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Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park (Thursday Doors)

Julia’s
Kiss
—he still longed for
her smile, touch–
he thought it
lost, but it surfaced, wistful,
as a song of love

Long a musical fixture in Central Park, the Naumburg Bandshell was the site of John Lennon’s eulogy in 1980.

We were much much younger then…

In 1904 philanthropist Elkan Naumburg began funding free symphonic concerts in Central Park with picnics and waltzing under the stars. They were so popular that the crowds grew too large for the space; the original cast iron pagoda bandshell was razed, the grounds were paved over, and Naumburg’s nephew, William, designed a new limestone bandshell. It was completed in 1923, with 10,000 attending the symphonic dedication.

Presented to the City of New York and its Music Lovers

I was wandering around the park recently (actually on my way to an appointment on the East Side, but I got distracted) when I found myself in front of the bandshell. It looked forlorn without any performers on this grey windy day. A few other people stopped to take photos then went on their way.

The Bandshell has a rich history, including performances by Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, and the Grateful Dead, as well as numerous orchestral and operatic groups. Martin Luther King Jr and Fidel Castro both gave speeches here. It was nearly razed in 1992 after years of vandalism and neglect, but preservationists, spearheaded by Naumburg’s grandson, won a court battle to save it. Renovation was delayed by the city until 2003, when the Central Park Conservancy raised funds to restore it.

Summerstage began its free concerts here in 1986. Because the park was considered so unsafe at that time, the concerts were only given during the day. The large crowds resulting from its popularity caused it to relocate to Rumsey Playfield in 1990, where it remains. Sun Ra and his Arkestra and Ladysmith Black Mambazo were two of the original acts that performed.

My John Lennon-inspired shadorma is for Merril’s prompt at dVerse, where she has given us a selection of English rose names to use in our verse. I chose Julia’s Kiss. John said when he wrote his song he was thinking not only of his mother, Julia, but his wife, Yoko. Love is complex.

You can read more about the Naumburg Bandshell here and the gathering for John Lennon here. I unknowingly lived for a couple years right down the street from John and Yoko in the Village, before they moved into the Dakota, and once saw John in the subway, running to catch a train uptown.

And, as always, there are always more doors to see on Thursday Doors. Visit host Dan Antion here.

Thursday Doors: You’ve Got a Friend

fraternal
or identical–
paired support–
transitions
of serendipity and
synchronicity

I made a folder of all my arched door photos and noticed there were a number of paired ones, some identical and some not. I like the Jizo statues (at least that’s what I think they are) on the right steps of the top photo. That’s also a very handsome door.

Two different approaches–the one on the left here is looking for more privacy. On the right they painted their railings to match the door.

These modern doors don’t live up to the wonderful surround–I especially like the faces at the top of the arches.

And here’s a pair of arched windows on a beautiful building in sad disrepair.

I’ve written a shadorma to accompany the doors. And the title? I was listening to JT this morning. He still sounds good.

And, as always, visit Dan Antion the host of Thursday Doors, here to see more doors and share your own.

Urban Assembly School for Green Careers Garden (Thursday Doors)

The city is full of sudden plantlife, unexpected oases surrounded by buildings, sidewalks, streets, schools, gates.  A potted plant outside a doorway, a vibrant treewell, a median full of flowers, a community garden.  A classroom for curious students, a delight for the eyes of a walker, a home for busy squirrels, chattering birds.

colors change between
here and now—they are only
made of light you know—

each shining moment has waves–
none of them ever repeat

I’ve photographed this beautiful gate and looked inside at the garden many times, but I never knew anything about it until I stopped and read the sign on the Amsterdam Avenue side. To be fair, it’s partly covered by a tree branch, and the benches below it are often full of people chatting or just resting along their way. What I discovered is that it’s part of the high school down the block, the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers. An outdoor classroom! I like that idea.

The gate itself has wonderful details, reflecting the focus of the space inside.

The students evidently open the gates to the community on occasion to share both their knowledge and what they have grown. I will keep a lookout for announcements of such an occasion in neighborhood newsletters. You can read more about it here.

The poem is my first attempt at Tanka Prose, as prompted by Colleen for #TankaTuesday.

And here’s a look at Riverside Park, which has finally decided it’s Autumn in New York.

You can see more doors and join in Thursday doors yourself here.

draw a bird day: chicken music

cock-
a doo-
dle-
do cluck
cluck buk buk
kuh-kuh-
kack
ba-gawk
tuk buk tuk-
king rrrrrrr chirp peep-
ing chirp
trill errrr
cack-
le chir-
rup squawk crow
caaaaaw cock-
a-
doodle-
do

The last Kick-About prompt was a video of a dancing chicken from Herzog’s film Stroszek. I first decided to draw while watching the video on a roll of rice paper that I had. My photos did not show up that well, but Phil Gomm kindly inverted color and ground and made the lovely images above.

I really like drawing chickens, and so I did a neocolor image. Then I decided to do some monoprint outlines based on my original drawings.

The outlines were fine, but my attempts to print colors on top were not as successful, so I ended up painting over them. One thing I really like about the Kick-About prompts is that it challenges me to try lots of different things.

For the poem, inspired by David’s Waltz Wave sound poem at the skeptic’s kaddish, I did some research on chicken sounds. It turns out there are many online threads about this subject, as so many people are now raising their own chickens and are delighted by their vocalizations.

And so many beautiful and varied breeds! I’ve done chickens several times before, and I’m sure there will be more for some future Draw a Bird Day as well.

I’m taking a break for a few weeks…enjoy the rest of your summer!

Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

My poem “repostory” was among those chosen to accompany the painting “Alacena”, by Maria Izquierdo, at The Ekphrastic Review. You can see the artwork and read it, along with the rest of those selected here.

I am always drawn to Mexican art, but I have no references at hand to cut and collage, so my art is more in the spirit of my words than an exploration of Izquierdo’s painting.

As is this song that keeps running through my head by Tracy Chapman.

My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

Guns and Grudges

Who knows the questions?  or the time?
What if there is no time?
What if all the time has all been wasted, or lost?

When karma comes around,
where will it go?

Why keep running into the same things?
How did we get here?

If only I knew
how to fix it all–
I would be honored
to be unremissed.

I’ve been having trouble completing things lately. Bjorn at dVerse has us asking Google to finish our thoughts. Perfect.

What I learned:
1) Many of those searching on Google are thinking about death–lots of killing and dying going on.
2) And remiss. Many many of us feel we are remiss.

October 2020 (Harvest Moon)

autumn dance
condensed into light–
I become
gold tinged with tides,
rising and falling

I did a similar grid with circles a few years ago, but I’ve always wanted to give it another try.  As with the last one, I first painted a landscape (wishing I had my gouache, but done with watercolor), then cut it up, rearranged it, and added collage dots from my collage box.  Here’s the original landscape:

David Hockney-ish I think.  Not my usual style, and perhaps a bit brighter than I intended.  But I like the colors.

I’ve done a tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday form challenge, which also works for Frank Tassone’s challenge of harvest moon. The paint oracle is totally responsible for turning my moon painting into a tree.

My new view of the full moon.  I have to catch it when it passes between the buildings.

Happy October!

shell

conch 1 2

well, first the wayward wind—grey—if you tried to hold it, your hands remained empty–

the song of the sirens, spilled into a traverse of stone and sea—perhaps some dragon’s breath—a shape becoming uncovered, a shape turning into a wheel that reminds itself to spiral—

the beach is hungry, but in a subtle way—do not conclude that it can be ignored–

gaping portals
azure shimmering
meeting places

postcard shell 1

 

Stream of consciousness for Grace at dVerse.  I’ve been doing a lot of this because of a recent prompt I saw that incorporated this technique, where you took a treasured object and wrote a bunch of unedited stories about it.  This was from my origin story.

whelk 1 2015 comp

The original writing for this haibun took up a whole page–I just selected a few parts and made a kind of haiku by removing words from one “sentence”.  The drawings are once again taken from my archives.  I’ve spent a lot of time drawing shells.

shell tattoo close up s

on the verge

on the verge s

trees
remember who
we were when

I stand alone surrounded by distances, covered with a vast blue, green layered behind and below.  I have come to the precipice to find my place in the landscape.  I intended to bring beautiful words, to leave poetic gifts as tokens on the wind, to tie threads of song to the sky.

But I find nothing more is required of me than to be here, present, alive.

once
we belonged
to the earth

© 2020 Frank J. Tassone

For Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday, a haibun inspired by the photo provided by Frank Tassone, above.

on the verge sky s

I’ve had this song on my mind for awhile.

on the verge earth s

also linked to earthweal open link weekend

nowhere to go (sailing the moon)

nowhere to go 2s

journey like a river,
found in the places
that are always home

sing the music of oceans
weaving patterns of mercy–
journey like a river

become part of each movement,
every path transformed,
found in all places

pass along what has been given–
ride the sky like the wind,
always at home

a channel of water flowing out to sea, with the sun reflecting on the water.

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, immediately made me think of Paul Simon’s “Peace Like a River”–and that made me think of “American Tune”–hence the 2 part title.  The poem is a cascade, always a good form when writing about water.

nowhere close up 2s

Sue titled her photo “Yearning” and I think that’s an emotion Paul Simon captures well.

…and I dreamed I was flying…