Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yesterday's Kiss (among the first poems I published)

I had recently been telling a friend how much my poetry has changed since I started in 1999. Most of those older ones are hidden away now in an archives section of my site, partly because they don't represent my style so much anymore and partly because I simply would have way too many poems on the site, otherwise. (I do, still :-) At any rate, this is one, pulled out of the archives file.

Yesterday's Kiss

Our bodies play
hide and seek.
Your tongue probes
my mouth, searching
for yesterday's kiss.

You know
how to ask for sex
in six different languages.
I wish you were as
proficient in love.

When you leave,
I bury my head
in your pillow,
dare not breathe,
lest your scent
take me captive again.

Later, your voice crawls out
of my answering machine
'I want you'
Using that red dress
you bought me,
I smother your pleas.

Pris Campbell

Art: Jenni by International artist Janet Butler
copyrighted and used on my site with permission.

This one's on my site with music. Go to Yesterday's Kiss at Poetic Inspirations.

Published in Blackmail Press, fall 2002

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Featuring the music of Duke Lang

A native of Canada, Duke has four of his songs on his page at MySpace. He's an excellent, successful musician and a kind man. An unbeatable combination, in my opinion!

If you're not a MySpace member, you can't comment on his songs or poems, but take a listen and read. I love all of the songs he has featured, but admit the St Augustine one is a particular favorite of mine. Duke tells me he's headed to a recording farm in Norway to lay down another CD soon, so that's good news!

While you're on his page, I'd recommend a side trip to listen to the music of John Spillane and Korine Polwart. Just click on their photos in his top eight to go to their songs. John is Irish and has a wonderful lilting accent as he speaks and sings.

Enjoy! I've posted to Duke that I'm featuring him here, so if you leave comments I'm sure he'll see them here at some point.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Lake Worth, Florida (click to enlarge)

Since our area has been sort of a 'hurricane alley' these past two years, I thought I'd like to share where I live and show how exposed so many parts of the city are. Lake Worth is considered to be a suburb of West Palm Beach, an hour and a half north of Miami on the Southeastern tip of Florida. Lake Worth does, however, have its own municipal government, library, and beach, which is across Lake Worth Bridge you'll see on the map. Once across, if you head north on the island for about five miles, you're at Donald Trump's mansion, the old Mar a Largo. I live in the unincorporated area off of Lake Worth Road to the west of this map, about a mile and a half west of the part you'll see in the photo. To see more of the area, here's a mapquest site map that can be zoomed or moved from east to west.

For those of you who read my blog fairly regularly, you'll recall photos taken over at the ocean from an earlier post, but here's a shot showing one of the sidewalk cafes that are all over downtown, along with antique shops.

Below is the ocean close to dusk, after the sun worshipers have gone and the walkers, joggers, and beach critters take over.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Before Big Mama died, before
she forgot her daughter's name-
my weeping cousin with eyes
dark as caves, before she forgot
her dearest Big Papa, forgot
how to dip her hands deep into
flour and lard to make her famous
pineapple upside-down pound cake,
before she forgot how kisses fierce
as the thunder's roar used to feel
and before her glass angels
flew off with her best lamps,
sofa, four poster bed, and her Bible,
Big Mama had her vision.
Her seventeen year old grandson;
hair fallen out from chemo, leg
taken earlier by cancer, skin
thin as parchment on his dying bed,
tubes now draining his life more
than giving; her Michael, son
of my dark-eyed weeping cousin, rose
from his bed, walked to her house
in the night , whole again, and kissed her.
He kissed her then slid through a space
filled with yellow and gold sparkling lights
to kiss his dark-eyed weeping mother,
and they joined hands together in a circle,
the kind of circle that can never be broken.
Not even when bodies and minds fail.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Arlene Ang

Arlene Ang wrote the following poem last year. I love it! I'd like to thank her again by posting it here and encouraging you to read more of her poetry. Arlene edits the Italian version of Niederngasse Journal and is an excellent poet.

On Waking with a Different Woman
for Pris

Imagine the morning:
that lost bracelet around
my wrist, sun filtered by organdy
curtains, tinnitis and sore
throat like distant sea
in a conch shell.

The bed is peeled of its
worn look, Schumann's concerti
softly thread through air,
my voice is back. Daffodils
in a crystal vase remind
me of yesterday:

the ten-speed bike,
propped against a rusted
steel cabinet, its tires unchanged
from the day I pedalled
across town for
breakfast at Janelle's.

The garage smelled
of fresh paint; I moved freely like
the top that spun only from
other people's hands. Giotto's
Lazarus on the wall
didn't make the room turn.

Imagine old friends
coming over for a barbecue
and I call everyone
by name. Sometimes it's so real
I taste their favorite drinks
on my tongue.

Arlene Ang
copyrighted 2005

Friday, March 24, 2006

'Round The Mulberry Bush

(Those of you who post on MySpace have already read this one on my blog there three days ago)

Like so many decisions, made in haste;
his hand on your arm, bidding you stay,
while the crazy bluebirds circle, crying
yes, yes, and the great willows bend
in the wind, moaning yes yes.

And so you lay your head next to his,
listen again to his lies, try to believe
those bluebirds and the willow trees
and the flash rain that comes, soaking
everything back to bright green.

Your body melts to the bed when he enters you,
whispering secrets only two lovers share, but
you know they all lie--the foolish bluebirds,
feathers like sharp glass, the two-timing willows,
even the greedy rain, and so you rest pennies
upon your eyes when he has finished, draw
a shroud up across your face.

You recite your prayers to the tooth fairy,
Romeo and Juliet, and the weeping lady
across the street, knowing
tomorrow he will kill you again.


Thanks to all of you pulling for me. The headache isn't gone, yet, but it's MUCH better. When a med gives one of those whoppers--at least to me--it takes a few days for it to completely clear. Still just not doing much with my eyes and that's helping. Since I have so very many med reactions, not all headaches, you can see why I approach a new med as an experiment in terror:-)

Still in hiding...

Still no creative blog today. The new med the tues gastro doc switched me to gave me literally the worst headache I ever remember having. I called yesterday afternoon and no, I'm off of that one onto another one, but, for the first time, I have some wee sense of what migraine sufferers go through. I'm typing this with my eyes closed since light still hurts my eyes. By last night, all the bones across my face were throbbing, along with the top of my head. I had no idea what to do to stop it except tylenol and turning the lamp to dim. It's hurting again as I move around this morning, so I'll just have to wait and see when I can put up something creative again. to open my eyes and see how many typos I left.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

No blog on Thursday

Another long day with my CFIDS doc, south of here. I'll be back Friday. In the meantime, if you've not read any of Sharon Olds' poetry, I'd recommend you google her. I already knew she was amazing, but as I've read more I've been even more impressed.

Find an especially great link to her work or to her? Post it in the comments section, if you don't mind.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Primavesi by Gustaf Klimt

Another painting and artist I admire, courtesy of the old Artmagick site. The colors are truly magnificent in this particular painting and I love the stance of the girl, staring directly out at us from her surreal world.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Songs To A Midnight Sky

I named my blog after the following poem I wrote in 2003. I posted it when I started the blog, but it's so far back into the archives now, I thought I'd bring it up to the top again.

Daily, you draw the line
between yesterday and today,

dare me to cross,
dare me to get close.

I stand in the backyard rain,
shirt soaked, jeans sucking
against hungry thighs, hear
you move around in the den,
stereo rising high
over a flash of lightning
to the east.

The Lettermen...

But of course
you would put them on
to taunt me

Defiant, I sing along,
face the night sky,
swallow raindrops, dance,
until I know that yes,
I can survive anything.

Even you.

Later, when I shiver out of wet
into dry, you already sleep,
back walled to my side of the bed,
dreaming your own song alone.

Pris Campbell

Published in Blackmail Press

Monday, March 20, 2006

A change of pace....the Sand Game

Another Kim Komando fun site. Draw lines under and around the falling sand with your cursor and all sorts of coloured images will form. I did a screenshot of the start of one of mine. Click to enlarge.

Be sure you look at the options under the green to change from pen to grass to other things. Instructions open from a window on the main page.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Unexpected Corsages

She writes me of Death's impending
trip through her doorway, this woman,
this once girl-woman, my old roomie.
She has prepared her Will, settled
her affairs; she's ready, she tells me.

I never expected this in my fifties,.
Wrinkles, gray hair. Not this..these losses
she cried, when ovarian slowly etched flesh
from her sister's pale, rising bones.

During our poverty-stricken graduate school
years, we stuffed extra rolls into our bags
for next morning's breakfast, wore cheap
jeans, blouses and sweaters with frayed seams.
We danced, loved, crammed till well after midnight,
giggled, cried, told each other secrets, but

my friends are slowly slipping away.
I press them into the bed of my memories,
like a corsage of colorful flowers, saved
when the big dance is finally over.


for Ella Ruth, Malley, Sandra, Skeet, Don, Carlton, Dale, and most of all, right now, for Pat.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Chalk Art

Thanks to Sarah on MySpace, I found these incredible chalk drawings by Julian Beever. Julian Beever is an English artist, famous for his art on the pavement of England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium. Beever gives his drawings an almost unbelievable 3D illusion. Click on his name to see more.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Off for a few days

This fall created more pain than I expected, so I need to take a few days off and let it ease off. Can't sit, anyway. Ice packs, warm showers and tylenol to calm things down. Fun, fun, fun.

Who knows? Maybe things will get better faster than I think and I'll be back sooner with a dazzling post.


Nothing creative today..

Yesterday when an old friend, who's moved away from the area, stopped to see me as she passed through town, the dog raced for the outside when I opened the door. My husband, clearly not thinking, dived on all fours to grab the dog, throwing himself against my legs. I flipped over him backwards and took a hard fall. I'm fortunate I didn't break anything, my first fear, since my bone density levels have tested low for several years now. The blow, however, has set off both a bout of pain down one side from the fall, itself, as well as that tell-tale fibromyalgia burning throughout my body that a blow to the body can cause.

I guess I'm feeling overwelmed right now. The test down the throat last week has been difficult to come back from, leaving my tmj inflammmed, as well, and my system vulnerable to a cold that piggybacked in, knocking me flat, already.

Yes, I'm discouraged. When I go on overload...when too many things happen at one time, it gets hard to deal with it all.

I'm typing this standing up. I've had a tylenol but sitting is almost impossible.

I'll be back tomorrow.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Mother's birthday

Today would've been my mother's birthday. She died ten years ago. The first couple of birthdays gave me anniversary reactions, but now , while yes I miss her terribly, the day doesn't bring sadness--only good memories.

In her youth, mother was likened to Greta Garbo and was voted Most Attractive in her senior college year. This scan of a framed photo of her shows why. And no, I didn't take after her:-) Can you imagine being the scraggly tombody daugher of a beautiful women who also taught first grade in our small southern town. All of my friends thought of her as their second mother. They simply fell in love with her. I love her, too.

I wrote the following poem about her eight years after her death:

Lilies And Headstones

Mother climbs from her grave nightly,
the moon sliding, bone white, along that
fragile passage from day's end to beginning.
She re-arranges plastic flowers, talks
to other coffin-freed friends, polishes
the naked cross guarding the faithful dead.

Lilies once bordered the shrubs
surrounding our house like a moat.
White ones. Yellow ones. Striated ones.
Soft scented sentinels poking their heads
up through the warm soil each Spring.
My mother's pride.

Fake carnations grace her headstone now.
Stiff, like the bodies lined in neat rows
beneath her; cold like her own body
which will never again climb into a warm bed
or scatter the crows that yet steal
from our abandoned cherry tree.

They suck the fruit cheerfully, despite
old clattering pans, and one rotten scarecrow
with eyes picked as empty as the spaces
where lilies once danced with the wind.

Pris Campbell

This poem took second in the December 2004 IBPC

Comments from the judge:

How could one not read the first line of this poem and not want to read the next? “Lilies and Headstones” had me from the beginning, and took me places I never expected. The poem could’ve easily slipped into sentimentality, the poet telling us how they feel instead of showing us that marvelous scarecrow at the end, eyes picked empty. --David Hernandez

Which literature classic are you?

Found on Michael Parker's blog. Oddly, he and I had the same results. He found it on another blog. If you take it, post which classic you were in the comments??

The name of the rose
Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose. You are a

mystery novel dealing with theology,

especially with catholic vs liberal issues.

You search wisdom and knowledge endlessly,

feeling that learning is essential in life.

Which literature classic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

AARP airbrushes in youth...shame shame

As if Goldie Hawn weren't attractive enough, a recent AARP cover, the magazine geared for men and women over the age of 50, took it upon itself to improve on the real thing. I'm posting the cover photo below (click to enlarge), followed by a regular photo taken of Goldie at a celebrity event. If you look closely, you can see that, no, Goldie isn't the magical image of youth AARP tried to portray her as at age 60 and,though she still looks really great in a regular photo, she shows some of those same tell-tale signs of aging we all eventually face, if not already.

My question is this: I could understand a different magazine doing this, but why AARP? This magazine is supposed to celebrate aging, to try to offset the 'youth culture' that still dominates us. If AARP fakes a photo with the thought that 'this is what 60 looks like, ideally', then how are earth is our culture going to come to terms with real life aging? Will they be selling special glasses next, for us to wear to see people young and bouncy as we might wish them to be, not as they are??


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Me, myself, and I

I live
in the space
between flickers
of where
I once was
and where
I'll next be.

I sing
from the hollows
of birds' nests
and cry out
from rainbows
when thunder
has passed.

I name myself

I dance in
glass slippers
till midnight
arrives, hailed
by my laugher.

Soot is no
longer my master.
I lay down my head.
Lilies crown me

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Lucian Levy-Dhuman (1865-1953)

Symbolism, both in art and in writing has always entranced me, so I'm featuring one of the artist from the Symbolist movement in my blog today.

Art: Portrait of Ms Suzanne S.

The below is from the ArtMagick page about Dhuman. You can click on the link to read more or to explore the ArtMagick site. Once a huge source of traditional and modern art, ArtMagick is only now beginning to rebuild its galleries.

Like most Symbolists, Lévy-Dhurmer enjoyed a great but short-lived reputation...
Lévy-Dhurmer's women were completely different from the charming society ladies painted by his fashionable contemporary, Helleu. They posed, sphinxlike, and formed groups where the talk was all of art and mysticism, and where they listened, head in hands, hair shadowed by a mauve lamp shade, while a pianist (Debussy, perhaps) played themes from Parsifal. The atmosphere was troubled, dreamy and naïve, and the people who created it were obsessed with anything new, curious about everything which the materialistic 19th century had rejected. They adored Moreau, Puvis de Chavannes and Redon, but these great men could be admired only from a distance. Lévy-Dhurmer, however, was a lot younger and he moved in their circles.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The hullaballo about Crash winning at the Oscars

Read Michael Parker's Blog Entry for Wednesday, March 8, and also follow his links to read Roger Ebert's commentary. A lot of nay sayers are claiming Hollywood was afraid to give the award to Brokeback Mountain because of homosexuality. That's patently crazy , in my opinion. The movie has won all sorts of recognitionm already, and is considered a wonderful picture. Homosexuality in it didn't keep that from happening. I saw Crash and loved it. Talk about a movie that faces prejudices square on, that's it.

Now, read Michael. He and Roger Ebert say it far better.

Tell me what YOU think about all this after reading.

Just as an aside, Roger Ebert wrote for the school paper at the U. of Illinois when I attended graduate school. Considered brilliant, he was also pretty eccentric. For a while, he purportedly lived in the tunnel system that ran under the campus along with other oddbeat students and nonstudents (but I wasn't in there, so I can't say for sure:-) Never expected him to end up in the mainstream of reporting or to be such a humanitarian.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Poetry Month Coming Up

I just got this in my online newsletter yesterday....

Sign Up for Poem-a-Day

Celebrate National Poetry Month with a daily dose of new poetry beginning April 1. Sign up now for our second annual Poem-a-Day offer. We'll email you one new poem each day during April, along with information on how to find more poetry from each author.

The poems you'll receive represent some of the best work being published in 2006, including new poems by Louise Glück, Robert Pinsky, Natasha Tretheway, Stephen Dunn, Joshua Beckman, and Felipe Benitez Reyes. All of the poems you'll read come from books published this year, making Poem-a-Day an excellent sampling of the new voices and driving forces of the poetry world.

For those of you who read my post yesterday, thanks for well wishes. I made it through okay, but slept most of the day after as aftereffects of the anesthesia. No serious problems barring any surprise from a couple of biopsies she made. No ulcer. No hiatal hernia. Just an inflammed stomach pushing up the inflammation into my espophgeal area. She gave me a med that will help that heal. I still feel like a truck ran over me yesterday, but should be back up and feisty soon.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Won't be around tomorrow...

I go early to have a scope down my throat to see why the pain that started as an acid reflux thing over two weeks ago and is quite painful, despite the usual acid reflux helpers, isn't going away. I have a lot of trouble with every med in the PDR, esp anesthesia. I also have tmj. Told her both. She says the chalk test won't give her the information she needs, sooo no choice. She says it's a fast acting anesthesia and leaves the body quickly. I hope she's right. Well, it can't be any worse than having potassium put up into my bladder to check my bladder walls last week by the urologist, to find that yes, there's a problem there. It burns if there's a problem. That was fun, too.

I wonder if they sell this information to Homeland Security.

Pris, back on Thursday

Monday, March 06, 2006


Of the nominated Oscar movies, Crash is the only one out on DVD. I saw this movie back before there was any talk of academy nominations or any other awards and it blew me away. The movie was so powerful that I had to watch it a second time before returning it to Netflix. Being that Crash was made with an interweaving of many stories, with many actors, it never occured to me that it would draw the attention of the academy awards with its unconventional style. A movie that speaks to prejudice and difficult decisions, the movie sings. I can't write reviews like Michael Parker does so well, so forgive this bumbling post. It's just to say that I'm happy to discover this morning that Crash was recognized as Best Picture!

Photo from Washington Post online

Child of Stone

Only a shadow, head pressed
against the far closet wall, pigtails
tickling my bare shoulders,
I listened to the whack of grandfather's
cane against grandmother's back,
the thump when she finally fell to the floor,
her pleas for mercy...

It was the last time she tried to save me
from his pawing and thrusting, his hands
slowly peeling away layers of my childhood.

I imagined myself donning a Superman cape,
bursting from my safe place to carry her
to where no beatings could follow.

She went there, herself, ten years later.

I still think hearing her cry was harder
than just letting him try to fuck me.
By five, you see, I already knew how
to turn myself into stone, to feel nothing,
to hope for nothing.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


If you haven't discovered the Wikipedia Editable Encyclopedia yet, you're in for a treat. The main page changes daily, but you can search for nearly anything imaginable. Well worth perusing on a Sunday wintery afternoon.

Friday, March 03, 2006

What is Haiga?

Those of you who've read my blog have seen haiga appear off and on. Some of it's done just for fun, like the cherry coke one below, done simply for fun and one which would never make it to a journal (I would never submit it:-). This article from the winter Haiga Online gives an introduction to haiga. Links to the left lead to many examples of the best haiga out there today. If you enjoy photography, graphics, and haiku, this is certainly a form to consider.

I first started writing haiku, then taking an online course in it from an'ya, one of the best 'haikuists' around, because I found that it brought me to the moment, that it forced me to re-create an image that the reader could 'see', not an abstraction. For me, working with haiku and with haiga has carried over to my free verse poetry writing, still my first love. I have to admit that haiga runs a close second.

Thanks to Shane Gilreath's blog links for the source of this particular page in the journal! Shane's blog, btw, is filled with wonderful haiga.

And lastly, click to enlarge this one by Ron Moss, among one of the very finest Haiga artists around. From Tasmania, and the recipient of many honours, you can see some of his work on his website, but the bulk of his fine work is scattered about the internet in different publications.


Traveling through Internet Friends

One of the more charming places I've seen via photos from an internet friend is the small town of Llandudno on the coast of Wales. If you click to enlarge the map and look up to the top, you'll see where the town is located. Below are two photos, sent to me today, of a snowfall along the beach there. I thought it was beautiful, so wanted to share these (with permission). My friend lives on a hill and can look down her street and see the below sea views every day. When she walks to work, she walks along the sea. Ahhhh. Lovely!

At the bottom is a photo sent on a nonsnowy day of the town hall. This gives a better idea of the wonderful town architecture.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

no blog on thursday

Besides being beat, I have a medical proceedure. In the meantime, I have some very good links to the right. Check some of them out.

And be good. The boogeyman is watching.


Night Dances

The trees are dancing
tonight. They shed red
and yellow leaves to be
woven by birds into crowns
for the outcasts, come morning.

I watch him sleep,
rage finally drained
from his face and
dragged off like foul
meat by mongrel ghost-dogs
to their secret hideaways.

Once, this man held
my arm when I stumbled.
Once this man sang a song
to the stars to lift
the hem of my sadness.

My footsteps come slower now.
Loneliness cuts a wider
swathe through the darkness.
I have lost my way in the
maze of signs, all claiming
to mark the road home.