Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Barn Charm #70, and a Poem "The Tobacco Farmers"

These two photos are for "Barn Charm #70".  I assume they are both old tobacco barns as they stand in a field that used to yield the crop.  These relics are tucked away in numerous places, some overgrown with brush, others given much TLC and charmingly grace the roadside. 

I have posted the barn below before in the fall.  The poem below I posted for "Poetry Jam" about a month ago - the photo was a prompt suggested for the theme "Laugh in the Face of Everything".  I posted it here as I thought it went well with the theme.

The Tobacco Farmers

Back in the day
he was a dashing young man, 
and I a country girl, willowy and strong,
both of us full of zest and glee,
first generation polish stock, we.
Toiled side by side, 
he decapitating flowers and
suckers stalk after stalk, 
stooped, sometimes crawling
between row upon row 
of never-ending filth.
I hoed and hoed, black
calloused hands better than gloves.
Every hour or so, his glance, a smile
would lighten my load.
Mid morning break, 8:45, 
already exhausted
somehow kept going 'till high noon
clothes soaked through,
we’d lean our backs 
against solitary bleached barn.
Oh, the blessed shade, our haven 
in the middle of hell
and we’d consider ourselves lucky
if a snake sighted, the bigger
the better, for we felt reassured
the monstrous rats would be
held at bay for another day.
And so precious minutes, we rested
hands tingling, swollen
blisters burst, pink, tender
skin didn’t stand a chance 
of ever remaining baby soft.
Back into the field, 
never enough water
to quench our thirst
often feeling dizzy and nauseous,
flamethrower upon our backs. 
Times were tough
possessions few,
but my Matka she tell us
“Enjoy this freedom” 
and so we did
dignity, self respect, and laughter
filled all our days.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 12, 2012

* * * * *
Farm Security Admin.,  Jack Delano, photographer

Sunday, January 29, 2012

dVerse Poetics - Undercurrents - "I See Her"

I See Her

I'm one among many,
elementary school auditorium
squeezed in tightly
beaming with anticipation
lights dim, room hushes

voices ring out
try to harmonize center-stage
the loudest note, off key
as young warblers part
for my daughter's solo.

The crowd fades as I
sit transfixed
as the soft light

her angled cheeks
and full lips
dances down her lithe form
fingertip to toe, arabesque
silhouetting her figure,
more hour-glass than boxy

as she sings, soprano
of love flirtatious
exuding confidence

and then
she blends back in
harmonizing with the other children

and I see her as if for the first time
still beaming, but now
with a tear in my eye.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 29, 2012

* * * * *
This is for dVerse Poetics - "Undercurrents" is the topic today, hosted by ManicDDaily.  As I understand the challenge, it is the capturing of layers of a moment or experience.  I worked until late last night on this prompt and wasn't happy with numerous attempts, finally just deleting them!  I even searched my archives (hoping to be able to cheat a bit) but I found that I haven't really written in this very personal style.

So, I went with the most recent event, a musical revue I attended last night put on by my 8th grade daughter's elementary school (4th graders - 8th graders).  It is my understanding that the "meaning" is supposed to be hinted at, not actually stated... something I struggle with in my poetry all the time.

I hope I achieved this moment when a mother realizes her daughter is no longer a little girl (by hinting at it, not saying).

Also linked with Imaginary Garden with Real Toads "Open Link Night"

IGWRT's Weekend Photo Challenge - "If Stones Could Speak"

Photo Courtesy of Daryl Edelstein
If Stones Could Speak

Tilting stones,
weatherworn and weary

if you could speak
what would you say

of names faintly etched
upon your side?

Would you sing, reverently
of those resting below,

or stammer ill
of life wasted,

or worse, remain silent
unable to recall?

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 29, 2012

* * * * *

This is for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads "Weekend Photo Challenge". The guest photographer is Daryl Edelstein.  She has two fun blogs to take a look at 1) out & about in new york city and 2) Through my eyes.  

Friday, January 27, 2012

Photo Art Friday - "Two Eyes"

This is linked to Photo Art Friday were so many wonderfully creative images can be found.  This is my very simplistic submission... No textures, as I still need to learn them.  I just darkened the image through PhotoShop and played up the shadows in B&W.   

IGWRT's - Mary's Mixed Bag - "The Game"

Photo courtesy of Google Images
The Game

As you look her way,
admire her curves,
her laugh,

the old game begins.

I hide quivering lips,
flushed cheeks,
unshed tears
behind a painted mask
unspoken words understood:

"I bought absolution
with a 10 carat ring
upon your finger
to love and cherish

whom I please."

You thrust a bourbon
into my hand, whisper
"You need the burn".

You are right,
but I need three
before vindictiveness
replaces vulnerability.

Pressing my body
towards another,
I find security
laughing as I twist
your cold love
around my finger
and think

"You'll never part
with your true passion!


by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 27, 2012

* * * * *

This poem has been rewritten (HERE is the original) for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads "Mary's Mixed Bag".  The challenge is to write conversation into a poem.  I hope a conversation with oneself works for this prompt.  Pondering this challenge I recalled a true relationship - a woman I knew who turned a blind eye to her rich husband's vert public philandering.  She KNEW, but didn't want to give up the lifestyle...  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

IGWRT's Wednesday Challenge - "Endure" & Friday Flash 55 "The Ocean"

For "Mr. Know-it-All" two Friday Flash 55's this week!


My world often tilts
out of control.

"Endure", whispers Granny
willing me strength.

The next time

I'll grasp hold
of branches bent low

fall, roll
with the hedge apple,
thorns and lances

swirl, spin
upon Red River's current

or arch through time,
flung skyward
by tree's nimble bow,
and soar

towards a future,

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 26, 2012

* * * * *

This is my contribution to Imaginary Garden with Real Toad's "Wednesday Challenge" prompt, which is to write a "futuristic" poem.  This first brought to mind space ships and aliens, but I decided to try to use my photos from my recent walk to "Tannenbaum Historical Park".  The portrait and hanging fruit photos are from two years ago.

I am not sure if I truly did a futuristic poem.  Is longing for the future enough to make it so?  It seemed to me that poet Nazim Hikmet did this - wrote about a better future.  Click on IGWRT's link to read about him.  

If you would like to know more about this intriguingly hardy fruit tree (Hedge Apple or Osage Orange), click HERE.  This unique fruit is most bountiful in Oklahoma and Texas along the Red River.  The Osae used it's strong, pliant branches for bows and the settlers often used it for a "living" fence.  It must be carefully maintained (trimmed) or it's fruit and thorns will overtake an area.

* * * * *

The following image and poem I wrote for a Poetry Jam prompt (topic: sensual) and reposted here for  Mr. Know-it-All's "Friday Flash 55" - a non-fiction story in 55 words, no more, no less (I will link up Thursday after 8pm)

The Ocean

Sinewy arms, pail laden
I sleepwalk towards the barn.
Nature's morning breath
moistly kissing me awake

from a dream
I'm unwilling to release...

   like sandpaper
   against my flesh
   his memory,
   passion aroused,
   long buried
   tickle my ear,
   needs whispered,
   upon my tongue
   his saltiness...

a single tear

joining an ocean of regret.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 25, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Watery Wednesday #170 - "Marooned?"

I drove by this tiny "island" in the early morning and agonized because I couldn't stop.  Fortunately the fog lasted a bit and on the way home I captured this gaggle of geese.  I have linked up with "Watery Wednesday #170".

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Barn Charm, dVerse - "The Battlefield at Hoskin's Farm", Haiku Wednesday, Poetry Jam "The Ocean"

My Poem for Sensational Haiku Wednesday and another for Poetry Jam are at the bottom of this post

Tannenbaum Historical Park is located in Greensboro, NC and is the site of Joseph Hoskins farm settled as early as 1781.  Hoskin's Pennsylvania farm (near Valley Forge) and family had been devastated by the Revolutionary War.  He relocated his family to a remote area in North Carolina and cleared the land for harvesting crops and warded off occasional threats from the Cherokee.  By 1781 he had 150 acres with fields, gardens and split rail zigzag fences. It was a foggy morning and I think it lends a bit of nostalgia to the photos which is appropriate for this setting.

This peace was disturbed by the American and British armies as they swept through and eventually engaged in direct battle Haskin's farmland - he just couldn't get away from the fighting! The above foreground building is a relocated tobacco barn and is set up as an early American kitchen.  The photo below is the Hoskin's house constructed between 1811-1813 and it was lived in until 1925.

Joseph Hoskins bought his 150-acre farmstead for £200 “Current money of the State of North Carolina” in May 1778. Not much is known about the property and how it was utilized after Hoskins purchased it, but his will indicates some of the activities that took place on the farm.

When Hoskins died in 1799, he left three horses, two cows, five head of sheep, 250 acres, and a variety of personal and household items to his wife Hannah and to his four sons and four daughters. To his wife he gave the “use and profits of the plantation whereon I now live,” but instructed her “not to sell or dispose of the timber except what is necessary for the use of the hous and plantation.” Choosing not to name a specific heir, Hoskins left all the “farming utentials” for the general good of the plantation.  

(I grabbed the above two paragraphs from HERE.)

Today, people walk and jog along this and the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park which are connected.

These barn images, specifically the last one, are for "Barn Charm #69".  This is called a double pen barn.

* * * * *
Below is my poem for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Personal Challenge 7"  If you want the details, please click on link.  Basically a series of haiku, (no less than 3, no more than 7) These are not traditional haiku, I'm sure, but I tried to hint at a season in all but one as I think that element is supposed to be there... I'm not sure.  These "haiku", I'm sure, are non-traditional.  I don't think one is supposed to put a title to a Haiku either, but I did ;)

I also linked the poem up with "dVerse - Open Link Night"

The Battlefield at Hoskin's Farm

Flaming  chokeberry
reminiscent of spilt blood
of life, sacrificed

Silent sounds linger
float, upon thick morning's mist
of life, hovering

Milking seats, wheels, troughs
idle, harvesting cobwebs
of life, remembered

Light of faith, guiding
our presence out of darkness
along forebear's path

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 24, 2012

The last Haiku is specifically linked to "Sensational Haiku Wednesday" and I hope it makes sense in this series of related Haiku's.  The prompt is "Silhouette" and I hope I can allude to the word and not have to use it.  This photo was taken at the Tannenbaum Historical Park over a year ago, but the sense of history, the sense of those who have come before certainly are felt here, at least by me.   

And the following image and poem are for Poetry Jam - topic this week - sensual poems AND Mr. Know-it-All's "Friday Flash 55" - a non-fiction story in 55 words, no more, no less (I will link up Thursday after 8pm)

The Ocean

Sinewy arms, pail laden
I sleepwalk towards the barn.
Nature's morning breath
moistly kissing me awake

from a dream
I'm unwilling to release...

   like sandpaper
   against my flesh
   his memory,
   passion aroused,
   long buried
   tickle my ear,
   needs whispered,
   upon my tongue
   his saltiness...

a single tear

joining an ocean of regret.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 25, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Magpie Tales #101, "The Offering"

The original photo prompt was an exhibit from Boris Hoppek's Tokyo exhibit "Ever'.  Please click HERE to see the photo.  The other photo was a photo of sushi. 

The Offering

A touch of Japanese culture offered
upon bed of fluffy white, pink meat served raw,
pleasing to the eye, the tongue.

Upon a sweet mattress of silk,
freshly dressed in nature's best,
arched and waiting for your touch...

If I were the delicacy, would you attempt a taste?

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 23, 2012

* * * * *

This is for "Magpie Tales #101".  Hop on over and enjoy amazing poetry to the above photo prompt!  The original photo prompt was

Also linked this with Imaginary Garden with Real Toads "Open Link Monday"

This provocative photo almost did me in!  I had no idea what to write until I stumbled upon a fun new poetry form called "Sevenling".   Grace of "Everyday Amazing" introduced it to me.  It is a form of seven lines, first three should be an element of three, second set of three should be another element of three, connected directly or indirectly, or not at all.  The seventh line should act as a narrative summary or punchline.  Click on over via the link to get a more in-depth description.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Photography Challenge - "Surrender"


Amongst hydrangeas
whose bloom will blush
baby blue come spring
I linger, solitaire.  Silently
observe life rush by
on bicycles and Nike clad feet.

Like incense 
wafting from an altar
peace and harmony 
chirp a soothing song
nestled within mighty oak's embrace.

This tranquil bouquet
I inhale deeply
allow it to seep
into seasoned frame.

Surrender to my charm, will you?
Enjoy this day, this moment?

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 21, 2012

This is for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads "Photography Challenge".  Today I AM the featured photographer.  How about that!  I have made available any and all of my photos, so click on over and see what these super creative and talented people do with my images!  :)

An old poem of mine is featured, but since we are supposed to submit NEW material, I came up with this short poem from a recent walk I took.  Benches always attract my eye, but not usually my seat as I usually walking three dogs plus children. Sigh, I will surrender some day to their charm, though.  

My love affair with Marilyn, the Church Lady & Helga

My husband has channeled Marilyn Monroe (that was a "vision"), The Church Lady, Helga the East German Olympic Swimmer (yes, he wears a woman's swim suit), and a few others in the past. Currently he is Sr. Robert Anne in "Nunsense Amen.

Capturing moments in a theatrical production is really quite hard as the action does NOT stop and I often find myself thinking of the shot I missed.  I do not use a flash as that disturbs the actors on stage.  I often have to attend two rehearsals and get the "shot I missed".  These are of my husband...

Sr. Robert Anne is from the Bronx and "she" for a bit of the spotlight during their fundraiser.  Below is his impression of Marlene Dietrich from "Sunset Blvd."

The rest are of the amazing cast.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Poetry Jam - "A Summer's Breeze" & Friday Flash 55 "With Eyes Closed"

(Friday Flash 55 is at the bottom - a condensed version of the longer poem at the top)

A Summer's Breeze

A white tail of surrender
straight and proud
meanders towards
our alfalfa sanctuary

temporarily turned
battleground by invading
metallic blue warriors
swiftly swooping, squawking

fading into silence

as my battle weary confidant retreats
into our swaying sun-filled bulwark,
harmlessly kneading, purring
offering comfort, if not protection

as I turn pages of romance,
intrigue and adventure.
Beyond fortified walls of summertime's idle
scratching chickens, snorting horses, barking dogs

signal all is well.

* * * * *

This security I hold dear,
when with eyes closed, I can go home again
where hours were measured in pages read
and purple clover eaten,

where time was simple
under a precious blanket of blue.
A balm nourishing me still
often arriving

upon a wisp of a warm, gentle breeze.

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 18, 2012

This is in response to a poetry prompt from "Poetry Jam".  This prompt is an effort to counter Thomas Wolfes book entitled "You Can't Go Home Again" with the train of thought that, yes, one can go home again!   We were to return to our childhood home in some way and write of our experience.

My white cat, Casper, was my dear friend and enjoyed laying around with books as much as I did.  Whether walking to the barn or the mailbox, barn swallows often followed us, swooping down at my cat and taunting him.  He learned to ignore them for the most part, offering an occasional longing glance their way.   My summers were filled with the out of doors, seldom was I in the house.

* * * * *

And here is a "Friday Flash 55 for Mr. Know It All" (I will link up after 8pm tonight) of the above poem.  Editing (cutting) words is painfully hard for me - I want to cling to my excessive wordiness and often I think the shortened versions are better (after I recover from "letting go").

With eyes closed

Upon a wisp of a warm, gentle breeze
I close my eyes and find
I can go home again,

my battle-weary warrior
curled beside me
his metallic blue adversaries
swooping, squawking

fading into silence.

Where hours were measured
in pages read
and time ticking
was a swaying hammock
under a precious blanket of blue.

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 19, 2012

Photo from Google Images

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." a poem

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther planted a freedom tree
He envisioned it laden with ripe fruit
To help us reach a peaceful destiny

Branches of hope, courage, and dignity
Prayerful a perfect harvest could take root
Martin Luther planted a freedom tree

To gather as "A single garment", key
Life as interrelated; our pursuit
To help us reach a peaceful destiny

Hard work and sacrifice a certainty
Believing the dream; a difficult route
Martin Luther planted a freedom tree

"Determined courage", a must we agree
"Urgency" with one voice we must recruit
To help us reach a peaceful destiny

A better world Dr. King did foresee
Watering and nurturing, our salute
Martin Luther planted a freedom tree
To help us reach a peaceful destiny

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 2011

* * * * *

I thought it would be fun to go back a whole year and see what I was doing.  The above poem (a villanelle) was originally written for "One Stop Poetry" and is inspired by quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

This is linked with "dVerse Poet's Pub - Open Link Night, Week #27"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Barn Charm

I know I have shared this cute little guy before, but I don't think I have shared this particular photo with the barn in the background.  This is linked up with "Barn Charm" and most likely "Friday Fences".  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Magpie Tales #100 - "Amour"

sculpture: Jason deCaires Taylor

Illicit kisses
and passionate song
fill our nights

as we drown
in a seemingly endless
champagne ocean
of bubbles

senses intoxicated

until morning's light
spirits you away

leaving me gasping
for more.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 15, 2012

* * * * *

This is linked to Magpie Tales #100.  Come join the fun and create a poem or short vignette for the above photo prompt or just read the awesome responses by clicking on the link.

Also linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Open Link Night"

Let's Go For a Walk #2

I had so much to do today, but how in the world can I say "No" to a face like this.  So, laundry and house chores waited as I took him on a walk to one of our many beautiful parks.  I have linked my "big love of a dog" up with this week's  "Creative Exchange".