Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

System request: An Impressionist painting of a robot in a garden, smelling a flower.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

― William Blake

* * *

Robot, garden, flower.
In collaboration with DALL-E.

Read Full Post »

I may have committed a little Wordle poetry with lunch.

Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash

Read Full Post »

It is Canada Day today and I am wearing a red and white beaver shirt and my Tilley hat and we’ve just come back from a long walk through the wild and glorious suburbs of Ottawa. Now I’m going to use the strawberry syrup I made from local berries for a strawberry lime freeze because it is hot and muggy.

I’ll leave you with the start of a poem about this great country; click through the link to read more.

Canada by Billy Collins | Poetry Foundation

I am writing this on a strip of white birch bark

that I cut from a tree with a penknife.

There is no other way to express adequately

the immensity of the clouds that are passing over the farms   

and wooded lakes of Ontario and the endless visibility   

that hands you the horizon on a platter…

While we’re on the subject of poetry, I discovered the Poetry Atlas, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Navigate to your favorite locale to find an associated poem, like these about Canada:

Poems about: canada – Poetry Atlas

O Canada!

* * *

Photos by Joshua Balsamo and Joel Henry on Unsplash

Read Full Post »

I spent too much of today in the news mines (and most of what I found is not great), so I thought I’d share a poem. It’s from 2016 but still relevant.

Click through and read from the beginning for best effect.

* * *


by Brian Bilston

They have no need of our help

So do not tell me

These haggard faces could belong to you or me

Should life have dealt a different hand

— Flipping the Message About Refugees, With a Poem – YES! Magazine

* * *

Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Read Full Post »

An interactive, customizable blackout poetry site? Yes, please!

Blackout Poetry Maker

Click the words you want to keep, then “black out.”

Have fun!

Read Full Post »

July 22

“The Naked Days, or Night of Lattea”

Today is an Uluru day. We all piled into the wagon and drove the few miles to Uluru National Park. We bought three-day park passes and entered an area that looked just as dry and scrubby as that we’d just come from. The only access was by a two-lane highway rimmed with red dirt. The earth here is made of an iron oxide that practically glows, and the wetter-than-usual weather has kept greenery alive against the red backdrop. There are a surprising number of trees here for a desert, and the low shrubs are showing off a variety of colored flowers.

Pulling into the Cultural Center’s parking lot I saw that Frank Lloyd Wright’s got nothing on aboriginal architects. The Center was so integrated into the landscape that it was hard to even see. Red sand paths through low bushes showed us the way to a collection of low buildings with fluid walls and no visibly straight lines. The roofs were thatched grass held in rounded shape by discrete applications of chicken wire.

Smooth red brick blended into the landscape and framed native murals, which depicted the myths played out on the Rock. The great snake goddess who came here to avenge her nephew. The monster sent to kill a whole tribe. The waterhole guarded by a spirit with the power of life or death. All these things have left their mark on the Rock’s surface, and are recorded so that the natives remember Proper Way, or Tjukuru tribal law (I think that’s how it’s spelled). Do what the law says and all will be well. Step out of line and there’s no telling what might happen. Nothing good.

The afternoon perked up with the arrival of an aboriginal tour guide named Millie and her Anglo mouthpiece Megan. We joined the 3:15 tour starting at the Cultural Center and heard tell of the legends surrounding Uluru and how the locals lived before White Fella came to town. Megan, a white Aussie in her 30s, translated what Millie had to tell us about the lives of the spirits and the natives who remember them. Everything Megan said began with “Millie says that.” For a good while I thought that Millie was just for show and that I was witnessing a classic example of cultural appropriation. By the end of the tour, though, it seemed clear that Megan, while knowing her stories pretty well, was often prompted and corrected by Millie. Millie didn’t say much, but she was definitely listening.

The tour left from the Cultural Center and moved on to the Water Hole just next to Uluru. We were shown cave paintings that Millie explained as parts of The Law’s stories. The drawings, like those we saw in Kakadu, were the 10,000 year-old equivalent of a school blackboard. Elders would paint the walls and tell stories to educate children in the Proper Way. That was the way tribal custom and behavior was passed on, Millie said, in the “naked days” before the white man came.


Megan also produced a number of film canisters containing edible or medicinal plants used by aborigines. We all sat in a circle and everyone but Maureen tasted the offerings, at least until Dad found a chunk of glass in his bush plum. Where the hell did that come from? I kept looking and smelling, but didn’t taste after that. At the end of the tour Millie decided she liked our group and let us pose with her for photos.

We left the Center near sunset and had the perfect opportunity to stop at the Sunset Viewing Site just off the road. Of course, everyone else had the same idea. The sunset wasn’t much more spectacular than the one last night from the hill behind the hotel, but we were a lot closer. The Rock didn’t care if we could see purple and red highlights on its flanks, it knew there’d be other times, other sunsets.

Half an hour later, convinced by a quick visit to the other fancy restaurant that our first choice was the best, we sat down to a nice dinner. Bryan had oven-fired pizza, Maureen linguini with shrimp, Dad the creamy duck and gnocchi, and I had salmon with risotto and a huge Mediterranean salad. Two days of chicken nuggets and fries had pushed me to the edge and I wanted greenery bad. The cool green cucumber in my salad went beautifully with the Kalamata olives. We also tried the Clancy wine, a red blend of cabernet, merlot, shiraz and who knows what else. It was a big hit.

For dessert I invented the “lattea,” a cup of tea with hot foamed milk. (Ok, it’s a tea latte, but tell me lattea isn’t a better name:) It took some explaining but the waitress managed to translate my request into a steaming hot cup of delightfully restorative beverage. The perfect end to a fascinating day.

Red paint on sandstone
Through heat
and rain, through gods
and dreams


Read Full Post »

Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist And Singular Storyteller, Dies At 86

This is such a loss. And yet…

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
― Maya Angelou

I still remember finding a battered, much-read copy of Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings on my parents’ bookshelf, and meeting her singular voice. That woman knew how to live.

Read Full Post »