Sunday, April 30, 2006

An aside..finding the best gas prices in your area.

Something we all need for sure!! This site came in today's Kim Kimando news letter. You'll see a link on the bottom that leads to 'GasPriceWatch' and readers are encouraged to send in low priced stations in their area. You can plug in your zip code or your exact location and find a station. I found one two miles from my house that's around 40 cents a gallon cheaper than the average going cost right now.

The idea is to go to these, not only for price reasons, but to give them the business and not give it to the high prices stations. Yes, we all know oil in general has gone up, but gas stations take various levels of advantage.

Anyway, here tis...

Kim Komando recommended gas price site

Friday, April 28, 2006

A Music Break

For some reason I can't get this old song out of my head. Sleep Walk, recorded by Ritchie Havens, also Santos and Johnny. Who knows why a song grabs us and won't let go till we've listened to it a thousand times, plus, but some do. I have the version by Havens on my computer, but have to post a midi version of it here. Hit the right arrow to start and it plays once.

Try this. Write down what images go through your head listening.

For me, it's a darkened room. People are all around sitting or dancing, but hard to see. I'm dancing with a stranger, but someone I'm attracted to. It's magnetic, tho I know I won't see him again. We're drawn by the dance and the music. Only the dance and the music. When the song ends we'll go our separate ways, but we won't forget. One of those slices in time that strangers occasionally share spontaneously.





Oh, a story....Back in the eighties, my husband, a neighbor and I went several Christmas seasons to a Festival of Houses, renovated homes in an old section of town. For a pass you got a map, entrance to each house, champaigne and munchies. At one house, a man was playing the piano. About five of us stood around to listen. When he broke into a ragtime number, the man standing to my left suddenly started with a soft shoe. I'd taken tap in grammar school, but one never forgets some things, so I joined in. First I followed his moves, then he followed mine. When the music ended, my husband's mouth was hanging open. 'Why didn't you tell me you could tap dance?' he said. 'There's a lot of things about me you probably don't know,' I told him.

I would venture the same is even more true now.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Manhole Cover Art





Looking every bit as if Jung had created hundreds of Mandalas and flung them onto the streets of Japan, manholes create their own sort of strange art. This site of Japanese manholes is fabulous! Perhaps art is in the eyes of the beholder, after all.
And if you thought manhole hunting was an isolated hobby, here's yet another interesting manhole site

The below image came from a site that was online at 6 a.m. this morning but WHOOSH they were gone. Pat and I have decided that they either got trapped in a sewer somewhere and couldn't pay their bills or are off in China too busy meditating on a manhole cover there:-) Oh well....sigh.


Manhold cover from New Zealand
FRIDAY NOTE: THE SITE IS BACK. SEE IT HERE (They must've left their manhole cover and discovered they were missing:-)


Below is an example of a Mandala from this site.



A Mandala is a complex circular design, often used in healing, meditation and/or prayer. The word 'Mandala' comes from Sanskrit and means 'healing circle' or 'whole world'.

So.....start strolling down your street and get ready to meditate!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Vintage Jewelry. Inspired by Michelle Buchanan

Michelle Buchanan, in her wonderful blog on her vintage books and jewelry, inspired me to take these photos of some of my older pieces. All are costume jewelry of various eras, but done at a time when you still saw hand crafting and exquisite detail. The one pin with a stone at the end is amber. It's probably from the sixties, just guessing based on when my mother wore that style. I found the peacock pin at a consignment shop back in the eighties. It was crafted sometime around the fifties. Its size doesn't show, but it's large and I used to wear it on the lapel of jackets when I dressed up. The butterfly comes to me from my mother. I don't have an approximate date on it, but I'm guessing fifties or sixties at the latest. The one of the tintype boy is turn of the nineteenth century, but no-one in the family knew who the boy was. That one was hard to photograph because the tintype is so faded now and also because about any angle to get light onto it produced glare.

Thanks, Michelle, for the inspiration. (Click to Enlarge)







Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Driftwood Horses





Her name is Heather Jansch and she creates these amazing horses made from driftwood. An Australian friend sent me this link yesterday. If you go HERE, you'll see a pictorial step by step of how these are created. Her website link on this page shows a variety of horses in other mediums, as well. To me, these are stunning, so I wanted to share them. Click to enlarge.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Long Goodbye

I didn't post yesterday. Today's post is about where I was.

That phrase for Altzheimers was aptly coined by Patti Davis about her father, Ronald Reagon. I'm in the process now of saying that goodbye to my mother-in-law of twenty-five years. My husband had planned the hour's drive up to her house yesterday, where she lives with her last husband of ten years now. He married her when it looked as if she'd had a minor stroke with some resultant memory problems, but that problem turned out to become Altzeimers.

As most of you know, I'm on a short tether, energy-wise, from CFIDS, and yesterday started with 3 1/2 hour's sleep following throwing up late into the night from something inexplicable that I ate, and waking before dawn. So many trips I've not felt at all like I could make the drive and wanted to go this time, so weaving from lack of sleep, got up there. I want to see her when I can while she still remembers her family. Yes, I know that will eventually go, too.

Right now, she can no longer remember how to sign her name, turn light switches on and off, cut her meat, or dress. Her husband adores her and takes good care. As those of you know who have someone you love with the illness, it's hard to watch a once vital person simply slip away. I lucked out with my mother-in-law. She's been a good one. Not everybody can say that.

I'm including pictures from the visit. You'll see me, my husband with his mom, my mother-in-law and her husband, and their pool out back. I realize these photos won't mean a lot to anyone who doedn't know them, but I wanted to put them into my blog, anyway. Click to enlarge.





Friday, April 21, 2006

Monarch Festival Oh YES!

The following was posted on a haiga board I'm a member of by a woman who lives in Hawaii and now I'm homesick. I lived/worked in Hawaii in the late sixties for a year and I still feel it's probably the most beautiful place I've ever lived. I remember disembarking from the plane and looking up at the lava mountains rising into the sky, the scent of fresh blossoms filling the air and I had the feeling that I'd arrived home. I know tourism has overrun Hawaii terribly since those days and that's a shame, but the Hawaiians are making stronger efforts to preserve and honour their old traditions. My friend's post:

It is the week of the merry monarch festival the olympiad of hula many visitors to perform from all over with their roots some how in Hawaii..it is a wonder to see.........tonight will be the competition of Miss Aloha Hula ...from all the all gold medal dancers friday night the old fashion hula Kahiko and saturday the modern.

Hawaiian hula
poetry with the hands


If you'd like a taste of the traditional hula (not the straw skirt dance-on-Wakiki type of dance, Shanna provided the HawaiiNews Channel. This is the video page. I'd recommend starting with the 2005 Kahikos Miss Aloha Hula link. Give it time. When she moves up to the stage and starts dancing with the beat of the gourds, sheer magic! The green leaf lei around her neck is called the meile lie (no longer sure of the spelling), but one worn traditionally by royalty only.

There's an option for dialup or broadband. I have broadband, so don't know how smooth the connection will be for dialup, but give it a try. Well worth it.

Pris, homesick for lava hills and leis around my neck every Friday at work for Aloha Day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Phil Ochs

I heard Phil Ochs sing in Massachusetts the night we gathered for a protest march the following day. We sat in the hills, our two-man tent set up so six of us could sleep sideways like sardines afterwards. A a make-shift stage was set up below us, beneath a clear, but chilly starry night. It was a time to remember.

Phil Ochs killed himself the following year. I love his music and his death was such a waste. Found this snippet of him on YOUTUBE. If it buffers a lot, just let it run through once, then hit 'play again' and it'll play smoothly the second time.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Runaway

Bare on the stained mattress,
hair spread beneath her
like the flame of a rising sun,
this runaway, this woman fleeing
her midlife, waits for the crazy man.

He lives in a jade forest,
cabin carved with his fingernails.
They've spied on him since Nam,
he's told her, aiming satellites close
in to listen, painting cryptic messages
across the sky with their jets.

She doesn't care.
She half believes him, wants
to believe him in her rush to escape
her glass house by the sea.

For that moment,
that sweep into another life
in her wish for a new hardness
to enter her, a fresh mouth at her breast
she has given up everything, but

he carves deeper into the forest.
The voices say she's the enemy, too.
Thorns cut her feet leaving.
Judas kisses away her tears.
A cross marks the road home.


Pris Campbell
2006


(I posted this at MySpace a day ahead of the post here. It might be fun to look at the post and comments on that site. Click HEREthen click on Runaway /View More in the blog listings up top.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Day

No particular post for Easter Day. I would guess this is family day for a lot of you. If you're around and want to say hi tomorrow, do so. I'll be here with no plans and checking in.

I'm adding a midi I like. I haven't yet figured out the coding to put on an Odeo greeting. Click the arrow to start the midi and the dot or square to stop it. It's called Argentine Tango.



Pris

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A wonderful surprise

This morning I woke to this post on Michael Parker's Journal. Michael is a columist for MiPo journal, a fantastic poet, and one of my favorite bloggers. In this post, he discusses my poetry and for his kind words, I thank him! Thank you, Michael. I feel completely overwelmed and honored.

Pris

Getting Ready!



thumpydee thump thump
thumpydee thump thump
bunny stampede
ground shakes
eggs crack
baskets overturn
the bunnies appear
ears torn and ragged
fur mottled and faded
we're tired, they cry
let the hens watch
out for the kiddies next year!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Saving the World



Segue back in time. Last year of graduate school. Sprawled on the apartment sofa of the man who is to become my first husband 14 months later, after his second tour of Vietnam as junior officer in the navy. He plays his latest LP. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heartclub Band. The Beatles with full orchestra. The Beatles breaking every rule. The sweet lads from Liverpool wearing a new face.

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds fills the dark room. Not since Bill Halley sang Rock Around the Clock in my childhood, causing instant panic and sermons on the sins of Rock & Roll, had I heard a piece of music that I knew would change the face of music in a major way again. An LP, either.

Lucy...floating through the Sky. We all thought it was the Beatles tripping, but they said the song came from a drawing by one of their six year olds. I believe them, but we'd have to play Revolver backwards to get the real skinny behind that one.

Enter Grace Slick. Wilder than the Beatles could ever be. A female Elvis on illegal drugs. A sensual hair flinging Janis Joplin in white boots. Jefferson Airplane. What could be more glamorous than the combination of San Francisco, the Filmore West, Haight Ashbury, Hair, and Ken Kesey blowing the scene , all happening at the same time. Grace was every woman's alter ego. Superman to our Clark Kent personas. She was music. She was sex. She was drugs. She knew no boundaries. I heard White Rabbit...here comes Alice..and she's ten feet tall...and no-one could say GRACE was singing about her six year old's drawing. Grace Slick and the Airplane became the music of the times. She made your heart thump, your feet itch for adventure.

I finally saw her perform in person in the seventies. The band had changed names. Grace was older, tired-looking on a platform stage in a gymnasium somewhere in Massachusetts. The fire wasn't there like before, and my husband and I had gone our separate ways, but the man in my life at that time and I sat on the gym floor in the dark, listening to that famous voice, riding it back to times when our generation believed flowers, protest marches, bell bottoms and free love would save the world.


From the archives:9/18/2003

As an aside, thanks to Lyle Daggett, read the Snopes article about the Lucy drawing here and see the drawing, too.

beginning of the article:
Claim: John Lennon deliberately chose the song title Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds because the initial letters of key words form the acrostic "LSD".
Status: False.

Origins: When the Beatles' album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in 1967, its centerpiece track was the song that featured John Lennon's ethereal, high-pitched voice singing drug-inspired lyrics to the accompaniment of a celeste-like organ lead played by Paul McCartney. It wasn't long, however, before listeners quickly discovered the "hidden" pun in the song's title, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds: The initial letters of certain words spelled out the acrostic LSD.

Although none of the Beatles publicly admitted to taking LSD until two weeks after Sergeant Pepper the public "knew" that the song's title was "obviously" more than mere coincidence. A song incorporating acid trip imagery, released on an album featuring psychedelic designs, at a time when LSD was very much in the news, couldn't possibly have been given a title like that by accident. Everyone was in on the joke.

John Lennon, while never denying that the song itself was inspired by the countless acid trips he had taken, quickly explained that the title, in fact, had been mere coincidence. It was taken, verbatim, from the name John's four-year-old son Julian had given to a drawing he made at school (shown below), Lennon claimed; Lennon himself had no idea that the title formed the abbreviation LSD until it was pointed out to him by someone else after the album's release......read more

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Society of Orphans

From the archives: June 23, 2001

When my mother died five years ago, my last surviving parent, a good friend wrote, welcome to the society of orphans. She had lost her last parent only a few years earlier. At first, I thought the idea odd--an orphan at my age??

Yet, as the years creep by, so many times the thought has crept through my mind, "I need to call and tell mother this"....and then, suddenly, I remember. I can't.

My family of aunts and uncles, gone now too, was large and close. Mother held the role of family matriarch to my cousins, and chief story teller to us all. Never could a holiday come without us gathered around the dining room table or sprawled on the den floor to call out, "tell us the one about cousin Sudie cheating on the Bible Quiz again", or "what about when Uncle Harry used to drive up to the whorehouses on Saturday nights with a fake siren on his car", or "tell us about greatgrandpa Dickson meeting greatgrandmother Harris because of a promise made to his dying buddy, after the Great Civil War was over".

Sad stories too. My grandmother dying of the flu that devastated our country in 1920, leaving behind mother, aged 13 and her younger brother, only five, the last ones of six sibs left in the household. When told his mother had gone to be with God, Uncle Herman replied, 'Doesn't God know a little boy needs his mother?" Her death was followed five years later by my grandfather's, driven off the road by a drunk driver.

My mother's stories brought flesh and blood to the family who had come before me, to the upper generation of cousins and grandparents I had never known.

It is from my mother that I inherited my love of a good story--read, told, or written. It is the feelings they generated in me that drives my poetry now.

If she were alive today, I would say to her, "Oh mother, now Becky is dying, too," and we would recite together the stories we remembered of Becky from infancy on, weaving her, by those tales, into the heart tapestry of our family already passed.

I have no sibs, no children, few remaining close cousins. Since I can't travel, I wonder if I will ever see any of my blood kin again.

I do know I will never again lie on that den floor, stuffed with fried okra, squash, and country-cured ham, surrounded by family, and hear the stories of cousin Sudie, Greatgrandpa Dickson, or Uncle Harry ring through the room, a room so filled with laughter and love.

I miss her still. I miss it all.






Hit right arrow to make the music play with this post. Hit the black dot to turn off the music. It will automatically stop after one play.
Music: Do You Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John.

Curiosity

My webtracker for the blog shows me that I consistently have around 40 visitor a day to my blog, averaged over a week's time. Some days it's higher. Some days lower. I realize that some visits come from the 'next blog' link up top, but average time on the blog shows almost three minutes.

So...since comments don't tell me who you are, I'd like to use this post to find out. If you're reading this, leave a comment saying 'Kilroy was here' or something like that.

I'm curious to see who passes by.

Pris

Pris Page on MiPo Radio site

Didi Menendez has been kind enough to create a page for semi-regular contributors to the MiPo radio shows, so click on the title above and you'll find my page and can hear some readings. She just added Trombone Angels, which is the only reading with music and other effects.

Pris

Monday, April 10, 2006

Trombone Angels (Two)

(This poem grew up of a poet's suggestion on MySpace about mixing parts of poems. I played with the idea with my 'two poems', posted earlier, merging the two seven minute poems there. I then worked with the merge on paper, adding to it. Here's the new version.)

The trombone angels have no teeth.
No ears.
Lips like a frozen kiss.
Their last dance was in the air,
ghost band hovering over the flames
at Auschwitz, Cambodia, Iraq.
Dressed in black raincoats,
they shuffle to fresh graveyards
and bone laden ditches,
feet cut and dirty.

What did they think
when they once flew,
ground rushing beneath them so fast?
Did they see gods reach
out to snatch soul from body
before flesh died?
Is that too much to believe?
Too much to hope for?

They blow a sweet tune
for those who no longer buy lies
from bible-rumped matrons
about lesser gods
for those not washed by Christ's blood
or chained to a catholic sainthood.
Those matrons claim we're all sinners.
They cast the first stones to prove it.

The wail of the trombones rises
as night tosses its net of stars.
A cock cries three times.
The silence from the graves is deafening.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Haiga A Collaboration with Geoff Sanderson

Geoff took the photograph when in Japan visiting his son and lay out this wonderful haiga. Click to enlarge.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Two Poems in One

(Lorna Dee Cervantes--see my links list-- is writing a poem a day for Poetry Month. She times herself. Writes the poem in seven minutes, then gives herself 24 hours to let it sit and make minor revisions. I thought I'd give it a shot --though not every day--to see what happened if I was given less chance to censor myself. Here's two.)

Trombone Angels

The trombone angels have no teeth.
No ears. Lips like a frozen kiss.
They dress in black raincoats, shufffle
to fresh mounds in graveyards,
or bone-filled ditches in places
we've not heard of. They weep
for those who've lost heart
to buy lies or listen to stories
of lesser gods from bible-rumped
matrons who must show we're sinners
by the first stones they cast.


Below is an alternative experiment with the above poem. Thanks, Carter!

(note: last part slightly revised as of 5 30pm)

Trombone Angels (Version Two)

The trombone angels have no teeth.
No ears.
Lips like a frozen kiss.
Dressed in black raincoats,
they shuffle to fresh mounds
in graveyards
or bone filled ditches
at Auchwitch, Cambodia, Iraq.
They blow a sweet tune
for those who can no longer buy lies
from bible-rumped matrons
about lesser gods or justice
only for Jesus kissers
proving the rest of us sinners
by the first stones they cast.





The Towers

Their last dance was in the air,
ghost band hovering over the flames
behind them. What did they
think as they flew, ground rushing
so fast to meet sky?

Did some god reach
out and snatch soul from body
before flesh finally hit concrete?
Is that too much to believe?
Too much to hope for?

(This one feels unfinished...will do more work on it)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Best News Photos of 2005: Chosen by National Geographic



I don't know how many of you are photo lovers, but I found the choices of photos for the year fascinating. Their cover online page kicked off with the photo of the remains of this whale in an Egyptian desert, a desert that just happend to be named ten thousand years ago 'Valley of the Whales', yet this whale dates back to the millions. When I first read about this discovery, it inspired a poem. I'm including the links to the rest of the photos HERE. They're well worth a look, especially with the short commentary below them. Not only are they interesting photos, they're instructive, as well.

Enjoy! I did.

Pris

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

And from Poets.org...

I signed up with Poets.org for a poem a day to come to my mailbox every day. Louise Gluck, our former Poet Laureate, kicked the series off on the first day. The poems are indeed a treat. Yesterday's post from them was more unusual. I'll post it below in its entirety (the questions are theirs). I'd be curious how you'd answer some of these. Yes, this is a one word poem. Not a typo.I posted this on my MySpace blog yesterday and also asked if you had to write a poem of one word, what would it be?

One-Word Poem
by David R. Slavitt


Motherless.

---------------

Discussion questions.(from poets.org)

Is this a joke? And, if so, is it a joke of the poet in which the editor of the magazine (or, later, the book publisher or the textbook writers) has conspired? Or is it a joke on the editors and publishers? Is the reader the audience of the poem?
It is regrettable not to have a mother. Is the purpose of the poem to convey an emotion to the reader? Does the poet suppose that this is the saddest word in the language? Do you agree or disagree? Can you suggest a sadder word?
The Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary gives an alternate meaning from nineteenth- and twentieth-century Australian slang as an intensifier, as in “stone motherless broke.” Can you assume that the poet knew this? Does this make for an ambiguity in the poem? Does this information change your emotional response?
If the assertion of the single word as a work of art is not a joke, then what could it mean? Is it a Dada-ist gesture, amusing and cheeky perhaps but with an underlying seriousness that the poet either invites or defies the reader to understand?
Even if the poet was merely fooling around, does that necessarily diminish the possible seriousness of the poem?
If we acknowledge that this is a work of art, can the author assert ownership? Is it possible to copyright a one-word poem?
In writing a one-word poem, the crucial decision must be which word to choose and to posit as a work of art. Do you think the poet spent a great deal of time picking this word? Or did he simply open a dictionary and let his fingers do the walking? Does that diminish the poem’s value? Or is it a kind of bibliomancy?
Should the word have been in quotes? Or is it quotes even without being in quotes? There is a period at the end of the poem. Would it change the meaning of the poem if there were an exclamation point? Or no punctuation at all? Would that be a different poem? Better or worse? Or would you like it more or less? (Are these different questions?)
You can almost certainly write—or “write”—a one-word poem. But it would be difficult for you to get it published—almost certainly more difficult now that this one has been published and staked its claim. Is the publication of a poem a part of the creative act? Had the poet written his poem and put it away in his desk drawer as Emily Dickinson used to do, would this make it a different poem?
Some poems we read and some that we particularly like, we memorize. You have already memorized this one. Do you like it better now? Or are the questions part of the poem, so that you have not yet memorized it? Will you, anyway? Do you need to memorize the questions verbatim, or is the idea enough?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Brewster, MA Cape Cod



(click to enlarge)
I used to live in Boston, but this photo was taken on a trip back in the eighties and from there on out to Cape Cod. The nice thing about the Cape is that it's one of the few places on the east coast that you can easily see both sunrise and sunset. This happens to be sunset, with the tip of a sailing mast peeking up over the rise.

Pris

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Erasure

By now, I thought
I would barely remember you;
I would have been long gone,
migrated away like the birds
or maybe the butterflies, light
glinting off their fluttering wings.

But who thinks of these things?

Who thinks their wings
will be broken or that time
will pour through their
fingertips like sand
from an old hourglass?

A man on the street chants
love songs from Solomons.
The walls of my barren house sigh,
collapse inward, like a burial ground,
like the first burial ground
of the first woman ever.

I walk backwards.
Out of my daisy-bound
wedding hat, out
of that day I first met you,
out of my body into
limitless time.
I erase you. I am free.