Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Haiku of Sali Eating

November 13, 2015

Haiku of Sali Eating

Burp…hiccup…giggle…
Sounds Sali makes while eating
Tell us she’s all right

11-13-15
© Ken Chawkin
Fairfield, Iowa

 See these related poems: Two spontaneous haiku while talking to Sali.

Burghild Nina Holzer inspires us to write and discover who we are and what we have to say

August 20, 2014

When it comes to writing and creativity, one book I highly recommend is A Walk Between Heaven and Earth: A Personal Journal on Writing and the Creative Process by Burghild Nina Holzer. It’s all about finding your own voice, your own truth, that’s been building up inside you, waiting to be revealed, to yourself, to others.

I found it in a Women in Print bookstore in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This author and writing facilitator turns her book on the creative process into a journal thereby demonstrating what she is teaching. She shares personal observations about her life, the world around her, and how she encourages her students to write.

Read this book and you’ll be inspired to express yourself in writing. There is a beautiful excerpt on the back cover, edited down from the original, that reads:

Talking to paper is talking to the divine. Paper is infinitely patient. Each time you scratch on it, you trace part of yourself, and thus part of the world, and thus part of the grammar of the universe. It is a huge language, but each of us tracks his or her particular understanding of it.

Here is the full description under the journal entry 4:30 P.M. on page 55.

Talking to paper is like talking to the divine. It is talking to an ear that will understand even the most difficult things. Paper is infinitely patient. It will receive small fragment after fragment of a large network you are working on, without you yourself knowing it. It will wait out decades for you to put together the first faint traces of your own code, a code you might have understood as a small child but which you are now gathering on a new level of understanding. The white paper is waiting. Each time you scratch on it, you trace part of yourself, and thus part of the world, and thus part of the grammar of the universe. It is a huge language, but each of us tracks his or her particular understanding of it.

I’ve posted earlier entries on writing you may also find worthwhile: Writing—a poem on the writing process; INSPIRATION, a poem by Nathanael Chawkin; Elizabeth Gilbert—Some Thoughts On Writing; Writers on Writing–What Writing Means To Writers; and Words of Wisdom on Writing from Literary Lights.

a writing tanka on writing tanka by ken chawkin

September 8, 2013

writing tanka
a writing tanka on writing tanka

stare at the blank page
intimidating or what
now just start writing

no matter what you put down
it will all come back to you

© Ken Chawkin
Fairfield, Iowa, USA
September 7, 2013

WRITING TANKA—Preparing to Write

Writing—a poem on the writing process

Haiku On The Nature of Haiku

Redwood Forest Haiku, two versions, inspired by a photo my sister took in a Redwood Forest Park

August 24, 2013

I signed up with Instagram so I could see the pictures my sister took on her vacation to Mendocino in Northern California. They drove north to Humboldt County to see the California Redwood Coast Park Forest. Among the beautiful photos she posted, this one of the Giant Redwoods, considered the largest trees in the world, inspired me to write this haiku. Here is that photo, and two haiku versions, for your enjoyment.

Redwood Forest

Redwood Forest Haiku

~1~

In Redwood Forests
There are Giants among us
Who Hold The Silence

~2~

In Redwood Forests
There are Giants among us
Holding The Silence

© Ken Chawkin
Fairfield, Iowa
written 8/23/2013
posted 8/24/2013

See Being in Nature, a gift from a tree, with links to other tree poems. See Redwood forest photo and haiku inspire others.

kintsugi: japanese pottery inspires poetry

April 11, 2013

This poem was inspired by a tweet from @RobertYellin The art of making broken pottery more beautiful, kintsugi. pic.twitter.com/Q1ZLWzWQs

I replied @kenchawkin Wow! What a metaphor for turning obstacles into opportunities. Life’s lessons build character.

I thought about it and made it into a haiku, then a tanka, and sent it as another reply to his tweet.

I also thought it was appropriate for a piece of Japanese pottery to have inspired a poem in one of the forms of Japanese poetry. I don’t speak Japanese but am reading kintsukuroi as having five syllables.

Here is a link to Wikipedia explaining kintsugi or kintsukuroi. Read the explanation under the picture of the piece of pottery, then the poem.

kintsugi

kintsugi tanka

kintsukuroi
turning obstacles into
opportunities

life’s lessons build character
what was broken is now whole

Robert Yellin was featured on this blog before. See Takumi is not ‘lost in translation’ in this beautiful film about Japan’s diverse artisan tradition.

Speaking of cracked things, Leonard Cohen said there’s a crack in everything–how the light gets in. It came thru him & lit up a broken humanity.

Mary Oliver’s poem, Praying, is a lesson on attention, receptivity, listening and writing

March 14, 2013

Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(Thirst)

An inspiration for a poem came to me from such receptivity to a tree. The first words entered my mind while admiring it. I wrote them down, and the next morning, I rewrote them as a stanza, and then the sequential stanzas naturally followed, reiterating what Mary Oliver describes. It was as if I was given a creative seed and it sprouted. This gift from the tree was much appreciated. I later called it Being in Nature. Its sequel, trees, was about the nature of trees, and what we can learn from them. Another poem once came to me from a rock with a sense of humor. You can read RIVER ROCK SPEAKS in my Vancouver Park Poems.

An early encounter with nature inspired my creativity. It turned into my first published poem, which won an award: ODE TO THE ARTIST, Sketching Lotus Pads at Round Prairie Park.

That Reminds Me: A Conversational Memoir by Hollywood biographer Norman Zierold is now out!

January 10, 2013

ThatRemindsMe Lynch quote

That Reminds Me is a conversational memoir by Hollywood biographer and award-winning author Norman Zierold. Rather than a chronology of his life, the author engages the reader in a conversational manner, relating various episodes from his life that come to mind, one triggering another. There’s never a dull moment!

Norman Zierold’s charmed life started humbly in the Amana Colonies of Iowa. All that changed after Norman joined the Navy. The war came to an end and Norman used the GI Bill of Rights to attend Harvard, where he graduated cum laude. He then earned a graduate degree in English Literature at the University of Iowa.

While looking for work he was given the opportunity to teach English in France. One of his jobs was enjoying English conversations with the son of the President of France. They even invited him to watch the coronation of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on television at their personal residence. Other meetings with cultural luminaries ensued.

Upon Norman’s return to the States he headed for New York, where he worked his way up to becoming the editorial director of Theatre Arts Magazine. Eventually he went to Hollywood to fulfill his lifelong calling to become a writer and published several noted Hollywood biographies: The Child Stars, The Moguls: Hollywood’s Merchants of Myth, Garbo, Sex Goddesses of the Silent Screen; and two true-crime accounts, Little Charley Ross: The story of America’s first kidnapping for ransom, and Three Sisters in Black, which garnered a Special Edgar Allen Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He also wrote a science-fiction novel titled The Skyscraper Doom.

In the late 1960s, when Barbara Walters was an anchor on NBC’s Today Show, she interviewed Norman on his recently published book, Little Charley Ross. He describes a humorous account of what happened as they were preparing to go on air. Before the segment was about to begin Barbara was pressing her leg against Norman’s under the table in what seemed to him a suggestive fashion. He wondered if she might be coming on to him and didn’t know what to do. She asked him if he felt that, and he sheepishly said he did. She then explained that this was the signal for him to quickly finish his sentence during the interview so they could break for a commercial. Norman felt relieved. After the interview they had a private chat off camera about Judy Garland since Norman had written about her in The Child Stars, and Barbara’s then husband, Lee Guber, had produced one of Judy’s world tours. They had met and Judy’s issues about her mother came up. Barbara had her own opinion about Judy’s relationship with her mother, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what she said and Norman’s take on it.

In addition to Barbara Walters, Norman met many cultural icons of the day, like Andy Warhol, Shelley Winters, Anthony Quinn, Mae West, Groucho Marx, Roddy McDowall, Jackie Coogan, Rex Harrison, Anais Nin, Tennessee Williams, E.E. Cummings, Dylan Thomas, a president of France, the gifted composer Francis Poulenc, and TM founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, to mention a few. Norman spent many months with Anthony Quinn helping him edit down his thousand-page biography into something publishable. It did very well.

In the early 70’s Norman took up the practice of Transcendental Meditation. He found it so satisfying he became a teacher and taught the TM technique to several hundred people. Since 2002 he has been living in Fairfield, Iowa, and works in his retirement years as a part-time publicist in the communications office at Maharishi University of Management.

WHERE TO ORDER THAT REMINDS ME

Sit down with Norman Zierold and enjoy a fascinating conversation. Order copies of That Reminds Me from Amazon or Barnes & Noble in the US. Release date is January 12, 2013. Also available in Canada, the UK, Europe, Germany, Russia, and Brazil in paperback, and Amazon’s Kindle worldwide.

Cover design by George Foster, front cover photo by Mary Drew, and interior design by Allen Cobb for Anapurna Press.

ARTICLES

Diane Vance interviewed Norman Zierold at Revelations Café for The Fairfield Ledger, which came out March 12, 2013: Fairfield author talks about recent work. In case you can’t access the full article online you can see what it looks like here: Fairfield author talks about recent work – By DIANE VANCE – Fairfield, IA – Fairfield Ledger. I also posted it here: Diane Vance and Norman Zierold discuss his new memoir, That Reminds Me, at Revelations Café.

Tony Ellis wrote a feature article in the March 2013 issue of The Iowa Source, Iowa’s Enlightening Magazine: Norman Zierold: A Charmed Life: Celebrated Hollywood Author Reminisces on Six Decades of Extraordinary Encounters. You can also download a PDF of the article on Norman Zierold as it appears in The Iowa Source.

An edited version of Tony’s article later appeared in Britain’s National Transcendental Meditation Magazine—Transcendental Meditation News • June 2013 • Vol. 19 • No. 7 • Pages 12 and 13, titled, The Hollywood Biographer Who Found Bliss (Page 7 of PDF).

British writer & editor, Julie Eagleton also reviewed That Reminds Me by Norman Zierold.

Here’s a great article about Norman Zierold in The Chronicle of Higher Education: Notes From Academe: The Spokesman Who Kept Calling.

Here’s a comprehensive article Norman Zierold wrote for Healthy Referral on THE REMARKABLE DAVID LYNCH FOUNDATION.

INTERVIEWS

Norman Zierold was interviewed by KMCD host Steve Smith for the MUM Spotlight show on January 10, 2013. Click here to listen. (17:23)

Norman Zierold will be interviewed on 100.1 FM KRUU in Fairfield. The show, Writers’ Voices, airs Friday, January 11, 2013, 1:00–2:00 p.m. CT, and replays Monday, January 14, 2013, 8:00–9:00 a.m. CT. Tune in: Listen Live.

This great description posted by host Monica Hadley says it all: From Iowa, Around the World, and Back Again with Norman Zierold. “That Reminds Me: A Conversational Memoir” by Norman Zierold, takes the reader on an exuberant journey, both outward and inward, from pre-Depression-era Iowa (the Amana Colonies), to Europe, NYC, Hollywood, and back again to Iowa (Fairfield, that is.) Join Writers’ Voices hosts Monica Hadley and Caroline Kilbourn to learn from Norman the inside stories that only the author of such Hollywood biographies as “Garbo”, “The Child Stars”, and “The Moguls” would know. How did a boy from the Amanas come to rub elbows with the rich and famous of the mid-20th century? And what brought him back to Iowa?

Update: If you missed it, the Writers’ Voices Archives now has Norman’s interview (59:51) posted there as well as on monicahadley’s Audio page. And KRUU station manager James Moore created a permanent link to the interview here: http://www.kruufm.com/node/14926. KRUU’s website was rebuilt. The interview is now posted on the Writers Voices website.

A third interview took place at a book signing in the Maharishi University of Management Library on Saturday afternoon, March 2, 2013. Rustin Larson talked with Norman Zierold about his conversational memoir, That Reminds Me. Download and enjoy this very entertaining interview. (87 MB) It’s now available on YouTube.

A fourth interview took place on KHOE, the MUM campus radio station. Author and M.U.M.: Publicist Norman Zierold, interviewed by Dean Cathy Gorini and station manager Stan Stansberry on his newly published book “That Reminds Me.” Listen online here: http://link.mum.edu/NormanZierold.

Stan says: [This is] “a real-life adventure conversational memoir by our esteemed Norman Zierold. [Norman takes us from] “his hometown Amana Colonies, to the U.S. Navy, to New York City, to Hollywood, to finding Transcendental Meditation, teaching TM, and to the campus of Maharishi University of Management. Along the way he interviewed and hob-nobbed with famous New York and Hollywood actors, writers and people like Barbara Walters.” mp3 63 min, 18MB.

Here is the latest interview on KRUU FM with Producer, Writer & Host, Cheryl Fusco Johnson of The Studio: Small Town Boy to Hollywood Biographer: Norman Zierold’s Memoir, THAT REMINDS ME, July 14+16, 2014. You can listen here at this archived link: The Studio – 20140715-Norman Zierold.

How did small-town Iowa boy Norman Zierold become a Hollywood biographer, recording the stories of movie moguls, child stars, and famous actors? Even more exciting than his tales about the many celebrities he’s encountered is Norman’s own story. Lucky us! Norman’s recorded his journey from shelling peas beside cooks in his family’s Amana colonies restaurant to rubbing knees with Barbara Walters on TV. This week on The Studio with Cheryl, Norman discusses the mentors and experiences that inspired his life choices. Learn about his life and about THAT REMINDS ME, his stream-of-consciousness memoir (and what a consciousness it is!), by tuning in to The Studio with Cheryl and Norman this week.

Enlightenment, The Transcendental Meditation Magazine, has posted an article on Norman in Issue 16 under My Story: From Utopia to Hollywood and Back. In this column meditators share their stories of how they started the Transcendental Meditation technique and what kinds of positive changes have occurred in their lives.

The book has been updated with chapter headings, a table of contents, and a list of praise for the book, including a cover quote from filmmaker David Lynch, which reads: “What a creative and entertaining way to tell a story of a life and a time! Congratulations, Norman — a thoroughly enjoyable and informative read.”

March 9, 2018: Remembering Norman Zierold: Hollywood biographer, novelist, TM Teacher, member of Maharishi’s Purusha program, raconteur, publicist, beloved by all.

Cheryl Fusco Johnson interviews Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West

November 8, 2012

Writers’ Voices host Cheryl Fusco Johnson interviewed author Philip Goldberg on American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West, at KRUU FM studios, October 12, 2012. The show is now available online: http://www.kruufm.com/node/14325.

Philip Goldberg, American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West by Cheryl Fusco Johnson

Philip Goldberg with Cheryl Fusco Johnson in KRUU FM studio  Photo: Ken Chawkin

Los Angeles-based author Philip Goldberg is a screenwriter, Huffington Post religious-issues blogger, novelist, and nonfiction writer. His book American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West was named one of the top ten books on religion in 2010 by the Huffington Post.

The American Library Association’s Booklist Online awarded it the same honor in 2011. Philip has authored or co-authored nineteen books and has much to say about spirituality, publishing, and how both have changed during his lifetime.

From Cheryl’s Blog: Philip Goldberg: How He Became a HuffPost Blogger

Many people ask Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West, how he became a religious-issues blogger for The Huffington Post. During our Writers Voices radio interview today, Philip explained what happened. Waiting at a bookstore to begin giving a book talk, he was thinking about how few people were there to hear him speak. A woman came into the store looking for something she thought she’d left behind. She noticed Philip standing by a sign advertising the topic of his talk and said, “You should be a blogger for The Huffington Post. My daughter’s an editor there.” Was this a lucky break? Or was it a just reward for the many years Philip spent researching spirituality and honing his writing and speaking skills through repeated practice?

Listen to an earlier show on KRUU FM where Dennis Raimondi interviews Philip Goldberg on Speaking Freely about his latest book American Veda, Nov 22, 2010.

Here is an article about Philip Goldberg and his book American Veda: ‘Vedanta and yoga perfect match for certain American values’.

And here are two related articles by Philip Goldberg: George Harrison: The not-so-quiet Beatle, article by Philip Goldberg in LA YOGA Magazine and Huffington Post: Transcendental Meditation: Topping The Bestseller List Since 1975

Red Dirt Report reviews both “American Veda” by Philip Goldberg and “Transcendence” by Norman Rosenthal.

Dana Sawyer, professor of religion and philosophy at the Maine College of Art, reviewed American Veda for tricyle: How Hinduism Seeped into American Soil.

My Empowered World also posted the tricyle book review adding photos: From Emerson to the Beatles. Watch a video of MEW’s Luzzette McDonald’s Interview with Author – Philip Goldberg about his books American Veda and The Intuitive Edge. Answering Luzzette’s final question about the one empowering tool he would recommend Phil mentions meditation. He says all the other practices are improved by having a good deep meditation practice. Phil mentions his TM practice, which he has been doing since 1968, and concludes saying he thinks of it as the empowering tool for all the other empowering tools.

See this related article by Phil on THEWORLDPOST: Beatles in India: The Retreat That Reverberates Across the Universe.

 

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.

Haiku on The Nature of Haiku

July 19, 2012

Haiku Defined

3 lines, 2 spaces,
17 feet to walk thru;
then, the unending

Haiku Discovered

a poem unfolds
as words take their place in line
this one’s a haiku

Art of the Haiku

do away with words
and you’ll have a way with words
speak less and say more

When Writing Haiku

trim off excess words
expose the bones of meaning
enter Truth deeply

© Ken Chawkin

Other haiku you might enjoy: Transformed—my first haikuCOMMITTED (a two-haiku poem) | Art of the Haiku by Ken Chawkin | Five Haiku | 13 Ways to Write Haiku: A Poet’s Dozen | A Haiku on Haiku Poets | A Haiku on The Heart of Haiku. Search this blog for more haiku and tanka.


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