Today’s Featured Spam #5: Do You Desire … ?

Big Black Succulent

Do you desire to amaze your wife tonight?

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Tacit expectancies

From Under the Pages

(A Sonnet)

Broken glass1

Beauty is ethereal;
riches disappear,
the glory of the moment
all forgotten by next year

Promise in expectation,
dissolved when need assuaged;
ingratitude in children
careful kindness turn to rage

The fortress of a secret soul
deters the love it craves;
The labor of a frugal man
despoiled, his mind depraves.

Reciprocation sought and seeming lost:
Tacit expectancies breed heinous cost.

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Manatee Vanity

From Under the Pages

(A Limerick)

Pier with rain If you look closely, you can see the shy manatee lurking under the water, just above center.

A hysterically self-conscious manatee

had trouble maintaining her sanity;

She swam up to a pier,

where she looked in a mirror:

Self-repugnance gave way to great vanity.

—Dedicated to R.M., in recognition of his great admiration for large marine mammals

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Taro Aizu’s Fukushima Gogyoshi

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In honor of the continuing victims of the Japanese national tragedy in Fukushima (3/11/11), and on the occasion of National Poetry Month, here is a moving and sobering poem about those whose lives continue to erode daily from the effects of radioactive pollution.

Videos from Gogyoshi Art Project: My Hometown Fukushima
Read more about the Gogyoshi, a poetic form invented by Taro Aizu.

Sentient Pear

From Under the Pages

orchids

seated on a rope spool

around the small family table

i was offered something special.

green and oval

like an avocado, but, with scales.

dragon pear.

i stared in wonder. papa with great panache,

and a paring knife, demonstrated ever so precisely

the flaying and vivisection

of this most noble fruit.

i see

pink, like watermelon,

tangy sweetness, like a strawberry,

but not …

perfume for the tongue, atomized

into evanescence.

ambrosia. undefinable; no reference point.

big back eyes that were seeds, staring back innocently.

cooling and green, like nectar from a melon

forming a long rivulet that dripped off my chin.

that was before computers.

today I looked up cherimoya on wikipedia:

“although the cherimoya cannot stand snow,

it does like to see it in the distance.”

Snowy Peak(See NaPoWriMo.net to participate!)

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At the De Young

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It’s never a bad day to visit the Fine Arts Museums in San Francisco. My teacher membership has been well worth the price this past year.  I was able to see Monet’s paintings along with other “Impressionists on the Water” last July, and last week I took in the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Going to the park is an experience in itself, always worthwhile, always rewarding, no matter the season. But spring has a particular allure, with burgeoning blossoms in cherry trees, rhododendrons, and every other imaginable type of plant in flower. I can see why Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings of flowers and nature are so universally liked. The exhibition covered the period from 1918 to the early 30s, when she retreated from New York City to Lake Geoge (to photographer Alfred Stieglitz’s house) to connect with nature and paint her favorite things: mostly flowers and trees.

While her style was very subjective, frequently abstract (as in many paintings of flower details), and never quite realistic, she had a very good sense of artistic composition. I particularly appreciated her paintings with a good use of contrast (Red Canna, 1919); texture (leaves, 1923); and the often exaggerated organic line (White Birch, 1925). She shared my fascination with trees. Her Chestnut Grey (1924) is particularly delightful, with its grand denuded, pruned trunk silhouetted against the sunset and distant mountains, punctuated by an evening star.

Like all artists, she experimented with different treatments of her subjects, almost venturing into realism on one end of the spectrum (Dark Red Apples & Tray, 1920-21), and bordering on surrealism on the other, in her subjective treatment of form and fluid line of natural elements (Stamp in Red Hills; Pelvis with the Distance). Many of her abstract floral paintings are strongly suggestive of female genitalia. Her visual experimentation with these forms can perhaps be understood in her words: “I feel there is something unexplored about woman that only a woman can explore.”

A Poem a Day: National Poetry Writing Month

Hairy Tree 2
Visual teaser for “The Call of Spring,” to be published on April 5, 2014 on From Under the Pages

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but April is National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). And for the first time ever, I’ve caught onto a writing challenge at the beginning! Every November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but a novel in 30 days (or even a lot more days) is still a bit daunting to me. However, I can actually commit to a poem a day for 30 days. So if you don’t see new posts here for periods of time, it’s because of the effort I’m putting into my other blog, From Under the Pages. Check out my daily poems there. Heck, if you like them, you can even follow me there! Also, if you’re interested in reading other poetry, wander over to Napowrimo.net to get daily optional prompts, and read featured poets. You can also have your blog listed on the NaPoWriMo participants’ list. Happy poem-writing! Another great source of poetic inspiration is Poets.org, the website of the Academy of American Poets.