Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Well, the cold of the season has me pinned!

I went to my doctor for the stomach virus I had and caught this bug. The irony, eh? I'll be back and, in the meantime, read my post on my book. I'm still excited about that. Off to nurse my sore throat and sinuses back to health for a few days.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sea Trails, my first full length poetry/prose book is out!

I'm excited. My latest book is in print and IS NOW available for sale!

A few comments about the book:

Pris Campbell's latest collection of poetry, SEA TRAILS, is now available from Lummox and Amazon.com. This 100 page collection details a cruise Pris took in 1977 aboard a 22 foot sloop called Little Adventure, down the east coast from Mass. to Florida. The book includes Log Entries from the trip as well as charts and other interesting tidbits. It also includes poetry from one of the best poets active in the small press and online, to date. Copies are available on the Lummox site for only $15 plus postage and on Amazon. EBook copies are available in PDF format for $7. Email Lummox for more info. If you like to sail, enjoy good poetry, and still wear those vagabond shoes, you'll enjoy this book.
Lummox Press Release
(Note: At Amazon search under both the book title and my name to find it)

“We never see things in themselves, only things as they appear to our own particular sensibilities, moods, and associations. Nowhere is that clearer than in poetry, and nowhere in poetry is that clearer than in Pris Campbell’s new book, Sea Trails. Part travelogue and part poetic narrative, the book brilliantly counter-poses poetic revelations of the speaker as she moves from “in love” to “out of love” and prose descriptions of a journey down the American East Coast, including details of the physical workings of the journey and of the landscapes which sustain her. An emotional, sensual, and visceral joy to read.”

~Scott Owens

How interesting to actually see the source of inspiration from which Pris Campbell riffs in this fascinating collection. A master at the construction of tightly woven narratives, her work is like the boat itself upon which the reader sails along beside her on this incredible journey.
Carter Monroe

Pris handed me a one of her pre-release copies yesterday. I'm not a big reader but I love boating. I couldn't put the book down even when my bedtime came. I'm already rereading it and am telling all of my friends they have to read it, too.
Denise Ruthersford, long-time boater

Order from Lummox at www.lummoxpress.com.

***If you want to pay by money order rather than paypal, click on the link to my book on the Lummox site for mailing costs.***

Money orders should be made out to Lummox Press. Send to:

c/o PO Box 5301
San Pedro, CA 90733.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Amelia, a beautiful song by Joni Mitchell

I was driving across the burning desert
When I spotted six jet planes
Leaving six white vapor trails across the bleak terrain
It was the hexagram of the heavens
It was the strings of my guitar
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

The drone of flying engines
Is a song so wild and blue
It scrambles time and seasons if it gets thru to you
Then your life becomes a travelogue
Of picture-post-card-charms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

People will tell you where they've gone
They'll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself you never really know
Where some have found their paradise
Others just come to harm
Oh Amelia, it was just a false alarm

I wish that he was here tonight
Its so hard to obey
His sad request of me to kindly stay away
So this is how I hide the hurt
As the road leads cursed and charmed
I tell Amelia, it was just a false alarm

A ghost of aviation
She was swallowed by the sky
Or by the sea, like me she had a dream to fly
Like Icarus ascending
On beautiful foolish arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

Maybe I've never really loved
I guess that is the truth
Ive spent my whole life in clouds at icy altitude
And looking down on everything
I crashed into his arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

I pulled into the cactus tree motel
To shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust
I dreamed of 747s
Over geometric farms
Dreams, Amelia, dreams and false alarms

Monday, September 14, 2009

And Death Shall Have No Dominion by Dylan Thomas, a poem I really love.

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This excellent article was posted by CFSWarrier Blog

Thanks again, Terri, for posting this. It's very helpful. Readers will find a link to CFSWarrier in my list of active blogs at the very bottom of my right-hand column.

A View From Outside: How To Help A Person with CFIDS (PWC)

by Jean Mosher, R.N.

Twenty-five years ago I was working as a private duty nurse, and it was at this time I met a family member of one of my patients. She was very energetic and involved with life and is the most creative person I know.

As I recall, she had been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis and other assorted illnesses. Nothing was clear-cut and no definitive diagnosis was made for a very long time. It took some 12 years for that to happen.

As our friendship grew and I learned more about her medical history, I heard of the disease that was then called Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus, now referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS) or Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS). Although Iam the nurse, I have learned a lot from my friend, now supposedly "the patient."

Observations About Energy: "Talking Hurts"
CFIDS is an all-encompassing and all-consuming disease. I hear about and have seen the consequences of brain dysfunction and the inability to comprehend simple information. Ordinary tasks in cluding walking can be very arduous for a person with CFIDS (PWC). It is not at all unusual to lose muscle strength and fall at any time. I have seen this in my friend. I hear that energy is very valuable, almost a gold standard for these patients. The energy it takes to even talk on the telephone is not easy, complicated by the persistent sore throat. Talking hurts. There are sleep disturbances. Going to bed does not mean "going to sleep." I hear of nights that no sleep was possible or, more usual, finally getting to sleep about 6 a.m. She also has times where her sleep is disturbed and can wake every couple of hours. After sleeping 10, 12, or even 14 hours, she still is exhausted. Sleep studies seemingly have documented this disturbance but relief does not seem to be within her easy grasp.

Finding a time to visit a person with CFIDS also is difficult. If the person has some energy, it may be more important, as they prioritize their time, for them to take a shower, feed themselves, do laundry, when possible, or see doctors. Social interplay takes work. Perhaps only one or two requirements for daily living can be accomplished and the remainder put off for a later date. I have found that people who are that ill usually do not use energy to make telephone calls for help, for they are too debilitated and are in bed.

A busy week for my friend would be to have three days outside the home, perhaps taken up with medical appointments. The rest of the week she is in bed. A good day would be to have enough energy to accomplish something for a two-, three-, or (pushing) a four-hour period in one day, including eating a meal and the preparation that goes with it. There are times my friend is too ill to eat, because as she explains it, it takes too much energy to prepare meals. Money is tight—and fast or prepared foods not an option.

Times of the year are also very important for my friend. The amount of sun and the temperature of the day have significant repercussions, as do the sudden barometric pressure changes. She does better when it is warmer and there is more light; she suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder. This seems to aggravate the CFIDS symptoms.

What Friends and Family Can Do
How to help as an outsider? To help a person with CFIDS is not to say: "Call me if you need me." That call most likely won't come. No energy to reach out. To help is to enable independence, recognizing that every motion is energy and little energy is available. Doing shopping, picking up prescriptions, doing an errand, making a meal are all valuable aids for anyone with CFIDS. Even offer to change a bed or clean. Help make phone calls, mail a letter, or offer to fill in forms when necessary; any little thing to a well person is a mountain to climb for a PWC.

It took time before I understood the brain dysfunction. At first I felt rejected, especially when my calls were not returned. I was looking at the relationship from my own perspective. I made a call; I expected a return call. I was a slow learner, but eventually, I came to understand when my friend would say she couldn't process information. Her brain had effectively shut down and she knew what she was talking about. There have been many times she was too ill to speak on the phone. I learned to respect that and now check with her when we settle into a conversation. Sometimes it will start out fine, and a few minutes into it, she can't follow all the details and will tell me she "can't compute." I have learned this is part of the process of the illness and no longer take it personally. I have also learned to listen to her and realize that as much as I may need to talk, I will wear her out and she will not hear anything. She will call me when she has the energy. Our friendship is not a one-way street, but a crooked road I have learned to negotiate.

Navigating The Crooked Road
Over time, I have come to understand the language of CFIDS. Everything seems to be mea­sured in energy units. When I tell my friend of how many miles I have walked to get some­where, she is exhausted just relating to it. I would suggest that others be sensitive to CFIDS lifestyles and the need for flexibility. PWCs do not always know when they wake up what the day will hold for them. Their lifestyle has been dramatically affected, if they have a life at all. I have worked with cancer patients, and I see them doing better than the CFIDS patients I know. Still, while this illness may put limitations on my friend, our honest communication has not diminished our friendship, or the essence of her.

To be a friend, I call regularly. I understand that if I get the answering machine, my friend can either be out, or out of it. Our mutual under standing is that she doesn't have to feel pres sured into returning my calls, and I want her to know I call to check in so she knows someone cares.

Be a friend to a CFIDS patient. It is worth the work. It takes flexibility, understanding, and patience, but it is worth it. It is not enough to be willing to help, you must act on that willingness. These are not dispensable people, but rather people who cannot be dispensed with. The spirit of a person never really leaves them, whatever their physical condition, and if the friendship is built on that and on love, you've got a winner.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Oranges and Sardines Self Portrait Issue is out!

Go HERE to read the issue in a new window.

Lots of poets in this issue many of you will recognize, and I have a couple of poems in here, too.

Enjoy! Hard copies will be available in about a week on Amazon.


Thursday, September 03, 2009


I've been at a real loss recently about what to post on my blog. Increasing numbers of journals won't accept any poems that appeared online anywhere, which still frustrates me since online is where many first found my writing. My blog posts on myspace were the reason two of my first poetry books were published as well as the reason for invitations to submit. Talk about a catch 22.

I'm not a poetry reviewer. I do that occasionally, but..

What I really enjoy is posting music, but that takes more time than most people want to spend on a blog.

Right now I'm thinking about posting one youtube a week that I think is of special merit and posting any other odd and sundry things that may come up inbetween.

Like some photos or published haiga.

You'll know when I do:-)