April 23, 2017 Poem: “Weather”

Weather

Each day, the dawn reconstitutes our world.
Navy blue shades into lilac and gold,
reversing evening lights, and we are hurled
out of dreams, into stories yet untold.

What weather ticks against the window pane
or streams in as urgently as birdsong?
What internal turbulence might remain
from a conversation yesterday, strong

enough to shape, in answer, an insight,
or push us toward a bedrock truth at last?
Often stumbling, night-blind, we move toward light
each day we live, however overcast.

Dawn brings a form of storm as yet unwrit,
blowing in to see what we’ll make of it.

Leslie Schultz

Today’s poem is an attempt at a Shakespearean sonnet.
HAPPY SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHDAY!

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April 20, 2017 Poem “Ali Baba: A Vinyl Memory”


Ali Baba: A Vinyl Memory
for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

I can still see that disk of ebony
incised with a spiral journey
ridden by one tiny diamond’s point
from its rim right to its very heart.

It was an old vinyl LP,
pressed when I was two or three,
and a perennial favorite.
Its highly-colored cardboard sleeve

showed Ali Baba, spying, in a tree
overhearing a magic password,
“Open Sesame,”
that caused the mountain-side to split

open so Ali Baba could steal
inside, after the thunderous thieves.
Most of all, I recall
how this deep cave was lit

by the light of jewels
hanging from trees,
a vision summoned
by a lone violin—

Scheherazade—unearthly beauty
pouring into a child’s ears
and glowing there, still,
after all these years.

Leslie Schultz

When I was very young, my mother would often play albums with stories on them in the afternoon. I still often think about four, in particular, wishing I could hear them again. Three of them were from this series: Tale Spinners for Children. A few days ago, I began thinking so strongly of the music from this one. The first four lines of this poem came. I waited until today for the rest of the poem to come clear and to share it here.

Image result for Tale Spinners Ali Baba

To hear an audio clip of the violin solo, just scroll down to the second one.

Which oft-heard (told, read, recorded) stories most impressed themselves upon you? I would love to hear if you’d care to share. (The other favorites in the recorded realm for me were “Beauty and the Beast” & “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp” in the Tale Spinners series, and a collection of folktales told by Beryl Berney called “All Join Hands Around the World.” I still think very often of the Japanese story she told of how there is a rabbit in the moon.)

Until tomorrow!  LESLIE

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November Wet Leaves: Photos by Karla Schultz & Leslie Schultz; “Wet Leaves Song” (Poem)

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Smokey Mountains National Park (Karla Schultz)

Now that it is November, there are only a few dwindling weeks remaining to enjoy fall foliage. Maybe we only have days–we had our first snow overnight. Winter has its own beauty–I might even take a photo or two!–but I do find myself reluctant to say farewell to the leaves this year. Accordingly, as the rains and snows set in, I am finding beauty in the wet leaves close to the ground. There is a certain glossy and poignant appeal to wet leaves, and I am encouraged to look more closely at the structure of each one.

My sister, Karla, a wonderfully skillful photographer of all things in nature, agreed to let me post some of her pictures of wet leaves this week (and in the months ahead, there will be more of Karla’s photography.)  Below, I include a new poem inspired by these November leaves and a couple of photos of my own. May you find a few bright, deciduous treasures to bring inside!

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Magnolia Planation, South Carolina (Karla Schultz)

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Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge (Karla Schultz)

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Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge (Karla Schultz)

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Smokey Mountains National Park (Karla Schultz)

Wet Leaves Song

Spring rains, autumn rains—
Leaves and raindrops fall—
Light through windowpanes
Changes. That is all.

First leaves, red and gold,
So tiny and new,
Become green and bold,
Lasting summer through.

And then the bright green
Vanishes, all too soon.
Winds grown chill and keen
Under a frosty moon.

Old leaves, shimmerings—
Orange, gold, and red—
Dance windy skimmerings,
Though clouds press down like lead.

Leaves will fall as rain falls,
But these wet leaves shine.
Their fragile beauty calls
To me, and becomes mine.

Leslie Schultz

Below are a few more photos (these that I took in Northfield this week).

Wet Leaf

Leaf Wet 3

Leaf Wet 4

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