January 10, 2015
poems, vowels, writing
We’ve all been taught that there are five vowels, “and sometimes “y.” But those five vowels make many more sounds, fourteen or fifteen, depending on which internet source you consult. (Apparently this is not yet an exact science.) The value of the sounds – which is important to poetry – ranges from the high of key, cane or kite (or bee, bay and by) to the low “oh” and “oo” sounds (coat, cool, or bone and boo).
The echo of vowel sounds from one word to another is called assonance. I’ve been playing with that feature. The trick, for me, is keep to assonance and not get stuck in rhyme. I haven’t succeeded yet with the “eh” sound, because there are so many words ending in -ed: bed, bread, fed, red . . . . Rhyming is not the point of this exercise. The long “I” has similar problems. Too much fine wine.
Here are a few experiments:
and sound calm us down,
which is why we say
that shriek, a keen.
in the air. Money
troubles the bed.
comes to shove.
Flash, dash, fat cat!
Clap for all that’s
under your hat,
in your stash.
What’s after? Ash.
You don’t have to be a poet to play this game, but I think it’s good practice if you’d like to become one.
December 28, 2014
California, desert, native plants, photos, San Diego, Scripps Preserve
I was in San Diego, California, in October, but other things intervened and I’ve only now uploaded my photos into the computer. These photos are from a walk in the Scripps Preserve, a small sample of what the landscape of the San Diego area once was. It still seems amazing to me that this area was desert, right up to the water’s edge, before people started altering the landscape. Dry bushes on the cliff give way to green in the arroyos, which probably benefit from the runoff from houses, roads, etc.There are small yellow flowers, similar to the ones I see in “my” desert far inland. I guess that this is some variety of Bahia. a family with many varieties. Many of the bushes had recently gone to seed – as one would expect in October. And the overall look of the area made it quite clear that California is in drought conditions. Deserts are deserts whether near sea level or at 4,000 feet, where I live. And this is in spite of the greater humidity coming off the water. My skin appreciated that difference.
December 21, 2014
photos, solstice, sunset
This evening a little after five p.m. I looked up and saw an unusual amount of color in the eastern sky. This is the direction in which I usually photograph sunrises. We had a neighbor in Maine who lived on a point and could measure a sunset by how far around the circle of her view there was color. Tonight’s was nearly a 360. There was color both north and south.
It was as if the sun had decided to make a big splash because it had such a short work day. Which is utter nonsense, of course. But it was beautiful, and seemed a good omen for the new season of moving slowly into more light. Here is the main show, a little bit south of west, seen over our roof.
December 10, 2014
astrology, freethought, full moon, photo
I caught the almost full moon rising this past Friday. It is a full moon in Gemini with the sun in Sagittarius. Gemini is an air sign, Sagittarius is fire. Air relates to ideas and intellect, Fire is energy, action. This should be a great time for getting things accomplished like communicating, or – as one of my sources says over and over again – learning new internet skills.
I have been following the signs, and especially their elements, for a year and a half now. It didn’t take long to discover that because of the way the elements are assigned, there are only two full moon/sun combinations. It’s either air and fire or earth and water. Earth connects to all things physical, water to matters of feeling. The moon is never full in a water sign, for instance, when the sun is in an air sign.
I’m beginning to find this structure a problem. Why can’t we have a powerful water and air combination? Would that mean storms, wind and rain? Perhaps, but it would also mean that the intellect and feelings would be strong together – in other words, a combination of head and heart.
And why not air and earth? This could be an appropriate time to apply our heightened thinking skills to the very down-to-earth problems of homelessness and hunger. My sources suggest that the compassion of an earth/water combination should lead to this. It hasn’t happened so far. I guess we’ll have to solve these critical problems without the aid of the stars.