Thursday, May 31, 2007

Once in a blue moon

(photo from NASA article linked below)

The excerpt here is from today's Kim Komando newsletter. I thought it was interesting enough to pass on and the NASA article goes even deeper into the folklore and the astronomy of these moons.

Tonight is a special night for astronomy buffs. That’s because there will be a blue moon tonight.

We’ve all heard the expression “once in a blue moon.” We use this expression when talking about something that rarely happens.

Over the years, there have been many meanings to the term “blue moon.” But the modern definition of blue moon is the second full moon in a month.

Blue moons occur more frequently than one might think. In fact, they occur about every 2½ years. You can learn more at NASA's site by

Kim Komando

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Recurring Dreams

(Image from

How many of you remember your dreams? How many of you have recurring dreams, some repeating over years before they mysteriously go away? How many of you see your dreams as, among other things, a way your inner self is offering comment that might help you learn something?

I don't record my dreams every day anymore, but I did for years and I found them fascinating, no matter how I used them. Research on dreams is quite varied. I worked for a year, during my career as a Clinical Psychologist in a research center that studied pain, 'hypnosis', and dreams. Much of what goes on during REM, awakened dreamers describe as thinking...perhaps a recap of their day with no other significance attached. You can affect a dream by tickling a dreamer with a feather. The feather becomes incorporated into the dream in various ways. Again, no particular significance.

Of much interest to me personally and clinically has been the recurring dream. In my own life I've had series of thems at different times. During my first marriage, I dreamed at least once a month and usually more often about telephones. I was trying to get through to someone, but the telephone was broken, the telephone didn't take my change, the person picked up but couldn't hear me, I couldn't find the right number, etc. I never had a dream of a completed phone call. Throughout this period, I was trying in vain to get an indifferent husband to listen to me, kept thinking if I tired hard enough he would open the emotional block he'd put up after only a couple of months of our marrying. When I finally gave up and left, the dreams went away, never to recur. No, the dreams weren't magical signals. They clearly reflected what was going on, but they were also telling me to pay more attention. I wasn't doing that.

Another series of dreams I had for years was returning to school. Sometimes grade school. Sometimes grad school. Usually I didn't have my schedule and couldn't find my classes. I never did get a clear feel for those except there was something I still needed badly to learn, but hadn't. In doing some tissue memory release work in the nineties to recover memories of a high school head-on collision that I'd never remembered, despite the fact that I was wandering around on a broken foot in a field when the ambulance arrived and 'came to' in the hospital, sitting up talking to my paarents, another unexpected memory surfaced. This second memory had to do with something I 'knew' had happened but only existed as a shadow in my mind with no details and had plagued me most of my life. It had to do with molestation over many years by my grandfather (which my parents never knew about and my grandmother was too terrified of his temper to tell). When those memories came back and I had closure on them, the going back to school dreams disappeared. The dreams never told me what I needed to learn, but were darn insistent that I had something in there and wasn't finding the right classroom yet.

My last real series of dreams were grief dreams about my mother. For six months after she died I had repeated dreams that she was calling for my help and I couldn't reach her to save her. When mother first realized that her last hospitalization for a sudden (four month) onset of congestive heart failure really was her last, she was terrified despite her deep religious convictions. She also didn't want to leave me while I was still so sick with CFIDS. After six months, I started seeing mother calm, but behind a glass pane. I could see her, but not talk to her. After a year, she began entering my dreams normally, as if she were really there doing things with me and , this time, my father was often there, too. That was about the time my heavy grief over her death was easing up. Now I see her in my dreams and it's a happy event.

If you'd care to share a recurring dream and its meaning to you, I'd love to hear.


BTW, Some of you may wonder why I wanted to remember that accident. I knew it had happened. I wasn't driving. I was in the middle seat between the band director's son who was driving, and his mother, on our way back from band clinic. She and I had just changed places about 20 minutes earlier. She went through the windshield and her face was destroyed. The son had broken ribs and was pinned by the wheel. I had broken bones in my foot and hand and cuts. After that and into my adulthood, I had trouble passing cars on a two lane road if a car was even in sight in the distance. If it was necessary to pass and safe, I became extremely anxious facing that car, now in my lane, coming in my direction, until back in the right lane again. I hoped to get rid of that fear. It helped some to remember, but not enough to warrent the memory of Mrs. Mills lying on the car hood with blood everywhere and her son screaming while I banged my shoulder against the door trying to get out of there and run. Nope.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Breakfast in the Open Air...Edward Manet flaunts tradition!

Edouard Manet painted Breakfast in the Open Air for the annual exhibition of the Académie Royale in Paris in 1863. But his painting was not allowed to be shown officially. The principal figure, Victorine Meurent, was Manet's favorite model. 7,000 people viewed the painting on the first day of the show in the "Salon of the Rejected." Most were either shocked or amused by the shamelessness of the picture.
Nowadays, Edouard Manet is acknowledged worldwide as the most important reviver of painting. An inarguable high point in art history, he triggered a decisive turn towards modernism.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Poetry Quotes

A meme from Sam Rasnake: “Give us at least 10 quotations pertaining to poetry - from 10 different writers &/or poets which best coincide with your philosophy vis a vis ars poetica. They can be posthumous or otherwise. The order is not important - unless it is to you.”

If the number ten is too daunting, go for less.

Here are mine. I have so many more but don't know them word for word and can't find them.

Poetry is sacred, providing salvation in a secular world.
Octavia Paz

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is a speaking picture.

Poetry is a mixture of common sense, which not all have, with an uncommon sense, which very few have.
John Masefield

Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.
Allen Ginsberg

Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.
Denis Diderot

If there were no poetry on any day in the world, poetry would be invented that day. For there would be an intolerable hunger.
Muriel Rukeyser

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
Mark Strand

A poet's autobiography is his poetry. Anything else is just a footnote.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Ordering a man to write a poem is like commanding a pregnant woman to give birth to a red-headed child."
Carl Sandburg

A poem...begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness...It finds the thought and the thought finds the words."
Robert Frost

I'm tagging the following people to do the same.

Tom Blessing

Helen Losse

Lee Herrick

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What twenty years will do :-)

I spotted an article on crinolines know, those things young gals now know about from their history books, those flouncing layers of material that were starched and hung sideways from the line to dry to hold your skirt out at its most flattering. While slim skirts, sweaters, weedgens, and little collars for the tops of your sweaters were the everyday norm, out came those starched instruments of torture for special occasions. Here I am, ready for Easter, then 20 years later, dressed in the waaay more comfortable dress of the times.

From the article I found:
It’s 1956 and you’re a sixteen-year old fashion princess waiting to board the city bus for a trip to downtown Omaha. You’re fresh-faced and meticulously neat, but as you hand over your fifteen-cent fare and turn around, you see people nervously sliding over to the aisle seat, making it clear you’re not welcome.

What’s wrong with you? Why does no one want to share a seat? The answer is not malicious prejudice but rather what can be found beneath your new pink cotton full skirt where you are sporting not one, not even two, but three starchy crinolines.

You find a seat and sit down, carefully tucking your skirt behind you and then quickly fling your hands over your knees just in time to keep the skirt from bouncing toward the ceiling of the bus and revealing your underwear. But as soon as you’ve got your knees covered, the skirt springs up on both sides, one side flying into the face of the rider in the window seat. You apologize and work feverishly to contain yourself on one half of a bus seat. Click on the link to read the rest.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Leonard Cohen...'the song' Suzanne

I see this video is no longer available. It was the best video version online, so that's too bad. Youtube has other versions, though, if you go to their site.

Suzanne, of the song that's said to have started Leonard Cohen on the road to greatness, lives in wooden addition to the back of a truck and struggles financially now. She appears to have no regrets that what was once between them ended when he moved on to stardom. The story about Leonard and Suzanne is fascinating. She was married. They say there was no physical intimacy, but rather a strong emotional attraction they chose not to act upon.

An interview with Suzanne speaks of their relationship in terms of the song lyrics HERE. An interesting backdrop to a song any Cohen fan knows well.



Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you've always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said "All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them"
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you'll trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.

Leonard Cohen

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Gustav Klimt in a very neat youtube presentation. Turn on your sound!

My friend from Finland also ferreted this one out! I love it! Who's your favorite artist??

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Sara chops her lunch into equal sized bites,
moves it around on her plate
                                      leaves white spaces
pretends to chew when anyone looks her way,
slides food into her lap.

Sara thinks her belly is as big
as the rising moon, that her thighs rival
those giant Doric pillars on the Parthenon
that she studied in junior year history class.
Ten pounds down and she could be a runway
model like Anna Reston once was
or Barbara Di Criddo, strut flat-eyed
                                      and loved,
a human hanger for size zero dresses.
She doesn't know her runway is fated
to be a dark graveyard, her trophy
a bouquet of dead roses.

Sara dreams the mirror tells her she's beautiful.
She bows to her make-believe audience,
holds frail arms out like angel wings for a curtsy,
smiles as her flesh melts down from bone
                                      to fairy dust
                                                           to ground.

Poem to be published in In The Fray, an online socio-political magazine, June, 2007

Many of you may have read about the banning of unhealthily sized models in Madrid. It's about time the fashion industry took a hard look at its role in promoting the image that anorexically thin is the standard for beauty. We've moved a long way from when women like Ava Gardner, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell were considered beauties.

Below is part of an article from Second City. Click the link to read the entire article.

Second City Style has covered this issue before. Now that models are dropping like flies. It's still obvioulsy a big issue. In fact, WWD did a major story on it today. Read below.

In the fashion world, thin will always be in — just not too thin. What qualifies as too thin is a debate raging from New York to Milan, and no matter where one stands, there is one thing almost everyone agrees on: enforcing any kind of body-type rule for models is nearly impossible.

Following the much-ridiculed move last fall by officials in Madrid to ban what they considered too-thin models and the death last month from anorexia of 21-year-old Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston, the issue is forefront once again because Italy's Camera Della Moda plans to promote a nationwide campaign against anorexia, recruiting the fashion industry as a key ally. The Council of Fashion Designers of America also said it is considering drawing up guidelines for American designers, editors and stylists.

At a time when size zero is becoming increasingly common, many in the industry said that the plans to regulate model size are a noble effort but are impractical. They point out that every body type is different and that in many cases, models are thin either because they are young and not physically mature or it is in their genes and not necessarily indicative of an eating disorder.

What's YOUR opinion on this issue?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Boxcar Poetry Review is out. Letter from the Editor (yes, I'm in it)

----- Original Message -----
From: Boxcar Poetry
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 5:46 PM
Subject: Boxcar Poetry Review Issue 8 Contributors

Dear Boxcar Contributors,

Just a quick note to let you know that the May issue of Boxcar Poetry Review is up and your work is now online! Visit it here ( )

This is an outstanding issue again with strong poems, striking photography, a great interview, and a fascinating review. We are proud and honored to showcase your talents and in turn invite you to discover each other's work. We have sought to build an issue where different voices and experiences interact in a synergistic manner -- letting something emerge from the blending. We hope we have succeeded.

In this issue:


Jeffrey Alfier: "Last Words to an Old Miner Leaving Albuquerque"
Jon Ballard: "Trees Make Me Think of Other Things"
Pris Campbell: "Undertow"
Heather Green: "Valentine's Day at the SF MOMA, Again"
Rachel Eliza Griffiths: "Wake for Memory"
Jee Leong Koh: "Hungry Ghosts"
Ted McCarthy: "Lines with a Latin Dictionary"
Rhonda Mino-Melanson: "Memories and Condolences"
Tolu Ogunlesi: "On Reading 'A Wedding in Hell' by Charles Simic"
Doug Ramspeck: "Oneiromancy"
Sam Rasnake: "This is not my testament"
Yun Wang: "Space Journal: Day Dreams"
Joe Wilkins: "North Carolina By Greyhound: First Christmas After the Funeral"

"Obsession, Grace, and the Second Book: An Interview with Oliver de la Paz" ~ Diana Park


"Sally Ball's Annus Mirabilis - Logical Affect" ~ Tatiana Forero Puerta


Arthur Westover: "Field" and "Walkway"

Thank you again for all your support and patience over the last few months. On a personal note, as a few of you may have heard, my father passed away last month from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). In assembling this issue, many of your poems and creative work found a resonance with my own experiences. Sometimes out of similarity, sometimes out of difference, but in each case there was something that aided in processing my father's passing and in finding solace. My father was always a big fan of Boxcar -- he loved the poems which spoke to the human condition, which addressed the complexities of love and family, and which found the courage to be honest. This issue is for him -- thank you for being a part of it.

Finally, work on the anthology continues and should be done by the end of June. We had hoped to complete things earlier, but due to my father's declining health, had had to put things on the back burner these last couple of months.

Visit Boxcar Poetry Review at

Be sure to pass the word along :)

Best wishes,
Neil Aitken, Editor
Boxcar Poetry Review

PS. Boxcar Poetry Review has a FaceBook group -- feel free to join if you're interested in learning more about upcoming issues or giving us feedback on poems and poets you've enjoyed. (

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lilies and Headstones...a repost for Mother's Day

for'll always be with me

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

Published in Remark Journal Fall 2006

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Earth as Art

I'm featuring this site again it's so amazing!

The Good Earth

Turn up your speakers, too.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

PS A Question

While MySpace drives me nuts at times, it's also spoiled me. I go from blog to blog here in and other similar servers and, while I see a few blogs with a huge comments section, I know mine has dwindled to almost nothing and I read some blogs with one to no comments at all. Excellent blogs.

On MySpace, my readership is substantial..or I should say the response is. My webtracker shows a steady flow of visitors to my blog, but it's not reflected in the comments, so I ask, who are you? Are you passing through accidentally? Do you just have nothing to say? I'd love to hear.


Another vid

A friend of mine from Finland on MySpace posted this very nice youtube video from the seventies by Kate Bush (thank you Colin for helping me retrieve the name), so I decided to share it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Blogosphere results

Below are the final results of the Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere votes. Thanks again to Billy The Blogger for sponsoring this and to Michael Parker for nominating me. His blog link is in my links to the right.