Archives for posts with tag: Musings

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GAUGUIN AND BONNARD
by Judy Longley

There is a formula which fits painting perfectly:
many little lies to create a great truth. BONNARD

The first lie that you’re dying, here
where a goddess holds up the sky,
where a young she-goat extends a hot pink tongue,
tastes mango juice dribbling from your chin,
slanted eyes neutral as the dark-skinned woman’s
who shoos her away, wipes your face with a napkin.
The second that this violent chrome-yellow sand
reflects the sun, absorbs the dark repose
of other women, waiting, their gaze constant
as the ocean lapping its way toward France,
the family you left, your goat-eyed daughter,
Bonnard at his easel.

In his garden, Bonnard paints Marthe, his wife,
her body supple, self-absorbed
as the cats weaving between his legs.
Unable to believe he finds mystery
in that bourgeous life you hated, you assume
a familiar guise, place split hoof
on terrace step, one visible leg
curved, graceful below the cantilevered
hip, Bonnard’s face quizzical, cocked
toward your goatish grin
as though one of his animals, half-turned man,
astonished him with speech.

Questions you imposed on a Tahitian paradise,
on the women you wanted to worship,
Bonnard answers with the clear ardor of wine,
the expected loaf complacent as a cat
on a pink-striped cloth. Finally
that below this lawn a river
sweeps this moment away, cattle
grazing on the other bank, while Marthe,
rising from green that threatens to engulf her,
pale skin framed and shaded by palms,
crooks one arm toward you, in her hand a peach.

SOURCE: Poetry (July 1990).

IMAGE (left): “Self-Portrait with the Idol” by Paul Gauguin (1893).

IMAGE (right): Self-Portrait by Pierre Bonnard (1889).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Judy Longley  has published four books of poetry, including A Woman Divided: Poems Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe (2007). Her poems have appeared many publications, including Poetry, Paris Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She served as poetry editor for Iris: A Journal About Women (University of Virginia) and Tough Times Companion (Virginia Foundation for the Humanities). She lives in Virginia.

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celebrate half
by dirk velvet

at half
is life
that came

at half
is life
to come?

to wait full year
to celebrate
is merely half wisdom

IMAGE: “Langlois Bridge at Arles” by Vincent van Gogh (1888).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: dirk velvet is a poet/writer of songs from Muskego, Wisconsin. His writing has been featured in Beggars and Cheeseburgers, Pearl, Re)verb, Nerve Cowboy, and Milwaukee Renaissance.

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NEW DAY
by Jocelyn Mosman

The clock strikes midnight;
sunrise marks a new day:
a new attempt to make the world right,
another morning to waste away.

The clock strikes noon;
the sun reaches its lofty climax:
aged wisdom approaches too soon,
another afternoon heat does tax.

The clock strikes nine;
the sun sets on hazy skies:
age wrinkles the face of time,
guilt jabs with angry lies.

The clock strikes midnight, I confessed,
as two days, old and new, are laid to rest.

IMAGE: “Japanese Bridge and Water Lillies” by Claude Monet (1899). Clock available at zazzle.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jocelyn Mosman is a student at Mount Holyoke College, majoring in English and Politics. She is an active member of the Northampton Poetry group, the Poetry Society of Texas, and the founder of the West Texas Poets. She has been published in various anthologies and magazines, including Drunk Monkeys, Decanto, and Cum Laude Weekly. She has also published her own poetry book, Soul Music, and her second book, Soul Painting, arrived on July 1, 2014.

Author photo by Nadine’s Photography.

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THE BRIDGE
By Jacque Stukowski

Spanning across the great divide is a bridge that joins you and me

The sign says, “Bridge Out—No Trespassing” but I take the risk anyway

Over loose beams and broken tressels, cautiously rebuilding as I go

The further I am from the safety of my own shoreline,
the more my heart beats

Looking down through broken wood the dark rushing water below,
I can taste the fear so palpable in my mouth I just want to turn back

But I know I must continue my work, using great caution as I patch up these
broken beams

There’s risk if I turn back or move on but I choose to keep bending the nails
and mending the splintered boards of our love

As I finally reach the middle of our bridge
I look up from bended knee and there you are staring back at me

With hammer in hand and on shaky knees I can see,
you that you’ve rebuilt your side and come to join with me

So we join together, there in the middle of our bridge once so broken neither one could cross over

Together with renewed hope, we stand there in the silence

Reveling in each other new effort to do the hard work and repair
Knowing now and forevermore, that our bridge needs constant and frequent care

But it takes us both,
Meeting here in the middle or it will undoubtedly crumble and fall

So we walk hand in hand, crossing over to the other side

Reunited once again, crossing that chasm that was once so deep and wide

IMAGE: “The Bridge,” photograph by Jacque Stukowski

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jacque Stukowski‘s blog God[isms] is her personal space to vent and share stories of growth through life’s ups and downs living with BP and ADHD. It’s a place where her writing and photos collide with spirituality, a dash of 12 steps, and a sprinkle of the daily trials of being a Christian wife, mother of two boys, and a full-time graphic designer. She frequently uses metaphors and symbolism to connect the reader to real life things in nature to convey the message she’s writing about. Her poem “Grey (doesn’t always) Matter” appeared in the Silver Birch Press May Poetry Anthology (2014).

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BEHIND THE DRAPES
by Roz Levine

Every Saturday night
As a middle school kid
I tucked my ugly self
Between two layers
Of living room drapes
Peeked from the window
Watched romance unfold
As beautiful Rosalie
With her beautiful blonde hair
Placed her arms around the neck
Of her beautiful blonde boyfriend
They pressed one beautiful body
Against the perfect symmetry
Of another beautiful body
Kissed and kissed and kissed
While I stared from behind drapes
Wondered if anyone, anywhere
Would love me like that.

IMAGE: “The French Window at Nice” by Henri Matisse (1919).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Roz Levine is a Los Angeles poet who has written poems since the age of eight. After retiring several years ago, writing became her number-one passion. Words have helped her navigate cancer and helped her maintain her sanity in a not-so-sane world. Her work has been published in various venues, including On The Bus, Forever in Love, Deliver Me, The Sun, Pulse, Cultural Weekly, and Poetry Superhighway.

Author photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

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HALVED SANITY
by Sheikha A.

It is France in my head;

I hear the madman by the bridge
percolating the stillness of night
with a quivering on his enfeebled lips,
a language puerile as he sings
his chanson of the departed ages,
a day not too old, a week nubile,
as the months roll on like weeds
in a sprightly pond of lotus-greens.

I hear the echoes cradling the bridge,
the lost anchors of a time ill spent,
the madman’s voice a lust for life,
like a nightbird that sings her story
to the moon – he sings for flight.

Harmony is settled deep in the lungs
of the night’s coquetry, clouds release
their scents across the sleeping river
resting into the charms of an unknown
prophecy;

it is France in all of my senses,

the music of the madman consummates
the transience surrounding me, I know
by the letters I write on walls, there is
a gondola to take me across, two hundred
days closer to the edge of the river’s bend.

Without tarrying, I rush to the moon
before the days treble ahead further,
the madman’s voice strong, I write
about the ravines of voids I’ve hiked,
across terrains of solitude I’ve traipsed,
before the days expire on my untold story;

halved of the time bold in its fleeing,
I write about the madman – robbed
of death, deserted by life.

IMAGE: “Ile de France, Paris” by Pont Neuf Paris Art. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Everyone goes through a midlife-crisis moment once in their lives at least. In my case, I feel I may have already visited the syndrome quite a few times. Sometimes there is no reasoning to writing poetry, just a whimsy muse that must release in the form of ink on paper. My creative processes are likewise – no reasoning, just writing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sheikha A. currently lives in Karachi, Pakistan, after moving from the United Arab Emirates — and she believes the transition has definitely stimulated a different tunnel of thought. With publication credits in magazines such as Red Fez, American Diversity Report, Open Road Review, Mad Swirl, Danse Macabre du Jour, Rose Red Review, The Penmen Review, among many others, as well as several anthologies, she has also authored a poetry collection entitled Spaced, published by Hammer and Anvil Books. She edits poetry for eFiction India.

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HALF WAY
by Adrian Manning

half way
half way through, half way gone
where did it go? what happened
while I was not paying attention
people have gone, memories remain
memories have gone, people remain
half way from the brink
half way to the brink
half way from sanity
half way from insanity
half full, half empty
half way
it’s gone, it’s still to come

IMAGE: “Waterloo Bridge, London” by Claude Monet (1903).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrian Manning hails from Leicester, England, where he writes poems and is editor of Concrete Meat Press. His poetry appears in the Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology (August 2014) and the Silver Birch Press Noir Poetry Anthology (December 2014).

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HALF YEAR BEING HALF A MAN
by Christopher P.P. White 

In the night’s most embarrassing moments—
I am flat out and full of booze.
The garden furniture is soaked and muddy,
Covered in dead leaves
And empty champagne glasses that haven’t been washed.
Formally full of bubbles—
Now full of rain water and austerity.

Luckily I lie in my warm bed,
With the girl that shared the night
And the laughs with me,
Looking back on half a year of nothing
And looking forward to half a year
And more
Of everything.

I’ve never proposed before
And thanks to her,
I’ll never have to again.
The Beatles were right:
All you need is love.

IMAGE: “The Beatles enjoy champagne” (1960s).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christopher P. P. White is a poet that explores every facet of this mortal coil with a mind doused in cynicism and hope. He lives in Derby, England, with his wife and two daughters, with dreams of writing for a living because he can’t do anything else. He already has two poetry collections out there called The Bare Bones of a Melancholy Life and Higher Powers and Moments of Weakness and hopes that you’ll hunt them down and read them until your full of joy and pain. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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MY “MIDDLE” BLUE EARTH
by Jacque Stukowski

In the middle of me
you’ll find my “middle” blue earth

Silent and cool like the calm crystal clear indigo blue waters of the seas in my mind

White wispy clouds float against a sapphire sky

Calm and quiet i sit here alone in my mind—in the eye of my storm

The rest of me swirling and spinning
in a whirlwind of daily routines and hurricane of chaos that is my life

When I need a reprieve from the days
thunderclaps and driving rains

I often retreat to the indigo space of my “middle” blue earth

A place where It’s ok to feel the blueness in me

Where cool jazz of Chet Baker, Stan Getz, or Dave Brubeck’s “Blue Moon” often play

Swaying in a dream-like trance
to the rhythms of jazz and the sweet, intoxicating smells from my fields of grape hyacinths wafting through the air

Flying carefree through the swirling midnight blue skies of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”

Past the twinkling yellow stars and reflections as they dance playfully on waters below.

Other days, I may just sit, somber and silent like the sad, gunmetal blue man from Picasso’s “Blue guitar.”

Or curled up on my chaise longue
grinning like a Cheshire cat, as I read Emily Dickinson’s “The Moon” for the millionth time.

It’s in this “middle” you’ll find me,
The me that lives inside. The me I don’t let others see but once in a blue moon.

Robed in all the shades of blue, from royal, to peacock, and to indigo.

Here in the coolness of my hues
is where you’ll find the real me

Wrapped up safe and sound and
surrounded in the blues of the flowers, writing, music, and artwork that I love so much

Here is where you’ll find me, in the world of my “middle” blue earth.

IMAGE: “Meditation” by Odilon Redon (1840-1916).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jacque Stukowski‘s blog God[isms] is her personal space to vent and share stories of growth through life’s ups and downs living with BP and ADHD. It’s a place where her writing and photos collide with spirituality, a dash of 12 steps, and a sprinkle of the daily trials of being a Christian wife, mother of two boys, and a full-time graphic designer. She frequently uses metaphors and symbolism to connect the reader to real life things in nature to convey the message she’s writing about. Her poem “Grey (doesn’t always) Matter” appeared in the Silver Birch Press May Poetry Anthology (2014).

BirdCity
where the grass grows
by Mark Erickson

forever starling in the darkness
soaring high and settling for the low hills
fortunes eyes on the farthest
lands off the western slopes
in the gallery of the windmills,
five days spent in the wilds
almost half way there
lost in the savage memory of the sun
where she walks the streets
still graceful in her beauty,
along the shadowed light
it’s always been the same old story
in the coolness of the gray
and the frightful coming of night,
the last time I saw the birds
they were circling above
scratching for the words
that I could never think of

IMAGE: “Bird City,” mixed media on canvas (24″ x 24″) by Mark Erickson (2008), ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Artist/author Mark Erickson was born in Hollywood, California, and lives along the West Coast of United States. After growing up in Hollywood, his family moved to Germany and then onto Italy. Living in Europe for almost six years opened his eyes to art and words. On his return to the States, he settled in the Bay Area to study painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and the San Francisco Art Academy. Mark paints in his studio in Oakland and exhibits in galleries around the U.S. He continues writing poetry and short stories that often provide inspiration for his paintings. Mark has self-published numerous books on painting, photography and poetry in collaboration with Katy Zartl of Katworks Graphics in Vienna, Austria. He is presently working on a book, An Aviator’s Dream–The Man From Painted Woods, a tribute to his father’s Air Corp exploits in World War II. You can view Mark’s work at  markerickson.com.

IMAGE: Self-portrait by Mark Erickson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED