Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Bouquet of. Poems from Ann Christine Tabaka



Recently poet Ann Christine Tabaka published her ninth book of poetry and first chapbook, No More Hallelujahs.  Tonight I'd like to publish the poems that she sent me.  Enjoy!


Beyond the Reach of Time

Black crow
sings a song
unknown to man.
Forest awakes,
answering back.

Vestiges of life
fall from the sky         
like winter snow.
Existence comes into being.

Dawn bursts forth,
day enters.
Stars blink their goodbyes.
So it is said, so it is done.

The guardian steps forth
as light emerges. 
Time lapses …
Burgeoning worlds converge. 

The sky is alive.
I hear his song.
Black crow flies off,
Beyond the reach of time.


Youth Elixir 

Saturday morning, cleaning house,
the sun streaming in.

I find it tucked away, in the back of 
a shelf of dusty old books.

Slowly releasing it from its place,
it falls open to the precise page.

There lies the white rose pressed flat, now 
browning from a time almost forgotten.

Memories flood back to that day, I can still 
picture your face smiling at me with green eyes.

You surprised me with my favorite flower.
The first of many to come.  

I carefully tucked it away to preserve
for forever, well, at least for today.

Too many years have passed, and the
young hand that first held that rose is
now wrinkled with age.

But with just a single touch of that token of 
love, I am once again young and alive.



Wild Honeysuckle 

Wild honeysuckle,
overwhelmingly sweet scented
childhood memories.  Sucking
down sticky drops of nectar. 
Dodging yellow jackets and
bees competing for same. 

A bramble of multiflora roses,
our fortress against the invisible 
enemy.  Battling monsters in a 
stick-sword fight of epic proportions.
Rolling down grassy hills.

Splashing through woodland streams, 
searching under rocks for crayfish. 
Days that would go on forever, a 
single scent brings them all back.
The pungent aroma of wild honeysuckle.



 Winter at the Door

Softly down it floats,
kissing the ground white,
growing ever deeper.
Into the cold of night.

Glittery and pristine,
crystalline beauty to behold.
The sound of falling snow,
holds a secret I am told. 

Shifting
Drifting
Flying
Mystifying

A glacial wonderland
lies before my eyes.
Such beauty blankets all
from the frozen skies.

Ever bringing forth
a desire to explore,
the wondrous season of
winter at the door.


What Truth is Spoken

Retreat into the darkness
oh oracle of the night.
Your perverse proclamations
confounding common speak.

Disenchanted diatribes
from your mouth do spew.
Hearken to the naïve maid
who believed in your foul discourse.

Was there no hint of certitude 
in anything you proclaimed,
or do your heartless speeches lay
quiet among the decaying?


Ann Christine Tabaka has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and their two cats. Her most recent credits are: Pomona Valley Review; Ariel Chart, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, The Paragon Journal, The Stray Branch, Trigger Fish Critical Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, Scryptic Magazine, Ann Arbor Review, The McKinley Review.
*(a complete list of publications is available upon request)

I think I'll continue with Emily Remler's music.  She was a jazz guitarist from the 1980s.  Unfortunately, only her music is with us now.

Here is her "Hot House" with Hank Jones and Buster Williams:


If winter is here, can "Joy Spring" be far behind?

I'll finish with her "Catwalk":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjjkywlSMXU


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Welcome to Mary Bone!


Tonight I'd like to welcome Mary Bone, one of the many poets who graced Whispers, Karen O'Leary's poetry site that is now inactive.  Mary is also an artist, so the pictures are hers as well.  I especially like the cardinal below.


Good Neighbors

When my phone rang
It was my neighbor
Wanting to borrow some eggs.
I could smell bacon frying.
She was going to make an omelet.
I had lost my shoes and
I stumbled next door
With the eggs.
Nothing was wasted on our block
We shared the delicious breakfast she cooked.



When Time Stood Still

Time stood still
When my phone couldn’t be located.
I had to borrow some change from a stranger
To make a call from a pay phone,
Since mine was lost.
Nothing can replace the feeling of
Losing my pictures and personal messages.



Into the Void

I was cast into the void
After falling from a boat on the river.
I lost everything in my pocket,
Including my phone.
After I was rescued, a lady on the river bank
Let me borrow her phone
Since I had nothing of my own.
There are times when I feel like I am 
still free falling.

Mary Bone's poems have recently been published at Whispers in the Wind, Literary Yard, Our Poetry Archives, and other publications. She has been writing since the age of twelve and has had two books of poetry published. She enjoys drawing and painting in her spare time.

 I'll finish up with a few songs.  First is the Jazz Ambassadors'  version of  "Moon River": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx1nUTwngvg  The Jazz Ambassadors are part of the US Army Field Band.
The next is Dusty Springfield's "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuPOwe-2EYA
I'll finish with a piece performed by jazz guitarist Emily Remler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btc3sEHINBM&list=PLIvQtZmuyaE2o_YklvRk_vkaVuWB4DBvf

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Welcome to PS Perkins!







This evening I'd like to post some poems by a DC-area poet, PS Perkins, who has led at least one workshop at Writers on the Green Line.  I hope that she will lead another this spring/summer!

DIRECTION
She beckons me to the land of ancestral knowing,
willows whispering my name
claiming their own.
Come home! Come HOME!
There’s work to be done.
No hoeing
No planting
No chopping
No sifting
No cooking…
Just RE-MEM-BER-ING yourself 
to ourselves
to help themselves 
BE-come ONE!

PS Perkins, Poet
Greenline Writers Workshop
Summer 2018

The next poems are from her "Trilogy Called Life."

Photograph by Jorobec


RUBBISH
Urban streets filled with the economic refuse of 
tattered souls seeking solace  
from littered and embittered lives. 

Preyed upon by money hungry, 
power craving forces of sanctioned ineptitude 
created to keep the mentacide machine of human waste fed.

They shuffle, they schlep, they drink, they drag 
along the cracks of life designed to trip and snare
those besieged by despair.
How can we be our brother’s keeper 
when they've become the street sweepers we refuse to pay? 

Wasted minds filled with discordant voices of who they are not. 
Drowning out inspiration 
long since exchanged for futile aspirations 
never to be realized while wading through 
the cesspool of residue called re-member me?

Photograph by Yanping Nora Soong


PERFECT PITCH

Living in a consciousness of lack makes you 
take more than you need, 
and need more than you take, 
while desperately driven to the next detour 
called WAIT.
Running around in the machinations 
of your own imagination, 
inventing dreams of fake realities,
 turning truth into lies.
Wanting to wake from the slumber 
that makes you forget your worth and wealth to the world.
Desiring to drown the discordant voices 
telling you your own voice means nothing. 
Despaired of the passion requiring patience waiting on its purpose.
But in your heart you feel a note, 
a just right, familiar prophetic note, 
a perfect pitch that belongs to you. 
Follow That! 

PRODUCE

PAIN is not a product of good decisions.
Someone
somewhere
somehow did
something wrong,
and the outcome is always respectful of the cause.
Detours,
Damages,
destructive thoughts
all line up as the cause for the effect.
Regardless, the seeds are yours
to plant, to germinate, to grow
producing the pain or pleasure of their fruit.
Going down the aisles of life, we poke,
       we prod,
we pick,
            we punch,
Carefully, or not, examining each piece 
for quality of consumption before ingesting.
Too often thoughts of self-destruction 
invade and conquer our minds
Producing the very product 

we should not eat,
or don’t want to eat,
But we do
wondering why it tastes so bad?
All the while not understanding
That EVERY Word grows and
it’s simply a matter of
 PRODUCE.
Photograph by Pallab Halder

PS has given us quite a bit to reflect on.  Now I am going to post some music for you.
My husband is playing Miles Davis' "Milestones" in the front room, so I am going to post this song first:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k94zDsJ-JMU
The other day he was listening to "Tutu": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00tzcnyDL68
Here is "Billy Boy," also from Milestone.  The arranger, by the way, was Ahmad Jamal:

Enjoy!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sharon Dina Rose Regala and Carl Scharwath!

Photograph by Carl Scharwath


Tonight, at last, I'd like to post a collaboration between the Filipina poet Sharon Dina Rose Regala and the Floridian photographer (and poet) Carl Scharwath.  It's wonderful to see the synergy between word and image.

Marooned


Life blooms
In the most unexpected
Places.
Bent
on being without
Purpose,
Now lies
With the richness
Of this Earth.
Rustic beauty,
Now holds
Such transformation.

-- Sharon Dina Rose Regala

Photograph by Carl Scharwath

Before You Go...
Let's pretend,
We're still in love.
Touch me,
where it hurts the most.
Bring me to heights
like you used to.
...and I'll pretend,
it's still me,
You're making love with..
...but please,
don't call out her name...
...and please,
Kiss me just once,
So I'll remember you...
then walk away...
Don't look back,
Don't look my way...
...not even once,
Not even a glance.

-- Sharon Dina Rose Regala

Photograph by Carl Scharwath

Oh, to you
Goddess
Of my marvelous night!
To you I owe
My other life.
The life
I owe,
I offer you
with delight.
Come...
Claim and own me...
Bathe my skin,
Lavish me
With your darkness.
Touch my spirit
With your
mystical charm
Oh, divine
Solitude...
Cloak my soul
With your mystery,
Blanket this temple with the stars
and the whole of the galaxy.
The darker the night has become,
The clearer my naked eyes could see..
You, mystifying Moon...
The majestic wonder
of the black-velvet sky is born.


-- Sharon Dina Rose Regala

My husband is more of a Carmen McRae fan than I am, but this song works well with Sharon's second poem:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5izfGj0oQ0

Ah ha, I knew Dusty Springfield covered this song, too:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxQtl3kKZKQ

I'm going to add Dusty's "The Look of Love" as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf1d65OHYXo

I'm going to finish with Karen Carpenter's "If I Had You": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4kD2xF3Ewg



Thursday, January 3, 2019

Alan Britt Starts off 2019




While I'm still on winter break, I'd like to post a few poems by Alan Britt, a professor at Towson University.  Enjoy!


VOLUNTEER

(For our Veterans)


He who volunteers, reckless 
while defending right 
from wrong as we observe 
history fashioned into marble lions,
harpies, satyrs, minotaurs, hydras,
& mythological winged creatures 
surviving well beyond the League 
of Nations’ shrapnel stripping British 
logos from doughboy helmets designed 
for rain but not much else.

He who volunteers is reggae
with a pinch of Christianity holding
strong since Constantine kick started
that religion to unite his empire.

But, today, a rusty bit cuts the corners
of the volunteer’s political mouth,
(laser eyes everywhere),
just ask he who volunteers,
he who recklessly defends right 
from wrong while remaining
head over heels in love
with the future.


Photograph by Kimse, 2008


RULES


There are no rules for this.

Unless one considers the man
beneath a camouflage backpack
& carefully crushed Che Guevara cap.

He’s obligatory!

Don’t nitpick.

I’m advised to spread a cloth of carnations
allowing moonlight to flood my chameleon soul
until dreams leave teeth marks
across the bones strewn beside my bed.

I’m told to relax and contemplate my legs
like two boa constrictors stretched out 
before me while night’s stainless steel fingers
knit a moonlit shroud above my canopy bed. 

I understand some mysteries—
how one day topples the next
like domino waves scudding my ankles, knees, hips, 
waist, before breaching my neck.

But once foam invades my chin . . .

So, I rely on simple words, words nourished 
by verbs whose vowels are swollen
with humidity & sag like a silken web strung 
between two ruby leaves of a plum tree.

I’m talking poems protected
by feathers & damaged scales,
poems dressed & undressed,
poems that weave glistening trails
across darkened concrete stoops at dawn,
poems entering and exiting my pupils that resemble 
black holes inhaling the chaos of my universe.

Poems dressed & undressed.

After all, what does one wear
upon entering the ether world?

There are no rules.


 I WON’T CONTINUE UNTIL I SEE A HEAD NOD


Sometimes it feels like the beginning
of the end or else the end of the beginning.

Shake your head if you’ve heard this one.

Sometimes it feels like latitude
has replaced longitude
during the 21stcentury coffee wars.

I snap my woolen dog blanket
against a chilly December breeze.

Sometimes it feels like the end
of something or the beginning of it.

Other times it doesn’t feel
like anything at all.




GET THEE TO A HOUSE OF REPUTE


Boardwalk model’s twisted seaweed quaff— 
dragon tattoo DNA-ing her lower back
as spandex jiggles adventurous avocados 
inside one’s fecund imagination.  

I worshipped an Anglo-Saxon monarch eons 
ago & watched his Danish cousin lift her 
muddy skirt for a border guard during one 
particularly gruesome occupation.

I couldn’t help but help, so I dove headlong 
into her quartz blue & canary-speckled eyes
with nary a thought of looking back.
  

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE PARTIALLY ALIVE


Part of me knows nothing at all.
The rest of me even less, or a little.

I sway with Spanish moss, fluorescent
beard in 4thAvenue lamplight, feeling
naked as a palm tree, limbs rooted
beneath cool grey sand.

Now, part of me knows this while
the rest of me waits in silence.

I burrow, bones covered by Modigliani skin,
beneath Florida soil fertilized by rain,
soil fertilized by an ancestry of crows,
plus salamanders under bronze moonlight.

Part of me knows nothing at all,
while the rest of me hears everything.



Prefering to "lean and loafe at his ease," Alan Britt is troubled by the corruption and ambivalence that permeates the Great Experiment, so politically speaking he has started the Commonsense Party, which ironically to some sounds radical. He believes the US should stop invading other countries to relieve them of their natural resources including tin, copper, bananas, diamonds, and oil, also that it’s time to eliminate corporate entitlements and reduce military spending in order to properly educate its citizenry, thereby reducing crime and strengthening the populace in the manner that the Constitution envisioned. He is quite fond of animals both wild and domestic and supports prosecuting animal abusers. As a member of PETA, he is disgusted by factory farming and decorative fur.
Library Home
ALAN BRITT: Library of Congress Interview:


Last night my husband and I went to see The Green Book, so I think I'll post some songs by Dr. Don Shirley.  Have you seen the movie yet?  I recommend it!

Here is Don Shirley's version of "Georgia on My Mind":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWJJm2WJ-WA

He also covered "Bridge Over Troubled Water":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDEyBw_N2bA

This is his version of "Lullaby of Birdland" with Richard Davis on the bass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTeBgrY6MZA

I'll finish with the Don Shirley Trio's version of "Blue Skies":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGrU0jAdeVs

Enjoy!