Poetry and Photography

Death of a Dancer

Death of a Dancer, Collage. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Death of a Dancer, Collage. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

“…Let her finish her dance,

Let her finish her dance.

Ah, dancer, ah, sweet dancer!”

William Butler Yeats, 1865-1939

 

Some image details…

–Pieces of several mannequins were found scattered in front of a clothing store that was under renovation in Mendoza’s busy-bee city center.

–Ideas began to swirl in my brain as I made various captures from different perspectives.

–Some initial basic corrections in Lightroom: contrast, highlights, shadows, clarity, sharpening, etc.

–In Photoshop: slight cropping, some cloning to remove a couple of distractions.

–B&W conversions with Google’s Silver Efex Pro, then back to Photoshop for the layering.

–Layering in PS: Played a lot with the placement of the three images within one another as well as the opacity of each layer.

–Camera: Sony RX100iv. Awesome little street camera–although the files don’t have near the adjustability of my Nikon D800 files (of course!) they are still pretty darn good coming from such a small package.

–To be printed at 18 x 12 inches on 19×13 Exhibition Fiber paper.

November Colors

November colors are different from the more famous and splendid colors you’ll see at the peak of the autumn season when the trees are flush. November colors are more faded, muted. Many of the trees are now bare, although a few leaves do manage to hang on to the cold, dark, limbs of a few of the chosen.

Perhaps there is even an impending storm in the distance, harbinger of deep powder snows in the high country and heavy, wet, snows on the plains.

The landscape is in its annual transition from life to death–or at least in its cyclical move to a state of suspended animation, hibernation, and static Rip Van Winkle slumber. There is a nostalgia in the air of events and friends gone by. The Sun is low, the shadows long.

Yes, the promise of another coming spring, a new beginning, seems as distant as the unseen comet.

 

Autumn Song    by Sarojini Naidu

 

Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow,
The sunset hangs on a cloud;
A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,
The wild wind blows in a cloud.Hark to a voice that is calling
To my heart in the voice of the wind:
My heart is weary and sad and alone,
For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone,
And why should I stay behind?

 

A Sawhill Pond November, #7. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
A Sawhill Pond November, #7. Boulder, Colorado, 2015

 

A Sawhill Pond November, #9. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
A Sawhill Pond November, #9. Boulder, Colorado, 2015

 

A Sawhill Pond November, #12. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
A Sawhill Pond November, #12. Boulder, Colorado, 2015

 

A Sawhill Pond November, #13. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
A Sawhill Pond November, #13. Boulder, Colorado, 2015

The Cow Jumped Over the Moon

A Crescent Moon. From Mt. Massive, Colorado, 2014
A Crescent Moon. From Mt. Massive, Colorado, 2014

And left a HUGE vapor trail!

The old English nursery rhyme…

Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon.
The little Dog laughed,
To see such sport,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.

 

Then there is Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf Islam)…

The lyrics:

Yes, I’m bein’ followed by a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow

And if I ever lose my hands
Lose my power, lose my land
Oh, if I ever lose my hands
Ooh, I won’t have to work no more

And if I ever lose my eyes
If my colors all run dry
Yes, if I ever lose my eyes
Ooh, I won’t have to cry no more

Yes, I’m bein’ followed by a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow

And if I ever lose my legs
I won’t moan and I won’t beg
Oh, if I ever lose my legs
Ooh, I won’t have to walk no more

And if I ever lose my mouth
All my teeth north and south
Yes, if I ever lose my mouth
Ooh, I won’t have to talk

“Did it take long to find me?”
I asked the faithful light
“Oh, did it take long to find me
And are you gonna stay the night?”

I’m bein’ followed by a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow
Leapin’ und hoppin’ on a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow

Moon shadow, moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow

Call of the Wild Mountain

Pinnacle Sunburst. Sawtooth, Colorado, 2014
Pinnacle Sunburst. Sawtooth, Colorado, 2014

The mountain sat upon the plain
In his eternal chair,
His observation omnifold,
His inquest everywhere.

The seasons prayed around his knees,
Like children round a sire:
Grandfather of the days is he,
Of dawn the ancestor.

The Mountain, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886

But…maybe Emily had it all wrong. Maybe its “her” and “grandmother”. As in the Pachamama.

Eldorado & Poe

Water #8. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014
Water #8. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014

The genius writer died under somewhat mysterious circumstances at an early age. Disease? Drunk? Drugged? Epilepsy? Diabetes? Syphilis? Rabies? Cholera?

Theories abound.

Luckily for history, and of interest to us “painters with light”, his portrait was made just a month or so prior to his death by the famous Civil War photographer, Mathew B. Brady. (See the April 30, 2014 “Photographer Spotlight”.)

Eldorado

By Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

 

Gaily bedight,

A gallant knight,

In sunshine and in shadow,

Had journeyed long,

Singing a song,

In search of Eldorado.

 

But he grew old–

This knight so bold–

And o’er his heart a shadow–

Fell as he found

No spot of ground

That looked like Eldorado.

 

And, as his strength

Failed him at length,

He met a pilgrim shadow–

‘Shadow,’ said he,

‘Where can it be–

This land of Eldorado?’

 

‘Over the Mountains

Of the Moon,

Down the Valley of the Shadow,

Ride, boldly ride,’

The shade replied,–

‘If you seek for Eldorado!’

 

Recent images from Eldorado Springs Canyon…

Water #11. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014
Water #11. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014
Trees. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014
Trees. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014
Water #10. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014
Water #10. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014
Water #6. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014
Water #6. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014
Water #4. Eldorado Springs Canyon, 2014
Water #4. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2014

The One Room Schoolhouse

The Old School in Fog #1. Near Delta, Utah, 2013
The Old School in Fog #1. Near Delta, Utah, 2013

Memories (Of A One Room School House), by Mary L. Ireton

If you listen very carefully

I’m sure that you can hear,

the shuffling of many footsteps

in the school house standing near.

 

The call to attention by the teacher,

the clatter of lunch pails put on shelves,

the pledge of allegiance to the flag,

the singing of a song – not too well.

 

The learning of the three “R’s” with time left,

of course to tease, putting pigtails in the ink well

while hoping teacher doesn’t see.

 

Shouts of laughter on the playground,

echo down through many years,

standing empty in the shadows is the school I love so dear.

 

Well worn steps embrace the doorway,

the bell in the belfry still hangs high,

the old well pump, though rusty,

stands in the weeds near by.

 

The paint has peeled from the clapboards revealing scars

of yesteryear makes me think of all my schoolmates,

and I wish that they were here.

 

(Courtesy of poemhunter.com)

A Solitary Tree

Outcast #2. RMNP, Colorado, 2013
Outcast #2. RMNP, Colorado, 2013

 

Like a Solitary Tree   by Allen a Dale

Alone, amidst the silent murk it stands;
apart from others; different yet the same.
What quirk of fate has placed it on this strand,
to dwell in solitude and not declaim?

Yet proclamation of the fire within
is evident in bold and brilliant flame.
The grandeur of its boughs to kith and kin
display the beauty of its makers name.

Like it, each man and woman has a call;
though often in obscurity they dwell;
to stand above life’s often stormy squall
and demonstrate a faithful life lived well.

No matter what your circumstance may be;
stand steady like a solitary tree.