Browsed by
Month: August 2009

Velma Jean Reeb: Star Dust

Velma Jean Reeb: Star Dust

THE GIFT


My Lord, what a morning,
My Lord, what a morning,
O my Lord, what a morning
When the stars begin to fall.

–Entrance hymn,
(Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine,
Second Sunday after Epiphany,
January 15, 2006)

 

 

After seven years of inter-
stellar wanderings, the spacecraft
that journeyed halfway to Jupiter,
beyond the Earth-Moon Orbit,
came back today.
It bears precious freight—
ageless dust motes, the most
primitive particles in the universe,
gathered from the outer limits—
from the time when there was no time,
when there was universe inchoate—
undifferentiated matter—the becoming thing
that was always there.

It brings nameless particles that existed
eons before our solar system was formed,
before there was water,
before there was earth.  Timeless,
they were there when life was
but a thought in the mind of God.

As the craft approaches atmosphere
crowds gather at the Dougway Proving
Ground in the Utah desert,
their pupils reflecting its … Click to continue . . .

The Bridge of Warnings

The Bridge of Warnings

View from the Island of Kythnos, Greece. Photo by Takeaway
View from the Island of Kythnos, Greece. Photo by Takeaway

I’m thinking about extreme distances tonight. Cosmic, internal, time and space. Before and after, too far to ever really see. And if we stop to feel that distance, we lose. If we stop to wonder about the goal itself and if it cares that we seek it, we lose.

Overcoming that haunting, overcoming that fear of the journey. The fear of, “What if when I get there finally and I . . . . and I’m just there, as I am here?”

I wrote this poem many years ago, and it seems ahead of me now.

 

Straddle the Years Like Blue Light


The hard dream of rain
In the eyes of the wind
Warm wind
Glowing across the green soft grass
Pulling the sea into my eyes

Standing waiting for the smoke to clear
I lean into the breath
Of the sea
Lean into the personal displays
Of weather … Click to continue . . .

Black and White Dreams

Black and White Dreams

The Third Man. Directed by Carol Reed. 1949
The Third Man. Directed by Carol Reed. 1949

 Classic Film Noir does not always give us classic artistic noir. We don’t always get the dramatic chiaroscuro, the brilliant angles, the expressionistic camera-work that makes one think of Kafka as Surrealist painter. In the case of The Third Man, we get the whole enchilada, taut direction, suspense, off-kilter music and off-kilter scenes.

Set in a Post-War Vienna, divided up into four sections of international control, Graham Greene’s story takes us through the city nights and shadows and sharp contrasts, and underneath that night into the sewers. The angles, the distorted streets, the high human shadows launched against old city buildings, sends us deeper into a sinister and absurd realm without mirth. A sort of heart of darkness in the middle of a recently decimated “civilization”.

Joseph Cotten stars as Holly Martins, an American writer of pulp Westerns, who comes to Vienna to look up an old friend, Harry Limes, played … Click to continue . . .

The Divine Invention

The Divine Invention

The Beguiling of Merlin, by Edward Coley Burne-Jones. 1874
The Beguiling of Merlin, by Edward Coley Burne-Jones. 1874

 The truly divine thing is invention, creation, imagination. All religions were created by novelists and poets. That has been on my mind and under my thoughts for decades. It reached the surface again tonight, like the creative process itself. In a rush, a burst, a light coming on against nuanced black. We tell stories. Some of us make stories. Some repeat them. But novelists invent, poets invent. Song-writers invent. They take things from nature and their own lives and think again. They expand from kernels and images they can’t escape. They weave and add new people and make stories for them, too. A world. They build up a world and try to make it cohere.

All religions were created by human beings seeking to tell stories. All religions are beautiful fictions, attempts to get at truths, perhaps higher truths. But the only truths are here, now, on earth. We gaze beyond … Click to continue . . .

To See Through Boundaries

To See Through Boundaries

.No more walls. No more borders. No more signs that say do not go beyond this line. At least I say that inside, again. For the millionth time. Move beyond the borders. Peace will come when they disappear. Peace will come when we don’t feel the need to defend the hut. Peace will come when we see through the propaganda telling us to die for the hut, even though the hut is not threatened. No one is threatening it.

I wrote the following poem in a certain frame of mind that sought no frames. I wrote the following poem because I wanted the page to extend forever. The photo above has borders, but only if we can’t imagine. If we think, those borders are gone. I wrote the following lyric inside a poem inside a thought for the purpose of escape.

 

The Center Everywhere Theory Hits a Snag or two


And he felt or bumped into Things
Saw … Click to continue . . .