Poems and Pictures

Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2007 09:31 am
aidan wrote:
You're supposed to have a poem to go with your picture Builder.

Yeah. But I'm still flabbergasted. I'll get over it, eventually.
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Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2007 11:08 am
Endy- Yeah I play the piano to some extent- I don't play as much as I should to keep my skills up- but I could play that song. The fact that I thought of playing the piano piece myself as a backdrop to the pictures just goes to show you what a technological idiot I am. Last night I'm sitting here thinking I'd provide the music and the pictures and then as I'm driving to work this morning, it hits me- it'd be a lot easier to just download the music - I don't really have to have a taping session of me playing the piano in my dining room...you probably can't believe my mind still works along those lines...and truthfully, neither can I sometimes- duh...

But I am determined to take your suggestion and do it, since as I looked at a bunch of stills set to music on youtube last night (my first foray into youtube) and really enjoyed it- I decided that's something I'd like to create and have. There are just so many possibilities for creativity that are made so much easier now.

Sorry to hear you're feeling down. You know, if there's anything I can ever do to help in any way, please feel free to let me know. Not that I hold any answers or any keys to anything, but you know what I mean...

Work is keeping me sane these days. I'm having a great time with the particular group I'm working with right now. There's me (an American), the other teacher, who's English, two Jamaicans, one guy from Kashmir, one guy from Nigeria, an Albanian, and another Englishman. It feels like such a privilege to be part of such an interesting and international environment.
Anyway, today, we were playing this spelling game (we work on a lot of spelling as English spelling has so many complicated rules that are exceptions to any hard and fast rule) and these guys race through the reading, but really struggle with the writing and spelling. So we're doing the long a with the mute e rule. And each person has to create a new word by changing just one letter. So the Kashmiri guy changes "bale" to "hale". And he says, "This is word, no?" I say, "Yes, that's a word. But can you tell us what it means?"
He says, "Hale, like in go to hale." And I think he's saying "Like in good health", so I say, all excited and really surprised that he knew kind of an uncommonly used (anymore at least) expression, "Yes, wow that's great- that's right- in good health."
And they all burst out laughing except R. (the Kashmiri, who's standing there very confused at my response) and J, my very acerbic co-teacher who's extremely funny says, "R., you have to understand, you're being taught by the American version of Mary Poppins- who the hell else would automatically translate, "Go to hell" to "Good Health"?
Anyway, yeah, laughter is my best medicine.

Builder, by the way, during breaktime at work today, I was telling my coworker about the strange, out of the blue appearance of this picture on this thread, but the fact that there was no accompanying poem, and he was telling me about his favorite poet, Auden, and how he wrote some really amusing, but little known (compared to his other work) sort of more risque poetry- because I was telling him that none of my poems would really fit this picture. So we started fooling around (with words) and we came up with a great poem for your picture. Just let me know if you want me to post it.
She's gorgeous-by the way- friend of yours? I think light eyes with tan skin is always very striking- her eyes remind me of the famous picture of the young girl from Afghanistan. Whole different genre of photography, but I saw a picture of that girl as she is now (as a middle-aged woman) and her eyes are still just as striking. You can immediately see it's the same woman, even though it's thirty years later.
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Reply Sat 7 Apr, 2007 10:47 pm

Happy Easter weekend
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Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2007 02:13 pm
Endy-Thank you. I hope you had a wonderful Easter day too. The weather where we were was just perfect. How was it down where you were?
We went up to Northumberland and did the entire coastal road, ending up on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on Easter Sunday. It was incredibly beautiful. If you haven't been up to that area of the country- you should definitely go when/if you get the chance.

Hope you are well. Thanks again for your kind wishes and for posting the violets- Rebecca
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Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 09:46 am
Hi Rebecca

Sounds like you had a great day - the weather was fine here too.
I wrote through most of it I admit, but I went for a walk late afternoon and it was very peaceful.

I hope you didn't mind me posting the flowers - it was impulsive, but I wanted to 'acknowledge' Easter in some way.
I couldn't think of a nicer Christian to send them to

I hope they made you smile

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Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 06:35 pm
Endy- I love blue and purple flowers and especially violets as they grow wild, dotting the grass, etc., so your picture did make me smile.
Please always feel free to post anything or anytime you want- I always appreciate hearing from you. I wish it was more often, but I guess you're busy-I see you around less and less- I hope life is treating you well.
How are you doing?

I couldn't think of a nicer Christian to send them to

That's a really nice thing for you to say to me.
Easter always reminds me of rebirth if nothing else- I really like Spring, the concept of resurrection, etc.

*This field of delphiniums belongs to a neighbor of mine. When his wife of fifty years passed away, he planted these in her memory. It's the most amazing field of color I've ever seen.

He planted the seeds
the year they'd said good-bye
he waited for blooms to
come-May whispered by
then indigo, lavender, pale
blue as sky- each spire
like a promise, each
petal a sigh-a yearly reminder
of the shade of her eyes
As May welcomed June
and summer drew nigh
the flowers they came,
just as she'd learned to fly.
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Reply Sat 14 Apr, 2007 04:51 pm
Thanks, Rebecca
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Reply Tue 17 Apr, 2007 02:34 am


We saw
blue as the
that lies on the edge
what we have
always known.
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Reply Tue 17 Apr, 2007 03:10 am
Hi Rebecca

So sad about the news from Virginia
I thought the piece you wrote in General news was good enough
to be published - in fact should be read here in Britain as a warning.

I know you're hurting right now - just want you to know I care
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Reply Tue 17 Apr, 2007 05:32 am
Endy- I don't know what I did to deserve such a caring and understanding friend (you could be rubbing my face in what my crazy countrymen are up to this time), but whatever it was- I'm thankful.

I'd like to talk to you about it sometime. I am thinking of writing something about what we (Americans) have lost and are continuing to lose each time we count another young person's life as collateral damage to preserving our "rights" and "freedoms".

Thank you for caring. It really does mean a lot to me- Rebecca
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Reply Wed 18 Apr, 2007 12:55 pm
Sounds like an important project you're working on - I'd be interested to hear your plans.

And you don't have to thank me anymore - because I'm very glad that you are around, Rebecca

I'm also working on something that feels important to me. I've got quite a bit of it lying around - so I may post some up sometime - perhaps even ask you what you think - it's work in progress - nothing finished, but if/when you have time…

I don't know what's happened to this world of ours - but I think about a prediction made by Walter Benjamin -
The big fight will be between Capitalism and the Proletariat.
Looks to me, like he was right.

Keep up the good work - I think it is important.
If you'd consider writing something for the Revolution Thread - (large or small) I'd appreciate your calm reasoning to counter my ranting waffle on there - it might be a good place for you to try out early pieces (before you start getting paid for them)!

Also, it would be a good place to talk, Briton to American, about what's going on.

Thanks for helping to lift my spirits, it gives me hope, just knowig there are people out there who do give a damn about our world and the fate of humanity.
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Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2007 01:41 pm
Endy- I'm thinking about a piece about the how the fight to retain freedoms that cause so much harm end up costing us freedoms that might actually enrich our lives. I'm thinking about doing it in a kind of personal essay or even story-telling form- but my thoughts right now are so negative, I haven't even thought much beyond the initial idea and opening paragraph.

When I get some time and the motivation and my thoughts all together at the same time- hopefully it will coalesce.

One commentary the other day that I was really struck by though:
On Wednesday morning on BBC4 I heard this commentator who was describing the "prayer" vigil that was held at Virginia Tech the night before (Tuesday night- the night after the massacre- let's call it what it is). It was a British guy and he was commenting that what the world both love and find unbelievably irritating about Americans was in evidence at this vigil. After all the talk and crying and singing of Amazing Grace, etc. the field erupted in chants of "Hokie- Hokie" which is the school sports team mascots. He played a clip of it.

I almost threw up listening to that. If I had been there, as the parent or friend of one of those people who were killed- I'd have gone apeshit on someone. How totally innappropriate to turn a memorial service and the recognition of a national tragedy into a pep rally. "Only in America"...as my friend who I was telling about it said-"they've just got to show that nothing will get them down."

The thing that scares me about it though is if this doesn't get us down- when or why will we see the need to change anything? It sounds from the comments made, that this event, just like 9/11 etc. is being viewed as having nothing to do with the sickness and arrogance that is engulfing our society.
Another person at work told me he heard Bush say about this event that "these poor kids were in the wrong place at the wrong time." Well, no they weren't. They were exactly where they were supposed to be- but hey let's not examine why you can go to your class and be studying and get shot to death and have the president of your country somehow attribute it to you.

Craziness. Anyway- I look forward to reading what you write. Talk to you later- Rebecca
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Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2007 09:07 pm
I understand what you're saying here Rebecca - truly, I wish I could say something to help-
but bloody hell - I'm having trouble coming to terms with society full stop. Some of the changes here in the UK... worrying
Sometimes it does seem like I've woken up in some weird Philip K Dick novel…

I was also affected by the aftermath of the shooting -

Sorry it's taken me such a long time to reply here - for ages
I couldn't even think about it (press coverage of the shootings)
without feeling desperate and furious.

Good luck with the writing, Rebecca - take good care

what's that anti-nazi song, again?
Climb every flippin' mountain, eh? Typical....


Climb every mountain, search high and low
Follow every by-way, every path you know
Climb every mountain, ford every stream
Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream

A dream that will need, all the love you can give
Everyday of your life, for as long as you live
Climb every mountain, ford every stream
Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream

(Pic - Glencoe, Scotland)
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Reply Mon 7 May, 2007 01:20 am


was an opening
through which we walked
as the sky poured over
us in waves
of all that was
still possible-
listening and expectant
as hope.
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Reply Sat 2 Jun, 2007 02:04 am

My Dream-If I Could

I'd sleep and I'd dream
from now to September
And when I'd awake,
I'd try to remember
that dream that I dream
when all is serene
and night's sky's alight with
the past's restless embers
I'd remember the
grasses that swept past my
knees and the winds that
whispered and murmured and wept
of beginnings and endings and
fields of forever and losses
and leavings and promises
The goings and gones and
good-byes would be
past and opening my eyes
to blue skies and green
grass, sorrow'd have flown
like light through a glass-
I'd be free to walk on
to my heart's home-
at last.
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Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2007 09:06 pm
Rebecca - thanks for sharing these
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Reply Mon 25 Jun, 2007 12:24 pm

Flight (haiku)

You'll rise and take flight,
on the day's impulsive air-
You'll attain the sky.

*You're welcome Endy.
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Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2007 03:06 am

Mirrored, dark and deep
A shared sleep on night's waters
Alone together
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Reply Fri 12 Oct, 2007 06:20 pm
Endymion wrote:
that's stunning
Thanks for sharing the song
Have you thought of putting some photographs together on imovie (or similar)- adding a piece of music and making a 'stills movie'? It would be easy.

Endy - you said this to me a long time ago- (only some months- but things have changed so much- it feels like so, so long ago). I've just revisited this thread and I would so love to capture my experience in England forever in some way. Could you tell me how to do this "imovie" thing?
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Reply Fri 12 Oct, 2007 06:42 pm
My view from Here

My view from here is different-
Beautiful and calm and blue
Like acceptance
and lost, only lost
or gone.
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