Art and Earth

because earth Without Art is Just "Eh."

134 notes &

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she touched me like sunday morning
like the autumn breeze lifts the fallen leaf
carrying, caressing softly until it is grounded
she held me until the moon replaced the sun
and the roots of the roses took hold
until i’m finally still… and cold
she remembered me like a limerick she once knew the words to
now just humming along its vague lines
knowing how it made her feel but forgetting the why
she feels me in her heart like when she runs
the fast pace and the leaving her winded
she feels me, knows it’s me
but she can’t recall my name

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Ann says:  It’s hard to forget those who leave us breathless.

Copyright 2014 by TakingStockofWhatMattersMost.net.  Thanks, Kevin!

Image: Jean Picazo

Filed under takingstockofwhatmattersmost art paintings poem poems poetry lit bereavement couples love loss Illustration pagan druid erotica

5 notes &


The sunlight on the gardenHardens and grows cold,We cannot cage the minuteWithin its nets of gold,When all is toldWe cannot beg for pardon.
Our freedom as free lancesAdvances towards its end;The earth compels, upon itSonnets and birds descend;And soon, my friend,We shall have no time for dances.
The sky was good for flyingDefying the church bellsAnd every evil ironSiren and what it tells:The earth compels,We are dying, Egypt, dying
And not expecting pardon,Hardened in heart anew,But glad to have sat underThunder and rain with you,And grateful tooFor sunlight on the garden.

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Ann says:  We humans seem to be always between wars. Although this poem begins and ends on a bright note, the interior is all darkness. Written during the Spanish  Civil War and the political turmoil in Europe that led to WWII, this is one of of MacNeice’s best-known poems. 
Copyright Louis MacNeice (1907-1963), The Sunlight on the Garden
Image: Storm on the Horizon, Stock Image

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold,
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

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Ann says:  We humans seem to be always between wars. Although this poem begins and ends on a bright note, the interior is all darkness. Written during the Spanish  Civil War and the political turmoil in Europe that led to WWII, this is one of of MacNeice’s best-known poems. 

Copyright Louis MacNeice (1907-1963), The Sunlight on the Garden

Image: Storm on the Horizon, Stock Image

Filed under louis macneice war thunder storms WWII spanish civil war poem poems poetry lit gardens ISIS isil classic poetry classic literature

270 notes &

3,338 Plays

SEPTEMBER 11TH REMEMBERED IN POETRY AND SONG

(Please click on the arrow above to play song).

THE GRIM CATHEDRAL

The grim cathedral arch alone
Towers over dust and stone
Monument to flesh and bone
Twisted, stark and bare.

And the floodlights’ sharp relief
Magnifies the weight of grief
In the ruins that lie beneath
That emptiness of air.

The papers from the building flew
Hung in the air in a sky of blue
Souls of the newly dead and gone
Shone so bright, on a Tuesday morn.

In the canyon streets, the towering cloud
Tumbles on the running crowd
Falling like a funeral shroud
Darkening the sun.

Staggered statues, concrete grey
Man as ashes, dust and clay
Desolation of the day
Falls on everyone.

The papers from the building flew
Hung in the air in a sky of blue
Souls of the newly dead and gone
Shone so bright in the morning sun.

I watched it on my TV screen 
Devolution of the dream
Images a nightmare scream
To wake the likes of me.

A charnel house of sight and sound
Familiar streets, a killing ground
The day they brought the buildings down 
Down for all to see.

Ann says: This is one of the best and most understated 9/11 memorials I have found.  Singer-songwriter David Francey is such a good poet that he is able to tell the story using only images of citiscapes and the people within them. Our minds fill in the details.

I saw David Francey perform, and I requested this song.  He became visibly shaken and said that he only performed it in September due to the horrific nature of 9/11.

Written and performed by David Francey.  All rights reserved. (Nov. 8, 2001)

Images:  1. YouTube.com   2. BusinessInsiders.au    3. Peter Morton for Reuters

Filed under david francey lit poem poems poety 9/11 9/11 memorial folk music ballads muic song illustration September 11 World Trade Center terrorism memorial

291 notes &

The Art Lesson (Short Story by Jen Mueller)

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I was grabbing some lunch and checking messages on my phone when I looked up and saw her. Just two tables down from me, a red ribbon holding her blonde hair back from her face but not from her shoulder. It spilled over, getting in the way of whatever she was feverishly working on. She brushed it back and sighed, her brow far more knitted and serious in concentration than that of the typical little girl her age — or what I assumed to be her age. I’m terrible at guessing ages, particularly of children — if you ask me, they’re either around four or around ten. I was an only child, and I kept to myself, and I had more friends between the covers of books than I did on the playground.

This may have been part of the reason I decided to speak to the little girl as I walked past her table to toss my empty cup and sandwich wrapper in the bin behind.

“What are you drawing?”

She put her purple marker down on the table and picked up the green one without looking up. “I don’t know yet,” she said, more to the paper than to me.

Somewhere inside I smiled. “Then how will you know when it’s done?”

At this she looked up at me with an expression more of exasperation than anything else. I knew her feeling well — the eye-rolling, mind-numbing chore of trying to explain your process to someone who existed outside your own mind. “I listen to it,” she said, with far more patience than I possessed myself. “It tells me when it’s done.”

Read more …

Filed under story short story jen mueller lit illustration homeless art beginner's mind kids adults parent children

0 notes &

130 Plays

FOLK MUSIC FOR LABORING FOLKS (Click on arrow above to hear song).

Kelli drove us down the lake
On a bright Ohio day
And we looked across the railway yards
At the hoppers painted grey
That coal train from Kentucky, man 
She’s come a long long way
Down in Ashtabula
On a sunny summer’s day

Walked down to the harbour
Down to the harbour side
Where the coal was piled up waiting
High and black and wide
And it’s waiting for a laker, man
To carry it away
Down in Ashtabula
On a sunny summer’s day

And the tilting bridge 
Itself swings back
And sail is given way
And the cobbled streets
That climb the hills
Are fading red to grey

In the maritime museum
So high above the waves
The pictures of the past recalled
In black and white and grey
But the masters and the ships are gone
Long since passed away
Down in Ashtabula
On a sunny summers day

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Ann says: I used to live in Ohio, and I love this ode to the industrial past of the Great Lakes states.  Ashtabula is an important coalport on Lake Erie. and was a major location on the Underground Railroad in the middle 19th century.  

The name Ashtabula comes from ashtepihəle, which means ‘always enough fish to be shared around’ in the Lenape language. (Wikipedia).

Written and performed by David Francey. David was born in Scotland and now lives in Canada, where he has won numerous awards for his music. He writes frequently of the US, including controversial topics such as 9/11 and the execution of Timothy McVeigh.

Image:  Ashtabula Harbor by Al Hart

Filed under david francey folk music ballads labor day laborers work ohio ashtabula midwest great lakes industry trains docks transportation coal railways poem poems poetry lit

76 notes &

image

you pass through me

like wind through branches

taking pieces with you

when you go

leaves upon the breeze

i am not whole anymore

and the tree stands barren

we are

both shivering and alone

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Ann says:  The paucity of branches on the tree and the paucity of words in this poem reflect the emptiness in the narrator’s heart.

Copyright 2014 by takingstockofwhatmattersmost.net

Image: The Barren Tree by Fred Freddon Goldberg

Filed under poem poems poetry lit takingstockofwhatmattersmost illustration trees storms lovers breaking up lonliness pagan druid

265 notes &

De-Extinction and the Passenger Pigeon

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The last lonely passenger pigeon died in 1914. Her stuffed body is on display at the Smithsonian Institution.  I’ve seen her.  It’s a sad exhibit.

But what if passenger pigeons could be reincarnated?

That’s the idea behind de-extinction. Take DNA harvested from museum specimens and figure out which genes are most important to the species’ identity.  Then use genetic engineering to edit in the DNA of a closely related species (in this case the band-tailed pigeon).  If all goes well, a chimera pigeon (with both passenger and band-tailed genes)  that looks and acts like a passenger pigeon could be hatched by a band-tailed mother.  

When and if chimera passenger pigeons are produced, there will initially be very few.  In a very small population, closely-related individuals must mate.  This inbreeding can be lethal in the short term but might be good for the population in the long term.

To predict the effects of inbreeding on the chimera passenger pigeons, it’s important to know whether the species in question went through at least one “population bottleneck" as humans probably did 70,000 years ago.  Historical records suggest that the original passenger pigeon population did this several times, as their populations were subjected to “boom and bust” cycles.

That’s a good news, because inbreeding can purge lethal genes from a species’ gene pool. This happens when individuals carrying especially bad gene combinations die before they can reproduce, thus lowering the incidence of deleterious genes. And the fewer deleterious/lethal genes in the pigeons’ gene pool, the better the chances of “re-creating” a passenger pigeon.

After a bottleneck purge, it’s possible for the a tiny population to develop a healthy gene pool.  Pigeons are profligate breeders, making them  good candidate for de-extinction.  One day flocks of passenger pigeons may again grace the skies of North America!

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References: Scientific American and Wikipedia.

Image: Passenger Pigeons by John James Audubon

Copyright 2014 by Ann Marcaida.

Filed under biology extinction audubon birds conservation birders genetics DNA passenger pigeons. ann marcaida

11 notes &

And the chapped sun-baked tireswung on the aged and frail rope attached to the most outright branchof the sheltersome oak tree by the carved up picnic bench.Children fought for such a throne on warm summer days,Not many cared for clawing and snatching in attaining it,But it was a necessary fight in those days.Once they sat in their highest place and swung to the skies,All they could see was the wind-ridden flow of treetopsrustling and swaying, creating nature’s static,This why they fought,This is why only the batteredand bruised cooled their cuts with forest breeze.It broke one day,after being a shelter in storming youth,Charles Ferger snapped the ropeon a smooth swing to reach the sky.They knew the clock was counting downand no one could see how much time was left,but they still hated Charles for being the one it broke on.It wasn’t his fault, and they knew it,but they had to blame someone.No one ventured to it for the first few weeks,The sight of it only reopened healing wounds.At a certain point, years later, after the kidshad gone to high school, it was fixed.No one knew who fixed it or when,since the kids still went out there once in a whileto drink some nights and have campfires,but they were glad it was fixed,then news of the resurrection spread.And on one MLK day,no one remembers which,they had a bonfire and swung as high as they couldto christen it back to its precious worn state one more,fighting over it with the intentional caution theyused to use when wrestling for the uninhibited freedomthat in lay dormant in the crusty black tire swing.
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Copyright 2014 by Tyler Brooks.
Image: Carol A. McIntyre

And the chapped sun-baked tire
swung on the aged and frail rope attached to the most outright branch
of the sheltersome oak tree by the carved up picnic bench.
Children fought for such a throne on warm summer days,
Not many cared for clawing and snatching in attaining it,
But it was a necessary fight in those days.

Once they sat in their highest place and swung to the skies,
All they could see was the wind-ridden flow of treetops
rustling and swaying, creating nature’s static,
This why they fought,
This is why only the battered
and bruised cooled their cuts with forest breeze.

It broke one day,
after being a shelter in storming youth,
Charles Ferger snapped the rope
on a smooth swing to reach the sky.
They knew the clock was counting down
and no one could see how much time was left,
but they still hated Charles for being the one it broke on.
It wasn’t his fault, and they knew it,
but they had to blame someone.
No one ventured to it for the first few weeks,
The sight of it only reopened healing wounds.

At a certain point, years later, after the kids
had gone to high school, it was fixed.
No one knew who fixed it or when,
since the kids still went out there once in a while
to drink some nights and have campfires,
but they were glad it was fixed,
then news of the resurrection spread.

And on one MLK day,
no one remembers which,
they had a bonfire and swung as high as they could
to christen it back to its precious worn state one more,
fighting over it with the intentional caution they
used to use when wrestling for the uninhibited freedom
that in lay dormant in the crusty black tire swing.

*********************************************************************************

Copyright 2014 by Tyler Brooks.

Image: Carol A. McIntyre

Filed under poem poems poetry tyler brooks childhood kids parents memories summer playgrounds lit art illustration

19 notes &

The Making of Rain (Poem by Laura Tattoo)

I was an inmate of sadness
But I dried all my tears
And put away the madness
Of those melancholic years

The locked doors and the voices
The old crown of perdition
The cold reason of choices
The treason of tradition

And I blew it to an atom
With one puff of my mouth
And left behind my Sodom
For the garden of the south

Now I rest in this bright place
Perfumed with gardenia
Birds on my windowlace
Sontinas de España

And I realize the sadness
Is a part of the framework
And the isolating madness
Is a bulwark of a birthmark

And I justify the dullness
With the sadness that I’ve lost
Like an amnesiacal witness
To the holocaust of frost

I know that I could leave there
With one wave of my hand
And blow the frost to seafare
At the edge of this bright land

But I covet it like butter
On a renunciant’s bread
And close up every shutter
And put myself to bed

To dream of the northland
And the cold bitter snows
That reduce every man’s plan
And cover mouth and nose

To rest on her bosom
To hear her heart ticking
Puts an end to the flotsam
Puts an end to the thinking

I lay in this garden
And give myself to pain
And watch the south sky darken
And lend itself to rain

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"I wrote this poem for Akira Kurosawa the day that he died… September 6, 1998.”

Filed under poem poems poetry lauta tattoo lit depression recovery akira kurosawa kurosawa's dreams illustration reflections

90 notes &

I pencil in the blues and greens of remembered afternoons,
The leftovers of summers which linger best on the tongue
their sweetness understood viscerally
with an aftertaste hovering in the periphery of closeted thought.
The days hung loosely folded then
Their gauzy nature swayed in the waft of the bees’ flight,
Evincing a softness which lay easily upon you.

In our indolence,
We failed to notice the bite of time on our backs.
Now I color in between the lines
charcoaled in when I wasn’t looking.
Those blues and greens pastelled together,
A picture of a time gone,
The last of those summers for us.

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Remembered Afternoons copyright/all rights reserved by Audrey Howitt, 2013

Image: Stephen Filarsky

I pencil in the blues and greens of remembered afternoons,

The leftovers of summers which linger best on the tongue

their sweetness understood viscerally

with an aftertaste hovering in the periphery of closeted thought.

The days hung loosely folded then

Their gauzy nature swayed in the waft of the bees’ flight,

Evincing a softness which lay easily upon you.

In our indolence,

We failed to notice the bite of time on our backs.

Now I color in between the lines

charcoaled in when I wasn’t looking.

Those blues and greens pastelled together,

A picture of a time gone,

The last of those summers for us.

*********************************************************************************

Remembered Afternoons copyright/all rights reserved by Audrey Howitt, 2013

Image: Stephen Filarsky

Filed under poem poems poetry lit illustration art illustrated poems audrey howitt summer pastels couples parents relationships reminiscence landscape

135 notes &

To Eros (Poem by John-Arthur Ingram)

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I am the white lust that burns from the bright limbs

Of the primitive force bursting through the heat of hormones

In Springtime. The power of pale goddesses gracing the great

Green landscape of desires in the brain and the splendid

Terrain of the body brings me the perils of pleasure.

Boys with bare torsos and heat in their loins shall guide

Me through the labyrinth of the lewd. There are many sins

Made wonderful by the virtues that oppose them.

How shall I deny the fruits laid bare for the eyes of many?

I am the black lust of my ancestors that dance and sing

Incantations that bring the joys and promises of Spring.

My mistress, my maiden, and my symbol

Of the dark and violent love.

You are the Eros I worship in temples of the body;

Where virtues are sacrifices and vices are praises.

image

Copyright 2014 by John-Arthur Ingram

Images: 1. William Adolphe Bougereau   2. Sidney Meteyard

Filed under poems poem poetry love lust pagan wicca druid lit art illustration William Adolphe Bougereau Sidney Meteyard eros mythology john-arthur ingram

60 notes &

She says her mother comes as a redbirdand visits our yard, mostly in spring,not wishing to conjure a vestige of death.She was young for the sickness, the hospital, her death.She leaned on the window and wept to a redbird,of torment and sorrow, dying in spring.Chill winds have blown, now yielding to spring.Songs from green branches disavow death.And a daughter confides in whispers to a redbird.Redbird sits on the window in spring chirping a rebuttal to death.
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Red Bird, a tritina poem, copyright 2014 by Dan Collins, aka Atticus.
Image: Ann Feldman

She says her mother comes as a redbird
and visits our yard, mostly in spring,
not wishing to conjure a vestige of death.

She was young for the sickness, the hospital, her death.
She leaned on the window and wept to a redbird,
of torment and sorrow, dying in spring.

Chill winds have blown, now yielding to spring.
Songs from green branches disavow death.
And a daughter confides in whispers to a redbird.

Redbird sits on the window in spring chirping a rebuttal to death.

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Red Bird, a tritina poem, copyright 2014 by Dan Collins, aka Atticus.

Image: Ann Feldman

Filed under poem poems poetry tritina form poetry dan collins atticus mothers daughters death reincarnation renewal pagan druid Christian rebirth lit Illustration bereavement

426 notes &

How to Raise an Oracle (Poem by Matt Freeman)

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Trap her
before her body
learns rhythm
of ocean.

Keep her that she believes
herself the moon. Teach her
to know no pull but yours.

To live in excess
is to seek balance.

She will believe herself
to be all of existence and
the space that cradles.

Bathe her — purity in flesh
cupped by unsettling hand.

Push her
to birth a god,
to give.
Let her labors last
as many days as months.

Train her not to choke,
to breathe vapors laced
with your regret.

You are finished.
Watch a woman raise
this world from ash.

When she is empty, feed her

beans. Plant within her
new seeds. Let her grow.

Trap her
before her open heart
knows your pulse.

image

Ann says:  I read this poem as being about a yang (masculine) narrator wishing to lure a yin (feminine) one out of her yin home of night, moon, and water.

Copyright 2014 by Matt H. Freeman (aka RaiseTheCurve).  His excellent new collection of poetry, Before I Leave, can be purchased here.

Images: 1. Howard Pyle  2. Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry

Filed under matt freeman raisethecurve poem poems poetry lit illustration oracle yin and yang women intuition mythology Mermaids mermaid legend parents daughters nurturing pagan druid wicca

8 notes &

Listen to the wind and you will hear
The underlying sound of uncertainty.
Friend or foe, no sure way to know
And erase the faint trace of anxiety.
The call of the wind, like a wolf that is tamed,
Will rub up against with sincerity,
Then howl at the moon, a wilderness tune,
And blow off the veil of society.
The quintessential fair-weather friend,
Frisky wisk of a tousle of hair
Twists itself to the braid of death,
Dark assassin springs from thin air.
With the wind in her eyes, the willow cries
And waves arms wildly at its passing. 
A bothersome breeze leaves disarming debris
In the wake of its sassy harassing.
It pumps through the heartland, testing all trees
For their muscular strength of resistance.
Weathering storms, defying norms,
Turning iron to steel by temperance.
A muse of a breath orchestrates chimes
To a symphony of crystalline notes.
Hard to unwind and discordant at times
Still fascinates, charms, and emotes.
Zephyrs waft fragrant flowers felicity
Of both memory and imagination,
The smell of beauty and tender kiss
Of lovers’ sweet anticipation.
A heat-seeking plow follows furrowed brow
To turn sweat to radiant release.
The gentlest breeze brings stress to its knees
And winds down dusk to evening peace.
Juliet warned of the inconstant moon
But methinks she did speak too soon.
It’s the wind reflects life’s dizzy whirls
With constant change and capricious swirls.
Wistful and wishful, wandering and wondering,
Carrying voices from future and past
Exciting green leaves and swirling brown,
Blowing dust in the wind to dust to the last.

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The Winds of Life copyright 2014 by Chris Brockman
Image: Jean-Francois Millet

Listen to the wind and you will hear

The underlying sound of uncertainty.

Friend or foe, no sure way to know

And erase the faint trace of anxiety.


The call of the wind, like a wolf that is tamed,

Will rub up against with sincerity,

Then howl at the moon, a wilderness tune,

And blow off the veil of society.


The quintessential fair-weather friend,

Frisky wisk of a tousle of hair

Twists itself to the braid of death,

Dark assassin springs from thin air.


With the wind in her eyes, the willow cries

And waves arms wildly at its passing. 

A bothersome breeze leaves disarming debris

In the wake of its sassy harassing.


It pumps through the heartland, testing all trees

For their muscular strength of resistance.

Weathering storms, defying norms,

Turning iron to steel by temperance.


A muse of a breath orchestrates chimes

To a symphony of crystalline notes.

Hard to unwind and discordant at times

Still fascinates, charms, and emotes.


Zephyrs waft fragrant flowers felicity

Of both memory and imagination,

The smell of beauty and tender kiss

Of lovers’ sweet anticipation.


A heat-seeking plow follows furrowed brow

To turn sweat to radiant release.

The gentlest breeze brings stress to its knees

And winds down dusk to evening peace.


Juliet warned of the inconstant moon

But methinks she did speak too soon.

It’s the wind reflects life’s dizzy whirls

With constant change and capricious swirls.


Wistful and wishful, wandering and wondering,

Carrying voices from future and past

Exciting green leaves and swirling brown,

Blowing dust in the wind to dust to the last.


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The Winds of Life copyright 2014 by Chris Brockman

Image: Jean-Francois Millet

Filed under Chris Brockman poem poems poetry art jean-fancois millet illustration lit wind chaos change love lovers nature mankind