Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Music

Sound alternatives

Day of ColoursReal World Records, World music/QawwaliRizwan-Muazzam Qawwali
The brothers Rizwan and Muazzam, nephews of the late Sufi singing great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, deliver a majestic album. Imagine the droning power of Gregorian chant melded with the expressiveness of blues shouters. With the simple instrumentation of harmonium and tablas, Colours addresses spiritual themes central to the Qawwali tradition. “Light of My Life,” a Persian song in praise of Allah, is particularly arresting.
Film

Choices of Youth

“A powerful emotional experience”
Poetry

The state lakes at Alexandria

I have never stopped thinking of myself as a beginner.
                                                                     Auguste Rodin

Now that I’m retired and done being chosen
Or rejected, respect mine to give again,
I want to grow large, as large as the twelve
Year old who dived off a wooden platform under
Weeping willows and swam the longest of
Man-made lakes to impress Rachel Kerwood,
Not sure he could make it an acceptable risk,
So that when he climbed out on the other side
Green pond scum clinging emeralds to a milk
White back, he sat beside her in the sweet grass
Eating black walnuts cracked open with a rock,
Talking of things he could only speak of
Because he’d swum through the silken stillness
In the middle of the deepest lake, where
Pure artesian springs turned the water cold,
And sullen bullheads grew twice normal size.

Poetry

Lillian, Althea, Hattie, Zada

Praise all folds, crinkles, gathers,
pleats both sharp and rumpled,
corrugated cardboard’s columned smocking.

Praise sun-dried blue jeans and raisins’
ancient sweetness: old hymns’
complex thought clothed in easy rhymes.

Praise creases: English walnuts:
each human brain dreaming a future
while claiming the past. Now, praise

time’s thousand cranes: wrinkles
and grandmothers’ recycled names.





Poetry

Limits of the human

One might be weary of flesh. One’s own, another’s.
Flesh of neighbor, stranger, passerby.
Flesh of the real or the imagined lover,
or secret flesh that mind and heart deny.
One might be shut of it, freed from the nerve,
but flesh is merciless, confines us, binds us
to our servitude to cleft and curve.
Even You have been a slave to this,
true Spirit, on that wild night, delirious,
piercing the meat of life. And since? Scandal
to our atoms when flesh, merging with flesh,
happens on You in single, paradoxical
bliss. Perhaps all earth shall plunge toward sun,
savage with desire to be One.