Monday, November 28, 2011

The Red Love Seat

How like a love seat
Always just a bit uncomfortable
But so desirable
And in red so difficult
To ignore.

You could not miss her
The moment you walked into the room
You wanted to find a way
To include her
In your decor.

And yet
Red is such a hard color to match
It always seems to clash
With all other elements
In the room.

But there she was
The center of all the attention
Even when at the end
She was abandoned in the back alley
Of life.

I had a red love seat
Sort of friend
And as hard as she was to accommodate
I shall miss her.

J. Binford-Bell
November 2011
In Memory of Libby

Posted to Magpie Tales 93 hosted by Tess Kincaid.

Come the Winter's Embrace

Icy Embrace by J. Binford-Bell

Winter's Icy Embrace

Come the winter
To the lands of fall
Streams sealed
Beneath an icy embrace.

Hope fighting back
Helped by the midday sun
Bubbles form
Below sheets of ice.

Race away
Run fast
The December snows.

October's pond
Sealed off
In winter's icy embrace
Before November's end.

J. Binford-Bell
November 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Magpie Tales - I wonder

Woodward and Newman posted by Magpie Tales

I Wonder

When I see
People kissing
Are both

Are their noses
In the right place
Their teeth brushed
Is the kiss

Or are they
About what the other 
Must think.

Am I doing this right
Is this as awkward
As it is going to get
Will the next kiss
Be Bliss?

Are these just my insecurities
Or do others
About their tongues
The shoes on the bed
Worried about who
Is looking?

Will I get
Another chance
To do this

Jacqui Binford-Bell
November 2011

I often am transported by the Magpie prompt for the week but this one just made me itch. I worried about the wrinkles on the bed and the shoes, and how long they had to hold that pose for the photographers.  It all transported me back to my early days of kissing. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shadow Sisters

Shadow Sisters at the Grand Canyon
My sister and I did a ten day tour in October of national parks and federal lands along the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Usually we set up the tripod and do a photo of us in the we were here mode but this time we chanced in day one on the Shadow Sisters. They went everywhere with us.

Shadow Sisters

Me and my sister
When young she was my shadow
Baby sister following me

Me and my shadow
We both grew up
Now our shadows play together

So thankful
For my sister
And the shadows we cast
In each other's life.

Just me and my sister
And our shadows
At play in the western sun
Thankfully together.

J. Binford-Bell
November 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Art or Snapshot?


I have found a group of photographers to explore the realm of the possible with. I am going to call it digital art. But given the things I used to do in a black and white darkroom during college I think it is still totally permissible to call it photography.

Devotions above is the current state of play with a photograph I originally took as merely a snapshot in Mesa Tower at Desert Overlook on the rim of the Grand Canyon. I say snapshot because I was in a recording mode with my digital camera. I had taken this ten day vacation with my sister to be inspired to paint again, and to get some wonderful photographs that were not on film, and spend some time with my sister.

We are both photographers be it as a hobby or an art form that we are pursuing. As such there were times we set up tripods with a specific purpose in mind like sunrise in the Grand Canyon that morning. And times when you just point at an interesting juxtaposition of colors and shapes and snap.

The original photo
The lighting in the Mesa tower was challenging. My Nikon, on auto, was confused. A time existed, like with film, I would have tossed this particular photo but I loved the shapes so downloaded to my computer I ran it through my post processing program.

Heightened color
My first thought had been to just adjust for brightness and contrast and see what I got. But I couldn't stop just there. I had to push the saturation level and hues because if nothing else I wanted to use it for a painting idea. And I still might.

But I was inspired by those friends of mine to add some texture to the photograph. And that gave me the opening photo Devotion. It is an artistic statement within itself. Will I still do a painting of this subject? Yes, I might. But more as a concept and with addition or rearrangement of elements. Or I may have the photograph printed on canvas and sign it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wandering Lonely as a Chair


From chair to chair
Room to room
Seeking something

From dream to dream
Always not finding
What is missing.

A chair unoccupied
A room empty
Boxes without contents
Hallow walls.

Lonely as a chair
Empty as my heart
Hallow echos
Of something lost.

J. Binford-Bell
November 2011

Posted in Magpie Tales 91 hosted by Tess Kincaid. Visit for more poetic and creative takes of this week's prompt.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Angry Clouds

Angry Clouds

The clouds are angry today
They rage across the mountain tops
Racing before the winds
Whipping the grass
To a frenzy.

The sun is depressed
Cannot seem to find its proper place
Skirts along the ridges
Looking for escape
From the day.

My skin itches
As if the wind is a swarm of gnats
The storm assaults my senses
Sucks the very air
From my lips.

J. Binford-Bell
November 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Magpie Tales 90 - Cemetery Strolls

Magpie Tales by Tess Kincaid

Cemetery Strolls

Just Mother and Me
Seeing the sights
In ancient Rome
Old World Cemeteries.

All those miles in a stroller
All those centuries of history
Names carved in marble
Shelley, Keats, Bellini, 
Sir Thomas Moore and Michelangelo.

Cathedrals and cemeteries
Frescos and fountains
Fables and myth
Etched into a young mind
Recorded on Kodak film.

Albums of photographs
Recording me at two
Before Bellini's crypt
On the square at St. Peter's
Memorial to martyrdom.

At times most alone
I go to cemeteries
Walk among the monuments
To lives I never knew
And feel at home.

J. Binford-Bell
November 2011

Visit Magpie Tales for links to other poetic flights spurred by Tess Kincaid's photographic prompt. 

Bird of a feather

Raven Chatter by J. Binford-Bell

Bird of a feather

Of Edgar Allan
Standing so still
Not on a door or window sill
But a log of petrified wood.

Poe's bird of Nevermore
Speaking nonsense in the desert sun
Not a midnight dark and gloomy
Cocking head to stare
Fixing me with its stony gaze.

I stood and stared back
Waited for him to fly away
But still he stood as if wanting 
To speak to me
Relay some important message.

I crept close with camera
To listen to the whispers from his feathers
Or capture his spirit in pixels
And he opened his beak
And cackled. 

The breeze ruffled his feathers
I waited for him to fly
But still so stoically he stood
Not until I walked away
Did he fly.

Had he been waiting for me
Some message to pass on
Not nevermore
Poe's raven had it wrong.

J. Binford-Bell
November 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Cliff Dwelling at Walnut Canyon
Walnut Canyon National Monument was one of the last parks we visited on our Arizona junket. We did Sunset Crater, Wupatki Pueblo, and Walnut Canyon all in one day because of their proximity to each other. It could have been a park too many. We had been given rave reviews of it but compared to the others we had seen it seemed rather less than spectacular but that could be due to landscape.

Walnut canyon itself is gray. And the canyon is narrow. The cliff dwellings are built in the layers of the canyon walls. It reached its highest population density after Sunset Crater erupted. Safety seemed the primary concern of the residents.

Looking down in the canyon from the 240 steps to the bottom
There is a stream at the bottom of the canyon but it comes and goes dependent upon rainfall. The residents farmed the land at the top and built extensive trails to to other pueblos around the canyon walls and from top to bottom. The ledges are narrow and the cliff faces steep. Hopefully nobody walked in their sleep.

Debbie walking but the remains of a pueblo
As you travel down to the bottom and around the loop trail you pass the remains of many dwellings and see them everywhere on the cliffs around you. It must have been a busy center of activity.

Hidden in the canyon walls
Debbie talking to one of the shadow people
Rock Eroded by wind

Tree hanging on to cliff
At Bottom Looking up
The modern steps and paths were laid out during the depression. There are 240 steps down and you have to do those up too. No elevators. Great exercise. Yes, those tiny little figures are people walking down. And yes, it was worth the trip but we took more pictures on the way up than down. It gave us an excuse to stop and catch our breath.