Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just Like Romeo & Juliet

I grabbed a few of my Shakespeare props and had a little birthday cup of tea for the Bard accompanied by one of the first blooms from my son's little rose garden. Naturally, I turned to some of my Shakespeare and D. S. Pearson lines. D.S. is sort of my poetry portmanteau. We can have a discussion on a poem or a poet that lasts months.

Here is yet another of his creations ...a new take on one of Shakespeare's stories...

Quantum Shakespeare

say the universe explodes

or implodes

or is ripped apart



sub-atomic particles



profess their love...

d.s. pearson


"I can see him renting a room, destitute, working on a scarred desk, and writing with a quill. He probably wanted a bath, but wrote instead," said D.S. of writing this next poem.

Bard of Avon


I reverentially consume


flowed from a quill

dipped into an inkwell

in a

rented room

beside a river

d.s. pearson


Tonight as we discussed how we continue to be held in awe and inspired and always moved by his language, we wondered if the people of Shakespeare's time understood the loss when he died on April 23, 1616. I have heard the following lines used at weddings and funerals. But for this anniversary of his birth and his death, and to think "reverentially" on the writer who continues to eclipse all others, these lines we give back to the writer himself: He -- the Romeo....we --the Juliet....

Give me my Romeo; and when he shall die

Take him and cut him out in little stars

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

And pay no worship to the garish sun.

from Romeo & Juliet Act III scene ii

A Poem for Earth Day. Read Aloud, Please.

My one contribution is Avebury, England, 2006.
And here are more photographs from my Ukrainian exchange student.
Click on all photos to enlarge so you can find hidden creatures,
or just see them better
A froggie

Now say a little prayer of thanks for Father Hopkins and our sweet Earth.

Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844 - 1888

Photographer unknown

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls, finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced - fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how??)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise God.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Horse, A Horse, My Classroom for a Horse!

This little mare gets the Good Citizenship Award for her part in today's annual open house at Auburn University's School of Veterinarian Medicine. Students painted the skeletal structure to educate and create interest for the many youngsters who visited the stables today. Naturally, this was one of my favorite stops!

Inside the stables of the Bartlett Lameness Arena, I spent a while petting and getting to know the school's resident Clydesdale mare, Chloe. Her stable girl, barely evident to the left in the photo, was a dainty 5'3" tall. She very graciously agreed to open the stall door so I could get a quick picture of Chloe's sweet face. Even for a large draft horse, I think she had very delicate features accented with her big brown eyes. I am sure she garnered a few recruits. (Click on AU photos to enlarge.)

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a veterinarian. In college my interests in theatre and English prevailed. However, I am not the the frustrated writer who became an English teacher, but the frustrated vet who loves language and literature.
Tell me. What did YOU want to be when you grew up?

Note: I took all the new photographs TODAY! The header, the North Wind plaque, is mounted on a huge oak in our back garden. I am thanking him for our cool air.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beautiful Clouds .... a gift

After nearly three years of severe drought here in my state, I must pay homage to the rain and beautiful clouds. Often the weather turns from a relatively mild winter to summer. Lately we are enjoying plenty of rain, cool nights in the forties and mild days in the high sixties. We have been really blessed with a true spring.
Last year, I was privileged to have in my speech class, a very talented, gracious, and beautiful Ukrainian exchange student. She truly added much to the community of the school. Among the gifts she shared with me are a few of her collections of photographs from her travels here and from her homeland. She was and remains a serious art student. Now back in her own country, she will graduate from her high school this spring. Featured here is one of her photographs made somehwere in Virginia, April 2008.

I am the daughter of the earth and water.
And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores,
I change , but I cannot die.
from "The Cloud"
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Friday, April 10, 2009

Carrying the Cross by Lorenzo Lotto

Yesterday, my husband and I visited Atlanta's High Museum. It was his birthday, and he especially wanted to see the The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army exhibit. That was grand. However, an added bonus was the Louvre Atlanta: The Louvre and the Masterpiece. This title is the third part in the third year of the Louvre Atlanta exhibit at the High (family name, so there is not a Low Museum). In the masterpiece discussion, it is described as a lost and found. It mostly likely had hung in a church for some two to three hundred years until someone moved it. Having been laid aside, wrapped in a cloth in the church for more than a hundred years, it was discovered obscured in dust and grime. Once it was cleaned and restored, it was recognized to be a lost masterpiece by Lorenzo Lotto. It belongs to the Louvre and hangs in the same gallery with the Mona Lisa when it is not touring.
I stood before this painting quite some time. I studied it closely and played the corresponding narrative for it twice. The image I am using here is from the official Louvre website.
Reflecting on the history of the painting reminded me that we often allow the perfect and beautiful and sacred aspects of our lives to become obscured with the dust and grime of the years. We may set them aside and even forget them. Easter is about renewing, refreshing, and reclaiming ourselves and all that is good about the human experience---about the profound and mystical meaning of Carrying the Cross.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another First...and more from D.S. Pearson

A new azalea...

A very close closeup of my woolly thyme....such delicate tiny leaves

And the peppermint ivy leaf geranium....

A fairy boy in the purple pansies...

Peppermint petals of an ivy leaf geranium...

A few more peppermints...

An ancient azalea shrub blooming once again...

These are my first digital blooms! I have been practicing today.
(Click on any photo to enlarge. The thyme is especially detailed up close!)


Here are few more poems from my dear friend....D.S. Pearson
There is a full moon tonight...
The ashen surface of the moon
mocks me as it glides
across the night
It knows me...
this ancient thing.
Barefoot in the wee hours of the morning
I listen to the darkness
the turning of the earth
rush westward
Robins sleep...
and dogs sit patiently
beside me

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Very First Meme!

Well, here we go! I saw this one Saturday at Willow's and thought I would give it a whirl!

What is your current obsession?

Learning to draw portraits & learning to use the Nikon digital properly...

Which item from your closet are you wearing most often?
Stegmann felt clogs...soft and woolly

What's for dinner?
Willow's New Millennium Salmon Patties (see her November 8, 2008 post)
I am planning to serve them Friday!

Last thing you bought?
Not counting groceries....
A pair of unusual alarm clocks for the Colonel and me. I found these on the way to seeking a clock for this site. The company is called VOCO - Clocks that talk ....a lot! They make a clock named Jeeves in a Box! (Steven Fry is the voice of course). They are named Good Morning Madam & Good Morning Sir! The, phrases are amazing! And seemingly endless! And hilarious! "Good morning Sir. Sorry to disturb you , but it appears to be morning. I know, very inconvenient. Something to do with the rotation of the earth, I believe."

What are you listening to?
Right now? Two ticking clocks! Oh, music? Abby Newton/cello Castles, Kirks, & Caves: Scottish Music of the 18th Century

Say something to the person who tagged you.
Willow, has the Center for Disease Control learned about this rampant spread of blog-o-monia resulting in the transmutation of PMS to PSS: permanently smiling syndrome?

Reading right now? P. G. Wodehouse

Four words to describe yourself:
I was going to say.....loyal, gregarious, inquisitive.....
but these last four words are most accurate: a real gone cookie!!

Guilty pleasure:

Doing what I WANT TO DO.....not what needs doing.....

Favorite vacation spot?
In the U.S. Seaside, Florida on the Gulf Coast (The Truman Show was filmed there).
In England.....the countryside....Yorkshire & City of Oxford

What is your favorite stringed instrument?

First spring thing?
Azaleas! A drive through Callaway Gardens, Georgia (Click on the link under Favorite Haunts.)

Best thing you ate or drank lately?
Small rack of lamb with mushrooms & sauteed spinach at The Basil Leaf in LaGrange, Georgia (last Friday)
Guenoc Victorian Claret....very recently ....I mean very

What spring flower are you most eager to see?
Native mountain laurel

Care to share some wisdom?
"Good manners are always in style." my mother

Answer questions on your blog.
Drop one question, then add a new one.
If you are reading this, you are tagged!
(unless of course you are Willow or a follower thereof.....)
Does that make you a Willower?

I am adding a rule: Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"O rare Ben Jonson"

One of my favorite professors always encouraged his students to regularly memorize a poem. Even before my younger son was born, I carried Ben Jonson's "On My First Sonne" around in my head...and in my heart. It has long been my inclination when walking through graveyards to study the number of young children that a family may have lost. The despair and power of human existence seem to float upward from the headstones. I find it at once tragic and inspirational. It was not a conscious decision to directly address my son (see the poem from March 28 post), it just seemed to flow out in first person. Now I realize, that I was composing my own joyous counterpoint to Jonson's heartbreaking elegy to his first born son who died on his 7th birthday. After reading just this poem, it is easy to appreciate the inscription marking Jonson's tomb in Westminster Abbey where he rests in Poets' Corner next to Chaucer: "O rare Ben Jonson"

The portrait is by Abraham Blyenberch, circa 1617.

On My First Son

FAREWELL, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy.
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O, could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
And, if no other misery, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and asked, say, "Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry,
For whose sake, henceforth, all his vows be such
As what he loves may never like too much."

About Me

My photo
Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat