Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

Eden's Hero

for s.a.

Your feet sink deep into the gunk
coating Ma Earth, trapping you;
you, who would save the world for
another Walt Whitman, or a poppy
spreading its seed across untrampled
meadows, not K-Mart's new parking lot
or tomorrow's Trump Plaza.

Kent State was only a preview,
Charles Manson, a mini-holocaust.
Blood soon will be shed over gas masks
and bottles of clean water.
Our rivers will run red.

Rachel Carson moans in her grave,
but dumpyards keep filling
with last year's TVs
rusty cars
Teflon pans
AAA batteries
Madonna's bras
AOL disks
and Pampers
while icebergs melt
and hurricanes race through
coalescent seas.

A woman ducks into an alley;
struggles to reach her cardboard home
before night drowns the tired sun
and stars start their sad trek across
paths already vanishing beneath them.

(this poem was inspired after reading some of s.a. griffin's powerful poems about making things right with the world again..or wishing that we could.)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

On the seventh day...

I'm taking a break, too. The morning started with my third computer crash in eight days. I get the message back from microsoft that I have a driver problem. Which one? They don't know. The frustrating part is that my tech friend, Lloyd, replaced my main hard drive, did a clean install of my operating system, including bringing it up to date and updating all drivers, right after the drive failed late fall. After the tedious work of reinstalling my programs and data, the computer has been singing like a happy bird until a week ago. Now IE just crashed while doing this. My last computer had a witch living in it. Everybody on the Windows Forum agreed with that diagnosis when I had problem after problem. I hope she hasn't come back to life!:)

So, today why not check out my blog at MySpace? My main blog remains here but I post occasionally there. MySpace is an interesting site with its music, bulletins and messaging system. Worth a peek. I recently read in Newsweek that MySpace now receives more hits per day than google, which is mind boggling. Turn up your sound. You can change music on your profile by going to the music link and searching. Sometimes, if you're lucky, an artist is offering a few song download. That's a nice feature. I created the background on my profile page from an shot over at the ocean. It's restful to look at when I go there.

Let me know what you think.

And have a good Sunday!


Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Invisible Forest

but don't we all think about it
when shadows grow long---those lost chances
fluttering away like wild molting birds
into somebody else's sunrise?
That kiss not taken.
No longer offered, either.
That one last arch of the back
before sighing, 'No more, this night'.

I have entered the Invisible Forest.
Flowers, men turn their eyes towards
the sunshine of taut bodies, pert breasts.
The Fountain of Youth gurgles just
over the rise and stampeding feet
trample past for one final gulp.
All around me the bulls are dying, but
why weep for what can't be undone?
My face is flushed, my hands empty.
Prufrock hands me his peach.

Pris Campbell

(poem in progress)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's Political Humor Time...

..with Jay Leno and other late night friends brought to you by about.com! Enjoy.

I need a break. During the hurricane that hit this last summer, the front door blew open and now doesn't always close properly. The dog discovered this fascinating fact in short order by butting his head against it to test it. My husband came home late yesterday to find a neighbor running out to meet him to say that he found our dog wandering the neighborhood and our front door wide open. He knocked, got no answer, then stuck the dog inside and closed the door. I never knew a thing. Had my headset on listening to music. (Now THAT part's Michael Parker's fault for sending me music I couldn't turn off...hear that Michael?? No, don't stop. Don't stop!). At any rate, I was lucky. The dog was saved. No burglar walked into the house. A swarm of wasps didn't decide to come in and make a nest. It all worked out okay and I got to listen to enjoyable music without being mugged, stung or finding myself dogless.

And how was YOUR day??


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Of You The Orcas Sing (from my archives)

You told me your body was pale, far
paler than mine, like coconut pudding,
warm off the stove as mom used to make,
and so I tested it.

For me, it became a soft pillow,
smoothed itself into my curves,
offered respite for lonely arms and hands,
pleasured parts I do not wish
to speak of now.

I am dwarfed by the dark room,
reach out to touch the cooling contour
of your indent, damp evidence of our
past days together.

You had to get back, you said.
She would be waiting.

Downstairs, my neighbor sings off key.
she has never been with a man, I hear.

She sings as if the stars have not fallen
or the sun tumbled off the horizon
into vast gray oceans where Orcas sing
of white bellies and lovers touching
pale hands in the soundlessness of space.

Pris Campbell

Published in MiPo Bonsai Edition Print 2004

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ribbons....a haiga (click to enlarge)

Published in Simply Haiku 2005
(photo is of my mother and aunt. Mother is the blonde)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Dale Edmands RIP

The email from Dale's friend, Sharon, arrived last night. He passed away early yesterday morning, after a night of her sitting with him, holding his hand, singing to him. In his honour, I'm posting what is probably the most well-known poem written about death and loss, thanks to its use in the movie, Three Weddings and a Funeral.

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West.
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

H. Auden

Art: Time Has No Limits by Chagall

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hitting the Wall

I found a gem of a post called 'Illness Etiquette', on the Abide Site, a blog focusing on CFIDS and Fibromyalgia. Some of you have been ill and will relate immediately, as I did. Some of you who haven't yet faced a health crisis that changed your life, well maybe this will be informative. Whatever your health background it, this post is worth a read.

One of the hardest concepts for me to explain to people is 'hitting the wall' with CFIDS in simple conversation or in cognitive chores. It's easy to understand being tired briefly after an intense physical activity, but not a mental task. I can start out a conversation feeling clear, 'normal', etc and, depending on how talkative the other person is, or how many different ideas they're throwing at me at one time, I start to fade slowly at first, then it hits. My mind is fuzzy. I can't follow what they're saying. I need to close my eyes and be quiet.

I've worked long hours until I dropped in the past, taken 26 mile bike rides, sailed all night with no sleep in rough seas. No fatigue, both mental and physical, has ever been his intense or this long lasting after a rest.

Most of my long time friends understand and respect this, but many still can't understand. If I say, on the phone, that I've reached my limit, I'm serious. I've reached it. I can't go through a ten minute, 'let me tell you one more thing' bit at the end. I've crashed. I need to go. Goodbye. Ta ta. Unfortunately, I've had to make the decision not to talk on the phone with some people for that reason. They've never gotten it and my explanation hits deaf ears. Fortunately, enough people DO get it. And it's much appreciated! Ditto for my working on things such as this blog, answering email, etc. I go to a point where not only does my mind no longer function clearly, but my fingers refuse to follow commands and I start typing gibberish. One reason I also rarely do IM. I hit the wall, then have to type repeatedly that I have to stop as the other person continues to type away, ignoring three 'I have to stop now' messages. When that happens, I have no choice but to simply type goodbye and sign off.

That blasted wall. I'm hitting it right now.


some fav art...

art by Chagall

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Jon Finn Group- an article worth reading

The Thinking Man's Shredder

A happy marriage of stellar technique and edgy rock is at the core of Jon Finn's playing and teaching.

Article by Brett Milano
Berklee.edu Correspondent
(October 12, 2001)
Photo by Kim Grant

"I don't think of myself as the professor type," notes teacher and guitarist Jon Finn. If you sat in on Finn's class on advanced rock improvisation 1, you might mistake it for a hot band having a jam. Dressed like a rocker in jeans and sneakers, Finn strums rhythm, taps his feet in time, and breaks into a grin whenever someone plays a tasty lick. The main difference is that he's got his students jamming on pentatonic scales that are too sophisticated for most rock players to handle.

Finn is a man on a mission. He's a confirmed rock'n'roller with amazing technical chops, and is out to prove that you can be a serious thinker without losing your status as a mean guitar shredder....Click HERE to finish reading the article.

If you have the Quicktime player, I'd recommend listening to his song, If Stevie Ray Vaughan Went to Berklee and Studied Jazz , linked in the site for slow and fast speed connections. I love it.

Any of us who are creative are influenced by the music we hear, either through its inspiration or by its appearance in the poem itself. Jon Finn...another musician to be your muse, perhaps??

If you were to choose just one piece of music right now, this moment, to inspire you to do something creative, what would it be?


If there's a piece of music you'd put on right now just to hear it again, what would that one be? Don't think. First impulsive choice.

Mine right now would be this beautiful blues piece a friend sent, A Soul That's Been Abused, from Duke Meets the Earl. Next would be the Hero's song another friend sent. Thanks, Charlie and Michael. Thanks, Lloyd, too, for sending me an actual copy of the Jon Finn song on this link above.

Edit: Andrew raised the question about research on music on human beings. While I'd seen informal writings about certain music and sound inducing meditative states or relaxation, here's a site with several links to scholarly articles on how music affects our brains.

Friday, January 20, 2006

In honour of Dale Edmands

Dale Edmands, webmaster of Kookamunga Square and poet, is close to death under the care of a friend and Hospice in California. I've known Dale online for over five years now, had become used to his email cards when something special had happened to celebrate or when times were rough. He was always there for his friends. He's weakening rapidly now from cancer. His friend reads him letters that pour in every day. Dale, my dear friend, you will live on in my heart.

Below is one of his poems.

Tunnel Vision

Every evening I enter this tunnel called winter,
The new light at each day's end egging me on.
It is not a long drive to the school,
As if someone, or something has predetermined
The exact amount of time, and coordinated it
With the last stretch of musk melon sky
That highlights the barren hulks of trees
Surrounding the campus where shadows
Of students move in quick silence against
The night's chill. This is how the season
Will pass- Each month's weather splattered
On the walls of winter like so much graffiti,
A collage of thaws and cold snaps, snowfall,
And rain, unbearably bright days too frigid
For fun, windy nights with too many stars,
And a glowing monster of a moon, too close
To make use of the new Christmas telescope.
Until suddenly, on a late afternoon in April,
The lingering light at the end of the tunnel
Becomes a tunnel itself, an eternal portal
Through which all things must enter,
If this is why the sun returns to us again,
And our hands push forward an hour of time
With the swift and easy motion of a wing,
As if small shapes and sounds depended on it.

Copyright © 2000 by Dale A. Edmands

Thursday, January 19, 2006

ghostship a haiga

This derives from a shot I made of a sailboat ghosting past ours in Maine, 1986.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Poetry of Scott Wannberg

Someone posted one of his poems on MySpace and his use of words, plus the way his mind works a poem entranced me. A Google search found these five posted in Thunder Sandwich and other links. Well worth a read!

This is the beginning of the first poem in the journal...

Agony River

Temperature has a headache
swears it won't rise to your occasion
Speeding patrol cars out of fashion
find enough time to spotlight your cold skin
Agony River just called collect
promises to flow to the front door in a few hours
Strange faces from the ongoing confusion
only make the decision that much harder
Pull the plug or mop up the bleeding deck one last time
in hope it will never show up again

Well, I'm off to the immunologist today (Wednesday).


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Today's dental day, but a quick post...

Kim Komando's 'Site of the Day' newsletters comes up with some interesting places. I couldn't resist sharing 'find my cover'. It searches for album or CD art. Try typing in Gold Rush or Tea for the Tillerman for example. Some of those covers are classics.

Wish me luck today!


Monday, January 16, 2006


I may not get anything new up again until after Wednesday. Today I'm just flat out exhausted and have nothing creative to say or post, so best to not try and force it. Tomorrow I go in to get my permanent crown for the back tooth I cracked off over a week ago. My tmj is really flared so, of course, it would be the back tooth, requiring that I be able to stretch open my mouth tomorrow. Cross your fingers and toes for me. I've been eating mush since the two and a half hours in the chair getting the tooth ground down and impressions made when it happened about a week and a half ago.

I see my CFIDS doc on Wednesday and he's an hour away. That means another longer than usual day, with vials of blood drawn for the vampires to drink later.

I had another one of those 'I'm worried about you. Why don't you write a happy poem' type letters today, too. I won't even get into that. I write what I want to write. I write poems of every mood and every subject. Right now, I feel like writing a poem about why I don't write what everybody wants me to write. I'm reminded of the poem title, or is it only a saying....poets aren't jukeboxes.

Leave me your thoughts, a site you enjoy, a poem you love...

I'll be back.

Edit: It occured to me to acknowledge Martin Luther King Day here, today. I attended the March on Washington the summer he gave his 'I have a Dream' speech. That day is one I'll never forget. I hope one day the dream comes true!


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Yet another Face Transformer

I featured this face transformer site a while back. It's a fun one. I've added in the original photo I entered into the program and the results I got choosing different 'artist' interpretations. Click to enlarge. Oh...the hat...I got it on a lark over at the beach about two years again for around eight bucks.

Original photo



Now...which one do you like the best???:-)

If you try this and post one on your blog, let me know. I'd love to see.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Venice , California Street Art

He does some amazing work. The links on this artist's site lead to even more wall and building murals. Well worth a look.


changeling (new title)

nobody tells you that you're going to have to turn
your heart into old shoe leather one day,
shred pictures, sleep with the dog.

he must've been inside me a thousand times,
but who counts these things?
who thinks the time will come when
it's the last mouth against mouth,
the final creak of the bed, come midnight?

his footprints haunt my house;
they lead everywhere, yet nowhere.

he left before the plot had ended.
no silver dropped from a Roman palm.
no poison or beheadings or, god forbid,
a drowning, but

like a vampire, he has taken my blood.
my veins shred open like rice paper,
spilling bad love poems into the night.

i have no pulse.
no tears.

i am as white as the winter's rain.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Who do YOU look like?

I found this Face Recognition Program on Jennifer's site (jennijack in my right side links). This is one of the choices that came up.

(click to enlarge)

The funny thing was that when I was MUCH younger and sailing in Martha's Vineyard, the members of a band playing at a place where we'd anchored and walked in to eat thought I WAS Joni Mitchell, come to give them their big break. God, I hated to see the disappointment in their faces when I told them 'not'. My hair was longer then and bleached lighter by the sun, my figure much like hers, and my cheekbone/eye area. Seeing the utter awe in this guy's eyes, it gave me a taste of what celebrities must feel like much of the time. Like you weren't of this world somehow. Someone not to be seen as you really were, clay feet and all. An uncomfortable feeling, really.

Oh, I'm growing my bangs out and they're driving me NUTS!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A neat little program for writers...or anyone.

I receive the Kim Komando newsletter for tips and for interesting sites on the internet. Since I've found her to be computer savy and trustworthy in recommendations, if she suggests a program that sounds useful to me, I generally feel okay about trying it. I just installed this one that will, with a highlight and a key click link you to definitions, alternative words, and other choices. So far, I really like it. By the way, I always create a System Restore point before installing any new program as a precaution. Makes sense, even with trusted programs.

(PS This tip just came out this morning. The site opened for me just fine at the crack of dawn, but has been busy as the morning begins. I suspect a good response to her tip, but hope this slowdown isn't an indication of their inability to handle a higher traffic load since it IS a neat program)

Here is Kim K's recommendation:

Clever is good

Let's face it. We all could use a little extra help sometimes. This is especially true when it comes to finding information.

That's why I use CleverKeys. It's a nifty little tool that puts definitions, synonyms and facts at your fingertips. You can also use it to search the Web or find products on Amazon.com.

Once you install the free program, it runs in the background. When you find a word you want to look up, highlight it. Then press Ctrl + L. Your Web browser will take you to the word's definition.

If you need more options, press Ctrl + M after highlighting the word. Then you're presented with a few choices. Now that is clever, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It's not JUST a calendar! The Most Intriguing(and Sensual) Male Poets of 2006 calendar now on after-holiday sale!

Go to the CafePress Sales Site and pick one up as your after holiday treat at a reduced price. Great poets. Wonderful poems. Sizzling photos! And remember: proceeds go towards research on CFIDS.


fleeting...a haiga (click to enlarge)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


This is a javascript presentation of one of my poems that I created a couple of years ago. Go to my website to see/read Denial. It's on an endless loop, so just stop it when the poem is over closing it out (I haven't found the code to run it just one time). No, I'm by no means an expert at java script poetry renditions, but it was fun doing. There's sound, btw, so turn on your speakers.

The art is by Itzack ben-ariel and is used on the regular non-java version on my website, too, with his permission. Iztack is an Israeli photographer whom I admire greatly. His work is also on the homepage of my site (with his permission) and on several pages throughout.

Denial was published in Verse Libre in 2003 and was chosen second out of 147 poems in the 2003 Free Verse Competion sponsored by Poets of the Palm Beaches, open to any full or part time residents of the county.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A letter upon dying

I received the following note by postal mail yesterday. It was sent by a woman I was close friends with all through graduate school and with whom I shared an apartment my last two years there. We knew the ups and downs of the other, our plans, our loves of that time. She was the first to meet the date who turned out, after graduate school, to be my first husband.

A few years back, her sister died after a long struggle with ovarian cancer. Since it ran in her family, P had her ovaries removed as a precaution, under the advice of her physician. Ironically, not too long after, she developed another form of cancer in the same family of cancers. A cancer, doctors told her, with the same odds as ovarian. Chemo and other treatments would buy her time, just as it did her sister, but that was the best they could offer, short of the chance that she might be one of the few lucky ones.

I'm sharing the note, knowing that her direct presence in my life is far enough in my past now that her privacy is assured. I'm sharing it because I thought this note didn't affect me, but I woke up in the middle of the night in tears, unable to go back to sleep until far into the morning. I couldn't get my mind off her letter. I couldn't forget those days of innocence when we felt we were invulnerable, that things such as pain, suffering and dying were so far away as to not consider them.

I'm glad we can't see our futures.

The note (she knows of my own struggles with CFIDS):

Dear Pris
As one warrier to another, ill health is the pitts. I admire how you hang in there in spite of many difficulties in your path. In Buddhism, you'd be considered a Bodi'sava(mispelled)-a being who is so compassionate that she seeks liberation and enlightment for herself and all beings. There just must be a higher purpose for all of your suffering. To think otherwise would be unbearable.

For my end, the chemo is a slow drag that ends in fatigue and nausea. My cancer marker is gradually increasing, which means that the chemo is no longer working. When the CA125 reaches a certain point, they'll switch me to a new chemo. All in all, I hope for another couple of years to live. In the meantime, I'm trying to organize my financial affairs, clean out the closest, and do some writing as time and energy permit. I need to get my spiritual life in order. I've felt alienated from God and in a spirtual strugge for the last several years.

Anyway, 2006 is another year and an even-numbered one at that. Six seems like a good number! Let's hope for the best.

With Warm Wishes

Ironically, while death has 'come out of the closet', for the most part, I still find that discussions about illness still make many people uncomfortable. Since I've been ill with CFIDS, I find myself still embarrassed when I say that it's been a very rough time. I know it's not what many people want to hear, based on the cheery replies back from healthy friends or acquaintances, giving me all sorts of remedies that they feel sure will cure me or announcing that if only I use my mind I can heal myself. Ages ago, Bernie Segal wrote that he had finally realized that the meditation techniques he taught helped with a person's quality of life far more than they 'cured' their cancers. I've found that it's the rare person who's not experienced some form of illness that I can talk to honestly and with no shame or stigma attached for no longer being able to be the person I once was. Rather, it's people like my friend or other friends who deal with strong issues, who have learned to listen. Listen without judgment or the need to play God.

(Art by Chagall)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

MiPo is out!

Another good issue! But isn't it always?

MIPO Volume 20 Issue 1
Click on 'contents' above the cover photo to get to the menu.

(You'll find me under Best of cafecafe 2005)

And hey, in this morning's email Niederngasse is out, too.

Bookmark them and take your time. Two great journals with a lot of things you'll want to read packed into them!


Friday, January 06, 2006

And from the Pat Robertson speaks for God corner again...

Pat Robertson has publically announced that God was punishing Israli leader, Sharon, by giving him his stroke. Read it in The Washington Post. I don't think it matters if you're religious or not religious, the concept that an evangelist can tell us what God is thinking has always struck me as a bit off, especially since so many of the evangelists claim that God is telling them that we should give them money!

When I was growing up in a small town in the Carolinas, tent evangelists still wandered through town once a year and set up in a vacant lot next to one of my friends' houses. Most of the country people came in for these revivials. The town people stuck with their regular church services. One mischievous night, my friend and I decided to stuff the evangelist's car with some piles of dead grass that were in among the bushes at the edge of the lot. We honestly didn't do it in malice. I guess, like any kid who gets a laugh out of putting rocks in teacher's hubcap, we just thought it would be funny. I have to say that I've never heard such cursing as came out of that man's mouth. (No, he didn't laugh). Worse, he had a flashlight and started probing the bushes where we lay flat, terrified at this point, since he was also muttering what he would do when he found the S.O.B.'s who did this.

Thankfully, he didn't find us. It took him about five minutes to clear the grass out of his front seat and he drove off.

I went back to harrassing teachers after that. They were far less scarey:-)


Haiga (Click to Enlarge)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Tooth day

Part of a back tooth crumbled off out of the blue yesterday. The deadening shots turn me into a blithering fool and I'm already one coming off of the last antibiotic binge as of last night, so I'll be a double blithering fool.

Back on Thursday if I survive the chair.

At least I have a dentist who's good. I like her. That helps. A little. A tiny bit. Some. Kinda. I'm a chicken when it comes to the drill!!!!!

LITTLE HOUSE OF HORRORS REDUX~ Keep Steve Martin away from me.

EDIT: Was there three hours with the drilling , etc. The shots never deaden me enough so the drilling was hell when it got deep, but she had to shape it and finally we were to the part of making an impression of the tooth remaining. Have a temp crown on now. Go back in two weeks for the permanent one. Also have a headache and feel pretty lousy. I've been sleeping for the last two hours. Gonna lie back down. I don't think anybody's reading my blog today, anyway. Babble babble, she added.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Richard Zola 17 June 1949-22 Oct 2005

His an approximate return still ranks as one of my favorite poems.

Godspeed, Richard. We didn't end so well as friends, but we started that way.


Ellen Johns brought my attention to the fact that Issue 14 of Blackmail Press was dedicated to Richard. Read this page for more of his poems and links to his poems in previous issues. Well worth your time.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Orphelic Ruminations (title change from Only the Brave)

(My response poem here to Dylan Thomas' Where Once the Waters of your Face, now posted on cafecafe where this challenge was raised)

Through the brooding waters I see your
sad face elongate, pale to a rippling
sheet, so anxious in your search for me among
unraveled rope splices and green bottom stones.
My totems.

Seaweed cradles my head.
Coral forms my rough cot.
Fish bend for their nightly prayers
at phosphorescent gown's hem.

You pine for a pink-cheeked mirage, dear heart,
her legs still wrapped, laughing, 'round
your waist; not this dead lover more
suitable for Chambered Nautilus or
finned thrashing playmates of the deep.

Taking pity, at last, I drift up
through the fathoms, press ectoplasmic
lips to your warm ones, murmur words
you've waited for these long months
of vigil, until Sirens circle to bear me
out to where only the bravest dare follow.

PAC (c)2006

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Independence Day

I couldn't resist coming online today to post a poem I wrote last year after seeing the televised New Year's Eve performance in Boston. When I lived there in the seventies, I attended one. I'll never forget it.

You'll have to go to my website to read/see/hear it, since there's music and animation with it.