Wednesday, April 20, 2011

past love to mania

Two more, one on hot press, the other on cold.

Time to abandon the daffodils; the lilacs are in bloom!

The Fist
by Derek Walcott

The fist clenched round my heart
loosens a little, and I gasp
brightness; but it tightens
again. When have I ever not loved
the pain of love? But this has moved

past love to mania. This has the strong
clench of the madman, this is
gripping the ledge of unreason, before
plunging howling into the abyss.

Hold hard then, heart. This way at least you live.

Friday, April 15, 2011

"what pleasure, what joy"

I'm sorry to say I'm a hopeless gardener: a rushed, confused, procrastinator ... But I did something right a couple of years ago and planted daffodils and grape hyacinths, which are now in bloom in little clumps here and there all around the otherwise barren yard.
I picked this little bouquet for the table when I had my mom over to dinner last night; I couldn't take my eyes of them all through the meal. Which makes me not a great host either!
This is my practice run at it. Seeing what doesn't work for me here, and studying the setup a little more, I think I can do better. Tomorrow.

by C. P. Cavafy
translated by Edmund Keeley

As you set out for Ithaka 
hope your road is a long one, 
full of adventure, full of discovery. 
Laistrygonians, Cyclops, 
angry Poseidon—don't be afraid of them: 
you'll never find things like that on your way 
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, 
as long as a rare excitement 
stirs your spirit and your body. 
Laistrygonians, Cyclops, 
wild Poseidon—you won't encounter them 
unless you bring them along inside your soul, 
unless your soul sets them up in front of you. 

Hope your road is a long one. 
May there be many summer mornings when, 
with what pleasure, what joy, 
you enter harbors you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations 
to buy fine things, 
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, 
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities 
to learn and go on learning from their scholars. 

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for. 
But don't hurry the journey at all. 
Better if it lasts for years, 
so you're old by the time you reach the island, 
wealthy with all you've gained on the way, 
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. 
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. 
Without her you wouldn't have set out. 
She has nothing left to give you now. 

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. 
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, 
you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

spring and all


Spring and All
William Carlos Williams

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance—Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken

Monday, April 11, 2011

frail duration

by Philip Freneau

Fair flower, that dost so comely grow, 
Hid in this silent, dull retreat, 
Untouched thy honied blossoms blow, 
Unseen thy little branches greet: 
No roving foot shall crush thee here, 
No busy hand provoke a tear. 

By Nature’s self in white arrayed, 
She bade thee shun the vulgar eye, 
And planted here the guardian shade,
And sent soft waters murmuring by; 
Thus quietly thy summer goes, 
Thy days declining to repose.

Smit with those charms, that must decay, 
I grieve to see your future doom; 
They died—nor were those flowers more gay, 
The flowers that did in Eden bloom; 
Unpitying frosts and Autumn’s power 
Shall leave no vestige of this flower. 

From morning suns and evening dews 
At first thy little being came; 
If nothing once, you nothing lose, 
For when you die you are the same; 
The space between is but an hour, 
The frail duration of flower.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Third and final go at the Daily Paintworks challenge to paint a white object on a patterned ground.
I do love patterned fabrics and papers, but, while I've accumulated a number of each, I rarely paint them ... Must be laziness: the idea of putting in the work to reproduce the pattern puts me off, or maybe it's the time it would take--I think that's it. I'm shorter than usual on time lately: I work for myself and so work a lot (and when I have no work then I spend all my time worrying about having no work!) ... the dog's old and sick, the yard's a wreck, and I'm tearing up the living room and dining room floors.

Friday, April 08, 2011

challenges, challenges ...

This is my first attempt at a solution.
Normally I post directly to Blogger from Picasa--that is the only way I post, in fact: it's easy--I upload and edit my photos there.
These photos are from the photos file on my computer, which, in all honesty, I hardly ever look at--I don't know how to edit the photos there, and they're stored all haphazardly (or perhaps I should say I have stored them all haphazardly ...)

So here they are, unedited, my first two tries, both unfinished, at a deceptively difficult challenge at Daily Paintworks: paint a white object on a patterned cloth.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

problems ...

Hello. Thanks to everyone who's written to say my images haven't come up in my last two posts; I'm sorry about that!
Right now, I have no idea what the problem is ... I've exhausted my small arsenal of computer fixes: i.e., I rebooted, which didn't work.

If I can't figure it out soon, I may just begin a new blog ... I've been thinking of abandoning Blogger anyway.