Saturday, March 22, 2008

Welcoming the Vernal Equinox with XTC

Easter Theater - XTC

Easter Theatre
Lyric by: Andy Partridge

Gold sun rolls around
Chocolate nipple brown
Tumble from your arms
Like the ground your breasts swell
Land awake from sleep
Hares will kick and leap
Flowers climb erect
Smiling from the moist kiss of her rainbow mouth

Stage left
Enter Easter and she's dressed in yellow yolk
Stage right
Now the son has died, the father can be born
Stand up
If we'd all breathe in and blow away the smoke
New life, we'd applaud her new life

Odin mounts the tree
Bleeds for you and me
Splashing on the lamb
Gamboling with spring step
Buds will laugh and burst
Racing to be first
Turning all the soil
As the prompter's fingers through her spinning script

Stage left
Enter Easter and she's dressed in yellow yolk
Stage right
Now the son has died, the father can be born
Stand up
If we'd all breathe in and blow away the smoke
New life, we'd applaud her new life

Easter... in her bonnet
Easter... in her hair
Easter... are the ribbons
She ties everywhere

Stage left
Enter Easter and she's dressed in yellow yolk
Stage right
Now the son has died, the father can be born
Stand up
If we'd all breathe in and blow away the smoke
In her bonnet
Easter... everywhere

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Margaret Atwood On Religion Part 1/3

In this interview by Bill Moyers, Margaret Atwood discusses the themes in her novel The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood is one of my favorite writers. I'm awed not only by her talents as a novelist and a poet but also by her remarkable intellect, her perspective and her articulate voice. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. If so, parts II and III are just as riveting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Braving mid-thirties temperatures and a cold, steady rain, a group of 21 of us held a vigil this evening in Gill, Massachusetts, a very small town on the banks of the Connecticut River.
The vigil was held at the Turners Memorial, which is a big rock with an inscription on it describing how Captain William Turner massacred 300 Native Americans in 1676. Sadly,the atrocities continue to this day, don't they?
I hope with everything I have that we won't need to hold this vigil again next year.
I'm going to warm my toes and put the kettle on now. Peace.

Five Years Ago Today, The U.S. Invaded Iraq

My Heart dedicates this post to all the victims of the Iraq war; Americans and Iraqis alike. The war is illegal, immoral and divisive. The only right thing to do is to end the hell.
I've chosen to display here several pieces of art about and against the war. Some are satirical, some angry and others offer a glimmer of hope. Those three components often make up my own thoughts and feelings on this senseless war. Though often bitterly, I've laughed at the satire of others. I have cried listening to testimonies from Iraqi soldiers and other American war veterans and their families. I dare to hope that the madness will end.

Richard Moore

Mid-East Think Tank
Leon Kuhn

Kristopher Kaufman - U.S.

Anagnos Sotos

Stephane Lorraine - Finland

First Taste of Freedom

No More War
Madrid, Spain

No Child Left Behind
Kristopher Kaufman

Dove Looking For Landing
Greg Bowyer

Mad Dogs And Englishmen - Leon Kuhn London


U.S. Out of Iraq

Puppet Regime - Karen Fioritto, U.S.A.

Rita Pinto - Portugal (above)

Make Jobs Not War - Steve Mahallo (below)

Stop War - Denis Kriuchkoff

Paz Bush

(the world would be much better if the man put aside his ego and lived for himself)
Diego Martins - Brasil

Peace Rug, 4th graders, California


Monday, March 17, 2008

New Blogosphere Friends!

It's only been a few short weeks since I started this blog and I've already been fortunate to meet several new friends here, whose blogs are both an inspiration and a delight. I would like to say thank you to these lovely people for enriching my daily life with their dedication, beauty, humor and unflagging devotion to the causes they believe in and the interests they share.

First there is Bobbie, the author of the blog Almost There. Bobbie is one of the first people to leave a comment on this site. The sense I have of Bobbie is that she is a person of great compassion and goodwill toward others. She is honest and straightforward and writes a fine story! Thanks Bobbie, you are an inspiration!

I don't recall how I stumbled upon this blog but I'm so glad I did! Forever Under Construction is authored by Homeyra, from Iran. There I found photos of beautiful Iranian art and architecture, a global-minded, humanitarian soul and a perspective I'm rarely fortunate enough to partake of. Homeyra also turned me onto Banksy, an anonymous protest artist from England. What a find!

A Poetic Justice, poetryman's blog, I'd seen rolling by on blogs here and there. I finally stopped in and had a real read of the poems; intense, passionate poems, often on themes of war and peace. I just love how poetryman leaves a poem as a blog comment. "....he's the poetry man, he makes things all right..." remember that Phoebe Snow song? It's been playing in my head since I discovered his blog. I should say "blogs" as he keeps several. Aaaaaah, more to delved into in the future! Oh, and poetryman is in possesion of a quality I value highly: warmth. Call me touchy-feely but that characteristic just makes me melt all over. But what else can one expect from the soul of a poet?

Then there is FranIAm. I've been lurking on her site since I found it rolled on my friend cunning runt's blog, Little Bang Theory. I finally got the courage to leave a comment. This lady displays such a sharp intellect and depth and breadth of knowledge that I thought she might be just a tad intimidating. I was so wrong! She is also another one of those people whose thoughtfulness and compassion cause me to go all melty-welty. Fran lives in Albany and being a friend of CR's, it would be relatively painless for her to join us in beautiful Franklin County, Massachusetts for a day of good food, scenic beauty and stimulating conversation. I'll just sit back with a smile and let the two heavyweights go at it!

Continuing the strange and beautiful "butterfly effect", as poetryman calls it, I have to tell you about Mad Priest, who officiates over at Of Course I Could Be Wrong...I haven't had the pleasure of making a true personal connection (such as it is on the internet) but I was immediately smitten by this blog. Madpriest is hilarious! In possession of a brilliant English wit and, as is clear from reading only some of his blog entries, he is also very well informed on issues of theology and politics. I consider him the British sitcom character of the blogging world. And I love, love, love British comedy - my favorite.

So, I'll be happily wandering through the worlds of these excellent new friends. This blog stuff is just great; so stimulating and pleasurable are these net-world connections.

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Ellen DeGeneres Calls Sally Kern

Ellen DeGeneres - gotta love her!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

American Painter Alice Neel 1900-1984

Alice Neel - Self-Portrait

I've only for a few weeks been smitten by the work of the painter Alice Neel. I've heard the name. I've walked by the real Alice Neels in various museums and kept on walking. I wanted to get to the O'Keefes and the Monets. I'm hitting my forehead asking myself why hadn't I looked at them?

Here I am, typing away after having looked at several online images of Alice Neel portraits (and a still-life or two)that I started saving in January. She's really amazing. Once one looks at the first Alice Neel painting (the first one really seen), every other encounter with one of her other images is familiar - 'oh, that's Alice Neel'.
Nancy and Olivia

Perhaps I didn't stop because it's a little hard to look at some of the portraits. Neel's self-portrait and the Andy Warhol painting in particular, are really personal. We're not used to seeing an old woman's body or the massive scar on a pop icon's torso as a result of the bullet from the gun of a crazed fan.
Andy Warhol was a massive artist/celebrity but that's exactly what rendered him velnerable to an attack on his life. His expression in Neel's painting is all at once private and public. I don't think I've ever seen a single photograph or self-portrait of Warhol that captures him quite as well.

Alice Neel was an unflinchingly honest portraitist. Though she was part of notable artistic and intellectual circles, she never sought to glamorize her subjects, prefering to paint honestly their bodies, both young and old, beautiful and plain.
In her lifetime, Neel painted the portraits of poets Frank O'Hara and Allen Ginsberg, potician Bella Abzug, performance artist Annie Sprinkle and artist Faith Ringgold, among many others.

Andy Warhol
©1998 Estate of Alice Neel

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