Tiny White Flowers

Tiny White Flowers

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Crab Creek Review: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction

Crab Creek Review: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction

The newest issue of Crab Creek Review is out, and it is great. To learn more, and to find out where to purchase this issue, visit the link above. You won't be disappointed~ And, thank you!

Awesome job on Crab Creek Review by the following folks:

About Crab Creek Review

Founded by Linda Clifton in 1983, Crab Creek Review is proud of its twenty-five year history and is devoted to introducing you to the best writing from the Northwest and beyond.
Our Editorial Staff:
Kelli Russell Agodon & Annette Spaulding-Convy - Editors
Lana Hechtman Ayers - Poetry Editor
Star Rockers - Non-Fiction Editor, Graphic Design/Production
Jen Betterley & Nancy Canyon - Fiction Editors
Carol Levin - Editorial Assistant
Ronda Broatch - Assistant Editor
Jeannine Hall Gailey - Editorial Consultant

Our Literary Advisory Board:

Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Nancy Pagh
Peter Pereira
Susan Rich
Peggy Shumaker


Andy Ayers, K. Convy, & Annette Spaulding-Convy

Friday, June 10, 2011

What Happened to May?

Apparently, I was otherwise engaged.  It has been a full and challenging journey of late, as DS has had various illnesses and high blood sugars, and a boatload of homework.  He's sick again, with a sore throat I'm hoping isn't strep. But, yesterday was the last day of school and finals, and it is now time for some rest.

I have still been photographing, and working on poem revisions.  I've also, mostly thanks to my desire to find stress-reduction, gone more often to the gym to take Zumba and a high-energy step class, which has really helped.  A month of that, and I'm already feeling positive results.  These are on top of the classes I teach: Pilates and weight-training.

So, before I become long-winded and forget to call the doctor re. the strep, here are photos taken on Mother's Day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

White Deer

This is beautiful. The images of white deer in Wisconsin are wonderful~

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Photos

Tulips are emerging, slowly.  It has been uncharacteristically cold here this spring.  But, we take the color when we can get it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Photo for Wednesday

I'm behind in all things, but here are two photos for today:

The Things- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More

The Things- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More

Today on Poets.org~

The Things
by Donald Hall

When I walk in my house I see pictures, 
bought long ago, framed and hanging 
—de Kooning, Arp, Laurencin, Henry Moore— 
that I've cherished and stared at for years, 
yet my eyes keep returning to the masters 
of the trivial—a white stone perfectly round, 
tiny lead models of baseball players, a cowbell, 
a broken great-grandmother's rocker, 
a dead dog's toy—valueless, unforgettable 
detritus that my children will throw away 
as I did my mother's souvenirs of trips 
with my dead father, Kodaks of kittens, 
and bundles of cards from her mother Kate.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Festo SmartBird - Bird flight deciphered

This is amazing! The video is a bit lengthy - about 18 minutes - but well-worth watching. Bird flight studied and simulated. And artfully done~

'O, The Oprah Magazine' Waxes Poetic : NPR

'O, The Oprah Magazine' Waxes Poetic : NPR

From the NPR website:

"April 4, 2011

In celebration of National Poetry Month, "O —The Oprah Magazine" has published its first-ever poetry issue. The April issue features interviews with poet Mary Oliver and poet laureate W.S. Merwin. Several celebrities, including Diane Sawyer, Demi Moore and, of course, Oprah Winfrey, talk about why poetry is important to them. Host Michel Martin discusses the special issue with the magazine's editor-in-chief, Susan Casey and writer Aracelis Girmay, who was featured as an emerging poet in the magazine."

To see the full transcript, visit the link above.

Billy Collins And National Poetry Month

Billy Collins And National Poetry Month

On NPR right now. . . if you live in the Seattle area. So good.

Billy Collins And National Poetry Month

Steve Scher
04/06/2011 at 9:00 a.m.
Former poet laureate Billy Collins has made an effort to make poetry more accessible to the masses. His humorous poems poke fun at everything, including himself. What do you like about poetry? Do you have any poems memorized? The poetry scene in the Pacific Northwest is incredibly diverse. Why is poetry important? We celebrate National Poetry Month with Billy Collins and KUOW's Elizabeth Austin. What's your favorite poem?

Related Event

Billy Collins will be reading tonight at Elliott Bay Book Company at 7:00 p.m.


Billy Collins was the US poet laureate from 2001 to 2003. He is a distinguished professor of English at Lehman College, City University of New York, and is the senior distinguished fellow of the Winter Park Institute in Florida. His publications include "Nine Horses," "The Trouble with Poetry" and "The Art of Drowning and Pokerface." His latest book is "Horoscopes for the Dead."
Elizabeth Austen is debuting her poetry collection, "Every Dress A Decision." The collection is out this month from Blue Begonia Press. She's been KUOW's literary producer for the past decade, interviewing poets and introducing poems to public radio listeners. Each month she offers a journaling and poetry workshop for the staff at Seattle Children's Hospital, where she makes her living as a communications specialist.

--From KUOW website

Day Six, Poem a Day, National Poetry Month. . . etc

Today, I'm behind two poems, so I need to do some catching up.  Actually, I need to look through my bedside journal to make sure that I've actually written poems for the other four days.  That I don't already know this can be explained a couple of ways.

I do my journal writing (99% of the time) before bed, in bed, usually after 10:30 p.m. This is either good or bad, depending on how tired I am.  I have actually written poems I didn't know I wrote when looking back through the journal pages weeks later, and some of them seem halfway decent to me.  I don't know if this is a function of age, or just extreme fatigue. I do know that writing while tired can be freeing, because your 'editor' quite often has already fallen asleep.

The other reason I'm not sure if I've truly written a poem a day in six days is that I actually started this process at the beginning of Lent.  I'm not giving up chocolate, but taking on daily writing, which, if I'm lucky, will last beyond Easter, the end of April, and hopefully into the months to come.

By way of distraction, here is a photo, taken yesterday, for today:

Maybe today's prompt could be about something I've photographed.  My dad is still on my mind; mom, too.  Will they become involved in today's poem?

What will you write about?  When is your best time to write?  Your most successful time (to write)?  Let me know, if you've got the time.  I'll be curious.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day Five of National Poetry Month

On Robert Brewer's site, Poetic Asides, he gives this prompt for the poem of the day:

"Today is our first "Two for Tuesday" prompt of the month. For those who are new to the challenge, I provide two prompts instead of one--usually polar opposites of each other--and poets can choose which one to use. Of course, quite a few poets write a poem for both prompts.

For today's prompt, do one of the following:
  1. Write a goofy poem.
  2. Write a serious poem.
Of course, I see the possibility for writing a seriously goofy poem and writing a serious poem with a little goofy thrown into the mix. I'm excited to see what kind of silly things may transpire the next 24 hours, and I'm interested in all the straight-faced poems as well."

 So, my task is set.

So far, my poems have been all but goofy.  Much of the subject matter is pulled from my dad's passing (on 1 January of this year).  Before he died, I had a flood of poem ideas, and some that will be published soon, but now it gets harder.  Now it's not so much about the process, but about the past, and the future.

How to write the goofy poem?  Will it retain some underlying sense of irony?  Can it be truly light-hearted?  I don't know.  But I do know that for me this will be a challenge.

* * *

A few photos, in keeping with my parallel challenge of posting a photo a day, which I haven't done.  Here is one for each day up till now.

Note:  The ruined Birkenstock is one that was kicked into the blackberries the day, 10 or so years ago, the lid to the compost bin came down on my head one too many times.

Off to work, and to ruminate on my goofy poem. If you get a chance, let me know if you're working on writing a poem a day also.  I'd love to hear what you're up to.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Walk This Way

It ain't poetry, but I love this~

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Poem for First Day of National Poetry Month

This is from Poets.org:

The Fish
by Elizabeth Bishop

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled and barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
—the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly—
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
—It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
—if you could call it a lip—
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels—until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.

Poetry Month, day two

I visited Poetic Asides for the latest prompt, which is to write a postcard poem.  I got a start on one, but have turned my sights to the outside world, which, in my neck of the woods, is wet.  Not great for one who just got a new Nikon.  So, I'll post a couple of photos of my cat.

All taken with a Nikon d90.  First one with my old 50mm AF Nikon lens, and the other two with the 60mm Nikon lens.

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Been A Long Time

and I completely missed posting during my birth month, March.  What happened?


My birthday, which included three nice dinners, and lunch with my Pilates class.  And, I finally got my camera (more soon).

Seattle Arts and Lectures series evening with Marie Howe, which was wonderful.  I found her inspiring in many ways. I could relate to the content of the work she shared, having recently lost my dad to disease, and she, her brother.  Of course, her poems echo a strong spiritual sense as well.  This is something that was prevalent in many of my poems, and something I feel has changed in mine.  But that is a topic for later.

I got the latest launch done for our gym's strength training program, and feel relatively good about the results.  Tried it out last night, too, because I just couldn't wait.  I love my class participants, many of whom are friends at this point.  

And, spring break.  My daughter was home for a week and a half.  This week my son is off from school, which is nice for us all - we get to sleep in.  A definite plus.

There have been challenges as well, and I've felt divided into many parts.  The Mother part emerged the strongest, and received the most wear.  The fitness instructor part hasn't received enough.  The artist and poet?  Oh so little.

So.  I made a little Lenten pact with myself (which I also shared with Marie Howe when she graciously signed a copy of the Kingdom of Ordinary Time) - to write something every day.  And, for the most part, I have done that.  But the poems are not coming easily.  And today we launch into National Poetry Month, where I feel compelled to write a poem a day, no matter how bad it is.

Then again, maybe something will be good.  Maybe I'll find time to spend with friends, doing timed writes and poetry exercises, which I find so helpful.  Something else I found I could relate to:  Marie Howe mentioned how hard it is sometimes to generate poems.  Unlike Billy Collins, who seems to crank them out on a regular basis, with little or no editing, and the results are good.  At least, it sure seems that way.  But then, what do I know?

The artist also wants to have her day, and now that the camera is here, I'll do my best to post a photo often.  Photo a Day?  We'll see.

30 Ways to Celebrate- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More

30 Ways to Celebrate- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More

It's opening day of National Poetry Month. The above link is to one of my favorite sites, Poetry.org. If you're wondering how to celebrate each day, visit the link above for some fun ideas~ And, don't forget to write some poems!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Save NPR and PBS!

I have enjoyed, and supported, both public radio and public television for at least the past 21 years.  I grew up watching KCTS 9, and make room in my weekend for The Car Guys, A PHC, Vinyl Cafe, Wait Wait - Don't Tell Me!, This American Life, and so many other great programs.  During the week, KUOW keeps me company on my way to and from work.  In the evenings, I am fascinated by NOVA, inspired by Rick Steves, and hopelessly addicted to Doc Martin.  There are so many more, too, like Frontline, Masterpiece Theater, Nature, and Great Performances.  The list goes one. I can't imagine losing these rich and varied programs.

If you live in Washington State, this is information on contacting your representatives about helping to save NPR and PBS programming:

From the KCTS 9 site:

"February 17, 2011
Dear friend of KCTS 9,

This is it: Congress is set to begin voting on a proposal that would completely eliminate federal funding for public broadcasting. The Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 1) would zero out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports KCTS 9 and public television and radio stations across the country, as well as programming from PBS and National Public Radio.

By now you've heard the message: federal investment in public broadcasting amounts to just $1.35 per person each year. In return, all Americans have access to trusted news and public affairs coverage, a safe harbor of commercial-free children’s educational programming and front-row seats to world-class arts performances.

We need your urgent help to protect federal funding for public broadcasting. Please act now and take a moment to tell Congress how you feel about eliminating federal funding for public TV and radio.

WA-01: Rep. Jay Inslee 202-225-6311

WA-02: Rep. Rick Larsen 202-225-2605

WA-03: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler 202-225-3536

WA-04: Rep. Doc Hastings 202-225-5816

WA-05: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers 202-225-2006

WA-06: Rep. Norm Dicks 202-225-5916

WA-07: Rep. Jim McDermott 202-225-3106

WA-08: Rep. Dave Reichert 202-225-7761

WA-09: Rep. Adam Smith 202-225-8901

The vote is imminent—we need your voice to be heard. Call today!"

*   *   *

Thanks for indulging me~

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day poem

Lovers' Infiniteness
by John Donne

If yet I have not all the love,
Dear, I shall never have it all,
I cannot breathe one other sigh, to move,
Nor can entreat one other tear to fall.
All my treasure, which should purchase thee,
Sighs, tears, and oaths, and letters I have spent,
Yet no more can be due to me,
Than at the bargain made was meant.
If then thy gift of love were partial,
That some to me, some should to others fall,
     Dear, I shall never have thee all.

Or if then thou gavest me all,
All was but all, which thou hadst then;
But if in thy heart, since, there be or shall
New love created be, by other men,
Which have their stocks entire, and can in tears,
In sighs, in oaths, and letters outbid me,
This new love may beget new fears,
For, this love was not vowed by thee.
And yet it was, thy gift being general,
The ground, thy heart is mine; whatever shall
     Grow there, dear, I should have it all.

Yet I would not have all yet,
He that hath all can have no more,
And since my love doth every day admit
New growth, thou shouldst have new rewards in store;
Thou canst not every day give me thy heart,
If thou canst give it, then thou never gav'st it;
Love's riddles are, that though thy heart depart,
It stays at home, and thou with losing sav'st it:
But we will have a way more liberal,
Than changing hearts, to join them, so we shall
     Be one, and another's all.


Mitza, originally uploaded by Dragan*.

Just too sweet not to share.

This photographer says:


Winter white Russian dwarf hamster"

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Poem for Thursday

From Poets.org

Good Hair
by Sherman Alexie

Hey, Indian boy, why (why!) did you slice off your braids?
Do you grieve their loss? Have you thought twice about your braids?

With that long, black hair, you looked overtly Indian.
If vanity equals vice, then does vice equal braids?

Are you warrior-pretend? Are you horseback-never?
Was your drum-less, drum-less life disguised by your braids?

Hey, Indian boy, why (why!) did you slice off your braids?
You have school-age kids, so did head lice invade your braids?

Were the scissors impulsive or inevitable?
Did you arrive home and say, "Surprise, I cut my braids"?

Do you miss the strange women who loved to touch your hair?
Do you miss being eroticized because of your braids?

Hey, Indian boy, why (why!) did you slice off your braids?
Did you weep or laugh when you said goodbye to your braids?

Did you donate your hair for somebody's chemo wig?
Is there a cancer kid who thrives because of your braids?

Did you, peace chief, give your hair to an orphaned sparrow?
Is there a bald eagle that flies because of your braids?

Hey, Indian boy, why (why!) did you slice off your braids?
Was it worth it? Did you profit? What's the price of braids?

Did you cut your hair after your sister's funeral?
Was it self-flagellation? Did you chastise your braids?

Has your tribe and clan cut-hair-mourned since their creation?
Did you, ceremony-dumb, improvise with your braids?

Hey, Indian boy, why (why!) did you slice off your braids?
Was it a violent act? Did you despise your braids?

Did you cut your hair after booze murdered your father?
When he was buried, did you baptize him with your braids?

Did you weave your hair with your siblings' and mother's hair,
And pray that your father grave-awakes and climbs your braids?

Friday, January 21, 2011

To the New Year

With what stillness at last

you appear in the valley

your first sunlight reaching down

to touch the tips of a few

high leaves that do not stir

as though they had not noticed

and did not know you at all

then the voice of a dove calls

from far away in itself

to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you

here and now whether or not

anyone hears it this is

where we have come with our age

our knowledge such as it is

and our hopes such as they are

invisible before us

untouched and still possible

W.S .Merwin

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spider Silk Weaving - Amazing!

, originally uploaded by bytegirl24.
Here is a photo I found that shows details of the the spider silk tapestry on display at the Museum of Natural History in New York.

From the American Museum of Natural History's website:
'A spectacular and extremely rare textile, woven from golden-colored silk thread produced by more than one million spiders in Madagascar, goes on display Wednesday, September 23 in the Museum's Grand Gallery. This magnificent contemporary textile, measuring 11 feet by 4 feet, took four years to make using a painstaking technique developed more than 100 years ago.
This unique textile was created drawing on the legacy of a French missionary, Jacob Paul Camboué, who worked with spiders in Madagascar in the 1880s and 1890s. Camboué worked to collect and weave spider silk but with limited success, and no surviving textile is now known to exist. Previously, the only known spider-silk textile of note was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, and it was subsequently lost.
Producing the spider silk—the only example of its kind displayed anywhere in the world—involved the efforts of 70 people who collected spiders daily from webs on telephone wires, using long poles. These spiders were all collected during the rainy season (the only time when they produce silk) from Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, and the surrounding countryside. These giant spider webs are a well-known feature of the capital, and frequently surprise international visitors. A dozen more people were needed to draw the silk from the spiders with hand-powered machines, with each spider producing about 80 feet of silk filament. This intricately-patterned spider silk features stylized birds and flowers and is based on a weaving tradition known as lamba Akotifahana from the highlands of Madagascar, an art reserved for the royal and upper classes of the Merina people (who are concentrated in the Central highlands). Silkworm silk has been used for a long period in Madagascar, however, there is no tradition of weaving spider silk in Madagascar. In this unique lamba cloth, the individual threads used for weaving are made by twisting 96 to 960 individual spider silk filaments together.'

Spider Silk Weaving - Amazing!

From the NPR site:

"September 27, 2009
This week in New York, the American Museum of Natural History unveiled something never before seen: an 11-by-4-foot tapestry made completely of spider silk.
Weavers in Madagascar took four years to make it, and the museum says there's no other like it in the world.
It's now in a glass case at the museum. The color is a radiant gold — the natural color of the golden orb-weaving spider, from the Nephila genus, one that's found in several parts of the world.
Simon Peers, a textile maker who lives in Madagascar, conceived the project. Weaving spider silk is not traditional there; a French missionary dreamed it up over a century ago but failed at it. The only known spider silk tapestry was shown in Paris in 1900 but then disappeared.
Peers researched previous attempts, then teamed up with fashion expert Nicholas Godley to hire local weavers to try the near-impossible."

To read more about this tapestry, and to see photos of it, check out the link above~

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Poem: "Beannacht"

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Image from the Seattle Art Musem, after seeing Picasso

On 1 January, 2011

my dad passed away.  It seems the poems on Poets.org understand that tenuous feeling that the first of the year, even without death, can bring.  Here are two examples:

The Thread of Life
by Christina Rossetti


The irresponsive silence of the land,
The irresponsive sounding of the sea,
Speak both one message of one sense to me: —
Aloof, aloof, we stand aloof, so stand
Thou too aloof bound with the flawless band
Of inner solitude; we bind not thee;
But who from thy self—chain shall set thee free?
What heart shall touch thy heart? what hand thy hand?—
And I am sometimes proud and sometimes meek,
And sometimes I remember days of old
When fellowship seemed not so far to seek
And all the world and I seemed much less cold,
And at the rainbow's foot lay surely gold,
And hope felt strong and life itself not weak.


Thus am I mine own prison. Everything
Around me free and sunny and at ease:
Or if in shadow, in a shade of trees
Which the sun kisses, where the gay birds sing
And where all winds make various murmuring;
Where bees are found, with honey for the bees;
Where sounds are music, and where silences
Are music of an unlike fashioning.
Then gaze I at the merrymaking crew,
And smile a moment and a moment sigh
Thinking: Why can I not rejoice with you ?
But soon I put the foolish fancy by:
I am not what I have nor what I do;
But what I was I am, I am even I.


Therefore myself is that one only thing
I hold to use or waste, to keep or give;
My sole possession every day I live,
And still mine own despite Time's winnowing.
Ever mine own, while moons and seasons bring
From crudeness ripeness mellow and sanative;
Ever mine own, till Death shall ply his sieve;
And still mine own, when saints break grave and sing.
And this myself as king unto my King
I give, to Him Who gave Himself for me;
Who gives Himself to me, and bids me sing
A sweet new song of His redeemed set free;
He bids me sing: O death, where is thy sting?
And sing: O grave, where is thy victory?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

My Heart
by Kim Addonizio

That Mississippi chicken shack.
That initial-scarred tabletop,
that tiny little dance floor to the left of the band.
That kiosk at the mall selling caramels and kitsch.
That tollbooth with its white-plastic-gloved worker
handing you your change.
That phone booth with the receiver ripped out.
That dressing room in the fetish boutique,
those curtains and mirrors.
That funhouse, that horror, that soundtrack of screams.
That putti-filled heaven raining gilt from the ceiling.
That haven for truckers, that bottomless cup.
That biome. That wilderness preserve.
That landing strip with no runway lights
where you are aiming your plane,
imagining a voice in the tower,
imagining a tower.


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