Posts Tagged ‘bill graeser’

Poets Belong In Pastures—In praise of Bill Graeser

April 13, 2018

I found this poem among my papers as I was sorting through stuff during a move. I wrote it for a friend and fellow poet Bill Graeser. I checked my computer and it was created March 4, 2005. It’s seven couplets with seven syllables per line.

Poets Belong In Pastures
In praise of Bill Graeser

Poets belong in pastures.
Like cows, they contemplate life.

Bill is a Graeser, of words.
He often ponders green grass.

He chews on a phrase or two
While remembering a friend.

The milk of human kindness
Flows within Bill and transforms

The grass, the friend, into light,
Appearing in a poem.

His occupation complete,
He returns home, contented.

Bill sleeps, soundly, in his bed,
And dreams, a cow, in his head.

                        ###

I posted a brilliant poem that Bill Graeser wrote about an unusual poet: What You May Not Know About Frankenstein. Bill also memorializes photographer Ansel Adams in his award-winning poem Magic Light. See more of Bill’s poems and some of his own photographs on his blog, https://billgraeser.com. He came out with a book of poems called, Fire in a Nutshell.

Here are a few poems about “The Poet” an earlier one I had written about Bill Graeser, and one Rolf Erickson wrote about me.

The job of a poet — someone’s gotta do it!

May 27, 2015

The job of a poet is translating what he or she is experiencing into words. If it resonates with other people’s experience, allows them to identify with what’s in the poem in a way they could not have expressed as well with words, and gives them pleasure, then it’s a good poem.

While in NYC recently, my son commented on my m.o. as a poet, how I notice things, name and say what I’m experiencing at the time. So I wrote this simple haiku for him, a sort of job description.

Experiencing
Noticing … Naming … Saying
Job of a Poet

Case in point, when I was returning from Iowa City last week, I dropped in to see Sali. She was still in her bed; they hadn’t gotten her up yet for dinner. I held her hand and spoke to her, telling her how much I loved her. A part of me was noticing how I was feeling, what was happening within and between us. From that experience, I wrote this haiku for her.

The thrill of the heart
Holding hands and loving you
The peace that follows

Some of Mary Oliver’s poems are exquisite: At the Lake, Summer Day, Varanasi, Praying, Wild Geese, and The Journey.

Here are two poems about “The Poet” one I wrote about Bill Graeser, and one Rolf Erickson wrote about me.

I also posted a brilliant poem that Bill Graeser wrote about an unusual poet: What You May Not Know About Frankenstein.

And here is a poem about the experience of listening to Poetry – The Art of the Voice.

Both haiku were written May 18, 2015, in Fairfield, Iowa © Ken Chawkin

Bill Graeser memorializes Ansel Adams in his award-winning poem “Magic Light”

August 20, 2013

Magic Light

By Bill Graeser

Ansel Adams sits up
reaches for his camera—
his arm bony as a tripod leg
for it is “Magic Light”
the golden light of sunrise
and sunset.

But then he lays back down
and focusing instead
through the lens of his soul
in the black box of his skull
he sees… all the light

that ever filled Yosemite
or blazed the crosses at Hernandez
and with his brittle jaw
with its few teeth remaining
there in the dark room of a coffin
he smiles.

“Magic Light” by Bill Graeser won the Iowa Poetry Association’s 2012 Norman Thomas Memorial Award. Bill posted it August 28, 2012.

Congratulations, Bill, you deserve this memorial award for a memorial poem of the great Ansel Adams. I’m sure he’d approve, and be pleased! Visit http://www.anseladams.com for more amazing photos.

Another great poem by Bill Graeser is What You May Not Know About Frankenstein. I posted it as At last—the truth about Frankenstein. Visit his website for more fine poetry and photographs: http://billgraeser.wordpress.com.

Found this detailed interview with Marc Silber and Michael Adams: An Inside Look at Ansel Adams’ Photography In Yosemite, posted April 10, 2013. I also found this earlier fascinating video posted by Silber Studios on May 7, 2011 on How Ansel Adams Photographed His Iconic “Moonrise Hernandez”. Marc is given a tour of the house and darkroom by Ansel’s son, Michael Adams. He was seven years old and with his father when he took the iconic picture of the moonrise over Hernandez and described how he created it. The music was composed by Andrew Buffett, the American musician, composer, author and philanthropist. Peter is an Emmy Award winner, New York Times best-selling author and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation. He is the youngest son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Here is an earlier video posted by Marc Silber about advice on how to visualize your photos, from a rare interview with Ansel Adams: Photography Visualization Advice by Ansel Adams. Photo visualization was so important to Ansel Adams that he made it the first chapter of his book on photography.

Telling the Story of Silence by Ken Chawkin

September 13, 2012

Telling the Story of Silence
Yato vacho nivartante tad dhama-paramam mama*

That Silent place
From where speech returns
Is where Poetry begins

Scrawling across the page
It transforms itself
Into language

Standing up it walks
Straight into your heart
Singing its song

You have to emphasize
The nothingness
For something to be said

It speaks for itself

*From where the speech returns, that is my supreme abode.
Taittriya Upanishad 2.4.1 and Bhagavad-Gita 15.6, 8.21

© Ken Chawkin

This poem, What You May Not Know About Frankenstein, by Bill Graeser, was an inspiration! This poem by my son says it all: INSPIRATION, a poem by Nathanael Chawkin.

Related poems on this theme: Coalescing Poetry: Creating a Universe  Storytelling—a poem on the storytelling process | Poetry—The Art of the Voice | Silence | A Wake-Up Haiku.

Cliffhouse Deck at Dusk, 6th haiku in 13 Ways to Write Haiku: A Poet’s Dozen, brings our attention to a tiny soft sound, making us aware of the ‘loud’ vast silence, a point that enlivens infinity. John Cage would agree.

Just came across this 16-second introduction by John Cage to his composition 4’33” which says the same thing, in his own inimitable way. His literal truth and sense of humor come through.

The material of music is sound and silence.
Integrating these is composing.
I have nothing to say,
and I am saying it.

For the musicians who ‘performed’ the piece, and the audience who listened, the silence was palpable, as you’ll hear from Tommy Pearson’s introduction and concluding comments with Tom Service in this BBC Symphony Orchestra performance of John Cage at the Barbican. Towards the end he quotes Cage as saying, “Everything we do is music.”

You may also enjoy Writers on Writing–What Writing Means To Writers and the links at the end to other posts on writing.


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