Thursday, December 31, 2009

Loneliness - the Entity

Yawning abyss - that black hole in your soul
like a gaping wound you try to stanch the flow
of hope and dreams
escaping your grasping fingers
as you wrap your arms tighter around your heart
Big black hole - like a ravenous mouth eating at your heart
hungry for more
hungry for your soul 
you alone stand to battle
with bare hands
against the dragon of your very being - your  own creation
the dragon's mouth the yawning abyss
the fire inside
the fear
the fear
You stand in that big empty black cave
no sound but the insistent  plop of the distant water
or blood. . .
Your ears strain to catch the sound
of happy voices
even one sad cry. . .
where are you . . . where are you - anyone?
No one is there but you alone
trying to appease the dragon inside you. . .
you inside the dragon

Is it love that contains you there 
ensnaring you behind the sharp teeth
like prison bars
dripping with poison and contempt?

Is it hate that embraces you with skeletal arms
enshrouding you in its violence
its hatred sneering at your tears.

No one to hold your hand and walk your walk
No one to hear your words and share the talk
Oh - God am I the only one
the only one
so alone
so cold
I hope so
for the pain is too great to bear
the heart wrenches itself from the breast
and tries to escape
with its life-giving rhythm
like a precious jewel
falling away and lost forever.

I pull myself together wiping away my tears
put some color on my pale cheeks
Put a big smile on my face
Don't forget the crinkle and twinkle in my eyes -

and go out to meet my friends
in the places of light and sound
I too can laugh and play
always being the clown
They love me there
hugs and kisses
in that world

But still -      NO ONE is in that hellish place with me
No knights in shining armor - nothing - 
No life raft to float me away - nothing
No big shiny happy ever after ending - nothing
No rescue from the burning building - and again I say - nothing. . .

So - I turn inward
and thus I am truly lost. . .

This one came streaming out of me like the crystal stream my sister and I found once - pouring out from under an old tree in the beautiful wilderness of Eagle Creek - where we hiked for days and slept under the open sky and saw such heavenly beauty that it is indescribable. Perhaps the dark ugly stories are sometimes easier to explain.

Joy and Peace for all of 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I wrote this a few days ago and wasn't going to finish it but it suits my mood today:

Petty things
anchors with leaden chains
dragging you down
through the fathoms
away from the glazed lights . . .
down into the murky depths
where nothing remains clear
but ominous and deadly
sea serpents and monsters
gloating at your fear
turning you against yourself
against your own flesh
you try to gnaw
away your limbs
as the dire threats rejoice
and others rebuke

and yet you never escape.

you. . . .never. . . .escape!


I hate you cancer cell:



How dare you be so beautiful?
by what hand were you created
do you have a lease on life?
I ask 
because I am willing to listen
right now I am hurting
and I hate you
but then
perhaps you have a family
and long to exist like all the rest of us!
I just ask right now
I do not want you in my friend
what good are you?
except to make room on this godforsaken planet
for another wretched human life
again I hate you. . .
but where does that lead
except perhaps to a point of no return
so should I embrace you
and all you represent
No - she fights on
with a brave smile. . . 
I sit and cry
with a prayer on my angry lips
will God listen. . .?

stay tuned.

So - maybe the doctors are wrong. Perhaps they hallucinate or get the wrong results from their tests and pictures. No. I know better - deep in my heart - I know that I lie to myself. I do that a lot. I fucking lie to myself, but it doesn't solve anything. What would? 
No, I grieve, but it is too soon. They have only begun the remedies to try to fix the breaking body and heal the pain. I remember when my mother had lymphoma and went through their healing methods for ten.....count ten in years and all the pain that that represented. Their chemo therapies are excruciating. All that pain, and only for her hope that life will succeed. I am sorry - I can hardly see through the tears that persist and fill my eyes. I hope my friend never reads this - to see my distress - she needs only the positive right now and her little ones to hug her. 
I remember when my mother, struggling on, said she would fight until the end. I remember when her doctor said, "Go home and die. I have nothing more for you." I remember when she died in my arms, screaming and fighting against death and that dark night. I remember . . . oh God I remember . . . I remember when her pale blue eyes turned electric blue. She was gone. I ask again and again and again. . . how can there be a life one second and none the next. And the body is left as if it were a pile of dirt. 
My sister died suddenly - one moment she was happy on her motorcycle going home late at night. She was always happy. Not like me - she was sunshine. A drunk driver, 85 miles an hour on a residential road - ran into her while she was stopped at a red light. She died instantly. She didn't have to struggle. Happy for that but that is all.  That she didn't have to struggle against the end.
I am sorry - this blog is supposed to be about art - but how can there be art if there is no life. Do we create to leave a little of  ourselves behind - when we are gone - like all the famous painters who became rich from the grave? I don't know. I don't know anything. . . so why am I saying so much? ...and yet so little.  
Ah - I lie to myself again. I apologize. I know everything. I know enough. I have no more questions. What is . . . is. . .perhaps it isn't important in the end we are all just dust. Something as profound as life and it all just ends in a second. Any second.  
This morning I am shaking with the cold. The snow covers the ground like a shroud . . . I don't care . . . let me feel the cold while I still can. There will be warmth again. I know. I have been here before . . . I recognize the sign posts pointing the way to the cliffs . . . I can stumble off or find my own way back. I have done this before - and will again. 
I remember when my Dad died. He was on his honeymoon with my stepmother. They were so happy when they were swimming in the ocean. Splashing and laughing with joy. Then he said: "Swim for your life." She reached out for his hand, asking, "Where is the shore?" for she is blind and cannot see anything but the sunshine. They floated together face down in the tide, together, holding hands. She went to that place, where there is peace, she tells me. She almost died. The man who rescued them brought her to shore first and then went for my dad. It was too late. Die happy - I say. Die happy - let the tears that flow - fucking run from the eyes of the living. 
So now my anger is somewhat dissipated.  I run out of emotion. But never the pain. In all these years the pain stands out as bright punctuations in my life - scarlet punctuations - end of sentence - stop. STOP! 

Well, I realize at this point that I may have said too much, so I will stop my rant. I will now turn completely around and say, "While there is life, there is hope." And the hope remains strong in me and with all my love and prayers, I sincerely hope that Mary doesn't read this post. 


On a lighter note - We had snow last night, which covered the city and ground down the traffic to a halt everywhere. Some people were spending much of the night in their vehicles. The television news went on and on ad infinitum. It is the weatherman's hay day. That was ok because it melted by the end of today. It was hardly anything. Not enough to stop a city.

But it reminded me of the last day of school for the children before Winter Break. I stopped by one of the breakfast tables where there is a large number of the older Somali boys. They are always a gaggle of fun and naughty antics. A teacher's headache. But very endearing. I asked the group what they were planning on doing during the break, fully expecting, "Play video games, watch tv." But no, that wasn't the case. One little boy popped up and said, "Throw snowballs." Yes, yes, was the shout in response. Throw snowballs.

"OK," I said, "Are you going up to Mount Hood with your parents?"
"What! No mountain. In the yard"
"It snows on Christmas."
I laughed and explained that it rarely snowed in Portland. We are too temperate between the ocean and the mountains. We got a horrendous snow and ice storm last year that ruined a lot of family plans and kept most of the city home bound for days on end. I explained that that was a fluke. An aberration. 

"Oh no, Ms. Wolfsong - it always snows on Christmas."

Bless those little boys, with their short lives here in our state, how would they know any difference? They wouldn't listen to me and shouted me down, so I just laughed and said - "So be it" and walked away to talk to other children.

Lucky boys. It snowed for them, just for a little while, but probably enough for them to remember this snowy Christmas.  And to remind me that I don't "know everything, Ms. Wolfsong."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I adore this artist's passionate and expressive music. He reaches down into his soul and finds that special magic which he uses to create his songs. He also knows how to touch people and never leaves them cold or unaffected by his artistry. The jazzy improvisational music on this album is really special to me because of its dedication to our sick, and with hopes and prayers, that they will be healed. I think it is highly probable! With this "Breath is life" it feels, as you listen, that you are receiving a healing breath straight from the musicians. And we all need that. This fifteen minute track is exquisitely beautiful!

This is what CrEiX said about this piece:
"This is an impro played during a winter afternoon with my best friend, who is like my brother, no in fact he IS my brother, "BERTRAND DROUET".
After having suggested some chords on the keyboard he adapted them for his guitar and we both decided of americano oriental tint of rythms and harmony.
We really laughed when my dog took the saxophone to play, he was very funny, all red, looking like a Louis Amstrong but canine and inflated as a toad.
I dedicate this album to recovery of all beloved sick people for whom we feel so much hope...


More of CrEiX to come later, but for now, enjoy!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A short adventure today to make me laugh

A delightful tune to sooth your soul, to begin.

  Short poem written as I walked home:

You at the corner
all sexy in your black ski cap
and your sleek gear. . .
we cross paths;
I in my winter bundles
and my shoe lace flopping
like a child
in the wind and the cold.
We look,
our eyes meet
and I think. . .
is my nose running?
I can't feel it if it was, for I am numb. . .
should I tell you that I'm a mother
and not five?
I laugh to myself and walk on. . .
you in the other direction.

Around the corner
into the wind and the crystal sun
I walk, blinded and nearly beaten. . .
head down to fight the elements,

ipod banging against my chest,
I glance at a sign on a broad front porch
"No Solicitors Welcome". . .
when here you come again
this time on your bike. . .
and you run me down
while I trip on my shoe lace and think. . .
"there was no solicitation involved."

I  walk home,
the remaining three miles
my shoe lace flapping in the breeze.

Since this actually happened today, and struck me as somewhat funny, I thought I'd write a poem in my head about it as I walked home. So I share it here, but may work on it later.
P.S. I spent hours looking for a free picture to use and I cropped it using Gimp. I love that utility, but its hard to figure out what tools to use.  I had better figure quick because I plan on scanning and including my sister's photography here:

WhooHoo - One down and hundreds to go. She took this picture in Forest Park in Portland. One of the hundreds of miles she and I hiked together or she did with her dog. More to come but not tonight. Maybe a poem since I feel so inspired. Hm - we'll see.


Some beautiful, nature music to help you relax.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Didgeridoo - Percussion - Powerful Music

I really enjoyed this music this morning. Powerful stuff:


Here is my review:

The listener's heartbeat was captured by the percussion in these truly exciting pieces. And her soul vibrated with the powerful didgeridoo. Her ears cried with joy as she listened to all the mysterious voices. She felt as if she were standing, mesmerized, near a fire pit in the heart of Australia, red sparks rising up into the dark sky to join their brothers there: the cold distant stars. The pulse of the earth sang to her through these prodigious musicians and their phenomenal, sublunary mediums. And each tiny grain of sand, each boulder, every drop of water, all the beasts and the things that root into the earth - resonated with this potent, dynamic, earthy music.

What a heartwarming joy to listen to this grounded music. The theme of sound being such an integral part of the earth and its universal uniqueness is so remarkable, and powerful to remember, as we often take sound for granted. If we go back to our earlier fore-parents and hear their song we perceive such a visceral and common language that it needs no interpretation. Heart to heart, soul to soul, there is no more marvelous way to communicate than through a truly potent and heartfelt music.

This album was pure joy for me. The music was pleasant to the ears and created such peace in my core that I advise listening as an enhancement for well-being. There was no one track to expound on here but a raw enthusiasm for the whole album. I will share this around the Internet, my Blog and Facebook and on cd with my people.

Thanks to Nikila for recommending this album!

Peaceful Night!

A beautiful video to share with you:

Look for the artist, JCRZ, at Jamendo. Peace!

OK - Here is another album I am listening to tonight 
and think 
of as remarkably peaceful. 


Review written:

My first feeling was 'what gentle, expressive music.' "premier mars" 
was so upbeat and joyous as was "deux mars."
"Six mars" is hugely, awesome - with the artist's big piano play! 
Thrilling, up and down the scale, passionate - marvelous! 
I think maybe "huit mars" was my favorite. 
No, maybe the next track, or the next. 
I am still listening and I can't pick a favorite. "onze mars" was both majestic and playful - 
this one is my favorite. 
I loved "dix-neuf mars" it touched my heart and danced all around my head. 
No, no, stop teasing me. I think I won't pick a favorite. 
Just the whole gorgeous album of outstanding compositions.

Piano, instrumental, strings, percussion, bass were all beautifully woven together to produce 

this outstanding music. This artist gets more marvelous as he progresses through the months. 
I can't wait until the ecstasy of December but I think that "Ephemerides, mars" is pretty close. 
Can we fly beyond ecstasy? Pure beauty, utter loveliness. 
This artist makes such beautiful love to the piano that the listener's heart follows the rise and fall 
of the notes. 
And falls in love, too. To have that command of all those instruments and their creative potential - 
where to place the voices of each and every instrument - I am struck with awe!

This music took me on a broad and expansive voyage, up and down, into space and time 

and dancing
in the sunlight and mostly deep into the golden heart of the musician. 
This music was created to enlighten and to lift the flagging spirits of the listener. 
Outstanding job

I think several people recommended this album to me so I thank all my 
beautiful friends for doing so. 
Big huge smile to you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Warm Music in a Cold Dark Winter

One of my favorite musicians has a new album: "Nobody's Flowers" by Persson. His genre is rock/jazz/blues. All beautifully done. He is a perfectionist I think and I enjoy every single tune of his.


December 21, 2009

Walking home on the shortest day of the year: 

Watching the cracked pavement
and all the paraphernalia of life go by,

smashed and broken, lost or abused, trifles, to be discarded
heartlessly . . .

every stray bit of paper face down,
                                      as if ashamed, and
lying still, clinging to the wet weeds along the way.
 At a busy corner lies a bloody tooth
                               long and narrow . . .

I jerk my head up to see
coldly remote
the silent silver sun
bursting through the black tree
                                                 branches . . . and

                 striking the tall cell towers . . .

reflecting back the dazzling
in hopes of correspondence
                     but expecting no reply.


FAll    11-2009

Knobby faces on trees
Silently pleading,
So many lines of geese
Like bandits fleeing.

Sunkissed leaves like the kite
drifting and falling,
Black wolf to the moon light
Echoes its calling.

Puddles reflect grayed sky
Perfumed wind rushing,
Sunsets like a mantel
On mountains blushing.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

All That by David Foster Wallace

All That:

Click on the link above to enjoy the wonderful fiction by the author, David Foster Wallace, in The New Yorker issue of December 14, 2009. I could guarantee that you will enjoy this short story about the childhood memories of an older man. tags = memories, voices, war, parents, and a very special toy.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jamendo Friends and Children

I have found myself addicted to Jamendo (probably not a big secret) with a widening taste in musical genres (although I still cannot love 'rap') and a constant hunger for 'new' music. Since I have been a member of Jamendo I have made many new friends and have discovered many new sources of music.

One of my new friends, Christopher Jackson, goes by wildsage2 on his profile. I like his avatar which I hope he doesn't mind me revealing. He is also a musician and shares his lovely clarinet pieces on his own home page. Here is what he has to say about his music: "The first pieces chosen are short, lyrical works representing the early and middle Romantic period, and the 20th Century, followed by a completely new Sonata written for me which I believe deserves exposure. Although the works themselves are lesser know pieces, I believe they offer quality examples of the literature for the instrument."

Christopher gave me permission to share his music on my blog, so I decided to provide a link to his home page as it is also very interesting reading: Click on the page labeled "The Clarinet" to enjoy his performances. There are more recordings located on the "In Days of Yore" page. Enjoy!

One of my favorite pages on Christopher Jackson's site is called "Stories from Childhood." His idea is that children have funny misunderstandings about situations in this grown-up world which are amusing to recount as an adult. I think everyone has a story to tell and Christopher says that he wants to hear them and may also share them on his site.

Well, here is my own personal contribution:

I loved Kindergarten and remember it as if it happened yesterday. I think those were my favorite days because I was blissfully naive.

Usually we were left to run about the neighborhood like wild colts, large herds of sunburned children, with no one to stymie our inquisitiveness and creative joy. We rarely caused any trouble. We would just gravitate to the nearest source of outrageous childish entertainment and adventure which was often occurring in the large park behind the grade school. I remember those days in primary colors of blue and green and bright yellow sunlight; in sounds of musical laughter, or the shouts of a baseball game in progress; in flavors of pink bubblegum and wild berries; in sensations of skinned knees and hot metal slides, oh how I miss those days. Good memories.

I looked forward to Kindergarten because I liked learning new things. Always have and always will. But - there they confined us like pet rabbits. We actually had a huge chain-link fence around the Kindergarten playground. Totally separated from the rest of the world. I remember hanging on to that fence, talking to my older friends on the outside in the big kids playground. We had stuff to play with in our little prison: a swing set, tricycles, toys, balls and other little kid items including an empty sandbox. Ah - that empty sandbox!

I think I liked the safe feel of confinement. That fence was strong and our teacher, Mrs. Blankenship, was firm but kindly. There were so many of us as we were the baby-boom generation. I think she had thirty-two children to teach and control.

One part of our daily routines was nap time. First we had our little snack, which consisted of a cracker and a tiny paper cup of juice. Then we tidied up and got out our little sleeping mats and put them down on the floor. We laid down and Mrs. Blankenship would turn off the lights and tell us, "Close your eyes and maybe the Sandman will come." I would dutifully close my eyes in great anticipation.

After nap time we would go outside and play. I would always race to the sandbox, only to discover that it was still empty. I remember, one day, standing there, by its side, looking down with another child commenting on its barrenness. "Why didn't the Sandman come? I closed my eyes" The other child sadly said that he did also, and we walked away.

I believe that I never actually had a restful nap in Mrs. Blankenship's class. I would squeeze my eyes shut as hard as I could and listen with sharp ears for the sound of the Sandman.

Edit with clarification:

". . .the pieces I perform (like the clarinet works to which you refer) are of course not my own compositions, but the work of other people - most in the public domain, and the Sonata written for me by a friend/colleague. You might want to clarify that in some way. It sounds as if "my music" includes those works, whereas on the site, my original works are "Drifting into Grey" and "Bromptons".
Thanks for your kind support.
Christopher (wildsage2) "
Clarification posted.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Poem written in response to a picture in the NewYorker (December 14, 2009) regarding some of the issues of the failed state of Somalia:

The man stands reaching out
to his broken country. . .
the waves toss the boats
like sodden flakes upon the bloodied tides
and the villas are rotten
around the edges,
blurring their outlines
under the violent sun. . .

the man stretches his arm
toward his anguished country. . .
a handful of hope
falls to the rubbled floor
and the lonely trees
bend down to
an empty pool
while barren clouds mound high over his
empty stare . . .

the man reaching out
to his bleeding country. . .
and in his grasping hand
a burned out star,
around his burdened neck
an iron sword. . .  rank with the odor of copper
and the blackened holes
in the empty homes
go deep. . .
while all the boats float away
like horses in a sandy desert
passing by and never returning

The man reaches out
and beneath his touch
the crumbled dust.


I may choose to work on this poem a bit more - since I just wrote it - but I am terribly moved by such a country - especially since the school I teach in has a large number of refugees from that area. I am so sorry our world is such a harsh place. . .and the terrors and horrors that happen are more often than not of our own devising.

In the meantime - here is my Christmas playlist from Jamendo - enjoy!


I wrote this poem today as I looked at my Mac's desktop picture. I tend to get a little melancholic during this time of year. I miss my people, the ones gone to the other side, having a good time in that great place. I just get lonely I guess - but don't we all?

The old tracks are still dynamic
slivered and unused
but still pointing the way to go. . .

beyond the vision of even the wisest eyes -
and the black tree limbs
punctuate the leaden sky
layered like a blanket
over the drowsy river.
Tucked between the rails
is a scarlet scarf
long forgotten by a passing waif,
and a blistered breeze
tucks the ends out of sight
while the sparrow lays down her head to cry.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

FaceBook has stolen my time!


The album I am currently listening to: very nice, calm, warm jazz.

Written in 1993

     without feet
breathing liquid
     leaf mold
painful purple eyes
rats hide beneath the brick
large angry dragon
trailing slime
sinking slowly down below
     heaving earth
     liquid glow
fingers and toes
leave no trace.


The day I quit
the establishment
I freed myself
to see with new eyes.
I discovered much of what
I was
and had never known
I gave myself permission
To love me again
and consequently
to love another
not secretly
But unashamedly
and with joy.


So there
At the edge of town
Was a disaster.
A fire that burned
Day and night
The sun faded green
in the perpetual twilight
yawning his huge
spots for all his care.
The stars came and
dancing between the
billowing brown clouds
And the moon
the moon
Was never again seen
Many people said
She left
In disgust

She floated
Dreamily away
Her face
Perpetually towards
The planet of her choice
Which just happened
to be Saturn
Saturn. . .
With her explosive power
Dynamic Saturn
Magnetic Glory
Her halo of rings
Nameless moon. . .
Losing her glow
As she approached
Planet glory,
Her love,
She diminished
And disappeared.


There is a simple grace
In the dark days of rain
The silver light
Reflects a molten flow
A race towards lower
A revealing of oneself
As dust and mud retract
A lifting of the eyes
The face is damp
But simple perseverance
From the soul
Defeats the misty tides.


They Fly
with steady stream
and bubbles of joy
One would never guess
Their lives are scarred
By the roles they play
And are silently marred
In their war torn world
Where they bear the brunt
Of the anger devised
By the skilled adults.
They peer out
Of windows of blue
and brown and green
And wonder at what
They have just seen
But pretend its all
just normalcy
When they have no way
Of knowing truth
And they have no way
Of escaping lies
For they have no way
As children
to fly.


As a woman
I was fenced in.
Invisible lines
Stronger than any chain
Drew me down
impeded my walk run.
When I was a child
I skipped down the
hallways of all
the institutions
til I recognized
their intent.
And I withdrew
Becoming a stranger
to myself
I became a rebel
within walls
fenced in . . . chained
And one day I heard
the wolf sing
She set me free.....
She has some vestige
 of freedom
She finds for herself
Within the last remnants
of the wilderness.....
And yes she is wild
For freedom
is not bound....
and freedom
is not denied.....
for without it
she dies...

I am Wolfsong.