Monday, December 29, 2008

Beauty you can wear.

Find more photos like this on W.A.R.M.

Haze McElhenny, from the new W.A.R.M. site for women in the arts (Womens Art Recognition Movement started by Cheryl Townsend, artist/poet), is making me a hand designed casual skirt dress made of recycled tee shirts , the sale of which benefit charity, and with her artwork on it. Click on her profile at W.A.R.M. and you'll also find links to her sites with more illustrations. She designs clothes for a living, too, so this is a neat sideline for her. If you're interested in anything you see, tell her I sent you. She likes to know where her referals come from.

PS I chose the face and the turquoise color on the above slide show for the dress/skirt. I love it and it's perfect for Florida casual living and weather. Can hardly wait to see it now. The part I'm buying comes to waist or above bust. She's showing it worn with various tops that aren't attached to the outfit and you pick from your own wardrobe.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Dead Mule presents Christmas poems

It's rare and wonderful for a journal to focus just on poems about the holidays. Many of us have written one or more but there's never any real place to show them off in a setting created just for them.

The Mule put out a call 'just' for holiday poems and the issue is out. Poets previously published in The Mule could submit poems published earlier in other journals for this call, along with new ones.

If you'd like to read mine, this is my page. Click the link 'poetry' at the top to read poems from other contributors.

Thank you, Dead Mule!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Randy Newman...songwriter, singer, social commentator

Below are excerts about an extraordinary songwriter, one of my favorites. I would highly recommend reading the entire article here at The High

If there’s any American pop musician who embodies the notion of knowing something is no good but loving it anyway, it’s Randy Newman. The most supremely ironic songwriter ever produced by a country that has never had a particularly friendly relationship with irony, Newman might be a superstar if he was French, or even French-Canadian. Unfortunately, he’s not only a product of the U.S. of A., he’s a resident of Hollywood, a city that simultaneously generates massive amounts of irony and seems superhumanly immune to it. Evidence of this curious duality can be found in his best known song, “I Love L.A.”: it became a massive hit and was even used as an anthem for the 1984 Olympics, and listening to the overblown synthesizers and canned drums, it’s easy to mistake the song for what it appears to be: a big, blowsy love letter to Los Angeles. But then you hear him singing the praises, inexplicably, of run-down Victory Boulevard; you hear him sing about “that bum over there, man, he’s down on his knees”; you remember that this is Randy Newman singing — the least likely man on the planet you can picture tooling along with the top down, the Beach Boys cranking, and "a big nasty redhead" at his side.


But the most misunderstood of all his songs, and the one that comes closest to showing the nature of the man who is both sincere and cynical in his best moments, is “Rednecks.” The opening track to his stunning Good Old Boys album, it’s a song that receives a wide range of receptions, almost all of them based on a fundamental misreading of the song. I’ve seen two live performances of the song where it was received quite warmly — once by an audience of white southern, well, rednecks, who seemed to think it was an anti-P.C. celebration of their own ignorance and racism; and once by an audience of well-bred, wealthy east coast liberal types who seemed to think it was nothing more than an attack on white southern rednecks. AllMusic’s review of Good Old Boys features a typical read on the song, calling its songs “simplistic,” “mean-spirited” and possessed of “willful cruelty” — but against who? Were the rednecks right, or the liberals? The answer is painfully clear, when, after giving voice to the song’s main character, a Jew-hating, virulently racist Georgian, he twists the knife in the final chorus:

Down here we’re too ignorant to realize That the north has set the nigger free Yeah, he’s free to be put in a cage in Harlem in New York City And he’s free to be put in a cage on the South Side of Chicago and the West Side And he’s free to be put in a cage in Hough in Cleveland And he’s free to be put in a cage in East St. Louis And he’s free to be put in a cage in Fillmore in San Francisco He’s free to be put in a cage in Roxbury in Boston.

Randy Newman is kidding, but he’s kidding on the square. He’s anticipated — and repudiated — almost every possible reaction to the song. He’s damning the southern redneck, tempting you into what he’s often accused of: a patronizing, sneering contempt for the subject of the song. But the second you succumb to it, he steps aside and lets you throw yourself over a cliff: and how are you keeping the niggers down today? In every petty lowlife character study Newman has written — from the bewildered square of “Mama Told Me Not to Come” to the impotent hillbilly of “A Wedding in Cherokee County” to the two-bit hustler of “Can’t Fool the Fat Man” to the abusive monster of “I Just Want You To Hurt Like I Do” — he has discovered that sweet spot where contempt and understanding muddle together, where you know that they’re no good, but you love them anyway. Randy Newman is neither a righteously angry Phil Ochs, condemning the evils of the world with his every word, nor a too-sympathetic Lou Reed, who all too easily finds himself inhabiting the headspace of even the worst of his creations: he’s musical proof of Richard Rorty’s notion that irony creates solidarity, that an ability to formulate an understanding of even those things you condemn lets you find a basis for dealing with them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

However you view the holidays...

...describe one of a possible many that you remember the most or that had most meaning to you.

I have a number to choose from. Ones from my youth in a small southern town are among the contenders. As teens, we would gather after Christmas morning and go from house to house. The town was small enough that you could walk it end to end if nobody had a car. Cookies and punch were always available. We would ohh and ahh over the tree and what our friend got and sit under the tree for a while. One present was the standard then and nothing very expensive, a way of doing Christmas that seems to have faded over the years into excess. Perhaps with harder economic times those days will return. A charm bracelet as the 'big' gift and perhaps and new nightgown was pretty much par for the gift course. Another possibility is when my husband and I went caroling in Boston on Beacon Hill, fog coming out of our mouths the air was so cold.

Another very special time, for multiple reasons, was when my father was dying. He was in a hospital bed at home under Hospice care. I'd been flying up since lung cancer took him to the floor four months earlier. My father, so strong into his eighies. My home town rallied around him that season. I flew up before my husband did because of his work. 'Santa' came to visit, a man from the Fire and Rescue Squad that my father had contributed generously to over the years...then carolers. They came into the bedroom and sang several songs. Children and adults from the church. When they sang silent night, my mother stepped in with the group and joined them. She had a beautiful alto voice. I'm glad he was still aware, even though his speech was garbled at that point. He died the day after Christmas. This post is for you, Daddy. (and yes, Southern gals still refer to their fathers as daddy forever).

I wrote the following poem in 2001. I could probably do better by him now, but...for better or worse, it's below. Thank you, Dead Mule, for publishing it.

my father

My Father's Many Funerals

My father,
superintendent turned gardener
in his retirement,
attended nearly every funeral
over his lifetime of losses in our
small southern town

'We must pay our respects,'
as bulletin in hand,
he sang farewell hymns
passed down from generations
of farewells chainlinked before us.

At age 83 he joined them,
the dry, warm seeds
for that spring's
planting, abandoned

A thumbnail of mourners,
I told myself.
No gathering suitable for
final respects he cradled
as diamonds in value.

The limo snailed up the steep hill
towards that tiny brick church
where my father
had taught Sunday School,
served as elder,
taken communion,
bowed head in prayer
Front pew
Same seat every Sunday.

Edging over the rise.
the limo offered first
steeple, roofs.
Hundreds of car roofs.
A garden of color spilling
from parking lot into field.
Standing room only.

Respect, my father's winter harvest.
Our town's final gift.

Later, at my parents' home, I tucked
my father's seeds into pocket
to carry to my own home
for next season's planting.

I feel sure that he knew.

Pris Campbell

Published in The Dead Mule, An Anthology of Southern Literature,
Fall, 2002.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Whoever said certain songs weren't poetry...or philosophy??

(whatever you call it, I love this song!)

Heart of The Matter

Don Henley, formerly of The Eagles

I got the call today, I didn't wanna hear
But I knew that it would come
An old, true friend of ours was talkin on the phone
She said you'd found someone
And I thought of all the bad luck,
And the struggles we went through
And how I lost me and you lost you
What are these voices outside love's open door
Make us throw off our contentment
And beg for something more?
I'm learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I'm learning again
I've been tryin to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think its about forgiveness
Even if, even if you dont love me anymore
These times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
And people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age?
The trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They're the very things - we kill I guess
Pride and competition
Cannot fill these empty arms
And the work I put between us
You know it doesn't keep me warm
I'm learning to live without you now
But I miss you, baby
And the more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I'd figured out
I have to learn again
I've been trying to get down
To the heart of the matter
But everything changes
And my friends seem to scatter
But I think its about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore
There are people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down you know they hurt your pride
You better put it all behind you baby; life goes on
You keep carryin that anger; it'll eat you up inside, baby
I've been trying to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thought seem to scatter
But I think its about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me
I've been tryin to get down
To the heart of the matter
Because the flesh will get weak
And the ashes will scatter
So I'm thinkin about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me
Forgiveness - baby
Even if, you don't love me anymore

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Contemporary Holiday Movies

We've all seen Miracle on 34th Street and a few other old classic movies that come back again and again each season. What about today's movies? Will any become classics? I have no idea, but these are two movies set over the Christmas holiday that I really enjoyed. Both move me, but in different ways.

This first two videos show scenes from Love Actually. I couldn't decide which I liked better and the two are accompanied with different songs from the movie so I'm posting both.

The other movie is The Family Stone. The music with these scenes aren't in the movie. It's not a music driven movie like Love Actually but I love this one and could watch it multiple times.

So, how about you? What movies would you recommend for the season??

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Unsettling Changes

Sara thinks she's met someone.
He never stayed out all night dancing,
never painted roses on city walls,
doesn't write steamy poetry,
or wear jeans with holes in the knees,
patches stitched up and down.
He brings her broth when she's ill,
opens doors, touches her as he passes.
His hands are careful, eyes soft.
Ten years ago she would've found him boring.
Ten years ago she wasn't a mom.
He takes the boy to the zoo, movies,
baseball games, wants to marry Sara
adopt the boy. After all, Norman
hasn't been seen in years.
Sara doesn't know how that works.
She would have to face Norman.
Would her pulse race?
Would she want him again?
The boy's still Norman's son,
still that piece of Norman she wraps
her heart around like a pearl.
With the boy adopted, Norman may fade.
That part of her heart may collapse inward.

(This is one of my 'aftermath' poems to the Sara/Norman collaboration of poems Scott Ownes and I did. We're submitting that collection now)

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Annette Marie Hyder, Literary Editor of In The Fray, just tagged me with this book related award called Bookworm.

I have to adhere to two rules:

RULE ONE, I have to grab one of the books closest to me, go to page 56, type the fifth line and the next two to five lines that follow.

Okay, mind you that I'm sitting at my computer surrounded by manuals for different programs. Let's see what I grab...hmmm..first book didn't have 56 pages. Here goes again..

When you drag an element near a guide, the element 'snaps' into alignment with the guide--as if the guide had some sore of magnetic pull. If you don't want stuff to snap to guides, choose View/Snap or Crt plus (different code for a Mac. Choose the command again to turn snapping back on.

From Photoshop for Dummies.

Perfect choice, hey??:-)

RULE TWO, I have to pick five people who love books and who could receive the Bookworm award with honor. My five picks are:

I'm not hotlinking anybody. I have an endo appointment tomorrow and my tooth is telling me it needs for me to go smear something on it again, so I'll put names and try to leave a comment for each of you I think will do this.

Jim Knoles
Collin Kelly
Sam Rasnake
Helen Lossee
Brian Campbell

Anybody else can join in by writing theirs in the comments section, too.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Review of my chap in Wild Goose Poetry Review

I feel co-editor Scott Owens hit at the core of what I was aiming to say in my book, Hesitant Commitments in his review at Wild Goose Poetry Review. Just click on my name in the review list. The link opens in a new window.

The rest of the journal is good, too. Congrats to the staff.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Infuences on your poetry/prose/scripts

I know the answer to this question changes over time, sometimes within a day, but who or what do you feel impacts your current writing style the most?

I had the pleasure of interviewing John Sweet for a journal a while back. He says music is the big inspiration for his poetry. He also has said in previous interviews that most poetry bores him, one of the main reasons he set out to create his own style. He's done a good job of it.

Other writers I know online have mentioned specific authors/poets and some are influenced by an accumulation of work they've read.

One poet who inspires me is Rebecca McClanahan. Read some of her poetry here Cortland Review. Her book, Deep Light, has me reaching for it time after time.

I also love the poetry of Sharon Olds and Anne Sexton. Add in Mark Hartenbach (most of his work is in print published by Pudding House). Many others. I've lucked out in recent chapbooks I've purchased from poets not 'well known' yet and found collections of poems that make me aspire higher. I'll never remember all of the names, so won't try to list those for fear of leaving someone good out.

Art inspires a good deal of my poetry, though no particular artist affects me more than another. It's generally a specific work of art. I don't write to describe the art, but rather the feelings that artwork brings up in me.

I realize that this is a question that's been asked thousands of times, but I've not asked it here and to the many talented people who read my blog, so I'm curious...


Monday, December 01, 2008

A Pushcart Nomination!

Given the number of small presses, an actual win is rare, but the nomination, itself, is an honor. When I first started publishing I wanted to be nominated so badly, then when it didn't happen, I let that wish go. Now today, with my tooth.jaw into a bad pain cycle from drilling down in prep for a crown and nauseated from trying percocet for the pain, here comes this wonderful nomination from the editor of In The Fray.

The poem is at this this page (All of my poems on the page are illustrated by Mary Hillier, an artist I know and like very much, so it's worth a peek there, too, if time permits). I enjoy publishing in this journal since it includes news, issue discussion, essays along with its short stories and poems.

The Pushcart Prize is a prestigious American literary prize by Pushcart Press that honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" published in the small presses over the previous year. Magazine and small book press editors are invited to nominate up to 6 works they have featured. Anthologies of the selected works have been published annually since 1976.

The founding editors are Anais Nin, Buckminster Fuller, Charles Newman, Daniel Halpern, Gordon Lish, Harry Smith, Hugh Fox, Ishmael Reed, Joyce Carol Oates, Len Fulton, Leonard Randolph, Leslie Fiedler, Nona Balakian, Paul Bowles, Paul Engle, Ralph Ellison, Reynolds Price, Rhoda Schwartz, Richard Morris, Ted Wilentz, Tom Montag, and William Phillips.

This is the nominated poem:

Colorless Rooms

In the lineup of old lovers,
he never appears,
yet he was the one who peeled back my skin,
slipped fingers beneath breastbone.
Odd, his disappearance, when a decade
of heart thumps had to pass
before flesh closed and healed.

I wonder if his next love remembers.

Maybe those men who once slung their arms
'round our necks, painted hieroglyphs with lips
on our breasts, wake now in colorless rooms,
bewildered to find no woman beneath them.
Maybe they remember a dimming face,
a distant laugh...a sigh,
& dream of those days when their hands
still forged fingerprints into the hollows of time.

Pris Campbell

In The Fray, September 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Primroses (an older one slightly revised)


...and so it is......Damien Rice

I still keep that photo you snapped.
Eyes just past childlike; china masked by steel.
The edge of one breast peeks from my half-
zippered jumpsuit. Primroses cluster
beneath the far rail.

Men hustled me then, hard as gamblers 
when the dice were red hot,
trailed the sway of my hips
in hopes of leaving their seed.

I chose you--you with the wrist-thin legs,
white cotton socks peeking furtively
from beneath your creased jeans.
Gold ring, third finger down.

The day was heady with sunshine
and bright-colored birds swooping deep
into the grass in search of plump juicy worms.
You fell hard that day
from your usual straight arrow ways.

I later settled for a man from Peoria.
Legs thick as an ox.

A lifetime later, your name
lept out. Some obscure article
about spiders. Hands damp, I wrote you.

Your hair has gone gray, you reply.
Work still goes well.
Your jeans don't fit, anymore.
You stick in a photo of your daughter.
Your eyes stare at me from her face.
I never forgot you, you add, but
isn't that's how life goes?

The birds fly slower today.
Too many worms get away.
The sun swells like a heartbeat.
Sweat pours down my back.

I plant extra primroses along my porch rail,
imagine a westerly wind rising later
to carry their scent back to you.

Pris Campbell
(revised 2008)

A slightly different version of this was published in The Dead Mule, Spring Issue 2007. Thank you, Dead Mule!

Photograph from archives

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Santana and Clapton! Start your week off right!

So, what do you think? Do these guys still have it??? (I admit to bias. Clapton could play Happy Birthday and I'd love it)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hot off the press from Didi Menendez!

The new issue is now online.

Please stop by

The hard copy will be available soon from Amazon.

Thank you,
Didi Menendez

Okay, this part from me...

This is the sexy issue and it's good, folks. The format didi is using for the online version is unusual/intriguing. Yes, I'm in here at about page 103 or 104, not because I'm sexy but because I qualified by being published in the journal before. She intersperses a series of brief interviews with those of us so qualified throughout. I look at the gorgeous men and women in the issue and think to myself, 'oh babe, how far gravity has pulled thee down'. I just have to be sexy in spirit now. :-)

Take a look. Comment here with any reactions. I'm sure Didi would appreciate any thoughts on content or layout.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Daytona has changed big time...

...but so has any coastal town, at least here in Florida. No, I didn't expect the mom and pop motels to still be there (though I did see one that was closed and in the process of being demolished). Now high rises are the name of the game and tee shirts are sold everywhere! It was a relief to find that the inlet pier was within a small state park area so still a haven from the trinket mongers. Just surfers, fishermen and dolphins.

You can still drive on the beach, but no more parking close to the main pier, half the fun in earlier years. The pier itself has been covered with some concrete looking material and first you pass two stands selling shell necklaces, then a long bar, then a huge I WAS IN FLORIDA shop. It costs six bucks to walk on out on the pier (or be wheeled, in my case). No thanks. It cost six bucks just to drive onto the beach, something that used to be free.

I kept seeing the old, sleepy beach town that was so beautiful, buried under this rubble of wealthy people and curators, making money off of a view of the surf.

The trip was good, though. I saw one thing each day and then slept for two hours after. It was wonderful seeing my friend and watching dawn over the ocean from our balcony each morning. Even my throat, a long standing problem, was better for breathing the sea air day and night. As a bonus, as you many have seen in the post earlier, we saw the Endeavor go up from our balcony, so close we could see the boosters fall off into the ocean. THAT was exciting.

A taste of the trip in photos follows (Click to see more clearly).

We were on the south end of Crabby Joe's in the 'white' condo just north of the Crabby Joe's pier (the building was actually pink)

This is Crabby Joe's!

me and my chair in front of the main building on the pier

Sunrise from our condo

My friend, Margie, and me on the Inlet dock

Taken from the inlet dock with the Ponce de Leon lighthouse in the background, the tallest lighthouse in Florida.

I've also been compiling what I hope will be a chapbook of my 77 sailing trip from Boston to Florida and this is my poem about Daytona from this series.


Me, on this same beach earlier, sandwiched
in time between Blackboard Jungle and the Beatles,
kissing my college boyfriend. Before that,
the jackal lifeguard, baiting his two-roomed trap
with The Four Freshmen, sand crunching beneath our feet,
hoping to snatch my most sacred possession.
You never forget your first, he whispers.

The beach is unchanged…yellow, pink, blue
two-story motels squat along the shoreline,
garlands for us and the breaking sea.
Cars cuddle near the pier, radios blaring.

The tide pulls back, leaving its mark on shore.
Dave, Margaret, the man-lover I travel with,
and I walk down to toe the water.
Four crabs testing the surf.

Dave makes a joke
and laughter cracks open my shell.
I know suddenly I have what I need.
My little boat.
Good friends.
My chest tossing sonic booms over the ocean I love.
This day, so beautiful it could break your heart.

(Since this poem is part of a series, the names in the poem and the man who is a dissipating love are made clear in lognotes and earlier poems)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Male Bloggers...Female Bloggers

I apologize to the blogger since I can't remember now where I read this question posed, but her question pertained to the differences between the types of blogs men and women post. Her guess was that women tended to blog more about personal things, man about cerebral general. This certainly isn't true across the board but does it hold any truth? Which type of blogging do you prefer reading/posting?

Weigh in with your opinions, based on your own blogging style and that of blogs you've read.

I think I'm somewhere inbetween. A little of both.

(If you posted this question, say so and I'll link it to your post)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

...and, while I'm linking to great blog posts...

Read about poet/artist Ed Baker, found on the Visualizing Poetics blog. I've published in a couple of journals with Ed Baker and I love this man's work.

I'm going to be away, so you'll have time to catch up with two posts in one day:-)


Collin Kelly blogs on the failure of Propostion Eight

Go to Collin Kelly's fantastic youtube link on love and the failure of Proposition 8. What a moving commentary! Don't miss this. Olberman talks a lot more about just the proposition. He talks about the 'failure of love'. He'll bring you to tears...unless, of course, you voted for Proposition Eight.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Well, I won't be doing any surfing, but...

..doesn't this bring back a different time?? How many of you were born when this was popular? Any memories connected to the song?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Still Crashing

This remains my worst CFIDS crash in ten years. Months ago, a long time friend who had a recurrence of her lymphoma a year and a half ago, and I planned what will be my second trip in these 18 years. I want to see her. She used to live here but now lives in two places, both a distance from me. My husband will drive so I can sleep in the backseat and we'll pick her up in her mid-Florida home, since chemo gave her the side effect of neurasthenia in hands and feet.

The trip is to a condo on Daytona Beach, where I used to cavort occasionally weekend afternoons when I attended Stetson University, an hour inland. I'm limp and dizzy but am going, anyway. Can barely lift my arms to type this. If nothing else, I can enjoy being by the ocean on our patio and November prices make this possible for a bit under 250 dollars for a two bedroom, two bath condo for three nights. Almost unbelievable.

I still wish I could play some on this trip but as weeks have dragged by into months, my hopes of doing much lessen. Now I just hope to go and enjoy being there.

Wish me luck. I won't be posting again until after I get back Sunday night of this week.

(oh, if a burglar is reading this, our dog will be here, visited three times daily by our neighbor. Our cat growls and leaps at people she doesn't like. Yes, really! And Brinks recently installed a monitored burglar system after my chiropractor's house was stripped of everything valuable while he was at work)

Oh..that's me on the left at Daytona senior year with a friend. I'm 20 there(skipped a year in high school). We're sitting on my boyfriend's car:-) Look closely and you can see the waves in the background! Click to enlarge.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Thanks Jim Knowles for your blog on my book!

Jim Knowles was good enough to write a few words about my latest chap out, Hesitant Commitments, published by Lummox Press (My book on the homepage serves as a link to a list of books where you'll find purchase information....six bucks includes postage mailed in the U.S. Click on the cover and you'll find it). Read what Jim had to say HERE.

Thanks, Jim. I hope your comments will inspire more folk to purchase a copy. I'd love to see the book get out there more. I'm pleased that sales are doing as well as they are since I can't do readings to give it more exposure. If you want a signed copy and dedication, in the comments section of paypal ask Lummox to send it to me with your name and address. I'll sign and send it on directly to you.

Maybe a tiny Christmas present for someone special?


Friday, November 07, 2008

The Face of CFIDS

The Face of CFIDS is an exhibit traveling slowly across the country right now. The faces of a number of people with this illness are in large printed photos and their stories told in text and by video. The below quotes were taken from this article at this link. One of the videos shows a man who's been able to return to work, but that's it. He sleeps the rest of the time. Most of the people with this illness whom I know are unable to work, yet want to. That includes me. It's difficult, frustrating, and frightening to have your ability to function taken away from you.

Even harder is the fact that very few doctors are expert in helping with recognition and symptom management. Those few are aging and none take medicare. I'd been seeing an immunologist who did, for 8 year, then switched like the others to fee on service. $250 for a half hour with him. I had to stop and find a general internist who does at least know about the illness, but medicare dicates such limited time that I see him for barely 15 minutes and never long enough to address very much more than the basics. I've been in the worst crash in years for the past 4 months now. I can barely walk through the house, lifting my arms is like lifting stones, my mind is swimmy and thinking is difficult. Writing this takes all of my energy. I'm afraid I won't pull out of this but surely I will. The fear lingers, though.

The quotes below:

CFS is characterized by at least six months of profound, incapacitating fatigue that gets worse with exertion, be it physical or mental activity. Other defining symptoms include impaired memory or concentration, sleep problems, muscle and joint pain, headache, sore throat and tender lymph nodes. Some people recover with time, some go into remission at times. Some get progressively worse. The disease is four times more frequent in women than in men.

Calling it mere “fatigue” is a gross understatement, says McCleary.

“You hear people who have it saying, ‘This isn't a death sentence but it's a life sentence,'” she says. Moreover, labeling this disease as “fatigue” has been unfortunate.

“That makes it sound like it's a lifestyle issue when it's really much more serious and complicated than that,” she says. “People don't understand what you're going through, because you look perfectly fine. They happen to see you in the grocery store and they don't realize the trip is going to put you back in bed for two or three days. This isn't a visible illness

“This is total exhaustion,” says Westerman, whose condition is so severe, her husband of 37 years, a successful real estate developer, has had to take over all the household duties, from laundry to grocery shopping. “You go to sleep at night, and if you've even slept, you don't feel one bit different in the morning than when you went to bed. ... There's no part of your life this doesn't impact. This illness will either make your marriage stronger or it will end it.”

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Obama has won!!!

For one of the many good articles on his victory, read Michael Moore: Pinch Me

I'm overwelmed. I attended King's I Have a Dream speech in Washington, went through integration with my father as superintendant, remember the assasinations, the death of the Civil Rights workers. I still remember the Whites Only signs from my rural southern childhood, the separate seating in movies, separate waiting rooms at the doctor's office. This is an amazing day for us as a country, aside from any other political issues.

I think the Elvis song two posts down speaks well, too, to the above victory.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This is the way I like to remember Elvis...

Before the sequins and capes, also doing a good job at singing a classic I love.

Youtube video

(for some reason blogger isn't accepting the embed code. The above opens in a new window)

What do you think made Elvis the icon he became? His early death? Maybe, but people don't file by MM's tomb and hold vigils. John Lennon's either, for that matter. What indefinable quality grabbed people and held them. His magic caught me as a teenager. I was in love with him then. Madly. Who can explain these things??

Friday, October 24, 2008

Payment for your Poetry

Fiction writings have an agreement up front with publishers for a certain percentage of the revenues. I'm curious how many of my poet readers have had the same offer for their poetry books, chapbooks, or just published poems. A friend of mine who's able to sell a lot of his book has had contracts for his books for a share of the profits, but he works hard with readings to bring in the publisher's costs and then some. Most people with chapbooks don't get a share since, to be honest, either the chap barely makes the publisher's costs, if that, or else the book is print on demand.

In the Fray is one of the few journals I've been in that pays for a publication. I know that Pedestal does, too, both unusual for online zines and both have funding from elsewhere.

What is your experience?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Send in the Clowns

During the summer I worked in Manhattan before grad school, I saw Anthony Newley on Broadway singing Send In The Clowns. It had a huge impact on me. The stage went black except for one spotlight on him. The audience was mesmerized. I searched youtube but no videos exist with him singing the song again. I listened to several. Judy Collins. Barbra Streisand. Frank Sinatra. Even Elizabeth Taylor. Glenn Close, of all poeple, gave the song the rich tone that I'd heard that night so many years ago. Anyway, here it is...and she's gorgeous!

...yet this was my favorite song in the show, the keynote to the singer's role in the musical. In this one, his face was painted half white, like a clown's , and his rendition was magical. I couldn't find a single version on youtube that came close, but here's the voice of Frankie Laine and some shots from showbills and some hokey filler images. Close your eyes and imagine another man, a man on a stage in Manhattan singing his heart out.

Halloween is upon us!

Published in Sketchbook Journal, Oct 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sarah Palin does it again!

Thanks to Collin Kelly for featuring this youtube about troopergate. And this woman could be Vice-Prez?? No thanks!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The new Oranges and Sardines is out...

...and it sizzles. The new journal has everything from an interview with one of my favorites, Lucille Clifton, and the cover art by Drew Ernst sizzles. You can buy at Amazon soon or download a PDF version HERE.

For a download you have to become a member of the site hosting the PDF file.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

New chapbook finally out.

Lummox Press has just published my latest chapbook, Hesitant Commitments, as part of its Little Red Book series. As described, on the Lummox site, the Little Red Book series is an on-going collection of books, designed to fit easily in your back pocket or purse. Some are illustrated. All are affordable (six dollars ppd). As stated on the site, the series features the work of American writers, primarily of poetry, who are most widely known in the Small Press.

Send check or concealed cash, with the name of the chapbook in a note, to
Lummox c/o
POB 5301
San Pedro, CA 90733-5301
(add 20 percent to the six dollars for extra postage if out of country)
buy online (via PayPal) at
Lummox Press

My book on the homepage serves as a link to the updated Little Red Books. Scroll down and you'll find my book with its own paypal link on that list.

Thank you again, Lummox!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Go to Collin's blog and check this out.

I'm not even going to say what he's posted there except that if you're a poet, posting on the Internet, your name may be in the link he describes (mine is) and the project is one that purportedly has Ron Silliman angry enough that he thinks we should sue.

Let Collin explain HERE in his blog.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Wild Goose Poetry Review is out!

A wonderful issue. See it at Wild Goose Poetry Review

Thanks to Helen Losse, editor of The Dead Mule for announcing this in her blog, too!

Poems by:

Linda Annas Ferguson
Janet A. Baker
Pris Campbell
Ann Fox Chandonnet
Chella Courington
Brenda Mann Hammack
Helen Losse
Carter Monroe
Janice Moore-Fuller
Tim Peeler
Mark Smith-Soto
Harding Stedler
Nikolai von Keller

A special thanks to Scott Owens, co-editor for selecting my poems for this issue.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sara Dreams About Paul Newman

He's wearing a pink shirt and dark tie
and he's supposed to take her to dinner.
Sara's heart raced when she saw his old movies,
knew he wanted her, not Maggie the Cat,
wanted her on the bicycle bars, played
pool with fat Jackie Gleason just to impress.
She hopes they will kiss, puts on pink lipstick
in case, but Paul Newman is crying, head
in his hands. The floor is black from his tears.
Sara knows he's crying because someone has died.
Just now, he remembers it was him.
Sara wants to hold him, tell him it's ok,
but Joanne leads them down a long crowded path.
Frail kids from the Hole in the Wall Gang
bear Paul on their shoulders.
People in rags, rich people,
old people, young people surround them.
At the end of the path,
Sara's dead parents stand waiting.
Sara tries to push the sun back to start
the day over, but the sun keeps on going.
Pink fades to gray, the path disappears
and now Joanne is the one weeping.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Are websites being killed off by blogs??

When I started a website in late 2000 blogs were barely beginning to enter internet consciousness and usually involved someone designing the blog from scratch. Over the years, as we all know, blogs have multiplied to the point that no-one can keep up. I still keep all of my poems on my website (though a good deal are hidden now and don't show to visitors due to sheer volume). I still get around 60 hits a day on the website so people clearly are visiting. No-one signs the guestbook so I don't know who. I have a lot more visitors than comments on my blog, too, but I DO get comments so the blog provides an interaction with the reader that a website never can give.

My questions are these: How many of you have a website now? How many of you had a website but closed it when you began blogging? If you do have a website, how do you use it, ie to showcase certain things, to keep most of your creative work there, or....??

Do you think we'll still see websites, other than business/professional ones, on down the road or do you see them slowly fading away.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman dies at age 83

It was a shock to hear today about Paul Newman's death. When I was a teenager I had a mad crush on him. When I grew up, I could see what a fine actor he was, besides being a humanitarian. He leaves a hole in Hollywood, yet another one of the fine actors to leave us.

Roger Ebert's tribute article about him ends with this quote:

In a book about the actor, the writer Lawrence J. Quirk quotes Newman: "I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried - tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn't complacent, who doesn't cop out."

Read the entire tribute here in the Suntimes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Challenge

Write the the first 2-3 lines of verse that comes to mind as soon as you see this. First impression. No thinking.

Monday, September 15, 2008

When Beauty turns against you.

Recently I read, in passing, a reference to the old Charlie's Angels tv show. I was blanking on the name of the third angel (though a third angel changed several times over the course of the show which I can no longer clearly remember now). Who could forget the quiet beauty of Jacklyn Smith, however, or those combed--back golden locks of Farrah Fawcett, along with 'the' calendar she made. I googled the two of them to find that Jacklyn, in her early sixties still has a calm beauty, though the article debates whether or not plastic surgery is part of it (She's said no, she's not had it). On the other hand, Farrah has had multiple facelifts and had to do several over again due to a botched job. There was almost a gloating in how far that famous face has fallen. I found a sickness in that gloating. Out of the 3 references I glanced through, only one mentioned that she has a serious form of cancer and is in a fight for her life.

Is beauty such a two-edged sword? Is it better to be just 'average' when you're younger so that people don't gloat so much when you lose it or is it better to have that brief moment grazing the sun before your wings are clipped and you fall? Opinions??

I do realize that beauty may not be the term some may use for Farrah but 'glamorous' would certainly apply. So would 'sex appeal'. Same difference in terms of the question I'm asking.

These are some of the photos I found at those sites:

The infamous calender:

A 'now' shot:

Another angel, Jacklyn Smith, in 2008, born 1947, according to her bio:

I wish Farrah the best in her battle with cancer! I was a little reluctant to post this all, but I think the question is important. How do we value celebrities now who was once made famous by looks or power? We don't even need to go that far. Is there one among us who's never commented on how far our old homecoming queen in high school has fallen?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The passing of a remarkable man. Reginald Shepherd

When I read the blog below, I'm struck repeatedly with the combination of talent, generosity, and strength of spirit manifested in Reginald Shepherd. He discusses the illness that led to his recent death and , at the same time, discusses poetry and lauds other poets. It's well worth your time to read his words at his Reginald Shepherd Blog.

(His blog was duplicated by The Poetry Foundation, but thanks to the comment below telling me that the link wasn't working, I'm linking directed here. I can's find the problem in the other link, though the blog still exists on that site, too.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

haiku for 9/11

birds, shorn of their feathers
they fall...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

'Don't Miss A Sec' exhibit in Switzerland...unusual!

This public toilet was created by an artist in Switzerland as an experiment. People feel comfortable with other people they may not know well seeing them doing some private things, but not others. Going to the bathroom is one of those others. The first photo is of the public toilet seen from the outside, constructed of the type of glass used to observe without being observed.

In the second image you can see how it looks being inside. You wonder...can they really see?

Snopes goes into more detail and the images can be made larger there but copying a teaser phrase from the site isn't allowed so go to SNOPES to read the article. I was searching for another urban legion when this came up in the choices. This one isn't an urban legion. It's true.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Update and yes, a poem

I got to the doc. It seems I've had two kinds of infections going on at the same time so started on a new med last night to get rid of the other one. Right now the med has me very swimmy without any relief kicking in yet. I promise I'll stop moaning and groaning on my blog when I feel a little better. In the meantime, here's a poem I wrote. You can see that my state of bodily being was reflected in this one. It's one of my 'Sara' poems, my younger, wilder alter ego. Yep, I took her down in this one.

Sara in the Sky

Sara's tired all the time,
can't run with the boy.
She falls into walls, she's dizzy.
Words drift like snowflakes when he chatters;
she tries hard to catch them.
Her body's a stone, her mind, mud.
The boy pours his own cereal,
heads to school, shirt inside out.
One blue sock. One white one.
Doctors frown, tell her she's crazy.
Friends just want the old Sara,
say it's blocked energy, too little roughage,
maybe suction from a roving Black Hole.
She's glad Norman pays rent, sends money.
Nights she dreams she's dancing again,
skirt filled like a parachute.
The moon paints her hair gold.
Stars etch her face into the sky.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Not only can you hear Les Paul and Mary Ford but you can learn how to cure halitosis!

I know their music but never saw their tv show. This excerpt is priceless, not to mention Les Paul's guitar work. The man is fantastic!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Would this make YOU stop drinking?:-)

A friend sent this today. I needed a smile (that's his comment up above). We have Ike down there with us in the possible cone and Hanna passing to what looks like will be our east. Another storm is behind Ike. I feel like a bowling pin hoping the bowler misses! Thanks for all the messages below. I still don't have the infection under control but think it's improving. It has to. This isn't the season to be dealing with health issues.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The straw that breaks...

It's one of those times. I'm already doing my juggling act with the different things wrong with my body, then comes one...two...more and I'm up at night with the pain from it, am allergic to the med that fixes it, so had to try an alternative that hurt today. Yes, I'm being vague. Nobody needs to know the details. In the years of CFIDS I try not to cry anymore. It doesn't do anything but inflame my sinuses. Anyway, the dike burst today. I've had barely any sleep due to this mess, I'm tired of doctors poking into me. I need a break. I need some sleep. I need for the treatment I had today to kick in and help.

I'll be back. Send fairy dust.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Yearbook yourself. From a Kim Komando recommended site

From THIS Kim K site

The above looks more like a hat I would've worn than my hair!

I never can resist these. What's really uncanny is how much I actually looked like this is some of the different 'yearbook' shots except my hair was pale brown, closer to the second one down. :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Your ten most famous Americans

The May issue of Smithsonian Magazine reported on a poll they'd given to 11th and 12th graders, as well as people in their forties or above. They handed them a sheet of paper with 10 blanks and and asked who they thought were the ten most famous Americans beginning with the days of Columbus until now, excluding Presidents and first ladies. The teens, to their surprise didn't name ten pop stars or other entertainment celebrities as those ten. In fact, the lists in both age groups was surprisingly similar.

Rather than post the top ten named overall in both groups, I'd be curious who YOU would pick. I'll post the names from the poll in a few days. It's a difficult choice

Okay, here are the results of the poll:

Martin Luther King
Rosa Parks
Harriet Tubman
Susan B Anthony
Benjamin Franklin
Amelia Earhart
Ophra Winfrey
Marilyn Monroe
Thomas Edison
Albert Einstein

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Read this and gnash your teeth, then do something!

I just read Collin Kelley's post from yesterday about Stacy Brown's horrendous experience with a book of poetry, winning a contest and how the publsher then not only jerked her around, but... well go to Collin's blog HERE and follow his links to her story. If it bothers you as much as it did me, pass the story on.

(I'm referring to Collin's August 25 entry)


Hurricane Gustav

Well, hurricane season has started in earnest now. So far, it looks as if Gustav will stay to our west but may hit Louisiana and Texas again, still not recovered from the 2004 and 2005 devastation. Only time will tell what it'll do. This is the time of year for sweaty palms, supplies gotten in, and hoping your shutters hold and the roof doesn't get a tree on it or blown off.

Monday, August 25, 2008

So, what do you think of Biden on the ticket??

Think he'll help the Democratic ticket win? I would love to hear replies and reasons you think he will or won't.

Patsy Cline of a kind!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In admiration of Odilon Redon

The mystery and the evocation of the drawings (by Redon) are described by Huysmans in the following passage:

"Those were the pictures bearing the signature: Odilon Redon. They held, between their gold-edged frames of unpolished pearwood, undreamed-of images: a Merovingian-type head, resting upon a cup; a bearded man, reminiscent both of a Buddhist priest and a public orator, touching an enormous cannon-ball with his finger; a spider with a human face lodged in the centre of its body. Then there were charcoal sketches which delved even deeper into the terrors of fever-ridden dreams. Here, on an enormous die, a melancholy eyelid winked; over there stretched dry and arid landscapes, calcinated plains, heaving and quaking ground, where volcanos erupted into rebellious clouds, under foul and murky skies; sometimes the subjects seemed to have been taken from the nightmarish dreams of science, and hark back to prehistoric times; monstrous flora bloomed on the rocks; everywhere, in among the erratic blocks and glacial mud, were figures whose simian appearance--heavy jawbone, protruding brows, receding forehead, and flattened skull top--recalled the ancestral head, the head of the first Quaternary Period, the head of man when he was still fructivorous and without speech, the contemporary of the mammoth, of the rhinoceros with septate nostrils, and of the giant bear. These drawings defied classification; unheeding, for the most part, of the limitations of painting, they ushered in a very special type of the fantastic, one born of sickness and delirium."[3]
Redon also describes his work as ambiguous and undefinable:

"My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined."[4]
Redon's work represent an exploration of his internal feelings and psyche. He himself wanted to "place the visible at the service of the invisible"; thus, although his work seems filled with strange beings and grotesque dichotomies, his aim was to represent pictorially the ghosts of his own mind. A telling source of Redon's inspiration and the forces behind his works can be found in his journal A Soi-même (To Myself). His process was explained best by himself when he said:

"I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased."

Read the entire article HERE.

(note: Tropical Storm Fay is passing in waves over us now. So far, so good)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

We're on the SE coast of South Florida. Looks like this could bring extra wind and rain. Let's hope that's all.

I've been remiss... keeping my blog up in a more timely fashion.

My haiku for the day.

powderpuff blooms
tumble free in the wind...
changing clothes

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Oranges and Sardines interviews poets and artists

This is already a fascinating series of ongoing interviews. You can scroll to what is currently the second interview down to find mine by clicking HERE.

I hope more come in. Thanks again, Didi!

PS Mine's a lot further down than second now. I really enjoying reading these!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Poets/Writers How do you keep track of submissions?

Everybody does it in different ways, I would imagine. When you have only a few submissions/acceptances/rejections, a folder of paper works just fine..or did for me. Soon, the folder was filled with scribblings of what poems were rejected HERE and accepted THERE and I could make no sense of it.

About two years ago a friend set up an Excel file. Three tabs. Accepted. Rejected. Submitted. On each page is a place for poem name (or haiga jpg name), Journal submitted to, Year, date, and a column for extraneous information. When a reply comes to a submission, all I have to do is right click to the left of the line, highlighting it, choose 'cut' from the drop down menu, hit the accepted or the rejected tab, and right click to the left of a blank line, then paste. So easy!

Since these can be 'sorted' alphabetically, it's easier to double check on a poem before submitting, too.

What method do YOU use. Tell?


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tagged by Sam Rasnake

Okay, I was tagged by Sam Rasnake in his second meme (go to his blog to read his):

It goes as follows:

As an adult, the following selections have influenced or impacted me the most...

[These works may or may not be your favorites, and you may have first encountered them when you were much younger.]

the book:
Man and His Symbols by Jung, published by Dell

the film / network series:
Platoon, 1986, Directed by Oliver Stone

the music / spoken word recording:
Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B Minor (the first movement will send chills! Absolutely wondrous) You can hear a poor quality version of all of the movements HERE at Wikipedia (scroll to page bottom), but I would recommend listening to a good version of it if you can find one.

What are your choices?

I'm tagging Scot Young
and Russell Ragsdale..and anyone else who'd like to reply!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eric Clapton and Willie Nelson

All I can say is WOW to the blues guitar work on this video!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Poet of the Month: Chosen by Edward Nudelman

Edward Nudelman was gracious to choose my poem, Undertow, as July's poem of the month on his blog, along with a repost on his My Gather site. I'm posting the My Gather link since his link is at the bottom of that page.

Undertow is one of two poems I've written about my mother's death. It was published in the Boxcar Poetry Review last year, so I'm especially glad to see it appear again. What's interesting to me is to read Ed's indepth analysis of the poem. He did an excellent job of picking up the nuances I wanted to convey. I hope some of you will take time to follow the link and read it (the link opens in a new window).

Thank you, Ed!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Featured Poet: In The Fray

I'm featured poet for July in In The Fray, an interdisciplinary online journal that I like very much. My four poems are accompanied by the dazzling artwork of Mary Hillier, a poet I met on MySpace. Take a look and dabble in some other pages while you're there. You may well become a fan, too.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Today's my birthday...and my official birthday pic:-)

Taken with my webcam so it's not the best coloring. Click to enlarge. I'm now taking odds on whether my husband remembers a card. Forget betting on a gift. You'd lose:-) He's done that twice in 27 years together. Sigh.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where you can make a difference!

The following message was posted on a haiga multimedia group I belong to. My father was a school superintendant and my mother a first grade teacher so I knew more intimately than many, even then, how desparate schools are for basics. My mother often took in her own supplies for her classes each year, as did many other teachers. Here's a chance to help. Read Soji's message and bookmark the site until July 22, the deadline. You can vote three times a day and help one of these schools.

Soji's message....

I don't usually do this sort of thing, but I found this site
yesterday where the dicount retailer is sponsoring a contest for schools in need to win $10,000 towards paying for whatever they need. Each school presents a video and visitors to the site vote for the school they feel is most deserving. You get 3 votes a day thru July 22.My personal choice was Rowlesburg, West Virginia, I voted for them,and I am going to send a check to them when I get an address and a name. Here is the URL to check out the videos, and choose who
to vote for:
hot link at School Videos

This was an eye opening experience for me, I'm sure the teachers on this list can appreciate what's going on here, but I think it's sad
that in this country schools have to go begging for it's not
sad, it's pathetic and just plain wrong on so many levels. I'll stop at
at that.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

New CFIDS blog and forum

CFIDS stands for Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. Doctors who treat this illness and patients who have this illness (myself included) have long objected to the demeaning chronic fatigue part of the name of this illness which affects us neurologically in profound ways. Attempts are actively underway to change to a more suitable name. I realize that most of you who visit my blog don't have this illness and may not even know anyone with it, but if so, a new blog and forum have opened up with excellent information on treatment, supplements and established protocols. The forum also provides a place to post questions.

James Landerson contacted me about both of these and encourages those who are interested to visit! Thank you, James.

CFIDS blog


Both of the above are also in my links list to the right.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Scot Young interviews A.D. Winans

I got to know A.D. Winans on MySpace and we became friends. I admire his poetry and who he is as a person tremendously. Take time to read the following interview from Scott's blog. It's well worth your time.

Scott Young Interview With A.D. Winans

Thursday, July 03, 2008


I don't often post my haiku, but constant thunderstorms day and throughout the nights here in South Florida recently (and my dog, who's terrified of thunder) inspired this one.

the dog's face
                    in my face
pre-dawn thunderstorm

Sunday, June 29, 2008

An era gone forever?

Woodstock is probably the stuff of history books for most people these days. I wasn't at Woodstock, but this period of time runs in my blood. I don't think I've ever seen the passion for life, for involvement in politics, run as deeply since. Maybe part of it was Vietnam, a war driven by the draft, card burnings. Maybe it was women fighting for the rights to their own bodies, the bra burnings, Roe vs Wade. Maybe it was the music...Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin singing Ball &Chain with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Maybe it was the, at the time, scandalous productions of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy. Anyway, a taste of the people at Woodstock below, sent by a friend.

You've gotta love the hair and clothes in this!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

I got this message from a friend today and looked up this beautiful video. Having lived in Hawaii, then returned there once, the island still runs in my blood, even more so after watching this.

A portion of the letter:

I recorded Larry King last night and just watched it. They discussed Tim Russert's memorial service. I watched most of it. The song that played as everyone was leaving was "Over the Rainbow" by Iz, the Hawaiian singer who died at a young age from complications of obesity. His version of OTR was playing when I was in the airport in Honolulu getting ready to meet my husband. I have his CD with the recording. If you've never heard it, go to YouTUbe to different and really beautiful. Anyway...the amazing thing...and I just LOVE when things like this happen...Larry K talked about how they played OTR and then after the ceremony a huge full rainbow appeared...actually was partly a double rainbow. Wow! The same thing happened when we came back to TX after leaving HI. I was having so many mixed emotions, leaving the beauty of HI for HOT S. TX (it was Aug.) and a day or two after we got back we had a sun shower in the evening. I went outside for something and there was a double rainbow. I felt like it was just for me. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wanna hear a watermelon sing??:-)

A friend directed me to this performance of The Scissors Sisters and I admit, it's one of the more unusual vids I've seen.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Brian Campbell has something special for you!

See his Saturday, June 7, posting about Marie Chouinard. The post includes his write-up of her performance and a clip. A must read in my opinion. Thanks for sharing this, Brian!
Brian Campbell Blogspot

Friday, May 30, 2008

2-string bikini

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

...and what are you doing today wherever you are? How many of you have Vets in your family. Care to share anything about them?

My great-grandfather fought in the Civil War. When a buddy was dying, he asked my great- grandfather to deliver a letter to his sister after the war. W.B. did so, on foot, as many ex-soldiers traveled after that war. They courted and married. Only later did he discover that the letter was indeed a 'letter of recommendation' that his sister marry W.B. if she could...that he was a good man. And so he was.

W.B. and Anne seated, to your left. Mother is the towhead. Taken by a roving photographer.

My cousin 20 years older fought in World War II. His ship was hit and schrapnel hit his head. My mother and aunt said he was never the same after. Hard to tell how much was that and how much was war. He was killed by a drunk driver when he was 26. The irony.


My first husband was a junior officer on a supply ship off of Vietnam. They went up the river once and were shelled. Two men were killed and the ship badly battered. He came home safely and we married in Hawaii where I was already living and working. After two months he became restless, saying he didn't want to share his personal space with anyone but he'd made a vow and would keep it. Our marriage limped on for over five more years, but its death started that day. He meant what he said and never let me in emotionally again. The irony here is that I feel sure that deep inside he loved me for a long time, even after I finally left.

After the wedding in Hawaii

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Obama dances!

Youtube is filled with political speeches, videos name it. In this one Obama dances. Hey, he's pretty good.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Want to learn more about haiku?....haiga, tanka...

Robert Wilson interviews Jane Reichhold about haiku in Simply Haiku, just out.

Follows is an excerpt from that interview, found here. The entire issue is excellent!

RW: Some people in the English language haiku community espouse the belief that metaphors are an anathema to be avoided at all costs when writing haiku. Do you agree?

JR: Haiku is poetry and as poetry it uses poetical devices. Metaphor is one of the oldest techniques and the Japanese use, and used, it in their poetry in haiku form also. The huge and vital difference is the way the Japanese express their metaphors. It sometimes takes a while to understand how when two images are set side by side they are forming a metaphor or simile. Quoting from the Introduction:

Instead of saying "autumn dusk settles around us like a crow landing on a bare branch" Bashô would write:
a crow lands
on a bare branch
autumn dusk

The simplicity and economy of those words demand that the reader goes into his or her mind and experiences to explore the darkness of bird and night, autumn and bareness, and even how a branch could move as the dark weight of a crow presses it down. With a map of the reader's past he or she is writing the rest of the verse and making it poetry.
By following this example of simply juxtaposing the parts of the metaphor, English poetry has made great advances for which the Japanese never get the credit they deserve.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A beautiful gesture for CFIDS Awareness Day--May 12

I received the below email yesterday (printed in part below). The song is beautiful, as is the rest of her music. I highly recommend a visit to the link in the note below. Thank you again, Susan.

Today is CFIDS Awareness Day. Listen to her song. Google CFIDS. Visit my about me pageon my website to learn more.

Both my link and hers open in a new window.

Susan's note:

I've put up a song on my band's Myspace page related to living with undiagnosed CFIDS: (If it doesn't start playing immediately, click the "Everybody Knows
About Me" link.)

My aim in writing "Everybody Knows About Me" was twofold. First, I wanted people with CFIDS or similar invisible illnesses to feel they weren't alone -- that not everyone believes it's just hypochondria or laziness. Second, I wanted to make nonsufferers understand why it's silly to believe that CFIDS/other invisible illnesses are just hypochondria or laziness.

If you like the song, please give the link to your readers. The most important thing that can happen for people with CFIDS is a cure, or at least more effective treatment. But since I'm not a doctor or a medical researcher, the best I can do is try to help create an environment where voters think it's a good idea to fund CFIDS research at a higher level than hay fever.

Thanks for listening. I hope you like the song.


Susan Wenger

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cheek to Cheek (haiga)

Taken in the eighties of the then little girl next door. Click to see in larger size.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sharing a wonderful photographer.

Geoff Sanderson, an online friend of mine from Yorkshire, England, a wonderful photographer and haijun, just shared his daughter's slide site on Flickr. The apple didn't fall far from the tree. These are more than just photographs, in my opinion. They're art forms. She has an incredible feel for texture and color in her shooting. Take the time to look at even a few. You won't regret it.(Her user name is with the photos)

Click Here!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Chesapeake Bay: we continue to deplete our natural resources.

(photo taken in the Chesapeake is from THIS SITE. Click to enlarge. It's gorgeous)

THE MOMENT that Chesapeake Bay watermen had been dreading arrived Tuesday. Faced with a dire drop in the blue crab harvest, the governors of Maryland and Virginia announced sharp new limits on the volume of sooks (as female crabs, the ones generally used to make crab cakes, are known) that can be taken from the bay's waters. The new rules mean that inevitably, and through little fault of their own, some watermen will be driven out of business and out of the only way of life they have known.

Read the rest of the article from The Washington Post HERE

Personl Note: I spent a month in the Chesapeake Bay on my sailboat trip in the late seventies. The Bay hadn't yet been polluted by population overgrowth and unaffordable condos all along the once gorgeous shores and harbors. The upper bay was in trouble with water pollution but steps were being taken already to clean things. Anyone in a small boat could crab and we did just that while anchored at St Michaels. What confuses me is that NO female crabs could be kept. You faced a stiff fine if found with one on your boat, whether private or commercial. The law made good sense. The females were responsible for keeping the Bay populated and crabs were plentiful then.

It seems that somewhere along the line the laws changed...or perhaps more lenient laws were in effect with a commercial liscense that the general public wasn't told about. Females have a distinctive red marking on their bellies, however, and I never saw any in restaurants or stores that sold crab. Sometimes we think the planet will provide for us forever. I think not.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Amnesty video

A friend sent this. Powerful and well done.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A photographic story telling session:-)

Geoff Sanderson, a photographer friend of mine from Yorkshire, England, and I were emailing about a particular digital effect on one of my images, so we started talking about how I used to create montages in my Boston, pre-computer days, with an old enlarger using my bathroom as my darkroom.

This is part of what I wrote him:

I learned that when I would shine half of a negative onto developing paper(blocking the half with a cardboard with torn edges that I kept moving slightly to avoid a straight line there...then reversed the negative or put in another and did the same with the cardboard from the other side, I got my montage. It was hit and miss since you don't know what you have until it goes into the solution, but I got a few neat ones. I still have one I haven't lost. I'll hold it up to my webcam and send it from there. I was really lucky in lining up those bricks unseen.

My shot (click to enlarge):

I found this little story from Geoff this morning, thought it was delightful and asked his permission to post it.

Geoff's reply:

Yes, that was a brilliant piece of montage, alright! There's a story in that picture, though!



A poor but beautiful young girl was seduced by a rich businessman, and became pregnant. In the usual course of time, she gave birth to twin boys. A few months later one of the babies became ill and had to go into hospital. One day the girl was walking through the streets, holding her other son, when she came face-to-face with her seducer as he was getting out of his car. He was startled to see her with the baby and, not being a heartless man, fell into conversation with her. He arranged to meet her later at her small room in a poor part of town.

He told the girl that his wife was unable to conceive, and that he would adopt the boy and bring him up as his own. He was unaware that the child had a brother, the girl having concealed the fact from him. His only stipulation was that the girl renounce all rights to the child, and never attempt to see him again; in return, he would educate the boy and bring him to inherit his business empire, and would give the girl sufficient money to be able to live comfortably for many years. After much soul-searching, the young mother agreed.

The sick baby made a good recovery, and the girl took him to live in a town a thousand miles away from where he was born. Her money enabled her to start a small dress-shop, and take on a girl to help her with the baby. She soon found that she had a natural flair for business and an eye for street fashion, and her shop flourished. Soon she opened another shop, then another, and business was booming. In a few years, she owned a chain of fashion stores, with her own brand of accessories and perfume. She was able to give the boy a good education, and he gained a place in the top business school in the country.

Her son proved that he had inherited both his mother's flair for commerce, and his unknown father's sound financial ability. He took over the management of the fashion chain, while his mother concentrated on the artistic direction. Under his direction, the business grew to a point where it became unwieldy as a family-owned enterprise, and they decided to launch it on the stock market and thus gain the injection of capital necessary for expansion.

In the intervening years, the other boy had prospered under his father's tutelage, and had been become vice-president of their investment company. His particular flair was to buy into young, up-and-coming quoted companies, acquire a big enough share of the capital to give him a seat on the board, then use his financial acumen to take the business to even greater heights. Always on the look-out for such businesses, his attention was attracted to a chain of fashion stores down in the south which was soon to go public.

The usual feelers were put out, using intermediaries who specialised in such deals and, when the fashion chain was launched on the exchange, his company bought as many shares as they could get hold of. As often happened to newly-quoted companies, the share price sank over the first year, and his firm was able to buy sufficient stock to become the majority holder, after the original owners.

It thus became necessary for the principals of both business to meet and discuss intentions and strategy. Both these young men had built their success on sound, down-to-earth attitudes, eschewing the outward show of luxury. So it came about that the meeting took place in the rather shabby business district of a midland city where they both happened to be interested in some property. Leaving their cars behind, they both strode out down the street to the meeting that was to change their lives for ever ...

Story by Geoff Sanderson, illustration by Pris Campbell. April 2008.

(Don't we 'got fun', as the song goes:-)