movement, movement

With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!

Posted in 35mm, photography, poetry by amoslanka on September 24, 2010

Lauren Stonestreet

With husky-haughty lips, O sea!
Where day and night I wend thy surf-beat shore,
Imaging to my sense thy varied strange suggestions,
(I see and plainly list thy talk and conference here,)
Thy troops of white-maned racers racing to the goal,
Thy ample, smiling face, dash’d with the sparkling dimples of the sun,
Thy brooding scowl and murk–thy unloos’d hurricanes,
Thy unsubduedness, caprices, wilfulness;
Great as thou art above the rest, thy many tears–a lack from all
eternity in thy content,
(Naught but the greatest struggles, wrongs, defeats, could make thee
greatest–no less could make thee,)
Thy lonely state–something thou ever seek’st and seek’st, yet
never gain’st,
Surely some right withheld–some voice, in huge monotonous rage, of
freedom-lover pent,
Some vast heart, like a planet’s, chain’d and chafing in those breakers,
By lengthen’d swell, and spasm, and panting breath,
And rhythmic rasping of thy sands and waves,
And serpent hiss, and savage peals of laughter,
And undertones of distant lion roar,
(Sounding, appealing to the sky’s deaf ear–but now, rapport for once,
A phantom in the night thy confidant for once,)
The first and last confession of the globe,
Outsurging, muttering from thy soul’s abysms,
The tale of cosmic elemental passion,
Thou tellest to a kindred soul.
– Walt Whitman

Lauren Stonestreet
Canon AE-1
Kodak Portra 400nc

Tagged with: ,

The I Chromosome

Posted in photography, poetry by amoslanka on September 17, 2010

Seth Braverman

Seth Braverman, a Poet
Rocky Mountain National Park

the father’s voice: did you see it? at the beach, did you see what I took you to see?

the son’s eyes fill with water.

as surely as we get the Y chromosome from our fathers, so we also get the I chromosome from our fathers, or, rather, the eye chromosome. it is through our fathers we are given the gift of sight, and in so seeing, our own identity, our I, is formed. they are given then the task  of teaching us how to see, to show us many great and baffling things with which to learn to look. they take us to discover the ocean or a sunrise, so beautiful that we go dumb and nearly blind. and when we do regain our speech, we simply say, “help me to see,” realizing all we’ve yet to learn, that endless sea. and sight still baffles our fathers, or they are no longer fit to teach. or they are dead or dying. if that time comes, as for some it surely will, it is we who must then take our fathers by their age-ed, hardened hands to discover, once again, the mysteries of light in the hush before dawn.


You Are Not Your Eyes

Posted in life, philosophy, poetry by amoslanka on April 26, 2010

Those who have reached their arms
into emptiness are no longer

concerned with lies and truth, with
mind and soul, or which side of

the bed they rose from. If you
are still struggling to understand,

you are not there. You offer your
soul to one who says, “Take it to

the other side.” You’re on neither
side, yet those who love you see

you on one side or the other. You
say Illa, “only God;” then your

hungry eyes see you’re in “nothing,”
La. You’re an artist who paints

both with existence and non. Shams
could help you see who you are, but

remember, You are not your eyes.

– You Are Not Your Eyes, Rumi

Tagged with:

Resurrection Day

Posted in christianity, life, poetry, religion by amoslanka on April 4, 2010

Let us go forth in the power of the resurrection.
Not in the basket or the empty canteen.
Forsaken by proverbs unheard and unseen.
Neither by river nor rising to hills.
But in the open palms that we hope to be filled.
Fill them with the sands that we find within view.
The driftwood discovered that’s not lost its hue.
A grain shaped and drawn out to pull my eyes from what was to what’s new.
Christós Anésti.


Posted in life, poetry by amoslanka on March 7, 2010

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way !

O brothers let’s go down,
Let’s go down, come on down,
Come on brothers let’s go down,
Down in the river to pray.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way !

Laura Dart

Posted in friends, people, photography, poetry by amoslanka on October 21, 2009

Laura Dart

Listen! I will be honest with you;
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes;
These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d—you hardly settle yourself to satisfaction, before you are call’d by an irresistible call to depart,
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you;
What beckonings of love you receive, you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands toward you.

– Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road

On Beauty

Posted in books, poetry, quotes by amoslanka on September 9, 2009

And a poet said, “Speak to us of Beauty.”

The tired and the weary say, “beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow.”
But the restless say, “We have heard her shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions.”

All these things have you said of beauty.
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

[B]eauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

– Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, Beauty (abridged)

The Final Harbor, The Repose of Mutual If

Posted in books, community, friends, poetry, religion by amoslanka on August 21, 2009

The mingled, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woof: calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm. There is no steady unretracing progress in this life; we do not advance through fixed gradations, and at the last one pause: — through infancy’s unconscious spell, boyhood’s thoughtless faith, adolescence’ doubt (the common doom), then scepticism, then disbelief, resting at last in manhood’s pondering repose of If. But once gone through, we trace the round again; and are infants, boys, and men, and Ifs eternally. Where lies the final harbor, whence we unmoor no more? in what rapt ether sails the world, of which the weariest will never weary? Where is the foundling’s father hidden? Our souls are like those orphans whose unwedded mothers die in bearing them: the secret of our paternity lies in their grave, and we must there to learn it.

– Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter CXIV

Dustin and I spoke tonight of progression. By the time two Horse Brass beers apiece had fogged our proverbial mirrors, we’d referred in repetition to the journeys traveled and the search for the great peace of the soul that we may perhaps find glimpses of, but will effectively face countless books and conversations with the same ifs until we too find it in the grave. I suppose it doesn’t prevent us from scratching around in the dirt on the way down that road, hoping it could be found there among the ruts.

I told my roommate Michal last night that among my theology is included the shrug. I didn’t use that actual term but its one that had escaped me when I needed it most. (shrugs are so passive, just when you need them most..) But really, the shrug. Why demand an answer who’s availability died that same moment humanity’s innocence became a question?

I have a willingness to leave questions unanswered. Yes, theological questions. Many of the same questions on which are spent books of writing and thought, the same questions that drive communities into separate churches, the same questions that build walls between friends, the same questions that drove men like Kierkegaard into social exile.

I have a gloomy mind at times, seeing first the negative aspects in progression. But among the reasons I am ok with a shrug answer is that I believe others are reacting just the same. Dustin is an ally in this. So is Michal. The social and technological progressions we have waltzed through have left us more room to consider the steps. More room to peacefully see each others’ shrugs and to notice the silly off-color dance it creates when the collective can be ok with itself in being a little off-color, because after all, the dusty ruts are no place to find answered ifs. But they are the place to find the best we have to work with: the repose of mutual if.


Posted in life, poetry by amoslanka on August 9, 2009

Parker Palmer
(from Let Your Life Speak)

The plow has savaged this sweet field
Misshapen clods of earth kicked up
Rocks and twisted roots exposed to view
Last year’s growth demolished by the blade.
I have plowed my life this way
Turned over a whole history
Looking for the roots of what went wrong
Until my face is ravaged, furrowed, scarred.

Enough. The job is done.
Whatever’s been uprooted, let it be
Seedbed for the growing that’s to come.
I plowed to unearth last year’s reasons–

The farmer plows to plant a greening season.


Posted in books, poetry by amoslanka on July 13, 2009


T.S. Eliot, Gerontion

Tagged with: , , , ,