Archive | November, 2011

Blindness

28 Nov

by Tahlia Hilton

oh, tragedy, it is as if in a world of poetry, one cannot rhyme..

as if in a world of musical tune, one cannot sing…

as if in a world of much natural beauty and grace, one cannot see.

 

although,

not all poetry must rhyme

and one can enjoy music, by listening alone

and one can enjoy the world, by all other senses

(This poem taken from http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/blindness-16/ )

Happy Thanksgiving

24 Nov

Wishing all of our readers and writers a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.  More than anything, this day is a time to remember the things in our life that we are grateful for and Vision Through Words is thankful for your continued readership and submissions.  Have a great weekend and we’ll be back on Monday.

On Adversity

23 Nov

by Paul Hostovsky

I’m wishing now I’d read that book on adversity,
the one the blind mountain climber wrote
about climbing mountains and not looking back,
but looking straight ahead, or inward, or maybe
upward—I forget now where he said to look
in the face of adversity, because I only read the review
and the excerpt, and I don’t think that was enough
to see me through. Which is why I’m wishing now
I’d read that book on adversity when I had
the chance, now that I have no chance, no net, barely
a toehold and the ropes have gotten twisted
round my neck. I could use that book right
about now. And yet I wonder, even if I had
read that book, would I have the wherewithal to look
where it said to look? Would I remember to do
what it said to do, to clinch salvation in a pinch? I think
not. I think there is no way to prepare for this. This is not
a test. Though some will pass with flying colors.
And for others falling will be a kind of flying.
 

Paul Hostovsky is a sighted Braille instructor in Boston. He is also the author of three books of poetry, Bending the Notes (2008), Dear Truth (2009), and A Little in Love a Lot (2011). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and Best of the Net 2008 and 2009. To read more of his work, visit his website at www.paulhostovsky.com .

Moonshadow

21 Nov

by Stella De Genova

OK, I know this shows my age a bit but I always loved the music of Cat Stevens.  I even drew a portrait of him back in the 70’s!  Moomshadow was always one of my favorite songs.  It’s short and simple but it seems to me that if I can sing this, I can keep a good outlook on life.

MOONSHADOW by Cat Stevens

Yes, I’m bein’ followed by a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow
And if I ever lose my hands
Lose my power, lose my land
Oh, if I ever lose my hands
Ooh, I won’t have to work no more
And if I ever lose my eyes
If my colors all run dry
Yes, if I ever lose my eyes
Ooh, I won’t have to cry no more
Yes, I’m bein’ followed by a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow
And if I ever lose my legs
I won’t moan and I won’t beg
Oh, if I ever lose my legs
Ooh, I won’t have to walk no more
And if I ever lose my mouth
All my teeth north and south
Yes, if I ever lose my mouth
Ooh, I won’t have to talk
“Did it take long to find me?”
I asked the faithful light
“Oh, did it take long to find me
And are you gonna stay the night?”
I’m bein’ followed by a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow
Leapin’ und hoppin’ on a moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow
Moon shadow, moon shadow

Creative Person of the Week

19 Nov

Chen Guangcheng (born November 12, 1971) is a blind civil rights activist in the People’s Republic of China who drew international attention to human rights issues in rural areas. Due to a severe fever, he lost his sight at an early age. He was illiterate until 1994 when he was enrolled by Qingdao High School for the Blind and graduated in 1998. He studied in Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine from 1998 to 2001. After graduation he returned to his home region and found a job as a blind masseur in the hospital of Yinan county. Nonetheless, he managed to audit in law classes and learned enough to aid his fellow villagers when they sought his assistance.

He was placed under house arrest from September 2005 to March 2006 after talking to Time magazine about the forced abortion cases he investigated in Linyi Prefecture, Shandong Province. Authorities formally arrested him in June 2006 for destruction of property and assembling a crowd to disrupt traffic. During his trial, Chen’s lawyers were forbidden access to the court, leaving him without a proper defender. On August 24, 2006, Chen was sentenced to four years and three months for “damaging property and organising a mob to disturb traffic”

Chen was released from prison on September 8, 2010 after serving his full sentence, but remains under “ruanjin” or soft detention at his home in Dongshigu. Chen and his wife were reportedly beaten shortly after a human rights group released a video of their home under intense police surveillance on February 9, 2011. (Excerpt taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chen_Guangcheng#Early_life )

Pile of Bones

17 Nov

by Sarah Martin

The longing filled the room with light
The desire covered the body
The hatred drunk on images
The unease ate at the bed covers
The emptiness that was discovered
The sadness engulfed by the dust that settled
The happiness faded in the shadows
The love sat beside the broken winged bird
The hope fell upon the reflection
The silence fell between the cracks in the floor
The memories discovered in hidden pages
The tears fill empty spaces
The despise festering in shadows
The imagination in opened boxes
The dreams caught dangling in the air
The soul

 

Sarah Martin is 32 years old and lives in Melbourne Australia.  She was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at age 16.  Since that time, she has been on a journey of light and dark.  The one thing that has become clear over the past few years is Sarah’s passion and joy in poetry and exploring her world through words.

The Day My Uncle Hank Sat Down to Lunch with Helen Keller in a Café in the Philippines, August 1948

14 Nov

by Paul Hostovsky

it was raining,
but raining so hard that he couldn’t
see what his hands were doing
in front of his own face, so he climbed
carefully down from the truss
of the cantilever bridge he was building
with the Army Corps of Engineers outside
Manila, and made his way into the city under
friends’ umbrellas twirling toward
the brothels mostly, but Uncle Hank
who was always more hungry than horny
headed for Fagayan’s for a bowl of beef stew.
 
Helen was building bridges too, she told him—
“bridges out of Braille dots” (visiting schools
for the blind all over Asia). Then she smiled
and turned to Polly Thomson sitting beside her
(Annie Sullivan dead 10 years already)
and asked her if the young American soldier
sharing their table in the crowded café
with its red-and-white checkered tablecloths,
sounds of Tagalog, Spanish, English mixed
with the clacking curtain of rain filling the doorway—
was smiling at her Braille joke. Yes, he was,
 
but he couldn’t see what her hand was doing—
the fitfully pecking bird of Polly’s hand
fingerspelling into Helen’s palm—to make
the words, his words, almost as fast as he was saying them:
“How do you do that, that, with your hand…how
does she understand?” And so it happened
that my mother’s youngest brother Henry Weiss,
who hadn’t written home in over six
months, learned the American Manual
Alphabet from its most famous reader,
over beef stew, brown bread and beer,
on a rainy day in Manila, and now had something
 
to write home about. Of course he’d heard
of Helen Keller—who hadn’t?—but here
she was, older, stouter, and drinking
a beer, and sitting across from him, holding
his hand now, molding it, arranging his                                                     
fingers and thumb into the shapes of the letters
one by one, teaching him her tactile
ABCs. And her hands were large and strong
for a woman’s hands, and she smelled good too,
and to see his eyes smiling when he told it
to my mother, whose eyes smiled telling it
to me years after, the way her generous
bosom swelled above the checkered table cloth
as she leaned in close to Uncle Hank
and shaped and sculpted and praised,
 
it aroused in him something he never quite
got over. And walking back to the barracks
in the pouring rain, gazing down at his right
hand still practicing the letters, feeding them
to his left, which he cupped like a nest under them,
he must have looked to anyone observing him
like a man bent over his own praying hands;
or a man wringing his hands, for love; or maybe
a man who has just found something small
and glinting, and of great value on the way
to wherever it was he was going, and pausing
in the middle of the road now, he considers
this strange, new, marvelous light it casts
on his hands, on the road, on his whole life.
 

Paul Hostovsky is a sighted Braille instructor in Boston. He is also the author of three books of poetry, Bending the Notes (2008), Dear Truth (2009), and A Little in Love a Lot (2011). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and Best of the Net 2008 and 2009. To read more of his work, visit his website at www.paulhostovsky.com .