Thursday, December 22, 2016

Untitled (Heaven's Gate)

"Untitled" (North) 1993 Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Untitled (Heaven's Gate)

Michigan's elusive Northern Lights
dance and dazzle night's star-studded sky;
a phenomenon I've witnessed a few times
and felt as if Heaven's gate was opening.

Mountain mornings are much quieter, more calming.
Through a veil of mist I see a cascading waterfall freeze
posing statuesque upon the steep rock face
outside my kitchen window and black capped chickadees
my feeder's sole visitors snipping and sniping at one another
even though there is plentiful seed for all.  The window
bars all sound, makes it appear as if they are performing
an intricate ballet just for me - their backdrop
a sloping forest of rhododendrons, leaves curled
and hunched retreating into their secret world

as have I; winter seems to do that.
Neighbors hunker into jackets, hurry by with their dogs
or leave altogether for warmer parts.
I guess I'm some sort of Snowbird as well;
still consider myself a Northerner; scoff when others
think its cold; tell them tales of real snow, wind, ice,
but hold my tongue when at night, alone or with my love
high atop a blue ridge mountain gazing at the stars,
feel as if once again, I'm standing before Heaven's gate
and realize life's journey will end one day,
will greet us all no matter where we are and, I hope,
look something like this.

by Margaret Bednar, December 22, 2016

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - A Skyflower Friday - Felix Gonzalez-Torres  "- take his method of title and take a cue from 'issues of identity, desire, originality, loss, or the metaphor of journey'

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Sentinels"


The Red Brick House
"Sentinels"

The red brick house still resides a quarter mile
from where I grew up - a bit modernized;
original image hangs upon Mother's foyer wall
within gilded frame, watercolored by Great Great Aunt Augusta.

Today, no trace of white picket fence, Victorian scalloped
cornice trim, nor windmill's imposing silhouette.
The gabled bank barn with earthen ramp
from which grand pacers with heart and harness flew
and cozy stalls below where docile draft horses rested
is, at best, located with imaginary eye.

Come fall, my grandmother and three sisters
would hitch pony to cart, drive the slightly hilly, dirt packed road
to Latham Park School - the same caring walls I resided
as a child before closing in '71.

Within Red Brick's walls, Grandmother was born;
and her mother with fifth child in birth did die.

Yet seasons don't end and a farmer's lands
demand, so girls were sent "down the road"
to Grandmother Lyford's white clapboard farm house.
I always imagine piano's notes drifting out onto stone porch,
where buttoned and bowed the girls would sing
and catch late afternoon's summer breeze.

Tucked between "Red Brick" and "Lyford House"
I grew up across the street from "Old Limestone House"
with stately red barn and dear Charlotte in her rocking chair
shaded by huge pines that thrilled me with their size and shape.
Today threadbare and dismembered, if not gone all together,
I still thrill as I palm fallen pinecones -
remember coating them with peanut butter and seed;
hanging them in branches once bursting and full.

These old farmhouses reach out to me, remind me
of family, of friends - carefully tended,
sweetly remembered these sentinels of my ancestors, my roots.

by Margaret Bednar, December 19, 2016


Latham Park School

Harnessed Speed

I have written this poem for a local poetry group (Behind the Stacks) challenge:  Ancestral Dwellings.  Mary guided us with the following:

"On my recent travels to Mesa Verde, I sat on a bench next to a Samurai fellow while he meditated under a canopy.  Together we contemplated the miracle of those dwellings.  Who carved and fashioned such a unique village? And, what were their lives like?
These ancient dwellings spoke to me about the people who once dwelled within -- a story about their personal ancestors.  And, it dawned on me that we all have personal ancestors who, too, inhabited ancient dwellings of their own making.  Deep within all of us lies a hidden memory of our ancestors and the place they called home.  In the month of December, let's gather for BTS and share our poetic take on the miracle of the dwellings of our own personal ancestors."  So, reflect on your past and bring your ancestral dwelling recollections to us in poetry

As you can see, I tweaked mine a bit (not so ancient) - focused on the farmhouses that surrounded me as I grew up - many owned and lived in by my grand and great-grand parents... I look forward to hearing what the others will bring to the table. 


Linked with Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Tuesday Platform.  

The Old Limestone House

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Haibun - Enchanted



I pull my jacket tightly about hunched shoulders, hunker into woolen scarf, await for sprinkles of snow to descend as I gaze out from within, pole lights shining like stars, the inky blackness a comforting scrim.  This enchanted world offers up a princess and white horse gracefully floating before me, triumphant banners of breath-like clouds and pony-tails trail behind them.  Not a sound but for the gentle rhythm of the horse's three-beat gait and gentle snorts as in unison they circle about the edge of this snow-globe night, damsel and steed seemingly about to sprout wings, fly up and away to the land of the gods...


To be blanketed
with snow crystals: magical
to fly above: joy

by Margaret Bednar, December 13, 2016

I invite you to listen:  https://soundcloud.com/margaretbednar/haibun-enchanted

This is for "dVerse Haibun Monday - And to all a goodnight"  My Haiku is not good (they are not easy) and I might come back and give it some more thought.   For now, it is what it is :)

Also linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Tuesday Platform"



Sunday, December 11, 2016

"Immigrants"


Immigrants

The dogwood tree's bare and I've no pokeberries
nor holly to attract blue feathered friends -
so I'll wait upon spring to lure them back;

in the mean time my bird feeder will proffer
flashes of red and other swiftly fluttering (hungry) songbirds
who've no time for harmonizing, for leisure,

as I, tucked within winter's abode
imagine what it was like for my ancestors
newly arrived from Europe, mid November -

ponder first hesitant steps upon snowy foreign soil,
everything owned carried in two hands
No time to linger, sip tea, enjoy a morning view

but time for backs to bend, a home to build... a friendly hand?

Margaret Bednar, December 11, 2016


proffer:  to put before for acceptance

OK... this was my first response to "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Poetry & Flash Fiction with Magaly:  Snow Birthed Tales".  I realize I may not have followed the rules - a story was to be fiction - but was the poetry to be as well?  Magaly - let me know as I will go back to the drawing board as I usually do like poetry that is fiction and a story... this is just what came about but I will try again.  (I'll be back)




Monday, November 28, 2016

Haibun - Indian Summer

Carol Law Conklin - "Adirondack Autumn Sunset"

Wispy-white mare's tails swish sky's blue this noon as heated fingers reach through poplar stripped branches and tickle arms and legs, bare.  It's days like today, after a frost or two, that pony and I would become sure-footed mustang and Indian, riding bareback through stubbled cornfield and quarry, descending into time, scouting for arrowheads.  It's days like today that cradle me, morning mist no longer blankets uplifted crowns of gold but hovers over the expanse of denuded fields where I imagine tepees once stood and Cherokee raced dug-out canoes along the French Broad and Swannanoa.  It's days like today, as goldfinches pick sunflowers dry, sunlit logs buoy river otters and turtles, and evening's pink veil deepens to purples and reds that I reminisce and as swiftly as the seasons change, anticipate renewal.


A hard frost descends
welcomes hazy days, clear nights
and peace-filled slumber

by Margaret Bednar, November 28, 2016

You are invited to listen to me read my poem:  https://soundcloud.com/margaretbednar/haibun-indian-summer

Pony & I became sure-footed mustang and Indian...

This challenge is linked (late) with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations with Margaret - Carol Law Conklin Batik Artist."  Carol Law Conklin is a Batik Artist with a wide variety of creations she highlights and sells on her Website, Amity Farm Batik, and Etsy Store.  She has a Facebook page and I also enjoyed watching her video batik "how to" tutorials.

Not supposed to name a Haibun, but I think of this one as "Indian Summer"   This is also linked with "dVerse Poets Pub: Haibun Monday - Free for All"

and... "Imaginary Garden with Real Toad's - The Tuesday Platform".

Note:  mares tails:  Cirrus uncinus is a type of cloud derived from Latin meaning "curly hooks". Also known as mares' tails, these clouds are generally sparse in the sky and very thin.


An interesting Article about the rivers and creeks that wind their way through Asheville, NC:



Sunday, November 20, 2016

Crossroads

Chelsea Susan Bednar - Scenic Designer - "Side Show" UNCSA
after the show - stage lightly back lit - costumes were colorful,
the whole performance was splendid.  What a team effort! 
Crossroads

I see her, crayon in hand,
turning carefully so to keep tip sharp.
Creampuff cheek, tiny tot hands,
shading, creating worlds as I read story or verse;

pause to admire
what out of thin air she wrestles to paper:
scenes, delicately displayed, vibrantly rendered.

Admire strength and tenderness
in her youthful artist's mark.
Revel in the joy her little face sheds
as proudly presented to me they are.

---

Seventeen years later, overwhelmed;
theatre's threshold I stand, 
see another vision come to life -

a world shaped and shadowed;
unbridled reverie birthed through fingertips held dear.

watch her descend stage steps in dress of red, 
cheeks still youthful, but womanly,
fingers, strong and elegant as she waves,
high heels click upon planked stage...

her pageantry only beginning; college cocoon
soon left behind.  My blossoming butterfly will soar.
And her crayons will be carefully tended.

by Margaret Bednar, November 20, 2016

A bit sappy, but that's how I feel right now.  Chelsea is a senior at UNC School of the Arts and she was Scenic Designer for the school musical "Side Show".  Here is a link to the UNC School of the Arts article:  "Musical about conjoined twins poses challenges for student designers"

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Mini Challenge - Micro Poetry - The Cross-roads"  and the poetry of Kwei Brew "The Mesh"  Loosely played with the them crossroads - (childhood into adult) and I FORGOT to make it only ten lines.... sorry, Kerry - chalk it up to a mother's getting carried away with memories:)

Scenic rendering for "Side Show" by Chelsea Susan Bednar
Model box for "Side Show" by Chelsea Susan Bednar
The Program for "Side Show" - Scenic Design: Chelsea Susan Bednar

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Brooklyn's "Rooster" poll

Prospect Heights Brooklyn - Cataldo's is behind the van

Brooklyn's "Rooster" poll

It's a world I've little experience,
Vito's and Salvatore's old world Sicily
of simmering sauces, brick oven pizzas -
where classic marinara and meatballs
compete for attention beside Penne Alla Vodka
and stuffed artichokes.

My mother was a traditional American cook:
roast beef, casseroles, Friday night TV dinners,
the dreaded stuffed green & red peppers.
We sisters quarreled over clothes,
but seldom swore, never hit.
Males were few; no brothers.  Cats, dogs,
goats, horses, chickens - mostly female -
alone strutted the noisy, opinionated rooster.

Sitting within Cataldo's warm, red bricked,
closely seated interior, I watch the lunch crowd
amble in:  blue collar men - construction, security guards,
road assistance - is my guess and I'm reminded
of the farmyard cock of my youth.

Chests don't puff and wings don't flap,
but arms and hands do half their talking.
Boisterously joust, punch or slap a back,
compare prowess on video games,
spout political views - Trump's their man...
and I'm taken aback.  The primaries have just begun
and Donald's ...

I look closer.  Calloused hands. Sincere hearts
(I can tell these men are Mama's boys)
and a bravery that underlies words.
I may be projecting stereotypical ideals,
but dedication and honor from men such as these
are often first to march off to protect hearth & home.

As a salty Margarita tingles my tongue,
I smile as the waitress sassily reprimands the crowd
(who apologize swiftly),  and absorb this nostalgic
Italian diner, (feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland)
and ponder if I've glimpsed the future.

by Margaret Bednar, November 17, 2016

linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Open Link Night #184"

I keep harking back to this memory ...  I adore NYC - the diversity of people and languages, the mix of white and blue collar, the food (the FOOD!) the parks built by Frederick Law Olmsted...  I love visiting.  But the first time I visited two years ago... it was a bit of a culture shock - not in a negative way but just a LOT to take in.  Even now, I am happy to stay a week or two and return home to my mountains.  But I'm always soon longing to go back to visit my son and the big city.

The lunch at the Italian restaurant has been ingrained in my mind.  I realize most of these men most likely did not go to college, are hard working men - I overheard some were working two and three jobs - they supported people in need - I heard them talking about a fund raiser for a buddy who had hit hard times...  compassionate, boisterous, loud - and men who love to laugh and swear.  I couldn't help but adore them - and they were voting Trump.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

On the Eve of November 14th

Supermoon photo credit: Tim McCord HERE

On the Eve of November 14th

They say it's an occasion for natural disaster;
and I've proof:

my blood pressure's started to rise,
my chin's (or should I say chins?) not as defined,
and morning's mirror isn't so kind.

No "evidence of causation", they say
but certainly "clear coincidence"
if 50's pivotal, then 51's
the beginning of a tsunami.

Is it coincidence tonight's supermoon is bold?
Asserts itself through naked branches,
stirring emotions...

Coincidence this past year
I've seen more Dr's than the past 10?

Tonight this illuminated token
will sink into the morn of my birth;

perhaps I'll treat its deposit as rejuvenation for mind, body and spirit?

by Margaret Bednar, November 14, 2016

Trying to play with the idea that the supermoon and my 51st birthday have something to do with one another...  Science has tried to prove that the supermoon is the cause of a number of the world's natural disasters...

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Realt Toads - Tuesday Platform"

Saturday, November 12, 2016

"Benediction"



One of my favorite version's of "Hallelujah" (other than his own of course) RIP, Leonard Cohen

"Benediction"

Your arms strong,
fingers surprisingly elegant,
nails neatly trimmed.

Manly gentleness,
my Hallelujah, my strength,
holds me sleepily,
a little too warmly, but refuge
overrides menopause.

I'm old enough to know sadness,
even happiness, has peaks and valleys;
yet somehow I need this touch,
this settling of feeling

for me to whisper prayers
to a God sometimes ignored,
until becalmed I fall asleep,
stilled into a cocooned slumber
of hushed benediction.

by Margaret Bednar, November 12, 2016

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Sunday Mini-Challenge - Still Points"

Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Companions



"When I am near the end of a book,
I have to sleep in the same room with it."  - Joan Didion

My Companions

Quilt-wrapped silence, soft, over-the-shoulder light,
breached only by a crisp cadence of slowly turned pages,
purring feline, or perhaps a winter's fire banked in the grate.

It's hard to let go of loved ones, held tenderly,
pages never creased; occasionally sprawled upon my chest,
eyes having surrendered to their dancing drops of black ink.

I've tried libraries, often drag reluctant feet upon return,
slyly pay a "lost" fee; become a "guardian" -
add to bedside's ever growing, slowly leaning, Tower of Pisa.

Books deeply double stacked await for favor, for obsession
as my finger slides across spines trying to decide
who will share my bed, my mind into the wee hours of the night.

by Margaret Bednar, November 6, 2016

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Play it Again, Toads!"  I chose "The Poetry in a Quote" prompt hosted by Susie Clevenger back in April 2015.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

On the Eve of an Election

"Lincoln - The Biography of a Nation" Fred Kaplan
On the Eve of an Election

It's quite a novelty to absorb a biography
graced with Lincoln's genius of persuasion,

admire a politician;

revel in integrity of a cause contentious -
know healing was hard won,

in some corners, still sought.

* * * *

As a nation, too often partisan becomes policy,
civility's tossed aside, and the adversary we court,

if we pause to notice, often resembles us.

by Margaret Bednar, November 3, 2016

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Get Listed "What Fresh Hell is This".   We were to ponder this upcoming USA Presidential election with the style of Dorothy Parker or Oscar Wilde in mind (doubt I accomplished that task)   We were also given a word list and asked to use at least 3.  I used 5 (or versions of ): novel, toss, look (notice), enemy (adversary), and cause.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Late October


Along the Blue Ridge Pkwy - The Gated Path

Late October

Blackgum and sourwood blaze glorious 
along with sumac & mountain's virginia creeper.

Always planned vacations 'round 
this early showcase of razzle dazzle

but living here now, I'm quietly charmed
with the finale of oranges and yellows of every shade;

hoard these smoldering days of birch, sassafras, and oak -
breath deeply knowing soon all will be equal beneath my feet.

Brown and brittle will be blown away 
or cease to crunch long before first freeze and flurry,

but for now the sun's upon my face 
and the milkweed pods gently lift from my palm 

into late October's violet blue sky and pearly white clouds.

by Margaret Bednar, October 30, 2016





Friday, October 28, 2016

"Abundance"

Pumpkin Patch
Abundance

Leaf strewn mountain trails bow to valley streams
trickling 'longside fields of stippled corn stalks
and sprawling, yellowed pumpkin vines.

My eye is drawn to tractor's path
meandering 'tween mounds and hills of Autumn bounty;
to a boy restless as wild geese flocking our way,

caught up in a bountiful cornucopia, nurturing not gods,
but promises of a tummy warm with molasses,
ginger, dashes of cinnamon -

and upon the porch wicked smiles, alight at night,
coal bright, warding off Jack of the Lantern
and other wandering wayward spirits.

by Margaret Bednar, October 28, 2016

If you'd like to hear me read my poem:  https://soundcloud.com/margaretbednar/audio-recording-on-saturday-1

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads " Dreaming with Stacie -Celebrating the Season"

*  The cornucopia, literally "horn of plenty", comes to the Thanksgiving table thanks to Greek mythology.  The horn may have originally been that of a goat which the infant Zeus used to drink from.

*  Soon after, Jack died, as the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven.  The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell.  He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way.  Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since.  The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern" and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

October

Blue Ridge Parkway, NC - field of Golden Rod, Asters, & Milkweed

October

She embraces her inner vogue,
dons Dolce & Gabbana's little red,
languidly covers familiar paths
with past season's finery.

For slumber Wooly Bear prepares,
milkweed balloons into night's sky,
and Hunter Moon softly illuminates 
meadows of golden rod & asters.

With straps slipping
from canopied shoulders
she offers vulnerability -
and a celebration

to frock in our own party dress;
dance with her to the symphony 
of rustling cornstalks, wild geese,
and chattering squirrels.

by Margaret Bednar, October 16, 2016


woolly bear - caterpillar that hibernates for the winter

Friday, October 14, 2016

Chicken Nuggets

Prep for Cabbage Fried Rice
Recipe Click HERE
Chicken Nuggets

I painted my kitchen Leprechaun Green,
tried collecting a wish dinner wouldn't burn -
laughed when we placed an order out.

Remember dipping my finger in honey mustard -
placing it upon your tongue.  Define the kiss that followed
more akin to hot sauce.

by Margaret Bednar, October 14, 2017

My cooking attempts have greatly improved (I served the above with Glazed Chicken Tenders with Ginger - Recipe HERE)  and lettuce fresh from the garden (the cabbage, garlic, and ginger root were fresh from the farmer's market as well).

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Transforming with Nature's Wonders - Brainy Quote".  I chose a quote from Audrey Hebburn - she had SO MANY great ones - I linked them below.  The one I used is:

"I belive in pink.  I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.  I believe in kissing, kissing a lot..."  Audrey Hepburn



Sunday, October 9, 2016

Grandfather Mountain

I updated this poem today from this past weekends "IGWRT's Sunday Challenge" and am posting the new ending here today.
From on top of Grandfather Mountain
"Ibadan, running splash of rust and gold - flung and scattered among seven hills like broken china in the sun."  J. P. Clark 

Grandfather Mountain

Beneath necklaced peaks of yellow gold
& sunset clouds of Touraine blue,
'long old black bear's trail

resides gossamer lit havens & veiled hollows;
glimpses of time begun -
viewed upon swaying bridge.

Remnants, delicately interwoven
amidst folds & cracks layered ancient -
triumphs, tragedies, truthful tales

of character & struggle
along hidden trails or well worn paths
beneath blood red sourwoods & pumpkin hued beech.

by Margaret Bednar, October 9, 2016

From Moses Cone estate-near Grandfather Mtn (untouched photo)





Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Mini Challenge - A Splash of Rust & Gold - Micro Poetry"

Note:

*  Geologists came here to study the "Grandfather Mountain Window," a hole in time that allows them to discover what the core of the earth was like when time began. The oldest rock exposures on the surface are the "Wilson Creek Gneiss" (granite type) found along Wilson Creek on the eastern slope of Grandfather near US221.

Gold was mined from three shafts on Grandfather prior to the 1849 California gold rush, but the high grade ore was played out long ago and even at today's prices, mining is no longer cost effecive.

*  Touraine Flow Blue is a vintage china pattern by Stanely Pottery (British)


Saturday, October 1, 2016

"Acquiesce"


Acquiesce

A little boy's wonder 
of jumping rock to rock,

playfully racing 
gently rushing mountain stream

fill's my heart; 
both transparent, both refreshing.

I want to warn 
of slippery surface, hard rocks

but his need to explore 
silences me.

Watch him focus 
on silvery fish,

succeed 
in rock's two skip bounce,

laugh 
as he splashes me.

by Margaret Bednar, October 1, 2016






















Friday, September 30, 2016

The Cast Away





The Cast Away

Beneath waves of Aleppo bricks
a baby girl's reborn -

from dusty womb
she leaves Mother and Father behind

her shipwrecked cries
a deliverance from hell -

or perhaps (after all) another surrender

as drone of fighter jets return
to tremble earth and sky.

by Margaret Bednar, September 30, 2016

and here https://youtu.be/63PCZktePrY is another heart-rendering video.

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Fireblossom Friday's - Emily Dickinson - Shipwreck"   I hope my poem loosely qualifies for the theme - I have been disturbed lately by a number of videos similar to this one - one was of a little baby being dug from the rubble - I was also moved to see (on Fox News) a Syrian refugee family in California very thankful for being here...  they had to wait for three years to be vetted and arrive in America.  The father is "studying" and learning so he can work at a gas station...  and wants to be independent as soon as possible for his young family.  Lots to think about.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Goldenrod"


 Goldenrod

Banished from genteel yards,
I find her plumes quite glorious -

blazing boldly with arching heaviness,
pendulously draping gravel path.

Inviting me

to linger like the Monarch butterfly
fluttering and flirting upon Autumnal breeze -

to seek asylum in radiant fields
of magical golden fleece.

by Margaret Bednar, September 27, 2016

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform".   One of the many trails and sights along "my" Blue Ridge Parkway mountain trails.  I hope to share many with you.







Thursday, September 22, 2016

"The Rocking Chair"



The Rocking Chair

Tonight's lavender sky and golden hues
of speckled, dancing light have lured me -

find me comforted within curved back
and double scooped seat

as wooden floorboards hypnotize,
rhythmically soothe -

and I, wrapped within knitted afghan,
cradled in memories and fanciful thoughts,

sigh.   I could sit here forever.

by Margaret Bednar, September 22, 2016

Linked with dVerse "Open Link #180"

Thursday, September 1, 2016

"Sleeping Beauty"

My son admiring the Batta-Piatigorsky" Violoncello
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sleeping Beauty

"I played the "Batta" for a long time before appearing in concert with it.  
In solitude, as is befitting honeymooners, we avoided interfering company 
until then." - Gregor Piatigorsky

Seductive.  Curve: generous.
Bearing: regal if not a bit mysterious.

Passionatley longs for fevered fingers,
desires to "slip on" a song writer's prose,
surround her lover with mellow notes.

Unable to court, unable to woo,
the poet circles the encased sleeping beauty;
tilt of his chin, palm of his hand
an invitation she's unable to accept.

by Margaret Bednar, September 1, 2016

This is for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Intpretreations - The Met's Musical Instruments Exhibit.

Just as Stradivari's career began about 1665, there was a major advance in string making:  the development of gut strings overseen with fine metal wire.  With the availability of these new strings, Stradivari was able to reduce the size of the cello, thereby improving its acoustical qualities and making it easier to play.  Of the approximately sixty Stradivari cellos that are extent, about twenty are of this smaller size.  The "Batta-Piatigorsky" is considered one of the best examples of this smaller, improved model.

I don't believe any of the videos are of the "Batta", but certainly the genius of the man, Gregor Piatigorsky, shines through.

You Tube Gregor Piatigorsky plays Bach Bourses:  https://youtu.be/z4__cFiaFJY
You Tube Gregor Piatigorsky plays Tchaikovsky Waltz:  https://youtu.be/4txRGrOrUyU
You Tube Gregor Piatigorsky plays Chopin Sonata:  https://youtu.be/OqipjgPDYxk

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Cleansing"


Cleansing

It's captured in a sigh
this first blush of day -

nursling of eve's brooding sky
and midnight rain,

where tired dreams
and tiny thoughts

evaporate
with mountain mist -

become buoyant
beyond my window;

wish (or two) refreshed
with a swish of mares' tails.

by Margaret Bednar, August 25, 2016



This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Music with Marian - Little Tiny".  Our inspiration the above song.  I hope you enjoy the above song by Brandi Ediss.  She is also a photographer HERE


Note:  Mares' tails are wispy, ethereal clouds with a classic trailing shape

Saturday, August 13, 2016

"Refinement"



 Refinement

It may be wine country, 
but honeybees and lavender fields
offer bounty sweet, less floral, even dark
from thin-stemmed blooms
as drunken workers with tiny purple floret's prize
fly to hillock hives.

Honey-lavender lemonade soothes my tongue,
assured worker bees have but one sting
as I tour magical fields nurturing gold.
Aggression rare, protection key;
ambassador of peace I'll be
as self-indulgent anger hastens their mortality. 

From blooms renowned for love,
devotion and purity
reverently should we sip such grace,
reflect inward, internalize and become.

by Margaret Bednar, August 13, 2016



This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Mini Challenge - Which Bee?"  

Friday, August 12, 2016

"Cathedrals"



The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
Cathedrals

Noon is heralded by the bell tower's toll;
most continue as tourists, unaware of the call to prayer.
I stop, wipe St. Augustine sweat from my brow,
(no similarity to Millet's two peasants
thankful for a small basket of potatoes)
shift purchased trinkets growing heavy.

Lowcountry's Baptist has carved Flemish oak
and marble altars of white Vermont,
but standing beneath four evangelists
with my Old City Market sweetgrass basket,
if I'm honest, I'm thankful for the blessed cool air.

Southern heat is historical in and of itself;
never mind preserved architecture
and stories of the past - affluent or otherwise.
Stepping into these respites from daily grind,
I feel guilty admiring stain glass windows and sanctuaries.

In the deep south, tucked away within Savannah's charming grid,
my youngest son prays before Mother Mary - straw hat upon his head.
I glance at the gentleman who labeled my sweet boy
disrespectful; dare him to press the matter.
He doesn't - and somehow I believe Jesus is pleased.

by Margaret Bednar, August 12, 2016


The "offending" hat that he didn't want to take off...
I always try and visit the Catholic Cathedrals and Basilicas in the cities I visit.  St. Augustine, Charleston and Savannah figure in this poem.  I have to confess, I've visited New York quite a few times and have yet to step inside St. Patrick's Cathedral - I've walked by it many times and have experienced huge Catholic guilt.  I will make sure I attend Mass the next time I go.

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Get Listed for August" - pick three cities I have visited and write about them so I wrote about memories of different Catholic churches I have visited on my travels.

Jean-Francois Millet

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Summer Break



Going to enjoy a couple of weeks with the family - a summer break before the new school year begins.

I'll be back here mid-August.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

"Queen Bee"


Coneflower & Honeybee
Queen Bee

From tears of Ra
the bee descends, of sun, of royalty.
As a child, I'd run in fear of the sting,
unaware nectar its sole pursuit -
Cupid learned "Beware love's sting!"
Yet life absorbs such piques, does it not?

Spend many an evening walking husband's perennial gardens 
camera poised, patiently wait for droning honeybee; 
stories of imminent demise foreshadowed -
thrilled when sometimes (only) one shows up...
Does this mean Greek goddesses are nearly forgotten,
the Hindu God of peace is dying, Ra's wisdom silenced?   

This symbol of motherhood and fertility
has walked with me hand in hand; no longer run I from the sting,
but embrace sacrifices, savor long days,
taste sweet nectar of childish arms about my neck; sticky fingers and all.
And occasionally at end of day, raise my glass to the Queen Bee;
realize I'm not just a worker bee.

by Margaret Bednar, July 23, 2016

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Transforming with Nature's Wonders" & "Play it Again, Toads".  I was late in playing, so this is my contribution to an obviously very recent "archived" challenge .

When my husband and I first started dating, somehow I gained the title "Queen Bee".   One of my favorite gifts is a necklace of a honeybee.

You are invited to listen: https://soundcloud.com/margaretbednar/audio-recording-on-saturday









Monday, July 18, 2016

Grandfather


Grandfather

It's that freedom of childhood:
raised high, secure.  Knowing
Grandfather won't let go;
playing "I Spy"

when laughter erupts.

It's horizons, youthful and old,
merging, finding common goals.
Trading preconceived notions of boring
for adventure tapped

when living begins.

It's finding joy in each other,
guidance along rocky paths,
a safe place to rest one's head
Of a wisdom shared

when love uplifts.

by Margaret Bednar, July 18, 2016

This if for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Weekend Mini Challenge - In the Market for Poems". - exchange, bartering, promise - "an exchange or promise made by ... someone.   We recently stood atop Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina and soaked in the view.   I like to think this poem represents the Mountain and Grandfathers...

Note:  Yikes!   When to use semi-colons, colons, and dashes.  Looked it up and still not sure I understand.  Grammar head I am NOT. :)


Saturday, July 9, 2016

"Why"

The Barn

"Why"

Summer's sigh saunters
between empty stalls and red buckets,

barn cat knowingly sits, as cats always do, 
content in what she knows,

and I upon hay bale 
with view of winding wooded trials
listen, feel, ponder.  

For the moment avoid conclusions -

allow the question of "why"
an opportunity to linger.  

by Margaret Bednar,  July 9, 2016



The past few days have been rife with the question "Why!! " And lots of people rushing to judgement, accusations, angry talk.  Lots of "answers" but ... how much listening?    How much are we willing to push aside what we "know" and truly listen to what others have to say?  It seems to me, people are more interested in pushing their agendas - getting their way or nothing - instead of reaching a solution to the political and social dilemmas we are facing today.



Thursday, June 30, 2016

"The Barn Swallow"


barn swallows

The Barn Swallow

Summer mornings I'd watch as he
of wing and tapered tail, royal and rust,
and early morning swoops over field and lawn
dive-bombed my not-so-innocent cat -
shoulders hunched, eyes averted
whose tail, raised in supposed surrender,
would suddenly twist and paw for the arial acrobat
always just out of reach.

Even spied my little lion, quivering, chattering, 
balancing on barn's wooden beams, eyes fixated 
on unattainable little mud cup plastered to the wall
where five little nestlings precariously perched,
tipping, swaying at nest's edge
seemingly willing to offer themselves up 
any minute with a vertical fall.

A few found fate's end
flat and lifeless as a preserved flower
between the pages of a book -
their press a dirt floor and a horse's hoof.

As my cat aged (and wizened)
he in my lap and I reading a book,
we'd let evening tide tuck us in beneath shadowed porch,
tangerine sky settling in, and watch the skimming aces 
frolic after winged insects, their kvik, kvik, wit, wit 
joining mid-summer's lullaby.

by Margaret Bednar, June 30, 2016


You're invited to listen to me read my poem:  https://soundcloud.com/margaretbednar/the-barn-swallow

Our family has made the move to the mountains and I unpacked the last box today.  I still have a few trips to Goodwill and a few drawers to organize, but the downsizing and relocation feels great!  I was able to find a barn to board our Quarter Horse and it is in an amazing setting with 60 miles of well-groomed Blue Ridge mountain trails!  I can't wait to be inspired by them.  I walked beneath this barn swallow's nest (I used an app to digitally change it)  while my son played with a barn kitten and it brought back the memory I shared above.  



Friday, May 13, 2016

"Cheers"




"Cheers"

Divine will, predestination
a soothing comfort I suppose -
easier to accept 
than lack of discipline or desire.

Add a shot of free will -
the flavor often changes:
vice over virtue or virtue over vice,
success or failure, stirred or shaken?

by Margaret Bednar, May 13, 2016


This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Challenge "Lets Visit the "word" Family".  I pondered the words "Meant to Be" (and equivalent Antonyms and Synonyms) which is part of the title song two of my girls sang tonight from Little Women's "Some Things Are Meant to Be" at their high school Broadway Review.   (above is a short excerpt) The older sister (black dress) is going off to college in the fall and this is their last high school performance together.   The poem has nothing to do with the song.  Little Women is a wonderful book AND musical.  

I wish I could have pondered a bit more on this prompt - it's almost midnight and I'm traveling to the mountains tomorrow for the day - we will be moving there in four weeks and it is a busy time and throw in end-of-school activities...  My poetry is taking a "hit" as it isn't very good, but I'm trying to keep the creative juices flowing and am very grateful for the prompts offered at "The Imaginary Garden..."  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Pamlico Sound"


Ocracoke, NC
Pamlico Sound

Early tide often unveils angel wings and whelks,
but this solitary evening's walk offers up three tartan caps,
elusive and rare.

Slipper shells delight my son, fragile cockle & calico scallops
fan and flash speckled color, and shark eye remnants
swirl charming patterns

yet the olive shell I've yet to receive.

She offers her fine artists mark of temporary delights:
tangerine sunsets, gently filled sailcloths, winged birdsong
as well as memories lasting a lifetime,

some sentimentally displayed upon my windowsill.


by Margaret Bednar, May 5, 2016


*The Scotch Bonnet is the NC state shell - not uncommon but not easily found whole either.  I found three perfect ones within 30 minutes of each other one evening!  - the resemble a traditional Scottish "plaid" hat.

Pamlico Sound  HERE

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Transforming with Nature's Wonders

Friday, April 29, 2016

"Snapshot"


Snapshot

Cameoed against close of day
horses' shadows stretch
upon evening tide's gentle cleansing
of field and grove.

I close my calendar,
honor this candlelight hour
when birdsong settles
and Primrose awaits her Sphinx.

by Margaret Bednar, April 29, 2016

* a night pollinator, the sphinx moth pollinates Evening Primroses.  I also took artistic liberty as primroses aren't quite blooming yet - I believe they start in June and July - maybe May but not sure.

My pencil has been quite busy filling my calendar in these days - year-end school performances & commitments - not to mention trying to stay on track to finish up homeschooling my youngest two by the end of May - AND prepare for our household move to the mountains come mid-June.  I apologize for not visiting and commenting on your blogs as much as I like.

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads "Instapoetry"


I invite you to Listen:  https://soundcloud.com/margaretbednar/snapshot

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Lakeside"

Lake Lindley
Lakeside

Sun and shadow
twist upon Lake Lindley's path,
display spring's fine muted tapestry
of leaf and limb

as birdsong and bicycles
intertwine, become
my meditation.

Pedal boats bob gem-like
upon the stillness
of late Monday afternoon,
a pair of ducks the only ripple.

by Margaret Bednar, April 18, 2016

You're Invited to Listen:  https://soundcloud.com/margaret-elizabeth-bednar/lakeside

Pedal Boats
This is linked with "dVerse - Quadrille - 7 "twist"

Also linking with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"

I must beg forgiveness - I have two poetry challenges from last week I need to visit and comment on. I am in the middle of two musical productions - my daughters are in - "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and "Mary Poppins" and this keeps me hopping.    I was able to get out for a three laps around the lake today - and jot down his quick little 44 word poem.  

It also means I have "sole duty" of Oberon, our horse, and I "have to" to get out to the barn and make sure he is brushed (spring is a huge shedding time) and exercised.   "Poor" me.




If I don't find time before this Saturday morning, I will finally be sitting down Saturday morning to visit and comment on all the prompts I have participated in from last week and this week.  I'll enjoy my coffee (I'm trying to give it up during the week) and poetry reading.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Haibun - An Island's Secrets


Ocracoke has secrets.  For those who have time, she may unveil herself slowly while her tide plays with the moon and her sun rises with an avian chorus.  She never expects a routine.  The Algonkin Indians fished and gathered; pirates Vane, Rackham, and Teach rationed, recovered, and rested; a fishing village sprouted.  Now, as then, the estuaries, salt marshes, and grasslands quietly speak, soothe.  Broad-leaved evergreen trees once canopied large swaths, now cool a few paths, share roots with the Tidal Red Cedar and Live Oaks; gnarled, ancient silhouettes that still rest against a horizon far-flung.  My favorite shrub is the Magnolia Virginiana or sweet-bay (some say swamp-bay but that negates the romance).   Ocracoke’s voice today is slowly being eroded by nature, more quickly by man.  Some say one mad hurricane will sweep all away.  Until then, I'll kayak past Teach’s Hole, bask in loblolly pine's leaning shade, walk white-sand beaches wind-swept clean and crisp, tilt my ear for incoming breeze upon heated neck and perhaps capture a few of her blue trembling secrets before my footprints wash away.

Horizon and dune cradle a blue trembling(s)
promise to cleanse secrets and souls


by Margaret Bednar, April 12, 2016


You are Invited to Listen:  https://soundcloud.com/margaret-elizabeth-bednar/haibun-an-islands-secrets


My attempt to fulfill the requirements for "dVerse - Haibun #11" - Reach Out"  \

Also linked up with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"