Sunday, June 28, 2009

Poetry, review and song

An early and rather short blog today as we're out for most of the day and won't be back till late. Here's this morning's meditation, which is more religious than I'm used to, but hey it's Sunday after all:

Meditation 158

A long questioning,
edged, as it must be,
with the threat

of rejection.
Then from a cloud
of curses

one clear truth:
once I was blind
and now I see.

the smallest arrow,
if you grasp it,

may pierce
the darkest night.

And I'm thrilled to say that I've had another review of Painting From Life by Kassa at Manic Readers who says the following:

"While on a vacation to rejuvenate a failing marriage, an artist encounters an unlikely muse in the form of an older man. An obsession quickly develops as the differing needs of the artist, his wife, and the object of his attention collide. This short story is haunting, intense, and unlikely. At just about 15 pages, the author has delivered a stunningly gripping story about an artist and his obsessions. From the hints of the past such as the history between the artist and his wife and the wife’s caustic comments, the author suggests that the unnamed artist may often find these unlikely muses and devote more time than is healthy to them. Similarly, the artist slowly and inevitably becomes the sole caretaker of an older man, Peter, while using the man as a model for his work that is only now gaining success. The author manages to use just a few words and descriptive phrases to convey intensity and emotion that is clearly felt. The impact of the artist’s need for Peter is surprising yet chilling in phrases such as, "There's no need for him [Peter] to see or speak to anyone else but me." The artist realizes that Peter fatigues easily while sitting for him, but the rush the artist feels is too addictive, too much to let go. He counters this by taking care of Peter yet knows he will paint the older man to his death. The implications and subtle meaning go far beyond the obvious and continue to resonate well after the short story is done. Crisp, vivid prose works incredibly well with vibrant characters all uninhibited by the short length. For those that enjoy a fabulous short story that truly makes you think and leaves you wondering well after it’s done, I highly suggest Painting from Life. The themes of art, death, obsession, love, selfishness, and need are all played out beautifully in this complex and complicated story."

Gosh, thank you hugely, Kassa - much appreciated indeed! That's put a big smile on my face today for sure.

Keeping to the literary theme, I'm also delighted to say that two of my tankas have just been published at Ink Sweat & Tears webzine, so I hope you enjoy the read. And thank you, Charles, for that!

All of which jollity will lead us nicely into a lovely summer afternoon spent at Glyndebourne where we've ordered a picnic, furniture and staff (staff, dahhlings, really!...) to set it up for us, so we can just sit back and enjoy the sunshine. Hey ho and lift a glass to the empire spirit indeed ... And let's not forget the song of course, which today is the glorious Giulio Cesare which we've seen before and loved, so I'm looking forward to the rerun. To my mind, you can't ever go wrong with anything by Handel.

Here's this week's haiku. Or rather haikus - as I wrote one yesterday, got all smug that I'd done it and then another one (this time inspired by my continued and very enjoyable reading of Sara Maitland's amazing "A Book of Silence") suddenly popped by as well. Honestly, sometimes the pesky things are like buses.

First Haiku:

Outside: sun, laughter.
Inside: computer battles
and a web of words.

Second Haiku:

Silence unskins me.
It takes my heart's full measure,
offers a strange grace.

Today's nice things:

1. Poetry
2. The review of Painting from Life
3. Tankas publication
4. Glyndebourne
5. A double helping of haikus.

Anne Brooke - limbering up her voice once more ...


Teresa Stenson said...

Hi Anne

I'm curious about your 'Morning meditations' - do you write them spontaneously each day? Do they always follow the same structure/form? I'm not at all poet-trained, so forgive me if that last question is an obvious one.

Hope you enjoyed your afternoon out - sounds wonderful.

I went to an outdoor concert by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra a few years ago, they did Holst's 'Planets' complete with synchronized lazer show and fireworks, it was amazing. We were the only people in the crowd sat on a picnic rug though - everyone else (experts at it) had the whole shebang of tables, chairs, candles...

And yes, seems I followed your blog twice under slightly different names. Can I ask, when you opted to follow mine, did you press 'follow' and have to sign in with a Google/Yahoo account? Or did Blogger just know it was you?


Anne Brooke said...

Hi, Teresa! Lovely to see you on Blogger, or whatever it is we're on! Yes, I write the meditations spontaneously after I've done my Bible reading for that morning - it helps the text stick in the mind slightly longer than normal (sometimes) ...

Yes, Glyndebourne was fabulous - really enjoyed it. Your Holst one sounds amazing too - though of course picnic rugs are the new cool. You're a pioneer!

Weirdly, when I ticked the thingy to follow your blog, Google didn't seem to know who I was so I had to re-enter my stuff. Never happened like that before, so a bit of a mystery - but I got there in the end, hurrah! Suspect that following me twice might be rather beyond the call of duty though - you might need a break sometime.