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

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bay View, Michigan - Cottage Walk 4

There are so many unique cottages at Bay View, Michigan.  It becomes a challenge to photograph each in an individual way.  I wish I had had more time to play around with this idea - but I will have next summer to try it again.

The following is not as in focus as it should be, but I also like the idea of trying to capture "details" more when I walk around next year.

Friday, August 12, 2011

And Off She Goes...

I really had fun with this portrait of my daughter. (she had her wisdom teeth pulled less than a week ago). She is very artistic and is off to school to learn everything she can about the visual arts.  Such an exciting time.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bay View, Michigan - Cottage Walk 2

Bay View, Michigan - overlooking Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to call this lovely cottage your summertime home?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Magpie Tales #77, "The Date"

Summer Evening Edward Hopper , 1947

The Date

The languid air
contrasted sharply
with my senses

as the glide of his hand
and touch of his knee
finally made me feel

That's what he called me.

Wrapped in a cocoon
of darkness, his urgent whispers
charmed even the stars;

they too dipped and swayed
in rhythm with his
velvety smooth baritone.

His brightly colored hair
beckoned my fingers
like a moth to a flame.

Oh, how my lips did burn!
The stars spun
and time stood still...


Enlightenment did come
by way of the porch light,
flooding us with accusations.

Without a backward glance,
the steps he did hurtle

and I watched him fade
into darkness with
mixed emotions.

The curtained window
drew back together.  I
entered through the back door.

Unable to look at her.
At my sister.

His supposed date.

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

* * * * *

This is for Magpie Tales #77.  Please click and enjoy many other takes on this photo prompt.

Also posting this to the wonderful poetry blog: dVerse - "Open Link Night"  The talent is outstanding and if you want a fun night of poetry reading, please click on the link.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Magpie Tales #76, "The Duel"

Photo by Skip Hunt
The Duel

Like a ballet dancer
it once pirouetted,
spinning with confidence,
the west's swirling symphony
harnessed and tamed.

Like a church steeple
it offered life,
nourishing a body
and soul, silently promised
hope for the tomorrow.

Like the colt 45 and conestoga
it helped settle the west,
expanding dreams far from
the rivers Missouri and Red.

The red man's torment,
a shimmering illusion
of progress, punctured
upon the endless horizon.

Few reside upon a wall
rusting art admired,
reminding one of life sustained
or perhaps skeletal remains.

An old west duel.

Hope and Death
intertwined for eternity.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, August 7, 2011

* * * * *

(8-16-2011) I have entered this in "dVerse Poets: Open Link Night"  My apologies to those who might have already read this... I'm almost done with getting two of my kids off to college... :)  Hope you enjoyed it.

This is for Magpie Tales # 76.  Tess Kincaid has been photographing images of old barns and such - she promises us many more of her own which she has entitled "Abandoned America" and I for one am looking forward to them.  Go to her blog "Life at Willow Manor" and enjoy!  August finds me swamped with back to school and end of summer activities, but I couldn't resist this photo prompt.  I got up extra early this Sunday morning to give it a try.  I am trying EXTRA hard to not spell everything out in my poetry and find more picturesque ways of saying things - not just spelling them out, like I usually do.  There is no rhyming here, or any kind of rhythm.  I hope to find the time to tweak this and maybe have it flow a bit more... but I wanted to squeeze this under the wire for now.

As always, comments AND critiques are always welcomed.  I know that using "Like" is supposedly juvenile, but I thought it worked well here.  What do you think - is it creative or annoying? :)

Petoskey, MI Pier at Night

Petoskey at night is a particularly lovely place to walk - whether it is along the waterfront or down the town's quaint streets and doing some window shopping.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Petoskey, MI from the Breakwall

This is our beloved Petoskey, MI.  It is a place that lives on in one's heart long after the visit - It will always be home.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bay View, Michigan "Cottage Walk" 1

Bay View is a charming Victorian Community Association that has been in operation for 136 seasons.  It overlooks Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan and is only open from May - October.   HERE is further information on this lovely gem.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Petoskey - Photograph #1

I am very busy until the end of August getting children ready for elementary, middle, high school and college!  We have a couple more mini trips to enjoy as well.  The next couple of weeks I would like to share a few photos of our trip to Petoskey and Bay View Michigan.   My hope is to paint these once the kids are back in school.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In Tandem #4, "The Oak Tree"

Art Work Courtesy of Jinsky

The Oak Tree

I searched for arms protective
gallantly, twisted with age,
an old sweet comfort yearned for

to help me whisper goodbye.

The dappled path familiar
I searched for a place
where I once, in secret code

my carved youthful affection.

I searched for meaning
under the once sheltering haven
my hand caressed the life rings.
tragically butchered.

Just like my first love,


With knees aching I stood,
dangling catkins tickled my face
the ground sprinkled with confetti seeds;
and the promise

of new life.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, August 2, 2011

This is for "In Tandem #4".  This also happened to coincide with "Poetry Jam's" theme this week - poems for those who have passed away from us here on this earth.  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sea & Sky - Poem by Will Bednar

This is a photo I took while on vacation (...we still consider it home) in Petoskey, MI.  My son wrote a poem in the dark of night while looking out over this same view of Lake Michigan.  I thought it was beautiful and I hope you enjoy it as well.  I'm linking this poem up with dVerse's "Open Link Night" ... click and enjoy the many talented poets!

Sea & Sky


If I should drape about my shoulders
The ancient, velvet shape of sky,
I'd show you all the shades of stars
And teach you constellations' cries.


Reflect, I would, your shifting grace,
And hold you, whether black or blue,
And on your best and cloudless nights,
Respond with all your solemn hues.


To dare to dance, to bet our lives
While we, the dark horizon host,
To mold that line, our one endeavor
And of our boldest virtues, boast.


So smooth, our sinews intertwine,
Supporting, sifting, sliding back
At midnight hours, free of the sun,
And left to roll in supple black.

By William Bednar, July 2011