Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Photo Roll of 2013

"Big Red"

   "Son of Big Red" (...a painting in acrylic by K. Annie Powell.)
    "Big Red" himself has most likely passed on by now, some 15 years later.

Old Man (Manatee) Big Red

The mammoth creature began to pass under the pontoon boat after surfacing on our side. Almost shaking, I hurry to put on the rest of my gear as I ready myself for the water. Plunging into the water near the back of the boat in the nick of time, I proceed to make my way forward toward the huge sea creature. Fighting against the current, to my amazement, I am able to come up behind the surely 15 (but feels like 20) foot beast! I slowly take in the huge girth of his massive paddle-like tail, noticing prop marks and some portions that are missing. I have found that this is a way to identify these creatures without mistake; by the (more often than not) man made marks on their tails and on their backs. This always makes me sad, of course, but I am glad to see how they have thrived in spite of the mark man makes.

“He must be about 15 feet long,” I think! I am frightfully careful not to disturb him as I slowly float and make my way further up along his very broad back and belly. His girth is huge! I am amazed to see that I cannot see around him from the top! This is an old creature--an ancient creature. All along his back I see prolific growing seaweed (or long flowing hair-like plants) up to three inches long or more moving to and fro in the water’s current. This carpet of plant life on his (her) back ranges in color from deep red to orange, and even a bit of yellow and bright lime green pop out here and there! His back was simply a wild mosaic of color!

I squeal in delight of discovery and pat his back as if to say “You are so old. I know you are old and I love you. You delight me!” I can sense that this valiant creature that has survived the likes of man and years of travel through currents of water. I squeal to him. He hears me, for the sound travels. As I carefully but deliberately pat his back but a few times, plumes of sand and dirt expand and then rise up and up. He is a great moving magic carpet made of algae and plant life. How old is he (she?) What a dream to come along the path of this remarkable sea creature and to (even) touch such a beast. It was like making the acquaintance of a huge well-aged under water elephant. It was like being in the presence of great wisdom. I was astonished. It becomes quiet in my soul as I marvel in the presence of this great creature.

The memory of this mammoth old man manatee sea creature that we bumped into in the Crystal River (most likely the oldest manatee there, I am assuming) stands out in my mind as the most wildly amazing moment in the cold crystal water that I could have had that day. The encounter still conjures up in my imagination many questions about the creature’s whereabouts, his age (was it a “she?”) and the like, even to this day! I have met many a manatee in the river, big manatees and small, gray colored ones, and even one pale white in color, but not a single one have I met that was even nearly as old and as super huge—as this magnificent creature. It was a dream I will remember for the rest of my life, to meet this particular manatee I have thus named “Big Red” or “Big Red Magic Carpet.”

Monday, December 30, 2013

White Women Don’t Wear Ponytails

    (Photo: Cold Sunrise)

White Women Don’t Wear Ponytails

I want to be astonished
I want to be amazed
I want to stand at the edge of a cliff and yell out through my lungs almost half crazed.

I want to sail across the ocean.
I want to soar up in my balloon.
I want to play a guitar and a flute while I stand tranquil on the back side of the moon.

I want to sail as an eagle, over the mountains so high.
It’s a wonder what a good night’s sleep will do…I feel at least 10 foot high. 

I want to bridge any gaping holes
between countries or peoples or friends
I want to be like the Rock of Gibraltar
a person solid on whom people depend.

I want to make art and parties
and maybe marry the two
upon a yacht that I run ’round the Cape ’cross the Atlantic
and then on over (at last) to you…

Maybe up then to cold Alaskan waters…
and maybe down then and back again
trekking the globe like a traveler light
with a map and a compass and gin

I want to do all things today
happy and chocked full of life
and when I rest I will lay me down
as an Appalachian women-mother-wife.

I want to jet up through the sky
in an aero plane full of my friends
and then drop down through blankets of thermal warmed water
in scuba where I risk the bends

When I awoke this morning
my hair stood straight up near the top part of my head
from a tossin’ and a turnin’ all night in my dreams
as an undercover spy or as a teacher or as a heroine in a country foreign again

White women like me over 50 don’t wear ponytails
piled up high on the top of their heads
but today I’m gonna do my ballet turns in my sweats
with my hair pinned up high just the way I woke up with it in my bed.

[A sort ofWalter Mitty” I suppose I am  
of women throughout time
who dream dreams of misadventure
and seek their fortune, love and pleasure
in fancy made up games along the way
This I offer up-a hearty “salute”
to all of my secret sisters
who like me find themselves seeking
behind the curtain peeking
a glimpse...
of the secret life within.]

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Icy Appalachian Tree Pickin'

Hello! :-)

These are recent pics (...just about 2 weeks before Christmas) of our trip to get a Christmas tree from a tree farm on nearby Rich Mountain, NC. It was quite a day! We traveled from 4000 feet to about 4800 feet and found an icy winter wonderland waiting (at the top!) 
Sweet blessings to all my friends!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

And So it Goes

And So it Goes

The grass is thick with the cold viscous drops
slick and gray it stands--
a dewy carpet
Down and down and down, it goes.

The sky in springtime weeps buckets of droplets
high at 4000
down this rocky mountain crevasse
they slip past driveways
throwing themselves over the boulders they crash
land well past the Blowing Rock
down they slide into Lenoir
at last to settle themselves placid 
in the basin called the Yadkin-Pee Dee
Down and down and down, it goes.

The rivers rush and flow
smoothly over strewn out granite chunks
down and down again they are driven
into the green sea beds hot and thick
with the briny creeping crustaceans that scatter at the sound of foot…
at home
in the brackish water
as it stands still
and where the fresh water plays at the game of
with the salt
Down and down and down, it goes.

I once saw a whale breach
up high
droplets cascading like rivers off of
his crusty old hull  
and thought
there is the water droplet that I saw last week
as it trickled down the straw-like stem
of my own proud
front yard rose.

© Karen Powell

Lois Nancy

This artwork is my mother's. It touches my heart.    (So gentle.)   A thoughtful depiction of something sweet, tiny, and cute.   'Wa...