I Ask My Mother To Sing (Li-Young Lee)

She begins, and my grandmother joins her.
Mother and daughter sing like young girls.
If my father were alive, he would play
his accordion and sway like a boat.
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I’ve never been in Peking, or the Summer Palace,
nor stood on the great Stone Boat to watch
the rain begin on Kuen Ming Lake, the picnickers
running away in the grass.
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But I love to hear it sung;
how the waterlilies fill with rain until
they overturn, spilling water into water,
then rock back, and fill with more.
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Both women have begun to cry.
But neither stops her song.
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Li-Young Lee
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I’ve been reading the poetry of Li-Young Lee recently.  There is something truly beautiful about his writing.  Even though Li-Young Lee is a well known poet in America, I’ve not heard of his name or writing before.  While reading his poetry it spoke to me of an experienced poet, one who considers carefully about what he wants to convey in a deeply literary sense, but still manages to create poems anyone can relate to.  He writes a lot of his childhood and family which is a subject I’m often drawn to write about myself.
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After reading I Ask My Mother To Sing it reminded me of the water lily I captured in Plantation Garden, Norwich… I thought they would go well together.  I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did.
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If you would like to read more of Li-Young Lee’s poetry you can find a selection at the Poetry Foundation.
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While looking up who this wonderful poet was I found an old video on You Tube where he reads some of his poems and talks a little about the background of his family and where he was born in Indonesia.

If you enjoyed this video you may also like this one too, where he reads another selection of his poetry at a public event at The University Of California.  If you’ve not heard of Li-Young Lee, the introductory is well worth a listen.

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Legacy

WORDS IN THE LIGHT

You were ready to walk
through the Night with me
but you died on a Winter day
and left me Spring as a legacy.

Flowers and words in blue,
words and flowers from you:
now what is yours is mine
and what is mine is yours.

Mummy,
Love is not missing.
Thank you for
the Blessing.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

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The Dangling Conversation ~ Simon & Garfunkel

Some time ago my SoundCloud friend Mark introduced me to The Dangling Conversation.  I thought I knew pretty much all of Simon and Garfunkel’s well known songs… but I was so wrong, I’d never heard this one.

I absolutely loved it and found myself drawn to listen to this delightful song again and again.  One day while listening, I suddenly realised it might make an interesting poem for one of my spoken word creations.  And here it is… with a simple video included.  I also uploaded a version to my SoundCloud page.

I find it very interesting to speak poetry that isn’t mine.  It helps form a different pattern in my mind on how to speak and how to write poems.  We all have patterns that are part of how we think, which is perfectly natural, but it’s good to introduce something different now and then.  It helps reduce limitations and expands the writer on the inside.

After I recorded my version of The Dangling Conversation I did some more research on the song and found a 1968 black and white film of a High School teacher reading the lyrics in the process of teaching her class poetry.  I thought it was absolutely wonderful to see that.

I read in the video comments below from someone who was a pupil at that school during the time of the filming, they said the teacher was called Ms London.

I love the way she saw those lyrics as pure poetry and not just a song… such a cool teacher!

The Dangling Conversation is from Simon and Garfunkels Parsely, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme album.  If you’ve not heard it yet please take a listen, it’s a beautiful album.

Mishmosh Poetry And Art

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I discovered this lovely lady speaking her poetry on SoundCloud some time ago.  I find her poetry inspiring and also very relaxing to listen to.  She has a huge selections of spoken word posts… these are some of her earlier posts.  Her collection of poetry will certainly keep the listener entertained for a long time.  Sit back and enjoy!

The beautiful colourful images she uses on her SoundCloud posts are all her own art.  You can find her Mishmosh Poetry and art on Facebook too.

A Return To Photography

Suzy Hazelwood (CC)

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Forty years have slipped by
and I never even noticed
once more… here my feet are

The eight year old
got lost along the way
maybe I’ll find her again… somewhere

But you stand strong
unmoved
unaged
not by a single day

I want to capture
all the magic
to be left
with a little piece of you

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This poem was inspired by the picture I captured of the carousel scene last summer.  It’s the very same carousel I took a few memorable rides on at The Pleasure Beach in my childhood years while visiting the seaside town of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.  The photo was taken with my Samsung S4mini phone.  I was hoping to take a variety of pictures of the funfair, but arrived a little late in the season and found it was closed!  If it looks ghostly… it kind of was! 😖   I’m looking forward to visiting again this year to get some vibrant funfair pictures.

I used to do a lot of photography back in the late 80’s, it became my main hobby for several years.  I took all kinds of pictures, but I found after a while I was most interested in taking portraits.  It turned out to be what I was best at, and I got into those portraits in a big way.  I really loved making people look fabulous, it was great fun.  I wish I could show you the results, but those images are way too personal to post on my blog.  I’m sure my friends from back in the 80’s (most I’ve lost touch with now) wouldn’t be too happy with me posting their portraits online!  But I do have an album on Flickr with a small selection of some of the more general pictures I took in the 80’s and 90’s.

By the time I moved to my own home in my mid twenties, I found I never had much money left to spend on photography.   It was an expensive hobby back in those days.  I didn’t use my camera for several years, and when I finally got back to it, I discovered some deterioration.  My pictures were turning out blurred, but the thought of having to spend money I didn’t really have on a camera repair caused me to entirely lose interest.  That was the end of my photography for many years.  I have posted a few pictures previously on this blog I took with my brother’s old Cannon PowerShot A610, but now, with a new camera in my hands, I think I can finally say I’ve returned to photography, and it feels wonderful!

Although high quality cameras are still very expensive, at least the processing of images doesn’t have to be costly.  I get such a thrill out of how it costs me nothing at all to get my images looking exactly how I want them.  At the moment, I don’t use Photoshop, I use a free program called Photoscape.  Obviously the options it offers will never be as vast as Photoshop, but for fairly basic image editing, plus some creative options, it’s all I need at the moment.

This year I bought a Sony A6000.  I really liked a lot of images I’d seen online taken with Sony cameras, but never thought I could afford one, as a lot of Sony cameras are at least a £1000 or more.  I bought my Sony A6000 for less than £450.  Obviously, there were a few extras to buy, and I will probably purchase other additional lenses in the near future, but I feel I got a very good deal on that camera.  I’ve barely begun to use it… I absolutely love the results!

It’s also very compact in size and incredibly lightweight, which is very important to me, as I dislike heavy bulky cameras.  If you are looking for a small camera with professional results to take on your holidays, the Sony A6000 might be perfect for that.

I’ve posted below two galleries below.  The first group were taken with my Samsung S4mini phone.  Very pleased with the images that budget priced phone takes.  The second lot of images, I took this year with the Sony A6000.  Two of which are of Mark Mayes book ‘The Gift Maker’ which I briefly mentioned back in July in the post of our spoken word collaboration.  It has such an attractive cover I thought it would make an interesting subject to photograph. At least it got me started on some still life, a subject I was previously useless at.  It helps a lot to have a camera where you’re not forced to look through a view finder, it allows a lot freedom to move around at all angles.  So last week, I bought some flowers, parked them in front of my bedroom window, and got shooting.  Then moved on to my vintage books… and more flowers!  I found I’m not only improving on those still little things, I really enjoy it.

Most of the images uploaded to my Flickr page are set to Creative Commons (non commercial).  If anyone is interested in using any of them for a blog post, they are free to use… as long as I’m credited for the image back to Flickr.  I’ve had a small selection of images used since last summer, and most bloggers have been good enough to stick to the CC licence and credit me, which is really nice to see.

I would like to say a big thank you to all my WordPress photographer friends for inspiring me over the years.  I’m sure your fantastic images have done a great deal in helping me to return to a forgotten hobby,  and have also taught me lot about how to see the world through a digital camera.  Thank you so much… keep taking your awesome pictures!! 😊

To see the full size view of any of these images please visit my Flickr page.

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The Gift Maker ~ Mark Mayes
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky ~ Lewis Carroll (poetry collaboration with Mark Mayes)

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A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear

Long has paled that sunny sky;
Echoes fade and memories die;
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die;

Ever drifting down the stream
Lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?
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Image: Pixabay

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A few weeks ago one of my lovely WP photography pals feralc4t suggested I should try reading a Lewis Carroll poem.  It’s not often I take a suggestion and create something this quickly, as a lot of what I post here is planned months in advance.  I found Lewis Carroll’s poetry fascinating, but was concerned I wouldn’t be able to read most of his poems without tripping up over words or just finding it all too funny – especially the Jabberwocky!

I had a good read of Lewis Carroll’s poetry and was surprised when I came across this elegant melancholy poem with the mention of Alice.  I’ve never read Alice Through The Looking Glass but it seems this acrostic poem spelling out Alice Pleasance Liddell appears at the end of the book.  You can read more about it on worlddreambank.org

I initially intended reading it myself, but then thought of an idea to make a unique spoken word version.  I asked my talented SoundCloud friend Mark Mayes if he would be interested in a collaboration with me.  I was thrilled when he said yes!  I thought his wonderful rich voice would be an ideal contrast to mine.  The arrangement in our version is a suggestion that Alice is lingering in the background as a ghostly memory.  It was a bit of challenge to produce, but I was pleased with the result.

Mark has studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art  and worked in both theatre and television.  I had a great interest in theatre myself in my late teens and participated in amateur drama for over four years.  I haven’t done anything remotely like this since that time.  It’s made my entire year to create this spoken word drama with Mark! 😀

Mark not only writes and reads his own poetry and other famous poets work, but is greatly talented in writing and performing some really beautiful folk songsHe also has a SoundCloud page where he posts a selection of covers of well known songs.  I love the way he conveys emotion in all of his work, it’s always a real pleasure to visit his SoundCloud pages, and also to converse with him on Twitter and email – he’s such a warm friendly guy.  You can read his full biography here.

His debut novel will be published in spring 2017 by Urbane Publications.  If his novel is anything like his poetry and lyrics, it will be a good book indeed.  He also has a WP blog where you can find him posting his poetry, spoken word, songs and book reviews.  If you’re interested in new authors, keep your eye on Mark!


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41wYUC6FHHLThe Right Wrong Man
Pamela S Wight

Blue ~ Poetry Video

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Captur-00Recently I was asked by a writer friend on WattPad (also Mia Lotus on You Tube) if I’d like to be one of the poets for a charitable project website of hers (Songs For The Sea) to encourage and inspire us all to care more about the ocean. I wrote two ocean related poems and also decided to create a poetry video.  My lovely artist friend Karen Gadient created some beautiful ‘blue’ abstract art to go with the poem

Most of my videos on my You Tube page that are not my own film are free creative commons footage, but on this occasion I decided to purchase some pieces of short film from Shutterstock.  They have an amazing collection of film footage on Shutterstock, but it’s probably not something I’ll be spending much money on with future videos as it’s quite costly.

The point of my poetry video is to show how misguided it is to spend so much time and money on space projects in the hope of finding life when there is an abundance of life in the ocean, some of which has barely been explored. 

The ocean is a world within our world and is so crucial to the functioning of the planet we live on.  Space on the other hand, fascinating it may be, but I don’t feel it’s as relevant as the sea or important enough to be spending vast sums of public money in exploration that doesn’t appear to result in much at all. The sea these days seems to be turning into a convenient dumping ground – that’s just so wrong.  I wonder if another habitable planet was ever found, humans would just go and dump their garbage there too?

You can find more poets writing on (Songs For The Sea) under the poetry category and also a collection of talented singers and musicians. In January 2017 there will be a CD music compilation of all the singers and musicians listed. 

Also at some point an ebook of poetry will be published.  Both of those items will be sold in aid of charity.  If it interests you, then make sure to bookmark the website for future visits.

Please enjoy the video – it’s a bit of chill out poetry experience! 🙂

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The Writing Garden - Literary Magazine

Have you seen The Writing Garden yet? 
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If you enjoy poetry, spoken word, photography and art, you may enjoy this literary magazine.  One new issue every two months packed with some beautiful talent.