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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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.

Story Of My Life ~ ThePianoGuys

If you haven’t discovered ThePianoGuys yet, take a look at their You Tube page – they’re beautifully entertaining! 🙂

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Wasting My Young Years ~ London Grammar

London Grammar is one of those new bands I accidentally discovered recently on one of my You Tube trips!  I love Hannah Reid’s haunting voice, and I’m looking forward to see what they come up with next.  Here’s a live version of this song.  If you want to hear more of their music visit their You Tube or SoundCloud page, also Wikipedia or their website. .

Blown Minded – Young Galaxy

 

I instantly loved this song by Young Galaxy.  Refreshingly different, and the art in the video makes it even more intriguing!  The song has an element of 80’s electro pop which is probably also why it appeals to me, awakening my teenage 80’s music memories!  Talking of 80’s music memories – using art in a video reminds me a little of A-ha’s Take On MeI originally found this video featured on a website called Collossal, a very interesting and inspiring website to find music and art.

This Womans Work – Maxwell

I’ve shared a song in a post once before by Kate Bush last year in June, but this time it’s a cover of her original enchanting 80’s song This Woman’s Work by Maxwell.  I would never have thought this song would work with a man singing those lyrics, but it really does, I’m glad I found it!  If you want to see Kate Bush singing her original version you can find it here.

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Soup Of Life

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Grey skies
hanging heavy
winter calls
as the wind howls
through secret gaps
in the window frames

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The day has become
like our passing years
not bright enough
a little harsh
and willing to leave us cold

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Life has not been kind
we deserve so much more
but still
we hang in there
wounded soldiers
learning to lay our weapons low
time teaching us
there is more to life
than waging war

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This day
this beautiful moment
is all that matters
to be sitting here with you
a glowing fire
warm soup
loving food
while we talk and laugh
of the days gone
days to come
grand illusions of the world
and all those things
we now understand

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Sympathy
is all that matters
revealing
knowing
sharing
serving each other
with simplicity
our souls nourished
by the healing soup of life

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Hello everyone, it’s good to be back!!  I hope the sound and vision helped to imagine this scene of winter warmness, but don’t watch all three hours of it!  For those of you in a warm climate, you will  have to rely on your imagination as to how chilled it is in Britain at the moment!

The poem was inspired after a visit to see my cousin a few months ago when the weather was just beginning to show signs of turning cold, so a fire was lit and soup served.  I had taken some soup with me for her to try (which she liked very much) so it was based on the enjoyment of home-made soup combined with some great conversation.

Financially it was a cheap way to spend time with a loved one, but spiritually it was worth more than any money could buy.  Conversation and sharing of how life is treating you is sometimes worth so much more than a trip to the cinema, theatre, or a game.

I’ve included in this post the recipe for that parsnip soup, if you want to try it just click on the image and save.  You must be all thinking this is a little unusual for me to be posting recipes on here – it is, but there is a reason.  I wanted to share something that I discovered after eating that soup.

I know parsnips are often not liked for their strong flavour, in fact I used to hate them intensely.  But after trying just about every kind of soup recipe I could imagine, I felt I really should at least try creating a parsnip soup.  I’m so glad I did, and to my total surprise I not only loved it, but discovered eating it on a regular basis healed my hands of a horrible dry skin condition.

I’d suffered with that dry skin for fifteen years, not much help from doctors, and I had to use buckets of hand-cream just to keep my skin from cracking up.  It’s difficult to explain without showing you just how painful and horrific it was to live with.  It’s strange how skin conditions are rarely seen as serious, but believe me, for some people they really can be.  What starts out as a minor dry skin condition can very quickly become a major one!

Eating parsnip soup three or four times a week has given me a complete cure.  It’s a real miracle for me to finally have normal skin again.  And it seems to have also cured my low blood sugar problems I’ve suffered with to varying degrees from my teenage years – it’s so good to be free of that dreadful feeling!

Parsnips have a very high nutritional value, and contain a number of vitamins and minerals that can help with skin problems (zinc being one of them) which is often lacking with anyone suffering with dry skin.  Also it seems in order for the body to absorb zinc we need copper in our bodies too.  Parsnips are high in copper, so perhaps that’s one of the reasons why they have worked so effectively for me.

Zinc supplements have never done anything for my skin problems and often they fail to contain copper.  I found recently when researching some information on zinc, a lot of zinc tablets contain zinc oxide, which is completely useless, the body can’t use it.  Zinc oxide is frequently used in cosmetics and sunscreen lotions, but it should never be sold as a supplement for the body.  Even today with a multitude of information available to us, it’s amazing what kinds of snake oil companies will get away with selling!   So if you know someone who has a chronic dry skin condition, tell them to try adding parsnips to their diet, especially in the form of soup, I find the good effects from parsnips on my skin to be more effective as soup than any other way of eating them.

The cashew nuts in this soup recipe help to make the soup creamy, but if you’re still not keen on the taste, try adding a little milk or cream, this will tone down the flavour of the parsnips a lot, making the soup taste completely different.  And if you want to spice this soup up, then add some chilli, black pepper or garlic.  Sometimes I add small pieces of chicken once the soup has been blended, and leave to cook again for 5-10 minutes, the flavour from the chicken works really well with parsnips.

Oh, and just a little note about the salt in here – if you like to use stock cubes or any other kind of stock that contains salt (DON’T ADD THE SALT). Please taste it first – then add salt.  If you’d like to see some more of my recipes here’s a few links. 

Mushroom Soup    Hummus    Salsa Dip

Hope you enjoy them!

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brushed gold

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