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Cleopatra’s Needle (Thursday Doors)

O Ra
show us the sun–
open the cloud cover,
awaken each new day
with harmony
with light

It wasn’t difficult to find the path to Cleopatra’s Needle in Central Park, although one of the websites I visited noted that the location was chosen not only for its bedrock and elevation, but for its isolation. The top photo shows the obelisk reflection from my original post, but taken from the vantage point of the Needle. And above is the stairway up from the path.

An obelisk had four sides, matching the four cardinal directions, and I photographed it from each one. As you can see, the one day last week of blue skies alternated between cloud cover and clarity. It was quite windy.

This obelisk is one of a pair (the other is in London) made of red granite originally erected in Heliopolis in 1475BC, moved to Alexandra by the Romans in 12BC, and toppled during the reign of Augustus.

It was gifted to the US by the Egyptian government in 1877 for some political purpose–different sources gave different reasons. The transport, by steamship, was paid for by William Henry Vanderbilt, and it took 112 days, a team of 32 horses, and the temporary alteration of the landscape, to move it from the ship to the park.

Obelisks were originally associated with the Benu bird, the Egyptian predecessor of the Phoenix, and the Sun God Ra, representing life, resurrection, and light. They were embellished with hieroglyphics–dedications to Ra and tributes to Pharaohs and their military victories.

Interestingly, they were also used as sundials to tell time.

Here’s a view looking past the obelisk to the museum in the back ground.

The obelisk has been symbolically adopted by Freemasons–in fact the Grand Master of the New York State Masons, Jesse B Anthony, laid the cornerstone in 188l, accompanied by 9000 Masons who marched with him up Fifth Avenue to the park.

And because this is Thursday doors, and Cleopatra’s Needle does not contain a door, here’s one from the Temple of Dendur, inside the Metropolitan Museum. But that requires a whole other post.

Wikipedia has an extensive entry detailing the obelisk’s history.

And you can always find a wide variety of doors here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

Ring 1FE (Thursday Doors)

sign in the window
says Ring 1FE—tempting,
full of promises

the lure of crystal
balls, lines written across palms–
your past, your future

yield to the lions,
passing through their golden fire–
stripped of illusion

gingerly we climb
with hope and fear, hand in hand–
seeking Lady Luck

The first thing that attracted me to this building was the brickwork, but the gold painted lions were hard to miss. As I crossed the street to get a closer look, the window on the right also drew my attention.

Hands in the window? Crystal balls, too, and other mysterious devices. Ring 1FE the sign said. For some reason this made me think of Joni Mitchell’s song “Roses Blue” on her Clouds album. Combined with the lions the invitation seemed both fated and ominous. I could see young Joni walking down this street in Chelsea and shivering a bit at the door behind which her friend Rose resided.

I continued on my way.

I’ve written a senryu chain for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, and you can always find a wide variety of doors here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

More Met and Central Park (Thursday Doors)

suddenly
visible, exposed
by fallen
leaves—branches
opening new horizons,
hidden reflections

The glass doors-and-windows at the back of the Met showed me something last week that I knew was there but did not expect to see reflected back at me. I turned around and there it was–the Obelisk, Cleopatra’s Needle.

This is an actual Egyptian Obelisk from the Temple of the Sun. It was gifted to the United States by Egypt in commemoration of the opening of the Suez Canal in the late 1800s. Why and how it ended up in Central Park behind the museum requires further investigation. I also need to get closer on another visit for more detailed photos.

The fallen leaves make for beautiful patterns, both in the tree shapes and their reflections.

It was a very foggy day. In the photo below, taken on my way to the Museum, you can’t even see that there are buildings beyond the trees.

On the way back, several hours later, the fog had lifted somewhat–bottoms of buildings were now visible–but I was also surprised to see hundreds of geese spread across the empty ball fields. I saw more tufted titmice too.

I have enough photos from the Met now for quite a few more Thursday Door posts. So they will keep showing up every once in awhile. And yes, I did take a photo of the completely decorated tree.

You can always find more doors here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

Winged (Thursday Doors)

I was not lost;
feathers pivoted me–
a serial habit—(I see
guardians and I pause)–
a fresh encounter, winged, recrossed
my feet–doorway the cause–
where angels watched

I think this is meant to be an angel, although it’s a dour one. The wings were what first caught my eye, and then I noticed the birds framing the window above. There’s another winged being in the triangle above the window.

As is often the case, from a distance the building is unremarkable. But now when I pass by every building I’m looking closely to see how it’s embellished.

Because it’s a garden floor entrance, the wings were at eye level. I backed up and checked it out.

The other window has faces for its flowers and a fierce bird or dragon with multiple wings in the triangle above.

My poem is a star sevlin, for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday which has as its prompt this week synonyms for the words new and experience. I’ve also included three podcast names for Merril’s dVerse Poetics, although I’m not totally sure adding and ed to pivot counts.

Christmas Tree (Thursday Doors on Friday)

surroundings reflect
all of our many seasons–
circle and return

When I went to the Metropolitan Museum a few weeks ago, I discovered a treat–they were in the midst of decorating the holiday tree. This was during early member’s hour, before the museum was open to the public.

I even got a view of the work room…now I know what’s behind that door when I pass it again.

The tree is in a large cathedral-like room filled with medieval Christian art. Here’s one, appropriate to the season, that caught my attention.

I’m always interested in the many different depictions of Mary and have done quite a few drawings from sculptures in various museums. I’m especially attracted to the ones with expressive hands.

I hope to get back to see the tree completely decorated and unveiled. I also took photos of the fountains and as much of the front facade of the museum as was possible with traffic, contstruction, and the width of the street–but that’s for another post.

You can always find more doors here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

#share your day (starting with turtles)

everything
needs salt in my world–
butter adds
zest—is it
any wonder my favorite
snack food is popcorn?

It’s #ShareYourDay week at Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. Today is stormy, full of wind and rain, and I’m hunkered down inside. So I made some popcorn and wrote a shadorma for the W3 prompt from Sylvia about one of my favorite foods.

So where do the turtles come in?

The Oracle is enigmatic, as always.

starting with turtles
dressed in thousands of skyclouds–
mountain water green

Private Property (Thursday Doors)

NO TRESPASS
ING—no mice, no men.
Cat’s away,
but no mice
may play—(not even dust mice)–
I am WARNING you.

This handsome building sits empty–hopefully awaiting renovation. The signs on the door say WARNING/ NO TRESPASSING in duplicate with some kind of official city buildings condemned sign. The boarded up and graffitied windows add that it’s PRIVATE PROPERTY.

It does have a rather stern door guardian keeping watch.

The W3 prompt from Muri this week was to write a blitz poem about mice. I tried, but I just can’t write a blitz. A shadorma, however…and mice are no problem either. Speaking of No, the poem also fits nicely into Sarah’s No!Vember prompt at dVerse.

And look for more doors here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

What We Mean When We Say “The Met(s)” (Thursday Doors)

New York has multiple Mets–
a bloop and a blast
in Queens leads to victory–
what every fan dreams.

The Met of Lincoln Center,
its audience hushed,
awaits swelling arias
upon the lit stage.

Central Park surrounds the Met
in museum form–
inside, we reflect on how
art imitates life–
outside, life imitates art.

This somewhat nonsensical verse is a Kouta, with a theme that “reflects ordinary life and often uses colloquialism and onomatopoeia”. New Yorkers use the Met interchangeably for both the Metropolitan Opera and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And no one that I know of ever refers to the baseball Mets as The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club, although I’ve occasionally heard them (derisively) referred to as The Metropolitans. This form was suggested by Reena for this week’s Tanka Tuesday prompt. I’ve also thrown in a chiasma at the end which was Larry Trasciatti’s prompt for W3 this week.

And of course, doors, for Thursday doors. Last week I showed the side and back of the Metropolitan Museum, and the first two photos today show the main entrance at the front. Above is one of the front side entrances, the one where members (like me!) go for an exclusive early morning viewing hour on Thursdays.

Here’s some of the ornamentation on the roofline.

I realize I need to take more photos the next time I go–from across the street, to get a larger picture of the entire building if I can, and I didn’t photo the fountain either, or get all the steps in. Here’s the right front side entrance with some windows.

and one of the corners

to be continued…

In the meantime you can always see more doors here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

Someone once told me the NY on the Mets logo stands for “next year”. But of course these days, one could say that about the Yankees as well…

one door many windows (Thursday Doors)

November walks are windswept,
open to shifting skies–
varying moods of sunlight
exchanged before my eyes–
magic captured by windows,
blues within which scries
earthsong—green gold russet–
reflections of change and reprise

I discovered this back door to the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently–it must be for people who work there–but it was the windows that caught my eye.

The style is quite different from the front, but there is the same care taken with the design. The windows were obviously meant to reflect the park across from them.

Here’s another window a bit further down the path.

The Temple of Dendur is behind these windows on the side.

I took some photos of the (very different) front of the museum, too, but that’s for another time.

My poem is in the Yeats Poem form for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday #tastetherainbow prompt. It’s also an acrostic using the word November which is Paula Light’s W3 prompt this week.

And you can always find more doors and share your own here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

Seasonal (Thursday) Doors

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1
Trees stand graceful in the misty afternoon light–
birds pause as golden leaves detach themselves,
a murmured ripple that whispers low to the ground.

2
Are we coming or going?  The gate stands closed.
Halting, wary, we wait.  Push through or withdraw?
Bones rattle—is there time for us to choose?

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3
The web holds us in the middle, between.
Will we weave our forms into the mystery,
cross over, become reflected light?

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4
Earth enfolds us into its primal core.
Cocooned inside the spiraled sleep of serpents
we grow wings, awaiting the return of the sun.

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5
Pumpkins and flower baskets line the stairs–
on the door at the top, a harvest wreath welcomes.
We open and turn with the wheel–step through.

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I walked through Central Park to the east side last week–and found all these seasonal doors on East 92nd Street. The details on Number 25 are quite beautiful.

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My poem is a cadralor with an autumn theme for Sylvia Cognac’s W3 prompt, using words from Jane’s Oracle 2 list for the week.

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You can always find more doors and share your own here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

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