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Selkie Girl by Jessica Shirley with kind permission
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

“A Blessing” ~ for rebecca with love

 

The Flaxen HorseFlaxen Horse at Sunrise ©2012 Trey Ratcliff

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,

Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.

And the eyes of those two Indian ponies

Darken with kindness.

They have come gladly out of the willows

To welcome my friend and me.

from the blog www.stuckincustoms.comWheat Horses ©2012 Trey Ratcliff

We step over the barbed wire into the pasture

Where they have been grazing all day, alone.

They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness  

That we have come.

They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.

There is no loneliness like theirs.

two horses in icelandThe Golden Horse in Iceland ©2012 Trey Ratcliff

At home once more,

They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.  

I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,

For she has walked over to me  

And nuzzled my left hand.

Icelandic SheepdogIcelandic “Sheepdog” ©2012 Trey Ratcliff 

She is black and white,

Her mane falls wild on her forehead,

And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear

That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.

976877562_golden dayHorses at F/1.4 © Trey Ratcliff

Suddenly I realize

That if I stepped out of my body I would break

Into blossom.

 James Wright, “A Blessing” from Above the River: The Complete Poems and Selected Prose. Copyright © 1990

  For my dear friend rebecca Blessings, Peace and Light Abundant.

xoxo,

Noelle Renee

~~~

About the Photographer

Trey Ratcliff

Briefly… A Photography-Centric Bio

I’m best known for, well, I suppose, this site, StuckInCustoms.com, which has become the #1 Travel Photography Blog on the internet. On average, the photos get over a million views a week, including a few from my mom. My work first became popular after I had the honor of having the first HDR photo ever to hang in the Smithsonian. After that, I was fortunate enough to be represented by Getty (who I have since dumped because they take 80%), been featured on the BBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC, and have had numerous showings around the world.

I am known generally for the unique way in which I capture and process the world around me. I have my own “take” on HDR Photography, and you can see my free HDR Tutorial right here. I grew up blind in one eye and this might have changed the way I view the world. I don’t know. It’s hard to be objective about the way one’s brain was wired. My background is in computer science and math, so I bring an algorithm-like process to capturing the scene in such a way that it evokes memories in a palpable manner. Whatever that means.

Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com - all images Creative Commons Noncommercial

My Personal Thanks to Trey Ratcliff for the beauty that he creates in this world and his generosity in allowing it to be shared in this way. Thank you, Trey!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Starting With Little Things

Poses with RosesPoses with Roses ©Karen Waters

Starting with Little Things

Love the earth like a mole,
fur-near. Nearsighted,
hold close the clods,
their fine-print headlines.
Pat them with soft hands --

Like spades, but pink and loving; they
break rock, nudge giants aside,
affable plow.
Fields are to touch;
each day nuzzle your way.

Tomorrow the world.

~ William Stafford ~

(The Way It Is)

 

About the Photographer

Karen Waters

Artist Statement

What do I find so interesting about photographing things like concrete, tree bark or scratched metal? Texture.  Plain and simple...I love texture!  Layering these types of images over traditional photographs creates depth and emotion, which brings them to life and tells their story in a more meaningful way.

I refer to my work as Photographic Art because it reaches beyond traditional photography and allows me more creativity to convey a true 'beingness' that the lens alone doesn't often capture.  Through these images, I hope to remind the viewer that we are part of a wonderful world full of magnificence.

I am a member of the Santa Fe Society of Artists and show my work with the group most weekends, just off the Santa Fe Plaza from the end of April through mid-October. If you're ever in Santa Fe, stop by and say hello!

Tor see more of Karen’s phenomenal layered photography and her other work go  http://www.karenwatersart.com/

Karen Waters’ images are copyrighted. Permission to post her beautiful work was generously granted by the artist. All Rights are reserved. Thank you.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

We Are Saying Thank you

 

December in Central ParkDecember in Central Park © Thomas Hawk

Thanks

by W.S. Merwin

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridge to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead

Reload, Plate 3Reload ©2011 Thomas Hawk

whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you

3486124096_fa6610f58b_oThe Mechanics Institute Library, San Francisco ©2012 Thomas Hawk

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you

© zoriah/www.zoriah.com

in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

© zoriah/www.zoriah.com

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you


© zoriah/www.zoriah.com

(oil smudged birds after the BP Oil spill in 2010)

with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth

The Only Thing It's Killing Now is Me, Plate 2Detroit Book Depository ©2011 Thomas Hawk

we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is.

-W. S. Merwin Thanks from Rain in the Trees

~~~

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Balloon Release Honors Gaza’s Children Lost in Operation Cast Lead

On the third anniversary of Gaza Invasion, Chicago and Nabi Saleh Honor Gaza's Children with Mass Balloon Release
CHICAGO, IL (December 31, 2011) -- Over two hundred people gathered to honor Gaza's children with a mass release of balloons marking the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israel's brutal military invasion of Gaza. After marching from Millennium Park to Grant Park, participants released one balloon for each of the 344 children killed during the 22-day attack on Gaza from December 27, 2008 -- January 18, 2009. In a parallel event, families in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh also gathered for a balloon release. In response, the Israeli army fired tear gas and mustard gas at those who participated in the action, including children, and arrested at least seven .
The Chicago event was organized by Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights (CMPR)."We organized this event to express our grief over deaths of these children and celebrate the resilience of the people of Gaza," said CMPR member Ishan Chakrabarti. Tied to each balloon was a card with the name and age of each child killed in the Gaza Massacre. The balloons and ribbon were 100% biodegradable and the cards were made from Lotka paper embedded with flowerseeds. "Wherever they land, these cards will plant seeds in the ground that will bloom into beautiful flowers to pay tribute to the memory of each child," said Chakrabarti.
At the event local community members performed selections from "The Gaza Monologues," a collection of monologues written by Palestinian children who survived Israel's assault. Immediately before releasing the balloons, participants also observed a moment of silence.
Prior to the Chicago commemoration, the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh gathered for a parallel balloon release. The Israeli army responded to the balloon release by firing tear gas and mustard gas at participants, including children. They arrested at least seven, including two internationals. Palestinian activist Amra Amra said that during the event, "Five year old Samer asked his mom if he would be a martyr like Mustafa Tamimi." On December 9, 2011, Mustafa Tamimi was murdered when the Israeli army shot a tear gas canister at his face. Tamimi became the first person to die while participating in Nabi Saleh's weekly nonviolent demonstrations against Israeli annexation of their land. During these demonstrations, the Israeli often uses tear gas, mustard gas, skunk spray, and violent arrests against the participants. Of Samer's question, Amra said, "These are not normal questions children ask their parents! Yet it is normal questions for children living under occupation."
Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights CMPR is a diverse, youth-led movement advocating for Palestinian human rights, civil rights and equality through citywide educational events, grassroots campaigns and creative, direct action.
 Many CMPR members are involved in other Chicagoland Palestinian solidarity organizations, including several chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Haiku My Heart: A Bird Told Me

The PassageThe Passage © 2011 Karen Waters

Exposing Her heart

Wings blown back, courageous flight

For Love, Nest, and Home.

~Noelle Renee  1/6/12

Sentry's TowerSentry’s Tower © 2011 Karen Waters

Sacred Winged Watcher

Holding All Our Hopes and Fears

Perched on Heaven’s Edge

~Noelle Renee 1/6/12

Belladonna

Belladonna ©2011 Karen Waters

Beautiful Lady

With Power to wound or heal

Eyes grow large with hope

~Noelle Renee 1/6/12

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler ©2011 Karen Waters

Warbler sings sunlight,

Yellow Joy and Red surprise,

Our New Year’s, Bright Faith.

~Noelle Renee 1/6/12

~

For More Haiku My Heart, please visit Rebecca’s lovely blog, Recuerda mi Corazon. You will be glad you did!

~

About the Photographer

Karen Waters

Artist Statement

What do I find so interesting about photographing things like concrete, tree bark or scratched metal? Texture.  Plain and simple...I love texture!  Layering these types of images over traditional photographs creates depth and emotion, which brings them to life and tells their story in a more meaningful way.

I refer to my work as Photographic Art because it reaches beyond traditional photography and allows me more creativity to convey a true 'beingness' that the lens alone doesn't often capture.  Through these images, I hope to remind the viewer that we are part of a wonderful world full of magnificence.

I am a member of the Santa Fe Society of Artists and show my work with the group most weekends, just off the Santa Fe Plaza from the end of April through mid-October. If you're ever in Santa Fe, stop by and say hello!