on my old iMac), it is a plain and slower reading, no echoes, promise!

The text for Light Catches Diamonds may be found at my art website.

Thank you, Sky, ydurp, vexations, Ashes_2_Ashes_Words_2_Words, and Richard Geer for your much appreciated feedback. xo

_______________
People have asked if you are supposed to pay for the recording. While I surely appreciate it if you do, no, you don't have to pay for it. You can listen to any of my recordings at SoundClick anytime (streaming is free). I switched from free download to paid because Paintings in the Sand was downloaded about 1500 times and, well, you understand...
Comments (3)

Lucubration

.......................... The woman became spirit in the differentiated dawn. By an attic window of diffused sun with which she's not merging but emerging as light. Dust floats scintillating like myriads of reflectors. Bright as the birdsong of the world, her spirit an unburning flame, a panoply of sparklers, a cluster of luminophor, a throng of stars.

In secret transforming into spirit in the quiet of the dawn hidden in the turret of an old house.

I saw her when I lay down to rest, and remembered so that when I came back I could write of her for you.

Sometimes it's like that, the light burning behind your closed eyelids, the woman becoming spirit.

___
Lucubration: that which is composed by night; that which is produced by meditation in retirement; hence (loosely) any literary composition.
Comments (1)

It's Time to Give Up Continuous Mantra

Two nights ago I stopped. Let it be.

I think it was 1995 when I began mantra recitation, walking, during the hours awake in the middle of the night, while cooking or cleaning, during repetitive tasks at work. Like Hail Mary's, only not Christian, not even necessarily the Sanskrit of my yoga, often ones I made up to suit whatever my needs were.

Mantra filled my mind, plus the meditation I did every day of 15 minutes or more.

It stilled my mind; my mind needed stilling. I left my husband in 1997. There was an ongoing war in my mind. Mantra soothed it. Mantra lifted my weary spirit over and over for the ensuing decade and more. I've come to rely on it to bring me to a state of inner peace.

Two nights ago I decided to let my mind run rampant again. Be as unpruned as it is naturally. I woke at 2am and lay awake until 6am and didn't calm my tumultuous interior with mantra. An hour of extra sleep before rising suffices.

From now on I will only silently recite mantra during my actual meditations, and what a balm they are, those moments of forgetfulness, of not-being, of being gone. The relief of not thinking, of not carrying the pressure of everything, of letting it all go in the ease and peace that mantra brings.

Outside of actual meditation sessions, I will let my mind become what it is. It's safe now. The last thirteen years of honing and focus through continuous mantra have surely had an effect.
Comments (1)

Dawn, the momentary effect

when love's flame
rises

encroaching the dark
birds singing dawn, chirping
grace

or finally knowing what to do,
after such a long time
of unknowing

spreading a caul of light over
the horizon

until the sky is clear, safe, free,

and you may continue on
Comments (3)

Prep drawing for painting

Prep drawing for a painting
India ink on paper with acrylic matte medium brushed over the drawing, 73cm x 52cm, 28.75" x 20.5"

Prep drawing for a new painting. Combining figures from lifedrawing sessions and a very famous Venus, to become part my current work-in-progress: the Botticelli Venus Suite of Poems (I've included some tiny bits of text from my poems which may be lost in the paint, who knows).

Click on image for larger size, & the tiny quotes from which poems.
Comments

A Lion Tale...



Irresistible! As an animal lover, this touches me and if you are, wonderful...

Also I spent ages 2-6 1/2 in Kafue National Park in Zambia living in mud huts with all the wild animals about and the lion who I called "blond," and who I told to "Stop roaring all night, you're keeping Mummy awake!"

A hug like that...

Animals who love people.
Comments (5)

sun images

yesterday, gazing up


sun a white lit probe in the thick membrane of stratiform sky


today, bathing in warmth


sun a fine dessert wine muscat sweet on my body on my fingers dancing on the keyboard delirious words dancing to husky smooth leonard cohen
Comments (1)

Writer's Almanac: It's the Birthday of Franz Kafka...

From The Writer's Almanac:

It's the birthday of Franz Kafka, (books by this author) born in Prague (1883). At the time, Prague was part of the Hapsburg Empire of Bohemia. He grew up in a Jewish ghetto in Prague, speaking German, in a family that identified themselves as Czech. He lived almost his entire life with his parents, even after graduating from law school and holding a steady job at the government-run Workman's Accident Institute — a place where he oversaw the implementing of safety measures. His work helped prevent lumber workers from losing their limbs.

His family's apartment in the Jewish ghetto in Prague was tiny, noisy, and subject to the rule and whims of his tyrannical father. Kafka once noted, "I want to write and there's a constant trembling in my forehead. I'm sitting in my room which is the noise headquarters of the whole apartment, doors are slamming everywhere. … Father breaks down the door of my room and marches through with the bottom of his bathrobe dragging behind him. Valli shouts through the foyers as if across a Parisian street, asking if father's hat has been brushed. The front door makes a noise like a sore throat … Finally, father is gone, and all that remains is the more tender, hopeless peeping of the two canaries."*

In that noisy claustrophobic apartment with his parents and three sisters, Kafka would hypnotize himself to get in a frame of mind to write. He said, "Writing … is a deeper sleep than death … just as one wouldn't pull a corpse from its grave, I can't be dragged from my desk at night."

Kafka was terrified of his father, who convinced his son early on and again and again that he was a failure in life and would never amount to anything. Kafka stuttered around his father, but no one else.

Kafka spent his life steeped in self-loathing, and he had a number of psychosomatic illnesses. To cure his perceived illnesses, he tried all sorts of herbal and natural healing remedies. He went through a phase where he chewed each bite he put into his mouth a minimum of 10 chews. And he became vegetarian, eating mostly nuts and fruits, and followed a regimen of doing aerobics in front of an open window. He was actually a physically robust and healthy young man, but he was neurotic in a number of ways. He confessed that he had "a boundless sense of guilt," and one of his friends wrote that Kafka was "the servant of a God not believed in."

He was engaged to a woman in Berlin for five years, then broke it off with her. He wrote to her, "After all, you are a girl, and you want a man, not an earthworm." They were engaged a second time, and broke it off again. Their distant relationship was carried on almost entirely by writing letters. He once said: "Letter writing is an intercourse with ghosts, not only with the ghost of the receiver, but with one's own, which emerges between the lines of the letter being written. … Written kisses never reach their destination, but are drunk en route by these ghosts."

Kafka died of tuberculosis in 1924, a month shy of his 41st birthday. All of his sisters later died at concentration camps in the Holocaust. Not much of Kafka's work was published during his lifetime. Kafka had instructed his friend Max Brod to set his manuscripts on fire upon his death, but Brod refused, and instead edited and published Kafka's work.

Kafka's best-known work is The Metamorphosis, which begins, "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning after disturbing dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous bug."

His book The Trial begins, "Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one morning."

Kafka has been made into an adjective, "Kafkaesque," a literary allusion dropped into conversation from time to time by people who may or may not be familiar with his work, which is actually full of humor. "Kafkaesque" has come to be used to describe things of a gloomy, bizarre, eerie, nightmarish, or doomed nature, and is often applied to bureaucratic or institutional situations.

Kafka once wrote in a letter to a friend: "The books we need are of the kind that act upon us like a misfortune, that make us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we were on the verge of suicide, or lost in a forest remote from all human habitation — a book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us."

* All quotes by Kafka are translations of Kafka's German into English by David Zane Mairowitz, except for the final quote ("The books we need …"), from a translation by Willa and Edwin Muir.
Comments

Where has poetry gone?

Jay Parini, Why Poetry Matters

Where has poetry gone?

Oh, fads and fashions. Poetry was once a dominant art form and ordinary people memorized long stretches of Tennyson... or Keats... It wasn't Pound's fault, forgodssake, there'd always been 'difficult' poetry, but a change most likely brought about by the expansion of the media through radio, silent movies, records... and so on.

Whereas once people were brought to their feelings - ok, ok, interjection - I do believe that we watch movies, read books, etc. to feel, that we want to feel our feelings strongly in safe ways and we do this through our art- the best art calling out the best in us -

And of course our art teaches us about our history and our culture -

Whereas once people were brought to their feelings by the graceful language of poets, they are now brought to the currents moving within by the heart awakening blinding lyrics of a music of so many strains and varieties and so rich across the globe it makes you want to weep.

That's where poetry went, into song -

The poetry that stayed on the page became for an in-focus group of mainly other writers and students/academics, which is fine, we live in a complex society made up of many, many groups all carrying and exploring different facets of the rich world we live in.

If poets want to be heard by the great and massive public again, really & truly turn to the old forms of the troubadour: let the music of language sing.

If most poets are quiet and solitary by nature, then let their beautiful words of pain and ecstasy be sung by those who can.

What I'm saying is that the art form evolved into something more expansive and larger, and many musicians really need the half decent lyrics that on-page poets could provide if they would share.

Perhaps it's like the miser holding on to the goldmine sitting in the corner commiserating on the dearth of poetry! Rich gold veins of poetry in our world are of inestimable worth but they need to be shared, given, offered, allowed to go out freely into the world, circulated, this currency of the heart, used.
Comments (1)

Mantra to sleep by...

Even with hefty long walks yesterday to and from the mall where the No Frills grocery store is, about two hours of walking I guess, and then a dog walk, exercise usually helping with sleep, I was still awake at 3 or 4am, and knew I would get up at 7am (even though it's Canada Day, a national holiday).

For the past 13 years I've used mantra to sleep when I know I need to... and while I've been trying to let my mind be the wild place it naturally is, last night I succumbed.

What did I silently intone as I drifted off to sleep?

I love you, I love you, I love you...
Comments (1)

Light Catches Diamonds (4:18min)



Light Catches Diamonds- DSL or Cable

Light Catches Diamonds- Dial-up




















While I simply cannot record this again, won't tell you the story though you can surely guess, and I dearly hope the volume is high enough (I'm using Audacity on a PC rather than SoundStudio on my old iMac), it is a plain and slower reading, no echoes, promise!

The text for Light Catches Diamonds may be found at my art website.

Thank you, Sky, ydurp, vexations, Ashes_2_Ashes_Words_2_Words, and Richard Geer for your much appreciated feedback. xo

_______________
People have asked if you are supposed to pay for the recording. While I surely appreciate it if you do, no, you don't have to pay for it. You can listen to any of my recordings at SoundClick anytime (streaming is free). I switched from free download to paid because Paintings in the Sand was downloaded about 1500 times and, well, you understand...
Comments (3)

Lucubration

.......................... The woman became spirit in the differentiated dawn. By an attic window of diffused sun with which she's not merging but emerging as light. Dust floats scintillating like myriads of reflectors. Bright as the birdsong of the world, her spirit an unburning flame, a panoply of sparklers, a cluster of luminophor, a throng of stars.

In secret transforming into spirit in the quiet of the dawn hidden in the turret of an old house.

I saw her when I lay down to rest, and remembered so that when I came back I could write of her for you.

Sometimes it's like that, the light burning behind your closed eyelids, the woman becoming spirit.

___
Lucubration: that which is composed by night; that which is produced by meditation in retirement; hence (loosely) any literary composition.
Comments (1)

sun images

yesterday, gazing up


sun a white lit probe in the thick membrane of stratiform sky


today, bathing in warmth


sun a fine dessert wine muscat sweet on my body on my fingers dancing on the keyboard delirious words dancing to husky smooth leonard cohen
Comments (1)

Writer's Almanac: It's the Birthday of Franz Kafka...

From The Writer's Almanac:

It's the birthday of Franz Kafka, (books by this author) born in Prague (1883). At the time, Prague was part of the Hapsburg Empire of Bohemia. He grew up in a Jewish ghetto in Prague, speaking German, in a family that identified themselves as Czech. He lived almost his entire life with his parents, even after graduating from law school and holding a steady job at the government-run Workman's Accident Institute — a place where he oversaw the implementing of safety measures. His work helped prevent lumber workers from losing their limbs.

His family's apartment in the Jewish ghetto in Prague was tiny, noisy, and subject to the rule and whims of his tyrannical father. Kafka once noted, "I want to write and there's a constant trembling in my forehead. I'm sitting in my room which is the noise headquarters of the whole apartment, doors are slamming everywhere. … Father breaks down the door of my room and marches through with the bottom of his bathrobe dragging behind him. Valli shouts through the foyers as if across a Parisian street, asking if father's hat has been brushed. The front door makes a noise like a sore throat … Finally, father is gone, and all that remains is the more tender, hopeless peeping of the two canaries."*

In that noisy claustrophobic apartment with his parents and three sisters, Kafka would hypnotize himself to get in a frame of mind to write. He said, "Writing … is a deeper sleep than death … just as one wouldn't pull a corpse from its grave, I can't be dragged from my desk at night."

Kafka was terrified of his father, who convinced his son early on and again and again that he was a failure in life and would never amount to anything. Kafka stuttered around his father, but no one else.

Kafka spent his life steeped in self-loathing, and he had a number of psychosomatic illnesses. To cure his perceived illnesses, he tried all sorts of herbal and natural healing remedies. He went through a phase where he chewed each bite he put into his mouth a minimum of 10 chews. And he became vegetarian, eating mostly nuts and fruits, and followed a regimen of doing aerobics in front of an open window. He was actually a physically robust and healthy young man, but he was neurotic in a number of ways. He confessed that he had "a boundless sense of guilt," and one of his friends wrote that Kafka was "the servant of a God not believed in."

He was engaged to a woman in Berlin for five years, then broke it off with her. He wrote to her, "After all, you are a girl, and you want a man, not an earthworm." They were engaged a second time, and broke it off again. Their distant relationship was carried on almost entirely by writing letters. He once said: "Letter writing is an intercourse with ghosts, not only with the ghost of the receiver, but with one's own, which emerges between the lines of the letter being written. … Written kisses never reach their destination, but are drunk en route by these ghosts."

Kafka died of tuberculosis in 1924, a month shy of his 41st birthday. All of his sisters later died at concentration camps in the Holocaust. Not much of Kafka's work was published during his lifetime. Kafka had instructed his friend Max Brod to set his manuscripts on fire upon his death, but Brod refused, and instead edited and published Kafka's work.

Kafka's best-known work is The Metamorphosis, which begins, "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning after disturbing dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous bug."

His book The Trial begins, "Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one morning."

Kafka has been made into an adjective, "Kafkaesque," a literary allusion dropped into conversation from time to time by people who may or may not be familiar with his work, which is actually full of humor. "Kafkaesque" has come to be used to describe things of a gloomy, bizarre, eerie, nightmarish, or doomed nature, and is often applied to bureaucratic or institutional situations.

Kafka once wrote in a letter to a friend: "The books we need are of the kind that act upon us like a misfortune, that make us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we were on the verge of suicide, or lost in a forest remote from all human habitation — a book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us."

* All quotes by Kafka are translations of Kafka's German into English by David Zane Mairowitz, except for the final quote ("The books we need …"), from a translation by Willa and Edwin Muir.
Comments

Where has poetry gone?

Jay Parini, Why Poetry Matters

Where has poetry gone?

Oh, fads and fashions. Poetry was once a dominant art form and ordinary people memorized long stretches of Tennyson... or Keats... It wasn't Pound's fault, forgodssake, there'd always been 'difficult' poetry, but a change most likely brought about by the expansion of the media through radio, silent movies, records... and so on.

Whereas once people were brought to their feelings - ok, ok, interjection - I do believe that we watch movies, read books, etc. to feel, that we want to feel our feelings strongly in safe ways and we do this through our art- the best art calling out the best in us -

And of course our art teaches us about our history and our culture -

Whereas once people were brought to their feelings by the graceful language of poets, they are now brought to the currents moving within by the heart awakening blinding lyrics of a music of so many strains and varieties and so rich across the globe it makes you want to weep.

That's where poetry went, into song -

The poetry that stayed on the page became for an in-focus group of mainly other writers and students/academics, which is fine, we live in a complex society made up of many, many groups all carrying and exploring different facets of the rich world we live in.

If poets want to be heard by the great and massive public again, really & truly turn to the old forms of the troubadour: let the music of language sing.

If most poets are quiet and solitary by nature, then let their beautiful words of pain and ecstasy be sung by those who can.

What I'm saying is that the art form evolved into something more expansive and larger, and many musicians really need the half decent lyrics that on-page poets could provide if they would share.

Perhaps it's like the miser holding on to the goldmine sitting in the corner commiserating on the dearth of poetry! Rich gold veins of poetry in our world are of inestimable worth but they need to be shared, given, offered, allowed to go out freely into the world, circulated, this currency of the heart, used.
Comments (1)

Mantra to sleep by...

Even with hefty long walks yesterday to and from the mall where the No Frills grocery store is, about two hours of walking I guess, and then a dog walk, exercise usually helping with sleep, I was still awake at 3 or 4am, and knew I would get up at 7am (even though it's Canada Day, a national holiday).

For the past 13 years I've used mantra to sleep when I know I need to... and while I've been trying to let my mind be the wild place it naturally is, last night I succumbed.

What did I silently intone as I drifted off to sleep?

I love you, I love you, I love you...
Comments (1)

Light Catches Diamonds (4:18min)



Light Catches Diamonds- DSL or Cable

Light Catches Diamonds- Dial-up




















While I simply cannot record this again, won't tell you the story though you can surely guess, and I dearly hope the volume is high enough (I'm using Audacity on a PC rather than SoundStudio on my old iMac), it is a plain and slower reading, no echoes, promise!

The text for Light Catches Diamonds may be found at my art website.

Thank you, Sky, ydurp, vexations, Ashes_2_Ashes_Words_2_Words, and Richard Geer for your much appreciated feedback. xo

_______________
People have asked if you are supposed to pay for the recording. While I surely appreciate it if you do, no, you don't have to pay for it. You can listen to any of my recordings at SoundClick anytime (streaming is free). I switched from free download to paid because Paintings in the Sand was downloaded about 1500 times and, well, you understand...
Comments (3)

Lucubration

.......................... The woman became spirit in the differentiated dawn. By an attic window of diffused sun with which she's not merging but emerging as light. Dust floats scintillating like myriads of reflectors. Bright as the birdsong of the world, her spirit an unburning flame, a panoply of sparklers, a cluster of luminophor, a throng of stars.

In secret transforming into spirit in the quiet of the dawn hidden in the turret of an old house.

I saw her when I lay down to rest, and remembered so that when I came back I could write of her for you.

Sometimes it's like that, the light burning behind your closed eyelids, the woman becoming spirit.

___
Lucubration: that which is composed by night; that which is produced by meditation in retirement; hence (loosely) any literary composition.
Comments (1)

It's Time to Give Up Continuous Mantra

Two nights ago I stopped. Let it be.

I think it was 1995 when I began mantra recitation, walking, during the hours awake in the middle of the night, while cooking or cleaning, during repetitive tasks at work. Like Hail Mary's, only not Christian, not even necessarily the Sanskrit of my yoga, often ones I made up to suit whatever my needs were.

Mantra filled my mind, plus the meditation I did every day of 15 minutes or more.

It stilled my mind; my mind needed stilling. I left my husband in 1997. There was an ongoing war in my mind. Mantra soothed it. Mantra lifted my weary spirit over and over for the ensuing decade and more. I've come to rely on it to bring me to a state of inner peace.

Two nights ago I decided to let my mind run rampant again. Be as unpruned as it is naturally. I woke at 2am and lay awake until 6am and didn't calm my tumultuous interior with mantra. An hour of extra sleep before rising suffices.

From now on I will only silently recite mantra during my actual meditations, and what a balm they are, those moments of forgetfulness, of not-being, of being gone. The relief of not thinking, of not carrying the pressure of everything, of letting it all go in the ease and peace that mantra brings.

Outside of actual meditation sessions, I will let my mind become what it is. It's safe now. The last thirteen years of honing and focus through continuous mantra have surely had an effect.
Comments (1)

Dawn, the momentary effect

when love's flame
rises

encroaching the dark
birds singing dawn, chirping
grace

or finally knowing what to do,
after such a long time
of unknowing

spreading a caul of light over
the horizon

until the sky is clear, safe, free,

and you may continue on
Comments (3)

Prep drawing for painting

Prep drawing for a painting
India ink on paper with acrylic matte medium brushed over the drawing, 73cm x 52cm, 28.75" x 20.5"

Prep drawing for a new painting. Combining figures from lifedrawing sessions and a very famous Venus, to become part my current work-in-progress: the Botticelli Venus Suite of Poems (I've included some tiny bits of text from my poems which may be lost in the paint, who knows).

Click on image for larger size, & the tiny quotes from which poems.
Comments

A Lion Tale...



Irresistible! As an animal lover, this touches me and if you are, wonderful...

Also I spent ages 2-6 1/2 in Kafue National Park in Zambia living in mud huts with all the wild animals about and the lion who I called "blond," and who I told to "Stop roaring all night, you're keeping Mummy awake!"

A hug like that...

Animals who love people.
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sun images

yesterday, gazing up


sun a white lit probe in the thick membrane of stratiform sky


today, bathing in warmth


sun a fine dessert wine muscat sweet on my body on my fingers dancing on the keyboard delirious words dancing to husky smooth leonard cohen
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Writer's Almanac: It's the Birthday of Franz Kafka...

From The Writer's Almanac:

It's the birthday of Franz Kafka, (books by this author) born in Prague (1883). At the time, Prague was part of the Hapsburg Empire of Bohemia. He grew up in a Jewish ghetto in Prague, speaking German, in a family that identified themselves as Czech. He lived almost his entire life with his parents, even after graduating from law school and holding a steady job at the government-run Workman's Accident Institute — a place where he oversaw the implementing of safety measures. His work helped prevent lumber workers from losing their limbs.

His family's apartment in the Jewish ghetto in Prague was tiny, noisy, and subject to the rule and whims of his tyrannical father. Kafka once noted, "I want to write and there's a constant trembling in my forehead. I'm sitting in my room which is the noise headquarters of the whole apartment, doors are slamming everywhere. … Father breaks down the door of my room and marches through with the bottom of his bathrobe dragging behind him. Valli shouts through the foyers as if across a Parisian street, asking if father's hat has been brushed. The front door makes a noise like a sore throat … Finally, father is gone, and all that remains is the more tender, hopeless peeping of the two canaries."*

In that noisy claustrophobic apartment with his parents and three sisters, Kafka would hypnotize himself to get in a frame of mind to write. He said, "Writing … is a deeper sleep than death … just as one wouldn't pull a corpse from its grave, I can't be dragged from my desk at night."

Kafka was terrified of his father, who convinced his son early on and again and again that he was a failure in life and would never amount to anything. Kafka stuttered around his father, but no one else.

Kafka spent his life steeped in self-loathing, and he had a number of psychosomatic illnesses. To cure his perceived illnesses, he tried all sorts of herbal and natural healing remedies. He went through a phase where he chewed each bite he put into his mouth a minimum of 10 chews. And he became vegetarian, eating mostly nuts and fruits, and followed a regimen of doing aerobics in front of an open window. He was actually a physically robust and healthy young man, but he was neurotic in a number of ways. He confessed that he had "a boundless sense of guilt," and one of his friends wrote that Kafka was "the servant of a God not believed in."

He was engaged to a woman in Berlin for five years, then broke it off with her. He wrote to her, "After all, you are a girl, and you want a man, not an earthworm." They were engaged a second time, and broke it off again. Their distant relationship was carried on almost entirely by writing letters. He once said: "Letter writing is an intercourse with ghosts, not only with the ghost of the receiver, but with one's own, which emerges between the lines of the letter being written. … Written kisses never reach their destination, but are drunk en route by these ghosts."

Kafka died of tuberculosis in 1924, a month shy of his 41st birthday. All of his sisters later died at concentration camps in the Holocaust. Not much of Kafka's work was published during his lifetime. Kafka had instructed his friend Max Brod to set his manuscripts on fire upon his death, but Brod refused, and instead edited and published Kafka's work.

Kafka's best-known work is The Metamorphosis, which begins, "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning after disturbing dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous bug."

His book The Trial begins, "Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one morning."

Kafka has been made into an adjective, "Kafkaesque," a literary allusion dropped into conversation from time to time by people who may or may not be familiar with his work, which is actually full of humor. "Kafkaesque" has come to be used to describe things of a gloomy, bizarre, eerie, nightmarish, or doomed nature, and is often applied to bureaucratic or institutional situations.

Kafka once wrote in a letter to a friend: "The books we need are of the kind that act upon us like a misfortune, that make us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we were on the verge of suicide, or lost in a forest remote from all human habitation — a book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us."

* All quotes by Kafka are translations of Kafka's German into English by David Zane Mairowitz, except for the final quote ("The books we need …"), from a translation by Willa and Edwin Muir.
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Where has poetry gone?

Jay Parini, Why Poetry Matters

Where has poetry gone?

Oh, fads and fashions. Poetry was once a dominant art form and ordinary people memorized long stretches of Tennyson... or Keats... It wasn't Pound's fault, forgodssake, there'd always been 'difficult' poetry, but a change most likely brought about by the expansion of the media through radio, silent movies, records... and so on.

Whereas once people were brought to their feelings - ok, ok, interjection - I do believe that we watch movies, read books, etc. to feel, that we want to feel our feelings strongly in safe ways and we do this through our art- the best art calling out the best in us -

And of course our art teaches us about our history and our culture -

Whereas once people were brought to their feelings by the graceful language of poets, they are now brought to the currents moving within by the heart awakening blinding lyrics of a music of so many strains and varieties and so rich across the globe it makes you want to weep.

That's where poetry went, into song -

The poetry that stayed on the page became for an in-focus group of mainly other writers and students/academics, which is fine, we live in a complex society made up of many, many groups all carrying and exploring different facets of the rich world we live in.

If poets want to be heard by the great and massive public again, really & truly turn to the old forms of the troubadour: let the music of language sing.

If most poets are quiet and solitary by nature, then let their beautiful words of pain and ecstasy be sung by those who can.

What I'm saying is that the art form evolved into something more expansive and larger, and many musicians really need the half decent lyrics that on-page poets could provide if they would share.

Perhaps it's like the miser holding on to the goldmine sitting in the corner commiserating on the dearth of poetry! Rich gold veins of poetry in our world are of inestimable worth but they need to be shared, given, offered, allowed to go out freely into the world, circulated, this currency of the heart, used.
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Mantra to sleep by...

Even with hefty long walks yesterday to and from the mall where the No Frills grocery store is, about two hours of walking I guess, and then a dog walk, exercise usually helping with sleep, I was still awake at 3 or 4am, and knew I would get up at 7am (even though it's Canada Day, a national holiday).

For the past 13 years I've used mantra to sleep when I know I need to... and while I've been trying to let my mind be the wild place it naturally is, last night I succumbed.

What did I silently intone as I drifted off to sleep?

I love you, I love you, I love you...
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Light Catches Diamonds (4:18min)



Light Catches Diamonds- DSL or Cable

Light Catches Diamonds- Dial-up




















While I simply cannot record this again, won't tell you the story though you can surely guess, and I dearly hope the volume is high enough (I'm using Audacity on a PC rather than SoundStudio on my old iMac), it is a plain and slower reading, no echoes, promise!

The text for Light Catches Diamonds may be found at my art website.

Thank you, Sky, ydurp, vexations, Ashes_2_Ashes_Words_2_Words, and Richard Geer for your much appreciated feedback. xo

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People have asked if you are supposed to pay for the recording. While I surely appreciate it if you do, no, you don't have to pay for it. You can listen to any of my recordings at SoundClick anytime (streaming is free). I switched from free download to paid because Paintings in the Sand was downloaded about 1500 times and, well, you understand...
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Lucubration

.......................... The woman became spirit in the differentiated dawn. By an attic window of diffused sun with which she's not merging but emerging as light. Dust floats scintillating like myriads of reflectors. Bright as the birdsong of the world, her spirit an unburning flame, a panoply of sparklers, a cluster of luminophor, a throng of stars.

In secret transforming into spirit in the quiet of the dawn hidden in the turret of an old house.

I saw her when I lay down to rest, and remembered so that when I came back I could write of her for you.

Sometimes it's like that, the light burning behind your closed eyelids, the woman becoming spirit.

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Lucubration: that which is composed by night; that which is produced by meditation in retirement; hence (loosely) any literary composition.
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