cell phone self-portrait

cell phone self-portrait
things are looking up

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I love this Poem

I just discovered this wonderful poem by Dylan Thomas. It's especially nice for an insomniac like me; I'm going to try to memorize it. My friend Debbie would scold me for that "try" --- so, I'm going to memorize it.

In country sleep


Never and never, my girl riding far and near
In the land of the hearthstone tales, and spelled asleep,
Fear or believe that the wolf in a sheepwhite hood
Loping and bleating roughly and blithely shall leap,
My dear, my dear,
Out of a lair in the flocked leaves in the dew dipped year
To eat your heart in the house in the rosy wood.

Sleep, good, for ever, slow and deep, spelled rare and wise,
My girl ranging the night in the rose and shire
Of the hobnail tales: no gooseherd or swine will turn
Into a homestall king or hamlet of fire
And prince of ice
To court the honeyed heart from your side before sunrise
In a spinney of ringed boys and ganders, spike and burn,

Nor the innocent lie in the rooting dingle wooed
And staved, and riven among plumes my rider weep.
From the broomed witch's spume you are shieldedby fern
And flower of country sleep and the greenwood keep.
Lie fast and soothed,
Safe be and smooth from the bellows of the rushy brood.
Never, my girl, until tolled to sleep by the stern

Bell believe or fear that the rustic shade or spell
Shall harrow and snow the blood while you ride wide and near,
For who unmanningly haunts the mountain ravened eaves
Or skulks in the dell moon but moonshine echoing clear
From the starred well?
A hill touches an angel. Out of a saint's cell
The nightbird lauds through nunneries and domes of leaves

Her robin breasted tree, three Marys in the rays.
Sanctum sanctorum the animal eye of the wood
In the rain telling its beads, and the gravest ghost
The owl at its knelling. Fox and holt kneel before blood.
Now the tales praise
The star rise at pasture and nightlong the fables graze
On the lord's-table of the bowing grass. Fear most

For ever of all not the wolf in his baaing hood
Nor the tusked prince, in the ruttish farm, at the rind
And mire of love, but the Thief as meek as the dew.
The country is holy: O bide in that country kind,
Know the green good,
Under the prayer wheeling moon in the rosy wood
Be shielded by chant and flower and gay may you

Lie in grace. Sleep spelled at rest in the lowly house
In the squirrel nimble grove, under linen and thatch
And star: held and blessed, though you scour the high four
Winds, from the dousing shade and the roarer at the latch,
Cool in your vows.
Yet out of the beaked, web dark and the pouncing boughs
Be you sure the Thief will seek a way sly and sure

And sly as snow and meek as dew blown to the thorn,
This night and each vast night until the stern bell talks
In the tower and tolls to sleep over the stalls
Of the hearthstone tales my own, lost love; and the soul walks
The waters shorn.
The night and each night since the falling star you were born,
Ever and ever he finds a way, as the snow falls,

As the rain falls, hail on the fleece, as the vale mist rides
Through the haygold stalls, as the dew falls on the wind-
Milled dust of the apple tree and the pounded islands
Of the morning leaves, as the star falls, as the winged
Apple seed glides,
And falls, and flowers in the yawning wound at our sides,
As the world falls, silent as the cyclone of silence.


Night and the reindeer on the clouds above the haycocks
And the wings of the great roc ribboned for the fair!
The leaping saga of prayer! And high, there, on the hare-
Heeled winds the rooks
Cawing from their black bethels soaring, the holy books
Of birds! Among the cocks like fire the red fox

Burning! Night and the vein of birds in the winged, sloe wrist
Of the wood! Pastoral beat of blood through the laced leaves!
The stream from the priest black wristed spinney and sleeves
Of thistling frost
Of the nightingale's din and tale! The upgiven ghost
Of the dingle torn to singing and the surpliced

Hill of cypresses! The din and tale in the skimmed
Yard of the buttermilk rain on the pail! The sermon
Of blood! The bird loud vein! The saga from mermen
To seraphim
Leaping! The gospel rooks! All tell, this night, of him
Who comes as red as the fox and sly as the heeled wind.

Illumination of music! The lulled black-backed
Gull, on the wave with sand in its eyes! And the foal moves
Through the shaken greensward lake, silent, on the moonshod hooves,
In the winds' wakes.
Music of elements, that a miracles makes!
Earth, air, water, fire, singing into the white act,

The haygold haired, my love asleep, and the rift blue
Eyed, in the haloed house, in her rareness and hilly
High riding, held and blessed and true, and so stilly
Lying the sky
Might cross its planets, the bell weep, night gather her eyes,
The Thief fall on the dead like the willy nilly dew,

Only for the turning of the earth in her holy
Heart! Slyly, slowly, hearing the wound in her side go
Round the sun, he comes to my love like the designed snow,
And truly he
Flows to the strand of flowers like the dew's ruly sea,
And surely he sails like the ship shape clouds. Oh he

Comes designed to my love to steal not her tide raking
Wound, nor her riding high, nor her eyes, nor kindled hair,
But her faith that each vast night and the saga of prayer
He comes to take
Her faith that this last night for his unsacred sake
He comes to leave her in the lawless sun awaking

Naked and forsaken to grieve he will not come.
Ever and ever by all your vows believe and fear
My dear this night he comes and night without end my dear
Since you were born:
And you shall wake, from country sleep, this dawn and each first dawn,
Your faith as deathless as the outcry of the ruled sun.

From Dylan Thomas: The Poems, published by J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London, 1971
Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1956, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1971, 1977 The Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Creating a Medicine Wheel

I've got wheels on my mind.

"The wheel in the sky keeps on turning,
don't know where I'll be tomorrow."

I read about how Ezekiel saw the wheel when I was reading the Bible a week or so ago, and then I had to go find videos of choirs singing the song on YouTube. Then I started thinking about creating a medicine wheel (I'm still planning that). I have an idea for a virtual wheel with angels at each direction and in the center. Here are the angel images I chose. Earth Angel, Angel in Black and White, Classical Angel, Urban Angel, and the Angel who Wrestled with Jacob.

I got the idea about the angels when I consulted my tarot cards for inspiration, and immediately drew the Wheel of Fortune. Synchronicity. This particular card features what first appeared to me to be an angel, but now I believe it is just a woman in various stages of mental health and spiritual well-being.

If I complete the medicine wheel, I'll need to do a ceremony with music, sage, and drums.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Can't See the Forest for the Trees?

I'm reading a book about writing called The Forest For the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers, by Betsy Lerner. Here are a few choice passages from today's reading:

"I often get very tense working," said novelist and critic William Gass. "So I often have to get up and wander around the house. It's very bad on my stomach... My ulcer flourishes and I have to chew a lot of pills. When my work is going well, I am usually sort of sick."

For others, writing is the only way to alleviate what ails them.

"When I'm writing I find it's the only time that I feel completely self-possessed, even when the writing itself is not going too well," remarked William Styron. "It's fine therapy for people who are perpetually scared of nameless threats as I am most of the time --- for jittery people. Besides, I've discovered that when I'm not writing I'm prone to developing certain nervous tics, and hypochondria."

Which one of these is you --- or are you somewhere in between? It might be worth exploring this issue.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Some Beat Poems


It's the first time I've heard some of these --- so we're listening together.

Let's see; what else is on the agenda today? Well, I'm going to try a new approach to solving my insomnia and other physical problems such as weight gain. I'm going to cut out certain "highly reactive foods" (according to Elson Haas, M.D.) and see what happens. I'm going to do this for the remainder of August.

No cheese, corn, cow's milk, eggs, oats, pineapple, wheat, or yogurt. The hardest will be wheat because I really don't know what has wheat in it, and I have also developed a very firm habit of eating wheat bread all my life, thinking it was the healthiest choice. It may be difficult for me to remember. But I'll do my best.