Art and Earth

because earth Without Art is Just "Eh."

47 notes &

Hers is the danceof wood and water,things that endure,things that pass.The river lives in the flow of her arms,the geographyof her hips.The wood echosin the insistent beatof her feet,the steady drummingcalling you hometo a place that only women know.

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Flamenco Dancer © The Raven’s Song (aka Jude Dippold), 2014

Image: Frida Kahlo.

Hers is the dance
of wood and water,
things that endure,
things that pass.
The river lives 
in the flow of her arms,
the geography
of her hips.
The wood echos
in the insistent beat
of her feet,
the steady drumming
calling you home
to a place 
that only women know.

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Flamenco Dancer © The Raven’s Song (aka Jude Dippold), 2014

Image: Frida Kahlo.

Filed under theravenssong jude dippold poem poems poetry frida kahlo druid pagan eco mother earth eco-feminism lit art illustration

15 notes &

Mirror (Surreal Prose Poetry by Abhishek Sengupta)

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One day, my reflection stepped out of the mirror
As I sat unaware reading the newspaper.
She came up from behind. Tiptoed
Like a child. Touching my shoulder.
And it’s difficult greeting your own reflection
But we hugged. We sat beside each other on the sofa
Discussing the weather and politics.
Our views clashed. Perpetually.

Read more …

Filed under the clown poetry prose lit illustration twins shadows doppelganger art surrealism short story surreal Borges abhishek sengupta

6 notes &

106 Plays

CASTAWAY (A Birth Song— Click on Arrow Above)

I welcome you my little man
Stolen from your sleepy land
Cut loose from her, my caloused hand
Branded you an exile

The ocean parted when you wailed
And debris of your catastrophe
Set sail inside a silver cup
That she handed to me

No ocean deep, no mountain tall
No liberty, no prison vault
Can keep my baby refugee
From his own inland sea

Where he can play castaway

Now on a dolphin’s back I come to you
Bounding from across the blue
Swollen flood inside my vein
To try to explain

How someday far below the moon 
You may live beside a green lagoon
And store up pearls for skipping stones
And you’ll never be alone

Ocean fall or ocean rise
I see her deep, deep in your eyes
I’m an ocean apart from you
But you’ll always be a part of me

Cause I can play castaway
Two can play castaway
Three can play castaway
We all play castaway
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Ann says:  Sure, this is about the birth of a child, but what’s this “inland sea” that seems to be so important? Richard Shindell has studied in both Catholic and Buddhist monasteries. The inner sea seems to represent our still, inner core— the peace that is always available inside us, via meditation or prayer.  We can store our pearls there.

Composed and performed by Richard Shindell

Filed under music songs ballads richard shindell birth peace meditation lit illustration folk music loev couples parents babies christian buddhist mindfulness

25 notes &

THE DAY INTERNET DIED (Surreal Short Story by Boris Glikman)

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It was widely known that Internet had been ailing for some time. Its poor health had made it rather slipshod in the execution of its duties. Some people had to endure days of frustrating waiting until an online connection was established, while for others the connection kept going on and off every second, like a flickering light globe.   

For a while Internet hovered in a half-dead condition, with one foot in the grave, and mankind held its breath, fearing Internet would continue to deteriorate and then give up the ghost altogether.

Read more …

Filed under Boris Glikman story short story internet web neutrality surrealism electronic age internet addiction addiction lit prose humor satire

62 notes &

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow for the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions…

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth

we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

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Ann says: Poet W.S. Merwin said in an interview with Kenyon Review“You know that word ‘dominion’? It has another meaning which was never mentioned around the translations. It also means ‘understanding.’” One should understand the other creatures of the earth, and that kind of a relationship.”

In honor of Krister Carlstad, who never lets us forget that we are in the sixth extinction.

All images copyright 2014 by Krister Carlstad.  Excerpt from the poem Thanks by W.S. Merwin.

Filed under poem poems poetry lit w.s.merwin animals art illustration conservation technology eco sixth extinction ecology

8 notes &

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Despite its clarity and simplicity… the desert wears at the same time, paradoxically, a veil of mystery. Motionless and silent it evokes in us an elusive hint of something unknown, unknowable, about to be revealed. Since the desert does not act it seems to be waiting- but waiting for what?

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Ann says:  Edward Abbey’s  Desert Solitaire, based on his experiences as a park ranger in Utah, was published in 1968 and has been called the “Walden Pond ” of the West.

The biologist in me wants to answer this quote.  What do deserts wait for? Water. What do deserts hide?  Buried treasure, such as marine fossils and whale bones!

Copyright 1968 by Edward Abbey.

Image: unscrippted.co/travel/

Filed under edward abbey desert desert southwest Arizona albuquerque quotes lit new mexico utah paleontology nature photography beauty landcsape

158 notes &

image

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

6 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 &

3,484 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

304 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

1 note &

132 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

77 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

270 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

12 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.

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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