Friday, November 21, 2014

Study of a Water Lily


The water lily is perhaps the most poetic flower that exists and is known as Nymphaea; an aquatic plant in the family Nymphaeaceae. They are opulent with iridescent colors and dream their hours away in their watery gardens. Some water lilies open under reflected sunlight and sink beneath the water at twilight, while other species such as the Egyptian white water lily seek moonlight. Should you be so fortunate as to view one in perfect bloom it will intoxicate you with its bewitching beauty and leave an indelible watery impression of the other world upon you. 

The water lily was inspired by the nymphs of Greek and Latin mythology and the lotus often appears in Hindu and Buddhist stories as well. Terra-cotta plaques from the 12th century depict the goddess Asherah holding two lotus blossoms. Ivory panels from. Long ago show the god Horus seated on a lotus blossom. The sacredness of the flower is illustrated by its frequent reference to Buddha. When Buddha walked the earth he left lotuses in his trail instead of footprints. The phrase "Om mani padme hum," which used in meditation means "the jewel in the lotus" refers to the Buddha or to the mystical union of male and female energies.

The water lily studies that I am presenting in this series were captured at the: UC Botanical Garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden and the Pool of Enchantment outside of the De Young Museum in 2014.


Red lotus
This symbolizes the original nature of the heart (hrdaya). It is the lotus of love, compassion, passion, activity and all the qualities of the heart. It is the lotus of Avalokitesvara. 

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/b_lotus.htm



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

angel watching over a city of souls said, Princess Haiku


Midnight Garden




reprint from March 23, 2007



The full moon shines
with all its might,
drenching my garden
with mystic light...............

L. 11 years old



Flowers such as "Queen of the Night" bloom only in hours of darkness and belong to my sister's midnight garden. They open pale eyes under the light of the moon, when the rest of the world is sleeping. Their perfume is more intoxicating than ordinary flowers for they belong to dream and mystery. One of the night flowers; Cereus greggi blooms only for one midsummer's night each year. The flower exudes its exquisite perfume as night falls, then closes forever with the first touch of dawn. There are people who are like that too; special people who in a unique moment touch us with ephemeral beauty.


L'Allure des Mots, Issue no. 15

http://www.lalluredesmots.com/
Their issue No. 15 is online now


Saturday, November 15, 2014

forthcoming "De Profoundus Anthology" from Sybaritic Press

Thanks to editor/poet, Marie Lecrivain for accepting my poem, "Lady of Rocamadour" for the forthcoming De Profundis Anthology from Sybaritic Press. I am very excited about this project and was very inspired after reading, Oscar Wilde's Essay.

Study of a Tombstone Angel


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Carbon Culture Review

I am happy to be published in a new literary journal, Carbon Culture Review. Many thanks to Jessica Hound-Weaver & the other editors for a wonderful first edition. Here is a link to online & print issues of the journal.

angel guarding the city of souls said, Princess Haiku




I captured this angel watching over the sleeping souls of  Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma. It was an overcast day with scarcely a touch of blue in the sky.  "Poet, what are you doing wandering about a graveyard," I asked myself and had no answer.. After all it is in the nature of a poet to wander into the outer territories of the living and sometimes into the other world itself.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

the haunting of Alajandre Pizarnik, said Princess Haiku



Alajandre Pizarnik
was born on April 29,1936 to Russian Jewish immigrant parents in Avellaneda, a suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina. A year after entering the department of Philosophy and Letters at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pizarnik published her first book of poetry, La tierra más ajena (1955). Soon after, she studied painting with Juan Batlle Planas. Pizarnik followed her debut work with two more volumes of poems, La última inocencia (1956) and Las aventuras perdidas (1958).

From 1960 to 1964 Pizarnik lived in Paris. There she worked for the journal Cuadernos, sat on the editorial board of the magazine Les Lettres Nouvelles, and participated in the Parisian literary world. Pizarnik also attended a variety of courses at the Sorbonne, including contemporary French Literature. She died in Buenos Aires of a self-induced overdose of the prescription drug; seconal.

more



Pizarnik is in many senses, the Argentine equivalent of the American poet, Sylvia Plath, who also tragically ended her life by suicide.

During her short life, Alejandra published eight small books that have earned her a fundamental place in poetry in Spanish. Her forerunners were the Arab-Andalusian poets of the Middle Ages, as well as Quevedo, San Juan de la Cruz and Sor Juana; to these she later added her readings of Rimbaud, Yves Bonnefoy and the French surrealists. Eventually, her poetic vocabulary became unique: echoes of the Spanish of the Golden Age and of the laborious games of twentieth-century French poetry can be heard in the background of her writing, but they are never allowed a full presence.

Alejandra’s style is too ascetic, too demanding for any such intrusions and the words she chooses to allow onto the page must undergo frightful ordeals of expurgation. As in fairy-tales, only a handful of those who survive the terrible tests are allowed in the end to live happily ever after. In her diary, on 30 October 1962, after quoting from Don Quixote,(“...but what pleased Don Quixote most was the marvellous silence that reigned in the whole house...”) she wrote: “Mustn’t forget to commit suicide
.”


ASHES

The night splintered into stars
watching me dazzled
the air hurls hate
its face embellished with music.

We will go soon

Secret dream
ancestor of my smile
the world is emaciated
and there is a lock but no keys
and there is terror but not tears.

What will I do with myself?

Because to You I owe what I am

But I have no tomorrow

Because to You I...

The night suffers.




Here is an excerpt of her writings.

Alejandra Pizarnik's Poetics

"Ojalá pudiera vivir solamente en éxtasis, hacienda el cuerpo del poema con mi cuerpo, rescatando cada frase con mis días y con mis semanas, infundiéndole al poema mi soplo a medida que cada letra de cada palabra haya sido sacrificada en las ceremonias del vivir."

If only I were able to live solely in ecstasy, making the body of the poem with my body, redeeming each phrase with my days and weeks, infusing the poem with my breath for each word that has been sacrificed in the ceremonies of living.

"La poesía es el lugar donde todo sucede. A semejanza del amor, del humor, del suicidio y de todo acto profundamente subversivo, la poesía se desentiende de lo que no es su libertad o su verdad. Decir libertad o verdad y referir estas palabras al mundo en que vivimos o no vivimos es decir una mentira. No lo es cuando se las atribuye a la poesía: lugar donde todo es posible."

Poetry is the place where everything happens. Similar to love, humor, suicide and every profoundly subversive act, poetry is not interested in that which is not its freedom or truth. To say freedom or truth and refer these words to the world we live in or do not live in is to tell a lie. It isn't when they are attributed to poetry: the place where all is possible.

And this excerpt from my favorite poem of Pizarnik.



From Arbol de Diana
6
she undresses in the paradise
of her memory
she does not know the ferocious destiny
of her visions
she is scared of not knowing how to name
what does not exist.

36
in the cage of the time
the slept one watches with her single eyes
the wind brings her
the tenuous answer of the leaves



In conclusion it must be said that poetry is an often haunted and dangerous vocation. -One that strips self from self and may leave a vampire feasting upon its own marrow; a suicide in sunlight.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

an orchid for your thought said, Princess Haiku




























Study of a Water Lily



The water lily is perhaps the most poetic flower that exists and is known as Nymphaea; an aquatic plant in the family Nymphaeaceae. They are opulent with iridescent colors and dream their hours away in their watery gardens. Some water lilies open under reflected sunlight and sink beneath the water at twilight, while other species such as the Egyptian white water lily seek moonlight. Should you be so fortunate as to view one in perfect bloom it will intoxicate you with its bewitching beauty and leave an indelible watery impression of the other world upon you. 

The water lily was inspired by the nymphs of Greek and Latin mythology and the lotus often appears in Hindu and Buddhist stories as well. Terra-cotta plaques from the 12th century depict the goddess Asherah, holding two lotus blossoms. Ivory panels from. Long ago show the god Horus seated on a lotus blossom. The sacredness of the flower is illustrated by its frequent reference to Buddha. When Buddha walked the earth he left lotuses in his trail instead of footprints. The phrase "Om mani padme hum," which used in meditation means "the jewel in the lotus" refers to the Buddha or to the mystical union of male and female energies.


The water lily studies that I am presenting in this series were captured at the: UC Botanical Garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden and the Pool of Enchantment outside of the De Young Museum in 2014.



White lotus

This symbolizes Bodhi, the state of total mental purity and spiritual perfection, and the pacification of our nature. It generally has eight petals corresponding to the Noble Eightfold Path of the Good Law. It is the lotus found at the heart of the Garbhadhatu Mandala, being the womb or embryo of the world. It is characteristic of the esoteric sects, and the lotus of the Buddhas.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/b_lotus.htm

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Plaintive notes of Paul Horn playing inside The Great Pyramid

I have been receiving many views of this post first published in 2009.  I am re-posting it for my new readers and  hope you like this wonderful music as much as I do. I decided to revisit some of my favorites entries from the past on Saturdays. I have so many; over 1200.




Thus continues the Saga of the Urban Flute Player's discovery of amazing flute music.

The story of how Paul Horn came to play his beloved Artley Flute inside the Great Pyramid of Gizeh is as wonderful as the music. The music was originally recorded with a Nagra Stereo Tape Recorder and a Studer Stereo Microphone sneaked into the Pyramid by David Greene in 1976. It seems impossible by today's recording standards; but amazingly it was done.

Paul Horn is famous for strikingly original compositions and improvisations on both silver and traditional wood flutes. Although his music is rooted in jazz, many of his avant-garde improvisations are impossible to define. Horn was one of the first world fusion artists and well ahead of his time.

Among the most famous of Horn's albums are his "Inside" recordings, featuring mysterious, haunting sounds with the sophisticated use of echo, reverberation and syncopation. The "inside" albums were created in places of spiritual or religious importance.

The series began with Horn sneaking a tape recorder into the Taj Mahal during a trip to India in 1968 and continued later with recordings inside Great Pyramid of Giza, and a return to the Taj Mahal in 1989.

I find Horn's story of playing in the Great Pyramid to be the most compelling of all and this is the story as described by the pamphlet; inserted into the CD. I am a great fan of reading musical footnotes and inserts as they usually deepen an understanding of the music.

According to Horn, the Pyramid story began in early 1975 in Los Angeles when a close friend of his gave him the idea of doing this recording. Later in the year the opportunity arose for Horn to travel to Egypt with Dr. Maxine Asher and her new age group called (AMRA) Ancient Mediterranean Research Association which concerned itself with "psychic archeology" etc. This surprised me as I had assumed that Paul Horn had an "official invitation or permission" to play in Egypt. Au contraire.

Horn prepared for his journey by reading many "diversified" books on the Great Pyramids. One day he received an interesting phone call from a man in Santa Rosa, Ca named Ben Pietsch; a pyramidologist, who had written many books on the subject and had somehow heard about Horn's intention to record his flute in the Great Pyramid. (Great link above with music samples."

Paul Horn arrived in Cairo with close friends and AMRA in Cairo on May 1st, at 10:15 PM. However, it wasn't until four days later that his tour guide "arranged" for him to enter the Great Pyramid from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. That's right; Horn had only three hours in which to play and record his album. A guard let them in and fortunately they were able to make their way into the King's Chamber. This was not at all the official musical production I had imagined.

Horn describes his experience, "The guard was going to wait below to throw the switch for the lights and then leave, locking us in for the designated time. Dave and I began the long climb. It was hard going, especially in the low ceilinged ascending passage. We caught our breath for a few minutes at the bottom of the Grand Gallery before continuing on. We reached the King's Chamber dripping wet and out of breath. I lit some candles and placed them at several points in the chamber and began to unpack my flutes."

"Dave was setting up his equipment in the ante-Chamber. In the middle of all this, the lights suddenly went out... we felt the absolute stillness of the Pyramid...so quiet and peaceful. It was fantastic. We both hurried to finish setting up. When this was done, I lit some incense and performed a short ceremony callled a "puja" which I had learned in India. I did this on the large stone by the north wall which I had initially felt to be an altar at one time. This all happened spontaneously. Somehow I felt a strong spiritual force or energy permeating the atmosphere and simply responded to it. it was a simple way of expressing my gratitude for the privilege of being there and my respect for the sanctity of the King's Chamber and for whatever purpose it had served in the past. I innately felt that I was in a temple."

"After the ceremony I sat down cross-legged in front of the coffer and meditated. David also sat quietly and closed his eyes. In that deep, deep stillness I heard what seemed like voices far, far away. There was chanting, but so distant that I couldn't make out a specific melody-like whispered chants from milleniums ago-so long ago..."

"The moment had arrived... it was time to play my flute. A beautiful round tone was immediately produced. What a resonance! I began to play, choosing the alto flute to begin with. The echo was wonderful, about eight seconds. the chamber responded to every note equally. I waitd for the echo to decay and then played again. Groups of notes would suspend and all come back as a chord. Smetimes certain notes would stick out more than others. It was always changing. I just listened and responded as if I were playing with another musician. I hadn't preprared anything specific to play. I was just opening myself to the moment and improvising... I became totally absorbed in the music.. Two hour just flew by and with only one remaining of our precious time I thoughty we better move on to the Grand Gallery and Queen's Chamber."

Horn continues his discussion of this absolute marvel, this astonishing night of music making into the depths and secrets of the Great Pyramid on May 6th, 1976. What an amazing gift that Paul Horn has given the world and this cd is one to treasure. You can hear samples of this music "Paul Horn Inside The Great Pyramid" playing on my video player on the right side of my blog. If you are fortunate, you will mange to obtain a copy of this rare recording.

--
Posted By Princess Haiku to Princess Haiku at 10/24/2008 11:41:00 PM

Thursday, November 06, 2014

a flower blush of moonlight said, Princess Haiku


Doorway to Eternity: Part 2

The Colma Necropolis is located outside of San Francisco and is a vast city of souls for about 1.5 million people sleep within the gates of its sixteen cemeteries. Although the Necropolis was founded in 1924, entire church graveyards and neighborhood cemeteries predating the 1900s were relocated to Colma, from San Francisco.

Today, the cemeteries contain burial grounds, columbaria, private and public mausoleums chapels and a treasure trove of hidden art. Within the gates of the various cemeteries can be found priceless stained glass windows, hand carved monuments, and beautifully engraved metal doorways into private mausoleums. Several of the hand engraved private mausoleum doors captivated me with their intricate beauty & spiritual symbolism. During a recent visit to the Necropolis I captured several images of them, which I will be posting.

In essence the doors were made to be portals into spirit, doorways into eternity and entrances to private chambers, where loved ones could find consolation.  Many of the crypts are deteriorating with age and much of the beauty Tiffany glass has disappeared sadly due to theft. My visit was a rare opportunity to view the vanishing art of the Necropolis and an opportunity to share what I found with others. Although this is funeral art; in the end it is simply art with the capability of transcending death


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

a lady in the House of Sleep






I saw this lovely statute in the Great Mausoleum of Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma. It seems sad to me that funeral art has been rarely signed and we don't know who the artist is.

Monday, November 03, 2014

awash in pink petals said, Princess Haiku



I captured this photo of a pink dahlia in Golden Gate Park a few months ago. This garden sponsored by the San Francisco Dahlia Society is one of the largest and most beautiful public gardens anywhere. Now I am awash in memories of pink for the once glorious garden has turned to russet, beige and gold.

Snow Leopard of Nepal by Diane Dehler



Snow Leopard of Nepal

Snow leopard dream
come back to me
into the eye of storm
and out of rain.  Your
diamond brilliance
blinds my eyes, this
body washes away.

Leopard undressed
in between drops.
I am the water that
comes for me.  Pale in
moonlight lost as rain
a blush of petals white
shell the moon.

I am cream ripples
ghostly fur my hair,
silver pale my eyes.
Drop by drop I
become the river.
Our bodies entangled
become an altar.

Shaman albino
sky over moon, a
leopard gives stretch
to the dawn, crouches
silently near tree and
waits for rain to
cease.

I give my breath
and become a lake.
Leopard becomes
a thirst and laps my
soul.  We vanish
into a white river
acacia of dream

Diane Dehler










Friday, October 31, 2014

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