Hand-sculpted clay, Woman Spirit Rising, by Tammy Vitale of Tam’s Originals
Ever feel the need to switch from one creative project to another? Like the passion of your life (in my instance, clay) is awesome but some days just aren’t the day for that passion?
I write poetry. Not as much as I used to, mostly because blogging fills up a huge "need to write" space. But for about 3 years in my late 40s, poetry was my passion. It was portable, didn’t cost much (unless I was entering contests and buying the chapbooks for the contest to see what won before, which can be very pricey and not at all helpful….and you live and learn).
Out of those three years came my book, Shift, which you can buy from Amazon.com by clicking on it’s picture to your left in this blog.
Grace Cavalieri, writing for the on-line Montserrat Review says: "Tammy Vitale’s first book, Shift, is a blueprint of her journey through social change to self-actualization. It is a triumph over dark forces and the internal quarrels that eventually turn into strength. Women’s self-realizations are surprisingly the same: Mainstream, women poets live through a sense of isolation, guilt, then the powerful current of hope that uplifts the poem from the page." She quotes an excerpt from "Epistle" (page 4):
Your sisters sit in a circle, can you see them?
One is dark as night, her eyes are stars; comets
fly from her mouth when she speaks. One
has fire for hair – she dances among us, lighting our clothes
with red flames. One sits in the center blind-
folded. She wishes not to be seen.
We form a wall around her; sing a song whose
meter makes new meaning from old words.
Cavalieri continues: "If you read this through, you will enter the forest, receive blessings and enchantments, and come out of your own wilderness into light."
On Shift‘s homepage at Amazon.com, Maureen Sherbondy "poetry lover" of Raleigh North Carolina, writes: "The poet is on a quest for answers, for knowlege, for home. There is pain, terror and damage. But Vitale is not afraid to explore scary things that the universe presents in both past and present. There are gnawed bones and dragons…..One of my favorite poems in the book is "Discourse," where at church ‘black and white began to bleed/and the words became silver mice, tumbling like pearls/beneath a leaden sky." What incredible images! Vitale lights a path to find a way out of the unknown. A journey worth taking with her."
Here’s a poem that’s not in the book.
If white is the presence of all colors,
is silence the sound of all spoken words?
and if the answer is yes,
what exactly does that mean?
I am searching for a way to tell you
about my life and the only voice I can find
is carved into clay in a language
I don’t understand.
(I am not good at this)
I am looking for the original mud, but
know if I submit my own symbols
to its wet waiting
the fire will harden them precisely
like those I hold in my hand
trying to read.
If I do not wish to be silent,
must I learn how not to speak?
That was a time during which I could read the newspaper and find poems forming themselves down the page. The words came like magic. Now that has been given over to clay (which you will note makes a brief stage appearance in "Gift." Transition period).
Thought for the day: "…the constancy of the speed of light implies that a moving light clock ticks more slowly than a stationary light clock. and by the principle of relativity, this must be true not only for light clocks but also for any clock – it must be true of time itself. Time elapses more slowly for an individual in motion than it does for a stationary individual. If the fairly simple reasoning that has led us to this conclusion is correct, then, for instance, shouldn’t one be able to live longer by being in motion rather n than staying stationary?" [I will live to 1,000 if this is true] Brian Greene, the Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory