Monday, February 26, 2007

Haiga Online

The midseason issue of Haigaonline is out, with some of my self-portrait haiga in it. The write-up by the editor is especially nice. You can see by clicking on my name at Take time to visit other haiga, as well.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Technically not a haibun

(Haibun is generally written in mostly present tense, with more brevity, but I posted this in the haibun section at Haiku Hut and the feedback that I got was to keep it, that sometimes the spirit of what is said is more important than form. A haibun traditionally ends with a haiku that doesn't sum up the writing, but serves to lead the reader beyond what has been said)

Today I'm extra swimmy again, so this is my musing for the day, my walk in the garden, my meditation.

I took piano in grammar school. When I met my current husband in 1980, his mom played so very well that I found myself yearning to play again. He bought me a second hand piano for Christmas that year we dated. I got a child's primer and relearned bit by bit until I could play better than average, but wasn't a concert star by any means. I played piano almost every evening until I got CFIDS, ten years later. Loved it with a passion. Had tons of music from classical to blues to light rock.

As CFIDS hits. I can no longer coordinate my brain , hands, music, anything, but I still keep the piano, in hope...One day I hear about a concert pianist who has CFIDS also. He lost his ability to play for quite a long time. He has a recording studio at his home and begins getting better. One day he feels he can play again. His wife's birthday is coming up, so he plays a very simple version of 'be my love' and records it for her. After that he is able to gradually play more complex pieces but never quite like before. I look up this song on a CD. It is far more beautiful than his more elaborate ones, both for melody and for what it means.

We who have this illness, or any life changing illness, have to give away so very much. You can't think about it, though, or it'll break your spirit. We focus on what we have and embrace it and hope that one day we might be fortunate enough to sit down on that piano stool again, place fingers on keys, and that other music will come again, too.

reeds sway
in winter winds
birds in flight

recess over (haiga)

This haiga was created using an old family photograph that was tiny and in bad condition. Wish I could've made it a bit larger, but couldn't. I wish little boys still wore those kinds of hats. They were adorable!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Schooner trip (click photos to enlarge)

I scanned these photos from my 'working passenger' vacation in Maine on the oldest working schooner in the U.S. in 1986. Someone went out in the dinghy with all of our cameras and got this shot of the whole boat. I took the wheel of this huge boat several times and even tacked her one (bringing the boat about, nose through the wind to go 90 degrees in the other direction)!

I'm including a shot of me with the Captain. He had a hired crew of two to have experienced help along with us novices. Even though many of us were sailors, we hadn't sailed anything of this magnitude before. When I tacked, I had to hang my full weight on the wheel, the boat was so heavy! At night, the captain and crew would pull out their guitars and banjos, then sing sea chanties. It was beautiful sitting out on that (albeit chilly deck) under the stars hearing this.

You'll see one shot of the 'crew' lowering the sails as we anchored for the night. This took a lot of coordination to get the sails folded down and tied just right. The boat had no engine, so we sailed off of our anchorages each night. For the times power was needed, the boat had a second dinghy with an engine. It was strapped behind the schooner and pushed it. That was necessary to re-enter the busy Camden harbor.

This was a strange vacation. We'd gotten the reservations for the first week in Sept months earlier. I love sailing in Maine and to be crew and not do it 'luxury' style was the way to do it (We actually slept in the old crew cabins in bunk beds and there were two heads on deck, no showers. Each morning every couple got a pan of hot water from the galley to wash face and armpits with). About 10 days before going, I got word that my father had collapsed , been taken to the hospital where the diagnosis was cancer. It was still 'summer' in the Carolinas and chilly at nights in Maine, to the point of winter clothes some nights and days. I didn't know what to expect, so I packed a duffle bag for Maine and left it with Steve and a suitcase, then got a plane out the next day for home. Mother and I stayed in the hospital with him for that week and it was terminal, but not immediately, so the doctors told me to go on the trip. The price was nonrefundable and his sister and her husband had come by then to stay several weeks with my parents in hospital, then at home.

I arranged a flight to come in right before Steve's to Boston where we would then take a commuter plane on up to Camden. I didn't know it, but they changed Steve's flight to an hour earlier, but didn't tell him, so he missed it. By then I was already in flight and he couldn't contact me, so he called and arranged seats for us both on the communter plane to Maine, last flight out , instead of the one we were on and left a message telling me he'd be late. Well, I got to Boston, of course, not to find him.

The people at the commuter flight section didn't give me any message and said I should go ahead and take the flight I was scheduled on. There I was with light summer nonboating clothes in my suitcase and no husband. When I got to Maine I discovered the taxi ride was around 45 minutes, so the cab took groups of people in at each flight. I didn't know what to do.

My suitcase didn't arrive, either, so finally I told those people to tell my husband I'd gone in the cab and to bring my suitcase if it came. By the time I got to the boat it was late afternoon and chilly. The captain's wife found me a jacket and somebody else loaned me warm socks. The captain told me when people missed their flight, fishing boats were in radio contact and usually ferried them out to him. Still, no clothes, not even a toothbrush. Finally , after dark, here comes Steve with duffle bags and suitcase. The captain let us stow the suitcase at their house after I got my toiletries out of it and the evening began. I called the hospital anytime we stopped at an inhabited anchorage. It was an emotionally charged trip, knowing my father was dying.

I was to go back to Pageland two more two week trips before the Christmas trip, when he died.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Sunrise Café

It began in the Greek Isles.
Sunrise café.
The sky colored itself violet that day.
Violet, like the stripe in Joseph's coat.
Violet, like one of Picasso's overused pallettes.
Fish line-danced in a jello green sea.
You set your backpack next to mine,
asked if you could buy me a cuppa,
then read me your poem about Froggie.
I sang you a Dylan song. Badly.
You applauded, anyway.
You were far too skinny then
and I was too lost in my sadness, but
we held hands and talked
while the sea whimpered and snakes
shed their skin in the nearly grass.

We met up again in Rome, then Paris.
In London, we rented a coldwater flat
and slept nude and shivering,
daring only a kiss, come midnight.
You married a black-eyed girl
two years later, you wrote me,
and I wed a roving sailor.

Somehow we seemed to know
that you coming inside of me
would carry us down some road
we weren't yet ready to take,
when we really needed to end up here.
This time. This now,
our hearts tinted violet and green
like a morning rainbow,
our faces flush with remembrance.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Weaver's Moon (click to enlarge)

Yo Yo Ma again!

These are the beginning lines of an article about my favorite cellist in an online article from Minnesota Public Radio:

If I had to describe cellist Yo-Yo Ma in one word, that word would be "passion." That's why the title of his new release, "Appassionato" is so appropriate. In listening to this musical retrospective of his career, we discover that Yo-Yo Ma's affection isn't just about the music; it's really more about the people making the music. On this new release, he's joined by nine different pianists, several different orchestras, and performers from various countries and musical traditions.
Read the rest of the article at Yo-Yo Ma keeps alive the passion

When I first saw YoYo Ma play on public television, passion was the first word that came to me, right after talent. He's an extraordinary musician and human being.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

City of Forgiven Whores

In this city
where birds fly upside
down, and sadness is a welt
made by a raindrop,
he comes to me.
He sings of sleeptalking dreamers,
whores baptized in rivers,
lost wastelands re-opened, then
kisses me, mouth soft and wide,
like he did when still young.

I tug him inside
and we soar till our wings melt--
two candles, burnt to the nub
of a universe rebuilding through
one eye not blinking,
through uncaring gods
converted to new ways of seeing,
at last.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Look At Me (a new site)

Old Photographs have always fascinated me. My mother had some in the collection of ancestral photos she passed down to me. Photos of young women in turn of the century garb. Unknown babies, by now grown and dead, staring up at some powder-fired camera. Her mother had never identified them to her except that they weren't family. I often wondered who they were. I used to see stacks of old photos at flea markets occasionally, too, and tintypes. When I was in my twenties, all of my photos from my grad school days and friends in Hawaii were stolen from our car along with other belongings. I imagine they ended up in the trash somewhere or a dump. I sometimes still wonder about those, too. Did some stranger end up finding a photo of a young woman in a mumu, her arms around a couple of friends, with the ocean in the background and think , 'who is she'? The following is a tintype my mother found in an old shop back in the seventies. Click to enlarge.

At any rate, I found this Kim K site fascinating. When you click on one photo you'll see an archives list to the left that'll take you to more. They've had people send in scans of around 600 plus now and are welcoming new additions. Enjoy!

One of the old photos from the site (click to see it larger):

To see more, go to

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Time Lapse

An old time lapse photo. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Wolf Tales

Bramble covered,
pavement cracked,
the path to Sara's door
stretches harsh like the Long Green Mile.
She waits for a man
with big hands and feet
and death in his eyes to walk
along it and and find her.

Indiana Jones or The Lone Ranger--
even Frodo would do.

Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty
were found by a Prince.
Why not her, too, she reasons.

Jones and his whip were captured by an S&M freak.
The masked man now lives in a nursing home.
Frodo came out of the closet years ago,
passing the gold ring on to Darth Vador.

Sara's glass slipper has been dropped
too many times
and the only Prince she's ever seen
was mobbed in his doo-rag at the Superbowl.

Still, she lowers her braids
over the windowsill every night, hopes
the Big Bad Wolf doesn't show, instead.
She hears him pant as he prowls
through the weeds,
tummy growling
tongue hanging out
dreams circling high over his head
about his own kind of storybook ending.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Movie Buff Quiz (Michael Parker would be 100 percent on this, I bet!)

Your Movie Buff Quotient: 80%
You are a total movie buff. Classics, blockbusters, indie favorites... you've seen most of them.Your friends know to come to you whenever they need a few good DVD rental suggestions.

btw, there'e a 'find your soulmate' quiz on this site. If you look carefully you'll see 'ad'. They try to get your cell phone number. I know ...I know. These quizes are a bit loopy, but fun.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

More trouble with

I'm getting email notification of comments, but a click on the link gives me an error code: bx-vjhbsj When I open the blog and try to then open comments directly to respond I get the same error code.

Later edit:
Turns out this was a general problem that's been solved.