There are two constants in the poetry of John Mannone: love and science… And they are intertwined--his poems flow effortlessly between poles of desire and precious, precise knowledge. In the world of poetry there is no one who can mine science for metaphor the way Mannone does. Nor move to love so naturally.
The moon slipped through the air. in the bay it lit clouds that sank an opaque presence to touch the life that swished through the depths; its beams outlined underwater turreted princess tower constructions of cottages and multi-storied apartments, of magical caves and black holes and grass camps that waved in tides that were like breezes that enfolded spots of greenery into the scene.
Small, coloured fish flitted in and out of weeds, moving in shoals, staying ahead of the heftier plumper shapes by swimming over and under the silhouettes though they occasionally blundered into their space to feed.
Big sleek monsters made for longevity, mostly scaleless and smooth-skinned were happy to lurk in the shadow, unaffected by the shape of light and when the clock and earth linked the world shifted to the powerful rhythm of tones as shadows and black holes seesawed on spring's axial tilt. A call to war ...
International Day of Dance, 29/04/2022
"The demands to do something
About this outrageous man
Became louder and louder"
350 earth time years after the act was perpetrated ,/150 years after the publication of the story,/The means of the criminal execution:/The poisoned apple was found
by Stephen Zelnick
In our time of troubles, the comic works of John Steinbeck lifted my spirits. Steinbeck (1902-1968) is remembered for Grapes of Wrath (1939), Of Mice and Men (1937), and East of Eden (1952); but Steinbeck’s comic novels lifted me from the Trump gloom and COVID plague. Sometimes we need to be somber; and sometimes to laugh at our confused existence. Steinbeck’s first triumph was not a organ-toned piece on Depression suffering but Tortilla Flat (1935), a comic novel set in Monterey California just after WWI. Steinbeck wrote Tortilla Flat while sunk in misery; his mother dying and his father drifting towards death. It was, of course, the depths of the Depression, with the fertile valleys surrounding Salinas torn by strikes and reprisals. Portrayals of suffering and struggle made perfect sense; but times of trouble need the comic spirit, a way of looking that eases troubled hearts.
Oscars 2022 is comprised of a selection of photos from an Linnet's Wings inhouse art project, the portraits are all oil on board, and were completed in Feb/Mar 2022, it was a fun project that was worked on to celebrate voice and some of the best actor/actress nominees for this year's Oscars, the guys who kept working during the COVID CRISES and kept us going with new online shows. They ALL deserve a shout out ...
Once upon a time the world was made square. But it was lunchtime before anyone noticed, well it was a dot-off midday. 11.59 AM to be exact. It was 11.59 AM when the clocks appeared to trip and a loud click was heard by all, and on that sound life switched, too. And all the clock and compass settings were redrawn to reflect the new world form.
Each corner held a major quarter setting with the minute marks falling on silver tines ...
I’m out. Leaving the high pressure of running my father’s family pub at night while being a teacher by day. My son, Jeaic, has given me a list of seventeen milestones in his life I’ve already missed: his sixth birthday, his eighth birthday, the piano exams (Grade I) recital, the Kerins O’Rahilly under 10s county final and so many more. My son is only eleven-and-a-half years old.
A year ago his mother and I split. That’s another reason. She doesn’t have a new man in her life yet, that I know of...
"... the air is personalized with extravagant perfume"
A fantastic bit of light popped like a camera flash and a mess of smoky silver streaming cloud lit-up with roaring coloured blobs of colour; spots ran down buildings, rainbowed land and shadowed waterways.
A silent signal for the pollinators to find their way along the path of the twisting scribbles: Each one a tailored creation scented from sweet, light, musty trails that filled the air with o’s of delight, to tease, fall, lift, coast, spiral, to draw the bee, butterfly, beetle and bat back to work to trigger a time of gorgeousness.
I see my mother's face in mine, a much loved view
that mines the kindness from her store, she knew
just good and grace and all that made them shine
and shared their shape and soul with her own kind.
And I being eldest got to know the breath;
the style that young woman wore in her prime.
Those days were good, the seasons fit in place:
chapel, school and work dictated pace.
Routines that drove the wearing of the green
supported life like nothing lately seen.
O! if I could go back just once and touch again
the loving kindness that she wore to the end.
Ingrained and nurtured where grace is born
where peace is made, where home's adorned.
Art: Still Life with Guitar by Juan Gris, Date: 1920
Pillows of Sound by by Alisa Velaj
What more do you seek from sunsets, man?
A bunch of copper leaves
Fell on the strings of the guitar leaning against the tree trunk
And slept the most anxious sleep
Using sounds as pillows
The solitude of seas persecutes the leaves in dreams
Like the shadows of seasons do to man
What more do you seek from sunsets
You being that keep travelling on the shores of oblivion?
The guitar will always succeed
In weaving serenades
An inexistent bridge can connect no river banks
Be a sunrise if you want to understand the sunsets, man
Someone called the Caspian Lake a 'Sea'
And to this day they write it so on every world map…
Translated from Albanian by Uke Zenel Buçpapaj
"I was tellin’ about the time when I was a little bitty boy in my mother’s hometown of Boutte, Louisiana. I was about five years old, cute little ol’ thing, too. Mayann, my mother you know, she said to me one morning, “Son, run down to the pond and get a bucket of water for your mama. And I cut out for that water, and Mayann dug me when I come back without the water and poooh, boy! She said, “Boy, where is that water?" I said, “Well, mama, there’s a big old rusty alligator in that pond and I didn’t get that water." She said, “Oh, boy, go get that water. Don’t you know that alligator is scared of you as you are of him?" I told her, “Mama, if he’s scared of me as I am of him, that water ain’t fit to drink."
Until then I had thought each book spoke of the things, human or divine, that lie outside books.
Now I realized that not infrequently books speak of books: it is as if they spoke among themselves. In the light of this reflection, the library seemed all the more disturbing to me. It was then the place of a long, centuries-old murmuring, an imperceptible dialogue between one parchment and another, a living thing, a receptacle of powers not to be ruled by a human mind, a treasure of secrets emanated by many minds, surviving the death of those who had produced them or had been their conveyors.
Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose"
“Dream all you want, son, dream like you might be king, which you won’t be, but they can’t take it away from you; just don’t do it crossing the street or walking down the railroad tracks. Pay all your dues as they come up, crow a little bit when in luck, shut up when you lose, but dream all you want. It might just become the biggest pleasure of your life. There are worse things to hold onto."
Set in 19th Century Russia during a time of war
You instruct me to go to the church. Defy the innocents. Rub holy water on my breasts. Put my lips to the lips of God. I stand before you staring at your mouth. Unable to speak. This journey, dear Petrov, will not be my saving grace. Salvation coming from the rocks and streams. The white birch forest. The mountain always in view. Protective. Its great shadow veils the house and what I most fear. Over top the guns fire. I try enduring that sound. Will I outlive the guns and cannon fire. soldier you have no answer. A soldier coated in the stench of war. Though I brushed your coat and scrubbed your boots 'til my hands ached. My sink a font. I bow to what my sink must endure. The birds come back each spring with a troubling regularity. They have the freedom to choose while I do not. I have few freedoms. Which hat to wear. Whether to darn my cloak or go ragged. The saints went ragged I say. Causing you to laugh considerably. Loud and bellowing. Crashing. Knocking your whisky over. I cover my ears and move toward the kitchen.Looking out its one smudged window. Singing a soft prayer: O black birds of Russia I know it isn’t true, the rage still burns bright in you.
Mozart Appeared on the Stage by Alisa Velaj
They all said that
There was the place where acacia flowers take their rest
They all said that
And a child pointed to Salieri’s grave
Lying a little further ahead
At dusk when oblivion invades the rivers
Mozart appeared on stage holding acacia flowers in his hands
Translated from Albanian by Uke Zenel Buçpapaj
Photo: Mozart Appeared on a Stage
Mari, Seville, 2022