Archives for posts with tag: photographer

Image
THE GEESE
by Jane Mead

slicing this frozen sky know
where they are going—
and want to get there.

Their call, both strange
and familiar, calls
to the strange and familiar

heart, and the landscape
becomes the landscape
of being, which becomes

the bright silos and snowy
fields over which the nuanced
and muscular geese

are calling—while time
and the heart take measure.

PHOTO: “Snow Geese over New Melle, Missouri” by Bill Tiepelman. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

Image ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jane Mead is the author of four poetry collections. Her poems have been published widely in anthologies and journals and she is the recipient of grants and awards from the Whiting, Guggenheim, and Lannan Foundations. For many years, she served as Poet-in-Residence at Wake Forest University. She now farms in Northern California and teaches in the Drew University low-residency MFA program in Poetry and Poetry in Translation. Her latest collection is Money Money Money Water Water Water (Alice James Books, 2014), available at Amazon.com.

Image
CALENDARS
by Jim Harrison

Back in the blue chair in front of the green studio

another year has passed, or so they say, but calendars lie.

They’re a kind of cosmic business machine like

their cousin clocks but break down at inopportune times.

Fifty years ago I learned to jump off the calendar

but I kept getting drawn back on for reasons

of greed and my imperishable stupidity.

Of late I’ve escaped those fatal squares

with their razor-sharp numbers for longer and longer.

I had to become the moving water I already am,

falling back into the human shape in order

not to frighten my children, grandchildren, dogs and friends.

Our old cat doesn’t care. He laps the water where my face used to be.
***
“Calendars” appears iin Jim Harrison’s collection In Search of Small Gods (Copper Canyon Press, 2006), available at Amazon.com.

PHOTO: “Cat in birdbath” by Jim Vansant. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

Image
MARCHING
by Jim Harrison

At dawn I heard among bird calls
the billions of marching feet in the churn
and squeak of gravel, even tiny feet
still wet from the mother’s amniotic fluid,
and very old halting feet, the feet
of the very light and very heavy, all marching
but not together, criss-crossing at every angle
with sincere attempts not to touch, not to bump
into each other, walking in the doors of houses
and out the back door forty years later, finally
knowing that time collapses on a single
plateau where they were all their lives,
knowing that time stops when the heart stops
as they walk off the earth into the night air.
***
“Marching” appears in Jim Harrison’s collection Saving Daylight (Copper Canyon Press, 2006), available at Amazon.com.

PHOTO: “Footprints” by Tom Gowanlo. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

Image
TRYING TO NAME WHAT DOESN’T CHANGE
by Naomi Shihab Nye 

Roselva says the only thing that doesn’t change   
is train tracks. She’s sure of it.
The train changes, or the weeds that grow up spidery   
by the side, but not the tracks.
I’ve watched one for three years, she says,
and it doesn’t curve, doesn’t break, doesn’t grow.
 
Peter isn’t sure. He saw an abandoned track
near Sabinas, Mexico, and says a track without a train   
is a changed track. The metal wasn’t shiny anymore.   
The wood was split and some of the ties were gone.
 
Every Tuesday on Morales Street
butchers crack the necks of a hundred hens.   
The widow in the tilted house
spices her soup with cinnamon.
Ask her what doesn’t change.
 
Stars explode.
The rose curls up as if there is fire in the petals.   
The cat who knew me is buried under the bush.
 
The train whistle still wails its ancient sound   
but when it goes away, shrinking back
from the walls of the brain,
it takes something different with it every time.
***
“Trying to Name What Doesn’t Change” appears in Naomi Shihab Nye’s collection Words Under the Words: Selected Poems (Far Corner Books, 1995).

PHOTO: “Train Tracks, Mexico” by James Maher, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. To see more of the photographer’s work, visit  jamesmaherphotography.com.

Image
CANYON DE CHELLY
by Simon J. Ortiz

Lie on your back on stone
the stone carved to fit
the shape of yourself.
Who made it like this,
knowing that I would be along
in a million years and look
at the sky being blue forever?

My son is near me. He sits
and turns on his butt
and crawls over to stones,
picks one up and holds it,
and then puts it in his mouth.
The taste of stone.
What is it but stone,
the earth in your mouth.
You, son, are tasting forever.

We walk to the edge of a cliff
and look down into the canyon.
On this side, we cannot see
the bottom cliffedge but looking
further out, we see fields,
sand furrows, cottonwoods.
In winter, they are softly gray,
The cliffs’ shadows are distant,
hundreds of feet below;
we cannot see our own shadows,
The wind moves softly into us,
My son laughs with the wind;
he gasps and laughs.

We find gray root, old wood,
so old, with curious twists
in it, curving back into curves,
juniper, pinon, or something
with hard, red berries in spring.
You taste them, and they are sweet
and bitter, the berries a delicacy
for bluejays. The plant rooted
fragilely in a sandy place
by a canyon wall, the sun bathing
shiny, pointed leaves.
My son touches the root carefully,
aware of its ancient quality.
He lays his soft, small fingers on it
and looks at me for information.
I tell him: wood, an old root,
and around it, the earth, ourselves.

NOTE: Canyon de Chelly National Monument was established on April 1, 1931 as a unit of the National Park Service. It is located in northeastern Arizona within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. Reflecting one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, it preserves ruins of the early indigenous tribes that lived in the area, including the Ancient Pueblo Peoples (also called Anasazi) and Navajo. The monument covers 83,840 acres and encompasses the floors and rims of the three major canyons: de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument. These canyons were cut by streams with headwaters in the Chuska mountains just to the east of the monument. None of the land is federally owned. In 2009, Canyon de Chelly National Monument was recognized as one of the most-visited national monuments in the United States. (SOURCE: wikipedia.org.)

PHOTO: “Canyon de Chelly” by Ansel Adams (1941)

Image
NEW YEAR’S HAIKU
by Jane Reichhold

New Year’s Day
between clouds the sun
a bright beginning. 

PHOTO: “Golden Sky” by Ana Pontes, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at etsy.com.

Image

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” E.L. DOCTOROW

Photo: “Rain Forest in Paris” by Eole Wind

Image
THE WAY THE LEAVES KEEP FALLING
by Linda Pastan

It is November
and morning — time to get to work.
I feel the little whip
of my conscience flick
as I stand at the window watching
the great harvest of leaves.
Across the street my neighbor,
his leaf blower already roaring,
tries to make order
from the chaos of fading color.
He seems brave and a bit foolish.
It is almost tidal, the way
the leaves keep falling
wave after wave to earth.

In Eden there were
no seasons, and sometimes
I think it was the tidiness
of that garden
Eve hated, all the wooden tags
with the new names of plants and trees.
Still, I am Adam’s child too
and I like order, though
the margins of my poems
are ragged, and I stand here
all morning watching the leaves.

Credit: “The Way the Leaves Keep Falling” appears in Linda Pastan‘s collection Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 (W.W. Norton & Co., 1999). Find the book at Amazon.com.

Photo: “Falling red maple leaves, Boone County, Missouri” From the postcard book: Sierra Club Nature in Close-Up. ©Gay Bumgarner,1988, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Contact the photographer at her website gaybumgarner.comFind the 160-page book at Amazon here.

Image

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda Pastan has published at least 12 books of poetry and a number of essays. Her awards include the Dylan Thomas Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award (Poetry Society of America), the Bess Hokin Prize (Poetry Magazine), the 1986 Maurice English Poetry Award (for A Fraction of Darkness), the Charity Randall Citation of the International Poetry Forum, and the 2003 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Two of her collections of poems were nominated for the National Book Award and one for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. From 1991–1995 she was Poet Laureate of Maryland. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

bert_kaufman
IN NOVEMBER
By Lisel Mueller

Outside the house the wind is howling
and the trees are creaking horribly.
This is an old story
with its old beginning,
as I lay me down to sleep.
But when I wake up, sunlight
has taken over the room.
You have already made the coffee
and the radio brings us music
from a confident age. In the paper
bad news is set in distant places.
Whatever was bound to happen
in my story did not happen.
But I know there are rules that cannot be broken.
Perhaps a name was changed.
A small mistake. Perhaps
a woman I do not know
is facing the day with the heavy heart
that, by all rights, should have been mine.

PHOTO: “Autumn Trees” by Bert Kaufman.

Image

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lisel Mueller was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1924 and immigrated to America at the age of 15. She graduated from the University of Evansville (Indiana) in 1944 and has taught at the University of Chicago, Elmhurst College in Illinois, and Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Mueller currently resides in a retirement community in Chicago. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

 

Image
SOLITUDE LATE AT NIGHT IN THE WOODS
by Robert Bly

The body is like a November birch facing the full moon
And reaching into the cold heavens.
In these trees there is no ambition, no sodden body, no leaves,
Nothing but bare trunks climbing like cold fire!
 
My last walk in the trees has come.  At dawn
I must return to the trapped fields,
To the obedient earth.
The trees shall be reaching all the winter.
 
It is a joy to walk in the bare woods.
The moonlight is not broken by the heavy leaves.
The leaves are down, and touching the soaked earth,
Giving off the odor that partridges love.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Bly (born1926) is an American poet, author, activist and leader of the mythopoetic men’s movement. His most commercially successful book to date was Iron John: A Book About Men (1990), a key text of the mythopoetic men’s movement, which spent 62 weeks on the The New York Times Best Seller list. He won the 1968National Book Award for Poetry for his book The Light Around the Body. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

PHOTO: “Full moon rising through birch tree forest” by Paul Pluskwik, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.