Tag Archive | Louis Armstrong

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.

a fragment of a dream, caught in the morning light

and I am reminded again of who I am,
what I see when I look up at the night sky,
the scent of the earth in spring–

I feel the summer lingering,
long days of sun and sand
and the salty taste I carry
through days that follow me in rhythm
with the waves–

I see the sharpness of blue sky
behind black branches,
a playground of white snow
that culminates in hot chocolate,
logs burning,
the inside warming the outer—

I have been uprooted and transplanted
so many times that nowhere is home–
everything is temporary–
I’m always expecting to move on–

but I remember looking up
through the shade of oak trees,
the roses in my mother’s garden,
lilacs filled with butterflies—

the rust and gold of autumn
singing beneath my feet

For the earthweal challenge, a song of earth-praise from 2019. How far away that seems now. But I am still thinking of my mother.

What a Wonderful World (for Louis Armstrong)

louis s

Lonesome sweet stomp got
heebie got jeebie got news
good news    spread the word

I know it’s been played to death, but Louis Armstrong’s recording of “What a Wonderful World” gets me every time I hear it.  Fine sentiments for the January doldrums.

“I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day and the dark sacred night
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world”
–“What a Wonderful World” (written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss)

Louis could even make the blues sound like good news.

You can see three more of my jazz haiku and portraits on “The song is…” blog here.