Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Jutta Pryor's 'Nailing Remembrance.... (Filmpoem)

Take six minutes from your day to view Jutta Pryor's beautiful film of poet Farkhonda Akbar's "Nailing Remembrance". Music and sound production are by Lisa Greenaway.

Akbar is a Ph.D. candidate in diplomacy, international politics, and strategic studies at Australian National University. She is a member of the Hazara ethnic group in Afghanistan.

My thanks to Dave Bonta at Moving Poems for posting this excellent film.

Jutta Pryor on FaceBook

Jutta Pryor at Vimeo

Farkhonda Akbar on Twitter

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Thought for the Day

Solace is the beautiful, imaginative home we make
where disappointment can go to be rehabilitated.
~ David Whyte

Quoted from David Whyte, Consolations (Many Rivers Press, 2015), page 217

David Whyte, Poet, Author, Speaker, Organizational Thinker

David Whyte TED Talk ("A Lyrical Bridge Between Past, Present and Future", 2017)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's Saturday Short presents the trailer for Nowhere to Hide (2016), a documentary by Zaradasht Ahmed that details the Iraq War and its effects on Nori Sharif, a nurse, and his family. In Arabic with English subtitles, the film was the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2016 IDFA Winner for Best Feature-Length Documentary, the 2017 Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking, and the 2017 Best Documentary Award of the One World Human Rights Festival. 

Read Hoshang Waziri's article "Iraq & the Wounds That Never Heal" at New York Review of Books Daily, February 9, 2018.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Because they died of cold . . . (Poem)

I wrote the poem that follows a few days after the news article referenced was published. The story was, and remains, haunting. Because those who died deserve to be remembered.

The piece, sourced in the headlined article, can be read as two poems that ultimately come together. 


Because they died of cold . . .

Frozen on a snowy mountain
How 7 years of war ended for 15 Syrian refugees
~ The Washington Post, February 6, 2018

Because they wanted only to escape

               The elderly were the first to fall.

And could not go by sea.

               The ground was hard.

Because they were a mother, sister, wife

               The guide moved on,

Three daughters and a son

               His journey seven hours from Jdaidit Yabws.

Grandchildren, nieces, a sister-in-law

          Their price, per person: paid.

Because the mountain lifted before them.

               The women, behind, tired.

Because they wore plastic sandals

               The children did not keep up,

Because Lebanon meant more than risk

               Lay down in wind and cold—

Disguised as death's own face.

               A bush of thorns one's bed.

                       A cot of snow another's cover.

Because Shihab slipped and cracked his ribs

               Sarah, 3, in his arms—

And Beshayer slept, her cheek frostbitten

               Life-less? He could not say.

Because the bottom of the mountain was far

          The miracle and the milestone: Some of them lived.

Because this is a story of fifteen Syrians

          Out of hundreds of thousands gone unnamed

Let us call them Hasba, Mishan, Abu Hashish, Yasser, Abed

          Amal, Mohammed, Goufran, Hanan.

2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Thought for the Day

Love isn't a perfect state of caring. It's an active noun
like 'struggle.' To love someone is to strive to accept
that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.
~ Fred Rogers 

Quoted from Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers (Hachette Books, 2003)

Fred Rogers (a.k.a. Mister Rogers) (1928-2003), Children's Television Personality, Musician, Puppeteer, Writer, Producer, Presbyterian Minister

Jonathan Merritt, "Saint Fred", The Atlantic, November 22, 2015

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, a documentary on the PBS American Masters' "Thirteen" series. Directed by Tracy Heather Strain, the documentary premiered January 19, 2018.

The African-American playwright, journalist, and activist Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) is most famous for A Raisin in the Sun, which opened on Broadway in 1959.

Read Chris Jones, "'My Name Is Lorraine Hansberry': New PBS Documentary Tells Her Story", Chicago Tribune, January 18, 2018.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Wolf Kahn, High Pink Sky, 2016
Oil on Canvas, 52" x 52"
© Copyright Wolf Kahn
Courtesy of the Artist and Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe


I am privileged today to showcase the internationally known painter Wolf Kahn and his work in my new Artist Watch feature at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life.

Once a student and studio assistant of Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), Wolf Kahn lives and works in New York City and Brattleboro, Vermont, when he is not traveling the world to create his atmospheric and vividly colorful landscapes.

Today's Artist Watch column includes seven images of Wolf Kahn's beautiful watercolors from his November-December 2017 exhibition at his gallery Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe in New York City, a biography, a brief statement about his work, and the artist's Website and gallery representative.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Poem for Lent

Not only is today Valentine's Day (see the poem preceding this post); it also is Ash Wednesday. Below is a poem I first posted in February 2010. I think it's worthy of reprise during Lent.

Passing Time in Lent

If you have never made offense,
whose gospel do you follow?

If you have never gospel followed,
to whose arms do you run to escape the sin?

If you have never smudged the ash,
for whose sins must you be sorry?

If you have never felt too full,
where do you create the space inside?

If you have never denied your want,
how do you know how hunger feels?

If you have never given up,
how do you learn to receive?

If you have never crossed the desert,
by what clock do you watch sun rise and fall?

If you have never offered your table,
what claim do you make on feast prepared?

If you have never consumed the bread,
at whose altar do you sacrifice?

If you have never sat with emptiness,
out of what do you fashion your hope?

If you have never done the mourning,
what sign do you accept it's spring?

If you have never seen spring light,
from whom did you learn to sing?

© 2009-2018, Maureen E. Doallas

Some of my other Ash Wednesday poems:

"Prayer for Ash Wednesday" (March 9, 2011) 

"Ash Wednesday" (February 17, 2010) 

Hush. . . Stay. . .Go (Poem for Valentine's Day)

Hush . . . Stay . . . Go

The lone rose of your breath
on my cheek rests lightly,

like some mid-winter silence
in the small hours before

your sweet complaint has
turned to fire. The taste

of you — a hush from far
away — is magic, a song lifting

a heavy web of dews from
mouths of milk-white blossoms.

You learn my real dwelling
has no pillars, and flower.

© 2018 Maureen E. Doallas

Image: Free Clip Art

This poem is sourced in the "Top 10 Dip Into Poetry Lines", a random selection of the words proving perfect for creation of a love poem.

Some of My Other Valentine's Day Poems:

"Hard Kiss" (February 14, 2017)

"Hershey's Got No Baby Ruth" (February 10, 2015)

"Sweethearts" (February 14, 2013)

"Finding Love Within 18 Miles" (February 14, 2010)


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Eleventh of January (Poem)

The Eleventh of January

They place you on your side,
intending to relieve your pain,
its source wanting to be found.

Already, you have been in hospital
more than ten days, the pain sharp
like the edges of each broken bone

in your spine. They find the tear,
an obstruction, note the swell
of your abdomen (like your belly

must've been when you were child-
bearing). They administer morphine,
Butran, so many other drugs —

those names I can't remember —
doses always at maximum levels.
You reach far into your memory

bank, chatter on end without sleep.
They call it hospital delirium,
let it run its course — as it does

before sleep slips into your room.
They review your DNR order,
make clear that surgery is not

an option, inform your daughters
the end of your stay draws near.
We consider the few possibilities,

agree on what's needed that is
not enough. By day 15 you are
anchored for a move, not the last

you will make, your future without
date certain until that morning
beginning the eleventh of January.

© 2018 Maureen E. Doallas

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Thought for the Day

. . . All great artists must be able to create a machine
that can make things that they cannot predict. . . .
~ Jerry Saltz on Artist Philip Guston

Quoted from Jerry Saltz, "How Philip Guston, America's Great Painter of the Night, Completely Reinvented the Sublime", Vulture, May 24, 2016 (The article also can be found in New York Magazine, May 30, 2016.)

Jerry Saltz, Senior Art Critic/Columnist, New York Magazine

Philip Guston (1913-1980), Painter and Printmaker

Philip Guston at The Art Story

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday Short

Yayoi Kusama 
Photo Credit: Harrie Verstappen

Today's Saturday Short introduces Heather Lenz, director, screenwriter, and co-producer of the documentary Kusama - Infinity (Tokyo Lee Productions, 2018), who talks briefly about her film, which premiered in the documentary competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The 80-minute feature, in Japanese with English subtitles, was produced by Lenz, Karen Johnson, Dan Braun, and David Koh. It will be released this year.

Artist Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), who voluntarily lives in a mental institution in Japan, is known for her soft sculptures and polka-dot creations and only now is receiving a level of attention denied her for much of her life. Her work, including paintings, works on paper, sculptures, installations,  and performance art, has been exhibited in numerous galleries and many museums, among them the Tate Modern in London ("Yayoi Kusama", February 9 - June 5, 2012), the Museum of Modern Art ("Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama 1958-1968", July 9 - October 6, 1998) and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City ("Yayoi Kusama", July 12 - September 30, 2012), and at The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. ("Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirror Rooms", February 23 - May 14, 2017). The exhibition "Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors" can be seen through May 27, 2018, in Ontario, Canada, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The inaugural exhibition at the Yayoi Kusama Museum, Tokyo, "Creation is a Solitary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art", is on view through February 25.

Kusama Infinity on FaceBook

Yayoi Kusama Website 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Thought for the Day

What we were at the beginning is only a vague patch
of colour contemplated from the edge of what we have become.
~ Elena Ferrante

Quoted from "Elena Ferrante: 'I loved that boy to the point where I felt close to fainting'" (First of Weekly Series), The Guardian, January 20, 2018

Elena Ferrante, Novelist, Author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa 2005), Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008), and Neapolitan Quartet* (Europa Editions, 2012-2015); Nonfiction Writer, Frantumaglia: A Writer's Journey; Children's Book Author, The Beach at Night

* The Neapolitan Quartet comprises My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's Saturday Short is a performance by the composer, musician, and film director Laurie Anderson and San Francisco's Kronos Quartet of "The Water  Rises/Our Street Is a Black River" from the 2018 album Landfall. The album was inspired by Anderson's experience of Hurricane Sandy.