The world itself a melody
where every instrument is playing with music
we sing together, we dance together
we laugh together, cry together,
die together, born together,
enjoy the whole item of beauty
with a melody that is going on always among us
proud of our birth
always hand in hand a splash of water
try to fly in the brown sky
time after time
run after the wave of the ocean
we wander on the grass, ponder over things
break the heart again built
all are fixed as if from long day and night
circling the ground there is a harmony
to bend on each other
to cross the unparalleled
beats the drum more loudly
that weaves the heart into melody.
The day the earthquake struck
We danced with the moving earth,
Unaware that a short distance away
Lives were lost,
And the earth tore herself open.
Published at Poet Community
the swirl of today’s news
sitting on my empty
on my lips and on
the roof of my mouth.
An ideal that when tasted
does not blend so well,
overstaying its welcome.
Sucked through a straw,
then spat back out,
better left roadside alone.
God’s Square Mile
I imagined you struck by lightning, paralyzed and hanging in the air or above my bedside
isaiah 58:11 reading beneath you
I wanted to write you into verse psalm after psalm say it back to me echo like Presider: Congregation:
there is nothing like touch in electricity your hands
in water beneath a tall black sky
brushstrokes simmering beneath skin draw me a riverside, blanketed in peaks considering the largeness on each side
and the smallness in the middle
you sheared the plastic off a car door handle with closecut careful nails and murmured “cows” at every intersection whenever they appeared
I Won’t Take Manhattan
Not that Manhattan, the Big Apple, Bright Lights Big City, this is the little apple, dim lights, little city in Kansas.
I ended up there after my third year of a math Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon in Eugene. I didn’t care for Eugene, and I was a poor Ph.D. candidate. When not studying, I spent my time drinking, consuming a controlled substance, getting fat and hanging out with other unmarried male graduate students. It was an unpleasant life of my own making.
My thesis advisor decided to take a job at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. I didn’t think that anyone else in the department would take me as a student, so I decided to go with him despite the Kansas horror stories. Oregon has mountains, trees, lakes and canyons, but Kansas not so much. Another four of his students also followed him.
Marlene Dietrich and Wardal
Maestro Carlo Lizzani & Count Federico Wardal, best cinema & best theatre together
Verdi Masked Ball Royal Opera
Fellini and Wardal
Count Wardal and his favorite mask
Federico Wardal is an Italian playwright, screenplay writer and director and acting instructor. He speaks widely on topics related to human rights and his artistic craft and currently lives in San Francisco.
First off, please introduce yourself! We’ve got an audience from around the world, and not everyone may be familiar with the world of live theater or independent films.
It is not easy to introduce myself as Wardal, as I consider Wardal a “faceted character” due to the influences of the Nobel Prize-winner Pirandello, Einstein and my mentor Federico Fellini.
To be more clear, I could consider [my persona] Wardal an invented imaginary author, arising out of the ideas of the ancient authors from Greece, Pirandello, and his friend Einstein. I love Einstein’s theory of relativity and think Fellini was inspired by Pirandello and Einstein when he created his film “8 1/2.”
From the first time I appeared on the stage as Wardal at the age of 14 years old, my aspect was (and is) an artifact, built up, never natural or simple, and sensational and amazing.
Excerpt from In Hubble’s Shadow by Carol Smallwood.
Spring is the season that brings Midwesterners the most anticipation: the brown to green, the burst of delicate pink and white blossoms on fruit trees, the low dare devil swooping of nesting birds while driving—a welcoming confirmation that we made it through. Even dandelions delight our eyes, scattered replicas of the Sun. The first grass mowing. A celebration as new leaves cover bare limbs to make changing patterns of shade. We open the car windows driving past lilacs.
Citation: Smallwood, Carol, In Hubble’s Shadow
(Brunswick, Maine: Shanti Arts Publishing, 2017). Used with permission of the publisher; www.shantiarts.com
My Parents Were Illegal Irish Immigrants in the United States
Joseph Francis O’Mahony, first row, third from left, circa 1920, age 16, all dressed up and looking older than 16 as a
prisoner of the English on Spike Island a few years before he emigrated to the United States. There he became a
citizen and the judge told him to change his name to Mahoney, a decision he would bemoan like a banshee for years.
Permission to use this photo has been obtained from the Waterford County Museum in Ireland.
In 1920, my father, 16, was a guest of the British government. He was a prisoner of their forces occupying Ireland at the time, a group called the Black and Tans.
One day he and seven other prisoners were brought out of their makeshift cells to dig their own graves in a small walled compound. As tradition would have it, they would be shot into their graves and other prisoners would be brought out to bury them.
By prearranged signal, the eight men dropped their shovels and broke for the wall. Bullets stopped five of them but the other three climbed over the wall and made it through the rural Irish countryside to freedom. One of the escapees eventually went to Australia, another to Canada. My father made it to America.
The story doesn’t end there, of course, and he only told it once. But even if you were only in eighth grade, as I was at the time, it’s not a story you forget.
Hi’story is a fiction false Wolf clothing in Sheep’s Run against the clock Closet in truth that coffin Wonder longer not nine that trumpet Everywhere all tricks of trade An old dog not to be taught A new Shakespeare chance upon Has greatness that Hamlet thrust upon Water no hold, a waterloo Hearing you not that whistle blow? Wicked flee not if Man pursuits it in soul Bacon a foster soul Blessed in disguise Shakespeare Some six fold six plays All sonnets a legacy Art lies in concealing art, irony What Ovid foreseen An answer, no Shakespeare is enigma Hamlet in heavenly procrastination Claudius not upon him avenge Annoyed that man delighted not him Truth untold a broken heart hubris His honest a hideous mirror debris Word play in he a Pete Sampras What a piece of work a man! Philosophy, brother double a mankind Dubbed verses of Denmark Prince Defenceless was he a pseudo Christ Ethos his passivism embodied inaction Pagan he an Achilles no Don Quixote Out of joint time was his revenge With wings as not with swift as meditation Daggers at her Cost a terrible dapper Malleable Mom she frailty not With rotten son adultery not His mother fixation a failed Psycho fancy
Marvels and Terrors
Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca
Reviewed by Christopher Bernard
“In the world there are many terrors and marvels,
but none more marvelous, and more terrifying, than man.”
—Sophocles, from his tragedy Antigone
Noche Flamenca brought its dance version of Sophocles’ famous tragedy to Z Space in San Francisco for an unfortunately short run this February. (Short because, as the result of an injury, the first week of performances had to be cancelled.)
However, the rest of the run remains, and there is still time to see one of the most intense evenings in dance you are likely to see this season.
Sophocles’ searing play touches on some of the profoundest issue of human life: family versus the state, love versus politics, the gods versus man, feminine versus masculine values.
Last week I enjoyed a production of A Thousand Splendid Suns, a stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel by Ursula Rani Sarma and directed by Carey Perloff, at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater.
The title, from a 17th century poem written by Saib-e-Tabrizi as he passed through Afghanistan on his way from Persia to India, celebrates Kabul’s landscape and people.
Taking place over the past forty years of Kabul’s history, the play reveals more of the Afghan nationals’ raw fortitude than the place’s evocative beauty. Yet, the strength and determination of main characters Laila and Mariam becomes its own kind of splendor.