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Reading Rilke’s Swan

I think it was Borges who used to remind us that poetry began as an oral tradition and that in these days of print it is still meant to be read out loud. This hit home for me recently when a friend read one of my own poems at a funeral service and when British poet, John Anstie, recorded his reading of another of my poems. Even though I had written these poems and labored over their births, they gained a new dimension for me in the hands of these good poets who also happen to be good at oral delivery. On that note, I take special joy in the poetry of David Whyte and I particularly appreciate his skilled readings of his own work and that of other poets. In the video below David reads and interprets Rilke’s The Swan and Walcott’s Love After Love. I listen to his readings of these two renown poems several times a week and never tire of hearing them. Jamie 

LoResPublicityPoet David Whyte grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home, with his family, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

The author of six books of poetry and three books of prose, David Whyte holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, the Amazon and the Himalaya. He brings this wealth of experience to his poetry, lectures and workshops.

His life as a poet has created a readership and listenership in three normally mutually exclusive areas: the literate world of readings that most poets inhabit, the psychological and theological worlds of philosophical enquiry and the world of vocation, work and organizational leadership.

An Associate Fellow at Templeton College and Said Business School at the University of Oxford, he is one of the few poets to take his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development, where he works with many European, American and international companies. In spring of 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Neumann College, Pennsylvania.

In organizational settings, using poetry and thoughtful commentary, he illustrates how we can foster qualities of courage and engagement; qualities needed if we are to respond to today’s call for increased creativity and adaptability in the workplace. He brings a unique and important contribution to our understanding of the nature of individual and organizational change particularly through his unique perspectives on Conversational Leadership.

portrait and bio courtesy of David Whyte


Video uploaded to YouTube by tjmjkm.

The Poetry Zone

traffic jams
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of undomesticated notions
simple or complex emotions
bones of story, depth of heart

imagination

the gust of words
from agile mind
to nimble fingers
to keyboard, so amenable

OF NOTE:

.

44c9db6a4ca13a82e2f201951a0ebeb2PoetjanstieJohn Anstie, a poet from Brewood who now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, has done a beautiful reading of my poem The View From My Place. You can hear it on John’s SoundCloud site along with many of his own, which are quite wonderful. My personal friends and local poet-colleagues will chuckle to hear my work sans Brooklyn twang. Lovely! Thank you, John.

For John’s readings: https://soundcloud.com/poetjanstie
and you can visit (recommended) John’s poetry blog here:
http://poetjanstie.wordpress.com

John also has a prose site, FortyTwo … of Life, the Universe and Everything (you have to appreciate someone who’s that enamoured of Douglas Adams‘ work). Link HERE to read about the upcoming anthology, Petrichor Risinga collaboration of nine poets (including John) who met on Twitter. It’s an interesting and engaging story.

John Anstie’s work and ethic are a cut above. If you haven’t “met” him, now’s the time …

♦ At Into the Bardo,  A Blogazine we are still celebrating moms with memoirs by Karen Fayeth (The Divining Trunk, a short piece about Karen’s paternal grandmother) and a piece I wrote (For the Record: Remembering Mom). Naomi Baltuck’s short reflection, posted last week, is one you will not soon forget.

♦ British poet, Myra Schneider, wrote to let me know about her new video. In it she reads her award winning poem, Goulash (HERE on YouTube). Though I’ve read Goulash a number of times before, I enjoyed hearing it in Myra’s own sweet voice and think you will too. I also happened on an interview of Myra, Becoming Something Deeper (HERE). In it she discusses her writing processes and her experience of writing poetry while undergoing chemotherapy

Congratulations to kalabalu on her “Best Moment Award.” Her charming blog is a reliable source of joy.

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved 
Photo (keyboard) courtesy of morgueFile, John Anstie’s portrait is his own, All rights reserved

Toward Healing and Understanding

photo-1

INTO THE BARDO, A Blogazine is an informal collection of works from diverse and visionary creatives. Our goal is to make – however modestly – a contribution toward healing and understanding. We are a collaboration of writers, poets, story-tellers, artists, musicians, and teachers from around the world.

Our focus is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our posts cover a range of topics: religions and spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, politics and current events, history, art and photography. We cover these topics in the form of essay, poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, music, art, and photography. Generally we offer a new post each day.

We consider that all art is meditation and comes from sacred space. Through their artistic inclinations, the contributors featured express the sacred. Our contributors hail from many places including: England and U.S., the Netherlands and Greece, China and India, Malaysia, Canada and South Africa.

Many different religions are represented on the site as are atheists and agnostics. What we learn in the end is that we hold pretty much the same ideals – though we may express them in different terms – and that we all have the same desire to travel our chosen paths peacefully, to live quietly, and to know that our children will grow up and grow old in a world that is not in conflict.

We’ve learned in our years of blogging that these efforts do evolve. When I started Bardo  more than two years ago, the audience was nil and the focus was narrow: one path, three people, and a wee corner of planet earth. Today  Into the Bardo has a loyal readership, steadily growing and world-wide. The works featured are the gifts of nearly forty poets and writers, photographers and artists . We hope you’ll share our adventures in sacred space and stay with us as we continue to evolve …

We’ve just redesigned the site and expanded our core team of creatives, which is complementary to a group of fine contributors, some known and loved by many of you. Announcements of more additions to the core team will be forthcoming over the next weeks.

HOW DID WE GET OUR NAME AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN? “Bardo” is a Tibetan Buddhist term referring to that place after physical death when our soul is between material manifestations. It might be likened by some (Brother David Steindle-Rast, for one) to the Christian purgatory. Chögyam Trungpa Rinchoche has written of it as the “in between, like a flowing river which belongs neither to this shore nor the other. In other words: it is the present experience, the immediate experience of now.” The expression “into the bardo,” was the name originally selected because the three people initially involved were living with life-threatening illness. Our dear friend, the poet Ann Emerson, died earlier this year. Her work is on “private” until we know the status of her copyright.

Link to Into the Bardo HERE.

Photo credit ~ Our Gravitar – a “golden” Buddha against lovely red damask is the work of our own Wendy Alger. a fine arts photographer.

The Rrroarrs

rrroarr

With a nod to Phillip K. Dick, author of the canine short-story RoogGrandkitty Gypsy decided that felines need their own such story. Hence, as dictated telepathically by Gypsy, here’s one for the kitties.

They made her shudder, those big-rig delivery trucks passing along Pacific Avenue, a busy stretch that runs parallel to the street on which the new apartment is located. They  – a good three or four at a time – stopped at the grocery directly across from Py’s building. Given the trucks’ mighty roar and intimidating size, she was amazed to see the humans gathering round, diving into the back of the truck and moving boxes on pallet jacks.

Py tried – dare we say it – doggedly to alert her human to the potential threat. She looked pointedly at the scene unfolding outside the window and bobbing her head up and down she growled “rrroarrrrroarr.” Unfortunately her human doesn’t speak Feline. When the human finally did take a look, she didn’t appear at all perturbed by the frightening perspective, though Py recognized it as abject terror. Soon though she began to feel her terror give way to interest. Food! She could smell food in the air, food that disappeared into the store’s receiving area.

Pensive, she studied the humans swarming about the trucks. One thought lead to another as thoughts are want to do. Suddenly she realized why feline foods are so poor: dry, boring, tasteless, “scientifically formulated nuggets” recommended by Dr. Annie. “For weight control,” she says. Humph! Ffffup! thought Py. The truth is we have to substitute good flesh food for dry prefabricated crunchables because the rrroars make sure the good stuff is hidden away in the humans’ grocery store. Her nose told her there was fresh fish to be had and – Bastet willing – some of that fish would be hers.

Pywacket (Py)

Slowly a strategy began to form in Py’s mind. Her dear but scattered human was forever forgetting something when she left for work. It was her habit to leave the front door open while she ran back into the apartment to find her misplaced keys or to grab her almost-forgotten lunch. For once, Py decided, I’ll take advantage of that. High stakes call for high risks.

Her chance came the very next day. When her human so predictably left the door open, Py escaped. She did her best to stay out of sight and for a while camped out behind a dryer in the laundry room.

Time passed slowly, Py slept, and then waking with a start, she listened to the stillness. She sensed all the humans in the building were gone for the day or settled down to watch their soaps on TV. Now’s my chance! She shot across the street like a Roger Clemens‘ pitch and scooted behind some bushes to assess the situation. It was there that she met a handsome red-coated fellow of her own kind.

At last the rrroarrs were empty and gone and the humans disappeared into the store. Py and her new-found friend, Fluffernutter, high-tailed it into the store’s receiving room.  They maneuvered past the stacked boxes of canned food and cleaning stuffs, their sensitive noses tracking the sweet scent of wild Alaska salmon in the fish monger’s section.

Fluffernutter (Nutter)

Once out of receiving and into the store they knew they were vulnerable. They decided Py would be the distraction while Fluffernutter went in for the kill. Py wrapped the luxury of her softly furred self around the leg of the fish monger. She purred seductively. Naturally he bent down to pick her up. Who could resist? The man immediately adored her and fed her a scrap of sea scallop in gratitude for her attention. As planned, the fish monger was so taken with Py that he never noticed the theft in progress.

Fluffernutter nabbed a hunk of salmon and made his way unobtrusively back to receiving and on to safety. When the monger gave Py another bit of sea scallop and regretfully set her free outside, she headed straight for the apartment house where Fluffernutter – whom she soon came to learn is more nutter than fluffer – was waiting for her. What a feast they had and it turned out to be just the first of many …

* * *

It’s been almost four weeks now. Py and “Nutter” – as she calls him affectionately – have their routine down. The silly fish monger is still deeply enamoured of Py and has no sense of her cunning. It’s hard to tell who is more devoted to the little feline goddess, man or Nutter.

Earlier today Py went with her human to visit Dr. Annie, who chastised the human for overfeeding Py and not keeping her safe inside. She’s now up from a petite eleven pounds to a voluptuous thirteen and pregnant to boot.

Pywacket & Gypsy

© 2012, story, Gypsy Rose and Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved * Gypsy blogs at The Cat’s Meow

© 2012, Pywacket (Py), from the family album, please be respectful – Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

© 2012, Pywacket and Gypsy, from the family album, please be respectful – Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Photo credit ~ rrroars and Fluffernutter by Junior Libby, Public Domain Pictures.net