“Repetition” is a poem I’ve been working on for a little while. This is a freestyle version with Shannon Hoover on bass and Matt Dingledine on guitar. The gig at the Five Forks branch of the Greenville Public Library, back in April 2019, was sponsored by the library. They reached out to the Greenville Jazz Collective to provide a program of jazz and poetry, so then the GJC reached out to me for the poetry. I would still like to work on an arrangement for this piece, especially including some percussion, and then record it…
splainglish for duh Nile
while witches cast spells
in wishing well
that wee might bees
More Likes Manatees
and we see her divided the same way.
She pulls night from our day and plays with our emotions
shining reflected rays on our slumbering notions.
There is a spring bubbling up in the privacy of a wooded area on our property. Except for a path through the woods that makes it possible to walk all the way around the pond created by the spring, we leave the woods to be wild. Sometimes we find evidence of creatures who likely come there to drink.
Last July I was walking on the path back there and saw a flower, two of them, that I had never seen before. They were blooming in the shade among the ferns, and prickly vines that made it hard for me to get close. I took some pictures with my phone, and when I went back there about a week later, the flowers were gone.
They were fleeting and beautiful, and now in the middle of winter, sitting by the fireplace, I’m wondering if I will see them again next July. I will certainly be looking for them.
In the meantime, I am going to try to find out what flower it is. I’m thinking that someone at Clemson might be able to help me, or if I’m lucky, someone will see the picture and just tell me what it is. While you’re at it, you could tell me what kind of forest mushroom this is…
Gardening and writing a novel go hand in hand, each providing me with relief from the other. The novel isn’t ready to share yet, but in the spirit of sharing the pleasure of flowers, here are some pictures from my spring garden…
When I drive around Greenville, I love to listen to WPCI Radio, 1490 AM, because there is continuously great music, a great variety of music, and no commercials. What more could you ask for? Unfortunately, for the last week, I’ve gotten nothing but static. Hoping that this wasn’t permanent, I sent an e-mail to Randy Mathena, the generous spirit who hosts the radio station, to ask him what was going on.
Unfortunately for him, the cold weather has taken a toll on his transmitter, but the station should be heard on the airwaves again next week. In the meantime, you can search for WPCI at tunein.com, and listen to it on your computer or smartphone. He told me that he hooks up his smartphone in his car to listen because of the “CD quality sound.”
I just listen the old fashioned way, so I’m looking forward to when he gets that transmitter working again, and I’m sending my appreciative thoughts in his direction. So, happy listening! And, if you appreciate the station as much as I do, then don’t be shy about it. Spread the love around!
I have pictures of fresh snow in my e-mail
from people who live elsewhere.
Here in Vallejo, CA, USA it is almost
always sunny by two in the afternoon.
Weary of whatever I walk into the sun
and am revivified while gazing at
bright red hibiscus flowers
blooming in the yard.
Good time for the editor to take
a little break.
But I’ll leave you with a flower poem:
The internet has only been around for about ten years. I didn’t grow up with a cell phone or a laptop. I still wrote my essay assignments in high school by hand. I still have a writer’s bump on my right middle finger to prove that I wrote some long essays. I read books, old books, new books, used books, trashy books, great books. I listened to records and spent time looking at album covers. Sometimes I went to the library. Being into artistic type things, dreaming of being a writer, I was warned that I wasn’t likely to make much of a living like that. The same was true for teens like me, definitely not jocks, or physicists either, all across the country. Recently I was talking with some Pacifica Radio colleagues of mine from the nineties, about radio programming today. One told me that “nobody reads books anymore.” Another one said that “they don’t give more than ten minutes of airtime to authors.” Apparently no one buys albums anymore either. They just download singles. They need information; they enter keywords. I’m not saying what is bad or what is good. But what should a writer do? Write books? Movie scripts? Video game scripts with multiple endings? Morph into a multi-media performance artist? Personally, I prefer not to allow the market to dictate what I create. It’s helpful to remember, actually, to continually remind ourselves, like a mantra, what our motives are for our creations. In the case of writing, one thing is certain. A story is at the heart of the matter. Whether you are telling a story to a group of children, or selling your brand of soap on TV, there is a struggle and an outcome. There was a time when nobody read at all. And for a long time, only a few people read, and they held the printed word up as if it was sacred, as if it was THE TRUTH. The truth is that stories are older than books. Pictures are older than alphabets. It’s not true though, that nobody reads books anymore, or newspapers. It may seem hard to believe, but one day someone is going to say ‘nobody watches TV anymore.’ But what all this really means is that the story is being told with different tools. I’m halfway through a new book by Ana Castillo, “The Guardians” an example of storytelling at its best. I search for stuff on the internet all the time. I put on old records, and I download mp3’s too, and podcast and chat and twitter. What concerns me in this changing landscape is the status and well being of the creative artist. During the whole time that the Olympics were happening in Beijing I kept thinking that what the world needs is an international arts event of the same stature as the Olympics is for sports. When Dizzy Gillespie visited Cuba he gave a concert with a band of musicians who were Americans and Cubans. He commented to a huge crowd of fans that they were demonstrating to their political leaders how it can be done. The way I see it, no matter what the political controversy is that surrounds the Olympics, the fact that all these athletes come together and display their skills and sportsmanship at the heights of human achievement is awe inspiring. Just imagine, if there was an arts event of the same magnitude, how it would improve the stature and the funding of the arts all over the world. How little kids would pick up instruments, recite poetry, rehearse in state-of-the-art theaters… That really would be a change, wouldn’t it? Wishing you Peace and Poetry Martha Cinader Mims