Summer 2002

From Specimen Days: Central Park Walks and Talks, by Walt Whitman, 1892:

I VISIT Central Park now almost every day… As I sit, placidly… the policeman… comes over… We grow quite friendly and chatty forthwith. He is a New Yorker born and raised, and… tells me about the life of a New York Park policeman, (while he talks keeping his eyes and ears vigilantly open…) Injuries to the (police)men are continually happening.
Carriages and carriage horse, NYC, 2002 There is much alertness and quiet strength. (Few appreciate, I have often thought, the Ulyssean capacity, derring do, quick readiness in emergencies, practicality, unwritting devotion and heroism, among our American young men and working-people—the firemen, the railroad employees, the steamer and ferry men, the police, the conductors and drivers…)

Carriage stable, 38th between 10th and 11th, 8:30 A.M. on a summer morning, half a block from a firehouse.

artwork © 2002, 2003 Heather Quinn, WindyHill Design, All rights reserved

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Blue eyes

Rain-streaked bricks,
pepper-green trees,
and the sky —
thick as oatmeal, and gray as a city cat —
welcome a procession of
Nanas, walking slow,
humming descants,
dressed in wraps of blue —
turquoise, aquamarine, and harbor —
stirring up the storm.

Their hands set bells
and nazar boncuğu to work, spinning,
facing down anyone who dares
to try poisoning my well.

I struggle with thoughts of closeness,
and location,
as they take rest,
and sip their sweetened tea.

The morning grows old.

As the Nanas leave,
they lift the end of my shawl,
first to their lips, then into the wind.
Cool and fragrant with indigo
from shadows
of past summer suns,
the gauze is scattered with diamonds
mirroring the blue eyes
winking in the rain
under an ash-wood bough.

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In this quiet place, revisited

In Paradise,
where extreme variation may not be,
where comfort is constant,
would the slowness of unfolding of leaves and blossoms feel like snow?
Would a bird’s song sound like thunder?

In this quiet place
where all I wanted was to hold you in my hand,
I’ve found myself to be a tiny figure in yours,
unable to escape,
invisible.

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The man in the purple shirt (wip)

What a storm. Dark, choppy river, big whitecaps riding the cross-currents. In many places, the water is higher than my ankles — I might as well have left my shoes home. There are mini-floods everywhere. Going past tennis courts, lighthouse, bridge, I guess I don’t like giving up. Do or die, that’s me. My clothes are soaked. It’s a wet morning.  Continue reading

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Late winter #tweetpoems

  1. February flings rain out into the cold, then curves its infant hands to catch the earth’s perfumes.
    (24 Feb 2012)

  2. Others’ hands, keeping my tempo, try to rinse away my voice, then hang what remains out in the wind, like ragged prayer flags.
    (1 Mar 2012)

  3. Même si tu m’accuse d’avoir l’élégance – tu as tort, My Love: it’s grace and forebearance hunting vile belligerance. (sorry… that’s really rough.)
    (2 Mar 2012)

Hmmm.  Hands, water, wind, stern views.  Late winter, NE United States.

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Takes on Google+

As wild as the sea, with a home onshore, always, that’s most safe & well-built. Like loving someone so much that saying so is almost a sin. Like sledding in fresh snow. Like feeding handfuls of grass to a foal. Like walking on a stream’s smooth, wet stones on a hot day. Like lying on a hill in early evening with smells of earth & plants going up one’s nose. Like cousins coming to stay for the summer. Like sleeping in any day of the week. Like dancing on Thursday nights. Like chatter & night walks with adorable Leo guys. Like stepping on a bee in the clover and not caring. Like lying on one’s tummy, breaking open portulaca seed pods & sprinkling the seeds around so there’ll be flowers next year. Like peppermint straws at Christmas time. Like oranges in the winter. Like basil and tomatoes in August. Like home-grown baby potatoes. Like sauted home-grown eggplants (aubergines, brinjals). Like walnuts & almonds. Like swordfish. Like rice. Like lemons. Like Amish Farms milk. Like a kiss & a hug from the best of friends.

Prose poem about how Google+ feels, contrasted with other digital social experiences.

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Clouds, like Toledo

Riding south, across the river, a mile
below the Bridge, see?
A tower and forested hills, with leaves
glowing in nooks in the bare, smoky trees,
as if someone’s been shooting paintballs
there, and the wind shearing the earth
to the west and the sky to the east,
and sullen, fast-moving clouds rising, like
in El Greco’s Toledo.      Continue reading

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Travel, recalled

The morning we arrived, pepper exploded in scrambled eggs
made, by Dad, with butter, pipe-smoke and an absence
of everyone else.    Continue reading

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Prescriptive

If happiness is honey, tickly-thick
enough to make you choke,
if happiness is wine, a smooth swallow
and a short-lived high,
if you’re defended against joy,     Continue reading

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The value of dissolution, part 2

Chhoti Bahu, she of the biggest eyes and motion
most honey-like, begs you to stay.
Here is she:
bound by your space, still at your whimsy,    Continue reading

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Tere liye, life goes on…

Present moments: listening to this still — it came in via Outlandish‘s Facebook feed. I’m still a little open-mouthed at how ebrahim / @eebsofresh wraps his voice in, out and around the lyrics to make something totally new of the song — Continue reading

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The sloop on motor

In this story of then, long ago, there are just two of us:  a man, wet through, in soaked purple shirt and running shorts, fast-walking through stands of lush trees tossing down by the river; and me, lounging against a stone parapet a hundred feet above him, watching as his fine profile and dark stride disappear into the dense rain.   Continue reading

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A poem, an edit

A poem’s beginning is maybe a waking dream — expressed in words.
Inside that beginning, the writer hides something secret,
even from him- or herself.    Continue reading

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No words

Please, don’t speak when I’m making art or thinking about palettes with no greens, pigment granulation or studio space.  I won’t hear you.  I’ll deflect your conversation.  Don’t wait for me, I have no words.   Continue reading

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Heaven

In Kieślowski‘s Heaven, cinematographer Frank Griebe: the way his eye sees the architecture of people, as well as of buildings…

…the way he shoots light, masses, volumes, voids, angles and implied motion…   Continue reading

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High summer, mid-afternoon

Then thank you, oh food delivery service, for running out of local peaches and cornish hens last night, so I ordered Finger Lakes plums, curried chicken salad and chocolate cookies. Then thank you again, for running out of chocolate cookies Continue reading

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What my hands made once

Early school days: A dirndl skirt of unbleached muslin printed with a floral pattern in indigo dye, my first hand-made creation, made from cloth given to me by a textile factory manager when my father took me on a factory-visiting trip Continue reading

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Questions, answered

For me, movies are a fantastical experience, and when the moviemaker doesn’t honor his or her participation in the world of fantasy, I get bored. On the other hand, movies always raise realistic questions for me, like: Who cleans up the mess after a fight? What happens to the bodies? Continue reading

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Confusion

Cr — t and cr — t both have wickets. One’s boring, the other’s chess on the run.

Croquet’s wickets I confused with cricket’s, as a kid, so gave cricket a miss for too long. Love it now, though I don’t know it very well.

Croquet is varnished wooden pieces peeled, worn, greyed and split by summer rains, wire and wood pieces lost in overgrown grasses, toes cut or stubbed when the pieces are found by oblivious bare feet in shadowed, still-uncut lawns at summers’ ends.

Cricket is something else.

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Sketches

I think of plans as promises. Since, all too often, life’s crazinesses interfere with promises, my solution is compromise – I don’t plan tightly. Instead, I sketch ideas Continue reading

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