Monday, September 28, 2015


     Kidzu is a children's museum in Chapel Hill that really engages kids.  They need someone on their creative team.  I might apply.  

I have some ideas... 
make a baby beluga and learn the song
tissue art a la Eric Carle.  
Paul Bunyen made of veggies and read the folk tale.  
Make cynotypes out of scrap metal.  
Learn about the Bard of Carolina and read some of his poetry.

Center for Documentary Studies

      Very nice meet-up at the Center for Documentary Studies.  April Walton was there, director for continuing education.  Also Judy Van Wyk, who worked for a production company and has her own company now.  She's working on a film about a family from India.

     Sheila Huggins is an attorney and is involved in the Anytown, USA project.

     I talked about the photographs I did of the Francistown Community outside Richmond.

     Durwood (last name?) works at CDS and did a film last year on David Rubinstein.

     Judy is teaching a class next week.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


I didn't get my son into the preschool we wanted.

We don't have any free range chickens.

Our time-shares are rented for next week-end.

I have too many job offers.

The water in my tub isn't hot enough.

I couldn't find a parking space.

I haven't had a massage in 3 months.

I have a Diet Coke addiction.

I hate rap music.

My best friend says "like" too often,'

I lost my favorite watch today.

We have jet noise in our neighborhood.

I say "shit" too much.

I had to speak to someone with a foreign accent at Sprint today.

I hate New York accents.

I waste too much time

More white people are dying than being born.

To The Last Eastern Couger

Rapidly killed in the 1800's,
their numbers steadily
declined over the next 2000
years until
the final one was sighted
in Kentucky
last week.

Unseen by the hunter 
was the protective band
around the left paw
which was raised before the shot

as if to say good-bye
a gesture of instinct
now extinct

Friday, September 25, 2015



I stood on the ground where 
he stood,
looking at the same
church that he painted.
 painting in my childish way,
believing I cannot paint.

We came early, on a sunlit morning,
my son and I,

to the same field
where Van Gogh painted.
70 paintings in 70 days.

He only worked for 6 years.

To think had he lived to be 80,
the paintings, painting, paintings!

His headstone a short walk away --
 like walking through
a Van Gogh.
We stop there briefly
to read,
"here lies Vincent Van Gogh."

I hear him say,
"You think you cannot paint,
so by all means,
and that voice will be silenced."

Nasher 919

Diving bell or shell?

A piano 
stripped apart
with bent wood
becomes Nautilus.

Reaching for the deepest ocean
capturing our emotion,

neither Disney nor Dali
could have imagined it,
nor fairy tale, folktale, nor fantasy,

only the creator,
the artist,
here at the Nasher's new exhibit.

"Nautilus" by Jeff Bell, Smithfield, NC

Angry Birds

flying in throughout the day,
 echoes rising and falling 
from muted engines 
on their way

to where?

A business meeting,
a funeral,
a family reunion,
or a doctor's appointment,
heart surgery,

a performance,
where do they all go?

Fly, people, fly,

while we on earth

hear the distant thunder of 

"She Dotted Every i" (c)

"She Dotted Every i"

Bartender, Bartender,
bring me another,
I just got back from
the funeral of my mother.

She had worked at the church
rather later that day,
prepared some meals and
loaded them up,
before getting on her way.

But before she could leave,
a stranger appeared.
"Can you help me?" he said.
"I have no where to live."

She called local shelters,
and while her favorite hymn played,
the stranger proceeded
to brandish his blade.

Once, twice, three times, four,
on the fifth attack my mother
fell to the floor.

A random harsh act
on a woman gentle, kind,
Left the community in shock,
the halls of justice, blind.

"She put action into
her hands and her heart.
She made helping others
an objective, an art."

"Yes, she was the best,"
the supervisor replied.
"She crossed every "t"
and dotted every "i."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rubenstein Library

     Yesterday, I took a walk on Duke's West Campus and decided to visit the Rubinstein Library, which recently re-opened after an extensive renovation.  On view is a spectacular exhibit of Sidney Gamble's photographs, taken in China during the early part of the 20th century.

     It was quite an achievement for Duke to acquire this collection.  Apparently, Princeton University, where Mr. Gamble attended, did not express much interest.  Duke reached out and offered to digitize the collection immediately, and the collection's owner donated the collection to the university

    Here is one of my favorite photographs, of ricksas:
"Ricksas on Bund," Sidney Gamble

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lisa Fischer

Lisa Fischer Gives Love to Durham Audience

     A houseful of adoring fans welcomed Lisa Fischer to the Carolina Theater in Durham on September 15th.   The excellent acoustics in the hall created a magical musical evening.

     Ms. Fischer displayed great chemistry with her band, Grand Baton, a powerhouse of three musicians.  “I am so blessed being able to work with them,” she explained to the audience mid-way through her performance.  Guadeloupean JC Maillard, is a composer, pianist, vocalist, and guitarist.  On several songs, he played his Sazbass, an 8 steel-string electroacoustic instrument designed by French luthier, Herve Prudent. 

     Frenchman Thierry Arpino is a graduate of Berklee and played like a master on drums and cymbals.  Several years ago, he accompanied B. B. King at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

     Aidan Carroll accompanied on bass.  Mr. Carroll debuted his first CD in March of this year, “Original Vision.”  With the rest of Grand Baton, he will be part of Ms. Fischer’s current tour through February, 2016.

      While Lisa Fischer may be best known from screaming “RAPE!  MURDERRRR!” with the Stones on Gimme Shelter, in recent years she has included ballads and blues to her repertoire.   For her second song, she chose the great Eric Bibb’s “Don’t Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down” and showed the depth and meaning she can give to the blues.

     Another stunner was “Fever” (Little Willie John), which was delivered with such sultry skill that I thought her mic would melt.  This was followed by “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” a hit by the Rolling Stones, delivered in a slower, thoughtful mood by Ms. Fischer and her band.  She also performed “How Can I Ease the Pain,” which won her a Grammy in 1992 for Best R & B vocal.

     At one point in the evening, a fan shouted out a request, “Baby,” which was not included in the set list.  Ms. Fischer obligingly sang it to her appreciative fans.

     Her encore was the Stones’ “Wild Horses,” which went to the center of her, and everyone else’s soul.

"There are times when it is better to incur loss than to make gain."  -- Plautus

I don't have to win.  The values of kindness and consideration go long and well.

On Losing

"There are times when it is better to incur loss than to make gain."  (Plautus)
I don't have to win.  The values of kindness and consideration wear long and well....

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What Motivates Me

When, with God's help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too. We found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want.
Bill W. wrote that "material values ruled my life for many years. I believed that all of my possessions would make me happy. I found out about a new way of living. As a result of learning to trust others, I began to believe in a power greater than myself. Having faith freed me from the bondage of self. As material gains were replaced by the gifts of the spirit, my life became manageable. I then chose to share my experiences."

Sunday, September 13, 2015

     Lisa Fischer is appearing at the Carolina Theater on Tuesday.  The two time Grammy winner is on tour and heads to Charlotte from Durham.

     While she may be most famous for belting out "RAPE, MURDERRRR!" with the Stones on Gimme Shelter, she also loves ballads.  She says that they give her a chance to interact with the audience.  I think we can expect to hear some of those, along with plenty of rock n' roll.



I love this word.  It sounds happy!     Pertains to a marriage celebration.  Here is the dictionary definition.  Might want to check America Memory also.

Shivaree is the most common American regional form of charivari,a word of French origin meaning "a noisy mock serenade for newlyweds." In thepast, shivarees were given to married couples who were thought to bemismatched or to people whose conduct was considered scandalous. The Frenchterm probably derives from the Late Latin word meaning "headache," carībaria,which in turn is from Greek karēbariā, a compound of karē, "head," and barus,"heavy." English shivaree, most likely borrowed from French traders and settlersalong the Mississippi River, was well established in the United States by 1805.The word shivaree is especially common along and west of the Mississippi River.Its use thus forms a dialect boundary running north-south, dividing western usagefrom eastern. This is unusual in that most dialect boundaries run east-west,dividing the country into northern and southern dialect regions. Some regionalequivalents are belling, used in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, andMichigan; horning, from upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania, and westernNew England; and serenade, a term used chiefly in the South Atlantic states.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Late Summer Rain (c)

Late Summer Rain

Winds shout overhead,

Whistling through wires, rattling the leaves

As an afternoon summer storm

Barely disturbs the birch trees.

They quickly bend up,

Even when boys swing them down.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Education System in Finland

Here's an excellent article about an American teacher's experience in Finland.  So many things are different about Finnish education.  For example, primary teachers must have a Master's and write a Master's thesis.  This gives people a lot of confidence and trust in teacher.

Furthermore, they have a shorter school day, no standardized tests hanging over their heads, and less structure.  The big pay-off is a well educated country.  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Baba Chuck

Baba Chuck

“To understanding the culture, study the dance.
 To understand the dance, study the culture.”     -- Chuck Davis

He recalls Malcolm X putting an arm around
 his shoulders and saying, “young brother,
everything’s going to be all right.”


I am listening!

We listen
and watch
and wait,

for dance to change the world.

Let the dancers bring world peace.

(Poet’s note:  Chuck Davis is the founder of the African American Dance Ensemble of Durham, North Carolina)