I Love Words, a poem by Craig

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I Love Words

I love words but when I need them most
They dance away like playful ghosts
They sit at the edge of my awareness
With an outward show of how they care less
And when I stop trying to find them
They return to me and let me bind them.

And in the end they get stuck to a page
Forever recalling a sunset or sage
To be set in a pattern of order and form
Restricts their freedom and chaos deforms
Like plucking the wings off a beautiful fairy
Or laughing to tears at something real scary.

In the end it changes the nature of a thing
To conform and recast the very stuff of being
Words disassociate, now mated for life
In ways each a husband, each a wife
To bring alive ideas, memories and sights
Into bittersweet, arcane and wondrous light.

Allegories, perjuries, poems and songs
Vistas and sisters and outright “come alongs”
The contents of a heart, one’s gut or head
The date of death, the prayers being said
The stale life without respite or flight
The endless possibilities late in the night

To all of these and oh so much more
We bind up our words over and over
Trying to find the right combination
And steal a piece of original creation.
But sometimes its best to leave them be
To let them just dance away so free.

-Craig Engen-

 

A Thanksgiving day poem and highlights of a foodie

Love is what it’s all about–
but food is a close second.

Nia Simone, November 28, 2013

I was asking an Australian friend if they have any holidays that are basically about food. Not really. Okay, so I have several Australian friends, many of whom I’ve met through blogging, so pipe up if you disagree! Of course, as you know, the food in Australia is amazing, so perhaps we don’t need a specific holiday centered on feasting there.

Australia is my other home, and this is becoming clear as one fellow blogger thought I was Australian.  I love Australia and my Australian friends. Today is an American holiday, though, and I’m going to celebrate it by starting this celebration of food off with home-grown and home cooked foods before moving on to some of my international culinary samples.

Home grown and home-cooked:

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Vegan Thai

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Getting closer
Lentil salad
Yummy ingredients
Yummy ingredients
Dinner time! (Very yummy)
Dinner time! (Very yummy)
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Vegan Thai with other veggies

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Greenwich Village Manhattan:

Turophilia (excessive love of cheese) Greenwich Village, sign outside the cheese shop
Turophilia (excessive love of cheese) Greenwich Village, sign outside the cheese shop
Day 6 GV Cheese store
A bit of cheese
Octopus, beer and a dolmata at Boukies, Greenwich Village
Octopus, beer and a dolmata at Boukies, Greenwich Village

Australia:

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Barramundi at Lorne
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Stuffed squid at a tapas bar in Melbourne, DeGraves Street
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Joe’s? I think, Sydney, by the river
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Smoked salmon at Joe’s in Sydney

San Francisco:

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Dessert at Piperade
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Appetizer at Piperade
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Piperade Restaurant

Paris:

Christian Constant Restaurant starters
Christian Constant Restaurant starters
Self portrait
I guess you could say wine was a big feature in Paris! This was dinner on the deck of our apartment.
Veal
Veal — Opera House
Deep fried Celeriac
Deep fried Celeriac — Opera House
Crepe de Frites Maison Robert
Crepe de Frites Maison Robert on Champs Elysees
Wine
Opera House
Rolls
Rolls, fresh, Opera House
Butter at opera
Butter, Opera House
Tomato jam mozzarella bonito and basil sorbet
Tomato jam mozzarella bonito and basil sorbet, Opera House
Green pea soup cold with cream and goat cheese on toast
Green pea soup cold with cream and goat cheese on toast, Opera House
Opera House, Grey Goose is the house vodka
Rue Cler Produce outside
Rue Cler Produce outside
Rue Cler Capuccino and Cafe Americain
Rue Cler Capuccino and Cafe Americain

Amsterdam:

A waffle at Keukenhof Gardens

Bread Netherlands where I bought it

Sekiwake

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Thai food

Thai food

Rijsstaafl
Rijsstaafl
Appetizers ready to go out to the deck
Appetizers ready to go out to the deck of the houseboat

Texas:

The Brush Fire
The Brush Fire
Torchy's Tacos, The Independent
Torchy’s Tacos, The Independent

More Manhattan:

Days 16 019 grilled camembert
Grilled camembert at The Eatery
Days 16 021 meat loaf ravioli mac and jack
Meat loaf ravioli mac and jack at The Eatery
Days 16 Lisas bagel
Lisa’s bagel
Days 16 018 sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Days 20 21 050 A
At The Boathouse in Central Park
Days 20 21 052 A
The Boathouse, Central Park
Days 20 21 085 A
Flor de Mayo, Peruvian restaurant upper west side
Days 20 21 088 A
Flor de Mayo, Peruvian restaurant, upper west side
Day4 Hot Pretzel
Hot pretzel in Central Park
Flor de Mayo
Flor de Mayo, Peruvian restuarant, upper west side
Day 19 009
Deli, lower East side
Sesame seed crackers at The Eatery
Sesame seed crackers at The Eatery
Shmear, a deli in the upper west side
Shmears at a deli in the upper west side
Shmear, a deli in the upper west side
Shmears, continued, at a deli in the upper west side
Shmear, a deli in the upper west side
Yet more shmears at a deli in the upper west side
Pain au Chocolate at the Pushkin cafe across from the Museum of Modern Art
Pain au Chocolate at the Brasserie Pushkin across from the Museum of Modern Art
Dining Room at Brasserie Puskin NYC
Dining Room at Brasserie Puskin NYC

 

Blackbottom cheesecake from The Bake Shop
Blackbottom cheesecake from The Bake Shop
Grasshopper (mint chocolate chip) from The Bake Shop
Grasshopper (mint chocolate chip) from The Bake Shop

Freedom from work, a poem by Nia Simone

Freedom from Work

How nice not to have to get serious.
No need to schedule a meeting.
No wondering when,
of four hundred and sixty
To Dos
one will fall through a crack.
And show up on my review.

No more having to be reasonable
or confine my passions to the acceptable.

No getting narrowly defined.
Though you made it worthwhile
for you (all y’all) accepted my narrowly channeled passion
and let me experience
work with
love.

Now I slipped through a crack
and I am free from work.

Copyright © 2013 Nia Simone. All rights reserved.

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Impressions, a poem by Nia Simone

Impressions II

A dog’s paw
has five pads.
They leave their prints in the snow
and they leave them in the mud.
Pads and claws impressed, showing
they were here.

We leave a stamp too
everywhere we go.
A flat-footed shoe-
a boot-
or a lovely curve
and toes.

Hopes and dreams
left by feet
pressed in ink
then on paper.

A baby has a heavy head –
then becomes a man or woman
and sinks her prints in
other humans
and sometimes deep within the earth.

But in the end
mud and snow
and buried hearts
wash even these away.

Copyright © 2013 Nia Simone. All rights reserved.

Workaholism, a poem by Nia Simone

Soliloquy

It’s wonderful how September
rhymes with remember.
Remember when you took off
the month of September?
Three years later, what
did you lose by missing
that month of September?

It’s interesting how year
rhymes with tear.
Except when tear
rhymes with rare
which definitely doesn’t
rhyme with peer,
but then again that
rhymes with year.

I know you don’t forget
the year you had of tears
the tear (rhymes with rare)
made in the fabric
that sews you all together
with the people
who make
a living quilt
that holds you in that safe
warm
all-is-right-with-the-world
place.
In the end, did the year
of tears and
(rare) tears
reduce your body
of work
by much –
by any,
at all?

It all gets done
and it’s never done
it all adds up
even the subtractions
even the rends
in your heart
that heal over
just enough
to allow it to continue
beating
despite its wound and
because of its wound
the right work… perhaps…
gets done.

March 12, 2013 Nia Simone

Moth Man, a poem by Nia Simone

Is your fear of the light
because of this –
it is fire
and your heart
a thin wing of chitin?

Do you huddle in the alley
thinking you disguise
your beautiful,
human face
with grime?

I behold you there,
in the shadows.

The light in your eyes
you think no one can see
through crusty, leftover sleep.

You are mistaken there,
Human Being,
You can’t avoid the light,
It is within
You.

March 2013 © Nia Simone

Morning thoughts, a poem by Nia Simone

The Presence of the Tree

My computer glasses make me nearsighted
they dim what I can see beyond my computer screen
but when I gaze over their tops I see many leaves
upon a graceful tumult of branches.

Among the leaves moves the breeze
visible only by the presence of the tree.

© Nia Simone, 2/10/13

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March 2, 2013
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March 2, dawn

Writing the Last Act, a poem by Nia Simone

Writing the Last Act

The end of the novel
looms like a new house
that felt so bright and cheery
until someone turned the lights off.

Now it is dark.
Unfamiliar.
Threats invisible
in the light
lurk in the dark.

Turn the lights on!

The house is gone.
Now there is a vast desert wasteland.

Between here and
The End
a small percentage
of what’s already done
looms insurmountable.

I shade my eyes
with my hand
squint at the horizon.

Swallow dust.
Type a word.

I
will
get
there
if
I
have
to
c
r
a
w
l
.
03/04/2013 © Nia Simone

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Bleak house

Bleak mountain

In Mountains of Peru, there were some GIMP tips. Turns out the part about exporting it as JPEG is easier than described. There’s a box at the top that gets filled in with what you use most, so if you use JPEG mostly, it fills in the name of the file and defaults to replacing the original with the new, enhanced file. Then you can just click Enter instead of having to scroll down in the Select File Type By Extension menu each time.

Also, in What blooms in March, there’s a tip about using the Select by Color tool. That’s great, but it’s tricky to get GIMP to release that tool, even if you close the image and open a new one. To turn it off, use the Select menu: Select->None.

Also, some of the auto enhancements get too much of a primary color in them. Still figuring that out.

The spooky version of the bleak mountain was done with Colors-Invert. The dark version of the house was made black and white by using Colors->Colorify, checking the preview box, seeing it had defaulted to black and white, and clicking Ok.