Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Poetry Jam - "Opium"


A scarlet dream is tempting me
So softly, gently it endures
Of memories, like potpourri
A scarlet dream is tempting me
My past, my love, this cannot be...
Eternally my heart is yours...
A scarlet dream is tempting me
So softly, gently it endures.

By Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, May 15, 2011

I originally wrote this poem with the idea of a past lover (person).  But I think I see it now as the addiction itself is the past love and something the recovering addict is always turning away from and haunted by.  And it doesn't have to be an illegal drug - prescription drugs are just as dangerous and often are considered "safe" so "scarlet" used in that sense could meant as "offensive" or "sinful".

This is my "resurrected" contribution to Poetry Jam - this week's theme "A drug-induced world".

Monday, September 12, 2011

Magpie Tales #82 "September Dance"

The Revenant, 1949, Andrew Wyeth
September Dance

Stillness fills the room
as he arrives whisper-like
riding the Harvest Moon's 
beam of light.

A lifetime of loyalty
cannot be obliterated -

"A loving father, husband, friend"
upon granite etched
a decade ago -

as he remembers still,
our September dance.

Poised and waiting
he gallantly extends his arm
and I glowingly twirl within his embrace
once again

until his aura starts to wane

and I open my eyes.

A decade of longing,
of missing him.
My cross to bear.

My cross to cherish.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365,  September 11, 2011

* * * * *

This is for Magpie Tales #82.   I'm also participating in "Open Link Night #9" at dVerse.  Why does one write poetry... and why do we share it here on the web?  That is a question pondered at dVerse today and I am not sure why I do.  I'm actually a little shy about my so called "creativity" and I hesitate to mention to my friends in the "real" world that I write poetry at all!  I think I have close to 100 poems now - I feel I have grown a bit since I started not quite a year ago.

Skip over to both of the above highlighted sites.   And try a writing a poem if you have never done so before... the support you get from the people who participate in the above will overwhelm you.  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Images from the Past, Part 10 - My Grandmother's 1915 Yellowstone Journal

Getting ready for the Fourth of July celebration
Sunday, July 4, 1915

A very quiet Fourth.  Slept most of afternoon.  A small crowd tonight.  114.  Went down to hotel after program for a walk.

I imagine this might have been a scene on the trail to the hotel...
Monday, July 5, 1915

Hurried thru with our work, went down to hotel to see boat races, etc.  Our boys entered with hotel boys and fish hatchery boys.  Went down in p.m. to see the races, etc.  104 dudes tonight.  Had a special program and it certainly was good, then dancing.

The Fourth of July bon fire
Tuesday, July 6, 1915

Had a large crowd tonight, 201 dudes.  Had our log cabin bon-fire as it was too rainy to have it last night.  Frank Turtillott took Ruth L. and me down to hotel store and we had a soda.

Perhaps a photo opp on the way to the hotel store for a soda?  Marguerite is on the left.
Wednesday, July 7, 1915

Rain nearly all day.  Slept most of p.m.  Helen and a driver went fishing.  Only 110 dudes to-night.  About 9:30 to-night we six girls (Vera, Mary, Elma, Ethel L., Helen, and I) and Torg, Jam, Win, Frank, and Starkey (driver) Mary's man (a wood sawer) came to our tent No. 8.  Had two flash lights and ate fudge and bread and jam.  Had lots of fun even if we did break curfew.

My Notes:

The above are journal entries of some simple and fun days at Yellowstone.  The original photographs are actually quite small and I have blown them up.  I wonder what kind of camera took these?  I googled 1915 cameras and the Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic Camera sold for between $6 - $10.  It was a small camera that could be carried in a vest pocket.   Another site that showcases cameras between 1909-1926 is HERE.

The "In-Progress" 1915 Yellowstone Journal is on my side bar with most recent post at the top... the beginning is at the bottom)

This post if entered in Sepia Saturday 91.  If you are an old photograph junky, this is the place for you!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Magpie Tales #81 "The Crossroads"

Photo provided by Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tales

The Crossroads

Decades of irascible memories
previously tucked away and hidden
now tentatively observed 
before this once intrepid heart.

Eroded yesterdays brushed off
in this final, last ditch effort
to make the past shine.  

my iron will of denial gives in 
as life's spinning motion

forcing me to stop at the crossroads
where mortal and immortal meet.

My heart yearns to change the past
to give a "valid" accounting
but I find excuses
outweigh answers

so I plead and finally


hoping His grace
outweighs my sins.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, September 9, 2011, 

This if for Magpie Tales #81 and "Three Word Wednesday CCLVII" (Erode, Heart, Observe)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Friday Flash 55 & In Tandem - "The Abyss of Blue"

Art courtesy of Jinsky for "In Tandem"
The Abyss of Blue

Permanent ink disappears
on torn parchment, piece
by piece, as love's letters
of disappointment
float from my fingertips.

A life's devotion
sinks into the abyss
of blue as thoughts of you
spiral downward
into a watery grave.

I lift my head
from this vault of tears
and raise my eyes
towards the sun's
autumnal rays.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, September 8, 2011

Art courtesy of Jinsky for "In Tandem"

Come join the FUN and participate or read the talent at either the "G-Man's" blog "Mr. KnowItAll" a story in 55 words.  (I will link up with that tonight after 8pm) or Jinksy's blog "In Tandem" - write a prose or poetry prompt using one or both of the above images.

Note:  It recently noticed I usually write sad and tragic...why do I tend to write heartbreaking pieces (I am very happily married, btw)  It is really hard for me to write "happy" and "funny".  Does anyone else have that "problem"?  Is it easier to write sad and unhappy?   :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In Tandem #8 - "My Masquerade"

Artwork courtesy of Natasha for "In Tandem #8"

My Masquerade

Through the looking glass
she often startles me,
her accusing gaze
seeing through
my masquerade.

Camouflaged within
she occasionally peeks through
my veil of sarcasm and pretense.

She wants out.  I lower my lashes
to block her escape
and let the music's beat
take control

as hands reach out
to touch, to exploit
and exotic lights flicker
orange, blue and red.

Survive, I will
as long as she remains concealed
and I remember to dance
with my eyes closed.

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, September 4, 2011

* * * * *

This is for Jinksy's "In Tandem #8".  Write your own response to the above art work OR go to her sight by clicking HERE and select another, less vibrant image.

I also am entering this into one of my favorite poetry sites:  dVerse's "Open Link Night #8".  dVerse offers a number of things throughout the week and they are a first class site.  Check them out! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

An A+ for effort...

Boys are not natural born posers like girls.  For one, they can't sit still.

and their attention wanders within seconds.

and smiling... well, to be TOLD to smile creates all sorts of weird face contortions as you will see below.  For the above photo, I told him "don't smile".  The "pucker" face is not what I meant.

The dentist would have liked this one?


So what did I learn?  Keep it fun, go to a place they enjoy and photograph in multiple places while you walk... (sorry, run) along exploring.  Keep it fun and sometimes, you take what you can get...

I'd say this one is a wrap!   And I am participating in "Weekend Reflections" with the last one AND "The Creative Exchange".  I invite you to check out the site - there are many beautiful photographs that will take your breath away.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Friday Flash 55 & Three Word Wednesday "The Red Dress"

Photo provided by Tess Kincaid for "Magpie Tales"
"The Red Dress"

Smoke clouded his view of the door,
clouded his search for an
Oscar de la Renta.

Her sexy voice had penetrated his brain.
Sexy, she said she would look
dressed in red.

He waited for a vision of perfection.
Waited and wept inside.  Outwardly
he mumbled:

"I prefer bohemian anyway" and
dragged his loneliness home

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, August 31, 2011

* * * * *

This is for Three Word Wednesday CCLVI.  This week's words are Drag, Mumble, and Penetrate.  I hope it is ok to use different tenses.

I originally wrote this as a short story for Magpie Tales #80 entitled "Goin' Home with B. B. King" (click if you want to read it - and listen to an awesome video of "Everyday I Have the Blues")

I also wanted to play with a version for Friday Flash 55 (a story in 55 words) hosted by "The G Man".  I think it lost a bit of whimsy and detail, but it was a fun "condensing" writing exercise.

* * * * *

Many of you know that I have purchased a horse.   His name is Oberon and he is a Buckskin Quarter Horse.  My daughters and I are learning (and I am re-learning) horses through "Natural Horsemanship".  What is that, you ask?  Well, I invite you to visit my "Just Horses" blog and find out.  The following two photos I took the first day we got him - he came to us all the way from Northern Michigan.  The am participating with the first photo in "The Creative Exchange, hosted by Lisa Gordon.   She has a nice post today about finding her style along with a big linky with participating photographers.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This Palomino Quarter Horse Mare is for sale

She is a sweet 7 year old Quarter Horse mare and looking for a wonderful home and is VERY reasonable at $1,500.   Click HERE to find out more.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Friday Flash 55 - "Time"

Photography taken by "whendt"
The photographer's "Old Hay Barn" can be seen HERE.


Stoically the old girl prevails,
seemingly impassive
to the degradation of time.

Gracefully she poses,
unaware her resplendent scarlet robe
has long since been stripped from her frame.

The west's version of a Norma Desmond
dreaming of a triumphant revival,
but renewal isn't possible.

Time continues its course,
beating down her will
and demanding submission.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, August 25, 2011

* * * * *

This is for Friday Flash 55 - a story in 55 words.  I cheated a bit as I originally wrote a longer version HERE for this photo prompt at my creative writing blog.  I stopped writing for that blog during the summer months and yes, Friday Flash 55 probably belongs there.  BUT I am addicted to the "55's" and I couldn't give it up, so its home is here, year round.   There are few new writing prompts (not poetry) that I have found and are on my "Art Happens in Black & White" blog's right hand margin.  If you know of any more, please let me know!

I'm also linking this to "Weekend Creation Blog Hop".   LOTS of creativity going on there.. so hop over and take a look. 

Magpie Tales #79 "What a Difference a Day Makes"

What a Difference a Day Makes

How fast smiling faces
turn to tears
and eager young dreams

Day by day,
month by month,
and year by year,
the nightmare endured

and played itself out
upon the stage of

Europe's city streets
and the Pacific's coral reefs,
in Libya's scorching deserts,
and Burma's steamy jungles.
Up in Norway's jagged mountains

and in our hearts, those of us
left behind, "safe" at home
were part of the tragic production;
a detached audience we were not.

Day by day lists reviewed,
sighs of relief,
but too often, grief.
No one left untouched, unmoved.

Upon the final curtain's close,
sixty million people
no longer smiled.

Sixty million people
unable to see our tears
and shattered dreams.

We all remember the day
they arrived at the door,
medal in hand, beloved name on a list.
Wishing to move the hands of time back
a day, a week, a year.

Tears eventually turn to smiles
and new dreams appear.  But
black and white memories
of yesterday we do hold dear.

By Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, August 25, 2011

* * *

This is for Magpie Tales #79.  Click here to see other AMAZING entries for the above photo prompt.

And here is one for In Tandem #7:  Jinksy gave the following digital art for a writing prompt and it reminded me of a poem I created in February.  But I think I'd rather run into her alligator any day!  :)

Artwork courtesy of Jinksy for "In Tandem"

Calm, still.  Poised to strike.
Outward manner deceiving.
Dangerous anger.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, 2-7-11

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Savannah, GA - The Waving Girl

This statue of Florence Martus (1868-1943) is well known by Savannahians.  It is The Waving Girl, sculpted by De Weldon, the sculptor famous for crating the "Iwo Jima Memorial" or the United States Marine Corps Memorial.  The legend is that she fell in love with a sailor and promised to be waiting for him upon his return, but he never did return to Savannah.  As far as I know this is just  myth, but the fact is that she did great each ship with a wave of her handkerchief at a young age.  Sailors began returning her greeting by waving or blasting the ship's horn.  She also began to greet the ships that arrived at night with a lantern.  Florence later moved to the entrance of the harbor with her brother George who was the Cockspur Island Lighthouse keeper.

Savannah, GA is filled with history and statues.  If I ever go back, I will be more diligent at photographing them.  I had three young kids with me and along the waterfront there are a lot of stores.  I would rather spend my time photographing the sites than shop, but my teenagers felt differently...

A Family Movie not to miss

Dolphin Tale.  Starring Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick, Jr., Ashley Judd & Kris Kristofferson.  Out September 23rd.

Below is a movie trailer:

But I really liked the featurette.  Go to the above link, but then click on videos and click on Featurette - I think it automatically starts playing Trailer 1 or 2.  You have the right one if Broderick Johnson, the Producer appears talking on the screen.  The actors also have a few words to say about their parts.  The actual dolphin, Winter, plays herself.

This is a movie that the whole family can go and see and it looks beautiful.  Makes one feel happy and hopeful and maybe a bit like crying "happy tears".   Perhaps a bit sappy, but in a good way.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Savannah Charm

Porches, sweet tea, century old oak trees, flowers, and conversation.  A perfect spring afternoon was seen on many a porch.  Many stone and brick walls had vines a bloom with flowers - I don't know what they were, but they smelled wonderful.

And maybe the following is an example of "aroma overdose"?!

The last photo is my selection for this week's "Creative Exchange".  Even though I think the middle photo is the sweetest, the bottom one makes me laugh.  I hope it got a chuckle from you as well! :)

There are lots of amazingly talented people that submit to the Creative Exchange.  I have never done this before, but I really, really enjoyed the art work and touching up of Rosemary's blog photos.  Click HERE to see what I mean.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Catholic & Protestant, Savannah, GA

The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist is amazing.  We attended Easter Mass and I know physical beauty shouldn't matter much as far as faith goes, but the art work, windows and architectural design are awe inspiring.

If you are interested, HERE is  a link to a virtual tour and history of this magnificent cathedral.

(These photos are from my trip to Savannah during the Easter weekend.  Over the next few days, I will be sharing images from this trip.)

Not to be outdone, this Presbyterian Church was erected on property granted by King George II.  I read that it became the "mother church" of Georgia Presbyterians.  The first minister was John Joachim Zubly, a member of the Continental Congress.  HERE is a history of this church.  At night it glows.

Friday, August 19, 2011

In Tandem #6, "A Day at the Beach (also Friday Flash 55)

Courtesy of Penny Smith
A Day at the Beach

Childhood dreams
ride the wave of possible.

A youth's frontier of
soaring imagination,

fragile yet durable.
Hopes frolicking and

rolling about, unhindered,
free of bigotry, intolerance,
greed and hatred.

Illusory beliefs encouraged
by adulating guardians

cheering them on
while revisiting their own

faded yearnings
nurtured into existence

once again
with a day at the beach

By Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, August 19, 2011

* * * * *

This is for Friday Flash 55 (a story or poem in 55 words or less) and In Tandem #6.    Penny Smith has a number of blogs and recently started a challenge where one is prompted to write to original graphics or paintings.  My watercolor sketch of the two girls on the beach was selected this week along with Penny Smith's graphic.  Give it a try... she adds a new one each Wednesday.

I also entered this in the AWESOME dVerse blog.  If you like poetry, please do yourself a favor and check it out... and try submitting a poem of your own. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"The Grand Ol' Hat" -

 My Great Aunt, Jennie Beckington, 1905

My Grandmother, Marguerite Hutchins Beckington, born 1892 

The Grand Ol' Hat

Edwardian Days
When swirling skirts gracefully 
Swept the floor, ankles carefully hidden.
Puffed up like a proud pigeon and resembled
   An instrument measuring time.
Oh, how to show
Individuality? Dare
We suggest such a
Thing?  A prim and
Proper young
Must wear her hat squarely
Upon her head; no silly feather, please!
But, if one had a desire for a bit of frivolity, well a trip
To the Hat Maker might just do the trick.  A feather added and tilted
To one        side, a splendid ornate hat to promenade.  A       multitude 
Of other       frivolous items could grace the crown:  A poppy,      a plume,
How         about a large cabbage rose?  A bit overwhelming?          Well,
 That was         the very idea!  To have fun, live a little, after all,             it was
 Just                           a hat.  The only thing exposed                          was 
Hair!                        Sometimes splurged, and added a                     bird?
Well,                                 Not a whole bird,                                   nor 
Even                                             a                                           whole
Wing.                                       For                                      many
Years,                             Twenty                           in fact, 
The               Audabon Society            fought
To outlaw such animal cruelty!  
Even hat pins were subject to the law!
Why, they could only extend so far - dangerous
Weapons they.  Known for poking, scraping and stabbing!
Regulations on how far they could protrude without hat-pin
Protectors. Some were banned from public transportation, in fact.
So, no whole birds, but how about bunches of cherries, blackberries
Or ribbon rosettes?  Hats made to whirl, flow and dip; some swathed in
Tulle.  Some glorious hats mysteriously rested upon the hair, thanks to 
The secret of “wadded” hair saved from thy very own brush to make the 
Grand pompadour!   Possibly a bit of mystery might be desired; was that
Even allowed?   It could be arranged with a bit of cobweb trim hanging
Over the face.  Social gatherings were not complete without one’s hat,
In fact it was part of proper etiquette.   Quite disgraceful to be seen
Without!  Even the little widow could not step out... all in black, of
Course.  No feather for that would be too gay but the veil was ok.
Oh yes,  the good  Ol’ Edwardian Days!  Most likely styles to never 
Be seen again. Glimpsed by some of us still alive as we watched
Our grandmothers step out.   Those wonderfully grand ladies who knew 
How to dress in style, held on to their "vogue" until the very end. White 
Gloves, snap purse dangling at the elbow, and perhaps, the hats a
Bit smaller, but there non-the-less.  Ornate glasses framed many of 
Their smiling faces, pearls circling their necks.  Still buttoned up with 
Proper skirt line maintained; although a few inches shorter.  How “modern”
They must have felt.  So here’s a nod to the grand ladies of old, who wore
Those hats with such style and grace.  How were they able to carry off
Such hats as these? Looking at the photos, their eyes might offer a clue.   
The                    Women's
Suffra                     gette's
Atti                        tude?
 In Courage                 And Honor.          

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, originally written January 2011.

* * * * *
This "shape" poem has been resurrected for dVerse.   The idea today is tackling a big subject such as life, death, love, relationships, war, the passing of time, etc and present them in a new light; interesting ways of looking at them.  I hope I succeeded a bit.  This is also a Critique challenge.  So, please feel free to offer ideas for improvements - they are welcome and will be considered. :)

I also hooked this up with Words in Sync's "Weekend Creation blog Hop" - potpourri of talent.  

I remember going through the hat boxes in my grandmother's attic.  They were piled atop one another and these "ancient" hats were packed amongst newspaper.  By the time I was born, I don't think she wore them anymore - and I had a hard time imagining her in them.  How I wish I had those hats today.  At least I have a few photos.

In the photo above, I love that all the ladies have their "automobile" hats on.  My grandmother is sitting in the first row, third from left. (or first one sitting on the right)

In this photo, my grandmother is with her friends.  She is the one in the center with her ever present pearls and purse in the crook of her arm and ... one of two with a head piece on.  It was taken in the year of 1961. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Magpie Tales #78, "Yin and Yang"

Photo courtesy of Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tales
Yin and Yang

With every brush stroke
his balsam disappears,

replaced with misty rose
and cranberry ice.

The yin and yang of this room
offends my anguished heart:

"Opposites don't always complement, 
don't always strengthen" it weeps.

I blot the past with heavy coats;
reminiscence recedes

as fumes intoxicate and numb
protecting me, a bit

as I try to recover from
this fall after the rise.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, August 17, 2011

* * * * *

This is for Magpie Tales #78.  Try it... where does your mind go with the above image.  It doesn't have to be poetry - it can be a short "vignette".  At least be sure to check out some of the nearly 100 entries that will be there by this Sunday.   Thanks to the Benjamin Moore fan deck, I learned that balsam green is opposite many beautiful pinks!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bay View, Michigan - Cottage Walk 6

A few cottages in Bay View are available for lease on certain weekends.  As I said in earlier posts, many cottages have been passed on for generations, being added on to and updated along the way.  I like to think of them as "growing pains".  Taxes on such "second homes" are high and the upkeep, I'm sure, quite expensive.  But one can afford to stroll the charming streets and enjoy all the  hard earned toil and sweat that has been put into them.

Through my "Cottage Walk" series I have only presented a smattering of cottages that grace Bay View.  I had only 30 minutes to talk these photos as I was headed to the musical "Grease" that was being put on at their auditorium (my son was Kenicki).  My hope is to watercolor sketch these over the winter and then go back next year and take some more photos.  So, until next summer...

Sunday, August 14, 2011