I did not know that time could be heartless In its impatient flight… how sad it is I never knew the worth of you until You slipped away one day on quiet winds Myrna / “On Quiet Winds”
How quickly love can fill an empty space Your presence oh so loud within my heart If I became unglued, your love the paste We’d have forever, if time played its part Even with life’s curved balls that we would face I worried not in those times of harshness As moth to light you’ve always come to me And for you here I’ve been and thus would be In trust I closed my eyes to the starkness I did not know that time could be heartless
We who are young think not of life’s avail That Clotho’s thread will never come to end Treating life as an ever crawling snail The next adventure’s just around the bend Day, week, month, year, how quickly it can sail We don’t hurry, ignorant in our bliss Thinking “I’m running as fast as I can” But Father Time will merely shrug and scan The sands that flow in that great glass of his In its impatient flight… how sad it is
The only one of them that truly knew Lachesis crossed two most unlikely strings And begged unto us love, so deep and true Despite our worst, to steer us clear of things That did drive many who we’ve known in two And love we did have, love beyond our fill You did not believe in blessings and such Not channeled by remote, I guessed as much I knew we were blessed, but even still I never knew the worth of you until
I felt that first graze of empty down deep My face became a moon to absent suns At brink of the final task left to keep And knowing the effects once she is done I think even Atropos dared to weep Equal to lives saintly or ones that sinned She cannot cater to the whom or what Within her hands the strings of life are cut Now silence reigns in my heart where you dinned You slipped away one day on quiet winds
National Poetry Month for 2021 Day 15
A return to one of my favorites the Glosa (classic).
Bored ambivalence was the word of the day Decided I was going to go home the long way It’s only curiosity, was the cool wind blowing around me Seemed like a day just like any other one But then a curve ball was thrown into the mix hon
There she was the new big city kid now in a small country town Sitting on the fence by the creek, so all alone and looking down Didn’t take a psychic trick, to see she was homesick I had passed by, but Fate triumphed and I came back after a while And the reward I reaped was to see beauty in the light of her smile
Every day she smiles it’s just pure elation Every hour she laughs I can’t help but laugh too Every minute we kiss it’s an inspiration And every second she breathes — I thank the heavens it’s true
I tried to descend from the fence, but my foot wasn’t quit clear And yeah, she laughed as I fell in the water dead on my rear But she was quick to quell, any hurt feelings and that was swell By the time I walked her home as first stars shone bright I was dry and she knew everything was going to be all right
We became friends who flitted twixt that love or the other Took two years to learn that we were only meant for each other The great gift I was to find was to let me live inside her mind What wisdom knew back then, that one act of kindness from me, Would ascend to a love for you that’s here for all eternity?
Fate stays unconquered every time on the when and where, We only knew we had arrived once we got there
Every day you smile it’s just pure elation Every hour you laugh I can’t help but laugh too Every minute we kiss it’s an inspiration And every second you breathe — I thank the heavens for you
The tritina is a reduced version of the sestina written in iambic pentameter, which uses 3 repeated end-words (i.e. the final word of each line is repeated as the final word of each line in subsequent stanzas, just in a different order) and 3 three-line stanzas with a concluding one-line coda that must contain all three repeated words in order of their original appearance. The pattern/order of the repeated end-words is:
I wake up to a nice quiet morning. Well “quiet” is relative given I live in New York City and it’s a weekday morning, but you know what I mean. I say quiet because in the past couple of years there are three multi-unit dwellings are in some process of construction within a block’s radius of my building. A three blocks away, people have begun to move into a new building that must house at least 50 apartments units. Another mixed-use construct rises across the street from it promising even more housing units, plus ground floor commercial space from the size of it.
Because Covid delayed much of for months, once they were allowed back it was with a vengeance. The usual 7am – 3pm became 5pm and later depending on where they are in the process. While clearly loud it was never so egregious to disturb any of the virtual training classes I hold remotely as I work from home. Suffice it to say, these days, any morning I wake up and am not immediately inundated with a wall of construction sound that has but become a form of white noise to my day is noteworthy.
So I enjoyed this moment of Zen. I rose, showered, dressed, made a light breakfast and sat at my desk prepared to work. Still quiet. Excellent. At 9:30am I begin my usual what I call “pre-boarding check” before each session to ensure I have everything I need at the ready. My screens display the correct information. I do not have spinach in my teeth etc.
9:45am I open the session in case there are early birds and sure enough 9:50 someone logs in. I chat with the student as others sign in and at 10:00am on the dot all are ready to begin and…
CRASH!–BANG! – RATTLE! – THUD! – RUMBLE!
What? On? Mother? Earth‽ Was‽ THAT‽ ‽
[Oh, my natural tendency to cuss like Martin Freeman (it’s safe for work I promise), becomes amazingly rated G when the audio is on for training. My students, all adults, don’t necessarily have that restriction and give a Samuel L. Jackson character a run for the F-bombs that I hear dropped in reaction.]
Oh, did I forget to mention the public school right behind my building? The public school that is closed as its denizens learn remotely? The closed public school which is surrounded by scaffolding and netting? The closed public school which is surrounded by scaffolding and netting that now is in the first stages of refacing its brick façade? The LOUD first stage where they break off chunks of bricks and dump it down a plastic and metal chained chute to land in a huge commercial dumpster oh so conveniently located right outside my [please stand by while I insert Martin Freeman’s imagined, albeit still impressive, string of foul verbiage here] window? Yeah, apparently that is going to be a thing in my life for a while; at least while they work on this side of the building. Grrr!
It could be just my over-active imagination, but I do declare all of the constructions workers had a pow-wow this morning when it was quiet. It must have ended just before 10am because every room in my flat has construction noise seeping or thundering in from outside.
I’m in a conundrum I can’t recall having ever been in before.
My table easel is with blank canvas is up raring to go. My color palette rests between my and acrylics and watercolors.
So does my sketchpad with its plethora of markers and scores of sharpened colored pencils that lay in wait.
All while cursors blink on three different incomplete stories, a half-begun glosa, and a line for what is free form verse for now, but may become a villanelle, a tritina, an octain or…or…
Not to mention an idea in pieces malingering in Photoshop limbo.
And in the midst of the creative storm is not-so-little, not-so-old, but very frustrated me as I find myself singularly unable to do any one of the above because Muse wants to do each and every single one of the above…
So instead, I slice and see which comes out on top.
Yesterday was all about Broadway, but I also miss concerts. I have a long history with them.
First concert: The Spinners with Dionne Warwick, NYC 1970s (don’t remember the venue, I was nine or ten years old with my mother).
Last concert: Tituss Burgess at Carnegie Hall, NYC February 2020 (Thank you D-Fab!)
Best concert: Queen, Madison Square Garden, NYC September 1980 (First rock concert, saying I was underage and had NO business being there doesn’t cover it, but by God IT WAS GLORIOUS!)
Worst concert: I’m happy to say I’ve never been a bad concert, not even a ho hum one.
Loudest concert: Oh that’s an easy one – Metallica 2009 at Prudential Center. My ears rang for nearly three days.
Seen the most: Metallica and Jay Z, three times each.
Most surprising: Isaac Hayes live at Prospect Park Bandshell – June 2008. Surprising solely because of the gut punch of his passing away two months later.
Wish I could have seen: – Hands down Prince #1 I don’t know how I let that sexy motherfucker slip through my concert wish list unseen, *deep spiritual soulful sigh of regret*. Also, Nirvana is another one I really wish I could have seen.
Grateful I had a chance to see: Linkin Park in concert at NYC’s Madison Square Garden in July of 2008. LP had to cancel part their 2015 concert tour which included its stop in NYC. In July 2017 we lost Linkin Park’s lead singer Chester Bennington to suicide.
I still have the tickets for the “Welcome to Blinkin Park” concert at NYC’s Citifield Stadium that was scheduled the following week.
Next concert: Live in person? Who knows… Stay tuned…
A friend and I were speaking on missing how we were missing live theatre. Watching productions of lived filmed plays and musicals has soothed the ache, but nothing will heal it until we can enjoy live productions again. Naturally, that segued into hits, misses and surprises. I won’t go into hits [many] and [thankfully very few] misses here. However, there were three performances that have stood out for me.
A few years ago I had the pleasure to see Josh Groban on Broadway, as the titular Pierre, in “Pierre and Natasha: The Great Comet of 1912”. There was not exactly a stage, per se. The theatre was styled in such a way that elevated paths and performing pits were woven throughout the venue. While the audience on the main floor were the crux of where the performance was focused; all in the audience, even those in the bleachers had their turns to be as much participants as voyeurs. I still have a “love letter” handed directly to me by one of the actors during the performance, it was delightful. What made this performance stand out was a scene in the musical where the stars and the muses aligned as one for one magical space in time and laid their blessings upon Mr. Josh Groban. Something ineffably sublime was happening as he played and sang. Groban had complete command of the moment. He knew it. We in the audience knew it. He knew we knew he knew we knew, you know? It was visceral and awe in the true sense of the word before over use conflated its meaning. It was magnificence! I had never felt anything like before, I do pray I get to enjoy such again.
On the flip side of that was Broadway standout, Norm Lewis. Mr. Lewis was using his talents as the titular role in an off-Broadway production of “Sweeney Todd”. He was the draw and you understood why. He was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. All the way up until the near opposite of what happened to Josh Groban fell upon him. Lewis broke out in visible sweat and had completely lost his voice on the end note of “A Little Priest” just before the end of Act One. I suspected it had become really bad around “Epiphany”, the first really off notes I noticed from his usually melliferous voice. To his credit he barreled through to intermission, but all could see it was close. It was the first, and thus far only, time I have attended a performance where the lead performer had to be replaced betwixt acts. And this was on opening night to boot. It was reported he was out sick for another couple of days before he was able to return to the stage. As elated as Josh Groban had to have felt on his magical night; I imagine was the despondency of Lewis on that night.
Next was the a revival of “Godspell”. It’s a personal favorite, much like “Pippin” where I will watch each any revival that I can catch so I have seen several performances. Thus, I can say it was not the best, nor the worst production of the play I’ve seen. Still, I knew I was in for something a little different when the actor who portrayed Jesus walked on water [in a wonderfully executed special effect] only for the actor in the dual role as John the Baptist/Judas who followed immediately behind him and fell into the pool. Notice how I state ‘the actor’ for each? That is because I do not remember their names. Lovely actors, sure, but not one that stood out to me. However, there was one member of the ensemble who did. A dynamic actor I still remember wore leopard print leggings, a black tank top and her hair in Bantu knots. She garnered my attention from the moment she stepped onto the stage, but it was her rendition of “By My Side”, what until that performance had always been one of my least favorite songs in the musical, that seared into my soul with her rich voice. During final bows we locked eyes, I blew her a kiss and touched my heart for the gift of that song which was my introduction to the talent that is Uzo Aduba. If you’ve watched the TV series “Orange is the New Black” or the limited mini-series, “Mrs. America”, you understand why the woman now has three Primetime Emmy Awards under her belt.
Finally, and the first live theatre that taught me to never underestimate the understudy. Powerhouse Debbie Allen was in the lead role in a revival of “Sweet Charity” on Broadway. I have followed Allen’s career off and on since her appearance on the television show “Good Times” in the 70s. It was the now a decade later. She had received good reviews for her performance. My late-husband purchased tickets as a birthday present for me. I was very much looking forward to seeing her live. Regrettably, I never got to see Debbie Allen in that role. She was unable to perform the night we had tickets. The role was being performed by her understudy, an eventual Tony award winning turn as co-star in the show, but that night I knew nothing of her, so I was very disappointed to say the least. The understudy was excellent and I enjoyed the show, but I was there to see Debbie Allen, not whoever she was, I didn’t bother to keep the playbill I was that upset. Still, I went from not wanting to know her, from not being able to forget her.
Years later the same actress appeared on what eventually became a signature television role for her. This was years before one could easily check IMDB for an actor’s resume. Her character on television was very different from the Broadway role in which I was introduced to the actress. In fact, it took her second appearance on the show for me to make the connection and I was both impressed and flabbergasted because Dr. Lilith Sternin (eventually and formerly Crane), was no Charity Hope Valentine that’s for sure. Fans of the TV show Cheers are likely smiling already knowing I’m speaking of the phenomenal, singer-actor-dancer triple-threat that is Bebe Neuwirth. No longer anyone’s an understudy, I’ve since seen her as the marquee star on Broadway as Velma Kelly in the revival of Chicago. As much as I adored the movie, I cannot hear “All That Jazz” and not think of Bebe Neuwirth first.
There’s just something about live theatre that movies and television cannot touch. I have seen Pippin, in various incarnations on and very off Broadway at least a fifteen times live since I first was implored to “come and waste on hour or two” by the Lead Player in a what I now know is a sanitized high school production, but my preteen self was enchanted and have loved live theatre, and especially musicals, ever since.
Most males, especially over 50 are familiar with the semi-joking “I could’ve been rich, but my mother threw away all my (fill in the blank)”. I say men because in the 80’s-90’s the majority of baseball cards/comic collectors were males. It certainly was surprise, to my late-husband when he learned I had become a reader of them in the mid to late-80s. I knew I was a rarity among my friends, a girl who was into comics, my favorite being Marvel’s X-Men series. Yes, I wanted to be Storm – what female into comics didn’t?
I enjoyed the art and the stories, but I was not a collector. I did not purchase with the intent to collect. Still, there were some that I kept for whatever reason. The ones I chose to keep were properly cased in plastic sleeves with backing board. Regrettably, doing so with comics was not a thing when my late-husband was a boy buying them. It was not until he saw me preserving mine that I learned he had comics of his own stacked in box at the back of a closet. He saw how I protect mine, he chose not to go through his and they stayed in their box. A box I did not look in until our third move. Let’s just say when I finally opened that box for the first time I was glad I wore gloves, a good two-thirds of what was in that box was trashed. We did not try to salvage it. As for what was left? Aged, yellow pages, dog-eared pages, cockling, etc. This was the 90s, AOL was still mailing mini-CDs; the Internet had taken off, but it was not the monster we have now. There was no no way to determine the value, if any, of what we had without dragging the entire collection to comics retailer. That never happened. The box was repacked with his hodge-podge of Captain America, Daredevil, Ku Fu Masters et al, and my Spawn and X-Men where they remain untouched through three more moves until yesterday.
Yesterday, I mentioned that I spent the evening going through my comic collection. I say ‘comic collection’ with a massive grain a of salt considering the condition of most of what’s in it and I was not the most conscientious of collectors. Essentially, I finally grouped them by proper title and number. Where 30 years ago I would have had to drag them to a store, last night I used my phone to check the value of a few. There are many I know I bought back in the day, but I was the mom that dumped. However, an unexpected gem, or few, have survived…
One day back in August 1990 I became the owner of Marvel comic’s The Uncanny X-Men #266. I spent one whole whopping dollar for the privilege. I know it’s not in pristine condition 9.8 on their grade scale, but it is a decent 7.0 one. At minimum I would get $100 for it according to a random website I checked even if booted down to a quality of 6.0. I have learned that if I had purchased this issue at a newsstand or retailer rather than the comic subscription service I had at the time would be worth. I’d love to know the logic behind that, but whatever.
The banker box of comics that has existed for nearly twenty years in my possession is now gone. All comics are properly categorized in a filing cabinet. I haven’t gone through each comic and researched their values. Of the random few I checked I know I could pay rent for a couple of months, so that was cool. That’s a project for another, knowing me sunny, day.
It’s the first day of Spring! The sun is actually shining. The temps here are gazing the line at 60 degrees. The plan is to run errands this mornings, then do something I promised myself I would do for ages. I am finally, FINALLY going to through the collection of comic books that have been in the same bankers box untouched through five different change of addresses. Always sunny days I choose to be in the mood for such, it never fails. 🤣
I’m getting this post out of the way so I don’t have to think about it.
We’re three-quarters through to the finish line! Can you believe it?
The Raivenne Saturday, March 20, 2021 9:30am
Whomp! Whomp! All of the above was written by 9:30am. You know what was done after that? I had breakfast. And after that I ran errands. And three hours after that I came home and sorted laundry. And after that I hit the comics. And after that…. And after that…
Do you know what was NOT done after that? Apparently, clicking Publish. By on my phone and not on my laptop, added with this not being the most exciting of posts, so I knew nothing was amiss until I now.