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Summer Storm: Lake Chapala, June 25, 2021, 8:40 P.M.
Everything is in the Shape of a Bird, a Fish or a Woman
Look how they frown in the old photograph:
my grandmother, her sister,
her two daughters and her granddaughter.
All of the women are very stern.
Grandma looks out of her element,
her eyes shielded against the sun.
In the yellowing photo,
“Taken at homestead” written on the back,
They stand, stark house behind them.
From the porch overhang, a sparse vine hangs,
but on the hidden tendril of the vine,
in the dead tan prairie that surrounds the scene,
in the summer grass bent low, I imagine birds.
It is a drying photo—brittle, cracked,
of three generations of prairie women.
Although none there knew it,
a waterhole is in their near future,
and in this stock pond that my dad would someday dig,
would swim perch and crappies,
sunfish, northern pike.
And although none there will ever see it,
in my house, everything is in the shape of a bird, a fish or a woman.
On the wall hangs an earthy goddess–
stolid and substantial.
Birds perch on her shoulder, arm and knee.
On the hearth, a crow formed out of chicken wire.
A soapstone fish swims the window ledge
beside that aging photograph
and on another window ledge
are two ancient terra cotta figurines.
The small one kneels in her kimono, playing pipes.
The large one stands wide-hipped
with arms narrowing to points
above the elbow.
In my studio,
a still-damp terra cotta figure
holds a fat plum.
On drying canvasses,
Women recline in their vulnerable states–
layers of wet flesh tones, yellows, purplish reds.
The house in the photograph
has been long-felled by rot and fire and rust.
All of the people except the youngest are dead.
Yet still in the grass, the meadowlark.
and in the muddy pond the minnow.
In the glass of the photo frame, I see my own reflection–
thinning lips pulled into one straight line.
around me is their house, their sky, their prairie grass.
In the glass, my face
turns into the face of my grandmother.
I flinch but do not falter.
I look deeper.
Reflected in one eye, a perched bird.
in the other eye, a swimming fish.
(To enlarge all photos, click on first photo and arrows.)
Did you mother tell you not to point? Well, you’re all grown up now and I’m telling you you can point all you want to. From pointed toes to pointed comments, this is your place to express yourself. Photos or words or both—all interpretations of the prompt are acceptable. The prompt is open until June 30, 2019. Please put a pingback on your post to lead your readers back here to see the posts of others or perhaps to join in themselves as well as putting a link on this page in comments so we can see your post. Be sure your pingback works as they may need to be done manually. Hop aboard! We’re off to all points north, south, east and west.
Want to see these photos better? Click on any one to enlarge them all.
These pictures were taken on Mezcala Island, where “from 1812 to 1816, a small band of Mexican rebels or insurgents on the island held off the Spanish army and navy against overwhelming odds. Tired of the humiliation, the Spanish finally negotiated a peaceful surrender with the insurgents. Later the island served as a Spanish prison for many years. There is a Ceremonial precinct where indigenous structures and hieroglyphics existed on the island before the fortifications were built.” ***
Traces of these sites still remain. Now it is a popular tourist spot in Lake Chapala. This little lady seems to have declared herself in charge.
The Tuesdays of Texture prompt seemed to close down on Sept. 19 with this final message: “We are now bracing for Hurricane Maria, a cat 5 with a pronosticated route through the middle of PR Wednesday to Thursday. Please KEEP US IN YOUR PRAYERS that we stay safe and it goes by fast.THANKS TO ALL PARTICIPATIONS!”
I hope Narami is okay. I miss this prompt so I’m going to continue to post it on my own. If anyone else wants to establish a link with their own texture photo or if they know any news of Narami and why the site seems to have gone inactive, please comment below! GOOD NEWS Looks like she is okay… just a different URL from the one I’ve had favorited. See her blog HERE.
For Narami’s Tuesdays of Texture challenge.
Since I leave tomorrow to go back to Mexico, I must avail myself of the opportunity to photograph the elastic face of Forgottenman, nee Big Duck, as much as I can. Here, he first reveals his confusion over how to choose from the varied menu at Perkins, then reflects on whether he made the correct choice, glories smugly over the fact that he believes he has, then fondly remembers meals of his past before just trying to adopt his intellectual pose and failing completely. At any rate, all poses are adorable, and I do appreciate his role of chauffeur in driving me all over six different states to visit friends and relatives. No greater love than to do the driving while I catch up on my blogging!
If you’d like to enjoy an even more detailed view of his countenance, click on the first photo to enlarge them all. Lucky you.
The color prompt for Nancy’s Weekly photo challenge is “Blue” this week.
Thursday Doors on Friday
In a place where square does not rule the day anyway, it was very hard to get a square take on these doors without having the door blocked by the very ugly black street sign. The more ornate older sign added to the view, but the ugly black one definitely didn’t!!
I never did order one of these mocha drinks at La Rueda coffee shop. I couldn’t be trusted to know how good they were.Do they look like luscious chocolates and macaroons? Wrong. They are sweet potato balls brought to a friend’s Thanksgiving feast…rolled in coconut or pecans and brown sugar. Yes, they were delicious!!!
This pancake breakfast ordered by a friend at Martha’s Cafe in Ajijic was as good as it looks. Proof below:
But, the shocker was that the oatmeal I ordered was just as good! I was too hungry to get a picture of it. Guess I’ll have to go back to prove it to you!!!