Lens-Artists Challenge #40 – Something Different

A “Lens-Artists Challenge” from pro photographer Tina R Schell for those of you who do photography as well as poetry, often combining the two. Thanks to the hugely talented Isadora de la Vega for the intro to Lens Challenge. You can visit Isadora here: https://isadoraartandphotography.com

Travels and Trifles

“The things that make me different are the things that make me me.”

A.A. Milne

group of cacti CACTUS CREATURE

Those who saw my post last week know that I was on the west coast, enjoying the super blooms of Arizona and California along with friends and family. Beyond the amazing flowers, I really enjoyed the differences between the Kiawah scenery and the desert landscapes .  As I thought about it, it seemed only natural that this week’s challenge should be “Something Different”.

2 living cholla cacti vs 1 dead cactus SIDE BY SIDE

“Insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein

The landscapes looked completely different depending on the time of day. The famous deep purple Arizona sunset cast a golden glow, while the blue sky of daylight provided a colorful contrast to the greens of the hillside sentinels.

cactus with pink flowers PRETTY IN PINK

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe…

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“Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir” by Truman Capote with the lost photographs of David Attie … not just for my Brooklyn peeps

Truman Capote (1924 – 1984)

“I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods.” Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

by Truman Capote (Author), David Attie (Photographer), George Plimpton (Introduction), Eli Attie (Afterword)

Of the books I read this year, this birthday gift from my son and my daughter-in-law is by far my favorite … and not just because I’m from Brooklyn and it’s a bit of nostalgia and a stellar homage. I’m a Capote fan and a David Attie fan and Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir by Truman Capote With the Lost Photographs of David Attie brings the writer and photographer together in the most delightful way.

“I live in Brooklyn by choice.”

If you’re a Capote fan, you’ll learn about his life in Brooklyn and just why he loved it. There are two photographs of a young Truman that some fans might find worth the price of admission. One is on the book cover (above) the other is included in the video below. The photographic collection in this book was originally commissioned to use as a promo for Capote after the publication of his novella, Breakfast At Tiffany‘s (1958).

Capote captures the essential Brooklyn in his writing, the singular gentility of the time and place, the grittiness of certain quarters, and the ways in which it could be excentric. Attie’s  photos – taken in 1959 – document the tenor of a time now alive only in the memory of a generation that is slowly passing.

David Attie’s photographs were never published and thought to be lost. When Attie’s son Eli found them, he merged them together with Capote’s narrative and they were published at last, a visual feast, engaging for Brooklynites, Capote fans, literary history and photography buffs.

Photo credit: Jack Mitchell under CC BY-SA 4.0; signature is public domain.

The short video below gives a brief overview of the book and includes many of David Attie’s photographs. If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view the video.

What would you find pleasant or helpful on The Poet by Day in 2019?  What have you found helpful to date? Link HERE to let me know.






Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton


From the wreckage of your life . . .

“Make art from the wreckage of your life.” Miguel Parga, screenwriter

Isn’t that a fabulous instruction to follow? It was shared on Facebook by the smart and savvy “Only Cin” – Cindy Taylor.


“The Blood Serape,” and other ekphrastic poems by Paul Brookes

El sarape rojo (1918) by Mexican artist Alberto Garduño (1885-1948), Public Domain photograph

A shot like a backfiring car.
I lay full length on the border.
Still as midday sun.

Folk think me dead.
So fire back. I get up.
Skitter like a lizard.

Now sit here, wrapped
in this blood serape eyes flit
side to side as bullets zip by.

Not a time for dance so shakers
are sleeved above me. Soon victory
will give my life back like clarity.

Photograph by Paul Brookes

The Elephant

Stumped at my English homework.
We’d read Edward Lear
and homework says write
an absurd poem.

I can’t. I cry,
in front of Mam,

who writes one for me,
almost instantly,

and titles it:
“The Elephant With A Propeller For A Nose”

“The  elephant died and from his grave
Where would be a stone a propeller rose.”

is all I can recall.

Now good friends buy us
this elephant and her calf.

I see dark wooden sculptures
of lions, giraffes and elephants

stare down at me from mahogany
sideboards below Clwydian hills

in Grandad’s home.

Only later does Dad tell me
he was a merchant mariner
for his National Service.

In my memory home
I place the elephant and calf
on a coffee table.

Photograph by Paul Brookes

Rothko Meant Nothing

canvases painted in one colour.
Where the detail? I’ve painted
house walls with one colour.
Modern art is crap. Money
for nothing

then I saw the ordinary light
of a wintered Humber Estuary
subtle difference to the sky

and understood.

© 2017, Paul Brookes 

Paul Brookes

PAUL BROOKES (The Womwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination) was a shop assistant, security guard, postman, admin. assistant, lecturer, poetry performer, with “Rats for Love” and his work included in “Rats for Love: The Book”, Bristol Broadsides, 1990. His first chapbook was “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley”, Dearne Community Arts, 1993. He has read his work on BBC Radio Bristol and had a creative writing workshop for sixth formers broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live. Recently published in Clear Poetry, Nixes Mate, Live Nude Poems and others.

This spring 2017 Paul’s  illustrated chapbook The Spermbot Blues, was published by OpPRESS. Other recent collections include A World Where.  Recent magazine publications inclue Clear Poetry, Nixes Mate Mate Review, Live Nude Poems, The Bees Are Dead and others. His work has been featured in The BeZineHe participates regularly in The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt. I [Jamie} am currently reading Paul’s upcoming collection, She Needs that Edge and writing a cover blurb.  So far so Great! 🙂