Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poetry and Personal Meditation

Poetry is important to me.

When I read poetry, my mind is at peace. I liken it to a form of personal meditation as I find myself quite focused. I am able to be quiet. There are few things in life I do where I can say that. Once during a skiing lesson, my instructor stopped me, held my gaze and simply said ‘Try to keep your body quiet.’ This may sound strange to some, but I knew exactly what he meant and then I proceeded down that mountain unintentionally making a lot of noise. More practice required there.

Thankfully, staying quiet comes quite naturally for me while reading poetry.
I have read a few poems of late by Octavio Paz. In his lecture Poetry and Modernity he speaks of his passion for poetry and expresses “Poetry has been for me not only an everyday task and an invincible affection but also a vice, a fate, and ultimately, a cult, a personal religion.”

I feel his passion in his words. A wonderfully beautiful poem of his worth reading is titled Sunstone – it is quite lengthy and thus I am not including it here, but it is worth seeking out. For now, I would like to share this;


Between going and staying the day wavers,
by Octavio Paz

Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can't be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Walk This Way

Last night after sending my best mate off for the last time, I turned the radio on for company on the ride home. I was not sad. Alex Cuba was playing a live concert somewhere in the world (somewhere in Canada which was why CBC was playing a live concert) and that made me happy. Although I do not know any of the words, I tried to sing along for my heart.

I stopped at a red light. The lanky, downtown, messy haired man crossed the road. I have seen this man often downtown. At times I have been afraid of him. I have seen him walking about with a bloodied face. Most times I feel sorry for him. Tonight, I admired him. He walked in front of my car and the world slowed down. I watched. His hands were in the pockets of his too-big-for-him jeans. His long, messy hair was back in its signature pony tail – but it looked neater tonight. He was not smiling per say, but his face was. His walk was executed in long, slow steps. He was in no hurry, but his long stride would get him there on time.

Maybe it was my positive state of mind that saw him as more peaceful this evening…either way, I hope for him. Moreover, I wish I could walk like that.

Walk in Peace
Janet

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day 2009

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more
.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage


Celebrations for this day are unearthing all across Canada, the United States and if you check your local listings, somewhere in your neck of this World too.

Book Launch

This Wednesday, April 22 7:30 p.m. at Books & Co. 289 Main Street, Picton, Ontario, we are commemorating Earth Day with the launch of a new book "Stand up women: Heal Mother Earth".

This project, spearheaded by Roz Bound, began with written contributions of local women in and around Prince Edward County. It was introduced at the Town Hall in Bloomfield, Ontario in March on International Women's Day, and now the book is borne.

Books & Co. is a beautiful, welcoming and bustling gem in the downtown core. There will be refreshments provided and readings by contributors. For more information on other events, click on the following link. See you there!

http://www.pictonbookstore.com/events/default.aspx




I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.

~Elwyn Brooks White, Essays of E.B. White, 1977

Monday, April 20, 2009

Poetry moves me a-lliteratively



Laughter lading in the labyrinth of lust
The lucent ladybird lands for luck
Lamenting low labial love
Love abundant
Lovelorn
Lovesome
Leaving
Loved


Loquacious languid lyricisms


by Janet Jarrell

We two are to ourselves a crowd. Ovid

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mary Oliver

April is Poetry Month















Acid

In Jakarta,
among the vendors
of flowers and soft drinks,
I saw a child
with a hideous mouth,
begging,
and I knew the wound was made
for a way to stay alive.
What I gave him
wouldn't keep a dog alive.
What he gave me
from the brown coin
of his sweating face
was a look of cunning.
I carry it
like a bead of acid
to remember how,
once in a while,you can creep out of your own life
and become someone else-
an explosion
in that nest of wires
we call the imagination.
I will never see him
again, I suppose.
But what of this rag,
this shadow
flung like a boy's body
into the walls
of my mind, bleeding
their sour taste-
insult and anger,
the great movers?

Mary Oliver

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Getting Older

Sometimes when I
look in the mirror
and my hair hangs curled under
I look distinguished
That is a nice way of saying older

I like the look
but I am not yet ready to see it

It is at these moments when
I wonder what my young lover sees
Does his head cock to the side
in question

Doubts seeps in

I mention the age gap to a friend
She dismisses it with
“who cares?”

I am relieved but push on

I suggest maybe I should
give my young lover up
let him mature for a few years, let
him ‘sow some wild oats’

“Isn’t that what he is doing with you?”
She apologizes


A good truth told
Janet
Post poem; A mirror helps one reflect...
Postscript; Thank you to all of my family, personal friends and blogger friends whom have read, supported and contributed to my blog. Thank you to Dave whom encouraged me to get started. I have enjoyed this experience and I look forward to exploring the myriad of blogs, bloggers and communities I have encountered with similar passions.
With many emotions, my smile simply says 'thank you' in every language.

Our Clear Autumn



Our perfect August
Our lambent time
The hour, month, season
Hast thou passed so
Suddenly

Nay, in time
You have naught but slept
Wake now thee love
See how it has suffered
Under your euphoric spell
Comfort creates the nest
Complacency settles in

(…poem interrupted by life)

With Love
On Love

Janet

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sylvia Plath

COURTESY MORTIMER RARE BOOK ROOM
Sylvia Plath works on her typewriter perched on a stone wall in Yorkshire, England in 1956.


Someone has been calling to me as of late, and that person appears to be Sylvia Plath. Her voice is much more assertive than I imagine she would have used during her short life and it insists I read, love and share. (So you know, she is not concerned with the order in which I pursue these).


Currently, The Death and Life of Sylvia Plath and The Bell Jar rest by my bed waiting for me to take them in each night. I find the biography difficult, revealing and troubling. The Bell Jar reads like silk through my hands. Loving it, I am.



‘I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am.’ ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Chapter 20

These two books do compliment one another. Although unnerving, the biography gives the reader a good insight to the novel. Ironically, The Bell Jar is a mirror of a time in Sylvia’s young personal life. Plath uses the mirror metaphorically throughout the novel and the imagery within is fantastic. Originally published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas in 1963, this semi-autobiographical novel parallels Plath’s experience living in New York for a summer working as a junior editor for Mademoiselle. Further analogies include many references to people in Plath’s own life, electric shock therapy and the fact that the protagonist, Ester Greenwood, attempts suicide.

The writing in this novel is simple, edgy and vivid. Although written in the 50’s, I recognize many of the timeless issues included around social troubles, sexual relations and family relationships. I can’t help but get absorbed as I follow the journey of this troubled young woman slipping into insanity.





‘If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.’ ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Chapter 8

It is my hope that The Bell Jar should at some point make its way into bed with you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rare tropical tree from Southern Ontario bends when you swing on it



Found in the beautiful Bruce Peninsula National Park, these rare cedars are so flexible they actually bend with your body when you climb them. “They feel like Gumby” one camper noted.


Local park rangers spend countless hours every camping season removing campers from the tops of these wild arbors when campers get carried away and climb too high. Much like Tigger, they just cannot get down on their own.


The ‘Bruce’ has become a place of global significance and has attracted teams of botanists, biologists and dendrologists from around the globe to study these remarkable trees. They believe that the warm current from the Georgian Bay may be the cause of this flexible phenomenon.


OK, far enough. The April Fool bug always gets me excited. I love listening to CBC in the morning and having a chuckle at what gets announced nationally. Like the value of Pi has now been recalculated; it will no longer be known as 3.14159, instead it has officially been rounded down to 3.0. Oh, the uproar. Further reports from a friend, who had the luxury of listening longer than I, noted more pranks including Elizabeth May suggesting the Green party hitchhike across Canada, reusable floss and some interesting tips on cooking possums. My poor children have yet to be spared and, funny enough, yet to anticipate my yearly shenanigans. The pleasure this brings me could be construed as perplexing, but truly, speaking from one who enjoys the price of high jinks on a regular basis, to be given the right to behave like this is a carte blanche of sorts. Have fun with it!


Peace