Poem Therapy May 27, 2011 at 2:38 : The Republic of Dreams - Michael Palmer

The Republic of Dreams
Michael Palmer

She lay so still that
as she spoke

a spider spun a seamless web
upon her body

as we spoke
and then her limbs came loose

one by one
and so my own

In many cultures the dreaming world is as much a reality as the waking world. If we're talking about what the brain believes to be reality, then yes, but if we're talking about the conscious self, well no.

Last night I dreamed of a man asking if "a criminal was in my house". Very strange until I consider that every part of a dream represents an aspect of my psyche. I wonder which aspect I've criminalized, who or what I've jailed.

The image I like best from Palmer's poem is that of the subject and speaker's limbs coming loose, suggesting that coming apart, literally at the joints, is as natural as breathing.

The Coffee Project - May 3 - May 26, 2011

May 26, 2011.

May 23, 2011. WillowPine Lane.

May 23, 2011.

May 20, 2011.

May 19, 2011. Family photo of Daniel four-years-old. Opal Thelma Hartzog Layton, James Archie Layton, Della Layton Burg, Mattie Layton Beck, Daniel Eugene.

May 17, 2011. Scoopology.

May 16, 2011.

May 14, 2011.

May 12, 2011.

May 11, 2011.

May 10, 2011.

May 8, 2011.

May 6, 2011. Childhood friend Neil.

May 3, 2011.

Artist of the Day: May Salad - Claudia Pearson

May Salad - Claudia Pearson claudiapearson.com

This week I planted roma and heirloom tomatoes, Thai, Italian, and Piccolino basil, peppers, eggplant, beets, and plan to pick up butter lettuce and whatever else appeals to me and get them in the ground this Memorial weekend.
Basil plants - WillowPine Lanegarden.

West view of WillowPine Lane.
Wheat - WillowPine Lane.

East view of Willow Pine Lane.
Rocky Mountains - WillowPine Lane.

I love Pearson's illustrated recipe by Claudia Pearson. In addition to her editorial illustrations and newly published children's book, I really hope she has an illustrated recipe book in the works.

Claudia Pearson has been illustrating her entire life and her work has been published internationally in magazines such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, Elle and Travel & Leisure.

In 2008 Claudia’s first children’s book, entitled Tribal Alphabet, was published and it has won a Silver Moonbeam Award and The Stuart Brent Award for it’s contribution in promoting multi-cultural awareness in children’s literature.

Claudia now brings her 20 years of illustrating commercially to a range of products for the home. Inspired by her love of great food she has created a collection of tea towels, prints, greeting cards and books.

What I Learned - #ThanksOprah

"My past does not define me."

It may just take a Herculean effort to "step out of my history" and let the past go. This is part of my 3 year plan I have just begun: Project Happy Life.

"You are a composite of all the things you believe."

Yep. Heaven or Hell is a state of mind. I think it is possible to make tiny shifts in belief systems, which in turn may cause seismic tremors that lead to major earthquakes. Notice the no trespassing sign? Not intentional as part of the photo, but very funny.

Artist of the Day: The Butterfly Releaser - Elle Moss

The Butterfly Releaser - Elle Moss ellemoss.etsy.com

It's Memorial weekend, the time for honoring the dead with bringing flowers, and visiting the living during family reunions.

In many ancient societies, butterflies were believed to be the souls of the dead. This weekend I plan to honor my departed with butterfly bouquets.

How do you honor yours?

Artist of the Day: Teasdale, Utah - Steven Heward

Teasdale, Utah - Steven Heward porcelainpendant.etsy.com

This painter is from my neck of the desert. I plan to check local gallery listings to see if he's represented. I love his desert portraits, and his train painting.

etsy bio:
I attended the University of Utah where I studied Portrait painting and Figure drawing under Alvin Gittins. I am currently doing Commissioned Portraits, Landscapes (mainly Plein air) and Animal/Western works. I also have owned a Dental Lab where I worked with porcelain. We specialize in toothart. We have been recognized by "Ripley's Believe It or Not" and "The Guinness book of World Records" as well as hundreds of other magazines and TV shows throughout the world, including the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Saying Goodbye to Oprah

-Oprah - Mike Joos linedraw.etsy.com http://mikejoosart.blogspot.com

I will admit that for many years I worshipped at the Church of Oprah. I watched the show religiously from the very fist week it aired, and like any true acolyte, I appropriated pretty much everything she offered: quotes, belief systems, world view, etc., as my own. At that early point in my life, I needed Oprah. Maybe a little too much. I was young, unmoored, searching for answers to the questions my life was asking. She asked the questions I wanted to ask, exposed the underbelly, and showed us our possibilities. She loved books and reading and writers. She interviewed writers at a time when I was starting to think it just might be okay to think that I could be a writer.

Her daily presence, consistent voice, the interviews, segments, articles, all helped me through a really messy marriage, an even messier divorce, single parenting, another marriage, stepchildren, balancing work, family, aging parents, figuring out what I want to do with my life.

I've been very thin and not so thin. Oprah's weight struggles have been more that a little comforting. I eat flax seed because of her. I say "authentic" because of her. I think about what my "best life" could be because of her. I think about my "divine dissatisfaction" all the time, and I am finally, finally taking steps toward my passion, and at this time in my life beginning to "dream a bigger" life than I've allowed myself. Just recently I've considered "stepping out of my history" a real possibility.

I like to think that Oprah and her audience growed each other up. To be completely honest, I have received much more from her than from therapy, and she was WAY less expensive. Back when she first aired, I clung to her show to guide me through the tangle of my life, to understand, possibly forgive, what I'd done, what had been done to me, what I hadn't done.

That was then, this is now. My life is still asking questions, I'm still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up and how to really serve my purpose. I still watch the show, but it's no longer a life line. I have my own voice, belief systems, my way of being in the world. Even so,I pay attention to what she says, what she's doing, watch the OWN network, and have found the masterclass segments invaluable. Just last night I watched her master class and realized I didn't know a thing about her own history. It's remarkable that I never felt the need to know the details of her life, but I feel the same about my real time friends. They come into my life and I don't know who they were, just who they are.

Although I no longer worship everyday at 4 P.M., over the years I've tried to watch as much as I could. For the last few years I've spent almost every afternoon at coffee with my father, but not today. Today I will be watching the final show, and I'm certain I will cry.

I am grateful to Oprah for the force of nature she is, for the positive force she continues to be.

Mighty Maggie Mason of mightygoods had the good fortune to attend the final episode and reported her impressions of the Oprahpaloosa last episodes, as well as her own personal words of gratitude. In addition to the images on Mason's blog, check out the ThanksOprah posts on flicker.

Poem Therapy: May 24, 2011 at 3:41 P.M.

My Mother Was No White Dove
Reginald Shepherd

no dove at all, coo-rooing through the dusk
and foraging for small seeds
My mother was the clouded-over night
a moon swims through, the dark against which stars
switch themselves on, so many already dead
by now (stars switch themselves off
and are my mother, she was never
so celestial, so clearly seen)

My mother was the murderous flight of crows
stilled, black plumage gleaming
among black branches, taken
for nocturnal leaves, the difference
between two darks:

a cacophony of needs
in the bare tree silhouette,
a flight of feathers, scattering
black. She was the night
streetlights oppose (perch
for the crows, their purchase on sight),
obscure bruise across the sky
making up names for rain

My mother always falling
was never snow, no kind
of bird, pigeon or crow

I found this poem on an excursion through poems whose first line begins with the letter "N" on poets.org. I am a collector of poems that go against the grain. This poem neither lauds nor damns, it shows an image of mother slant, she is an "obscure bruise", is "always falling", "not so celestial" and a "murderous flight of crows". Lord knows I've tried my best as a mother, but I too am not of the celestial ilk. I'd like to think the color of my night sky gleams not too darkly.

Artist of the Day: Useless, Useless - Robert Fontenot

Robert Fontenot: The Place This Is

Robert Fontenot recreated John Wilkes Booth's last words in millenary flowers.

I found myself laughing out loud walking around the Salt Lake Art Center gallery, not at the art, but with it.

Robert Fontenot’s exhibition, The Place This Is, addresses notions of place, history and perception in this mixed media exhibition that includes bread dough renderings of over 100 iconic Utah landmarks and icons; watercolor portraits of Utah politicians and culturati; and text pieces from voices in American history. Fontenot’s beautifully crafted artworks fuse beauty and cynicism to question how and what becomes memorialized to hold a place culture and history.

Poem Therapy May 23, 2011 at 2;49 P.M.: Leviathan - George Oppen

Robert Fontenot

George Oppen

Truth also is the pursuit of it:
Like happiness, and it will not stand.

Even the verse begins to eat away
In the acid. Pursuit, pursuit;

A wind moves a little,
Moving in a circle, very cold.

How shall we say?
In ordinary discourse—

We must talk now. I am no longer sure of the words,
The clockwork of the world. What is inexplicable

Is the 'preponderance of objects,' The sky lights
Daily with that predominance

And we have become the present.

We must talk now. Fear
Is fear. But we abandon one another.

–noun, plural -dies.
1. deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery: perfidy that goes unpunished.
2. an act or instance of faithlessness or treachery.

This word has been at the forefront of my consciousness since last Wednesday when I stood viewing a wall of embroidered words, part of the artist Robert Fontenot: The Place This Is exhibition at the Salt Lake Art Center. Fontenot's piece is so exquisite that it elevates the word out of its base meaning.

But, back to the word and it's connection to the poem. Sometimes a lie or a behavior is as huge as a whale. Sometimes it is time to talk. Sometimes it is time to just cut and run, the word abandon rippling in your wake, streaming like ribbons in the wind.

Artist of the Day: Daffodil - Sabina R.

Daffodil Sabina R. sabinar.etsy.com

On a break and found this beautiful photograph by self-taught photographer Sabina R.

I like to think all artists (and writers) are self-taught, regardless of their formal education. All artists see the world slant, see the world through their own particular filter. Artists make their vision reality in a multitude of media, because they have to, there is no other choice than to create. it doesn't matter where they've studied. If they have something that must be said, artists will say it. Think about all the artists that created a new vision: who trained Picasso in Cubism? Van Gogh to paint as he did? And back before women or persons of color were allowed access to academy training or any access to free expression, how do explain their brilliant work? Today, it really isn't possible to explain or dismiss them as outsider or naive or folk artists. They are artists. Period.

If you're interested in a self taught artist whose work rivals any artist , living or creating in the afterlife, check out Thornton Dial, here and here. And the book, Thornton Dial in the 21st Century.

This photograph lightened my mood, and I hope it does the same for you.

Sabina's etsy bio:
My name is Sabina. I am Bulgarian that currently lives in Germany.

In photography, I am a self-taught enthusiast and I work with what I have - mostly myself as a subject and my ideas. I am inspired by fine art, beautiful colors, imaginary worlds :)

Whether my imagery can be labeled as fine art is up to the viewer. For me art is something that moves me to feel and have an emotion. If any of my images can give you such a sensation I will be delighted.

Artist of the Day: Black Crow Girl- Miz Katie

Black crow bird girl: Plain Jane Original Illustration No. 88 Miz Katie mizkatie.etsy.com

This image makes me think of what I'd like to be after this life is over. The song is one of my favorites and very fitting for the news of the day.

I'll Fly Away
Albert E. Brumley

Some glad morning when this life is o'er,
I'll fly away;
To a home on God's celestial shore,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

I'll fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

When the shadows of this life have gone,
I'll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away)

I'll fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

Just a few more weary days and then,
I'll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away)

I'll fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

Miz Katie's images are engaging. Some might call them primitive or outsider art. My question is: Outside of what?

A little about Miz Katie: from her etsy bio:
I'm blind in my left eye, and I have no depth perception, but that doesn't stop me from doing what I love. I love to paint portraits.

I have a passion for painting facial expressions, people wearing glasses, masquerade masks, hats, and sunglasses. I go for the slightly unusual look. I like to paint people or characters that you might like to pull up a chair beside, and listen to their story on a rainy afternoon.

Poem Therapy May 3, 2011 at 2:39 P.M.: The Libraries Didn't Burn - Elaine Equi

The Libraries Didn't Burn
Elaine Equi

despite books kindled in electronic flames.

The locket of bookish love
still opens and shuts.

But its words have migrated
to a luminous elsewhere.

Neither completely oral nor written —
a somewhere in between.

Then will oak, willow,
birch, and olive poets return
to their digital tribes —

trees wander back to the forest?

I will admit that I am ambivalent about the "luminous elsewhere". I love that there is so much content available via the Internet, that it's possible to read an e-book via kindle, nook, etc., but I love, no, I am obsessed with old fashioned paper bound books. My ADD kicks in something fierce when I read anything online. I skip and scan, click on pics in the margin, scroll all over the place, and just plain worry about what I'm missing out on the periphery or in the margins.

If I want to get every single word, really take the story in, I have to print it out, hold it in my hands, focus on the words unfolding line by line. I know there are others like me out there, those that truly like and embrace the ever increasing gaggle of new gadgets, but that love the old school experience of holding a book in hand and dropping out of the real time world to immerse oneself into another equally real world.

This obsessive love of books has brought me unlikely friends as well. One such friend, a former boss, died early this morning. He went in for 'routine' surgery eight days ago, it went badly, and today he's gone. Just like that.

I didn't like him one bit when I first met him. And I decided I wasn't ever going to like him, even if he was going to be my new boss. Why? Nothing other than he just rubbed me the wrong way. He tried cracking jokes. I remained stone-faced. Tried praise. I wasn't about to fall for that. I was the nut that would not be cracked, the castle that would not be conquered,(add your own metaphor and stir until well mixed - you get the idea). I held to my conviction to dislike him all my days, until he started to talk about books. Not just any books, but historical books and all the wild, meandering excursions of related stories, which lead to yet more books and wild, meandering excursions. And he was funny, irreverently funny.

Just goes to show that I can't hold the castle when faced with a smart man armed with a wicked sense of humor.

He was my boss for close to three years and I was sad to see him leave for greener pastures. For the past few years, we'd invariably run in to each other at some work-related function, and I could count on him updating me on his latest read.

I saw him a few weeks ago. I'm glad I hugged him.

The Coffee Project - April 205 - May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011.

May 1, 2011.

April 29, 2011.

April 28, 2011. Couching it.

April 27, 2011.

April 26, 2011.

April 25, 2011.