Tag Archives: photography

Two Horses

Last November, David Ellis introduced me to the concept of “found poetry.” (David is a fellow blogger and “Cheer Pepper” — a participant in November’s daily blogging extravaganza known as “NanoPoblano.”)

Found poetry (also known as “blackout poetry”) is a poem that you discover and then alter by deleting certain words until a new poem emerges. I never thought of stealing borrowing David’s idea until November 18th rolled around and I was stuck for an idea of my own.

But since I like including photos with my blog entries, I took a little field trip first. Camera in hand, I ventured an hour from my home to the small town of Tubac, Arizona, near the Mexico border. As sunset approached, I came upon two horses contentedly enjoying their dinner.

horses at Tubac

I returned home and began my search for a Found Poem that had something to do with horses. I decided on Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Here’s the original:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

And now here is my Found Poem:

I think I know in the village
his little horse near the lake.
The darkest bells shake to ask
if there is the sweep of easy wind.
The woods are lovely and deep
but I have to go to sleep.

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Just Gelato

 

I needed a break from the news, a break from the work week, and a little break from writing today. I decided to just stare at this photo of gelato for a while.

gelato

Unfortunately, the gelato in the picture is long gone. I consumed it last September while visiting Florence, Italy (the birthplace of gelato).

I’m feeling more chill now. I may be able to write again tomorrow.

This photo is dedicated to David Ellis … to further entice him to visit Florence as soon as possible.

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Spirit of Spontaneity

One year ago, I was a tourist in Florence, Italy. I’d just visited an old cathedral, San Miniato al Monte, which sits at the top of the highest point in Florence. I’d sat through a long sermon, spoken entirely in Italian by an elderly monk, and I’d snuck out during Communion so I could commune with nature outside. The view of the city from that spot is breathtaking.

Hill-2.jpg

As the sun began to set, I left the church grounds and began the walk downhill toward the city. It was on this hill that I happened to pass a man who was blowing huge soap bubbles. I pulled my cell phone from my purse, swung around to face him, and took a picture of the bubbles, hoping the image would be in focus and that I wasn’t too late.

It turned out better than I’d expected. My upturned camera happened to capture not only the bubbles, but the cloudy near-twilight sky, as well as the tallest gate in Florence, the Gate of San Niccolò (Saint Nicholas).

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Sometimes the best moments are totally spontaneous.

For example, I just discovered (when I did a little research for this post) that San Miniato al Monte (the cathedral on the hill) was built in 1018, making it exactly 1,000 years old. Another surprise! Happy birthday, old church.

More fun facts: The Gate of San Niccolò in my bubble photo was built in 1324. It’s 60 meters (about 200 feet) tall, and it originally served as a watchtower as well as a gate. It had wooden doors and was attached to a wall that surrounded the city until the late 1800s, when the wall was demolished. People can climb the 160 steps inside the gate to get a 360-degree view of Florence.

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The Night Before the First Day of School

This post is in response to a writing prompt by Lorna at Gin & Lemonade. The prompt is “A Sepia Toned Fall Memory.” I let my mind wander while imagining a sepia-toned fall memory, and found myself thinking about my first day of school. Thanks for the memories, Lorna!

The Night Before the First Day of School

The year is 1954

it’s dark out, and it’s time for bed
the radio plays Autumn Leaves
by Papa’s favorite, Harry James

I’ve had my bath and brushed my teeth
my hair is washed, my nails are trimmed
my saddle shoes are clean and new
my raincoat’s hanging by the door

I’ve knelt beside my little bed
and said my prayers as I’ve been taught
and prayed the Lord my soul to keep
I’ve no idea what that means

I’ve had a bedtime story read
I’ve been tucked in and kissed goodnight
tomorrow I will go to school
but that’s another mystery

I listen to the crickets chirp
while in the living room below
my mother sews the buttons on
the dress that she has made for me

It’s brown plaid, with a pleated skirt
that’s long enough to last at least
‘til June if I don’t grow too fast
or she could just let out the hem

She’s placed a collar at the neck
its crisp white cotton edged with lace
like snowflakes on the autumn leaves
or frosting on my birthday cake

With every button that she adds,
with every stitch so straight and strong
she makes a wish that my first day
of school will be the perfect one

She smooths the wrinkles, ties the knots,
secures her hopes within the seams
prepares the fabric of my life
while upstairs, I am sound asleep.

Colorado Rocks

Colorado always seemed like a distant idea to me: a concept, as opposed to a real place I’d ever get to visit. I’m not sure why that is. I’ve traveled all across the country and back. I’ve been to each of Colorado’s neighboring states. I’ve also been to Hawaii. Hell, I even hitchhiked across Canada (back in the 70s when it was a little safer and I didn’t know any better). But until last month, I’d never set foot in Colorado.

Well, I’ve just returned from a five-week-long road trip with my husband — more posts about that to follow — and I can finally say, “I’ve been to Colorado.” By the way, Colorado is AWESOME. I’m sorry it took me so long to get there.

As I crossed the state line from New Mexico into Colorado, though, it was pouring rain, and the sky was a dull, drab gray. An even duller, drabber highway sign announced, “Welcome to Colorful Colorado.” It looked something like this:

Welcome to Colorado BW

(Photo credit: marchinileo0 via Pixabay)

“Colorful?” I asked myself. “What’s so colorful about Colorado?”

Well, a little farther down the road, we came to Trinidad, Colorado, and the sun started to come out.

Garden of the Gods 5

I could see the potential and hoped for more color as we traveled on.

That night, we stayed in Colorado Springs, also known as “Olympic City USA.” That’s because the headquarters for the US Olympic Committee, the US Olympic Training Center, and the US Anti-Doping Agency are all located there.

Speaking of drugs, Colorado was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use and sale. But I didn’t need to visit one of their green stores to appreciate the place. You can get high just walking around admiring the scenery.  John Denver knew a good thing when he saw it.

We had a little spare time the next morning before continuing on our journey, so I googled “Top 10 Things to Do in Colorado Springs.” Garden of the Gods popped up as #1, so that’s where we went. Here are some photos I took while there:

Stay tuned for more photos of our trip in my next post.

 

 

 

 

Yellow

YELLOW

In spring

yellow makes me feel like laughing

the tickle of a lemon breeze

ruffles my hair and

puckers my lips

In summer

it pours from the sun

like hot flat sheets of maple syrup

drenching my body

in liquid sugar

In autumn

yellow turns to orange

and licks my face like a ginger cat

purring

until I try to catch it

In winter

it’s a trickle of iced tea

dropping in to say

stick around

I’ll be back soon.

Acacia Flower

Lines in the Sand

As promised yesterday, I’m posting more photos of the Sea of Cortez. I took them in 2006 while on vacation in Mexico. I thought this post would just be about the photos. But, as often happens when I start writing, I never know where I’ll end up. True to form, my voyage today to the Sea of Cortez has brought me to some unexpected territory.

The featured image above shows 13 birds (12 pelicans and 1 independent-minded seagull). I thought that was rather fitting for the Day 13 Nano Poblano challenge. Here are some other photos that I took that day:

I’ve always found footprints in the sand intriguing. The bird tracks were made by a seagull (maybe the one in the photo above). The wave tracks make me think about how temporary everything is, like these word-tracks that I’m typing right now.

I was surprised to see a U.S. Capitol building on a beach in Mexico. I wouldn’t have expected that, given the tensions between the two countries. But the picture was taken in 2006, before talk of any border wall, right? Wrong. I just Googled “history of U.S. border wall” and found this article on worldstir.com that gives a timeline of U.S./Mexico border issues since 1845. Construction of a border wall was first mandated in 1993.

One thing that struck me about that timeline is that U.S. policies toward Mexico have always been calculated to serve our interests and ignore theirs. First we took their land through war, then we encouraged their people to immigrate here for their cheap labor, and then we deported them again when the Great Depression hit. We even require Native Americans whose tribe spans both countries to carry documentation with them when they travel within their own land, and we arrest and deport them when they fail to do so. I’m interested in this topic because, having worked in Tucson schools, I’ve known of many “dreamers” who feel like they’re out of options, or who live in fear that their parents will be deported while they’re at school.

After reading the timeline, I was curious to learn even more and found a Library of Congress post about the history of Mexican immigration. The article begins like this:

“The first Mexicans to become part of the United States never crossed any border. Instead, the border crossed them.”

A line in the sand, the imprint of war. Why can’t we all be like the pelicans and gulls, and just learn to get along?

Badge 2017