Tag Archives: poetry

Shout Out: “Just a Rose” by Colin Chappell

Orange Rose from Ma & Dad's Garden 2016

Orange Rose from Ma & Dad’s Garden 2016

When I first heard this poem, my mind immediately flashed on a photo I took during my Summer of Dad – that of a lone rose thriving in the midst of Ma & Dad’s overgrown and neglected garden.

“…for my blooms have served a purpose…”

 

From Just Thinking a collection of “little writings which may produce some little thoughts” here is Colin Chappell reading his poem, Just a Rose.

Note: All proceeds from book sales will be directed to Colin’s daughter who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2007. She is still fighting, but the treatment programs have taken their toll and she is unable to hold down a paying job for a variety of reasons. She is therefore dependent on benefits from her disability provider…She uses her time to volunteer for non-profit organizations, and has been involved in giving some dignity to the women who are living on the streets in Vancouver’s downtown East-side…She has also written a number of poems, two of which are included in the book!

Happy Okay-Mom’s Day Musing

 “World’s Okayest Mom”

I saw that phrase at a blog I follow – she has the t-shirt and everything – I really related; albeit I’m not in the trenches of hands-on childrearing anymore, it still rings true. At least for me – an older gen Mom. Yeah, I’m a GrandMom, too, but not hands-on due to circumstances way beyond my control (sigh – it is what it is) so that’s why maybe memories of being a younger Mom still resonate loud and clear.  Here’s the poetic part of her blog post (be sure to visit it for the rest of the story)

World’s Okayest Mom, by Angelica Battista Bonin of Comically Quirky  Continue reading

Giving Voice: Woman In A Café (poem)

While reading through Andrew James Murray’s newly published collection of poetry Heading North I was particularly struck by his poem, Woman in a Café.

Inspired by the memory of a woman who used to come into the café he frequented during his lunch break while working in Manchester, her fingerless mittened hands clutch bunched plastic bags while two worlds converge if only briefly but forever remembered.

woman in a cafe two

Re-printed with permission.

Poetry Shoutout: “Heading North” by Andrew James Murray

Heading North book coverAndrew James Murray“I am a northern guy. I have lived the whole of my life in the north west of England. I feel northern. It is in my accent. It is in my attitude. It is in my preferences: my favorite season is winter…”

Thus begins Andrew James Murray in the Forward of his new collection of poems, Heading North.

 

This idea of ‘northern-ness’ in a non-American context intrigued me.

A mere 35 miles west of Manchester where Andrew resides lies the infamous town of Liverpool. I never thought of The Beatles as being ‘northern’.

And yet, thinking on this further, it begins to fall into place – this marriage of blue-collar work ethic to the arts and education; a gritty, earthy element evident in both (he)artists’ life-work.

Damp, dark mists surround day-to-day living in the North, where cold light slants in mysterious angles. This is where Andrew draws inspiration. Continue reading

Alice Fulton Quote, Beethoven and My Music

Alice Fulton Quote

‘It will be new whether you make it new or not’ – Alice Fulton, Poetry, October 2013

I have to admit that when I first saw this quote, I didn’t fully comprehend its meaning. While the artwork makes for a beautiful visual, it didn’t aid in my understanding of the written text. But something subliminal captured the attention of my subconscious brain, prompting a silent rumination over the course of several months.

Bits and pieces of enlightenment would come to the forefront of my consciousness, until at last I had a mini-Aha! moment:

Beethoven and my first encounter with his 9th Symphony.

When I was a teenager, I dug out my parents’ old 78s from the shelves in their walk-in cedar closet.  Sorting through the stacks, I recognized most of the tunes and placed them in their respective piles – Ma’s stuff, Dad’s stuff and corny stuff.  My baby brother and I grew up dancing in the living room listening to all of it, including the ever present live gig-prep practicing of Dad’s – From Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (Ma’s stuff) to Charlie Parker’s Yardbird Suite (Dad’s stuff) to Jimmy Durante’s Bill Bailey (corny stuff).

Scattered among those records were some 33s pressed on yellow-vinyl. Intrigued, I noticed they were mostly classical (by genre, not era) recordings. Beethoven’s Symphonies were recorded in a huge boxed set of 33s. I decided to listen to all of them, going from last to first.

That 9th symphony – composed in 1824 – was new to my 1971 ears.

“It will be new whether you make it new or not”

I listened to it over and over alongside some of my favorite records at the time: The White Album, and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Beethoven, the Beatles and Andrew Lloyd Webber. A motley crew, all strangely powerful and new to me.

Now, I am no Beethoven, but that mini-Aha! moment became more of a major-Aha! moment for me recently.

Since last May, sales of music from my cd, unexpected, increased significantly. Why? This recording was released in 2007.  In terms of musical output, it represents old stuff. I use it now more as a demo of sorts; an example of the breadth and quality of my playing for marketing, colleague introductions, resume point of reference and so on.

There have been many projects, performances and pieces learned since then till now. Immersed as I’ve been in my Swimming with Swans: the music project, striving to put out this new material, I’d forgotten that to those who’d never heard my stuff before:

“It will be new whether I (you) make it new or not”

Below is the single off of unexpected with the most digital listens since its release in 2007, Hatikvah.

 I wish you peace.

Hats and the Magnolia Singers

I wish I had been bold enough to ask the pastor, Rev. Dr. Ella F. Busby of the Goodwill Presbyterian Church if I could take a few photos during the fundraising concert they sponsored with the Goodwill Educational & Historical Society yesterday, July 4th, 2015.  I wrongly assumed there would be plenty of promotional material to copy from the internet. There is stuff out there about Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers, just not in the context of what I experienced yesterday.  That’s a shame because this group has been together for close to 20 years and puts on a program that is not only professional, but genuine. 

When invited to attend this event by a Camden Writer whose family is closely aligned with the restoration of the historic Goodwill School, I thought the concert would be held in the newly restored building.  Lucky for me, the concert took place in the sanctuary of the church.

I admit the draw for me was the music to be presented…spirituals related to the history of this building.  And, a desire to absorb something uniquely Southern, as a non-native trying to understand this very different-to-me culture. What I didn’t expect was this magical melding of format with venue that resulted in having ‘church’ on Saturday.  Past joining present, complete with a fine BBQ pot-luck served afterwards.

During our eating time, I sat next to one of the Magnolia Singers, Yvonne Brown. Continue reading

The Lady of Arles (Poem)

The Lady of Arles

The Lady of Arles

 

Echoes of Edith
Chanteuse of a certain age.
Je ne regrette rien

Forty years from Barcelona
Playing her life in Arles.
No regrets. No regrets at all.

 

 

 

 

note: my sister-friend Susan and her husband are playing gypsies traipsing throughout Spain and southern France this month. She keeps my e-mail inbox filled with wordy treats describing eats and events of their day, including occasional photos that wow my (he)artistically starved eyes.  This photo is posted here with her permission.

Dawning of a New Day

Each day is new; we all know this.

The feeling of promise kisses each of us upon first awakening; however fleeting.

Before the Realities of Life sift back into our consciousness, this is how it all begins.

Dawning of a New Day

Dawning of a new day in central Florida

Thou dost make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.
Psalms 65: 86