Day 85 – Applegate Valley

AValley

But I, Too, Want to be a Poet

But I, too, want to be a poet
to erase from my days
confusion & poverty
fiction & a sharp tongue

To sing again
with the tones of adolescence
demanding vengeance
against my enemies, with words
clear & austere

To end this tumultuous quest
for reasonable solutions
to situations mysterious & sore

To have the height to view
myself as I view others
with lenience & love

To be free of the need
to make a waste of money
when my passion,
first and last,
is for the ecstatic lash
of the poetic line

and no visible recompense

-Fanny Howe

So, the fog finally cleared, only because it is so windy it blew away and so it’s still impossible to do any outdoor photography. I’m not feeling too inspired for the studio either so I started backward through the files and got to November 17 before I found something I liked. A nice scene from the Applegate Valley. There used to be a huge white barn on this site but sometime in the past two years it just vanished. At least they left some of the old farm equipment. I got a couple of new poetry books today so instead of looking for something to fit the photo I just paged through until I found one I liked.

Day 83 – Feather

FeatherRSw

Nostalgia

Remember the 1340s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

 

Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent, a badly broken code.

 

The 1790s will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

 

I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.

 

Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.
As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.

 

-Bill Collins

 

 

Well, the sun is trying to come out but not having much success. Last I looked the temperature was still in the 30s. So, I finally decided to see what I could come up with in the studio. All summer, on my walks I was picking up feathers. I have quite a collection so tried out one with an old book. Then did some magic in the computer. I googled nostalgia poems and came up with this one which gave me a chuckle and decided to use it even though it is a little longer than I generally prefer.

 

Day 81 – Old Barn

Barnw

Old Barn

There’s an old barn
not far from our house
that’s nearing the end of its days.
Its boards are scoured and scored
its roof sags
and there are yawning holes in its sides.

When it was raised
the neat lines of its frame
stood firm against the sky
and it was clad in clean young boards and paint.

Once workmen, with their laughter, came storing hay,
children played in its loft
and young people experimented there with love.

Once cows and horses sheltered between its walls,
and gave birth there to their young,
mice scurried along its beams,
swallows and owls nested under its eaves
and cats came to prowl and prey.

Now the barn is an empty husk
and the fields from which it gathered its hay
have reverted to scraggly woods and scrub.

-Richard Greene

Well, it looks like this murky weather is hear to stay. I’m planning an escape but my calendar doesn’t clear up until late next week. Still, it looks like they will be having nice weather outside the valley which will continue to be plagued by fog. And I have some new poetry books coming so lots to look forward to. This old barn was from yesterday’s excursion. I discovered it on a backroad not far from my house last winter. I often turn to barns when there are no flowers or birds or leaves to photograph. This one took a few trips through software to give it a more grungy, painterly look. And to add some interest to the flat white sky.

Day 43 – Rescue Barn

Barnsidew

Weathered

Weathered and worn
But oh so proudly
The old barn preened in the summer
Mid-day sun

He had seen her earlier,
Noticed her shape, angles
On the drive to his desk and cube

But now she shown
The aged wood, elephant skin
Or maybe the skin of a Burmese elder
Lit at the edge of the cut field

Tawny, creosote, browns in varied hues
Tingled his fancy, his synapses
Starkness of the vertical and horizontal lines
Breaking the field and forests
Softer edges

Ready for a picture or two
To catch the eye, the imagination
Of the traveler of the byway
Proud in its skin
In the light

 – Raymond A. Foss

One of the many awesome places we visited in Vermont was a farm where they rescue, among other things, old barns. This was just one of the many very cool barns on the property. I am almost done editing images from New England so I felt like since that is where most of my energy went today it was appropriate to dip into those files for today’s post. I reviewed a number of poems about old barns but most of them seemed so negative. I liked this one because it spoke of the majesty of the old barn rather than decadence as I hope my photo does too.

Day 36 – Books and Bakery

BooksandBakeryw

There is no Frigate Like a Book

There is no Frigate like a Book 
To take us Lands away 
Nor any Coursers like a Page 
Of prancing Poetry – 
This Traverse may the poorest take 
Without oppress of Toll – 
How frugal is the Chariot 
That bears the Human Soul –
– Emily Dickinson
I was feeling more painterly today and came across this image taken in Vermont. It had a lot of power lines in the original so I gave it the full Photoshop treatment. And what better combination than books and a bakery, and a poem by Emily Dickinson.

Day 24 – Fenway Park

RedSox2w

Along Came Ruth

You step up to the platter
And you gaze with flaming hate
At the poor benighted pitcher
As you dig in at the plate.
You watch him cut his fast ball loose,
Then swing your trusty bat
And you park one in the bleachers-
Nothing’s simpler than that!

– Ford Frick

I made it home last night about 1:30 eastern time and woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:30 Pacific time. Now jet lag is starting to set in in earnest so I thought a newly created image from the New England files would fit the bill. And of course Baseball is also an important part of Autumn.

Day 22 – Weathervane

WeatherVane

“You who travel with the wind, what weather vane shall direct your course?”

-Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

This is probably not the best image I made today but my New England adventure is winding down and one of the things I have enjoyed photographing is weather vanes. This one has some character and some fall color so I thought it would be a good one to share.

Day 4 – Faded Rose

FadedRosew

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

 – Mary Oliver
from her collection, A Thousand Mornings

This may not be the most beautiful image I shot today. But I knew I was going to the rose garden this morning and could not get this poem out of my head. Who would ask the petals on the ground to stay? I tried shooting petals on the ground but I could not quite capture the feeling. But I thought this faded rose losing its petals did. I tried processing it as a black and white but I liked the little bits of pink and the aged yellow look so ended up adding a couple of textures instead to emphasize the mood.

Still Life with Singer

Singer

On a trip to Redwoods National Park I stopped in at the history museum in Crescent City where I found lots of fun stuff to photograph. I was especially taken with this still life already set up and waiting for me. I had to edit out a couple of signs then gave it a painterly treatment and added a couple of textures to help with the old timey look.