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Accidental Surprise

new one

Many years ago I did a printmaking project in an underprivileged school.

and away

One of the students made a print of (what I thought was) a Central or South American religious deity.

4

I was intrigued with the clay pots or were those drums?

1 god

Then I realized I had been looking at it all wrong. Wrong as in ‘upside down.’

4

How surprising that a cute, cartoon dog (or mouse), when reversed, depicted such an altogether different creature.

5after3 drums or pottery

Nothing about the ‘accidental’ image reflected the student’s cultural environment.

two viewsxyxyz

An ideology that took root

31. An ideology that took root

A film about Fascism,

In a garden with shadowy eagles,

Reflecting on the ancient definition of Flowers.

2. An ideology that took root 6. An ideology that took root

A shadowy figure

Behind a windowbox of plants or flowers,

Reminding me of the mysterious, ornate windows I’d seen

Walking about Rome.

16. An ideology that took root

And the Political-noir

Of an ideology that took root,

Thrown in sharp relief by flickering street lamps,

Mussolini’s definition of Fascism,

The Imperial Eagle of Ancient Rome,

& Flowers at a memorial.

10. An ideology that took root

My uncle

 Convalescing,

When he was young & wounded,

Laughing on the telephone about

A flower pot tossed

From an upper story,

Barely missing.

21. An ideology that took root23. An ideology that took root
And concerning the decision I made,

I would have told my son to do the same.

28. An ideology that took root30. An ideology that took root copy16. An ideology that took root

Rays of an Ancient Light Driving You Home

birdlandia

Did you possibly imagine (you couldn’t have)

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On that youthful, sun-dappled afternoon in Missouri,

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The rays of an ancient light caressing your skin & inspiration, when you were

oo

A skipping stone striking at the perfect angles & gaining your balance,

o

Amusedly & perfectly crossing a warm stream at the edge of town,

spanish

The water fresh and the fences down,

ochre

Driving home after closing time…

h

The years marking your skin in ways the Great Depression & the

c

Enemy in the Pacific Ocean marked your psyche, past an abandoned brewery,

ff

Seeing the quiet streets coming up fast like a flood, silent as a submarine,

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Balancing on wet stones, laughing as you splashed & driving home

s

After closing time, to a lonely house, impervious to depth charges,

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Past the dislodged bricks of the abandoned brewery,

mm

Imagining that sun-splashed afternoon & shallow, sparkling water,

truly

Your children crossing streams within darkened rooms,

g

Finding their balance, in ways the enemy

faintly

Marked your psyche & warm afternoons caressed your inspiration,

a

An ancient star illuminating quiet streets, starlight splashing,

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Streaming into and beyond abandoned spaces,

oo

Rays of an ancient light driving you home.

slbirdlandia

For Whom the Tiger Lilies Toll

7

Tiger Lily,

Jumping at the sun,

Singing to my mother,

Your jitterbugging effervescence

Revisited:

Seen in the rear-view mirror,

In the light of

Swimwear fashion-history

&

The tragic reversal of

Original alchemical

Fortune.

1

Consider:

The destruction of the Bikini Atoll

By American nuclear testing for war preparedness

(1946),

16

And the subsequent starvation of relocated islanders,

18

As well as the irradiation & poisoning of the native, original environment.

black and tan

Events

Intersected, by the frolic of

 Bikini,

Designed & sewn by a Parisian -

Shall I editorialize,

Paraphrasing Yeats: Rag & bone shop

Of the physical,

Or simply,

Fashion design house

17

Emulating

The blast psychology of the atomic bomb

19

Within & upon

Contemporary, popular culture,

tr

Mirroring the undoing:

 Alchemical atomic nothingness unleashed

Upon

Fauna and flora, coral & the seabed…

Only one year earlier

Undressing & disintegrating

Cities:

Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

11

The Bikini

10

Introduced to the public

11

Five days after the blast

10

On the Atoll.

5

My mother adored Tiger Lilies.

13

My brother delivered her ashes

Into a forest,

Spreading them across the roots and moss -

Shaking her into the wind -

Planting again her Tiger Lily bulbs,

Jitterbugging,

On the West Coast.

3

Where have all the flowers gone?

tr

Original photograph by Grahame Garner (1964) of women with a Ban the Bomb banner in Brisbane, Australia.

Source: http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:114192

I do not own copyright to this image and have altered it for purposes of non-commercial commentary under fair use provisions.

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An Asymmetrical Drawing Lightly & Beyond

spontaneous sketch

You might think the birds would fly three dimensionally

Into this their second body of branches and leaves,

Tuning a vibrational revelation at mechanisms

Attuned eons ago to invisible knowledge,

Whispering upon silent migration,

 Twigs and victorious feather,

Summery din of magic,

Sunlight swooping,

Midnight vine

Asleep in

Dreams

Made

Of

medium

I glean pathways, spiralling gyres, thin vivacious lines

Echoing in silvery twigs & prehistorical symbolism,

Glimmering beyond this garden of fallen souls,

 A volcanic woman nesting like a blue bird,

Her bed an ancient sea of knowledge,

Flowering & blooming oceanic sky

Harmonizing & hammering,

Hypnotizing shadows arc

Perceiving caravans,

Intuiting stone,

Entrancing

Watery

Eyes

Of

bookism

Those nights and days, mostly nights, shaded and cool,

Illuminated by the slow voyaging of distant starlight,

 Songs of star-birds meandering far from magnetic

Fields with soft grasses imprinted upon wings,

Upon all motion, this hand with pen, now

A decision as if Original Idea, golden

Original Thought, in purposeful

 Cascading winds, lighting

Archways & beyond,

Whose feathers

And twigs

Speak

Of

with circlenew tomorrowpsd

Atomic War and the Baseball Championship At Stake

baseball 6
Earlier that day in school

We were told to ‘duck and cover.’

The teacher explained:

Those communists will soon lay waste

To the surrounding farmland and fields,

The blast will be as brilliant as the sun.

Do not look into it!

Charred flesh and animal remains will be

Driven by the force of the wind through the classroom windows.

Pray to god they do not launch multiple warheads:

Evaporating the dairy farms,

Tractor dealerships and pine forests.

night game

You must, as one, kneel beneath your desks,

Noses pressed into the floor,

Knuckles clasped firmly behind your heads,

Under no circumstances open your eyes!

cloud ball

I stared at lines

On the wooden floor

Wondering how deep

The grooves went.

cloud ball

Sometimes they led us into the basement,

Turning the lights off:

I listened to breathing

In the black, damp air:

A multitude of moist

Nostrils inhaling

Cold

Concrete.

baseballl2

That night at the baseball game we were playing for the championship.

‘Everything depends on tonight’s effort,’ said the coach.

‘Everything.’

baseballl three3cloud ball

Every Day A Bucket Goes Through the World and We Were By the Pool

earthbook 123

I wondered about all the ways a bucket

Could go through the world:

10649580_661506900630346_4307902233332537186_n

Metaphorically, Emotionally, Politically, Sexually.

Physically.

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And I wondered about the actions of the process:

Drilling, Lulling, Hypnotizing.

Seducing, Elucidating, Revealing.

Reversing. 

earthbook

To what outcome I asked myself:

In what shape of hole or chasm

Does the bottom fall out?

some kind og

Is negative space the new positive?

double bucket book

Does the bucket absorb the shape of the earth

And lose itself,

 Once or forever?

yellow bird

I asked myself these questions and meditated upon the possible answers.

No I didn’t.

one day

We were at a pool and the girl I liked was on a towel next to me,

And when I said I loved the Bob Marley song

Coming over the loudspeakers

She said she hated it.

montagenewly triangulatedoval fadeoutovalina xovalina xxovalina

I Have Learned So Much by Hafiz

new

I

Have

Learned

So much from God

That I can no longer

Call

Myself

circular detailgreen night

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,

a Buddhist, a Jew.

invited

The Truth has shared so much of Itself

With me

spoken

That I can no longer call myself

A man, a woman, an angel,

Or even a pure

Soul.

whipporwhillpearl

Love has

Befriended Hafiz so completely

It has turned to ash

And freed

Me

zz2feather

Of every concept and image

my mind has ever known.

swimming 2

From: ‘The Gift’  

Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

thouest thou only

I did the ink drawing in my Moleskin sketchbook within the last few days

using a Micron drawing pen with archival ink.

And the digital manipulations of the image within the last 24 hours or so

using Photoshop 5.

new moodnew

 

 

 

 

 

Air and Fire as Force

in black rain

Xenophanes is said to have argued against the thesis that the world breathes: he must have been thinking of some Ionian nature-philosophers. Possibly Anaximenes originated the idea.

ralph 2

Aristotle says that among older Pythagoreans was a similar belief; its advocates connected it with the theory that the world contained empty space.

the ice storm

Sextus says that the Pythagoreans and Empedokles based it on their creed that the fellowship of men is not merely with one another and with the gods, but includes animals: “For there is one pneuma which pervades, like a soul, the entire universe and which also makes us one with them.”

cosmic physics

By adding the opposites dry and moist, hot and cold, to pneuma, thinkers were able to differentiate the pneuma of psyche, dry and warm, from the pneuma of physis (world of plants), moist and cold.

as emotional

Orphic theology represented the psyche as entering the newborn child on wings of wind.

in detritus

We are not sure how far air was active or passive in early formulations. There seems a confusion in Aristotle and later writers, perhaps through a linking of air and water-vapour.

quad

Poseidonios makes moisture produce the chill of air over marshy ground; but his pupil Cicero stressed the caloric content of air.

shadows 1

Ploutarch pointed to the active role of air in freezing water, and assigned air a mid-position between fire and water.

surrealistic insurance

The Stoics made air and fire active.

black bucket wreckralph 2

Ch. 6  – Air and Fire as Force

Blast Power & Ballistics: Concepts of Force & Energy in the Ancient World

 by Jack Lindsay

ralph 2

 I do not own the copyright to the original image

of the auto-insurance agent found in the Toronto Star.

I altered it for purposes of commentary

under fair use provisions.

ralph 2book cover 2

I Know The Way You Can Get by Hafiz

coffee face on lid

I know the way you can get

When you have not had a drink of Love:

Evidence Bcoffee stain 1

Your face hardens,

Your sweet muscles cramp.

Children become concerned

About a strange look that appears in your eyes

Which even begins to worry your own mirror

And nose.

origcoffee stain 3

Squirrels and birds sense your sadness

And call an important conference in a tall tree.

They decide which secret code to chant

To help your mind and soul.

touch of bluecoffee stain fragment againcoffee overlaid on black and white

Even angels fear that brand of madness

That arrays itself against the world

And throws sharp stones and spears into

The innocent

And into one’s self.

duotone deluxetwo types of ecstacy

O I know the way you can get

If you have not been drinking Love:

coffee face on lidlids lids lids

You might rip apart

Every sentence your friends and teachers say,

Looking for hidden clauses.

coffee mountain

You might weigh every word on a scale

Like a dead fish.

coffeeism

You might pull out a ruler to measure

From every angle in your darkness

The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once

Trusted.

2 coffee

I know the way you can get

If you have not had a drink from Love’s

Hands.

3 coffee

That is why all the Great Ones speak of

The vital need

To keep remembering God,

So you will come to know and see Him

As being so Playful

And Wanting,

Just Wanting to help.

blimp and lid in the desertmorphed

That is why Hafiz says:

Bring your cup near me.

For all I care about

Is quenching your thirst for freedom!

cinematic shadowthe tomorrow

All a Sane man can ever care about

Is giving Love!

origcoffee face on lid

From: I Heard God Laughing – Renderings of Hafiz

Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

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