Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Inspiration 2 * Sacred Art - The Mandala Experience

Mandala by Charles Gilchrist "The Flower or Life in Nature's First Pattern"

Mandalas are in nature, in experience, inside us. We create our own experience mandalas often without knowing. Artist create concrete mandalas ( sometimes on paper, sometimes in the sand or on the ground) for religious ceremonies and as visual catalysts for meditation and awareness. This poem was written years ago when I was given this Gilchrist mandala as a gift. It hangs on my living room wall. Today it reminds me of the organic nature and mystery of life's experiences. When I look at the mandala, the shapes begin to shift. As they move something happens. It is hard to describe. It is like an invisible oil that greases a wheel getting it to go forward. It is like a hand that comforts. It holds an energy that transforms.


Elizabeth P. Glixman

Shrieking harmonic convergences
unleashing unified fields of hues
He blows light from his hands
to those who can catch
glowering balls
without falling downward
in the after shock of glazed echoes
and the heat of ruby red slippers
sparkling wings filmed by a universal studio
His hair streaked an orange tipped fire frenzy
flails startles sleepy caterpillars
and anyone with curves who desires
the anonymity of smoke.

Feathers flower from his quaking nostrils
They rhumba the rhythm of yahoo
the whipped cream of it all
His percolating ear vibrates to magma moans
a seismic transformation gone wiley
He is a derelict cohabitating with
fruit of the loom cotton that dabs
his burning eyes
Is that why people think he is mad?
Genital seeing is not cognized by many.

At birth painted sounds were in his womb
His knuckles turned red clapping
archetypal images
conjuring prismatic paper multifaceted bells
Templates of ringing wake his third eye
from transcendental sleep
His fingers spin three-dimensional spheres
the free river of refined visual language


One point is the beginning of time
Then there were two and then
there were snowflakes
endless in calligraphic directions.
The words on the pear tree
the vistas
the pavement
ground like mutton

Plato watches the lambs in rubber boots
walking the river of shadows
He outlines the mad man's geometry
the focused eye of his hand
Meticulous mandalas bulls eyes of contemplation
Bravo thinks Plato about the octahedrons
roused in circular heavy weight
bond flames

The first word of God was laughter
He never spelled it phonetically
He let it burst out in a catastrophic hug
He wrapped his insides in spectacular unformed
cobweb fireworks
bringing in diminishing darkness
Dispersed fireflies fondled the
weightless space kissed voracious ambiance
learned to recite
the alphabet in choral repetitions
without a lamp by the bed stand
Forms began


In the age of Kali Yuga
a complete 432,000 years
Destruction is the tune our ancestors
watch and can not vocalize
They are too busy spying


The painter with his stretcher sticks and pliers
pries our minds open
underneath the generic
gravestones of in and out breathe
The acrylic visionary wins
the world series of names
bats the square root of all
He colors the beginning
and ending of God's laughter
with watercolor cubed mandalas
ink stained pyramids
and other shapes
inhabiting his uncluttered mind

The mad man bellows and puffs
He waves his pencils marks
They are freedom flags
wrapped in God's arms
embracing us
Arms as large
as what can never be colored
only in vague nightmares by children
with fat hand chalk.

The man in red tipped hair is mad.
He sees proportions that we can not measure
Rulers we can not name
When a toe crushes the galaxies
we can begin to imagine
God's coat size and the circles of his eyes.

Published in

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I am Inspired by the Beauty of Wolves*Yellowstone Wolves In Danger

35 Years of Rocky Mountain Wolf Conservation on the Line
17 Yellowstone Wolves Killed Already
Open Season on Wolves

As of March 28, 2008, due to the delisting by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies no longer have Endangered Species Act protections.

Learn more

Read our Blog:
My Yellowstone Wolves

More wolves killed 5/2/09. Female Wolves among them. Please go to the Defenders of Wildlife website and read about the inhumane leg hold traps and poisons that the Bush Administration is allowing to be used to kill the Yellowstone Wolves and other wolves in Wyoming. You will also find out how you can help to stop this, if you are interested. Legal action is being taken to halt this unconstructive method of wildlife management.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Favorite Quote About Poetry

"Let us remember... that in the end we go to poetry
for one reason, so that we might more fully inhabit
our lives and the world in which we live them, and
that if we more fully inhabit these things, we might
be less apt to destroy both."

Christian Wiman, Editor

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Familial Relationships,Oy!

People navigate conflicts about closeness and distance and others' weaknesses and strengths in their relationships. In relationships that work each person feels respected and open communication can flow. Sometimes the dynamics get bogged down by individuals who are unable to be honest or healthy in how they deal with others. There can be blame, over use of power, and demeaning words and actions.This happens in all types of relationships. A lot of adult behaviours that bring people happiness as well as misery are rooted in the family and culture of origin.

See what happens when you put an unhappy marriage, an overprotective Jewish mother, a stressed out son, and an emotionally absent father together.
"Why I Learned to go Shopping by Richie Freeman" published in Women in Judaism, Vol 5, No 1 (2007).

As long as I'm talking about relationship here is one writer's view on the
the dynamics of the Obama and Clinton marriages from Slate's First Mate Series.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"Painted Stories From the Dutch"

"Painted Stories from the Dutch" is one of the poems in my chapbook A White Girl Lynching.
I mentioned paintings in the poem by Rembrandt, Vermeer and other masters from the Golden Age of Dutch painting. I am fascinated by 17th century Dutch history.

Here are a few of the paintings and artists I used for inspiration in the poem. The images do not show the quality of light of the paintings and the amazing details of texture. I also did not post any florals or landscapes. They are easy to find by typing Dutch Still Life, Landscapes, or Genre Paintings into an Internet search engine.

Vermeer, Jan
Woman in Blue Reading a Letter
c. 1663-1664
Oil on canvas
46.6 x 39.1 cm (18 11/32 x 15 13/32 in.)
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Vermeer, Jan
The Music Lesson
c. 1662-1665
Oil on canvas
74.6 x 64.1 cm
Royal Collection, St. James' Palace, London

Willem Kalf

photo by guide Linda Garrison


Syndic of the Drapers' Guild


Here are links if you want to learn more about this period in history.